The 411 on the French Bulldog

breed guide, french bulldog, frenchie

french bulldog

You're either a French Bull dog person or you're not. Personally, I find writing this blog extremely difficult, because the urge of becoming a Frenchie parent intensifies with every picture of those little smug face beasts that I lay my eyes on! 

Why are French Bulldogs so popular? 

Why does it feel like Frenchies are the “IT DOG?” Maybe it's because of their famous pawrents – Lady Gaga, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Reese Witherspoon to name a few. Maybe it’s their chill demeanor, and devotion to their humans. Or just maybe, it’s because like us, they are full of contradictions: Beautifully ugly, sporty couch potatoes and stubborn but loving. 

Where did French Bulldogs come from?  

You may assume the logical answer to be France (or perhaps Mars), but the first French Bulldogs actually originated in England from the bigger badder English Bulldog. The first Frenchies were the runts of the English Bulldog litter and were referred to as “toy” Bulldogs. Those little cuties were specifically chosen and bred quickly became a popular companion of shop owners and lacemakers in Nottinghill.  

FUN FACT: When the lace trade and it’s shop owners moved to Normandy, FRANCE (!) Toy Bulldogs were bred with Rat Terriers to seal in the signature bat ears, small stocky build AND their breed name, The French Bulldog, all of which we love today.  

Even back then their looks caught the eye of the rich and famous and they quickly became the best friend and companion of society ladies.  

French bulldogs statistics

The 411 on Frenchies

  • Dog Breed Group: Companion Dogs
  • Height: 11 to 13 inches tall at the shoulder
  • Weight: 16 to 28 pounds
  • Life Span: 10 to 12 years
  • Shedding Level: medium to high

french bulldog colors

What colors do French Bulldogs come in? 

The breed standard for the French Bulldog has included the same color requirements since the 1911 standard was approved by the AKC.

Acceptable Colors: all brindle, fawn, white, brindle and white, and any other color except those which constitute disqualification. 

Disqualified Colors: All colors are acceptable with the exception of solid black, mouse, liver, black and tan, black and white, and white with black. Black means black without a trace of brindle.

french bulldogs together
Blueberry and Poppy

Black and Tan French Bulldog is a mostly black Frenchie with tan points. Tan points are markings that usually appear in a shape of “eyebrows” (a signature Frenchie feature) patches on the sides of the cheeks, paws and occasionally on the tail.

The PROS of owning a French Bulldog 

1. They are great family dogs 

French Bulldogs make great family pets. They are bred to be companions, and they love being around people and other dogs. Small and sturdy makes them a perfect playmate for kids. They can play hard and chill harder, going from zoomies to couch potato in a flash. 

2. They get along with other pets 

Frenchies have a naturally friendly nature and can easily fit in a multiple dog or even cat home. 

3. They have AMAZING personalities 

One look at Frenchie’s wide eyed, squishy little faces can put a smile on the face of even the biggest curmudgeon. Their expression seems to say YES to any plan whether it's lying on the couch or going for a brisk walk, they just want to be by your side. 

4. Real estate baby! Flexibility Frenchies can live anywhere 

Your Frenchie doesn't need a lot of exercise, so going for walks on a leash is enough. This makes them great apartment and city dogs. Even a  small apartment has enough space for them because they will want to hang out right by your side.  They're not big barkers, which is great news for the neighbors.

5. They are easy to train

Because Frenchies are such people pleasers they can learn commands quickly. With proper training and rewards your Frenchie will have perfect manners in no time.

6. Low maintenance

French Bulldogs are very low maintenance dogs when it coms to grooming. Their short coat sheds moderately and along with proper ear cleaning and nail trimming they can be bathed at home.

7. Super adaptable

You can take a Frenchie anywhere with you.  They can go from hiking to outdoor dining with proper etiquette for both.

8. Show stoppers

Frenchies are so beloved they tend to become local celebrities in any dog run or neighborhood.  Be prepared to snap pictures for strangers and get playdate offers from other dog pawrents. 

french bulldog shedding dog from france
Scottie Pippen lounging at home

Chocolate & Tan French Bulldogs are pretty rare, even though the color has been around for quite a while. Just like any other color, chocolate can be combined with tan "points".

What trait make Frenchies Stars?

  1. Sociable
  2. Playful
  3. Loving
  4. Laidback
  5. Alert
  6. Athletic
  7. Adventurous  

black and white french bulldog, bulldog colors

Also Read - 10 Best Pet Friendly Hotels in the USA

Are there any cons to a French Bulldog?

If you can't tell yet, we are obsessed with the fabulous Frenchie. That said, if you are a first time French Bulldog owner there are some things you should know: 

1. They Fart

No Joke. Frenchies' adorable flat smushed faces cause them to swallow a lot of air while they are eating resulting in gassy buttts.  The good news is that it's more believable when you blame the dog.

2. They can’t swim

Frenchies have a high muscle-to-fat ratio which makes it hard for them to stay afloat and their flat face make it difficult for them to breathe. Make sure to fit them for a life vest if you happen to be by water and keep a close eye on them. 

3. They don't like to be left alone

The flip side of being bred to be a perfect companion dog is that Frenchies always want your company.  When they don't have it they can become anxious and destructive.  PRO TIP: If your schedule doesn't include constant companionship from your frenchie, they are probably not the right fit for you.

4. Health problems

Frenchies' physical characteristics contribute to a host of health issues.  They are prone to  Allergies, Skin conditions, Ear infections, breathing and joint problems.  

Be sure to find a good Vet, who has experience with Frenchies and a good insurance plan to help with some unexpected costs.

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Vet Approved by Pride+Groom


Where to find a Purebred French Bulldog

The more popular a breed, the higher the risk for puppy mills and irresponsible breeding. We reached out to our friend Maggie from Rock House Frenchies for some helpful information:

"Frenchies are a brachycephalic: (flat face) breed and shouldn't be left outside (or in cars) in high temperatures for a prolonged period of time -- also 90% of them do indeed snore!
French Bulldogs are small and compact but are very heavy boned:  for this reason I suggest not letting small children try to carry them around (dropping them could cause broken bones).
Frenchies love to play: There are exceptions to the rule but for the most part although they love to play most Frenchies are not terribly "athletic"  (most are not good for EXTRA LONG walks or hikes).
French Bulldogs need to be socialized: It is essential that owner's socialize their pups, both with other dogs and children (applies to all breeds).
Frenchies love their food: When training it is important to always be consistent - most Frenchies are "food motivated" which makes training a little easier.
Most importantly -- Buyer Beware -- French Bulldogs (like potato chips) are highly addictive and most people end up owning several! any prospective owner needs to be sure and have their pup micro chipped -- this is essential in case their pup becomes lost or is stolen!"


How to groom your French Bulldog

WASH Start grooming your Frenchie as a pup. We recommend using  THE SENSITIVE ONE shampoo for puppies and sensitive dogs from PRIDE+GROOM to get them used to the process. You can move on the on to The ultra nourishing SHEDDER dog shampoo for shedding dogs when your pup gets a little older.  The Shedder dog shampoo uses a perfect blend of essential oils to benefit your frenchies skin and coat

BRUSH Use a boar bristle brush to reduce shedding. We are partial to THE ONLY BRUSH by Pride+Groom.

THE EARS Their precious bat ears and face wrinkles need some extra TLC. To clean the ears of a French Bulldog, use  a damp warm cloth to clean ears and run a cotton swab around the edge of the canal. Never stick the cotton swab into the actual ear canal.

NAILS French Bulldogs do not naturally wear their nails down and will need their nails trimmed regularly. This prevents splitting and tearing, which can be painful.

THE FACE Keep the facial wrinkles clean and dry to prevent bacterial infections. Whenever you bathe your dog, take the time to thoroughly dry the skin, especially between the folds, with THE TOWEL dog towel by Pride+Groom. Grooming is an excellent bonding time for you and your Frenchie. If you're uncomfortable with any aspect of grooming, like trimming nails, take your dog to a professional groomer.

A bath twice a month should be plenty. Because of their short coats, French Bulldogs are easy to keep clean with dog wipes and waterless shampoo for dogs.

waterless shampoo for dogs, grooming your shedding dog
Try THE MANE TAME  waterless shampoo by Pride+Groom.

 paw and snout wipes for dogs, the best dog wipes

Try THE SWIPE paw, snout and everything in-between dog wipes by Pride+Groom

FINAL TIP: Always check for scabs, skin lesions, bare spots, rough, flaky skin, or signs of infections. You should also check ears, eyes and teeth for any discharge or bad smells. Both are signs that your Frenchie may need to see the veterinarian.

Wait....Did we mention that their tongues are shaped like a heart:

french bulldog tongue, heart shaped dog tongue, frenchies

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PRIDE+GROOM was born because 4 New York City dog lovers wanted the same level of grooming products for their dogs that they themselves enjoyed. They looked (hard) but nothing was up to snuff. Or sniff. Like so many, we love our families and take pride in our homes, and we consider our pets to be integral parts of those entities. That said, we could not find an effective way to coif them that was on par with the way we tended to our children, our homes, or ourselves. These beloved pets are allowed on the furniture and in our beds, and yet even when fresh from the groomer, we knew they did not smell or feel as good as they could.

With the development of our coat-specific shampoos, conditioner and deodorizing spray, we think we found just the way to say thanks for being the best and the sweetest MVP of the house.

PRIDE+GROOM is the first dog grooming brand launched under a beauty platform, with formulas made in a clean beauty and scent lab. We know beauty is not only skin deep. We did a ton of research to create the entire line. Each product is formulated with its own unique blend of essential oils sourced from around the world.


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Heather Perlman is a designer whose career spans some 20 years. She has worked as an art director for several advertising agencies with such clients as Coca-Cola, Nike, and Microsoft. As a graphic designer Perlman has designed and produced everything from invitations to book covers to corporate identity and collateral for hotel groups, restaurants, independent schools, and various celebrities. Nothing much is safe from a revamp in her eyes. She can’t help it. She’s sorry.