French Bulldog

By Dr Eloise Bright 10 Min Read

This affectionate and loyal companion can be stubborn, but incredibly lovable.

French Bulldogs are affectionate and fun dogs, who are ideally suited to less active owners. They love a nice cuddle on the couch as much as a trip to the café or a play at the dog park. They are quite muscular dogs, but do not require a great deal of vigorous exercise. They do require lots of attention and social outings, but are ideally suited to small-space living.

French Bulldogs are best avoided in hot, humid climates and can often not be walked in the heat of the day during summer-time, due to their propensity for overheating. They are otherwise very robust, healthy dogs who are fairly low maintenance in the grooming and preventative healthcare departments.


A friend who loves cuddles on the couch, gentle walks in shady parks and trips to the local café. I’m looking for someone who loves to tell me their problems while I listen intently. I would love to live with someone who won’t forget how intelligent I am and how much I love to be with them. Ideally I am suited to a person who spends a great deal of time at home, or someone who is happy to take me everywhere with them. I also love kids and would enjoy being part of a family.


Lifespan 10-13 years
Weight 10-13 kg
Height (at shoulder) 28-33 cm



Loyal – A French Bulldog will often bond very closely to one person in the family and be extremely loyal. This can translate to a dog that is not suited to long periods of being alone.

Stubborn/strong willed – French Bulldogs are known to be a little stubborn at times. They can be easily trained if motivated and only positive training methods are used, but they will often have a mind of their own.

Affectionate – French Bulldogs love absolutely everyone and thrive in a family where they get lots of attention. They love cuddles, brushing and play and need to be with another dog or their family rather than being left alone for long periods.


Exercise Requirements Low – 0-0.5 hours per day
Training Requirements Low – 0-0.5 hours per day
Apartment Friendly? Yes


French Bulldogs do need strict ground rules, give a little and they will have you wrapped around their gorgeous little, furry paws. This doesn’t mean you have to spend hours training them, just be consistent and don’t give into their fussy whims about food! They don’t need hours of walking, but they do like to socialise and will need regular trips outdoors, even if they don’t necessarily even touch the ground on those walks. They can be prone to overheating in hot climates, so avoid exercise in the heat of the day if you have an excitable French Bulldog who is prone to overheating.

The French Bulldog can be a bit of a clown at times and they are great with other dogs, they also love to spend time at home lazing around with the family given half the chance. They are highly intelligent dogs, so love to be kept busy with play and social activities.


Trips to the Groomer No- easy care at home
Tick Friendly? Yes
Hypoallergenic No
Brushing Low – Little to no brushing required
Hair fall Moderate Shed- will drop some hair, but not excessive
Coat Type Short


You won’t spend hours of your life maintaining the beautiful looks of your French Bulldog, they tend to be very low maintenance and need minimal brushing and bathing. Their short coat will leave some hair all over the house, but brushing can reduce this.


Good With Kids Excellent – Good with kids of any age
Good With Other Small Pets High – Good with other animals
Sociability High – Loves other dogs and best in a multi-dog household.


French Bulldogs are generally clowns who love to play with other dogs and kids, so long as they are socialised as puppies. They love to be the centre of family life and curl up on the couch with a special someone. They are sturdy enough to cope with boisterous kids if supervised and can be great with older kids who can take on some dog care responsibilities. They can be very fixated on one family member and if not trained to be alone at a young age can suffer separation anxiety. Some good grounding in socialisation and training can really help them as they grow.


Overall Expenses (Annual) Low – $100-$300
Veterinary Expenses (Annual) Low – $100-$300
Food Expenses (Weekly) Low – $5-$10


Being a small-breed dog food and veterinary expenses are relatively inexpensive compared to larger breeds. They are prone to a number of health problems, such as brachycephalic airway disease and dental problems, but otherwise are fairly robust dogs. Their biggest veterinary expense is usually preventative dental care and regular dental cleans under anaesthesia.



Luxating Patella – in smaller breed dogs in some cases the knee-cap can move out of the groove it runs in when the knee bends, resulting in a hopping gait and a little kick of the back leg out behind when running. This can be fairly mild, but if it causes significant lameness, may require surgical correction.

Brachycephalic Airway Disease – one of the trade-offs for that cute snub-nose is breathing difficulties, particularly with exercise. Those narrow nostrils and the long soft palate can be surgically corrected to help some dogs. Most French Bulldogs will snore and they must avoid weight gain or exercise in hot conditions.

Intervertebral Disk Disease – when disks degenerate in certain breeds, they are prone to developing back pain and loss of function in the hind limbs. This can in extreme cases require immediate surgery to decompress the spine, but in less severe cases may respond to rest, pain relief and perhaps even acupuncture.


While not prone to overeating, these stocky dogs do not cope well with weight gain. Keeping them lean helps their breathing and reduces knee problems and osteoarthritis.

French Bulldogs are prone to dental disease, so a regular program of brushing, dental food, raw bones and chews can help prevent costly dental work later in life.

Care with breeding as they will often need caesarean births, which can be a costly outcome for inexperienced owners.


French Bulldogs are thought to be descended from dogs bred by lace-makers from Nottinghamshire in the UK, who subsequently migrated to France.

Dogs in the Bulldog family were also historically used for bull-baiting. This barbaric sport, popular in England up until the early 1800’s involved tethering a bull, blowing pepper up it’s nose so it bucked around, then encouraging one dog at a time to attempt to pin the bull down by the nose. Bull baiting was actually thought at the time to improve the quality of the meat, so was very popular and was only banned with the Cruelty to Animals Act 1835.

Early French Bulldogs developed a reputation for being great ratters, but they were also very fashionable Paris pets and were immortalized in paintings by Toulouse-Lautrec.
Many French Bulldogs are unable to mate naturally due to their slim hips and inability to mount effectively. Many are bred by artificial insemination.

A Frenchie who went down with the Titanic was reportedly insured for $750, which was a princely sum for 1912!


Pet Rescue lists all types of dogs who need homes, both purebred and mixed breeds, adults and puppies.

The RSPCA often has French Bulldogs for adoption, just do an advanced search on their adoption page.

French Bulldog Rescue and Adoption operates out of Victoria to help find homes for Bulldogs.

The French Bulldog Club of NSW can help coordinate rescue of Bulldogs in NSW.

In WA the French Bulldog Awareness Group helps to rescue French Bulldogs.

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Dr Eloise is a Clinical Lead at Love That Pet and one of our resident pet care experts. She also curates the select range of vet recommended and approved products which feature on our site.
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