French Bulldog

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French Bulldog


french-bulldog-frenchieRecommended for:  Singles, families

Maintenance level:  Low

Lifespan:  12-16 years

Temperament:  Gentle, friendly

Health Risk: High probability of health issues during its lifetime, hence it is one of the more expensive breeds to insure.



The French Bulldog is a very energetic and loyal companion. A small sized, playful dog with a good reputation for playing nice with kids, the French Bulldog has been a favourite of urban dwellers since the mid-1800s, into the early 20th Century and is now seeing new popularity with the modern Australian family.

The French Bull Dog is of small to medium stature and has a lean and muscular build. The appearance and characteristics of the breed are large heads and short legs. They don’t require a lot of space to keep them occupied and have proven a popular choice for people living in apartments.

Banner-BreedSelectorAlthough the breed requires little dedicated exercise, consistent human contact is required and indoor living is a must. A healthy French Bulldog will weigh between 10 – 13kgs. The French Bulldog will generally live for between 12-16 years.


The origin of the French Bulldog goes back to the ancient world. The dogs of Molossian Greeks ended up being spread throughout the ancient world by traders and, once in England, the Molossian dog was developed into the Mastiff.

French Bulldog Lying DownThe Bullenbeisser, a sub-family breed derived from the Mastiff were used in the practice of bull-bating, a sport where specially trained dogs would attack a restrained bull one at a time. This practice was made illegal in England in the early 1800s and the bull dogs had no working use. After some cross breeding with terriers and pugs in in England in the mid-1800s, the Toy Bulldog puppy was born.

These small bulldogs found their way to France during the industrial revolution. They came with lace workers from Nottingham who had crossed the channel to settle in Normandy. The bull dog puppies quickly gained popularity on the continent and dog breeders in England started sending more and more animals to France. It’s from here and the help of French Bulldog breeders that the breed gained the name Bouledogue Francais or the French Bulldog to us in Australia.

Throughout the rest of the 1800s the French Bulldog remained the height of fashion for all tiers of French society. The French Bulldog also proved very popular in the United States of America and made its arrival to England in the 1890s.

The French Bulldog remained in vogue for high society well into the 20th Century with the breed in the top five between 1909-1914. And in 2013 The Kennel Club of America claimed the breed to be the 11th most popular in the United States.



The French Bulldog is a playful, friendly and reliable domestic dog. Small, spirited and affectionate, the French Bulldog is a popular choice for families as they have a good reputation for being gentle with children and aren’t the type to bark without good reason.

Known in the UK affectionately as the pig dog or the Frenchie, the breed is popular for its unique appearance and clownish, good-spirited behaviour.

The French Bulldog doesn’t require any level of dedicated exercise beyond a daily walk to remain healthy, but a great deal of human connection is essential to their wellbeing.

Although very loyal and a dependable companion, the energetic French Bulldog can be a challenge to train. They require patience and a consistency in their management. Socialising them at an early age is also highly recommended.

French Bulldog Running


The French Bulldog is an active dog and a relatively healthy breed overall. There are a few conditions, health issues and problems that affect the breed, however, especially in warmer conditions like an Australian summer. The French Bulldog will often encounter difficulty regulating body temperature and this can result in some complications.

The French Bulldog will often suffer from back or spinal problems over the age of five. This is perhaps due to the dwarf qualities selected by breeders.

  • Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome

Because the French Bulldog has a compacted snout and airway, it may encounter problems with the regulation of its temperature. This can be lethal for a French Bulldog if not carefully monitored. Subjecting the breed to extreme temperatures must be avoided.

The effects of brachycephalic airway syndrome occur in all breeds of dogs but are especially noteworthy in French Bulldogs. It is a major condition for the breed and can result in attacks of severe respiratory distress.

  • Von Willebrand’s Disease

This is a disease that is quite common in French Bulldogs. Von Wiellebrand’s Disease causes clotting problems in the blood. Failure for the blood to clot properly can result in a number of serious health issues.

  • Megaesophagus

It’s quite common for French Bulldogs to regurgitate the contents of their stomach after exercise or eating. This condition has to do with a number of esophageal disorders that fall under the condition of megaesophagus.

If not monitored and treated, the continued regurgitation of phlegm and food associated with megaesophagus can result in a case of aspiration pneumonia.

  • Corneal Ulcers

French Bulldogs are susceptible to corneal ulcers once over the age of five. The ulcers are usually caused by abrasions to the eye like rubbing on carpet or a cat scratch. A less common cause is a bacterial infection.

Corneal ulcers are very painful. Dogs will rub the eye with their foot or on a rough surface to try to relieve the soreness.

  • Pannus

Pannus is the abnormal growth of tissue over the cornea and can affect the French Bulldog. Cherry eye is a common term for prolapse of the third eyelid gland. The result is a third inverted eyelid.

French Bulldog Puppy


French Bulldogs have found a special place in many hearts over the years and there have been some notable owners. Artists, socialites and even kings have owned a Frenchie or two.

King Edward VII owned a French Bulldog, as did the author Colette. Tsar Nicholas Romanov owned a number of French Bulldogs and so did Toulouse-Lautrec.

A French Bulldog travelling on the Titanic in 1912 was apparently ensured by its owner for the sum of $750, a huge amount of money at the time.

Bulldogs have suffered the highest rate of deaths during airline travel. This is due to the respiratory problems that can arise in transit.

Over 80% of bulldogs are born by caesarean section due to problems that often arise during natural birth. This can be put down to the large heads and muscular shoulders that are a characteristic of the breed.

French Bulldogs, or any bulldog for that matter, aren’t natural swimmers.

French Bulldogs can become aggressive towards other dogs, especially those of the same sex. To avoid problems down the track, socialise your French Bulldog often, starting from a young age.

Bulldogs are nearly as popular now as they were in the late 1800s and early 20th Century. Notable celebrity owners include: Hugh Jackman, Leonardo DiCaprio and David Beckham.




The French Bulldog Club of NSW:

French Bulldog Pet Insurance Quote

Getting pet insurance for your French Bulldog will help ensure you can always afford the best vet care for them. Bow Wow Meow offers a range of flexible pet insurance options including cover for accidental injury, illness and routine care.

Wondering how much it would cost to insure your French Bulldog if you got one? It’s quick and easy to get a pet insurance quote.
(Note: dogs must be over 8 weeks old to take out insurance, so please enter a birth date to reflect this when getting an indicative quote.)

November 23, 2017
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