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 French Bulldog as a Pet

by PetBond Vet

 French Bulldog as a Pet


Where did the  French Bulldog Breed originate?

The French bulldog is believed to have originated as a relative of both the American bulldog and English bulldog. The French bulldog as we see it today, is a descendant from a breed that an ancient Greek tribe know as the Molossians bred. Some believe also that the French Bulldog originated from a native dog breed in Peru, that is now extinct. When bull baiting was outlawed in the UK in 1835, people looked for other purposes for the breed.As the industrial revolution grew in the UK, people emigrated to France and brought the breed with them. The French Bulldog became synonymous for “warming the lap” as they accompanied their owners on train journeys. People began to cross them with other terrier breeds and pugs in particular. It was then noticed that the French Bulldog was a very friendly breed, and always wants to entertain! So much so, that they were know as “clowns” given their individual performances for people. As the breed became more established in France, the French Bulldog became a fashion & elite symbol amongst the Parisien aristocracy. Today, the French Bulldog is established as one of the most popular dog breeds in Ireland and across Europe given their friendliness and willingness to please owners & families alike.


Will a French bulldog be good with children & other pets?

When a French Bulldog is well socialised from an early age, they develop good social skills around people and other dogs. As a breed, they are generally recognised as being playful, gentle and considerate around children and other pets. This gentle nature has made them very popular pets.It is important that children do not inadvertently antagonise any dog, as such can always provoke a reaction in any breed. It is important to teach children how to behave around dogs, and when to leave a dog alone especially around meal times and when it’s chewing. PetBond always recommends that any interaction of toddlers and young children with a dog is supervised by an adult to ensure that things stay calm and never become too rough.

French Bulldogs do have a strong prey drive, and therefore if alerted can chase cats and other smaller creatures in their line of sight. When a French Bulldog has been reared with a cat, this is less likely to occur. Always slowly introduce a French Bulldog to other pets, as this allows better interaction and bonds to develop.


Will a French Bulldog adapt to living in an apartment?

Yes, French Bulldogs are ranked in the Top 10 of dog breeds most suited to living in apartments. As with all breeds, it’s important to make the environment as entertaining and stimulating as possible for your dog. These guys may be small, however will still need their daily exercise and plenty of play time! They are the most entertaining breed, and absolute characters. They are highly intelligent despite their “clownish” antics, and will do anything to entertain and satisfy their owner. They will adapt very well, and enjoy watching TV on the sofa as much as they do playing outside with you.

As a First time dog owner, is the French Bulldog a good choice?

French Bulldogs are a great choice for first time owners because they are always so amenable and eager to please. They make wonderful companions and family pets because they thrive in a home environment loving nothing more than to be involved in all the action and every conversation. They want to be the centre of attention and will reciprocate this love ten times to you in return!

How much daily Exercise does a French Bulldog need?

Certain breeds such as “working dogs” use alot of energy, and therefore require alot of exercise to replace this innate breed instinct. PetBond regards the French Bulldog as a 3/5 for exercise needs (where1 is very little and 5 is alot), and multiple small walks each day are preferable to longer ones, and 3 twenty minute walks would be preferable. This way, your dog can be both physically and mentally stimulated whilst outside, enjoying what nature also has to offer. What great reason to get you outdoors also! Be careful in hot & warm weather, as sometimes French Bulldogs can overheat. They are Brachycephalic dogs, which means that their airways are narrower than other breeds. Should a dog overheat, their core body temperature can become hypothermic and result in shock. In the summer or very warm climates, walk when the sun is not out and in the shade. Always have water at hand.


Does the French Bulldog breed suffer from separation anxiety?

French Bulldogs form very strong bonds with their owners and as such they can suffer from a condition known as separation anxiety if they find they are left on their own for any length of time. As such they are better suited to households where one person stays at home and can offer them plenty of attention and time. With plenty of interaction and stimulation, separation anxiety in French Bulldogs can be offset, and as a result any “tantrums” resulting in unwanted destructive behaviour.


Random French Bulldog facts……

> They have either rose shaped or bat shaped ears

> A 9 year old French Bulldog named Bugsy adopted a baby orang-utan called Malone and looked after it until the baby was old enough to join the mature orang-utans.

> Many celebrities around the world own French Bulldogs & Hugh Jackman has one named Dali


What size should a  French Bulldog be?

Height at the withers: Males 30 cm, Females 30 cm
Average Weight: Males 12.5 kg, Females 11 kg

French Bulldogs are small, yet well muscled dogs.They have a low body fat ratio, and their skin is well defined by folds on the forehead.


What about excessive barking?

French Bulldogs are not very vocal, and as such do not like the sound of heir own voice. However, if they are left alone for too long and develop unwanted behaviours, they can vocally express their frustrations. It is therefore important to train these puppies properly and realise that when they do vocalise, they are telling you that something is on their mind!

Do French Bulldogs like swimming?

French Bulldogs are not particularly fond of water and are not very good swimmers. In fact, it would be fair to say that a French Bulldog would sink like a piece of lead if it jumped into water. Be careful rounds lakes & ponds as it is highly dangerous should your pet jump in.


Would my new French Bulldog make a good watchdog?

Not really! They are good to let you know when they sense a change in their environment, however are so friendly that they would not be alerted by an intruder in many cases.


Is a French Bulldog easy to train?

A French Bulldog always wants to please it’s owner, therefore is very amenable to proper training. They can have a stubborn streak in them, however good training as a puppy with clear & repetitive instructions is highly effective. Using positive reinforcement the French Bulldog will learn quickly, and develop positive lifelong habits. Some can take more time than others, however perseverance usually does the trick.



Great choice for 1st Time pet Owner

How old should a French Bulldog live & What medial conditions should I look out for?

French Bulldogs live for on average between 10 and 14 years when properly cared for and loved. They are known to suffer from some congenital and hereditary health issues which are described below

·       Cleft palate and hare lips – seen as milk drooling from the nostrils
·       Hemivertebrae – spinal condition
·       Degenerative Myelopaty (DM) – DNA test available
Other health issues more commonly seen in the breed than other breeds include the following:
·       Hip Dysplasia
·       Back problems – often seen in older French Bulldogs
·       Spondylitis – Where vertebrae fuse together
·       Cherry Eye
·       Corneal ulcers
·       Pannus – a condition that affects older Frenchies more than younger dogs
·       Hypothyroidism – affects a small percentage of French Bulldogs
·       Epilepsy
·       Deafness – puppies should be tested when they are 6 weeks old
·       Stenosis
·       Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome – (BOAS) being a brachycephalic breed,

A staggering statistic is that unto 80% of French bulldog pup are delivered by Caesarean section, due to the large size of the puppies heads.

Stenosis is a condition whereby the nostrils and upper airways are excessively constricted. This is seen easily when the outer nostril is affected, however not as readily when the inner nostril is involved. As the nostril is so constricted, such dogs have a pronounced open mouth breathing which is much easier for them. A dog suffering from the condition is 20 times more at risk of developing BOAS than others, and veterinarians perform corrective surgery to assist the breathing is such dogs, as soon as the condition is identified.

A percentage of French Bulldogs can also suffer from deafness, which is most commonly seen in dogs with white, pied and merle coloured coats, and they can be deaf in one or both ears. Pups should not be tested for deafness until they are 6 weeks old as the ear canals in dogs do not open until 2 weeks at least. There is standard test (BAER) which is available, and recognised by the Kennel Club breeding programme.

Merle coloured French Bulldogs will not be registered by the Kennel Club as they carry a high rise of carrying genes for both deafness & blindness.

When should my French Bulldog puppy be vaccinated?

Frenchie puppies should have been given their initial vaccinations before being sold, but it is up to their new owners to make sure they have their follow-up shots in a timely manner. Most pups are vaccinated at 8 weeks old once weaned, and then again at 10 -12 weeks old, bearing in mind that a puppy would not be fully protected straight away, but would be fully protected 2 weeks after they have had their second vaccination

There has been a lot of media discussion about the need for dogs to have boosters, and PetBond highly recommends that you seek advise from your local veterinarian who will advise best.


When should I spey and neuter my French Bulldog?

Many of my veterinary colleagues recommend these days waiting until dogs are slightly older before spaying and neutering them, which means they are more mature before undergoing the operations. Males and females can be castrated and speyed when they are between the ages of 6 to 9 months old. Other vets recommend spaying and neutering dogs when they are 6 months old, but never any earlier unless for medical reasons. If you do not want to breed from your dog, we advise that you consider neutering. Injectable alternatives also exist, whereby a female can be temporarily sterilised should you wish to allow them to later breed. Discuss with Petbond vets if you want more information on this.


How can I really look after a French Bulldog?

French Bulldogs need to be groomed on a regular basis even though they do not have traditional long coats. This will ensure that their coats and skin are kept in tip-top condition, as they are also known to suffer from skin conditions. They also need to be given regular daily exercise so they stay fit and healthy. French Bulldogs also need to be fed a good quality diet throughout  their lives to ensure optimal health & wellness.


How to care for French Bulldogs when they reach their senior years?

Older French Bulldogs need lots of attention & care as they reach their latter years, as they are more at risk of developing certain health concerns. Physically, a French Bulldog’s muzzle will start to go grey, but there will be other visual changes too which includes the following:
·       Coats become rougher
·       A loss of muscle definition
·       Frenchies can either become overweight or underweight
·       They have reduced strength and stamina
·       They have difficulty regulating their body temperature
·       Arthritis can set in
·       Immune systems do not work as efficiently as they once did which means dogs are more susceptible to infections


Older dogs change mentally which means their response times tend to reduce and age related changes as such can be noticed:
·       They respond less to external stimuli due to impaired vision or hearing
·       They tend to be more selective about their food
·       They have reduced pain threshold
·       Become less tolerant of any change
·       Often an older dog can feel disorientated


Living with a French Bulldogs in their latter years means some different responsibilities as an owner, however these are easily managed once you are aware of your dog’s needs.

Older French Bulldogs need to be fed a diet with the general guidelines below, and must be well balanced……
·       Protein content should be anything from 14 – 21%
·       Fat content should be less than 10%
·       Fibre content should be less than 4%
·       Calcium content should be 0.5 – 0.8%
·       Phosphorous content should be 0.4 – 0.7%
·       Sodium content should be 0.2 – 0.4%

Older French Bulldogs don’t need the same amount of daily exercise as a younger dog, however still need the right amount of physical activity to maintain muscle tone and to prevent obesity which is all too common. All dogs need access to fresh clean water, and this is especially true of dogs as they reach their latter years as the risk of developing kidney disorders increases.

Does a French Bulldog need regular Grooming?

A French Bulldog needs regular grooming and once a week is ideal. Always check under the dogs tail, as the “tail pockets” can become infected and need to have all debris removed. The best way to clean under a dog’s tail is to use a damp cloth and to towel dry the area gently, but thoroughly afterwards,
With a short, compact coat, a French Bulldog is quite easy maintenance on the grooming front.Any facial folds should also be thoroughly cleaned and most importantly dried, as bacteria will grow very quickly in areas where air is not circulating.
·       Ears, nails and glands should be checked and cleaned every 4 to 8 weeks
·       Folds and flaps around a Frenchie’s eyes need to be gently cleaned every day or so using a soft, damp cloth. It is crucial that folds and flaps are kept clean and dry to avoid bacterial infections taking hold which could prove hard to clear up
·       Ears need to be checked every month and cleaned when necessary
·       Bathe a French Bulldog every 6 to 8 weeks only using a hypo-allergenic shampoo making sure that dogs are well rinsed and dried off after their baths
·       Paws and pads should be regularly checked to make sure they are in good condition and have not developed any painful and sore cracks
·       Tools you’ll need include a shedding blade which is great for removing any dead hair in a Frenchie’s coat.


Feeding guide for a French Bulldog puppy – Key Points to remember

> Puppies need to be fed more frequently than an adult dog. Three or 4 times a day

Puppies have growth spurts, therefore over feeding is not helpful to them!

> Feeding smaller amounts more often lessens any stomach problems


French Bulldog Buying Advice

When buying any puppy or dog, there are many important things to consider and questions to ask of the breeder/seller. This is a new animal that will be with you and your family for life, and you have a duty of care for this pets life also. Never ever buy a puppy without having your PetBond HAPPY pack that contains all the critical information you need about your new pet & it’s history since birth.

When buying a French Bulldog always ask for……..

If buying a White or Pied French Bulldog, make sure that the dog/puppy has been tested for deafness using BAER test at 6 weeks old.  Note that they can be tested from 6 weeks of age and have to be KC registered and microchipped before they can be tested.
Be wary of paying huge prices for undesirable coloured French Bulldogs, for example merle, blue/lilac, or black and tan.  These colours might be sold and advertised as unique and “valuable”, but in fact they are undesirable colours, not recognised by the kennel club and they may have health implications. The standard and recognised colours of French Bulldogs are Fawn, Brindle and Pied.

Due to the French Bulldog being so popular and an expensive breed, many unscrupulous people will import & export puppies to sell on from horrendous breeding conditions in Europe and Ireland in particular. It is extremely important to receive the PetBond vets HAPPY pack to make sure that your are sourcing a puppy only from an ethical breeder .
As unto 80% of all French Bulldog puppies are delivered by caesarean section, PetBond vets will be able to tell you all about where your litter were born, and again making you and your pet safer with this knowledge! We have the highest standards in place for French Bulldogs and their breeders, which protects all pets & people involved. Always choose

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