We're never short of reasons to love French Bulldogs and it seems others aren't either as this breed is always among the US' favorites. So what is it about this bat-eared pooch that makes it so appealing?
They are undeniably cute, with their smushed faces, adorable wrinkles and characterful ears. They’re also versatile, being happy with either a rural or urban environment. Being on the small side, they fit happily in an apartment, and don’t require a huge garden to expend indefatigable reservoirs of energy like some breeds. Instead, they’ll lap up bystanders’ compliments from the end of a leash on a trip to the park.
Their story started in 19th-century England, where they were a companion for lace-makers who then emigrated to northern France when they were displaced by the Industrial Revolution – taking their precious dogs with the across the English Channel. Over time, and possibly with a bit of Pug or Terrier involved, what we know now as the French Bulldog emerged on to the Parisian cafe scene, and its vogue spread across the Atlantic.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons this loveable breed has rocketed up the popularity rankings.
32 reasons to love French Bulldogs
1. A Frenchie’s ears
Their wonderful bat ears are their most distinctive feature: large and alert, with wide bases and rounded tips. But a Frenchie isn't born with their ears up; the process begins when they are about four to six weeks old, and only by nine months do they have fully developed ears that stand up straight.
(A Frenchie with “rose ears” are floppy and fold over half way, but these do not adhere to the standards of the American Kennel Club).
2. French Bulldogs are a neat size
Small, but sturdy. Frenchies are like a miniature Bulldog, measuring 11 to 13 inches and weighing up to 28lb. They are compact but muscular and solid. Not your average lapdog, though they fit there quite nicely.
3. French Bulldogs don’t yap
Described by the American Kennel Club as “dogs of few words”, Frenchies don’t yap or bark incessantly, unlike many small dogs.
4. They are the perfect urban accessory
Thanks to their small size and moderate exercise demands, a French Bulldog settles well into a small house or apartment, doesn’t need acres to run about in, and so is well suited to city life. In fact, the breed was developed in Paris, where he was much admired in the chic city’s cafes and salons.
5. Frenchies come in 10 beautiful colors
A Frenchie’s short, shiny coat comes in stunning colors, including brindle, cream, fawn and combinations of all three.
6. Frenchies are fun!
This is a fun-loving dog, who generally has an excellent temperament and enjoys playtime. It’s a small dog with a massive personality. Assuming they are well socialized, their easy-going character means they make ideal playmates for children.
7. They don’t shed excessively
Frenchies are blessed with a smooth, short-haired, shiny coat, which means less hair and dander flying around your home. However, the Fluffy French Bulldog and Lilac French Bulldog have longer fur.
8. No wet-dog smell
Frenchies can’t really swim! So owners have no worries about your dog coming home sopping wet and dripping all over the carpet. Due to their shape – short legs, heavy torso, short snouts – they simply aren’t built for flotation.
9. A Frenchie can do a great impression of a frog
Have you ever seen a French Bulldog lying down? They can lie flat on their stomachs with their hindlegs splayed out behind them just like a frog. The technical term is “splooting”.
10. A French Bulldog is a couch potato
Pity the Spaniel and Collie owners, your French Bulldog will happily while away most of the day on the sofa. Of course he enjoys (and needs) his daily exercise, but he’s not going to be begging you for two-hour walks every time you catch his eye.
11. Frenchies are polite
Whether it’s with people or other pets, French Bulldogs tend to be polite and peaceful. While friendly, some Frenchies are a little reserved, and never noisy – at least not in the barking department; they do make all sorts of other noises!
12. They are born entertainers
Whether it’s their comical ears, cute expressions and lying-down frog splay, or because they’re just such fun, French Bulldogs are the clowns of the dog world. They have some great facial expressions up their sleeve.
13. Welcome to the French Bulldog community
French Bulldog owners love their dogs above and beyond everything. And if you are an owner, welcome to the club. You have the most important thing in your lives in common! And, of course, as an owner of the most in-demand dog in the whole of the US, this is the largest community of dog owners. Forums, Facebook groups, and other online communities abound.
14. Less bull, more dog
Despite the name, a French Bulldog would be incapable of participating in the sport for bullbaiting for which its ancestor was bred centuries ago. Bullbaiting, banned in the UK in 1835, was essentially a battle with a bull, where the dog would bite the bull’s nose and then cling on for as long as possible. Modern bulldogs have too short a muzzle to be able to do this, and they don’t have the stamina for the sport.
15. The celebrity choice
Celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Martha Stewart and Reese Witherspoon have been spotted with a French Bulldog at their side.
16. Frenchie wrinkles
That squishy face, those adorable puckered wrinkles – they give so much character to an already adorable pooch. Just mind you clean the wrinkles and folds at least once a week to prevent infection.
17. Frenchies make the perfect soulmates
Companionable almost to the point of clingy, French Bulldogs form such strong bonds with their owners and are wonderfully affectionate. If you love canine cuddles, a cozy lapdog or just a loving presence by your side, a Frenchie is your dog.
18. That face...
While much is made of their marvellous ears, their smushed faces with big soppy eyes, puckering and a cute button nose are irresistible.
19. Cuddles from a Frenchie
If you are after a pup that will snuggle up to you on the sofa – or in bed – all day long, watch TV series, lounge around, sleep by your side, then a French Bulldog is just the ticket. Super cuddly.
20. A French Bulldog is determined
Call it bullish (obviously), or persistent – or maybe simply stubborn – but Frenchies are renowned for their determination. Not everyone takes this as a positive, but you’ve got to love a bit of a grit.
21. A perfect kids’ playmate
They are the ideal size for kids – small without being delicate, robust enough for a bit of rough and tumble, but not so heavy they’ll trample your little ones, and blessed with a friendly temperament that kids will adore.
22. A Frenchie embodies the American Dream
The plucky little dog with its roots as a companion for British lace-makers before they were displaced by the Industrial Revolution, refined in the cafes (and brothels) of Paris and eventually perfected in the US, where it is now the most cherished breed of all.
23. An artist’s muse
French Bulldogs appear in many paintings, particularly by French artists in the late 19th century, when they were gaining popularity on the streets of Paris. Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso and Degas are some of the big-name artists to have depicted the breed.
24. A famous restaurant was named after French Bulldogs
The Catalan restaurant El Bulli, which was crowned “best restaurant in the world” five times and had three Michelin stars before closing in 2011, was named after the French Bulldogs owned by the Schillings, who bought the piece of land on which the restaurant was built.
25. Frenchies make safe watchdogs
No, they don’t bark and they aren’t usually fierce, but a Frenchie will alert you to visitors or events. They know their own people, and strangers need checking out. If you want a companionable dog that will let you know when something untoward is going on without going crazy, a Frenchie is spot on.
26. French Bulldogs are people-pleasers
By their nature, Frenchies are never aggressive, fierce or angry. They are naturally adaptable, and not over-reactive. While they sometimes have a stubborn streak, it’s never nasty, just characterful!
27. A Frenchie’s little noises!
Unfortunately, due to being a brachycephalic breed (short-snouted), the French Bulldog does not breathe as freely as long-nosed breeds. So even healthy, well-bred individuals will typically snort, grunt, snuffle, snore as they go about their daily lives – but it’s really quite endearing. If you notice excessive or unusual noise, it’s a sign they need to rest, or see a vet.
28. They’re trainable – and can do tricks
Although French Bulldogs do not score very highly in Professor Stanley Coren’s intelligence rankings, the American Kennel Club rates them four out of five in terms of trainability. They are food-motivated and can be trained to do fun tricks and love to impress.
29. Frenchies are cool, calm and collected
The French Bulldog is naturally a calm breed that is not easily over-excited. They don’t have high energy levels, they don’t bark excessively and they’re generally happy to chill out – which rubs off on their owners.
30. The Frenchie ice-breaker
Shy of talking to strangers? A French Bulldog is a honeypot for friendly passers-by to compliment you on your cute dog and strike up conversation. And, of course, you can talk about your Frenchie for hours...
31. Frenchies are fashionable
The dog-owning population of America can’t be wrong – and it is among the most in-demand breeds across the globe. Not only are they in fashion, but they’re fashionable. Hollywood stars love them, and they look super-cute dressed up in specialised French Bulldog jackets and sweaters.
32. Frenchies require minimal grooming
Thanks to their short, silky coat, they only need a quick once-over to remove loose hair and distribute their natural oils. No expensive clipping or hours spent detangling. Leaving more time for cuddles!
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Martha is an experienced journalist working in both print and digital media. She specializes in the canine, equine and rural sphere where she has covered a wide range of topics from cloning animals and the ingredients for a perfect yard dog, to helping owners find the best canine GPS trackers on the market. When she’s not busy writing about dogs and horses, she’ll be found either aboard a horse or looking after the menagerie of pets in her care.