The French bulldog is a small companion breed of dog, related to the English bulldog and American bulldog. The name suggests France as the origin of the breed; however, Americans and British breeders may have played a larger role in the breed's development. The dogs are commonly called the Frenchie and are nicknamed "clowns" and "frog dogs".
French bulldogs are a compact companion dog, active but not sporty. They are muscular dogs with a smooth coat, snub nose and solid bone structure. Their physical appearance is characterized by naturally occurring "bat ears" that are wide at the base and rounded at the top. Their tails are naturally short, not cropped, and can be straight or screwed, but not curly.
Under the American Kennel Club and Canadian Kennel Club standards, weight is not to exceed 28 pounds (13 kg). In general, French bulldogs range in weight from 22 to 30 pounds. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) does not set a strict weight limit, simply stating "The weight must not be below 8 kg nor over 14 kg for a bulldog in good condition, size being in proportion with the weight".
French bulldogs come in a variety of colors and coat patterns including cream, brindle, white, red, fawn, and chocolate brown.
The FCI standard for French Bulldogs is shown at [www.fci.be/nomenclature.aspx], and disqualifies brown, black and tan, pure black, and mouse grey colorings.
The French Bulldog is a gentle breed that typically has a happy-go-lucky attitude. Like many other companion dog breeds they require close contact with humans. They have fairly minimal exercise needs, but do require at least daily walks. Their calm nature makes them excellent choices for apartment dwellers, as does their usually sensible attitude towards barking. As a flat faced breed, it is essential that owners understand that French Bulldogs cannot live outdoors. Their bulk and their compromised breathing system makes it impossible for them to regulate their temperature efficiently. In addition, Frenchies are top heavy and therefore have a difficult time swimming. Precautions must be taken when exercising a Frenchie during hot or humid weather, as well.
French Bulldogs can play too roughly for some smaller children, and should be monitored at all times during play. As well, children should be cautioned not to pick French Bulldogs up, as the dogs' small size can mask how heavy they are. They can look unmuscular but in reality they are very strong.
French Bulldogs are essentially a bull and terrier breed, and as such, it is not surprising to learn that canine aggression can sometimes occur. Generally, this takes the form of same sex aggression. Owners considering adding a second dog to their household are usually cautioned to choose one of the opposite sex. Spaying or neutering can do much to curb aggressive tendencies before they begin. The French Bulldog energy level can range from hyperactive and energetic to relaxed and laid back.
There are several congenital diseases and conditions to which French bulldogs are susceptible, although they are still considered among the healthiest of the bull breeds. Frenchies can suffer from Von Willebrand's disease (VWD), a bleeding disorder that is also found in humans and is similar to hemophilia, which can impede their clotting. In conjunction to this, French bulldogs may also suffer from thyroid condition. Many breeders follow a program of testing younger dogs for VWD, and only testing for thyroid at that time if the VWD factor is low. In this program, the breeder tests thyroid again just prior to using the dog for breeding. Other breeders test both VWD and thyroid at the same time.
French bulldogs suffer from brachycephalic syndrome, which is what creates the flat faced appearance of the Frenchie. As a result, one of the most common defects in French bulldogs is elongated soft palate or cleft palate. Puppies affected with Cleft palate are generally put down at birth, as it is generally considered to be an almost impossible condition to correct. Elongated soft palate can manifest as anything from a mild condition causing labored breathing to severe condition that can cause the affected dog to pass out from moderate exercise.
French bulldogs can also suffer from a condition called megaesophagus, ..