10 Things You Should Know Before Owning a French Bulldog
Kindhearted, affectionate, fascinating and funny are just a few of the words that you can use to describe a French bulldog. Though these dogs are adorable and thousands of people around the world gravitate to these dogs, as with any breed, these dogs are not right for every owner.
All bulldogs are cute, but English bulldogs can get quite large, so in the 19th century, breeders, who were also lace-makers in Nottingham, started to breed bulldogs with smaller dogs in order to create a mini version of the popular English bulldog to keep rats out of their workrooms. After the industrial revolution, however, much of the lacemaking was done by machine, and many of these laceworkers lost their jobs. In France, however, where lacemaking was still done by hand, jobs were available, so many of these lacemakers moved south, and they took their dogs with them.
The French loved these little dogs, and by the early 20th century, the dogs became popular with the bohemian class, which often included artists and writers, along with wealthy Americans who came to Paris. The Frenchie was soon taken across the pond, and was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1898.
Today, the French bulldog is ranked as the 6th most popular dog breed, according to the AKC. These dogs are recognized by their bat ears and scrunched up faces, and it comes in a range of nine different colors. Are you thinking about buying or adopting a French bulldog? Here are the 10 things you should know before owning one:
10. French Bulldogs Are Not Cheap
Due to the popularity of these dogs, one might believe that they are an affordable purchase, but to most people, a Frenchie puppy is more of an investment than a purchase.
The average cost of a French bulldog ranges from about $1400 all the way to $8000, depending on the breeder, color and the pedigree of the dog. You may see other Frenchies out there for a cheaper price, but it is extremely important that you only buy from a reputable breeder, and someone who sells their Frenchies for a couple hundred dollars is not considered to be a reputable breeder. You may also see rescue French bulldogs for less money, perhaps in the $300 to $500 range, but rescues often require a lot of extra care, which often equates to very pricy vet bills, so you will likely end up paying the same in the long run either way.
Why are Frenchies so expensive? Because it takes a lot of hard work for a breeder to care for the dog from the time it is born until it is time to go to its new home. A breeder who cares about the quality of their puppies will give them the best of everything, including care. Frenchies must be artificially inseminated in most cases, and because of their size and shape, most French bulldog females have a C-section to birth her puppies, as it can be very dangerous for her to give birth naturally. All of this costs a lot of money, and that cost is passed on to the consumer.
9. It Can Be Difficult To Socialize French Bulldogs
Though Frenchies are small, when compared to many other breeds, they have a big stubborn streak, and this makes them a bit more difficult to train than other dogs. There are two main types of training you will have to do with your French bulldog: socialization training and potty training, but socialization is more difficult in most cases.
Frenchies are quite loveable, but they also may be a bit standoffish towards people they do not know. They are also known to be aggressive towards other dogs, but you can control this is you begin socializing your Frenchie when he or she is a puppy. You should introduce the puppy to all different types of people and other dogs. Experts recommend that this socialization must be done by the time he or she is 14 weeks old, or it may never work.
When introducing the dog to someone new, do not force anything. Instead, take him or her to meet new people and watch what the dog does. If the dog walks to the new person and seems confident, give the dog treats and then allow the new person to give the dog treats. If the dog seems fearful of the new person, give the dog a chance to calm down, and when the dog approaches the new person, reward him or her with a treat or praise. Do not allow the new person to pet or touch the dog until it becomes more relaxed. It’s best to take cues from the dog when introducing him or her to someone new.
8. French Bulldogs are A Bit Destructive
You should also know that French bulldogs can be a bit destructive before you go out and get one. One of the reasons these pups get destructive is because they get bored easily, and they use chewing to explore their world. Chewing is also a common behavior for puppies, and it helps them to get rid of their baby teeth, so that their adult teeth can move in.
If you choose a French bulldog, you will have to be sure that you are keeping all of your personal belongings and valuables out of his or her reach. Frenchies are small, but they are big enough to get on tables to reach remote controls, and they will easily find shoes, socks, cell phones and even your kid’s toys.
If you have a Frenchie and you notice that the dog is chewing items in your home that he or she shouldn’t, make sure to interrupt the behavior and offer an item that the dog is allowed to chew, such as a bone or chew toy. Remember, chewing is a natural behavior of a dog, so scolding the dog for this behavior is not something you should do. Instead, make sure to provide a number of toys for the dog, and choose toys that they will not destroy. Frenchies are well known for destroying those plush dog toys with a squeaker, but they can choke on the squeaker if swallowed, so its best to keep those toys to a minimum. If you do choose to give your dog a toy with a squeaker, make sure to watch him or her closely.
7 . French Bulldogs Do Not Require A Lot of Exercise
Some people prefer a dog that they do not have to exercise, and if this is the case for you, the French bulldog may be a good choice. This dog has a lot of energy, but they are intolerant to a lot of exercise because of how their body is made up. Like English bulldogs, pugs and other dogs with short noses, it can be difficult for them to breathe when they have a lot of exercise. However, French bulldogs are prone to weight gain, so they do require some exercise and play.
A good exercise for a French bulldog is a walk around the block once or twice a day. If the weather is too hot or too cold, however, it’s best to skip the walk for a day, as these dogs are very sensitive to cold and hot weather. If this is the case, playing indoors is the best option. You will get some of that pent up energy out of the dog, something that Frenchies have a lot of, plus have a little fun yourself. These dogs are quite comical and they love to have fun with their owners.
Keep in mind, if you take your Frenchie on a walk that a harness is best, instead of a collar. A collar can crush the trachea of your pup, and even cause straining of his or her neck. A harness, however, can provide great support for the dog, and if he or she starts running and pulling on the leash, the strain is not as great.
6. French Bulldogs Can and Do Shed
One of the requirements of some people looking for a new dog is that the dog does not shed. If this is the case for you, a French bulldog is not a good choice. The coat of a French bulldog is smooth, short and fine, which makes it easy to care for with a simple soft bristle brush or a rubber brushing glove. These dogs are moderate shedders, and tend to shed heavily two times a year, in the fall and spring, when they lose their undercoat. During this time, you will have to use a special stripping comb to remove the extra hair.
You should make sure that you bathe your French once a month unless you notice that he or she is developing dry skin. If this is the case, change the bathing to once every two months. You will need to trim their toenails every couple of weeks, and if they are so long that you can hear them on a hard floor, they are too long. Brush your dog’s teeth, too, as this will keep your dog’s teeth healthy and their breath fresh.
The ears of your French bulldog will also have to be clean, and you will have to clean their wrinkles. These are deep skin folds that can be a breeding ground for bacteria, and you will need to clean them out from daily to once or twice a week. Use a damp cloth or baby wipe to wipe out the wrinkles, and then make sure the wrinkles are dry by using talcum powder.