SHOULD I GET A FRENCH BULLDOG?

French Bulldogs snore, fart and are prone to expensive health problems but they’re also fun, full of beans and are incredibly loveable. Yes, you should get a French Bulldog but there are some exceptions.

Getting any dog is a big decision that should be considered carefully to make sure a dog will integrate with your lifestyle and get all of the care and attention they deserve. French Bulldogs get very lonely as they love being part of your family so they don’t do well when left alone for long periods of time. It’s heartbreaking when you have to leave them at home so this isn’t the dog for you if you want to leave him or her alone while you’re at work.

Health Issues

Health is a big concern when considering if you should get a French Bulldog so here’s a little information about what to expect. It’s by no means exhaustive so I’ve included some links to useful sites.

French Bulldog is a miniature mollossoid bread (mastiff) so they are well built, stocky little dogs with strong bones to handle how rough they play. Being short and compact with the screw tail does come with its own health issues as briefly outlined below. Remember that all dogs come with inherent health issues so the best way to protect yourself is to have good pet insurance no matter what dog you have. Any dog can break a leg while playing which can cost in excess of £2,000 so being insured is the safest option to make sure you have a long and fulfilling life with your dog at your side.

French Bulldogs are brachycephalic which means they have a flat and wide skull which leaves them vulnerable to certain health issues such as skin, eye and breathing problems as well as being intolerant to heat. Their shortened noses means you may find yourself cleaning their folds after each meal to keep them clean and bacteria free. Their shallow eye sockets means that French Bulldogs have protruding corneas that are easily scratched when scrambling around for their ball amongst brambles or when they’re getting too boisterous with your cat!

Our French Bulldog, Stitch, has a longer snout than most Frenchies so he doesn’t suffer too badly with his breathing. He does however get issues with eyes where the membrane sometimes prolapses, leaving him with an uncomfortable pink lump in the corner of his eye for a few days. Luckily he’s mostly grown out of it now that he’s no longer a puppy (in body but not in mind!)

As for heat intolerance we always take a water bottle with us for him to drink from and when it’s really hot we keep his coat damp and cool. We swear by the H2O4K9 Dog Water Bottle, as Stitch happily laps up water from it on his walk and it carries enough water for his hour walk. (Check out my detailed review of the H2O4K9 dog walk water bottle here).

Read this detailed post from the French Bulldog Club of England for a detailed breakdown of French Bulldog health issues. If you’re getting a French Bulldog puppy then make sure you see the Mum to get an idea of how health she is as this will be a strong indicator for your pup’s future health.

Behaviour

All dogs have their own personalities but French Bulldogs certainly have very big personas. Stitch is incredibly cuddly and loves nothing more than climbing under a blanket on the sofa and snuggling into the gap between your body and arm. Being cuddly and loving is a common trait for Frenchies as they love being part of your “pack” and getting involved in everything you do. My partner and I can’t have a hug without Stitch launching into the room and waiting to be invited to join.

Just the right amount of naughty to keep us on our toes!

Stitch loves to make us laugh. The more you laugh, the more he does the thing that’s triggering it. Chasing a toy around the garden, doing tricks for treats, tumbling around on his back or charging at full speed from the front door and into the back garden. He’s got a huge personality that’s loving, fun, cheeky and just the right amount of naughty to keep us on our toes.

Fitness and Exercise

No two are the same so you should be prepared for anything when you decide if you should get a French Bulldog. Stitch is not fully grown (12 months old) but he’s shaping up to be quite lean and longer legged than most French Bulldogs I’ve come across. His slightly longer nose means he can run and play for a long time without gasping for air and he now comes on short jogs with me around a field and up and down hills. He’s a real bag of beans who needs a good hour walk a day or he’ll end up being destructive and looking for attention at home.

Stitch is a bag of beans!

Before getting Stitch I’d read that French Bulldogs will take as much or little exercise as you have to offer. Stitch seems to be the exception to that rule which works perfectly with us to have a more active lifestyle with him. In fact, we get outdoors more than we ever did thanks to Stitch. He’s no where near as energetic as a Labrador or a working Spaniel but he gives them a good run for their money when he plays with them.

Diet

Many French Bulldog breeders recommend that if you should get a French Bulldog then the ideal diet is a raw one. There’s lots of different information out there that’s for and against it that makes it hard to decide. Personally I would love to put Stitch on a raw diet but it requires a lot of preparation work and a good knowledge of what you need to include in their diet to make sure they get all of the nutrients they need.

As is the case with many French Bulldogs, Stitch is quite gaseous so we’re steadily testing different types of food to find what fits. What works for one Frenchie will not work for another. We’ve discovered the wet food is better than dry kibble but it’s also more expensive, however, the cost is worth it for a few less “Cwah! Stitch that stinks!” of an evening.

So, should you get a French Bulldog? I can’t recommend the breed enough from our experience with Stitch and my sister’s Frenchie Buddy. We don’t have any regrets and would love to accommodate more French Bulldogs if we had the space and the time.

Let us know what your life with a French Bulldog is like or if you are considering getting a Frenchie using the comments below.

 

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