French Bulldogs are on the small side. They have compact, big-boned, muscular frames with smooth coats and “bat-like” ears. Their square heads have rounded skulls, broad muzzles and black noses. Their eyes are small, dark and set low on the face—just above the muzzle. Frenchies have strong necks, full chests and short, stocky legs. Their tails are short and thick, and their soft coats come in solids or combinations of brindle, fawn and white. Overall, French Bulldogs look alert, friendly and sturdy.
French Bulldogs may look tough on the outside, but inside they are lovably soft, caring and easygoing. These dogs spread the good vibes wherever they go. Outgoing and open, they love nothing more than to cuddle on the couch, romp on the carpet or play in the yard. Boasting unlimited energy, they sometimes have no idea when (or how) to stop their motors. But, with a Frenchie, things never get out of hand. They rarely lose their cool, snap or bark. They simply want to roll around and play.
Great for apartments and city life, French Bulldogs can deal with confined spaces and known how to turn on the charm with new people. They can be protective, however, and will bark ferociously if an intruder drops by for a visit.
French Bulldogs are pleasant and sociable companions with few faults. The worst you could say about them is that they snore—and you can quickly get used to that. But, as adaptable and low-maintenance as they are, keep in mind that French Bulldogs should not be left alone in the house for too long. They are people-oriented dogs that crave attention and interaction.
A healthy French Bulldog can live as long as 12 years. Common health issues include eye problems and breathing problems that result from overeating. Feeding them smaller meals is a good practice. Also bear in mind that Frenchies are sensitive to extreme temperatures, preferring cooler climates to hot ones. If they spend too much time playing in the sun, they can suffer from heatstroke.
Though the French Bulldog’s ancestry is still hotly debated, most dog experts agree that a throng of toy-sized English bulldogs were sent to France during the 19th century to mix with various French breeds and create the Boule-Dog Francais. Even back then, opinions differed on which features resulted in a true French Bulldog. The Americans stepped in, forming the first French Bulldog club, and a 1898 show in New York City catapulted these dogs to stardom.