Article by Ron Ayalon
French Bulldogs have myriad of nicknames, including Frenchie, clown and bat ears. Indeed the last one is an apt description of this dog whose ears do resemble those of a bat. Dating back to the 19th century, Frenchies are the result of lace makers in England who sought a compact version of the English Bulldog.
French Bulldogs are a great family dog, and very intelligent as well. Similar in temperament to her cousin the English Bulldog, French Bulldogs live for your companionship. One might go so far as to suggest that they are needy. Needy as they may be, they exude sweetness and are as content with adult humans as they are with your children. It’s important that in recognizing their potential for neediness, that you not disregard your role as the leader of the pack. Indeed this is true regardless of breed, but especially so of this breed. All dogs of course require us to be their pack leaders and many problems result as a result of not training your dog. However, French Bulldogs in particular, because of their need to be around you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
French Bulldogs have a few issues you should watch for. Among them are the following:
Von Willebrand’s Disease (VWD) – Similar to hemophilia in humans. It’s a blood disorder that can prevent this breed from producing the necessary clotting agent that prevents them from bleeding to death. As a result, they’re prone to anemia.
Thyroid Disease – These two conditions appear to go hand-in-hand. As a result, if one exists, it’s common to test for the other.
Cherry Eye – Although more common in English Bulldogs, Frenchies are known to suffer from this condition characterized by a protruding lower eyelid. It’s not serious and the Vet can easily correct it in his or her office.
Eye Issues – French Bulldogs are well known for developing glaucoma, retinal fold dysplasia, corneal ulcers and juvenile cataracts. It’s imperative that you clean the small folds under the eyes of your Frenchie; this will greatly minimize eye infections.
Brachycephalic Syndrome – The result of selective breeding to achieve a short muzzle and nose, your French Bulldog may suffer from chronic snoring, breathing problems and flattened soft tissue in her breathing passages. Although not common, your French Bulldog may as a result, suffer from a narrow windpipe, collapsed larynx, which can exacerbate her difficulty breathing. If your dog does suffer from Brachycephalic Syndrome, you’ll most definitely want to confirm whether she also presents with the narrowed windpipe and collapsed larynx. Your Vet will know how best to treat both.
Overheating – Also the result of selective breeding for this shortened snout, French Bulldogs have a tendency to overheat. Favoring tile or wood over carpet is highly recommended for her, given that she can’t regulate her body temperature easily. It’s advised that if you live in a warm climate or have long, hot and humid summers, that you have an air conditioner.
In the quest to create a dwarfed version of the English Bulldog, French Bulldogs can suffer from back and spinal diseases. If yours suffers from any of them, it’s highly recommended you consult with your Vet to minimize discomfort as she ages.
One way to naturally treat all these ailments is to exercise your French Bulldog daily. Her legs are short and she can’t walk nearly as quickly as you, but she is the “Little Engine that Could.” Healthy walks will keep her weight down, which is good for her organs and her joints.
The temperament you can anticipate from your French Bulldog, assuming you introduce a training program, can range from sweet and docile to even more sweet and more docile. This breed is ideal if you have kids. If you are a schoolteacher, especially for ages 3 through 8, bringing your French Bulldog to school frequently is great for both your dog and the kids. This of course is provided you have permission to do so.
Alternatively, volunteering at a home for seniors or for kids in foster care, who otherwise might not have access to dogs, is a great idea. Again, it’s a win/win as everyone benefits.
Being aware of your French Bulldog’s health problems will be the key to her long and happy life. Provided you can do this for her, she’ll be a loyal and protective companion for many years.
At Ivan’s Bulldogs, we have been breeding and training puppies for over 30 years. We are proud to be breeding Bulldogs with excellent quality, with little to no health problems and good temperaments. All of our puppies come with papers, shots and health guarantees. For more information on our French Bulldogs, visit our website at http://www.BulldogsNewYork.com