The French Bulldog is easily recognised by his large bat ears. A flat-faced, small dog, he has a short, glossy coat that comes in brindle, pied or fawn. The Frenchie stands at about 27-34.5cm when fully grown. Adult males weigh 12.5kg and adult females 11kg.
The Toy Bulldog breed was a popular companion of lacemakers in the Midlands, whose dogs accompanied them to the factories. Workers who moved to France with their trade took their dogs with them, where they bred with shorter-faced dogs to create the Frenchie that we know today.
The French Bulldog is a fun-loving dog, who is full of life and affectionate towards his loved ones. He is a courageous dog who thinks he is many times bigger than he actually is, and is unlikely to back down if picked on by another dog (some dogs cannot 'read' the flat face and take exception to the Frenchie).
The most common health problems encountered in the French Bulldog relate to their flat face, which may result in obstruction of their airways and a difficulty in breathing. Over-exercising and over-heating is therefore to be avoided. They are also prone to skin infections, eye problems, hip and elbow dysplasia (joint conditions that can be painful and lead to mobility problems) and spinal disorders.
The Frenchie doesn't require very much exercise, compared with some breeds: about an hour's exercise daily should suffice. Do ensure that he is protected from the heat, as he can suffer heat exhaustion and respiratory distress if exercised in warm weather, due to his flat face. Exercise him in the early morning and late evening in the summer.
Small dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.
The short, close, glossy coat requires minimal grooming – a weekly brush is more than enough. However, the facial wrinkles do need regular cleaning, too, and the ears can also be prone to problems and will need frequent checks and regular attention.