Hills Pet Nutrition Ltd

Dog Breed profiles

French Bulldog Breed Profile

French Bulldog fact file

KC Group: Utility
Size: Small
Height: 30cm
Weight: Dogs: 12.5kg; bitches: 11kg
Average lifespan: 10 years
Good with children?: Seek breeder advice
Exercise requirement: Moderate
Good guard dogs?: Would bark
Moulting level: Low
Grooming: Little
Colours: Breed standard states brindle, pied, or fawn. Colours such as tan, mouse, and grey/blue - often described as rare by unethical breeders - are undesirable
Jogging partner: No

Health

The French Bulldog is generally a healthy breed but the following conditions are known:
  • Hereditary cataracts.
  • Respiratory problems.
  • Overheating problems.
Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of the eye which, if left untreated, can cause blindness. French Bulldogs are susceptible to hereditary cataracts due to a mutant gene. The gene is recessive so a puppy will only be affected if it is passed to him by both his mother and father.
 
Being a short-faced (brachycephalic) breed the French Bulldog’s compact airways can cause breathing problems. Brachycephalic airway syndrome, where the airways are blocked or too small, can affect the nose, mouth, and throat. The condition can be managed but may require surgery.
 
The Frenchie struggles to regulate his own body temperature effectively. He will enjoy the warmth but owners need to ensure shade and water are always available. As with all dogs, he should never be left in the car as the combination of heat and stress can be fatal.
 
Health tests
 
The French Bulldog is listed under the British Veterinary Association/Kennel Club eye scheme. The test is strongly recommended for detecting eye problems, in particular the onset of hereditary cataracts. Cataracts usually occur between the ages of nine and 15 months and develop at between two and four years old, so puppies are normally tested before reaching their fi rst birthday and annually thereafter.
 
The DNA test HC-HSF4 is also strongly recommended by the Kennel Club to test for the mutant gene HSF4 which causes hereditary cataracts. As the gene is recessive, a French Bulldog may have one copy of the gene, meaning they are not affected. However they will carry the gene, which could be passed on to any offspring. The test will determine if a dog is affected, a carrier, or clear.

Temperament

  • Comic and vivacious but not boisterous.
  • Can be strong-minded so require an owner with a firm but gentle hand.
  • Affectionate and intelligent.

Lifestyle

  • French Bulldogs thrive on affection and companionship. Even if left alone for only a short period, they can become distressed.
  • They do not require long walks; bursts of high intensity play or a stroll, with long periods of rest, will satisfy their needs.
  • Frenchies enjoy playing with children but, as with all dogs, should be supervised.
  • An adaptable breed, they can live in a flat or a house.
  • They enjoy a regular routine.

Trainability

  • Fairly easy to house-train.
  • Obedience training can be difficult as French Bulldogs are independent thinkers; using treats as an incentive should help.

General care

  • Easy to care for coat that requires grooming once a week.
  • Facial wrinkles, the area under the tail, and bat ears, need to be checked regularly as they can become infected if not clean.

Pros

  • Faithful and loyal.
  • Fun-loving.

Cons

  • Not suited to many dog activities.
  • Require a lot of human company.

Did you know?

  • The breed was brought to England around 1900.
  • Due to their shape, most French Bulldogs cannot swim so care must be taken near deep water.
  • Your French Bulldog will be an integral part of the family so expect to share your favourite chair with him!