The French Bulldog, Dog Breed Characteristics ( Health Problems)

The French Bulldog has now become the most popular dog breed in the UK in 2018.

There is no doubt that this breed make amazing companions, they are intelligent and comical dogs which fit easily into people’s lifestyles. However, due to the anatomy of the dogs and poor breeding, the French Bulldog has severe health implications that all prospective puppy owners should be aware of.

Here are a few facts about the French Bulldog

Weight

18 -30 pounds

Height

Around 12 inches.

Appearance

Compact, short, muscular with heavy bones.

Round cheeks, very wrinkled at the nose.

Bat-like ears upright with rounded tips

Broad chest, narrow hips.

Lifespan

9-11 years

Temperament

Intelligent, playful, patient, loyal and affectionate.

French Bulldog

 

Possible French Bulldog Health Problems.

French Bulldogs are prone to many health issues including Hip Dysplasia, Brachycephalic Syndrome, and Patellar Luxation, so good breeding is paramount.

The dogs are undeniably cute and playful but very expensive to buy and prone to health problems. The reason why French Bulldogs are so expensive is because they are notoriously difficult to breed. The shape of the dog makes conception and delivery very difficult and vet intervention is usually needed. The breed have large heads and narrow pelvises which means that cesarean births are often required.

Some health problems can be avoided by screening like eye and hip problems. However, health problems often occur because of the short muzzle. In addition, the physiology of the dog’s face makes surgery difficult.

There is a post about ‘brachycephalic’ dog breeds and the health problems associated with them here

The breed is described as ‘low energy’ but this is because the muzzle doesn’t allow enough oxygen to flow and the dogs get out of breath easily. They also tend to overheat in hot weather so caution is needed in the hotter months.

Origins of the French Bulldog Breed

French Bulldogs actually originated from British Bulldogs. Nottingham lace makers moved to Normandy after the Industrial Revolution and took a miniature version of the British Bulldog with them.  They became extremely popular in France and renamed the smaller dogs the French Bulldog. American society ladies spotted the trend and paid huge sums of money to own one.

My Thoughts on French Bulldogs

I love this breed and have always wanted to own one. I love their playful natures, little compact bodies, and sharp intelligence. However, selective breeding has made life uncomfortable for these dogs and it would be hard for me to observe on a daily basis. Surgery can alleviate health problems, high-quality breeding gives some reassurance but there is a long way to go to give these dogs a better quality of life.

From a rescue perspective, I can foresee massive problems arising. Unfortunately, some owners will be willing to pay a huge initial cost for a puppy but refuse to pay high medical costs too. Therefore many sick dogs, (most requiring surgery,) will be handed over to rescues.

I think that we need to educate prospective owners that going to a reputable breeder is important and also point out the health problems which French Bulldogs may suffer.

There is no doubt that these are fun loving, loyal, adorable family dogs and it is so important that we give them the care that they deserve.

Do you own a Frenchie, what is your experience of the breed?

Additional Reading

French Bulldog vs Boston Terrier, breed of dog comparison

 

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