The 6 Biggest Surprises Of Owning A French Bulldog

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Are french bulldogs taking over?

Frenchies have become such a popular breed; I’m surprised they don’t rank in the Top 3. The American Kennel Club ranks French Bulldogs as sixth most popular in the US. 

Fun fact: I honestly had no idea what a French Bulldog was nine years ago. I wasn’t introduced til 2010 and my first thought (don’t hate me): that is the ugliest dog ever! I know. I was closed and now my eyes are open. I finally awoke from a bad dream, lol.

I guess that was my first biggest surprise! I get so many questions about Weston + Fira and about frenchies in general on Instagram and IRL. I am just now so in love with the breed. Here are the other 6 things that totally surprised me about having french bulldogs in my life.

1. Get used to having frenchie “glitter” all over you

I had NO idea french bulldogs shed this much. Since they have a single coat of short hair, I assumed they would be low maintenance. Their little hairs can actually be pretty coarse and stick in your clothes like needles. We’ve just gotten used to having white fur all over our clothes and gathering like dust bunnies on the floors. 

2. They’re not just couch potatoes!

With their round bodies and meaty rolls, most assume french bulldogs are lazy dogs but I’ve found that most are very active and love to run. Since Fira is so small, she does get tired eventually but Weston could run a marathon. When he was younger, I used to take him jogging with me to Runyun Canyon (stairs/hiking) and he kept right up with me. 

They love to wrestle + play and are up for a lot of activities. Although they do make great apartment dogs because of their size, it’s important to give them daily exercise.

 

3. Please don’t leave me

This breed is definitely known to be your shadow. Frenchies don’t like to be left alone for too many hours and prefer to be with their owners 24/7. Seriously. If we are all out and either Jon or I go into a store/bathroom, Weston + Fira will wait near the door and keep their eyes locked

If I’m holding one of my friends’ frenchies and they leave for a second, it’s the same thing. Their frenchie will not budge until their mom comes back.

They are definitely an affectionate breed and are your best (and most clingy) friend. 

4. Health 101

So, yes, I’m sure you’ve heard that frenchies have a lot of health problems. There are so many different factors to this, depending on how they were bred, their diet and genetics. It’s hard to tell what health issues your frenchie will have in the future, if any. Weston is 8.5 years old and has literally never been to the vet for anything. I think he may be the most least-seen frenchie at the vet, lol. Fira is 3 and she’s already had the nasal + throat palate surgery (to help with breathing) and has been to the vet for a few things (bacteria infection in her muzzle, bacterial pneumonia). But no back/IVDD/hip surgeries; knock on wood!

They definitely need more care than other dogs. Like, cleaning their folds and wrinkles to prevent bacteria from growing. Making sure they don’t jump off beds too often (can add strain on their backs) or even getting a shorter bed. We’re considering a flat japanese-style platform bed in the future. We’re going to risk our own backs instead, haha.

Frenchies also overheat. Make sure you don’t take them out for too long when it’s hot outside. I think they hate the summer because they don’t get to run outside as much! Consider a cooling vest, a cooling pad or bandana.

Many french bulldog owners get pet insurance for these reasons, so that may be something to look into. We personally didn’t get insurance for them.

5. Obsessed

Once you become a frenchie mom/dad, you will yell “FRENCHIE!” at every french bulldog on the street, on TV, at the park…

Other people will run towards your dog(s) screaming “frenchie!” “omg so cute” “can I touch?”

One time we were driving and Weston had his head poked out the back window. A guy in another car stuck his head out and yelled “FRENCHIeEeeEEee” as he drove by. Weston gets catcalled on the daily. 🙂

You will follow all the frenchies on instagram and become one of those people.

 

6. Breeders VS Adoption

I never was the type that had a specific breed in mind when wanting a dog–I just wanted a dog to love. But then when I was introduced to frenchies, with their unique looks, personality and mannerisms, it was hard not to fall in love with them. 

I just knew, I HAD to have a french bulldog.

I have this weird guilt/conflict inside about this topic. Because, I totally get it. Even with the kid topic,  we’ve talked about not having children but if we decided to to have them we would adopt.

But the thing with french bulldogs is, it’s really rare to find them up for adoption, unless you rescue which also brings a whole host of other problems. Usually, they are dropped off because people can’t afford their health bills anymore. 🙁

With purebred dogs from a reputable breeder, you pretty much know what you’re getting—even down to their unique personalities. 

It’s still a strange conflict I have and our next dog will definitely be adopted/rescued. What are your guys’ thoughts on the topic?

 

Photos by: Mary Carmen Haber

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Comments

  1. I have a well-bred princess (on Instagram- farrah.the.frenchie …who looks just like Fira), AND an FBRN rescue (Blind Mike). Great combination-one of each- and allowed us to “give back”. We scoured the FBRN site until we ran across Mike and I knew immediately he was the one for us.Our rescue was neglected and abused (and lost an eye due to a dog attack), but graciously accepts all the love we have to offer him, is a Velcro lapdog, and gets around surprisingly well even though he is completely blind. He definitely has some health issues, but nothing we can’t handle. The biggest surprise to us with rescue-ing is that we love this guy to no end. Rescues bring out a different kind of love!!! If you can do it, DO IT!!! Side note about FBRN-they are super thorough (and picky) with their main goal of finding the right home for a successful rescue!

    • Farrah is adorable!! We can’t do a third dog right now but I look at FBRN’s site occasionally to look at the available dogs. One day I want to rescue them all!! They are all so sweet. So glad Mike has a beautiful family now! 🙂

  2. When you have a Frenchie you will meet lots of cool, fun people who also love Frenchies and many of those people will become your new friends. This will make you happy and make your life better 😊💚😊

  3. I have a frenchie too @tootsie_thefrenchie and agree with every single thing you said!! She is from a breeder and I have guilt associated with that but love her as my own child and can’t imagine not having her. They are the best.

  4. Omg. So true. All of it! We have two and have found our brindle sheds less. Or maybe we just don’t see it as much as with our other ( who looks like Weston!). They are seriously the most loving little things ever. I never considered myself a dog person until I met a Frenchie! They are the most insane personalities and love bugs. Wouldn’t trade them for the world!

  5. You noted every single thing to note when you have a Frenchie and yes, we squeal, “Frenchie!” every time we see one out. I think my favourite qualities are that they are determined and so funny❤️. Thanks, Nikki!

  6. I was lucky enough to get a rescue Frenchie. She was a breeder dog at a puppy mill. Ugh! She was barely a dog when I got her. I almost surrendered her. But I fell so in love with her and now she is living the life of a princess. She is so loving and happy. She follows me around and I can barely leave her to go to work. I call her the “ mayor” because she loves everyone and her personality is amazing. I lucked out!

  7. I’m picking up first Frenchie tomorrow and it feels like Christmas Eve! I’ve been obsessed with the breed for years. I, too, feel really guilty about the rescue dog factor. I figure the next pup I get I will definitely rescue, but at least I know I am giving this frenchie pup an amazing home she may not have had other wise!

  8. Thank you for this useful article. It`s like you just recreated our experience with the most lovely breed in the world – French Bulldogs. This dog is extremely loyal and probably the best companion that you may ever get. We are now obsessed with them 🙂
    You can check us at frenchieholics.com we have interesting articles and products dedicated to our lovely breed – French Bulldog. We are new in this world of Frenchie websites, but we are trying hard. Thank you!

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