French Bulldog

Recommended for: Apartment living and families
Maintenance: Low
Lifespan: 10-12 years

French Bulldogs are a small, stocky dog with a roach (arched) back and compact appearance. Standing around 30 cm (12 inches) in height and weighing 10-15kg (23-33lb), they are similar in size to a Corgi. The face of the ‘Frenchie’ is flattened although said to be less so than the British Bulldog. The biggest difference between the British Bulldog and the French Bulldog is the Frenchie’s ears which stand stiffly upright with the edges curved slightly forward. They are held erect by cartilage which begins to stiffen at 10 days of age. Colors include brindle (which can have white but is mostly brindle), pied (mostly white) and fawn.

Owners say the French Bulldog is intelligent, courageous and clownish. They are said to be very reliable with children and good watchdogs. Most breeders say they are not yappy dogs and will usually only bark for good reason. This robust little dog will stand its ground if confronted by unfamiliar people.

This breed does have some potential health problems. Among those to watch is a weakness in the back which can be aggravated by the dog jumping down from furniture, particularly when young. Other potential problems with the breed include luxating patellas (dislocating knee joints) and soft palate problems in some lines. French Bulldogs are very susceptible to overheating and must have shelter and fresh water available at all times.

Minimal grooming is required. Although the coat rarely sheds, a soft brush or mitten brush will remove loose hairs when moulting.

French Bulldogs can live happily in a flat with minimal exercise. A daily walk is, however, good to maintain the dog’s fitness. A fenced suburban backyard is ideal. French Bulldogs should not be exercised in the heat of the day. This breed can not swim because of his physique, so care must be taken around swimming pools.