34 Facts About French Bulldogs


The French Bulldog is a unique breed of dog in so many ways. Anyone who has encountered this fascinating animal doesn’t forget the experience quickly. It’s amazing how this little breed has captured the hearts of so many families in both the United States and Europe.

The breed is becoming more and more popular these days and it’s pretty clear why. There are many reasons which make the Frenchie stand-out amongst others and this list compiles my favorites, enjoy!

So, without any further ado – here are the most amazing facts about French Bulldogs that you will find anywhere!

Best French Bulldog Facts

1) Their Beginnings Are Interesting

Facts About French Bulldogs

Wait, what? Well, yes – probably. I mean, who really knows – did someone happen to watch that first cross between an English and French Bulldog? Assuming that’s what happened of course.

Some historians believe that in the middle of the 19th Century, many English artisans (a worker in a skilled trade) were displaced by the many factories popping up during the Industrial Revolution.

Some of these people found work in France and a few of these people brought with them their miniature Bulldogs (a popular breed at the same time).

These dogs were well-liked due to their skill at catching vermin and making a very good companion. The French didn’t take long to fall for them and asked for more.

English breeders would happily sell the French their dogs as they were then more popular in France than England. Oddly, they were even more popular if the ears stuck straight up (this was a trait that for whatever reason the English didn’t like) and by the 1860s, there were few miniatures left in England.

The breeders in France at the time weren’t of the same quality as those in England and so little is known as to what happened next, although there were probably crosses with pugs and terriers which would have made rounder eyes (compared with the original English breed) and taller ears.

2) The Wealthy Brought Them to America

Rich Americans who traveled around Europe in the late 19th Century would often bring back the French Bulldog (or should I say Bouledogues Francais, as they were known).

These little dogs were an instant hit and almost straight away were being sought by breeders in the States. They were a particular hit with the elite of society. They soon became a sign of status for ladies of the time and would change hands at a massive price of up to $3,000!

3) Then, America Perfected Them

By the early part of the 20th Century, the French Bulldog (an American version with bat ears, which had become defined as the standard) was now more popular than the original version had ever been.

However, their popularity didn’t last for long. By the late 1920s, the French Bulldog numbers sank and soon become a rare breed. Many believe this was because the elite class would not allow new joiners to their ‘club’ which eventually seems to have backfired on them.

4) A Historic Champion

A French Bulldog named ‘Rico’ was the first of many to become the American Kennel Club (AKC) champion – back in 1899! It was only a year prior to this that the first Frenchie was registered with the AKC, so it didn’t take long, did it?

5) The Perfect Servant?

I’m talking about you here, not your French Bulldog! Don’t expect her to wait around for you, the Frenchie is intelligent and rightfully expects to be entertained at all times. Don’t let her down. Joking aside, they are always up for fun and if it sees you in another room having fun then it will want to join you.

6) The Quiet Canine

The French Bulldog is not a barky dog. When they do you can expect it to be for good reason, a good example is a burglar who refuses to play with it – how dare they!

If you’re considering a Frenchie as a guard dog, also consider an electronic security system as a err backup. Yes, they can look pretty angry at times but that can change in an instant as soon as they get a whiff of having some fun. A burglar is potentially just a new friend, you see.

7) The Perfect Jogging Partner

For someone who doesn’t want to jog. The French Bulldog is not known for being particularly enthusiastic when it comes to exercise. It’s not their fault though, they have little legs that just don’t lend themselves to running. Also, on a slightly more serious point, their faces aren’t made for breathing deeply, which can be a problem when they get hot.

8) They Swim Like a Brick

Facts About French Bulldogs

Well, perhaps not quite as good as that. Yes, your French bulldog will love to jump into water but you need to be careful here as they absolutely can’t swim. They will, within a few seconds, sink to the bottom and then unfortunately unlike some other breeds they will not be able to re-surface without help.

You can get doggy lifejackets if you want to go down this route but the best advice is to treat them like a baby and don’t let them anywhere near water if unsupervised.

If they are going into water, they must have a life jacket on. Do consider using this one at Amazon if you are, as it’s popular for a very good reason. Probably the only one you need to look at.

9) The French Bulldogs are Show-Offs

It’s true and anyone who has one knows this, #fact. If there’s something that your Bully can do that will get attention from you then it’ll do it. Then it will repeat it (however naughty) until it no longer gets the reaction.

They are most certainly not a timid dog. We all know a friend who’s got a bit too much confidence and likes to do stupid/loud things after a few drinks. Every French Bulldog is like that friend.

10) You Better Like Cuddles

You better say yes if they offer, which will be often. The French Bulldog loves human company and will not be able to get enough of you. At night they will show their love and affection in a way few dogs do. If they can sit on your head to be that little bit closer to you, then this is what they will do.

11) Do You Remember Being Sad?

Well, depression may be a thing of the past if you have one of these. I defy anyone to go for an hour in a Frenchie’s presence without smiling. According to some scientific research and advanced mathematics just released, it’s impossible and if it ever happens gravity will turn upside down. That’s what the boffins say anyway. #madeupfacts

They are possibly the ultimate therapy dog and you will not find a better companion in hard times. Someone said to me once about their life now they have a French Bulldog. They told me that their highs are higher and although they occasionally have downs they are never as low as before they had her. The Frenchie lives to love and will brighten your mood.

If you want to reciprocate that love, then you will find some new ways of doing it in my article here – if you just adopt the first point in this article then you’re doing just fine 🙂

12) Children Love French Bulldogs

…and they love children. This is one of the reasons why they’re so popular with families these days. People are recognizing their behavior is ideal for a family wanting a dog. Of course, they have their limits and your children will need to be kind to her.

If you’re worried about the French Bulldog being aggressive, then you should really take a look at the facts about this in my article all about it here.

13) The French Bulldog is Front Heavy

Yes, they have quite large heads and some of them are larger than others. What this means is that you need to be a little bit more careful if you pick them up and especially if your child wants to pick them up.

As their head is heavier than the rest of their body they will naturally want to do a front somersault out of your grip and onto the floor. Just try and make sure that the bottom end is lower than the front end and you’ll be fine.

Within a week you won’t even think about it as it’ll be second nature. They do try and wriggle around though so the general advice is for small children to not attempt to try and pick one up.

14) They Are Prone to Health Issues

Not always but they do suffer from some things more than others, here are just a few of them:

  • Cleft palate – this happens when an opening to the nose forms in the roof of the mouth.
  • Hip dysplasia – an abnormality of the hip joint.
  • Hemivertebrae – a vertebral anomaly.
  • Megaesophagus – an enlargement of the esophagus.
  • Retinal dysplasia – an eye disease affecting the retina (obviously)
  • Atopic dermatitis – a condition that can make your skin really itchy and red.

15) They Prefer It Inside

Facts About French Bulldogs

The French Bulldog is not a dog to be kept outside, they are very much a breed who needs their creature comforts. They struggle with temperature variations and it doesn’t take them long to overheat.  Their thin coat is not designed to keep them warm and they will also get cold quickly.

So, although they will happily play with you outside you should always keep an eye on them to ensure they’re not struggling with breath. Try and keep a stable temperature in your dog’s house, sorry – I meant your house of course!

By the way, if you’d like some awesome new toys for your French Bulldog (all of which I can personally recommend), then check out these great ideas! (opens in a new window).

16) Suited for Celebrity Life?

There’s a reason you see so many celebrities with this breed of dog – they’re perfectly suited for each other! They enjoy the good life as much as them and do very much appreciate it when you keep them in luxury surroundings.

Actually, this goes back to their very early days when they were known for being kept by the lady of the house and were very much a trophy-item due to their incredibly high price tag.

17) Breeding is Difficult

Facts About French Bulldogs

Due to their physical construction, it is almost impossible for the male to mate naturally with the female. Therefore, most French Bulldog breeding is performed via artificial insemination and then delivered by cesarean section.

18) They Cost as Much as a Small Car

Because of the above problems relating to breeding, the French Bulldog is not cheap. In fact, if you get one for less than $2,500 you’ll be doing well. You could get about 9 PS4’s for that, my son has just told me. I don’t know if he’s right but thought I’d mention it. What you’d do with 9 PS4’s, I don’t know.

19) Talking of Cars, Frenchie’s Come in Several Colors Also!

You might be surprised to see that the French Bulldog comes in more colors than you might think:

  • Brindle and white
  • All brindle
  • All white

There are also some colors that aren’t ‘standard’ and are disqualified within the AKC, these are:

  • Mouse
  • black and tan
  • liver
  • All black
  • Black with white (and white with black)

The above-disqualified colors aren’t allowed to be shown (in competitions that is, I don’t mean to your friends and stuff, that would be crazy).

20) The French Bulldog Does Not Like Being Left Alone

This is true for a lot of breeds but I think more so for the French Bulldog. They love human company but when that company isn’t there for anything over an hour or so, they will start to get separation anxiety. Now, this isn’t good. Not only because your little Frenchie won’t be happy but because it may well become rather destructive.

It will chew on your furniture, your carpet, your clothes and anything else lying around the house that it can get its mouth around. Don’t leave them alone, they will be sad…

21) Their Ears Aren’t Always Pointy

I’ll get straight to the point here (get it?) – don’t think that your French Bulldog’s ears should always be pointy. Well, they will be eventually but when you first go to look for one it may well have dropped ears, they will not be erect. However, by the time you come to pick them up in just a few weeks’ time they should be standing straight up.

22) They Have Their Own Language

Okay, so this is obvious, right? Well, yes but did you know what the below actions actually meant?

  • Tucking in its tail – when they tuck their little tail in, combined with holding their ears back and possibly also yawning, it means they may be a bit nervous!
  • Rolling –  when you see them rolling around on their back, possibly with their tongue out, this means they’re happy.
  • Cowering – if you see her crouching quite low with her tail tucked in and ears down, it’s a sign that she’s scared. Perhaps she’s been naughty and is expecting a telling-off!
  • Nose-Nudges – I don’t know what the scientific name is for this but ‘nose-nudging’ has always worked with me. If she does this to you it means you’re not paying enough attention to her, time to stop doing whatever you’re doing and play!
  • Standing Tall – She may, when playing with another dog, put her head directly over the other dogs’ back – this means she’s the dominant dog and is in control. Well, at least it means she thinks she’s in control!

23) The Champion of Champions

Facts About French Bulldogs

There is a French Bulldog called Ralanda Ami Francine who entered and won the American Kennel Club ‘Best in Show’ an astonishing 55 times! This is, of course, amazing but it’s not unusual for the Frenchie to win competitions – I did tell you earlier they liked to show off!

24) They Can Be Shared…

Hear me out here…we all know how great a companion the French Bulldog is. They also make a great therapy breed and could really bring a little happiness to those perhaps less fortunate than you. Consider taking one to visit an elderly neighbor. Not only will they enjoy the company of your dog, you feel pleased you did this too.

25) They Can Smell a Bit Pongy

But then, so can we all, right? The Frenchie can have some issues in this area and if you smell anything that’s not normal doggy smells, then address it straight away. Check their facial wrinkles, ears, paws, etc. for the source of the smell and fix it!

Most owners don’t need to bathe their French Bulldog more than about once a month, however, some just get smellier than others. I created an article just on this actually so if yours is starting to pong a little, check this out as it will tell you exactly how to fix it (opens in a new window).

26) They’re Not Good Flyers

The French Bulldog isn’t a good choice for a companion on a plane. When they are in the hold of the aircraft prior to take-off the temperature can get quite hot. As the Frenchie can’t regulate its temperature it can get very hot and encounter breathing difficulties.

Unfortunately, this has led to several French Bulldogs dying during flights and some airlines have now (rightly) banned this breed from flying.

27) They Like to Talk

The Frenchie may not bark very much but that doesn’t mean it won’t try and engage you in conversation. Not a conversation you’ll understand of course but it does appear they’re talking sometimes.

They make this noise that sounds something between a yip, yap and a woof. I have no idea what this means but they seem to enjoy doing it.

28) The French Bulldog Will Sulk

Facts About French Bulldogs

Another reason why you shouldn’t shout or get cross with your French Bulldog is that it may sulk if you do. She doesn’t want to upset you so when she thinks she may have lost you as a friend she gets upset. It’s strange how this works really. She does something wrong so you get cross.

She then sulks and you end up apologizing to her for making her upset. It’s surprisingly really how many times you’re made to feel bad after something she does!

29) There Are Two Types of Ears!

There are, of course, the typical sticky-uppy type ears we’re all familiar with. But there’s another type you may come across, these are ears that appear to fold over halfway down and are known as ‘rose ears’.

If you’re trying to enter your French Bulldog into an American Kennel Club (AKC) competition, rose ears are not allowed! Which I think is unfair, it’s not the Frenchie’s fault, is it? There should be a separate competition just for them!

30) The French Bulldog Can Be Trained

I think I need to clarify that. What I meant to say is they can be trained, when they want to be. As with all dog breeds, start young before they know what’s going. As soon as they hit maturity they’ll have about as much interest in obeying you as my son has in doing his Geography homework. Which isn’t much, let me tell you.

31) They Like Other Dogs

One of the reasons why they are becoming so popular with families in both the US and Europe is that they’re not only great with families and children, they’re also usually very good with other dogs. It does help if they’re introduced when they’re young but they seem to be pretty relaxed about it all generally.

32) There Was a Frenchie On-Board the Titanic

Poor thing. In fact, there were 12 dogs recorded as being on the Titanic when it went down and 3 of them actually survived. Unfortunately, the Frenchie was not one of them and it went down with the ship.

The French Bulldog was called Gamin de Pycombe and was only two years old when it died.

33) They Can Live a Long Time

Facts About French Bulldogs

Relatively speaking of course. The French Bulldog can live on average for around 10 years but some have lived to 16. Even 10 years is a good lifespan when it comes to dogs but for me, it’s still too short! If only there was a dog breed that lasted as long as us. Mind you, then I’d always be worried about living longer than the dog and it being without an owner. I guess I should be content with nature 🙂

34) They Were Almost Extinct

Can you imagine a world without the French Bulldog? You know that the world would be just a little less fun if that was the case. Back only a few years ago, in the 1960s in fact, there were only 106 French Bulldog registrations and there was a serious concern that if the trend continued they would cease to exist in only a couple of generations.

Fortunately, in the 1980s a resurgence of the love for the breed grew dramatically and now the numbers being registered a much more healthy figure, almost a hundred times that number from the 1960s in fact.

So, In Summary…

Hmm, how does anyone summarise the French Bulldog? Well, they are loving, caring, needy, playful and hate to be left alone. They can’t swim, can’t regulate their temperatures and don’t like exercise.

They are great with children and other pets and don’t bark much. They are not a good guard dog, although they might be good at turning that burglar into a new friend 🙂

If you’re interested in buying a Frenchie, find all the information you need to know in How Do I Buy a French Bulldog. 

Jane

I'm Jane Pettitt, co-owner of Pets Knowledge Base with my husband, Matt. I have a grand total of 50 years’ experience as a pet owner. It all started with a guinea pig called Percy when I was 5 years old and since then I’ve lived with two more guinea pigs, a hamster, mice, a rabbit, a tortoise, a dog and 11 cats. I’ve learned so much about pet care during this time and many of my articles are based on my personal experiences and those of my family and friends .

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