Table of Contents
French bulldog puppies are very cute critters. Just look at them: robust, short, wide muzzle, hilarious expression and overwhelming curiosity; these traits have earned them huge popularity all over the world. A French bulldog puppy can grow into a universal dog – a defender, a companion, and a true family member all at the same time. Some people may think of them as just some recreational breed that brings only joy and fun into every day, but these fabulous dogs are something more than just a particularly nice and sociable breed. In order to reveal the undisputed versatility of this breed and its smaller representatives, we have prepared for you an article that will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about French Bulldogs and puppy Frenchies.
There’s always a big history behind every breed. While, scientifically, all dogs derive from primeval wolves, their appearance may get anyone baffled. While a wolf is a big beast, wild and ferocious, the French bulldog looks like a timid frog sitting in a pond hiding from the dangers of the world. How can it be possible that two creatures so genetically alike have such tremendous external differences in terms of build and appearance? One thing that scientists can cite about the particular Frenchies’ look is that it was altered by natural causes in order to correspond to specific climates, and the purposes of its use.
The origin of Frenchies started with Molossian dogs (ancient Greek tribe). Later on, Phoenician traders spread these funny-looking dogs all over the world. British dogs developed into Mastiffs that were very popular with the locals up until the mid-1800’s when bull-fighting sport was finally abolished. In order to correspond to the new rat-chasing game, breeders had to enhance dogs by turning them into burrowing species who were very agile for hunting small prey. Thus, the first bulldogs were crossed with terriers or with pugs for specific demands of the customer. In a short period of time, a relatively new breed appeared – named the French Bulldog. But what has an English dog has to do with the French label? Being displaced by the industrial revolution, workers and common folks from Nottingham left their native country for the Normandy region, France. They took small bulldogs with them that, in no time at all, became very popular with high society. They were miniature so a madame could take it with herself for a promenade or into a reading club, and the dog was as popular and highly demanded as a pearl necklace or a Chinese fan. This dog fashion implied certain demands, such as only miniature dogs with stand-up ears were ordered. Therefore, in order to correspond to this fashion, the breeders carefully selected puppies that were earlier considered “faults.” The French gave the new breed a name, “Bouledogue,” that actually comprises two words – “boule” as “ball” and “dogue” standing for the English “Mastiff.”
Character and Temperament
Before we speak specifically about puppies, we should reveal a very complex and versatile personality of the breed. In order to not be verbose, we’ll present all of the important and worthwhile facts that you should know about French bulldogs.
- Their best qualities are adaptability and charm. While adaptability stands for their ability to get used to living in an all-new environment with other people and animals, their charm is something that every owner decides for himself. However, all of them agree on one thing: these dogs really do make a difference!
- By default, Frenchies always seek the attention and friendship of anyone they meet, whether it be another human or animal. Initially, you will not have any problems with socialization and anger control.
- Being a very alert dog, your Frenchie will never bark for no reason. If the dog is concerned about something, it will certainly draw your attention on purpose.
- They may be very persuasive. A bulldog constantly following you from one room to another is not something outstanding. However, it will not cause any nuisances. They want to be aware of your whereabouts just like you are about them, and your friends and family.
- They are stubborn, especially when it comes to training, but it doesn’t mean they’re stupid. You need to make a good impression and arouse curiosity in them. If you train them like a sarge in “Full Metal Jacket,” it won’t work. Be playful and pause the fun from time to time by asking them to give a you paw or sit.
- Any Frenchie is an independent piece of work. Therefore, you should never reward or tolerate unwanted behavior. There always must be a leader and it will be better for the both of you if this leader is you.
- Any bulldog is a born actor: they draw attention and even demand it. They need an audience that will appreciate all the efforts you both applied when learning commands.
- Praise words and rewards for good behavior like barking on alert, giving a paw, executing a command and so on are an absolute must. This is not advice on proper training but is a precaution against non-recommended rough, angry tones of communication that your Frenchie won’t like at all.
- Being a dog means constantly manifesting his own rights for some territory and hierarchical stance. Thus, when you hear your dog snarling or growling, it means that somebody is about to be taught a lesson on dominance. To deal with this, show your dog that no matter who the adversary it’s dealing with is, you are the boss.
What can be concluded from all the facts mentioned above? They are versatile but stubborn, entertaining but importunate, vigilant and somewhat intolerable centers of attention. Putting it briefly – they are unique.
Advice on Buying a Puppy
Buying a puppy is not as easy as it may sound. Remember that you are going to buy a living being who will be sharing joy and sadness with you for many years to come. Make sure you get the best one – healthy, socialized, and from a seller with a good reputation.
When buying a puppy, a pet shop, puppy farm, or puppy broker must be excluded at all times!
To begin the careful selection of the dog and the seller, you should know that any dog that has a color other than Pied, Fawn or Brindle is NOT considered unnatural. According to the Kennel Club Standard, the coat may be deemed an “undesirable” or non-typical. Thus, a French bulldog puppy of lilac, chocolate, tan & black or merle color patterns are rare fashion colors and also are a marketing tag having nothing to do with the three aforementioned officially recognized colors. Such colors are very rare and hence are not allowed to attend dog shows, as their extraordinary rarity simply overpowers other colors. We’ll speak more about their colors later.
When buying a puppy, a pet shop, puppy farm, or puppy broker must be excluded at all times! Why? They do not guarantee (according to FBC of England) you a healthy puppy with a proven record of breeding concerning its parents. Reputable breeders need no advertising as the name and their reputation speak for themselves. They breed only one particular type, thus ensuring the highest standards of health and behavior possible. Moreover, such breeders can provide you with the history of any chosen puppy: parents, height and weight at birth, age, vaccination records etc. In order to find the best breeders specializing in French Bulldogs only, contact the American Kennel Club for more information on breeders with a proven reputation. Now that you know the best option is to contact a reputable breeder, let’s point out the signs that you should pay attention to when picking a puppy:
- “Rare,” “one of a kind,” “exotic,” and “mini” are merely tags. If someone proposes such a puppy, reject it.
- Someone is selling a puppy too cheap. Breeding and raising a French bulldog puppy is not cheap at all. If you see an advertisement offering a puppy for 1500 USD or less – that’s a red flag.
- A decent breeder will always present you with a health guarantee against hereditary defects, dully completed in written form.
- Whether you buy a puppy or adopt it, you have the right to know everything about it: age, weight, height, body anomalies, recently cured diseases, hereditary particularities (behavior, coat), possible and typical health conditions, and all papers stating “this puppy is healthy, has undergone all required vaccinations and is ready for sale.” When you pay such a large sum of money (a Frenchie will cost you somewhere between 2000-3000 USD), you have the right to know everything about the puppy. If the seller doesn’t want to or cannot present you with all the information needed, it’s a sign to consider.
- When buying a puppy, pay attention to the conditions in which it is kept: is it cage or a pen, has it got enough space, food, water and toys? Any puppy is a living being that requires a minimum set of conditions like space for rest, play and socialization with other mates, food and water, and veterinary control. Ff the seller fails to present decent conditions, he is just a moneymaker and not a responsible dog keeper.
- When picking a puppy, watch it for some time in its natural habitat. Does it play with other puppies? What sounds does it make? Do you see any particularities with its appearance and walk? There are many signs that a buyer will commonly pass by. If the dog is sitting in the corner and is not playing with other dogs; if it’s constantly scratching itself; if its whining for no apparent reason; if it behaves aggressively towards other puppies; if its eyes are red and inflamed and the coat has sores, it is evident that this puppy needs vet help.
- Take the puppy and examine him carefully: palpate its rib cage and waist. You must feel ribs but not see them. A visible waist means that the puppy is properly fed and is neither fat nor skinny.
Now you know how to pick the best puppy. Nevertheless, what puppies can you meet at breeder’s?
Types of French Bulldog Puppies
As we already know, there are only three types of puppy coloring – fawn, brindle and pied. Nevertheless, naturally there are more mixed types than exclusively one color. The American Kennel Club has its own standards that state that acceptable colors are brindle, fawn and pied and any color except those constitute disqualification. Solid black, mouse, liver, black and tan, black and white, and white with black, are disqualifications based on the standards of dog shows only! It means that your puppy may be of any color that is natural with the breed and it won’t stand as a warning sign, meaning that your dog is prone to certain diseases more than any other Frenchies.
Different genes within the same parents may produce a litter with different colors and patterns. Some genes are recessive while other are dominant. The math with genes works simply: if both parents show recessive genes, then the offspring will show them as well. If parents share opposite genes, the dominant will be more evident than the recessive gene, but the future may result in the recessive gene as the puppy may give an offspring with a recessive genes bearer. Why is it important to know? When you see two French puppies sold together but with a big price gap between them, you will learn to know that coloring patterns do matter. Without going deeper into this “DNA verbiage,” what can be concluded is that:
- Brindle is dominant over fawn.
- A uniform color is dominant over piedness.
- A rare “chocolate” is a recessive color.
- Rare blue coat is also recessive but not uncommon.
- Pure black is rare and is a recessive type.
- Pure black with tan or pure blue with tan are extremely rare and a puppy can be worth its weight in gold.
We think that there may be some confusion over all these variations and genes, so we are going to explain three big types that comprise each other, including crossed patterns and some of the strangest combinations that one may see in dog coat coloring:
- Simply put, it is a pup of white dominant color with patches of other colors.
- A pups coat is, by default, of a dark color such as blue, chocolate or black but may have lighter hairs of another color mixed in. Often such puppies show a white patch on chest, neck or head. According to AKC, all brindle dogs are of acceptable colors. Patches of blue and chocolate are both recessive traits and are considered quite rare.
- This color includes any tone from cream to red. Cream can range from deep amber to eggshell or pale gold. The interpretation of color may be different, but one thing is clear – all puppies, no matter what their color, are lovely.
- Blue brindle/blue. This is the result of a diluted gene that is inherited, like blue eyes in humans. Due to the gene, black hair becomes bluish gray and sometimes aluminum-like. Even pigmentation of the nose and pads is of the same color. Naysayers may spout that “the blues have a higher incidence of health issues” but it is false. Blue puppies are hard to find and they are at least 50% more expensive.
- Blue-fawn. This is a variation of blue, wherein fawn is diluted with blue color seen only in the masking points of the pup’s face. They are also rare.
- Black brindle. Such a coat may appear as dark as fresh oil, but a closer look will reveal that the coat has a few light hairs.
- Tiger brindle. A regular pattern with black and fawn stripes that Is reminiscent of a tiger’s coat.
- Reverse brindle. A puppy is brindle but the fawn color is more dominant than the default dark brindle.
- Another very rare color that can range from a milk chocolate to dark brown-chocolate. Not only the coat shows particular coloring but the nose, pads, nails and even eyes as well!
- Also a rare type of coloring, it is initially fawn (reddish or darker) but has some hairs tipped in black alongside completely black hairs that evenly cover the whole coat, not just some patterns or areas. When you look at this dog, you see almost a palette of shading becoming heavier when going to the upper body while legs show no sign of black at all.
- Pure blue and pure black. Extremely rare colors that are unfortunately considered non-qualifying. Such puppies are very expensive. The pure blue coat is even more expensive than black is. Such puppies do not qualify for dog exhibitions because of the rarity of color that by default may overpower other colors.
- Black and tan. These marking patterns are considered the ultimate rarity! Such pattern is the result of recessive genes that are very uncommon in Frenchies. Don’t forget that any coloring other than common doesn’t signify that this particular dog is defective.
Hopefully this short and yet informative excursion will shed enough light onto the very important question of French bulldog coat colors.
Before Bringing Your French Bulldog Puppy Home
Before welcoming home the new member of the family, you have to prepare all of the necessary things to make the puppy feel comfortable from the early days. Let’s go through the list of necessities.
- Food bowl and water dish
Put two bowls out for food and water. They should be made of stainless steel; as plastic accessories may become chewing toys.
- Puppy food
Any starter chow will do just fine. After you receive your puppy, you are recommended to use some special puppy food (for example, Medium Starter Puppy Chow by Royal Canin). After the first short period of feeding, you can make the transition to a small dog chow, then after another 1-2 months you can go to medium dog/adult dog chow. Such transition ensures that your pup’s tender intestine is able to digest high-calorie food with more fiber in it. If you want to change the dog food brand, do it gradually: alongside 90% of his usual portion, add 10% of the other brand that you want your puppy to switch to. After the first 3-4 days, make the ratio 2/8 and then every week add 10-15%, so that 1 month after you may switch completely to the other brand. It is done in order to prevent possible indigestion or other serious eating disorders.
Some tasty and crunchy things like dog chips, fake bone dog cookies, or even hot dogs and chicken meat can help a lot during command training. Treats must be given as a reward or for good behavior/doing something well.
- Collar and leash
Frenchies, unlike other long-nose dogs, have rather thick necks but a less efficient breath, so you should begin walking your dog on a leash from an early age. If the dog is stubborn and doesn’t want to walk, you should nevertheless try walking on a leash (Y-shaped or 8-shaped) so that the puppy learns not to put excessive pressure on his trachea while walking.
- Pen and pee pads
If you want to potty-train your puppy (read more at How to Potty Train a Puppy), you need to keep him in a confined area for some time. A pen is the best choice because it gives more space than a kennel and is easy to access. Pee pads are a must as accidents will happen.
Chew toys and bones for your puppy are a great tool of helping them go through early teething. Safe and reliable toys will help him avoid chewing shoes and table legs. A toy must be solid and not be able to splinter, as it is potentially hazardous! Any small object that may devoured will certainly be devoured, so a pen, toys and some space within the pen are a necessary countermeasure against possible troubles. There is a tremendous variety of puppy toys on the market – try to offer your puppy different toys and see which one becomes his favorite.
- Dogs shampoo and tooth paste
Systematic washing and teeth brushing may pay big dividends in the future. When playing with toys, your puppy will be biting and chewing them, thus constantly renewing teeth enamel. But what about the paste? You should apply it but not brush! Dog’s saliva doesn’t contain enzymes needed for food particles to breakdown. Dog paste has those enzymes. Put some paste on your finger and brush it on his gums and teeth, forward and backward. Doing it regularly will save you much money on expensive cleaning trips to the veterinary clinic.
- Optional stuff
Optional things are clothes, nail clippers, and a doggy pillow. But a doggie gate (which is the same as the baby gate) may be considered as a necessity if you want to forbid your puppy access to other rooms before the potty-training is completely done or you don’t want your pup to fall down the stairs.
Caring after your Frenchie is very easy. Thankfully, they have a very short coat and need less grooming. You may brush him once a week with a rubber hound glove or bristle brush. That’s all it takes! Also, bathe him once every month and it will be more than enough.
If you live in area with a humid and hot climate, hose your Frenchie down at least 3 times a day.
Although Frenchies don’t shed much, they lose their undercoat two times a year, during fall and spring. At this time, you should use a special grooming mitt/stripping comb to remove excessive hair.
Another vital routine is nail trimming. If you walk your dog on a concrete surface, its nails are grinding off naturally. Otherwise, you’ll have to trim nails his once every month so that you hear no clacking on the floor. Ear cleaning is also important, but you had better visit a vet instead of trying to use an ear solution by trial and error. Visit a vet, ask him how the cleaning must be done, and then perform it once a month.
If you live in area with a humid and hot climate, hose your Frenchie down at least 3 times a day. With their tendency to develop respiratory issues, they are prone to heat strokes. So bathing them lowers the overall temperature, thus removing any excessive influence that his cardiac system may be withstanding.
In addition, don’t forget that a fit Frenchie is a healthy Frenchie: go for a walk, play with your puppy and feed him proper and balanced food. Otherwise, the obesity may lead to hip and back problems. More care tips you can find at Puppies: How to Choose, Care, and Train
As a conclusion, we would like to outline the uniqueness of French Bulldog puppies: they are very agile, energetic, attentive, and are overall good dogs that can make everybody’s day. Make sure you are always careful and attentive so that your puppy grows into an exemplary adult dog that you will be proud of.