French Bulldog Breed Guide

Chunky – Playful – Smart

They may be small in stature, but their character is enormous! The French Bulldog is a playfully charming little breed, eager to please their human.

French Bulldogs are the most popular breed in the UK with over 36,000 registered with the Kennel Club in 2018.


French Bulldog Breed Basics:

Average Lifespan: 10 – 12 years

Average Weight: Male = 10 – 12kg, Female = 9 – 11kg

Colours: The most common colours include white, cream, fawn, brindle, piebald, and black

Trainability: Moderate; Frenchies can be quite stubborn by nature but are very intelligent and always eager to please, so training early on to cut out some stubbornness is advisable.

Shedding: Seasonal, Frenchies don’t moult much but will shed their undercoat twice a year

A History Of The French Bulldog

Despite what you may think, French Bulldogs originate from England, more specifically, Nottingham. During the 1800’s lace makers in Nottingham bred English Bulldogs down in size to create a “mini bulldog” more suited to being a lapdog. During the industrial revolution, the lace makers emigrated to France, taking their dogs with them. This is where they grew in popularity among the wealthy French and Americans. The new breed was officially registered by the Kennel Club in 1906.

Did you know: Frenchies cannot swim. Because of their short stature with a disproportionately large head, they will sink. If you're keen on swimming with your French bulldog, they must be supervised and wear a life jacket at all times.

frenchie face

French Bulldog Temperament & Personality

Frenchies have a lot of character; they can be very strong willed and stubborn, but naturally they just want to please their humans. They are a highly intelligent breed capable of working their stubbornness out and adapting to most situations and environmental changes. Frenchies are super playful with other dogs and people alike. Frenchies are a talkative breed. They don’t really bark, but share a range of alternative noises with wailing, whining, crying and lots of gargles.

How Much Exercise Do French Bulldogs Need?

Frenchies don’t require much exercise. Unfortunately, due to their skull structure, they are prone to breathing issues, so long strenuous exercise is not advisable. A short walk twice a day is enough for most Frenchies along with indoor play and cuddles.

How To Groom A French Bulldog

Frenchies, unlike most short coated breeds, don't shed much. A weekly brush with a soft bristle brush will be enough to keep their coat soft and shiny. You may also want to use a short coat specific brush, but it's not always necessary. Frenchies shed their undercoat twice a year seasonally, so be aware of this and don't panic if they suddenly start shedding all their fur, it may just be their time of the year. With regards to bathing, it depends on the dog. Other than the obvious times e.g. right after rolling in some fox poop, a wash once a month should suffice.

Are French Bulldogs Aggressive?

Any dog can be aggressive, but Frenchies are not known as being an aggressive breed, in fact they are quite the opposite, usually they are considered as being ‘too friendly’ if such a thing exists.

Are French Bulldogs Intelligent?

Frenchies are very intelligent dogs, however they can also be quite stubborn so we would highly recommend training from a young age. They can be slower with house training than other dog breeds.

Are French Bulldogs Good Family Dogs?

YES! Frenchies make fabulous family dogs; they are good with both children and other dogs. Obviously, this also depends on the individual Frenchie and their background.

How Big Does a French Bulldog Get?

Based on weight charts, Frenchies are considered a medium breed dog, even though they are quite short at around 11-13 inches in height.

How Much is a French Bulldog?

These popular pooches can be pricey! The price tag varies between breeders and family line, but on average, a French bulldog will cost anywhere between £1,200 and £2,000. If you're looking to rescue and re home a frenchie, you should expect to pay a few hundred pounds to cover the costs.

French Bulldog Health Watchouts

Frenchies are renowned for suffering from a high number of health conditions, some avoidable, and some not.

Breathing problems: French bull dogs are a brachycephalic dog breed with flat faces and a short skull. This can cause breathing problems which also makes them suffer in hot and humid conditions by a lack of ability to pant effectively. This also makes Frenchies sensitive to anaesthesia, so be sure to keep their teeth in good order to avoid them going under for an annual clean. (Check out our blog on dog teeth cleaning and if you're looking for a dog dental chew that'll help, why not try our Gnashers?)

Eye conditions: Frenchies are known for their big eyes. Unfortunately their flatter face provides little protection for their eyes leading to some serious eye problems.

  • Dry eye - Various factors can lead to your franchise eyes not producing enough tears and causing dryness, which can cause inflammation of their cornea. This can be painful so get it resolved quickly - treatment is typically a daily eye drop.
  • Corneal Ulcers - ulcers can be serious and lead to loss of an eye as well as a lot of pain for your pooch. Dry eye can develop into ulcers or ulcers can result from injury.
  • Cherry eye - One that looks worse than it is, with cherry eye, you'll see a red bulge in your dog's eye. Its caused by a gland in the third eyelid swelling up and covering part of the eye. You can sometimes press the bulge gently back into place but if in doubt, consult with your vet. If you've dealt with this once, it's likely to reoccur and your vet may suggest removing the gland.
  • Entropion - This is where the eyelid rolls inwards toward the eye, it is very painful for the dog as the eyelashes rub against the eyeball. This can also cause conjunctivitis.

Skin allergies: Like most dogs, French bull dogs can suffer with allergies, both environmental and food based. Environmental allergies are permanent with no cure but can be controlled with medication. If you find your franchise scratching, rubbing and licking themselves a lot it's likely they have an environmental allergy. You may notice symptoms are worse seasonally. Your vet can prescribe topical ointments and antihistamines to help manage symptoms and for extreme reactions, steroids. Food based allergies are less common than environmental and as every dog is different, it's important to determine the cause. You can only do this via an elimination diet. We recommend avoiding allergy tests as false positives are common.

Bladder stones: More common than kidney stones, bladder stones form from minerals collecting. Genetics mean our franchise are susceptible to dealing with these throughout their life but you can help prevent them forming by ensuring your pooch is hydrated as they're less likely to form in dilute urine. If your French bull dog isn't a keen drinker, we recommend opting for wet dog food over dry food or as the main component to increase their water consumption.

Bone and joint problems: 1 in 4 french bulldogs suffer with bone or joint related issues, with the most common being intervertebral disk disease. A smaller but still significant number can suffer with hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and luxating patella.

  • Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD) - Hansen Type 1 is more common for French bulldogs, along with other short legged dog breeds like dachshunds and corgis. It can be excruciatingly painful and in some cases require surgery and sometimes lead to paralysis. With type 1, the discs which cushion between vertebrae can slip or rupture and press on the spinal cord.
  • Luxating Patella (Dislocated Kneecap) - This causes an inability to properly extend the knee joint, resulting in lameness or pain. Luxating patella is primarily genetic, so responsible breeders should test for it, and when locating a puppy, make sure that you check whether there is any history of the luxating patella in the breeding pair.

French Bulldog Nutritional Requirements

Obesity: Frenchies are prone to obesity, which means it is advisable to feed a lower carb diet and to monitor calorie intake. Obesity in Frenchies can cause damage to their physical structure, putting a higher risk on increasing their breathing problems.

Sensitive Skin: Ingredients like salmon oil are perfect for Frenchies, they contain omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which help keep the skin and coat healthy and shiny among other benefits.

Sensitive Stomachs: Frenchies have very sensitive stomachs; although they will try to eat almost anything they see, it doesn’t always sit well with them. Their sensitive stomach is attributed to their proneness to allergies. Limited ingredient recipes designed to be gentle on tummies are recommended.

How Can Scrumbles Help? 

Our range of complete Dry dog food and single source protein wet dog food include gut friendly ingredients like added probiotics (good bacteria) and slippery elm to help keep tummies happy and healthy. Our salmon dog food recipe is particularly popular with frenchies.

So are French bull dogs the right breed for you?

With a loveable, clownish personality these pooches are certain to bring a lot of joy but be mindful and prepared to deal with a host of health problems. Frenchies make fantastic family dogs and even though they are not particularly active, they are still really playful and loving.


Whilst you're here why not check out:

  1. Sheepadoodle Breed Guide
  2. Irish Terrier Breed Guide
  3. Dachshund Breed Guide


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