In hopes that I can give my readers some insight into dog breeds’ personalities, I am featuring different breeds each week. I will give a little history about the breed, i.e., what they were bred to do, talk about their personalities, and provide advice on the lifestyle needs of the breed. Remember, as I always say, every dog is an individual. Some dogs will exactly fit the breed characteristics while others may be nothing like it.

My friend’s daughter fell in love with the looks of the French Bulldog but really knew nothing about them. As a first time dog owner, I had to warn her – they are stubborn little doggies! Bulldogs, through and through.

Just like the Boxer, French Bulldogs have their origins with the now-extinct Bullenbeisser Mastiff in the early 1800s. To get the smaller version of the Frenchie we know today, it was probably crossed with a Pug and some kind of terrier where it gets its pointy, bat-like ears. Brought to France by laceworkers, the Frenchie was used to hunt rats and became popular as companion dogs due to their small size. The American Kennel Club admitted them in 1905 as a separate breed from the English Bulldog.

French Bulldogs are not for the first-time dog owner. You need experience and patience in order to deal with their bullheadedness.  Although they are very affectionate and love attention, they will take advantage of an owner who spoils them. Frenchies need a strong leader or else they will not listen to you. You must be a leader who controls the resources for the dog, or else the dog controls you. Early training and socialization are vital, so important for all dogs. As with all bulldogs breeds, they were bred to be tenacious and strong. Positive rewards training will teach your Frenchie how to behave nicely.

Frenchies make great dogs for people who live in apartments or small dwellings. They don’t bark too much and do not require a lot of exercise. In fact, too much exercise, especially in the heat, can be harmful. They are brachycephalic – their muzzles are very short – and can have severe breathing problems. They do snore and can make funny noises. If this will bother you, consider another breed.

French Bulldogs love to play and are very comical. Expect to spend a lot of time entertaining your Frenchie. Some may play all day long while others may only require a short playtime and then enjoy cuddling on your lap. Like humans, they all have unique personalities!

If raised and socialized with children when young, Frenchies are great with kids. When your children are old enough, be sure to engage them in being the dog’s leader too. The whole family must be consistently controlling the resources for the dog. If one person spoils the dog, then the dog will take charge and you will have problems.

I have known of French Bulldogs with genetic liver issues, most likely due to improper breeding. If you are looking to get a puppy, please do not get a dog from a pet store, from the Internet, or from a farm. Read more about how to find a good breeder on my web site: http://www.chrisshaughness.com/finding-a-good-breeder/

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