UPDATED! French Bulldog: Breed of the Week

Are French Bulldogs Good City Dogs?

The most popular breed in New York City, the French Bulldog definitely makes an excellent pet for folks who live in cities.

Originally bred in England, Frenchies — as they’re popularly known — were first bred in the 1800s as companions for lace workers in England. It’s not entirely sure why the dogs became popular with the workers, but when the lacemakers became displaced by the Industrial Revolution they took their craft and their pups across the English Channel to France… hence the name!

French Bulldog
French Bulldogs are Popular in New York and other Cities (Photo: Natalie Siebers)

French Bulldogs are a combination of the English Bulldog, the Pug, and the Terrier. The result is the impish clown we know today. Frenchies have a wonderful temperament and delight in being with their owners.

Breed of the Week: French Bulldog
French Bulldog in Union Square Park

They come in a variety of colors: white, brindle, fawn, tan, brindle, and white. Adults are usually about a foot tall and weigh under 30 pounds. Their life expectancy is about ten-to-twelve years. They have distinctive large, erect, pointy ears, which give them another one of their nicknames: Bat-Pig!

Most Frenchies cannot naturally reproduce.  Their narrow hips make it nearly impossible for the male to mount the female, so most moms-to-be need to be inseminated artificially.  Because of their large head, puppies must be delivered via Caesarian Section.

Between the difficulty in breeding them and their popularity, you should expect to be put on a waiting list and pay top dollar for a French Bulldog.

French Bulldog
Baby Frenchie Gus

A friend of mine recently got a Frenchie named Gus. She told us why she decided to get a French Bull dog.

“We decided on a French Bulldog because we live in the city, work 9-5 jobs, and felt it would only be fair to own a dog that doesn’t mind to lounge during the day while we are away. They don’t require a large amount of exercise only a small walk. However, I am surprised about how good of a walker he is. Our dog walker mentioned that the French Bulldog puppies he has are great walkers – this surprised me! He loves to snuggle and has been easy to potty train. He has a wonderful personality and is so lovable.”

French Bulldog
French Bulldog T-shirt at the Starting Line in Chelsea. Best-selling T-shirt there!

Do French Bulldogs Bark?

French Bulldogs are great Urban Dogs.  They are lively and athletic, but only require moderate amounts of exercise.

They are affable and get along well with people and other dogs.

They are not considered excessive barkers. I reviewed a number of sites about Frenchies and they all pretty much say these dogs might bark when there’s someone at the door, but are not prone to barking a lot or at inappropriate times.

French Bulldog
Hamlet (Photo: Natalie Siebers)

Training is important for any city dog. You want your pooch to be well-behaved in your building’s common areas. Frenchies are not the easiest dogs to train. They score “Fair” when it comes to understanding new commands. They obey first commands about 30% of the time according to Stanley Coren, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia who studies dog behavior. That means it takes about 40 to 80 repetitions for them to learn new commands.

Like other Bulldogs, the Frenchie is brachiocephalic, meaning it has a pushed in snout. This can lead to health issues such as breathing problems. Because of their snouts, they are forbidden to fly in the cargo hold of most major airlines.

Here’s the American Kennel Club’s guide to the French Bulldog.

For tips on how to find a pet-friendly apartment in New York and other cities read Urban Dog’s guide.

And just because we can, here’s Uggy the French Bulldog puppy playing in the sand.







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