They’re the type of dogs that will make you laugh and keep you entertained for hours. The French Bulldog, more lovingly referred to as Frenchie by its owners, is one of the cutest breeds you’ll ever come across. They’re cuddly and soft and utterly adorable. That’s easy enough for fans to see, even though bulldog non-fans might berate it for its grumpy, pouty face. Their faces are just one of the things that make French Bulldogs so lovable. When you have a French Bulldog as a companion, you’re guaranteed that you’ll have someone to love you and something to love all day, each day.
French Bulldogs have been around since the early 19th century, and they have been favorites among domestic dogs globally. Being a bulldog, it has origins in the Molossian breed. Their distinct looks have made them a favorite among breeders and pet owners. Frenchie owners swear on how pleasurable these dogs can be, and just one look at these animals, and you can easily see why. French Bulldogs don’t come cheap either, and they can definitely rack up an expense bill as they grow. However, the benefits of owning a Frenchie will outweigh the cost by a ton. They’ll need a good amount of attention and a lot of love, but they will return all of that threefold. You’ll also want to train your French Bulldogs properly, so you can have a healthy and beneficial relationship. You think you might know everything about French Bulldogs, but here are 20 cool facts about these dogs that you probably missed.
They’re not French
Don’t get us wrong; these cuties are very French in nature, but they’re not in origin. The name might fool you, but French Bulldogs did not originate from France. They’re actually British by origin through British bulldogs. These dogs were used for bull baiting back then. After the sport was banned, breeders began producing smaller bulldog breeds. The smaller breeds became popular, especially among lace makers in England would use these dogs as lap warmers while working. Eventually, when the lace workers moved to France during the Industrial Revolution, so did their miniature bulldogs. The rest is history.
The runts of the litter
English breeders still preferred the larger bulldogs to the small breeds. With the popularity of the smaller bulldog breed in France, English breeders began to send over any bulldogs that might be considered too small or those they considered faulty (ears that go straight up, for example). At this point, the dogs have become largely popular in France, especially in Paris. This was where the small bulldogs were eventually bred with local Parisian ratters, or dogs that are used for hunting rats. Terriers are the most common ratters, and this was the breed that the imported British Bulldogs were bred with in France. The result of the cross was a completely new breed that was called the Bouledogue Francais, which literally translates to French Bulldog. The Frenchies obviously took to the body of Bulldogs, but they definitely retained some Terrier qualities such as playfulness, energetic, and of course, the erect ears.
The original Frenchie look
Most of us know how French bulldogs look today, but much like how most species of animals change through time, so did the bulldog. When French bulldogs first became a breed, they didn’t always have the “bat ears” that they are so known to have today. The original Frenchie look actually consisted of a more English bulldog look. English Bulldogs had more of a rose shape to their ears with softer edges all in all. Imagine a smaller bulldog with those ears—that’s how the original breeds looked like. However, American breeders preferred the look of the bat ears on the French bulldogs, so they worked to preserve this quality. This is what’s now globally recognized as one of the primary qualities of a French bulldog.
The Gilded Age
By the late 19th century, around 1870s up until the 1900s, the trend in Paris became apparent. It wasn’t the clothes or the shoes that stole the show. It was the French bulldog. Frenchies became the trendiest companion, and the style spread across the Atlantic over to America. During this time, French bulldogs became a highly fashionable pet and accessory in American societies, especially among the wealthy. Frenchies at the time used to sell for at least $3000 per animal, a price that’s not too far from how much it costs today. But if you account for inflation, then you can easily see how $3000 in the late 1800s is a whole lot of money—way more than what the animals cost today. In fact, only the most influential and richest of families could afford to own these dogs back then. Think of the Rockefellers and the J.P. Morgans as an example.
The popularity of French bulldogs did not stay in the Gilded Age. Rather, their popularity grew and grew until people from all over the globe are in love with this animal. They’re so well loved, in fact, that even high profile celebrities go crazy over their very own Frenchies. Let’s start with English novelist Nancy Mitford, famous designer Yves Saint Laurent, and famous novelist D.H. Lawrence. Among the richest and most powerful in Hollywood are the biggest French bulldog fans as well. The Beckhams have been known love their bulldog as well as Lady Gaga. Leonardo di Caprio has a Frenchie he aptly calls Django. Lastly, Hugh Jackman is known for posting lovely pictures of him together with his French bulldog, Dali, on social media.
Dogs are known to be great swimmers. In fact, it’s something that they know how to do naturally. It’s probably an intrinsic or hereditary thing—something that’s just in their genes. However, don’t count Frenchies to have that in their genes. French bulldogs can’t swim; even if they did a little, they’re horrible at it—horrible enough that if they were in the water for a long time, they will undoubtedly drown. The reason for this is in the French bulldog’s anatomy. Because of their short muzzles, French bulldogs have to tilt their heads far back in order to prevent water from going up their nose and to keep their mouths out of water altogether. This causes them to tilt their bodies completely backwards at times. In addition, their disproportionately large heads and short legs prevent French bulldogs from being able to float.
The Titanic was the vessel that attracted the wealthiest, the most famous, and the most celebrated of people from all walks of life. It was the experience that no one could’ve passed up. Not even a champion French bulldog could’ve pass up the opportunity to be aboard the Titanic. The Frenchie’s name was Gamin de Pycombe, He was only two years old at the time when Titanic sailed and went down. The dog’s owner, 27-year old banker Robert Daniel, paid roughly £150 to own Gamin at the time, which translates to about £13,400 today. We can think of many ways how Daniel must’ve died, but we don’t want to. His French bulldog Gamin more than likely drowned, however, as the Titanic sank to the depths of the ocean.
Pedigree dog breeds are known to be susceptible to health issues, and these issues are all breed specific. As far as French bulldogs are concerned, their main health concern has to do with their facial structure. The structure of their faces gives French bulldogs a lot of breathing issues. There are a few French airlines that ban French bulldogs from flying, along with other short-snouted breeds. This is due to the fact that even the slightest breathing issue can lead to deathly situations in the air. If you wish to own a French bulldog, make sure that your breeder has a reputable breeding practice in order to make sure that you’re not getting a dog with really bad breathing problems. You can opt to go through the Kennel Club for breeder information if you don’t have one in mind.
On popularity, again
It’s worth noting again that French bulldogs are very popular. They are actually considered to be the sixth most popular breed throughout the entire world. This is saying something considering the total number of dog breeds globally. The American Kennel Club recognizes a total of 167 breeds, while the World Canine Organization recognizes a total of 340 dog breeds from all over the world. Regardless of the number, 167 or 340 breeds, being number 6 is still quite impressive, and they’re not stopping there. The French bulldog continues to climb the ranks over the years, and we wouldn’t doubt it for one second that this breed will find its way to the top one of these days.
Dogs are great family pets to begin with, but believe us when we say that not all dogs are created equal. Not all dogs are family-friendly, and not all dogs are good companions. The personality of French bulldogs makes them great companions not just for adults but for children as well. They are very playful and full of energy; they’ll never get tired of playing with kids and vice versa. Kids will never get tired of playing with these fun furry friends. In addition, Frenchies are known to be highly affectionate. They will care for your kids as kids take care of them. If you’re in the market for a great family dog companion, French bulldogs should definitely be on the top of your list.
Friendly with other dogs
When it comes to having pets, it’s almost always a trial and error situation. Good pet owners will think about their pets first, before putting them into any particular living situation. Most dogs are open to being co-pets—that is, they’re okay with being with other pets in a household. French bulldogs are known to be able to handle being with other dogs under one roof. While this may be the norm, current pet owners assures potential Frenchie owners that it’ll be smart to get started with the home owning process by being sensitive to the Frenchie’s needs. They may be friendly towards other dogs, but there’s also a good chance that the dog might need supervision when around other dogs. Some say that even something as simple as another dog, will help trigger the slightest feelings of jealousy in your Frenchie, so just be careful.
Not a lot of exercise
It’s amazing how even dogs have exercise requirements in order to stay fit and healthy. All dogs have varying degrees of exercise that they might need for better healthy. It’s not relative to size either. Some big dogs might require a ton of exercise or not. Some small dogs may require even more exercise than other big dogs. Only some research and talking to your pediatrician will help you determine how much exercise your dog needs. It turns out that Frenchies aren’t exercise material. They won’t be the best dogs for you if you wish to be extremely active with your dogs. French bulldogs are not active at all, and they’re also not the type of dogs that would run around constantly. They have solid, sturdy bodies, but a simple walk gets them where they need to be in order to maintain their bodies.
Not a lot of grooming
One of the few things that deter people from becoming pet owners is the grooming. Some find that having to take care of dogs can be a lot similar to having to take care of children. In a sense that might be true; however, in the sense of French bulldogs, pet owners will not have to worry too much about grooming at all. Occasional grooming works for this dog. That means occasional baths and occasional brushing. They only shed seasonally as well, so that means you won’t have to worry about shedding all the time. They’re just dogs that are very clean and easy to maintain. If you’re looking for a pet dog, this is generally a good thing.
No bark, more talk
Dogs bark. That’s just what they do. That’s exactly what they were created to do as a matter of fact. Different dog sizes mean different bark loudness. Technically, the larger the dogs are, the louder their barks would be. But there are smaller dog species that put in work when it comes to barking, and sometimes, it’s not the loudness that makes barking terrible, it’s the frequency of it. Frenchies are not known to be barkers at all, but they do like to talk a lot. French bulldogs have an entire communication system that consists of yawns, yips,and gargles. They will use any of those or any number of combinations of those just to get their points and hesoes.
Stubborn and intelligent
These character traits often go hand in hand, and it goes the same for French bulldogs. These dogs are known to be highly intelligent animals, as many dog species are. However during training, Frenchies will push and pull your buttons knowingly. They will take a while to pick up things during training, so it requires a ton of patience from their human owner’s part. The dog will also sense if their human owners are giving them the patience they need. If that were the case, the French bulldog will be showing off in class sooner than later. However if the other scenario was true and a human owner’s just not giving the proper patience, then the dog is likely to pull out all stubborn stunts and be more difficult than ever.
We’ve already established just how terrible of swimmers French bulldogs can be. It turns out that the short snout gives them problems in the air as well. It’s all about respiratory issues yet again, and it turns out that being in an airplane can prove to be very difficult for these lovely pets. Any stress or changes in temperature can literally cause their airways to collapse while in the middle of a flight, way up high. It doesn’t mean that it’ll be impossible for your Frenchie to do. If you absolutely must bring your pet on a flight, you’ll have to talk to your veterinarian to discuss preparation options for your pet’s health. There are a few preventative measures you can take to reduce the risk of your Frenchie getting sick mid-flight, and you can also be prepared for any other in-flight needs your dog might come have while in mid-air.
As good as these pets are to have, they equally have difficulties when it comes to their bodies. We’ve already discussed a few limitations that their little bodies might be putting on them. However, there’s more. Apparently, if you were to have pregnant female Frenchie, she’ll have to be artificially inseminated. It turns out that the male is often not able to reach the female enough for the female to have babies. In addition, if a female is to have babies, veterinarians will have to perform C-sections just to get the puppies out due to the small size of the French bulldog’s body. Their high stress levels don’t help them either.
Some dogs have short lifespans; others have longer lifespans. Whatever their lifespans may be, this is one of the most important aspects when it comes to choosing a dog to grow with your family. French bulldogs are known to have average lifespans that can go anywhere from 10 to 12 years. Of course, depending on the overall health of the dog and the way it’s taken care of, this lifespan can be shortened dramatically or elongated dramatically as well. Proper diet, nutrition, and care can help any dog reach the full potential of their life expectancies, and this is something that pet owners will be responsible for. Those 10 to 12 years that your dog might have a chance to live will also be the best 10 to 12 years of your life, so it wouldn’t hurt to really pay attention to it.
As it turns out, French bulldogs have very sensitive feelings. If you think that your dog won’t be able to tell if you were criticizing it or not, think again. Dogs are known to be extremely good readers of human cues, so when you’re upset, your dog knows it. If you have a Frenchie that needs a lot of attention when it comes to discipline, it would be wise to not yell at it at all. French bulldogs will take your reprimanding quite seriously. If they do get yelled out, they’ll tend to mope around the house until they feel better or at least until they got appeased. The best way to deal with behavior issues or discipline issues is to employ positive reinforcement or encouragement. They’ll respond a lot better to those cues, and you also won’t be hurting them in any way.
The formation of the French Bulldog Club of America, or FBDCA, was the organization founded in the U.S. to protest the rose-shaped ears of French bulldogs. In 1898, the organization put together its first specialty show at New York City’s Waldorf Astoria. Many of the high society’s members were invited, as the invitation read, but not rose-eared dogs. It was an interesting effort that resulted to exactly what they wanted, a breed that eventually will have the bat-like ear properties. The FBDCA is probably solely responsible for the attribute to become more dominant in the species. You’ll still occasionally come across a rose-eared Frenchie from time to time but that has now become a rarity. If you do find a French bulldog with different sets of ears from the rest, you can easily say that you’ve come across a small piece of French bulldog history.