In 2022, the American Kennel Club hailed the French Bulldog as the most popular dog in America, ending the reign of Labrador Retrievers that claimed that top 1 spot for 31 years.

This loveable little dog may be small in stature but large in personality.

They are rather distinctive in appearance with their “bat-like” ears, wrinkly, squished faces, and roach-like skulls.

Our French Bulldog breed profile will help you decide if this breed is right for your family.

French Bulldog Breed ProfileThis breed is not nearly as common as most. This means that it may take you a good deal of time to find the right Frenchie for your family. There's a good chance that there isn't a breeder in your local area, so you may need to work with rescue organizations or do some traveling to find your new family member.

Don't let this discourage you.

As you'll learn in this French Bulldog breed profile, these dogs are worth the effort!

Known as one of the best companion dogs, these smart and easy-going canines are sure to make you smile.

Thanks to his short coat, the French Bulldog doesn't require much grooming, and they are easy to train.

Perhaps the most important thing you'll take away from this French Bulldog breed profile is that human contact is necessary for this breed.

Be sure you have adequate time to spend with one before adopting.

They love to be held and snuggled, and most Frenchies won't pass up a chance to lounge in your lap while you watch television.

One of the best things about Frenchies is their small stature.

This makes them ideal for dog owners living in smaller homes, such as apartments, and great travel companions.

Although they are full of energy, you won't need much space to entertain your French Bulldog.

Unlike large breeds, you can play a game of tug with these dogs in the comfort of your living room.

This French Bulldog breed profile will give you all the information you need to care for your Frenchie properly.

French Bulldog Breed Profile Infographic

Main Characteristics of French Bulldogs

For many people who want a loving lap dog, they have turned to the French Bulldog.

The breed's easy-going nature and willingness to please have become a fast favorite amongst city dwellers, the elderly, and even young families with little children at home.

French Bulldogs are small-sized dogs and are also in the medium energy range.

They enjoy short walks and lots of hours of lounging on the couch. Frenchies will also spend lots of time in the house running and playing with you on the floor.

These proud and stubborn little dogs will rarely bark for no reason, yet they’ll let you know when someone is at your house and are willing to defend their family with their lives if necessary.

Size of French Bulldogs

Every French Bulldog breed profile must touch on the size of these dogs. Frenchies are known as small dogs since they measure from 11-12 inches high at the shoulder.

Most will weigh between 16-29 pounds.

Although small, these dogs have powerful, muscular bodies. Like all breeds, the female dog is usually smaller than the males.

Lifespan of Frenchies

Most French Bulldogs will be your best friend and companion for about 11-13 years.

Of course, the way you treat your dog will have a large impact on the length of their life.

Keeping your dog healthy, well exercised, and trim will add years to their life and help to keep them out of the Vets.

Many things can affect their life expectancy; stress, loss of a beloved family member, and even abandonment can shorten their lifespan by years.

Make sure to keep your dog happy so he can remain by your side for as long as possible.

Physical Characteristics of French Bulldogs

French Bulldogs are most distinctive for their “bat-like” ears. And like their ancestors, the English Bulldog, they also have wrinkly faces.

You’ll find a broad muzzle and black nose squished amongst these adorable wrinkles.

Their eyes are low-set, small, and dark and are placed just above their muzzle.

French Bulldog Breed ProfileFrench Bulldogs give off many expressive looks in their eyes, usually expressions of alertness, curiosity, and interest.

Their bodies are well proportioned with strong necks, full-muscled chests, and small, stocky legs.

Frenchies are heavy-boned and are considered sturdy for their small size.

They have short but thick tails.

This French Bulldog breed profile will also discuss their smooth, sleek, and soft coats.

Frenchies come in many different colors and color combinations.

There are 9 standard colors that the American Kennel Club recognizes.

Some of these colors include black, brindle, fawn, and white.

Living Arrangements for Frenchies

French Bulldogs are adaptable to any living condition, but they must be indoor dogs.

They are not meant to be left outside for long periods of time, especially not when it’s hot outside.

They need to be indoors and preferably in an air-conditioned room due to their breathing issues in the heat.

If you only have a small space to live in but want a dog for a companion, a French Bulldog is a perfect option.

They can be satisfied with just a couple of short walks and some play inside the house.

Find a nice hallway and throw a ball for your dog. This small amount of exercise is adequate for a French Bulldog, and they’ll love the game.

If you’re a stay-at-home mom or work from home, French Bulldogs are great. They’ll be content to follow you around the house, and when you pick a room to work in, they’ll be content to lounge and sleep by your feet. One thing to take away from this French Bulldog breed profile is that they love to be close to their people.

RELATED: Labrador Retriever Breed Profile

If you live in an apartment or condo complex with a Frenchie, your neighbors may not even know you have a dog. They rarely bark and usually only bark when someone comes into their home.

Being lightweight, quiet, and loving to socialize, your neighbors will probably love your little Frenchie as much as you do.

No matter what stage you are in in your life, you can bring a French Bulldog into your home.

Being single, having a young family, mid-life, or even retired, you can bring a French Bulldog into your family as long as you are home often enough to give him the attention he requires.

What Else You Need to Know About French Bulldogs

French Bulldogs have a lot of great characteristics that make them a well-rounded breed.

However, we couldn't write this French Bulldog breed profile without mentioning some of their quirks.

If you don't deal with these quirks properly while training, you could end up with a feisty Frenchie that gives you a run for your money.

Most French Bulldogs are playful, smart, active, intelligent, and adaptable. But, they are known to have a stubborn streak.

If they get something into their minds, they will dig in their heels and stick to their guns unless you can entice them otherwise. This can usually be done easily with some type of food or a dog treat.

Being highly food-motivated is a characteristic of many breeds, and it isn't a bad thing.

Although it may encourage your Fido to sniff at the garbage or steal food when they can find it, it can also be a huge advantage while training.

French Bulldogs respond very well to treat training, and once you get them trained, start to ween them off and work on affection training instead.

The social nature of this breed can also cause some trouble if they aren't properly trained.

Like most family dogs, the French Bulldog wants to be around people.

As long as they are properly socialized as a puppy, they will enjoy being around other humans, pets, and small children.

Just be sure that your Frenchie learns that he can't tag along with everyone who walks by your home or jump on small children who may come for a visit.

French Bulldog Breed Profile

Best-Known French Bulldog Facts

French Bulldogs are meant to be indoor lap dogs. Their short snouts can have breathing issues, so they do best when kept calm and in cool (not cold) conditions.

DO NOT leave your dog in a car or outside in hot weather for any length of time.

The heat may suffocate any dog, but it could happen much quicker with a French Bulldog.

Unfortunately, with their cute little squished, in fact, it can cause some breathing issues. This is the main reason why Frenchies are so susceptible to heat. This squishy face also leads to other quirks, like excess drooling, snoring, and even snorting.

It could also lead to excessive flatulence, which will be worse at times. Proper food and keeping down the amount of “junk” or treats will help their digestive system.

These small, muscled dogs were once fully employed in keeping their owner's houses rat-free.  They would be sent out in cellars and surrounding fields to sniff out the rats and kill them, keeping the food supplies safe.

French Bulldog History

What would a French Bulldog breed profile be without a little history lesson?

As their names imply, French Bulldogs are an off-breed of other Bulldogs.

It is believed that they came from toy versions of English Bulldogs when lacemakers traveled from England to France for work.

The ladies of high society were so taken with them that they were kept and then bred with their own French breeds.

This is where the “bat-like” ears came from.

There was a huge debate on which ears were preferable – the rounded ears of the bulldog or the unique bat-like ones that are now the trademark of the French Bulldog.

Of course, you can see which were chosen.

In the late 1860s, after being bred with some French breeds, they were dubbed “Boule-Dog Francais.”

Their name was later changed to French Bulldog since the English were not keen on calling their dogs by a French name.

So many Americans became fond of these little dogs while visiting France that they brought them home to America.

RELATED: Top 10 Cute Dog Breeds You Can't Resist

In 1898, French Bulldogs were given a luxurious introduction into high-class society when they were given a specialty show in the ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC.

This was the first show to be given in such a prestigious location.

It was given so much press coverage that the French Bulldogs were accepted officially into the ranks of the American Kennel Club.

By 1913, The Westminister Kennel Club was overwhelmed with no less than 100 entries of French Bulldogs into their competition.

French Bulldog Breed Profile

French Bulldog’s Personality and Temperament

French Bulldogs have large personalities and need to be trained at an early age.

One important thing to learn from this French Bulldog breed profile is that your Frenchie must know the Alpha (master) in your home.

Once he learns this, you should have an easier time and have a great companion by your side.

Once your mastery is secured, you'll find that your Frenchie will be eager to please and happy to receive your attention.

With their even temperament, you’ll see that they rarely get upset and prefer to spend their time playing or just relaxing.

With their easy-going nature, they’re also well-equipped to deal with small children and their antics. French Bulldogs are well-known as one of the best family dogs.

French Bulldog’s General Health and Common Ailments

Like all breeds, French Bulldogs have genetic issues that are common among the breed.

Although we don't like to talk about them, it would be irresponsible not to mention them in our French Bulldog breed profile.

To put your mind at ease, make sure to find a reputable breeder that has their breeding stock and puppies well taken care of and checked out for any medical concerns.

Breathing Issues

With the short snout, bulldogs as a whole have breathing issues compared to the long-nosed breeds.

Due to their issues breathing, they have problems with long stretches of exercise, extreme heat, and stress.

Anything that makes them pant heavily or feel anxious will cause issues getting enough air into their system.

This is a huge problem and can cause extreme issues if your dog is not taken care of properly.

If you find your dog spitting up foam, consult your vet.

He may have pinched nostrils or an elongated soft palate – both common problems in snub-nosed breeds. Some surgery can correct this and give your dog a healthy life.

Bone Issues

Like many dogs, the French Bulldog may have an issue called Hip Dysplasia, which happens when the femur doesn’t fit properly into the pelvic socket of the hip joint.

The constant wear on the joints can bring on early arthritis.

If you adopt a Frenchie, have him checked over by a vet or get a certificate from the breeder that this check has been done.

French Bulldogs are part of the dwarf breeds (usually referred to as toy breeds).

You may find that these dogs have abnormal vertebrae or possibly premature degeneration of the intervertebral discs.

Hemivertebrae, the malformation of one or more vertebrae, is common in French Bulldogs. Often, the vertebrae will become wedge-shaped.

This disease may cause no issue at all, or it may put too much pressure on the spinal cord and lead to pain, weakness, and possibly even paralysis.

This usually doesn’t require any treatment unless there is pressure on the spinal cord.

If this is the case, leaving it alone will cause more damage to your dog.

Patellar Luxation is also worth mentioning in this French Bulldog breed profile, as it is widespread in small dogs.

This is caused when three separate parts, the femur, patella (knee cap), and tibia, do not properly line up and slip out of place.

This can make your dog lame or give him an abnormal strut when walking or running.

Your vet should be able to detect this at birth, but it may not become an issue until later on when it causes early-onset arthritis.

You may notice this in some dogs that have a bowed-legged appearance.

Severe cases may require surgery to correct them.

Intervertebral Disc Disease, also known as IVDD, occurs when a disc ruptures in the spine or herniates and pushes on the spinal cord.

Disrupting the spinal cord can cause issues with the transmissions being passed through the nervous system.

The cause of these can be random, caused by trauma to the back, age, or just a jolt to the dog's spine from a simple act of jumping off a couch.

This will be very painful and can lead to weakness or even permanent paralysis.

Make sure to take your dog directly to a vet. They can administer a non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug known as NSAIDs.

NEVER give drugs that are meant for human consumption. They can be poisonous to animals.

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In some situations, the dog may require surgery. You can also ask the vet about other methods of rehabilitation.

The key, though, is to get your dog to the vet immediately. This may be the difference between him being able to walk again or not.

Other Ailments Common for French Bulldogs

French Bulldog Breed ProfileObesity can be a common issue in any dog.

That's why it's important to talk about in this French Bulldog breed profile.

Canine obesity is an epidemic that can be controlled.

With proper nourishment and exercise, it could be a non-issue.

If your French Bulldog does become obese, it can make his breathing even harder and shorten his life span.

This will put too much pressure on his lungs and cause his already hard breathing even harder.

If your dog is overweight, no matter what breed, you need to speak with your vet immediately and get him on a weight management plan.

Cataracts are common in this breed when they get older.

Proper nourishment can help in their overall health and also aid in eye health.

Many dogs are and can become allergic to many different things, too. Keep an eye out for how your dog reacts to new food, treats, and products that you use with him and his environment.

You should have done certain tests on your dog before adopting them; get their hips, spine, knees, and eyes checked for any signs of disease or illnesses.

You can prevent many canine allergies just by eliminating them from your dog's diet or care.

Unfortunately, environmental allergens can be harder to avoid.

If you find that your dog is severely incapacitated due to his allergies, speak with your vet about what options you have to help alleviate these issues.

Von Willebrand’s Disease is a blood disorder that both dogs and humans can have. It will cause issues with the blood clotting process.

Symptoms that you can recognize for the disease include:

  • nosebleeds
  • bleeding in the mouth
  • sudden bleeding from the vagina
  • blood in the urine or stool

For females, you can also see prolonged bleeding during their heat cycle or after having puppies.

It will usually become apparent in dogs between the ages of 3 and 5.

Unfortunately, when this French Bulldog breed profile was published, there was no cure for this disease.

Thankfully, you can manage it with treatments that can include having your pet's injuries stitched or cauterized.

Make sure your vet is aware of your dog's condition before undergoing any surgery so precautions can be taken.

Cleft Palates are common in puppies, and you can fix many with surgery. Sadly, many puppies born with a cleft palate are put down by the breeder.

Cleft Palates can also be caused by injuries in older dogs. They are caused by slits forming in the roof of the mouth between the hard and soft palate.

The Cleft Palate may separate the nasal and oral cavities.

In some cases, you will also see a cleft lip as well. The only cure for a Cleft Palate is surgery, but you'll need to talk to your vet about your options.

French Bulldog Breed Profile

How To Groom a French Bulldog

A French Bulldog breed profile would not be complete without a discussion of grooming. No matter what type of dog you choose to adopt, he will need some amount of grooming.

Some more than others, of course, but even a small breed with short furs, like a Frenchie, will need some work.

These dogs have sleek, short coats. With weekly brushing, you will keep down their minimal shedding and keep their coats shiny and clean.

You’ll want to give a Frenchie frequent baths to keep their skin clear of any abrasions.

There is no need to shave or cut their coats; a nice brushing is all that is required, and your dog will love the attention that you give him.


With their upright “bat-like” ears, the French Bulldog will require very little maintenance.

Once in a while, you'll need to check the inside of their ears. Use a warm, damp cloth to wipe around the inside of the ear flap.

You can use a cotton swab to remove any amount of wax build-up – just make sure to stay away from the inside of the ear canal, or you may cause more issues than you’re trying to prevent.

By keeping the amount of wax build-up down in the ears, you will help to prevent ear infections.

RELATED ARTICLE: Homemade Dog Ear Cleaner: Best Ideas From Around the Internet


French Bulldog Breed ProfileYour French Bulldog's activities will not be enough to wear down his nails naturally.

You’ll want to make sure that you are frequently clipping or grinding down his nails to prevent any issues caused when they are too long.

Such issues can include walking, cracked or broken nails, and having his nails caught and ripped (which can be very painful and require a trip to the vet).

Keeping his nails short will make him happier and cause you fewer scratches while you’re playing with your dog.


In this French Bulldog breed profile, we've talked a lot about the effects of having a short muzzle.

Dental issues are another problem that can result in snub-nosed dogs.0 With breeds like the French Bulldog, it’s even more important to help them with their oral care.

You’ll want to brush your dog's teeth frequently. Keeping them clean and plaque-free will help your dog keep his teeth longer and have better oral health.

French Bulldog Breed Profile

How To Train a French Bulldog

Training and exercise quite frequently are the same thing for this breed.

One thing you'll learn in this French Bulldog breed profile is that they can be very stubborn and dig in their heels, but once broken of this (and they learn that you are master and Alpha), then they will follow you forever.

If you can learn to use your Frenchie's personality to your advantage while training, do it.

The key to training your French Bulldog is patience with them and maybe a few treats in your pocket.

Crate training can be a good and fun experience for your dog.

This will help to house train your dog quickly since he will not want to mess up his kennel's personal space.

Set up the crate for your dog so it’s his haven – his little home or den that’s just for him.

You may find that he’ll just go and rest in there if he wants some quiet time.

During the hot seasons, it can be useful to put some cooling pads in your dog's crate with him to help keep him cool and to help improve his breathing.

French Bulldogs require small amounts of exercise, which is one reason why they are perfect for city dwellers or those who live in apartments.

A couple of 15-minute walks or training sessions each day is sufficient to keep a French Bulldog trim and healthy, as long as you’re not overfeeding him.

Having some playtime on the floor will also be welcomed. Find some fun games you can play inside the house, and maybe even involve the kids in it, too.

Keeping it a family affair will go a long way to making the family a pack in the eyes of your dog.

Nose work is a great training exercise that will exercise your dog's body and burn mental energy. Your pup will be pooped!

RELATED: Enriching Your Dog's Life with Nose Work

As previously mentioned in this French Bulldog breed profile, Frenchies struggle in the heat.

During the warmer months, make sure to keep your play in the shade or during the cooler parts of the day.

Also, limit the amount of time you are playing. If your dog is overexerted in warm temperatures, it can affect their breathing too badly.

If it’s too warm outside, you can always enjoy some fun playtime inside, where it’s air-conditioned.

French Bulldog Breed Profile

What to Feed French Bulldogs

Since French Bulldogs are a small breed, they do not require much food.

This French Bulldog breed profile cannot specifically tell you how to feed your pet because every dog is different.

Your dog has his own specific nutritional needs, and it is best to contact your vet if you’re wondering how much to feed him throughout each of his developmental milestones.

You’ll want to split his food up over at least two meals per day.

An adult dog will only need between 1 and 1.5 cups of food a day with most dog foods.

Using higher quality food will help to limit the quantity you’ll need to give them.

Many manufacturers will have specific foods for different breed sizes, so make sure to get food meant for bulldogs or small breeds.

Best Dog Food for French Bulldogs

Picking the best food for French Bulldogs is vital to ensure proper energy levels, adequate health, growth, and cater to this specific breed's needs.

Focusing not only on good quality French Bulldog dog food with healthy ingredients but also on what your specific dog requires in terms of energy and protein should be the main focus of every owner with a Frenchie.

Here are quick picks for the best dog food for French Bulldogs:

  1. Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food, Hi Prairie Canine Formula
  2. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition French Bulldog Adult dry dog food
  3. Fromm Four Star Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, Game Bird Recipe
  4. Grandma Lucy's Freeze-Dried Grain-Free Pet Food: Artisan Chicken
  5. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Potato & Duck Formula

You can find more information on the general best dog food brands in this review.

Caring for French Bulldogs

Spending lots of time with your Frenchie is a must and possibly the most important bit of information in this French Bulldog breed profile.

These dogs are extremely social, and they'll want to be with you and your family all the time.

That's not to say that they can't be left alone sometimes, but you'll need to be sure you have plenty of time to spend with your dog if you want to adopt this breed.

How are French Bulldogs with Children?

If you haven't already picked up on this in our French Bulldog breed profile, these dogs are great for young families with small kids.

With their immense amount of patience and relaxed nature, they’re usually ready to take on the day-to-day antics of the children in their home – taking all the “love” that the kids are going to be dishing out.

For a small breed, French Bulldogs are quite rugged, which is a good thing if they're spending lots of time around children.

They’re also small enough that you won’t have to worry about them bowling over your young children as they toddle around the house.

As with any animal, you’ll want to supervise your kids' time playing with your French Bulldog.

Teaching both the kids and the dog how to play properly together is a must.

Where to Adopt a French Bulldog?

You probably didn't think a French Bulldog breed profile would include information about adopting your pet, but this part is crucial.

There are three different ways to acquire your new French Bulldog – a breeder, an adoption shelter, or French Bulldog clubs.

French Bulldogs are a rarer breed, so you’ll usually be put on a waiting list for a new puppy. Don’t be surprised when this happens.

Looking for a reputable breeder should be of your highest concern when deciding to purchase your new puppy.

Look for someone who is interested in you and your family and how you live.

You’ll want a breeder interested in the welfare of their pups and where they will be placed.

RELATED: Let's Talk – Responsible Dog Breeding

French Bulldog Breed ProfileReputable breeders will also make sure that the adults are well-taken care of, that the pups are well socialized and that the litters are in a clean and safe area.

Your breeder should be open and honest about the different diseases that are genetic in French Bulldogs, and they should have several different tests done on the puppies before you get them.

They should also be registered with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA); these tests include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and Von Willebrand’s disease.

The pups should also be tested for thrombophilia with Auburn University and have their eyes tested through the Canine Eye Registry Foundation.

Unfortunately, for many different reasons, French Bulldogs can not always stay in their home.

This does not mean that they are bad dogs or even that there is a problem with the dog.

Some could have come into the shelter due to a breakdown in the home or the passing of a loved one.

Or perhaps the previous owner didn't read a French Bulldog breed profile, and they weren't prepared to care for the pet.

Many of these dogs are great and just need a new forever home. And let’s face it, you can skip the puppy stage by doing this.

Many great sites can help you find your new companion as well, and of course, you should try to find out as much information as you can about these dogs before adopting.

This French Bulldog breed profile will help you learn about the breed in general, but you need to speak with the workers at the shelter or rescue organizations about the specific dog you're looking to adopt.

Every dog is different, and you need to be sure the dog you select will fit in well with your family.

Adopting an older dog is also great because it will be much easier to see any health issues in an adult dog.

Hip dysplasia and other genetic defaults will be much more prominent in an older dog.

Some sites to check out include:

What to Look For When Adopting a French Bulldog

Keep in mind all the information in this French Bulldog breed profile.

If you're certain that this breed is right for your family, it's time to start looking for the right Frenchie for you.

When acquiring your new puppy, you want to, first and foremost, stay clear of puppy mills.

Avoid any place that is just in it for the money and doesn’t actually care for the well-being of the dogs or where they are going to be placed.

Other signs of puppy mills are how the dogs are housed and how much litter is on the go at any given time.

Sure signs of wrongdoing are when there are no papers available for your new dog (unless you are getting a shelter dog under certain situations).

All new puppies should have their shots and be tested by vets and professionals before being sold.

You should never take puppies away from their mothers before they reach the age of 8 weeks.

They need this time to learn proper socialization skills and also have time for all of their checkups.

Questions to Ask When Adopting a French Bulldog

You can also ask any questions you would want to ask a breeder at shelters and rescue organizations. Some important questions include:

  • How is the dog around other animals?
  • How does the dog respond to the humans that come into the shelter?
  • How is the dog around children, especially if you have a young family?
  • How does the dog behave in general?
  • Is the dog already house-trained?
  • Has the dog ever bitten or been aggressive towards humans or other animals?

Make sure you know and understand your rights when adopting a puppy or dog. There are rights on both sides – the seller and buyer – make sure you research the breeder and keep an eye out for any of those red flags.

Reading this French Bulldog breed profile is great, but your dog will still need medical care right away.

Take him to a vet as soon after you get him as possible to have a full checkup done. This is to look for any issues that can be seen.

Your vet can help you with a preventive plan to keep your new dog healthy and living a long and happy life.

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French Bulldog Breed

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Patrick has been a long-time dog adopter and currently lives with his two dogs - Tarzan and Loki - in Brooklyn, NY. He is a certified dog trainer, writer on all things dogs, animal shelter volunteer, freelancer researcher of animal sciences and aspiring author.