About Frenchies

To know them is to love them.

In the nineteenth century, the Bulldog was fairly popular in England,
especially around Nottingham. Some of these Bulldogs were quite small,
weighing less than 25 pounds. When many of the lace workers of the
region went to France for work in the mid 1800s, they took their "Toy"
Bulldogs with them. The French women, especially, were attracted to
these little Bulldogs, especially those with erect ears. Dog dealers brought
more of the clownish little dogs to France, where they soon became the
rage of Paris. The dogs were dubbed Bouledogue Francais. French
Breeders sought to consistently produce the erect "bat ears," much to the
chagrin of the English breeders. By the late 1800s, the breed had caught
the attention of the upper class and had moved into some of the finer
homes in France. Around this same time, American visitors to France
brought several back to America and began to breed the dogs in earnest.

Amid continued controversy over which ear type was correct, an American
club was formed, and, in 1898, sponsored one of the most elegant dog
shows (just for French Bulldogs) ever held. The gracious setting attracted
wealthy spectators, and the Frenchie had soon conquered America. Their
popularity among high society soared, and by 1913 they were among the
most popular show dogs in America. The breed has since been passed by
others in popularity, but it still boasts some of the most elite and ardent
fans in dogdom.

The French Bulldog is a clown in a lapdog. It enjoys playing and
entertaining its family, as well as cuddling and snoozing with its favorite
person. It is amiable, sweet, a great companion, and willing to please.

Frenchies are an inside dog, they can't tolerate heat if you can't keep them inside, please don't get one.


Are Frenchies Noisy? 

Actually, some owners tell of having owned Frenchies for as long as six months without ever having heard them bark. I personally owned one that barked so infrequently that when she did it actually sounded rusty! In general, though, most Frenchies as sensible barkers, doing so only if they feel that there is something worth really getting excited about. Like cookies.


How Are they With Kids? 

Whenever I am asked "How are Frenchies with children?" I like to reply "How are your children with dogs?" As with most dogs, Frenchies will play and rough house happily with older children who have been carefully introduced and taught to respect a dogs limitations. Smaller children must be carefully taught to never pick a Frenchie up, as they are a head heavy breed that is easy to drop. Some fanciers believe that Frenchies may play too vigorously for the average child under 2 years, but there is always the exception to the rule. As with your children, it is the way your Frenchie has been taught that will be the deciding factor.


How Are They With Other Pets? 

Well, sometimes not so good. There are undeniably some French Bulldogs who do not integrate well into multi pet households. Bitches in particular can be cranky towards each other, particularly if they are intact (un spayed). Many breeders suggest that if you have another dog in your household already, and are thinking of purchasing a Frenchie, to get one of the opposite sex. Early spay/neuter can also go a long way towards curbing these aggressive tendencies before they start to manifest themselves. As for cats and other small pets, a Frenchie raised from early puppyhood can be taught with consistent training to respect their right to exist, and to refrain from chasing or harassing them. If you are considering bringing an older Frenchie into your home, you'd do well to ask how they get along with other dogs or cats, before making a final decision.

How Much Do They Cost?

Quite frankly, a lot. French Bulldogs tend to be rather expensive, for a number of reasons. They are generally able to deliver only by Cesarean, have very low litter sizes, and usually need to be artificially inseminated. All of this tends to keep their prices rather high. Please ensure that if you find one that seems to be a bargain that it wasn't by virtue of their care being skimped on.

There has been a recent influx of cheap French Bulldogs imported from several Eastern European nations and sold in North America through Puppy Brokers. These puppies - some as young as five or six weeks old - are brought over far too early, on flights that are far too long, and have been turning up in rescue in droves, with a number of rather alarming health and temperament problems. Not all Eastern European dogs have these issues, but please be aware of anyone who does not have the mother on the premises, or who insists on meeting you in a public place to introduce you to the litter.

Do They Drool? 

No! They are French, and as such would never be caught dead doing anything as uncouth as drooling - they leave that to their British Bulldog cousins! Gassiness, on the other hand, is a condition French Bulldog owners learn to live with. Blame it on all that Pate De Fois Gras they were weaned on.

Is A Frenchie Right For Me? 

While French Bulldogs may not have the easily trained disposition of Border Collies, they are generally quite amenable towards being trained to basic obedience commands. Quite a few have even competed successfully in the obedience ring, some going so far as to earn their U.D. titles.

Owners make a serious mistake when they let the cute face and compact size of the French Bulldog allow them to overlook the strong influence of the Bull and Terrier forefathers of this breed. Obedience training is strongly encouraged from as early an age as possible, and can go a long way towards ensuring your Frenchie does not develop any nasty habits. From time to time, one may encounter Frenchies who consider you - and everything else in their house - to be their property. While a cute puppy growlingly refusing to return your slippers may sound cute, such behavior in adults accounts for one of the most common reasons Frenchies are turned over to rescue. Again, be prepared to set firm rules and limits from the minute your new Frenchie comes home. You'll both be thankful for it , in the long run.

Frenchies, with their gentle natures and love of attention, make excellent therapy dogs but are not the breed to choose if you are seeking a vigorous jogging companion or highly athletic dog. Their joints were not made to take the stress of constant pounding, and their impaired breathing systems can make heavy activity life threatening in extreme weather conditions. If there was ever a couch potato Olympics, on the other hand, I am quite sure that most of the Gold Medal Winners would be French Bulldogs.

A French Bulldog can be a wonderful companion for someone who is seeking a dog who craves the company of humans in low key settings. Cafe life, leisurely walks, naps on the couch, long car rides, pleasant outings to the park, luxurious suites at the Ritz -- if any of this sounds like your idea of a perfect life, then a Frenchie just may be the breed for you!