Own a French Bulldog, or welcoming one into the family? Here's everything you need to know about your furry Frenchie, from grooming and exercise to common health problems.
- Size: Small
- Life span: 11-14 years
- Coat: Requires minimal maintenance, but it’s a good idea to regularly check his skin folds
- Exercise: Up to 1 hour a day
French Bulldog personalityFrench Bulldogs are loyal and affectionate, and are most content when curled up on your lap. They are playful, happy-go-lucky dogs, need minimal grooming, moderate exercise and lots of loving.
The French Bulldog belongs to the utility breed dog group and is lively and intelligent. You can spot French Bulldogs easily – they have distinctive pointy bat ears, a stocky build and comical expressions. Coupled with their bright, easy-going personality, it's not really surprising that French Bulldogs make for popular pets.
Despite their name, the French Bulldog actually has its origins in England. The breed was first exhibited in 1896 at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. This dog is popular with celebrities too – Reese Witherspoon and Leonardo DiCaprio are among famous Frenchie owners.
Common health problems and illness
Respiratory issuesBecause of their shortened head and nose, the French Bulldog is susceptible to brachycephalic syndrome, meaning they may struggle to get air flowing freely into and out of the lungs. Problems can include an elongated soft palate and narrow nostrils. Look out for coughing, loud snoring and gagging, and speak to a vet if you have any concerns. It's because of these breathing difficulties that care should be taken when walking your pet – especially in hot weather.
Corneal ulcersCorneal ulcers are one of the most common eye problems in a French Bulldog. The ulcers are classified as either deep or superficial and the cornea loses layers of tissue as a result. Keep a careful watch over your French Bulldog when he's playing with other dogs, when he's digging, and when you're bathing him (never let soap get in his eyes). If you notice runny eyes, redness or constant blinking, then speak with your vet who may prescribe medication.
Spinal diseasesThe French Bulldog's distinctive shape is a result of chondrodystrophic dwarfism, which brings with it back problems. Intervertebral disc disease is a degenerative condition and a common cause of spinal pain in this breed. Signs may include incontinence, mobility problems and weakness, so if you notice anything unusual in your dog, speak with a vet who will be able discuss treatment options with you.
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