At the Woof Club this week we have launched our French language website and so we thought that we would celebrate French dog breeds too. Today we are going to look at the French Bulldog or Bouledogue Francais. Over the past few years it has grown in popularity and it is now one of the top 10 most popular dog breeds.
In Switzerland we have 600,000 dogs registered of which 25% are cross breeds. The cantons of Zurich and Basel Stadt are each home to a massive 20% of the total dog population with Bern and Vaud each having a further 15%. The most popular pure breed is now the chihuahua, just pipping the Labrador at the post but the French bulldogs has now also made it into the top 10 breeds in Switzerland too.
French Bulldog Statistics
Let’s have a look at some basic statistics for this charming and affectionate little dog.
- Height : 28-31 cm at the shoulder
- Weight: 7-11Kg
- Colours: white, brindle, fawn, brindle and white, tan
- Life expectancy: 11-14 years
- Temperament: Easy-going, Affectionate, Sociable, Lively, Keen, Patient, Alert, Bright, Athletic, Playful
The French bulldog has its origins in the English bulldog and history suggests that these were initially cross bred with terriers and pugs to create a toy bulldog as a companion dog. This was then imported to France and crossed with the Parisian ratting dog to create the French bulldog with the distinguishing bat like ears which the French much preferred over the rose shaped ears of the original English bulldog
So why is this stocky, bat eared, flat faced cutie so popular?
Well they are a small sized dog with a big character – they are after all, still a bulldog! This means they fit just as well into apartment life as they do into life on a country estate, but they are full of character and so fun to have around. They have a lively and entertaining manner and a very sociable and loyal personality, and very importantly, they are great with children making them an ideal family dog. They are also excellent watch dogs since they are inquisitive and alert but, unlike many small breeds, they don’t often bark unless there is really something to bark about.
They don’t need much grooming, love to socialise with other dogs and generally fit in well with all family activities. They can even be left alone at home for short periods of time without any adverse effect on their mental stability or your furniture!
So what are the downsides to consider when thinking about owning a French bulldog?
Due to the characteristic flat face, short nose and squat, stocky stature, the breed is very prone to certain genetic conditions such as brachycephalic syndrome an obstruction of the airways. Hip dysplasia and skin and allergies. The short airways mean that these dogs will always snuffle, snort, grunt and snore, and also drool when drinking and eating… and this is either really cute or really disgusting, depending on your point of view.
The short face also means that this breed swallows a lot of air whilst eating which then has to escape somehow, meaning that they are very prone to flatulence which is not ideal particularly in confined spaces!
Despite their sunny personality they can also be stubborn and are slow to house train and to educate in general. Typically, a French bulldog is not fully clean in the house until 6 months of age.
They are also very expensive to purchase, driven partly by their increased popularity but also by the fact that, the breed standard shape of the dog now means that most bitches can only conceive by artificial insemination and the puppies have to be born by caesarean section since the head of the puppies is now too large to pass through the birth canal.
Finally, if you want a dog that can swim, this is not the dog for you since the small, squat body and short legs mean that a French bully dog is incapable of swimming.
How Can The Woof Club Help You?
We hope that we’ve provided you with a fun guide to the French Bulldog breed and that it answers any questions you may have regarding the topic. We would love to hear your comments and see pictures of your favourite French bulldog!