French Bulldogs have become an increasingly popular breed of choice in recent years. They are a part of the non-sporting companion dog classification and they are very well known for their distinct “satellite dish” ears. Originating from the English Bulldog breed, they became their own new breed in the 1800’s when lace workers travelled from England to France for work, with undersized English Bulldogs as companions. These companions were meant to keep the rats away but quickly became popular and appealing to French breeders. They went on to continue breeding these undersized bulldogs and thus began the new “French” Bulldog breed.
French Bulldogs, or “Frenchies”, are also part of the brachycephalic classification, meaning they have a shortened broad skull and jaw structure that creates a flat, or “smooshy”, look. While this is a physically appealing feature, it can create some health complications for the breed. The compression of their skull structure leaves the tissues inside their mouths and airways with very little space, often causing narrowed airways and nasal cavities. This is an important point to consider when deciding to adopt or purchase a French Bulldog. They will often require a modified exercise regimen that limits the stress that is placed on their respiratory system. They also require diligent maintenance of hygiene including the cleaning of skin folds along their body, particularly between the folds on their faces, to prevent skin irritation and bacterial infections.
As with many other dog breeds, Frenchies have genetic predispositions that put them at risk of developing various conditions or diseases. Some common areas of concern include hip dysplasia, luxating patellas, ophthalmic conditions, skin conditions, and cardiac disease. It is recommended to ensure that you are purchasing a Frenchie from a reputable and responsible breeder that is registered with a governing agency of some sort to help decrease the likelihood of your dog developing any of these conditions.
Despite their delicate health considerations, French Bulldogs are typically even-tempered dogs that require tons of attention and affection. With this being said, they are classically very affectionate in return and are best suited as one-person dogs. They can be quite energetic but typically only in short spurts and therefore make for great city dogs!
Due to their respiratory concerns, brachycephalic dogs can also quickly overheat and are very sensitive to heat exhaustion. This can very quickly become an emergency situation for our smooshy-faced friends! Concerned about transporting your bulldog in the heat? Toronto AMS is here to help with transport services provided in a climate controlled environment! We are equipped to provide first aid care and assistance to your pet under the supervision of trained Registered Veterinary Technicians and animal care attendants.
Caitlyn A. is a Registered Veterinary Technician and a valued member of the Toronto AMS team.