FRENCHIE F.A.Q.

What is the lifespan of the French Bulldog?

The average life span of a French Bulldog is 10-12 years.  Good breeding, high quality dog foods, and general health and well being all takes part of their life expectancy.

What is the French Bulldogs personality? Are they good with kids? Make good family pets?

Despite the glum expression of the French Bulldog, you will find the breed is generally comical and entertaining.  Many Frenchies are friendly with everyone, while others are politely reserved. French Bulldogs will bark to announce visitors, but are otherwise quiet dogs.

Frenchies are loving companions who thrive on human contact. If you want an outdoor dog who can be left alone for long periods, the Frenchie is not the breed for you. This is a dog who enjoys lavishing love on his human companions as much as he loves the same treatment in return. They generally get along well with everyone, including children. They can, however, be territorial and possessive of their people, especially in the presence of other dogs. Socialization is a must for this breed, but with their easy companionship this is an enjoyable task.

French Bulldogs are wonderful companion dogs with a gentle nature. If you work at home, the Frenchie is happy to lie at your feet all day or follow you from room to room. People who love them describe them as mischievous goof balls and can't imagine life without them. They are a constant presence, and they'll love you with all the strength in their small bodies, proving time and again that beauty is on the inside.

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What are the common health concerns of the French Bulldog?

Not all French Bulldogs will get any or all of these diseases, but it's important to be aware of them if you're considering this breed.  Please do your research thoroughly.

  • Hip Dysplasia:  Hip dyplasia is a heritable condition in which the femur doesn't fit snugly into the pelvic socket of the hip joint. Hip dysplasia can exist with or without clinical signs. Some dogs exhibit pain and lameness on one or both rear legs. As the dog ages, arthritis can develop. X-ray screening for hip dysplasia is done by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program. Dogs with hip dysplasia should not be bred. Ask the breeder for proof that the parents have been tested for hip dysplasia and found to be free of problems.
  • Brachycephalic Syndrome: This disorder is found in dogs with short heads, narrowed nostrils, or elongated or soft palates. Their airways are obstructed to varying degrees and can cause anything from noisy or labored breathing to total collapse of the airway. Dogs with brachycephalic syndrome commonly snuffle and snort. Treatment varies depending on the severity of the condition but includes oxygen therapy as well as surgery to widen nostrils or shorten palates.
  • Allergies:  Allergies are a common problem in dogs. There are three main types of allergies: food-based allergies, which are treated by an elimination process of certain foods from the dog's diet; contact allergies, caused by a reaction to a topical substance such as bedding, flea powders, dog shampoos, and other chemicals, and treated by removing the cause of the allergy; and inhalant allergies, caused by airborne allergens such as pollen, dust, and mildew. The medication for inhalant allergies depends on the severity of the allergy. It is important to note that ear infections often accompany inhalant allergies.
  • Hemivertebrae:  This is a malformation of one or more vertebrae that causes it to be shaped like a wedge or triangle. This malformation can occur on its own or with other vertebrae malformations. Hemivertebra can cause no problems, or it can put pressure on the spinal cord. This can lead to pain, weakness, and or paralysis. There is no treatment for the condition unless there is spinal cord pressure.
  • Patellar Luxation:  Also known as "slipped stifles," this is a common problem in small dogs. It is caused when the patella, which has three parts — the femur (thigh bone), patella (knee cap), and tibia (calf) — is not properly lined up and slips in and out of place (luxates). This causes lameness or an abnormal gait (the way the dog moves). It is a congenital disease, meaning it's present at birth, although the actual misalignment or luxation does not always occur until much later. The rubbing caused by patellar luxation can lead to arthritis, a degenerative joint disease. There are four grades of patellar luxation ranging from grade I, an occasional luxation causing temporary lameness in the joint, to grade IV, in which the turning of the tibia is severe and the patella cannot be realigned manually. This gives the dog a bowlegged appearance. Severe grades of patellar luxation may require surgical repair.
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD): IDD occurs when a disc in the spine ruptures or herniates and pushes upward into the spinal cord. When the disc pushes into the spinal cord, nerve transmissions are inhibited from traveling along the spinal cord. Intervertebral Disc Disease can be caused by trauma, age, or simply from the physical jolt that occurs when a dog jumps off a sofa. When the disc ruptures, the dog usually feels pain and the ruptured disc can lead to weakness and temporary or permanent paralysis. Treatment usually involves nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) made specially for dogs. Never give your dog Tylenol or other NSAIDs made for people as they can be toxic. In some cases surgery can help, but it must be done within a day or so of the injury. You may also want to ask your veterinarian about physical rehabilitation. Treatments such as massage, water treadmills and electrical stimulation are available for dogs and can have excellent success.
  • Elongated Soft Palate:  The soft palate is the extension of the roof of the mouth. When the soft palate is elongated, it can obstruct airways and cause difficulty in breathing. The treatment for Elongated Soft Palate is surgical removal of the excess palate.

BREED CHARACTERISTICS

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ADDITIONAL FAQ

A well bred and healthy French Bulldog is not expensive- it's a priceless investment for your family! However the cost of purchasing them is, yes, on the costly side. First of all, very few French Bulldogs can breed naturally, mainly due to their narrow hips which makes mounting difficult. Because of this, most Frenchie females must be artificially inseminated. This is a fairly costly and time consuming process. Secondly, Frenchies tend to have relatively small litters. The average litter of live births is about four puppies, but litters of one or two puppies are very common. Thirdly, because of the relatively large head and shoulders of the Frenchie puppies in comparison to the size of the birth canal of the typical Frenchie mom, almost all Frenchies are delivered by C-section. This is also a very costly process approaching four figures. Add these figures together, and there is a very large overhead of money (and stress!) to the breeder. The average price for a well bred and HEALTHY puppy ranges between $2,500-$4,000. Puppies at a low price are most likely puppy mill dogs, and you should proceed with serious caution (or fully avoid!). Want a French Bulldog, without the price tag? Please support your local rescue, and offer a loving home!
French Bulldogs come in a variety of colors- ones that the AKC recognizes and ones that they do not. Please refer to the Breed Standards page for information about all recognized colors. Unrecognized colors, meaning colors which the AKC do not recognize and are disqualified colors, are what we refer to as "FAD COLORS". These colors are blue, lilac, black and tan, merle, and whatever else people may make up! Before I get into why we say NO to fad colors, let me ask you this. If you were planning to have a baby and you wanted that baby to be born with only a specific hair color, would you be willing to reproduce for just that hair color and skip over health? How do you feel about inbreeding? What if your baby could be born blind, or with other deformities? Your answer is most likely no, and if that is the case you also should be saying "NO TO FAD COLORS"! A reputable and responsible Frenchie breeder should only breed dogs conforming to his or her country’s parent club French Bulldog Breed Standard. Those irresponsible breeders who breed for and advertise rare colors are intentionally spreading unacceptable color genes through the gene pool and causing problems for reputable breeders whose main concern is to produce quality puppies that conform to our Standard. These irresponsible breeders producing fad colors are motivated by greed, since by calling their disqualified colors rare they are able to sell them for very inflated prices. So do your part as a responsible pet owner before purchasing your puppy in a rare color - choose health and breed standards first.
One of the most common question I get when people are meeting my Frenchies are "Do you dock their tail?" and the answer is NO! The French Bulldog is naturally born with a short tail, it can however vary in its natural length. Some have nothing more then a nub, so their "under carriage" is exposed. Others have a longer tail covering over their parts. The AKC states that the tail is either straight or screwed (but not curled). Short, hung low, thick root, fine tip; carried low in repose. The average Frenchie tail is about 1", but again, this varies from dog to dog! As far as their ears, those are all natural as well! Occasionally if you have a puppy with extra large ears, they may required being taped up to help hold their shape during growth. But in most cases the Frenchie's bat ears are all natural and require no assistance. They are born folded down like regular eared dogs, and they stand naturally as the puppy matures (anywhere between 5-9 weeks). Any ears other than the bat ear (broad at the base, elongated, with round top) is a disqualification of AKC Standards.
YES! This is not a rumor, this is fact! Due to the French Bulldogs extra large head, they simply can not keep their head above water for an extended period of time. Add into the fact of their smushed faces, they have an extra difficult time keeping their nose above water. Frenchies can "swim", but it is always recommended they be in the safety of a life vest. Please, never leave your French Bulldog alone in the vicinity of a pool or water source.