If you have become one of the thousands of people in the western world obsessed with this cute little pooch, nobody would blame you! With their big, bulbous eyes and snub nose, the French Bulldog is arguably one of the most adorable dogs around. Before forking out a substantial sum of money to bring one home, it might help to read up about the common problems and pitfalls you would encounter with the breed. It is important to remember that whilst the craze of French Bulldogs may be appealing to latch onto, it will also likely fade, whereas the doggies themselves usually live between eight and ten years.
Before you dash out and buy a French Bulldog, it is important that you read up about the breed as best you can. As with other bulldog breeds, there are significant health risks in dogs that are not from a reputable breeder. Though tempting, try and avoid the cheapest selling price, as this can be a sign of poor breeding. A well-bred Frenchie will be hard work and expensive for the breeder, if they’re doing it properly, and will be priced accordingly. Be wary of puppy farmers, or any ‘breeder’ that seems to solely be out for financial gain. Puppies from these people will be in very poor health, and will likely have a whole host of medical and behavioural problems. Expect to pay between £1,000 and £1,800 for a quality French Bulldog. A good place to look for breeders is at your nearest breed club, the Kennel Club website or you can view the French Bulldogs on our classifieds site here. You should also go and speak to some experts on the breed, and meet some adult dogs. It may seem pedantic, but quite a number of would-be French Bulldog owners have never actually seen one in the flesh!
There are also some important points to consider once you’ve found a breeder and decided to buy a Frenchie. French Bulldogs, as any puppies, are incredibly hard work. They can take up to two years to fully mentally mature, and will require a huge amount of attention and patience. They require walks daily of at least half an hour when they are young, and can be rather difficult to train due to their stubborn nature. If you work all day away from home, you should not get a French Bulldog, as they don’t cope well with being left long periods of time on their own, and can consequently become extremely destructive. They also cry extremely loudly when left alone, which might not be something the neighbours will enjoy! The ideal French Bulldog owner will work from home or be retired, as they require someone with them most hours of the day. French Bulldogs love human companionship, and will want to be involved in every aspect of your life. They are extremely friendly though, so don’t expect too much loyalty if someone else comes in with a biscuit!
Owning a French Bulldog is also not without its ups and downs. For a shorthaired breed, Frenchies shed A LOT. They also shed year round, so invest in a good quality grooming brush if you wish to save your carpets and furniture! Another, slightly more unpleasant, fact about French Bulldogs is that they fart a tremendous amount. It is not uncommon for these teeny pups to waddle about in a room-clearing haze, and unfortunately they don’t grow out of it. They also tend to pretty gross whilst eating: belching, drooling and slobbering. While it’s very cute to watch little particles of food getting caught in your Frenchie’s wrinkles, it may not appeal to everyone, and you have to remember that you’ll be the one cleaning it up!
Even though French Bulldogs are small, they are still a bull and terrier breed, and with stubbornness can also come ‘little dog syndrome.’ French Bulldogs are not the best pet for multi-pet homes, as they are prone to territorial or food-related fighting. This is more common in the females than the males, but it is something to be wary of if you are thinking of adding a French Bulldog to your menagerie. These traits also add to their difficulty in housetraining. Most puppies will have mastered housetraining by about five months old. Don’t expect the same of French Bulldogs! They are one of the most difficult dogs to housetrain, and it’s not uncommon to find accidents from dogs aged five or six. On the subject of housetraining, make sure you clean it up quickly! French Bulldogs have a habit of eating faeces that you may find rather disgusting.
There are many health problems associated with French Bulldogs. There are the usual respiratory problems found in other snub-nosed breeds, but they are also very prone to allergies. Most of these can be alleviated with a change in diet, or removing a certain cleaning product from your house, but expect allergies to crop up at some point in your Frenchie’s life. They can also suffer from heat stroke, so it is important in the summer to make sure you bring water with you on your walks, and make sure they are kept nice and cool. Owning a French Bulldog will mean that you will likely spend more money on veterinary care than you would another dog, and it is important that you are prepared for that.
As you can see, owning a French Bulldog can be rather hard work, but at the end of the day, all dogs are hard work! If you can see past all the many hardships and problems, and you can devote enough time and energy to them, French Bulldogs can be marvellous little pets. You may even find yourself going back for more, as no other breed will seem sufficient once your heart is set on a Frenchie.