The French Bulldog is the epitome of the refined canine. With their neat and tidy appearance and winning personality, cute bat ears, and wide round eyes, it is hard not to fall in love with this dog on sight.
But if you are considering bringing a French Bulldog into your life, you need more than just good looks to confirm if this is the right time and the right dog breed for you.
In this article, we walk you through what you need to know to decide if the French Bulldog will make a good pet choice for you.
Are French Bulldogs Good Pets
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the French Bulldog is the fourth most popular pet dog breed in the United States – out of nearly 200 breeds!
But does popularity equal being a good pet?
The most accurate answer is that French Bulldogs can make great pets for the right owner. Read on to learn the pros and cons of owning a Frenchie.
Learn About Owning a French Bulldog
In this helpful YouTube video, you can hear from an experienced French Bulldog owner and learn why he believes Frenchies make great pets.
Of course, he states upfront that he has a strong bias towards the breed. However, this also speaks for itself as far as how happy he is with his petite canine companion!
The Pros of Choosing a French Bulldog For Your Pet Dog
As we mentioned in the introduction here, the French Bulldog is easy to love. But this doesn’t necessarily mean it is a match made in heaven.
Frenchies, like all purebred dog breeds, have their traits and quirks. This means these dogs are great for the right owner but are not going to be right for every owner.
Now we are going to take a look at the pros of choosing the French Bulldog breed.
1. French Bulldogs Fit Well in Small Spaces
While the French Bulldog can have their active moments, these dogs are generally well-suited to life in small apartments and don’t even need a yard to play in.
The Frenchie can get all of their activity from indoor play and a daily walk. And because of their shortened muzzles, French Bulldogs need to be protected from heat.
This makes them an even more ideal breed choice for an indoor lifestyle.
2. French Bulldogs Are Easy to Care For and Groom
French Bulldogs have short, flat, neat coats that are easy to brush and groom.
These dogs tend to be neat and clean and don’t need frequent bathing or professional grooming.
Their ear flaps stand up straight (making for the well-known “bat ears” effect), are easy to clean, and don’t tend to develop frequent ear infections like floppy-eared breeds.
3. French Bulldogs Don’t Tend to Bark Much
The French Bulldog is smart and attentive, but these dogs are not known for being barkers.
They might bark to alert you if someone is at the door or something seems amiss.
However, as the Tom King’s Kennel breeder points out, when their Frenchie barks, there is something worth barking about.
This can make them excellent watchdogs, especially for a single individual living in a small urban or inner-city space.
4. French Bulldogs Love to Be With Their People
As the French Bulldog Club of America highlights, the French Bulldog has been a companion canine to people (as opposed to a true working dog breed) for all of their breed histories.
While these strong little dogs were frequently tasked with reducing the rodent population in shops and cafes post-Industrial Revolution, more frequently they could be found whiling away the evening hours with Parisian ladies of the night.
Frenchies are “people” dogs and naturally need a lot of togetherness and affection, which suits most dog owners just perfectly.
5. French Bulldogs Are Natural Entertainers and Performers
While some French Bulldogs can be a bit more reserved, many are extremely outgoing, curious, and keen to entertain both their people and visitors.
Frenchies are surprisingly athletic and powerful for their diminutive size and love to race around the house, jump up and down off furniture and play.
6. French Bulldogs Typically Get On Well With Other Dogs
For owners who already have dogs in the family, it can be vitally important to find a dog that will get along with the other family canines.
According to Mental Floss, the French Bulldog fits the bill in this particular area.
Of course, you will still need to make sure that your other dogs also get along well in a multi-dog family.
The Cons of Choosing a French Bulldog For Your Pet Dog
Just as there is a long list of reasons why so many people love French Bulldogs, there is an equally long list of drawbacks that you will want to think about before making a commitment to a Frenchie.
Before we begin, it is worth noting that many but not all of the cons you are about to read about relate to the French Bulldog breed health and their short (brachycephalic) muzzle shape.
1. French Bulldogs Snore A Lot
As Blue Haven French Bulldogs breeder points out, French Bulldogs have a reputation as serious snorers.
They not only snore, but these dogs can also make a wide variety of other noises both when they are sleeping and when they are awake.
And since Frenchies want to be with their people all the time – day and night – this can make for more than a little sleep deprivation if you allow your dog to sleep in your bed or even in the same room with you.
2. French Bulldogs Pass a Lot of Gas
French Bulldogs are known to pass a lot of gas. As Holly Ridge Vet Hospital explains, the primary (but not only) reason is excessive intake.
Because French Bulldogs have such a compressed short flat skull shape, these dogs can have trouble breathing while eating and drinking. They tend to gulp air in and this can produce gas in short order.
Many French Bulldogs also have trouble digesting wheat and grains, which can cause digestive disruption that leads to farting.
3. French Bulldogs Have a Mind of Their Own
Training French Bulldogs is its own challenge and many first-time owners are not prepared for just how obstinate a Frenchie can be.
French Bulldogs ultimately want to please their people, but they also want to do it their way and in their own time.
Trying to train or walk a French Bulldog who has already made other plans is likely to boil down to a battle you won’t win.
4. French Bulldogs Have a Lot of Health Restrictions
The French Bulldog’s adorable squished face is also the main source of their well-known suite of health issues.
As the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW) points out, Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) can cause a number of ocular, respiratory, and gastrointestinal symptoms.
BOAS can also lead to canine sleep apnea, which can quickly become deadly.
Because of the French Bulldog’s thick, wide head and neck, and chest, these dogs can never swim and most cannot fly on airplanes. And they are extremely heated sensitive and prone to overheating.
This may mean your French Bulldog won’t be able to accompany you when you travel or camp and you may need to adjust your own lifestyle to work around this.
This is one of the main reasons why French Bulldogs are not a good fit for every dog lover.
5. French Bulldogs Are Wildly Popular and In Demand
At first glance, this might not seem like it should be on the “con” list. However, the more popular a dog breed becomes, the more casual or even unscrupulous dog breeding operations spring up to try to meet that need.
This means you will need to take extra care to choose your puppy from a reputable French Bulldog breeder.
It also means you will likely be on a waiting list for some time before you get your pup. But this can mean the difference between adopting a healthy puppy and a dog with exorbitantly expensive or even life-limiting health issues.
With the French Bulldog breed, failure to do pre-breeding health checks on the parent dogs can set you up for financial ruin while you watch your dog suffering. It simply isn’t worth it.
6. French Bulldogs Shed a Lot
Ignore anyone who tells you that French Bulldogs only shed occasionally.
These dogs shed year-round and quite heavily twice per year when the undercoat sheds out (an event called a “coat blow” for a very good reason).
You can and should brush and groom your dog daily to help reduce the shedding. But this is not a dog for a pet allergy sufferer