Can the French Bulldog get any more popular than this dog breed already is? These dogs are a regular feature on many celebrities' social media accounts. They are fan favorites at dog competitions worldwide.
They are lovable and loyal, not to mention dapper and dashing. But anytime you are considering bringing a new companion canine into your life, it is smart to learn as much as you can about the breed first.
In the case of the French Bulldog, while you will find a lengthy list of pros for why you should choose this distinguished dog breed, with careful research you may be surprised how many cons you will also discover.
In this article, learn everything you need to know before you make a lifelong commitment to a French Bulldog.
French Bulldog Pros and Cons
The French Bulldog is currently the fourth most popular purebred companion canine in the United States (out of 195 registered dog breeds) according to the American Kennel Club (AKC).
This is a great testament to the many wonderful qualities of the French Bulldog breed.
However, like far too many purebred dog breeds today, the French Bulldog is also facing some severe health issues that you need to know about. In Frenchie's case, these health problems are mostly because of their short muzzle shape.
Introduction to the French Bulldog Breed
This short YouTube video introduces you to the origins and history of the French Bulldog breed.
These dogs may have the word "French" in their name, but as you will learn, they actually came from England! You will also get a basic overview of the French bulldog's look, body size, and type, coat, and temperament.
If you are considering adding a French Bulldog to your family, this is a good short video to watch first.
French Bulldog Pros
It is always nice to get good news first. So in this section, we will delve into the many pros – the positives – associated with sharing your life with a French Bulldog.
However, don't make up your mind until you read the list of French Bulldog cons to follow. You will find important information in both sections to give you a well-rounded perspective of this particular dog breed.
Pro 1: Cuteness
We'll just go ahead and say it – the French Bulldog is adorably cute. This dog breed's adorable squashed-in face with their expressive eyes and cuddly bodies is nearly impossible to resist.
This is precisely why so many new French Bulldog owners wake up the morning after and realize they have just made a lifetime commitment to a dog on the sole basis of a cute puppy face.
Thankfully, you are taking the time to read this article first so you can enter dog ownership from a place of being fully informed.
Pro 2: Smart and (mostly) quiet
As French Bulldog Breeders explains, the French Bulldog breed as a whole is known to be a smart dog breed.
These dogs might have evolved into today's lapdogs, but they come from a long line of yesterday's scrappy fighting dogs (as such, they likely have more than a little English Bulldog in their lineage).
French Bulldogs are not known to be "barkers." They can be vocal, but it is nearly always for a reason. We will talk more about this in the section on Frenchies as good watchdogs and guard dogs.
Pro 3: Sociable and charming personality
French Bulldogs have a modern lineage of being charming lapdog companions. They mostly use their smarts these days to learn tricks to entertain their people.
Because Frenchies love attention and are natural show dogs, you can expect your pup to keep you smiling and laughing – and probably posting a lot of cute pup pictures on social media if that is your thing.
Pro 4: Short, neat coat is easy to care for
The French Bulldog is not a non-shedding dog breed, although many people still have this misconception because of their short, neat coat.
The French Bulldog pretty much looks like they are already wearing a tuxedo, and the coat itself is fairly self-maintaining except for the shedding.
Because the Frenchie's hair is short, you don't have any complicated brushing or grooming to do. But when your dog does shed, it may be hard to control getting covered in dog hair whether you wear black or white clothing!
You can help keep the shed hair to a minimum by regularly brushing your dog. As a plus, Frenchies usually love to be groomed because they love being with you.
Pro 5: Lives easily indoors in small spaces
French Bulldogs have a very short muzzle type that is called Brachycephalic. This fancy word basically means "short face" and it is the reason French Bulldogs cannot endure the heat or intense exercise.
It is also the reason they can't swim and have trouble with air travel, which we will talk more about in the cons section here next.
But as far as the upside of having a short muzzle dog, French Bulldogs do not require a lot of space to be happy. They basically just want to be with you and they can really benefit from the temperature control of staying indoors.
Pro 6: Great with kids and other pets
French Bulldogs are a rare exception to the rule of not mixing small or toy dog breeds with young kids.
Frenchies are wired to be the life of the party and this means getting along with others, whether that be other adults, kids, or family pets.
While it is still important to make introductions to other pets slowly and carefully, most people find that French Bulldogs easily integrate into a family with other dogs or cats.
Pro 7: Good guard dog and watchdog
French Bulldogs are smart, loyal, and very vigilant about their surroundings. While they are little in size, they are big in personality and brave in temperament.
You can expect your French Bulldog to alert you if someone new shows up or if anything seems out of place.
While as we mentioned earlier these dogs are not known to be barkers, they will not hesitate to bark if they think you need to be aware of something.
Pro 8: Loyal and people-focused
There are many reasons why the French Bulldog is so popular in America and around the world today.
But perhaps the number one reason is simply that these dogs are as people-centric as they come. You will not doubt that your dog loves you and just wants to be with you.
French Bulldog Cons
Now that we have you paw-sitively convinced that a French Bulldog is "the dog" for you, it is time to roll out the not-so-great news about the French Bulldog breed.
These dogs do have some significant drawbacks and because of these, the French Bulldog is not the right dog breed for every person or family.
One of the most important obstacles to consider in the case of the French Bulldog breed is the costs – both of obtaining and caring for these dogs. You will learn much more in this list of top cons to owning a French Bulldog.
Con 1: Brachycephalic muzzle shape can lead to lifelong health problems
Interestingly, the French Bulldog Club of America, in their official health statement to the American Kennel Club, says nothing at all about the brachycephalic muzzle shape that can lead to lifelong health issues in French Bulldogs.
However, this is not to minimize the seriousness of this muzzle shape and how it can impact your dog's health and even lifespan.
As American Veterinarian explains, nearly three-quarters of all French Bulldogs will have at least one serious health issue in their lifetime.
Three health issues, in particular, are directly correlated to their short muzzle shape:
- Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS).
- Cherry eye.
- Skinfold dermatitis.
Con 2: Definitely can be a snorer!
The Brachycephalic muzzle shape is linked to breathing problems. This can be particularly apparent when your dog falls asleep.
French Bulldogs are known to be snorers. And they like to sleep a lot, so you will probably be listening to a whole lot of canine snoring over the next 10 to 14 years.
If you are a very light sleeper, this will mean either getting used to being woken up or trying to convince your Frenchie to sleep in a different room (if so, good luck with that!).
Con 3: Expensive to buy
French Bulldogs are popular and popularity tends to drive up the price. According to Pet Price List, the least you can expect to pay for a French Bulldog puppy that comes from a reputable dog breeder is $2,000.
Keep in mind, that is just the cost of your puppy. It doesn't include any of the supplies, food, toys, veterinary care, or the cost of health conditions your puppy may have over its lifetime.
So it can be smart to sit down with your budget first just to make sure you can afford to add a Frenchie to your family.
Con 4: Will shed…sometimes a LOT
As we mentioned in the section on pros here earlier, Frenchies have a short, neat coat that often reminds people of a canine tuxedo.
They are adorable to look at and naturals in front of the camera. But behind the scenes, you can look forward to quite a bit of shedding.
If you have pet allergies or someone in your family is sensitive (or if you are just a neatnik personality type), the French Bulldog may not be the right breed choice for you.
Con 5: Drool and farts
Here again, you will see the issues associated with dogs that have a brachycephalic muzzle shape coming into focus.
French Bulldogs tend to drool because their mouths are crowded with teeth and they can have trouble swallowing and breathing at the same time.
And because French Bulldogs can struggle to grasp and chew their food, it can take more energy to digest what they've eaten…which can then lead to more farting as the food enters the digestive tract.
Con 6: Stubborn and independent-minded
French Bulldogs may be all about their people, but this doesn't mean these dogs don't want what they want when they want it.
French Bulldogs can be stubborn, as so many highly intelligent dog breeds tend to be.
And you can't get away with using any type of punishment-based or negative reinforcement training these days because they will just dig in their heels further.
This can make training your Frenchie more challenging and sometimes frustrating as well.
Con 7: Cannot tolerate any kind of intense exercise or heat (or air travel)
Once again, we have the brachycephalic muzzle shape to thank for a myriad of potential health issues if your French Bulldog is over-exposed to too-hot temperatures.
These dogs are particularly prone to overheating (dogs sweat mainly by panting, which can be hard for Frenchies to do efficiently).
This is also why French Bulldogs and other brachycephalic breeds are sometimes banned from air travel (read this article for a sad look at the costs of flying with a brachycephalic breed).
Also, the Frenchie's top-heavy body and head shape mean these dogs should never be allowed to swim or even stand in deeper water because they will likely sink and drown.
Con 8: Needy and demanding of "their" people
Finally, if your idea of fun isn't having a dog demanding your attention every moment they are awake, you may want to rethink getting a Frenchie.
So there you have it – a full list of French Bulldog pros and cons. Hopefully, you now have a much better idea if this is the dog for you
As a freelance pet writer and blogger, Shannon is passionate about crafting knowledge-based, science-supported articles that foster healthy bonds of love and respect between people and animals. But her first and very most important job is as a dog auntie and cockatiel, tortoise, and box turtle mama.