With the face of a gargoyle, ears of a bat and soul of a pixie, the French Bulldog is a curious blend of intimidating looks and charming personality.
French Bulldogs started life as undersized "toy" Bulldogs that were taken to France from England in the mid 1800s. In France they became a big hit with the Parisian women---especially with the street walkers. But the upper class ladies also fell for them by the late 1800s, and the little dogs also appealed to wealthy Americans (Including the Rockefellers and J.P. Morgans) traveling abroad. They commanded huge prices and everyone wanted one. By 1906 they were the fifth most popular breed in America.
These days Frenchies are experiencing a resurgence in popularity, although now they appeal to people of all stations.
Frenchies are comics and cuddlers, but most of all, they love to play. They especially enjoy toys. Avoid too much exercise in hot weather, as they can't cool easily. And avoid swimming, as they can't float!
Frenchies are one of the few small breeds prone to joint problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia. It's important to prevent your Frenchie from getting overweight, which can add stress to the joints. When dieting a dog, you must make sure he gets enough vitamins. We suggest supplementing with a good multi-vitamin, probiotics and, if the coat is dry, a fatty-acid supplement.
Like all flat-faced dogs, Frenchies are champion gas-passers. Adding a anti-gas pill to his meal is a must! It may also help prevent the serious problem of bloat, in which gas is trapped in the stomach.
French Bulldog coat care can be both easy and hard. Easy, because the hair is short and requires only a quick brushing to remove dead hair once a week. Hard, because the folds of skin can harbor moisture and set up an ideal location for infections. To combat this you must clean dry any recessed skin areas, especially those around the face, between the eyes and nose, and at the union of the tail and back. Clean the folds with an antibacterial wipe and dry thoroughly. For some Bulldogs, once a week will suffice; for others, once a day.
Allergies and sensitive skin can also be a problem. Bathe with an avocado oil or oatmeal based shampoo.
Apply an ear cleanser any time the ears start to accumulate dark secretions. Some ear wax is healthy; a lot is not. If you must apply ear medication, use the ear cleanser first to remove thick secretions that would block the medication from reaching the surface of the canal.
Brush the teeth daily.
Clip the nails every two weeks or so using a medium-duty dog nail clipper.
Although perpetual puppies at heart, Frenchies can be slowed by age-related physical changes, such as arthritis. Besides any intervention recommended by your veterinarian, a soft cushion to lie on and glucosamine chondroitin supplements added to the diet can help soothe aching joints, and keep him as young in body as he is in spirit.