The French bulldog is the UK’s most popular dog breed, and over 22,000 adverts for dogs and puppies of the breed were placed on Pets4Homes by sellers in 2018, which indicates just how common and in-demand this small utility dog type really is.
Many dog lovers set their hearts on owning a French bulldog, and there is certainly a lot to recommend the breed to people seeking a new pet and companion. But as is the case for all dog breeds, Frenchie ownership is not for everyone, and in some cases, a different breed might actually be a better fit.
French bulldogs are often prohibitively expensive to buy, with average advertised prices of over £1,200 per dog and significantly more in some cases, which means that some people who would love to buy a French bulldog puppy simply can’t afford to. Additionally, the breed’s health is a topic of great debate and discussion amongst Frenchie owners, veterinary professionals and animal welfare advocates alike, and the modern appearance and conformation of the breed and how it can impact on the health of individual dogs is a serious issue that should be considered carefully.
Whatever breed or type of dog you are considering buying, it is always a good idea to consider some alternatives, if only to confirm your decision about your original choice being the best pick. You may of course find that an alternative breed is a better choice too – but if you’re not even sure what type of dog breeds to consider, it’s not always easy to find viable alternatives.
In this article we will introduce three dog breeds that prospective French bulldog puppy buyers might want to consider before making a final decision, and share some basic information on each of them. Read on for suggestions of some alternative dog breeds to the French bulldog.
First up, the Boston terrier is possibly the most similar looking dog breed to the French bulldog, and one that many people have trouble telling apart from them. Boston terriers are a shade taller than French bulldogs and not quite as stocky and muscular, and they tend to be a little livelier and more energetic too.
Whilst there are a number of differences between the conformation of the Boston terrier and the French bulldog’s faces, both breeds have short, brachycephalic muzzles and large, pointed ears.
Boston terriers are a little cheaper to buy than French bulldogs on average, but they still aren’t cheap – pedigree dogs of the breed change hands for just under £1,000 on average, and for non-pedigree dogs, just over £800.
As another brachycephalic dog breed, the Boston terrier’s conformation has a direct and sometimes acute impact on the dog’s health, and conformation exaggerations in either breed can lead to the development of BOAS or brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome, and a range of other problems too.
Whilst exaggerations are a problem within the Boston terrier breed, they’re not as common or acute as within the French bulldog breed as a whole, and the Boston terrier is a common alternative choice for prospective French bulldog buyers.
The pug is the UK’s third most popular dog breed, and one that has a reasonable amount of crossover in terms of owners who keep a dog of both breeds or are interested in both breeds.
The pug breed’s overall health is quite high profile in and of itself, for many of the same reasons as the Frenchie – brachycephalic faces, a high level of conformation exaggerations in some breed lines, and the potential for health problems in dogs with exaggerated traits. Pugs also have something of a tendency to run to fat, and so feeding an appropriate diet and providing enough exercise is vital.
Pugs are comparatively economical to buy in contrast to French bulldogs, with pedigree pugs changing hands for just under £850 on average, whilst non-pedigrees average around the £670 mark. This places pug ownership within reach of many people who could not afford a French bulldog, enabling them to own a breed with a number of similar personality traits and a unique appearance that is distinctive in its own right, without the prohibitive price tag.
The Shih Tzu doesn’t share as many physical similarities with the French bulldog as the other two breeds we’ve mentioned, but they do have a number of other core traits in common as well as a cute, delicate and distinctive appearance all of their own.
Perhaps the most obvious contrast with the French bulldog is the Shih Tzu coat, which is long and luxurious, and often grows all the way to the floor. The Shih Tzu also has a brachycephalic face like the French bulldog though, albeit they tend to have a slightly longer muzzle and wider nostrils as a rule.
The Shih Tzu breed as a whole is one that is robust and healthy, although like all breeds there are some hereditary health issues that can affect individual dogs from certain breed lines.
In terms of the average sale price for Shih Tzus, pedigree dogs are advertised for sale at around £785 on average, whilst for non-pedigrees, the average price is around £510, making the Shih Tzu much more economical to buy than the average French bulldog.
The Shih Tzu is also a member of the Kennel Club’s utility dog group, like the Frenchie, reflecting both breeds’ shared history of unique skills and working applications.