The Frenchie; happy, friendly, good with children, and with a smooshed up face and big ears, all too cute! Yup, it is no wonder the French bulldog has become a more popular breed choice amongst families in the last few years. However, before deciding this little guy is the right fit for your family, let’s take a look at some of the breed’s details more closely.
Characteristics and Maintenance
These dogs are very intelligent, affectionate, and tend to tolerate children very well. They are relatively easy to train, although they can be stubborn so it is important to remain persistent with them. They are usually good-natured, however, they can try to dominate other dogs, and may be hostile toward strangers, although this is rare. They can be quite playful and demand a lot of attention, so regular play sessions and daily walks are ideal. They love being a part of the family, but do not like to be left alone, therefore crate training is highly recommended.
Since they have very short hair, they are relatively low maintenance when it comes to grooming. Keep in mind, short hair does not mean they are immune to shedding. They still need to be brushed once in a while to keep their coat healthy and shiny. They are known for having skin issues, and because of their little mouths and short muzzles they tend to get overcrowded and overlapping teeth. Therefore, it is very important to keep up with dental hygiene and check the ears often for wax build-up. You will also have to take the time to wash in between the folds of their skin around the muzzle in order to prevent skin infections.
Is this dog right for you?
Although this breed has some lovely characteristics and can seem like an obvious choice for an addition to the family, keep in mind that they can come with their own set of issues. This breed is notorious for developing skin allergies. Skin allergies, whether due from the food or the environment, can cause some serious issues. Excessive scratching causing skin lesions and infections, and chronic ear infections can be seen with this breed. If proper hygiene is not kept, the folds of their skin can develop skin infections due to the accumulation of dirt and moisture. Allergies are a lifelong issue and cannot be cured, but can be managed. Unfortunately, management of this issue can be quite costly, so pet insurance is highly recommended.
As previously mentioned, their small mouths and shortened jaws make dental hygiene a bit of a challenge. Dental crowding causes teeth to overlap which may result in diseased teeth and gums, eventually causing tooth loss. It is very important to be sure you are willing to keep up with brushing their teeth on a daily basis to help prevent tooth and gum disease. Keep in mind that regular brushing does not mean that a professional dentistry will never have to be done, in fact expect multiple dental cleanings throughout the lifetime of your pet. Again, this can be very costly, and therefore a fund should be set aside or pet insurance that includes the coverage of dental cleanings should be chosen.
Another major concern is respiratory distress. These dogs have a very flat face, and some can have shorter muzzles than others making it very hard for them to breathe properly. In some cases they may even have an excess of soft palate tissue that blocks their airway, which would have to be surgically removed. Even if your French bulldog has not had any respiratory issues, you would need to be extra careful in the summer with the high heat, since they can become more likely to develop heat stroke due to difficulty breathing. Keeping them at a healthy weight and restricting excessive exercise in the summertime are essential to avoid respiratory issues.
Although these dogs can make a wonderful family pet, they do come with a lot of potential issues that can cause a financial strain. Before considering a French bulldog, please talk to your veterinary team to see if this breed would be a good fit for you.