So, let’s start with the temperament and personality of this little dog. The Frenchie is a companion dog through and through. This little dog much prefers the company of people to being isolated. They are extremely affectionate towards their family, wanting to be a part of everything you’re doing. So if you are precious about sharing your favourite spot on the sofa, this breed isn’t for you. Their affection is arguably what has made them one of the most popular breeds today but it’s worth noting that they may become possessive or protective of their owners. As a couple, you can tackle the possessive nature by training in equal parts and spending as much time with your Frenchie as your partner. But it is up to you whether you want to try and dampen their protective instincts! When training these little dogs, be prepared to come across an intelligent pet with a stubborn and mischievous side. Due to this, you may need to remind them on occasion where they are in your family ‘pack’ but consistent training should reduce the need for that.
Now, if you’ve seen any of the other French Bulldog videos, you may have heard the term ‘brachycephalic’. For those not familiar with it, it is an umbrella term for dogs with shortened muzzles, or flat faces. And they all come with some level of health concern. There are other video’s available about this topic so today I will just give you a brief overview of the key pointers.
The shortened nose gives way to issues such as noisy and laboured breathing, heat intolerance and a heightened risk of asphyxiation pneumonia. It is absolutely crucial to be aware of these issues in order to manage them effectively. To prevent excess laboured breathing, Frenchie’s shouldn’t be allowed to over-exert themselves, or be exercised in the heat. They will be far better off to miss a walk or two in the summer rather than risk heatstroke. Their inability to pant efficiently to oxygenate or cool down is a serious fault. If they were to overheat, its very time critical to get them to the vets before they go into shock. Now, I don’t want to scare any potential Frenchie owners, at Fenrir, we just want to prevent any suffering due to a lack of reliable education.
Another medical concern is the possibility of them suffering from herniated disks in their spine. Due to their compact size combined with short, curly tails, there is added pressure on their spine. It’s also possible for them to suffer from this should they fall awkwardly or be allowed to roughhouse before fully developed. Unfortunately, the only way to fix this, should it happen, is spinal surgery, which is as serious as it sounds. Good quality insurance is a must when picking this breed to bring home. Vet care is expensive, but for good reason. Do yourselves, and your Frenchie, a favour and research into reputable insurance before picking out a puppy.
The last point on this subject is going to be about the colours of French Bulldogs, and how sometimes the ‘rare’ colours hide awful medical concerns. So when buying a Frenchie, you want to be looking for the Kennel Club recognised colours of fawn, light and dark brindle, pied or a combination of these. Any thing else is undesirable. Unscrupulous breeders will market puppies as ‘rare’ which will commonly be either lilac, merle, blue or even blue merles! These are genetic faults. As simple as that. It is not something to invest in, they can come with devasting medical conditions such as being born deaf, blind, with cleft palates or just malformed. There is a reason they’re rare colours. A very small percentage of Frenchie’s classed as rare will be healthy enough to breed. Which is why, a lot of the time, especially with merles and blue Frenchie’s, they are inbred…simply to heighten the chance of the coat colour.
French Bulldogs are sturdy little dogs that, despite the fancy celebrity status that has helped boost their popularity, benefit from a simple, wholesome diet.
You want to check for real protein sources such as lean muscle, fish, seeds ect. Dogs are carnivores by nature, you want their food to include animal proteins wherever possible. Essential fats are another key part of their diet, key word being essential. The fats you want to be aware of in your Frenchie’s diet is omega 3 and 6. A fish based diet of either salmon, mackerel or sardines would give your dog an abundance of these fats. But for a less smelly option, pork, beef, hemp and flax seeds are also good option. Now to the non-essential aspect of their diet; carbs. This aspect is very dependent on the activity level of your Frenchie, for example, grains, rice or potatoes. These are less digestible and can be high in sugar. Instead try them with blueberries, apples, carrots, bananas, pumpkin seeds or almonds, to name a few. To keep their carbohydrate intake low, use their favourite option as training treats. This will ensure they work for their carbs, meaning they’re less likely to become overweight!
Lastly, vitamins and minerals. If you choose a more raw-based diet, a lot of the protein, fat and carb sources I have mentioned contain a varied combination of what a French Bulldog needs. But if you instead decide on looking for a ready-made kibble or wet food. I’ll tell you the ones to look out for! The vitamins to include are D, E and B1, which can be found in good protein and carbohydrate sources. But don’t worry too much about vitamin C as dogs do actually manufacture it themselves! For minerals, you want to look for magnesium, selenium, phosphorous, manganese, sulphur and iodine. Again, these can be found in the forementioned protein, carb and essential fat sources.
Now, this can sound over-whelming, we aim to educate and guide all types of dog owners here at Fenrir. So we recommend to always consult a vet or registered canine nutritionist if you have concerns or queries.
Right, let’s do a quick recap of the key points we’ve made today. These popular dogs will be an extremely affectionate companion, they will give you so much love. But that isn’t to say they wont sometimes test your patience! Be sure to mentally stimulate them to satisfy the mischief maker in them. Whilst they do come with some medical concerns, they can be manageable should you do the appropriate research. Buy from a respected breeder, or rescue one, and do your part, educate yourself on the breed.