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French Bulldog Temperament & Breed Guide

French Bulldog Temperament & Breed Guide

The French Bulldog is the fourth most popular dog in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club. Frenchies have wonderful but unique personalities, so you need to learn everything you can about this special breed before committing to one.

That’s where we come in! Our guide will tell you everything you need to know about Frenchies. Don’t be fooled by their lazy reputation – they actually need a lot of care, money, and time. So here’s a complete guide on the Frenchie, from its history to its temperament and everything in between.

The Low-Down On The Lovely French Bulldog

The French Bulldog is known for its cute little bat ears and its unique appeal. Looks-wise, they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but these dogs have the most amazing personalities and traits that make them the ultimate companion dogs.

The French Bulldog dog breed has a strong and muscular body, although they are rather small. This canine has an easygoing personality as well as an easy-to-care-for, short, low-maintenance coat.

This dog is the perfect balance of everything, and they will love spending time with you, whether it’s playing outside or spending their days lying around being a couch potato.

Their relaxed attitude and total love for playing are carried into all of their training sessions. They are a highly intelligent breed and love mental stimulation and loads of fun and excitement. However, they are free-thinking dogs – not the best choice for competing in agility or obedience training!

This rebellious pooch also tends to be quite stubborn compared to other dog breeds, and it can be challenging getting them to budge. But French Bulldogs need a lot of human contact, so they make loving companions. If you are looking for a pet that enjoys being alone and outdoors, then this isn’t the breed for you. Frenchies will shower their owners with love and expect the same special treatment in return.

This breed can get possessive and territorial, especially when they are around other dogs. You must socialize Frenchies, and due to their outgoing nature, this will not be challenging. These dogs have a mischievous and humorous personality, so they require owners who are patient, firm, and consistent.

The French Bulldog dog breed makes for an amazing watchdog and will immediately alert its humans of any strangers approaching. However, they are not big barkers and will never bark for no reason. They are very protective over their family and home and will defend those they love with their lives.

These dogs do well in small spaces and will be perfectly happy in an apartment or smaller dwelling. They do require some exercise, and a few daily 15-minute walks should do the trick. You don’t want to end up with an overweight pup on your hands.

Frenchies are very susceptible to heat, so be sure to keep them comfortable and cool. They do best in air-conditioned environments. French Bulldogs do not thrive outdoors during hot summer days due to being a flat-faced breed.

All in all, Frenchies are gentle and loving, and often will not leave your side. If you are looking for a dog that is a constant loving presence, then the French Bulldog is for you!

History Of The French Bulldog Breed

The Frenchie’s history can be traced back to the 19th century when they were originally bred in England as a smaller version of the English Bulldog. Yes, despite their name, the French Bulldog originated in England!

The early miniature Bulldog was popular with lace workers who emigrated to France during the Industrial Revolution. Frenchies were perfect lap dogs and quickly became a favorite among French society.

Over time, Frenchies began to develop their own unique traits and characteristics that set them apart from English Bulldogs, not just their smaller size. They were bred to have a shorter snout and a more compact body, which made them more suitable for apartment living. Frenchies also developed a more affectionate and playful personality, which is just one reason why they are still so popular today!

During the early 1900s, French Bulldogs began to gain popularity in America, and the breed quickly became a favorite among celebrities and high society. The American Kennel Club recognized the French Bulldog as an official breed in 1898, a year after the French Bulldog Club of America was founded. Since then, they have become one of the most popular breeds in the world.

French Bulldog Appearance

French Bulldogs are a small, compact breed with a distinctive appearance compared to other breeds – you’ll know one when you see one! French Bulldogs have a sturdy and muscular build with a square-shaped head, a broad chest and muscular legs.

Size and weight

Although they are a small breed and stand around 11-12 inches (28-30 cm) tall at the shoulder, they are compact and strong. So, they typically weigh between 16-28 pounds (7-13 kg), which is heavier than other breeds this size. For example, the Bichon Frise is usually around 12 inches tall but doesn’t exceed 11 pounds.


French Bulldogs have a smooth, short coat that is soft to the touch. Their coat is typically shiny and comes in a variety of colors (more on those next). Frenchies have loose, wrinkled skin around their face and neck, which adds to their unique look.


French Bulldogs are known for their distinctive bat ears that stand upright and are set high on their heads. They also have a very short, wide muzzle and flat, wrinkled faces.


Their tails are usually short and stubby or screwed, and their overall appearance is one of alertness and intelligence.

French Bulldog Popular Colors

There are a whole rainbow of French Bulldog colors to choose from, which is one of the things that makes them such a unique and interesting breed! The color of their coat is determined by genetics, so it helps to look at the parents if you’re wondering how your puppy might look.

They come in three main colors: fawn, brindle, and pied, but you can find many different mixes and varieties.

Here is a breakdown of the color variations that French Bulldog pups come in:

  • Fawn: This is one of the most popular colors for Frenchies. A fawn French Bulldog will have a light tan coat with a cute black mask on their face and black ears.
  • Brindle: This tiger-like color is a mix of brown and black stripes on a fawn or black base coat. Brindle Frenchies can have a range of colors, from light brown to almost black.
  • Pied: This is a two-color pattern that is mostly white with patches of another color, such as black or fawn. Pied Frenchies have a white base coat with colored spots on their body.
  • Black: Some French Bulldogs have an all-black coat with no other colors present. Black Frenchies can have a glossy or matte finish to their coat.
  • Cream: This color is similar to fawn, but with a lighter, cream-colored coat. Cream Frenchies have a white or cream-colored coat with a black mask on their face and black ears.
  • Blue: This is a rare color for Frenchies and is caused by a recessive gene. Blue Frenchies have a grayish-blue coat with a bluish-black mask on their face.
  • Chocolate: This color is also rare and is caused by a recessive gene. Chocolate Frenchies have a brown coat with a brown mask on their face.
  • Sable: Sable is a coat pattern that consists of a mix of colors, often including black, fawn, and white. The colors are typically blended together, creating a unique and varied appearance.
  • Merle: Merle is a coat pattern that creates a marbled or speckled effect on the coat. It’s caused by a genetic mutation and can come in a variety of colors, including blue, chocolate, and fawn.

Some French Bulldog colors, like blue and chocolate, are associated with a higher risk of certain health issues. Always work with a reputable breeder and ask about the health of the puppy’s parents before bringing a Frenchie home.

French Bulldog Dog Breed Personality

What’s not to love about this amazing breed?! There’s no other way to describe a Frenchie than FUN! However, they’re not for everyone. They do demand a lot of attention, so they’re not a suitable fit for busy families who are rarely at home (unless, of course, you plan to take your French Bulldog everywhere with you!).

But that’s not all…

These cuties are known for their big hearts and playful personalities that will make you fall in love with them in no time.

Frenchies are social butterflies that love to hang out with their humans. They crave attention and affection and will do just about anything to get it! These loyal and devoted dogs will quickly become your BFF and will always be by your side.

Now, let’s talk about their sense of humor – French Bulldogs are total clowns! Yes, really – you’ll always be entertained with a Frenchie around! They love to make you laugh and will do the silliest things just to put a smile on your face. They have a playful nature and are always down for a good game of fetch or tug-of-war.

One of the best things about Frenchies is their adaptability. They can live in just about any type of home, from a tiny apartment to a big house with a yard. They don’t need a ton of exercise, but they do enjoy going for short walks and playing in the backyard. They’re equally suitable for single people and families too – they’ll love everyone the same.

French Bulldogs do not take reprimands well, so avoid being too hard on them. It can cause them to sulk like a toddler who didn’t get a candy bar in the store! Be patient with your Frenchie, as this breed is very eager to please. As with most dogs, positive reinforcement training is much preferable to harsh punishments when they do something you don’t agree with.

French Bulldogs do not bark much, but this does not mean that they are quiet dogs. They have a complex system of communication from nips and gargles to ‘singing’ along with you!

Overall, French Bulldogs are sweet, loving, and TONS of fun.

Caring For Your French Bulldog

Frenchies are a very adaptable dog breed, but you still need to look after your pooch properly and give it all of the love and care (and more) that it deserves. The following factors are essential for proper care:


You’ll be glad to hear that Frenchies aren’t big shedders. Their coats are short and easy to groom, and they only shed when the seasons change (like many dogs). You will need to brush them more often during this time, but don’t worry – you won’t be finding balls of hair on everything you own with a Frenchie. Outwith shedding season, give your French Bulldog a quick brush once a week or so. Frenchies don’t need a haircut, so you’ll save lots of time and money there.

Grooming doesn’t end with the coat though! 

Remember, you’ll also need to trim your Frenchie’s nails every few weeks. As a fairly low-energy dog, their nails don’t naturally wear down outside, so you’ll need to take care of this yourself. Overgrown nails can become very painful and affect your fur baby’s balance, so don’t let them get out of control.

Other grooming requirements include brushing their teeth, cleaning their bat ears, and wrinkle care (yes, really!). A French Bulldog has deep muzzle folds that need to be cleaned regularly as there is a high possibility of bad bacterial growth. You can use a soft damp cloth to wipe away the nastiness – keep on top of this to avoid things getting too gross in there.


Your French Bulldog deserves high-quality dog food – we suggest one that is tailored to the breed’s specific needs. Your Frenchie’s eating requirements will depend on their build, activity levels, size, and metabolism. Check the packaging for suggestions, but keep an eye on your dog and make sure they aren’t getting over or underweight.

You might want to reward your dog (a lot, since they’re just such good boys!), but keep the treats to a minimum. Frenchies can gain weight easily since they’re not the most active breed. Visit Barks in the Park to find out more about the best food brands for your Frenchie.


Remember that Frenchies are a brachycephalic breed, which means they have a short snout and can have breathing difficulties, especially in hot weather. So, when it comes to exercise, it’s important to be mindful of their physical limitations and take it easy on them. Don’t expect them to be able to run for miles, and keep walkies short when temperatures rise.

With that said, that doesn’t mean Frenchies don’t enjoy a good romp around the yard or a brisk walk around the block! In fact, they’re quite active little dogs and need daily exercise to keep them happy and healthy.

A great way to get your Frenchie moving safely is through interactive playtime. Frenchies love toys, and playing fetch or tug-of-war can be a fun way to get them moving while also strengthening your bond with your furry friend.

Another great way to give your French Bulldog some exercise is by taking them on short, leisurely walks. They may not be able to handle long hikes or intense runs, but a gentle stroll around the neighborhood can be just what they need to stretch their legs and get some fresh air. And, it’s good for you too!

While you’re keeping their body healthy, don’t forget about the mind! Mental exercise is just as important for these intelligent dogs – they thrive on mental stimulation. Consider incorporating some training exercises or puzzle toys into your daily routine to keep their minds sharp and engaged.

renchies may not be marathon runners, but they still need daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. With a little creativity and some fun toys, you can make exercise time a blast for both you and your furry friend!


As with other breeds, start training your Frenchie from puppyhood if possible. The earlier you start training, the better the chances are of them growing into a well-adjusted adult. Since Frenchies love to play, make training exciting like a sort of game for the best results. Give your pup treats and rewards for accomplishments instead of focusing on bad behaviors.

French Bulldogs are often stubborn, and this can make training a bit difficult but don’t give up. You just need to find the right training techniques that work for you and your dog – if one thing isn’t working you might need to change your tactics a little.

When training your French Bulldog, it is crucial that you are consistent and firm with them so they learn what you expect. Inconsistent training makes it hard for your French Bulldog to understand what you want, which can lead to disappointment on both sides.

You should start potty training your Frenchie puppy as soon as you bring it home – around 8 weeks old. Remember, it can take many months before your dog will be fully potty trained and accident-free, so a good deal of patience is needed throughout this process!

Crate training is also a good idea, and can begin as soon as you bring your Frenchie puppy home. Don’t lock them in their crate for hours, though! Remember, these dogs love to socialize, so their crate should be seen as a safe place for them to get some rest rather than a place to punish them and keep them away from their human family.

French Bulldog Common Health Problems

Unfortunately, Frenchies are known to suffer from quite a few genetic health problems, no matter how well you care for them. Of course, looking after their physical and mental needs can help reduce the chances of certain conditions developing, but many are simply associated with the Frenchie’s breeding.

Not all Frenchies will suffer from these health issues, but it does help to be aware of them so that you can spot any symptoms and know what you are getting yourself into before bringing this breed into your home. The following are some common health issues in French Bulldogs:

Brachycephalic Syndrome

Brachycephalic Syndrome is a disorder commonly found in dogs with narrowed nostrils, short heads, or soft or elongated palates. Their airways are obstructed, and it can cause labored or noisy breathing or something as serious as a total collapse of their airway.

Dogs with this syndrome usually snort and snuffle. The treatment depends on how severe their condition is, but it usually includes surgery to shorten their palates or widen their nostrils and oxygen therapy.

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a hereditary condition in the French Bulldog breed where the femur bone does not properly fit into the pelvic socket by the hip joint. This condition can exist without or with clinical signs. Some dogs may exhibit lameness or pain in one or both of their back legs. And as they get older, they may develop arthritis.

This is a hereditary conditions, so you should ask the breeder for certified proof that both of the pup’s parents have been tested for the disorder, and their results came out clear.


It is very common for dogs to suffer from allergies, Frenchies are no exception. They can suffer from three main types:

  • Food-based allergies – You will need to eliminate certain foods from their diet to find the problem.
  • Contact allergies – Caused as a reaction to flea powders, bedding, chemicals, shampoos, or any other topical substance.
  • Inhalant allergies – Caused by airborne substances like dust, pollen, or mildew. Your dog can take certain medications to treat this, depending on how severe their reaction is. Ear infections are often caused by inhalant allergies.

Patellar luxation

This problem is also known as slipped stifles and is very common in smaller dogs. It occurs when the patella (knee cap), femur (thigh bone), and tibia (calf), are not lined up properly and slip out of place. This can cause an abnormal gait or lameness and is very common in the French Bulldog dog breed.

It is congenital, so this disease is present from birth. However, the luxation or misalignment doesn’t occur till years later. Patellar luxation can also lead to arthritis, which is a degenerative joint disease.

Patellar luxation has four grades. Grade I is an occasional luxation that causes temporary lameness. At the other extreme, Grade IV causes the tibia to be severely turned, and the patella cannot manually realign. The more severe cases often require surgical operation for repair.


Hemivertebrae is a malformation of one or a few of your dog’s vertebrates, and this causes it to be shaped like a triangle or like a wedge. It can occur independently or along with other malformations in the vertebrae.

This problem can either put pressure on their spinal cord or not cause much hassle for them at all. However, it can lead to a lot of weakness, pain, or even paralysis. Unfortunately, there is no treatment available for this unless there is severe spinal cord pressure.

Cleft palate

Your dog’s palate is at the roof of their mouth and separates their oral and nasal cavities. It has two parts, one is hard, and the other is soft. A cleft palate includes a slit that runs unilaterally or bilaterally and can range in size.

A cleft palate can also cause a cleft lip. French Bulldog pups can either be born with a cleft palate, or it can occur from an accident or injury. This is quite common in canines, and unfortunately, most dogs born with one do not live very long.

It can be treated through surgery, and it is crucial to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan from the vet should your dog have a cleft palate.

Von Willebrand Disease

Von Willebrand Disease is a blood disorder that occurs in humans as well as dogs, including Frenchies. It has an effect on the clotting process. Dogs affected by this disease will show signs like bleeding gums, nose bleeds, prolonged bleeding after whelping or during heat cycles, and prolonged bleeding from various surgeries.

Sometimes there may even be blood in their stool. Dogs are generally diagnosed with this disorder when they are between the ages of three and five. Unfortunately, it cannot be cured, but it can be managed through treatments. These include suturing or cauterizing injuries and avoiding specific medications.

Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

Intervertebral Disc Disease happens when a disc in your dog’s spine herniates or ruptures and then pushes into its spinal cord. When this disc pushes into the spine, nerve transmissions are then inhibited. IVDD can be caused by trauma, physical jolts, or age.

When their disc ruptures, your dog will feel a lot of pain, and it can lead to permanent or temporary paralysis and weakness. The vet will prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for treatment.

Do not give your dog any medication for humans, as these can be highly toxic. Sometimes surgery can help, but it needs to be done immediately. Your dog will also likely require physical rehabilitation; water treadmills, massages, and electrical stimulation can be very effective treatment options.

Elongated soft palate

When your French Bulldog’s soft palate is elongated, it often causes difficulty breathing as it obstructs their airways. The best way to treat this is through surgical removal.

Look out for a breeder that can show you certified health clearances for both of your pup’s parents. This proves that your dog has been tested and cleared for this condition.

Health testing for Frenchies

When it comes to the French Bulldog dog breed, you should get health clearances from the Orthopaedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for elbow and hip dysplasia, Von Willebrand’s disease, and hypothyroidism. You should also get clearances from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) and Auburn University for thrombophilia.

It doesn’t matter how healthy your dog is when you first bring it home, they will always be prone to health problems, and you need to be fully aware of them.

French Bulldogs With Other Dogs And Children

Frenchies get along very well with other dogs and children. They are also big enough to live in a house with toddlers. However, you should never leave your dog alone and unsupervised with children, as it can lead to some serious problems and accidents.

When you socialize your dog during puppyhood, your Frenchie will easily get along well with cats, other dogs, and animals. However, your dog may show some signs of jealousy if the other animals are getting more attention from their humans than they are.

Is The French Bulldog Dog Breed Right For You?

This breed is not for you if you spend most of your time away from the house. This dog requires a lot of company and quality time. A French Bulldog can get angry when left alone, and it will start destroying things and causing trouble as they try to get your attention.

However, if you work from home or are a stay-at-home pet parent, then this is the perfect breed for you. If you’re busy but you have your heart set on a Frenchie, a dog sitter or doggy daycare will be needed.

The Cost Of A French Bulldog Puppy

A French Bulldog puppy tends to cost more than other dog breeds because they can’t naturally have puppies. The following are some basic figures to give you an idea of why the breed costs so much:

  • Vitamin supplements: $100
  • Progesterone test: $50-$100 (usually two tests are needed)
  • Male stud fee: $1,000 – $7,000
  • Shipping semen: $100 – $300
  • X-ray or ultrasound: $100 – $300
  • Breeding insemination: $100 – $300
  • C-section: $750 – $2,500
  • Full vaccinations for the whole litter: $300 – $900
  • Puppy food: $100 – $300
  • DNA/Genetic testing: $700 – $1,000
  • Microchip entire litter: $200 – $500
  • Supplies: $200 – $500

So, it should come as no surprise that you can expect to pay between $1500-$3000 for a French Bulldog puppy. Then, you’ve got to consider the ongoing costs of looking after this dog.

It won’t need much in the way of grooming, but be prepared for high vet bills (take a look at our list above of the common health conditions in this breed). You’ve also got to think about training, a dog sitter (if needed), feeding your dog, and supplies like leashes, beds, toys, and more.


What type of breed is a French Bulldog?

The French Bulldog breed is a mid-sized dog that’s part of the non-sporting group of dog breeds.

How long do French Bulldogs live?

Frenchies can live anywhere between 10-14 years. However, several factors can affect this, such as their lifestyle, diet, health conditions, and vet care. Remember, they’re prone to certain conditions that can shorten their lifespan.

How often should you bathe a Frenchie?

You should bathe your Frenchie every one or two months, or whenever it is needed. You do not want to wash them too often as this strips their coat of its natural oils, but it is good to keep them clean and fresh.

Do French Bulldogs need to be walked every day?

A Frenchie puppy does not have the same exercise needs as an adult dog does, but adult Frenchies should have an hour of exercise in total every day. This keeps them fit and healthy and avoids obesity. Keep exercise fairly gentle for this breed, especially when temperatures are high.

Do French Bulldogs sleep a lot?

Frenchies spend around 10-13 hours of their day asleep. The rest of the time will be spent eating, playing, loving their humans, and having fun!

Are French Bulldogs aggressive?

The French Bulldog dog breed is not considered aggressive – they’re too busy having fun and making you laugh! However, they can show some signs of aggression when they feel threatened or if they have not been trained or socialized properly.