It’s an actual fact that French Bulldogs are one of the most adorable dog breeds. They’re silly and playful and make sweet little companions. But don’t let those cute faces fool you. They are often… up to mischief. If you love a small dog with tons of personality then it’s no wonder French Bulldogs have captured your heart.
Before you start researching breeders or making phone calls to rescues, there are things you should know about Frenchies. These dogs aren’t for the faint of heart. They present a unique set of challenges that you should be prepared for.
You need to be ready to deal with a strong personality in a little package. Plus, there are some physical challenges common to most bulldog breeds.
Of course, every dog is different - even those from the same breed. But if you’re considering adding a French Bulldog to the family, keep reading to find out 7 things you need to know before getting a Frenchie.
What To Know Before Getting A French Bulldog
1. Frenchies are very smart. This also means that they can be very stubborn. Smart dogs often display a talent for ignoring you completely when you give a command they don’t feel like following.
Don’t forget training. Training engages your dog’s brain. It teaches them more about your expectations which helps them build a stronger bond with you. Most importantly, it fills their need to have a job to perform.
2. Frenchies love to chew. Make sure they have plenty of toys. Keep extras on hand, so you can rotate toys occasionally to keep your Frenchie interested. French Bulldogs have very strong jaws, so look for toys for strong chewers.
3. Frenchies make great family dogs. They may be on the smaller side, but French Bulldogs aren’t delicate. They’re sturdy dogs who also love to play and cuddle. Their playful nature and even temperament mean they’re a good fit for families with children. Frenchies are active without being hyper. Their activity level is well suited to kids, and a Frenchie will love having little companions to jump and play with.
This doesn’t mean they won’t communicate with you. Frenchies can be little chatterboxes, especially if you encourage them. They have an entire vocabulary of yips, whines, and rumbles, and they have no problem talking back!
5. Frenchies can be prone to health problems. Unfortunately, due to their facial structure and genetics, there are diseases that Frenchies are more likely to get.
- Ear Infections- Due to their narrow ear canals, Frenchies are more prone to frequent ear infections.
- Conjunctivitis (commonly known as pink eye)- Smush-faced dogs (formally called brachycephalic dogs) are prone to sinus drainage which can lead to pink eye.
- Skin-Fold Dermatitis- Their cute little folds are adorable but if not cleaned properly, can cause yeast or bacterial build-up leading to itching and irritation. This can be prevented with proper cleaning and care of the skin folds.
- Upper Respiratory Problems- Because of their shortened nasal passages, Frenchies can easily develop some upper respiratory problems. Due to this, French Bulldogs do not do well outside in hot weather. This can also lead to heat stress and in the worst case scenario, heat stroke.
- Mobility Issues- French Bulldogs often develop joint problems like luxating patellas and hip dysplasia. They also often develop IVDD (intervertebral disc disease) which can cause sudden paralysis.
Potential health problems do not need to be deal breakers. All breeds have issues they may develop, and many dogs never have problems at all. They are things you should be aware of so that you can be prepared. Proper veterinary care can help you identify possible health problems early.
6. Frenchies need a lot of attention. They want to be with their family, and they want cuddles, playtime, and to be right in the middle of things. Frenchies can get incredibly clingy. This can be because of a health problem or because they are developing separation anxiety.
Frenchies do not do well being left alone for long periods of time. If you are in a single-dog household and work long hours, you’ll want to consider ways to keep them happy and calm while you’re away. For example, you can grab an essential oil diffuser for their collar to help distribute calming essential oils during stressful times.
7. Frenchies are not huge shedders. Your Frenchie will not require extensive grooming due to their short coats. They only shed twice a year, and they are not a breed that blows their coat.
You will want to brush them regularly to distribute their skin oils, remove loose hair, and just to bond. You will also need to clean their wrinkles to prevent irritation and infection.
Since French Bulldogs can be prone to itchy skin, you’ll want to grab some anti-itch dog-safe products to keep on hand.
Frenchies are bundles of fun! If you’re leaning toward letting a French Bulldog into your life, you can learn even more about how to groom and care for them in our Ultimate Guide To French Bulldog Care.