There are bulldogs . . . and there are bulldogs. This month, I am going to present the most popular type of bulldog in the United States in 2018, according to the American Kennel Club. I have already talked about my favorite bullie dog, the Pit Bull, and later we will cover the fascinating history of the English Bulldog. While these are all flowers in the same bed, the French Bulldog gains its popularity most likely from how darn CUTE they are! Ranked at #6 in popularity out of 192 breeds, the Frenchie weighs less than 28 pounds, stands only around 13 inches high, and will live as long as 10 to 12 years.

History

A member of the Non-Sporting Group, these pups were originally documented from the middle of the 1800s when they popped up in the lace-making centers in Nottingham, England. I haven’t made the connection yet, so if anyone knows why lace-makers were smitten with peewee Bulldogs, leave me a comment! They actually became a mascot for the industry! As the industrial revolution struck at the heart of the home-based technicians, they relocated to France, taking their little bulldogs with them. And thus the name “French” Bulldog. They were crossed with other popular pets such as terriers and pugs and somewhere along the line, developed the bat-like ears that are now a characteristic of the breed.

The Parisians loved the little dog and it became a stable of the classic French cafes.  Trying lugging a pit bull into one of those fancy schmancy places!  Famous French artists Toulouse-Lautrec and Edgar Degas even included them in some of their painting of social gatherings of the time.

Appearance

Frenchies have been mixed with lots of other little dog breeds, so the stocky body, small size, squashed face, and big ears may be enough for you. If you are interested in getting an animal that is the “perfect” French Bulldog, here are the American Kennel Club standards. The animals should have a smooth coat and compact build. It should look muscular and have an alert and intelligent expression. There is no alterations allowed, such as bobbing the tail or the ears. The dog is symmetrical and parts are all in relationship to each other with no one feature being prominent. Colors can be solid black, black and white, white and black, black and tan, blue (gray), blue fawn, liver, and merle.

Personality

The Frenchie is smart and strongly connects to his human family. Easy to train, the breed Full of fun, the French Bulldog is crazy for kids and they’re crazy for these little dogs. Although they are small, the French Bulldog are durable enough to take some handing (within reason?). Because they are fairly low-energy, these guys are great for apartment living and don’t need much exercise. Keep in mind that little exercise with cause her to lose her girlish figure, so refrain from too many doggie treats or your pup will look more like a burrito than a dog. Another plus for apartment dwellers is that this breed thinks barking takes too much energy, but watch the video below to see how much they can “talk” to you.

How Much Does a French Bulldog Cost?

According to the website All About Frenchies updated in 2016, the answer is . . . it depends.  If you are looking for a French Bulldog as a loving family pet, check out French Bulldog rescues first.  There are about 4000 waiting for adoption right now in the United States.  However, there are associated fees and costs.  Even the local shelter charges $100 for an adoption to help cover costs, and a French Bulldog rescue will run you between $250-$500, maybe as high as $750.  Your animal will be in the best health possible and not able to reproduce to stop backyard breeders who don’t know what they’re doing and often mistreat their dogs.

Some people want a particular color. The colors of the Frenchies are cream (most common), pied (more or less dark on top and light on bottom), black, a rare purple/lilac, and brindle (usually black stripes on a dark tan base). These colors will bring between $1400 and $2000 per dog. Unless you have proof of Best in Show and are a professional breeder, don’t pay over $2000. If you want a specific color and gender, expect to pay a few hundred dollars more. Or just be patient and shop around.  On the high end, a rare purple/lilac female that has never been bred has garnered the price tag of $60,000. Can you take her as a tax deduction? She cost more than my kids . . .

You may not know that you can’t put a Frenchie on an airplane.  This means somebody (probably you!) will have to drive to his location to pick him up.

Health Problems

Unfortunately, indiscriminate breeding practices have caused some health issues in some members of the breed that prospective owners should know before welcoming a Frenchie into their homes and hearts. First, they have short muscles that have negative effects on breathing and the ability to regulate body temperature. For this reason, these little guys shouldn’t be pushed too hard in the exercise department. In hot weather, keep them from overexerting and  keep plenty of water handy. But good news! On chilly days, your short-coated friend needs a cover up and there are TONS of cute Frenchie outfits!

Breeders deliberately meant to make little dwarf bulldogs. The downside is that they may develop hip and back problems. Regular visits to your vet can identify any problems early and treatment can include therapy and medications to keep your pet’s discomfort to a minimum. The best prevention is to keep your Frenchie at the weight recommended by his doctor and don’t make him exercise too much. This breed can also be hard to breed and whelp, so leave that to the professionals. Think about a special brand of dog food just for French Bulldogs like Royal Canin.

Believe it or not, you should consider getting wrinkle cream for your French Bulldog.  No, really!  They can get tear stains, or bacterial or fungal infections . Food can get stuck in there and all kinds of other things you don’t even want to think about . . . like stuff that’s been under your couch for about four years. I’ve heard that Squishface Wrinkle Paste does a good job.

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