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French Bulldog

French Bulldog

The French Bulldog or “Frenchie” has had a surge in popularity in recent times, but they come with an inherent set of problems that compromise their health and welfare. 

French Bulldogs were bred in France from now-extinct Toy Bulldogs as companions.  

They are a small dog and their size ranges from 20 to 28 cm and weight from 4 to 7kg. Females tend to be a bit smaller than males. French Bulldogs come in a variety of colours including brindle, pied, fawn, black, cream and blue. They are a brachycephalic breed with a very flat face, and many facial wrinkles. This conformation has led to serious health problems faced by the breed today.

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Origin

France

Bred for

Companion 

Size 

30 cm, 10 to 15kg

Colours

Fawn, pied, brindle  

Life expectancy

10 to 14 years 

Coat

Short

Temperament 

Energetic, easy going, playful

Exercise requirements

Medium

Best suited for 

Households with someone who is home  most of the time  

Apartment Friendly

Yes 

Personality

Bred as a companion, the French Bulldog is friendly and playful. They are popular with families for their good-natured disposition and if socialised when they are young, they will generally get along well with other pets. They are well suited to apartment living, but daily exercise is vital. They can have a stubborn streak and can be difficult to train.  

Grooming

They have a short coat that requires minimal grooming. However, skin folds on the face and tail need regular cleansing to help prevent infections which are common in the breed. Regular ear cleaning should also be a part of the regular grooming schedule to help keep the ears clean and free from debris as they are prone to ear infections. French Bulldog’s are prone to dental problems so teeth cleaning should also be a part of the maintenance routine. Prevent parasites by ensuring your French Bulldog is on flea control all year round and tick prevention if you are in a paralysis tick area. 

Feeding

When choosing a food for your French Bulldog, select a premium food appropriate to your dog’s age and life stage. Make sure your pup always has a supply of fresh, clean water available. 

Common health concerns 

According to PetSure data from 2013 to 2018, brachycephalic breeds have a higher prevalence for many major health problems including patella luxation, skin conditions, eye conditions, anal gland problems, digestive diseases, and ear infections. Brachycephalic airway syndrome is caused by changes in the airways which can result in lifelong breathing problems and poses a significant welfare risk to these dogs.

In 2019 French Bulldogs commonly went to the vet for skin conditions, such as allergies, skin fold infections and ear infections

With their big, bulging eyes, French Bulldog’s are prone to eye injuries, resulting in corneal ulcers as well as other eye problems including “dry eye” (keratoconjunctivitis sicca), and conjunctivitis. Digestive problems are also common in the French Bulldog. These often manifest as diarrhoea, flatulence and vomiting.  

Other serious problems seen in French Bulldogs include Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) and Hip dysplasia. Treatment for these conditions can run into the many thousands.

The five most common reasons for a French Bulldog to visit the vet in 2019 (excluding routine care visits) according to PetSure data in were:

Rank

Condition

Average cost for single treatment
(average pet insurance claim amount)

Highest cost for single treatment
(highest pet insurance claim seen for this condition)

1

Skin conditions (including allergies, infection, skin fold dermatitis)

$201

$2,220

2

Ear conditions (including allergies, infections)

$200

$7,174

3

Gastrointestinal tract problems

$333

$4,968

4

Brachycephalic airway syndrome

$925

$9,468

5

Eye conditions (including corneal ulcers, uveitis, keratitis)

$194

$3,729

Disclaimer: Reimbursement for these claims would be subject to limits, such as annual benefit limits or sub-limits, benefit percentage, applicable waiting periods and any applicable excess. Cover is subject to the policy terms and conditions. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or policy wording available from the relevant provider.

Most popular French Bulldog names

In 2019, the most popular French Bulldog names according to PetSure data were:

  1. Luna
  2. Archie
  3. Charlie
  4. Frankie
  5. Coco
  6. Bella
  7. Daisy
  8. Ruby
  9. Buddy
  10. Milo

Most popular female names

  1. Luna
  2. Bella
  3. Coco
  4. Daisy
  5. Ruby
  6. Nala
  7. Molly
  8. Frankie
  9. Lola
  10. Willow

Most popular male names

  1. Archie
  2. Charlie
  3. Buddy
  4. Max
  5. Milo
  6. Teddy
  7. Ollie
  8. Alfie
  9. Leo
  10. Bailey

Did you know?

Often, French bulldog mothers require caesarean sections due to the inability to give birth naturally. This is because of selective breeding for dogs with large heads and narrow pelvises meaning the puppies can’t pass through the birth canal. 

Where can I get a French bulldog?

Before buying a French bulldog, consider the serious health concerns that brachycephalic (flat faced) breeds have. While they may look cute, these problems have long term welfare implications. RSPCA Australia and the Australian Veterinary Association are calling for a shift in the way these dogs are bred, and decreasing demand for flat-faced dogs is one way you can help improve the future for these breeds. You may be able to adopt a French Bulldog from a French Bulldog specific rescue organisation.

Also be sure to visit your local pet rescue shelters where you might find an alternate small breed dog and your new best friend! 

References

  1. Love Is Blind, Accessed on 19/11/20
  2. Wikipedia, French Bulldog, Accessed on 20/11/20
  3. Dogtime.com, French Bulldog, Accessed on 20/11/20

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Kylie Mitchell is a veterinarian with over 17 years experience in animal health and welfare, including in the veterinary and pet insurance industries

She has three rescue cats (Noah, Bei Bei and Meeka), four very old cockatiels and a pond-full of fish.

Kylie's pets

Noah
Noah
Bei Bei
Bei Bei
Meeka
Meeka