Monday, September 24, 2012

French Bulldogs - 10 Things You Should Know Before Owning

Meet Jack, the love of my life (sorry Nick). He is my adorable, slobbery, hilarious french bulldog. Every day is filled with entertainment when jack is around.

Jack got a piece of toilet paper stuck to his face and got
so tired of chasing it around he finally just fell asleep
Sometimes he falls asleep on his back like this
Hey guys! Pay attention to me!
Jack the elf
Jack will use anything he can find as a chair (pillows, boxes, your leg)
burrowing in pillows for a little nap
Jack always leaves his appendages hanging out of his cage
One time jack crawled under a bed and got stuck. It was hilarious!

When I take him out for walks I am constantly having people ask about him and ask about what it's like owning a french bulldog.

I decided to put together a list of all the things I think people should know about before buying a french bulldog. Some of these are things you will read about on other sites, others are things I don't recall having read about when doing my initial research. While most of the things below are "negative", don't get me wrong... I LOOOOOVEEEE my frenchie! My list of positive things could go on for ages and I think that is the kind of stuff you would want to discover on your own when owning one anyway.

So let's get started....


1.   Be prepared to give lots and lots of attention! I’m not exaggerating here.. these dogs want to have your full attention all the time. They are always by your side, under your feet, wanting to be your partner in crime in everything you do. If you can’t give your frenchie the time, don’t buy one. I’ve had quite a few different types dogs growing up and most of them are fine to do their own thing when you are home. My old dog Gracie (Schnauzer) would hang out in the yard, nap on the stairs, look out the window. Frenchies do some of this, but majority of the time they want to hang with you and will guilt trip you if they get ignored.

2.   Snorting – If you are bothered by loud breathers or people who snore, then a french bulldog probably isn’t for you. Since they are smush face dogs (aka brachycephalic) their breathing is labored sounding all of the time. It drives my sister insane but I’m so used to it I don’t get bothered. When we went camping earlier this month, Jack slept in the trailer with my sister and her 6 month old baby. His breathing was so loud that he woke the baby up multiple times throughout the night.

3.   Poopy bums – This doesn’t happen to every french bulldog but I have noticed that it is fairly common in the bulldogs that don’t have tails and have free access to a yard. When Jack is allowed to poop as often as he likes (like when we go camping or when he has a doggy door) his poo gets a little runny and you have to wipe his bum after he goes to the bathroom. Back at my old house when he had a doggy door I would often find little skid marks on the base boards from when he would come in and sit right up next to a wall. Gross! It’s actually gotten better now that we are in an apartment and he only gets to go out every 3-4 hours.

4.   Health problems – Since these dogs have such curved spines it is very common for them to have back and neck problems when they get older. Last winter Jack started doing this weird twitching thing with his neck and would lay down and not act like himself. I took him to the doctor and they prescribed him some steroids and painkillers and told him to take it easy for the next couple months. After a couple weeks he stopped doing the neck thing and started acting normal again. They weren’t exactly sure of what it was since they didn’t do an MRI but I need to keep an eye on him this winter and see if it starts acting up again. It is most likely one of his disks starting to herniate – if they do an MRI and surgery it is likely to cost over $3000.

Another problem is their giant eyeballs – While they are adorable when staring up at you with those big eyes, those eyes are also a death trap for floating debris. I’ve had to take jack to the doctor twice now for getting stuff stuck in his eyes (one was a piece of tire.. wha???). It’s also really easy to accidentally poke their eyes when playing with them. Be careful and it shouldn’t be a problem.

Allergies! It is VERY common for these little guys to have allergies (mostly skin allergies). I have to give Jack low ingredient organic dog food or else one of his eyes turns red and get puffy. Not a big deal but I’ve heard stories of other french bulldogs with more severe allergies

Be prepared for expensive vet bills! The trip to the doctor for his back cost $700, and his each of his eye incidents costed $300. If you can’t afford medical costs for your frenchie, do the dog a favor and don’t buy one. It’s not fair for the dog to suffer because you can’t pay the bills. Plus don’t let them jump off couches or bed, the vet said this could have been a contributing factor to his back problems.


5.   Stubborn – Frenchies have very strong personalities and while they are loving and obedient if trained properly they still have a nastly little stubborn streak. Be prepared for some battles.

6.   Strength – Often, frenchies don’t know their own strength. Be very very careful with them around small dogs and small children. Jack loves to playfully nibble fingers, play tug of war, and will sometimes even head butt when he gets too excited. He’s given me a headache or two from head butting.

7.   Around other dogs – This is tricky because I’ve seen a lot of frenchies that are great around other dogs, but Jack doesn’t do so hot. He gets sooooooo excited and runs right up to them snorting his little heart out wanting to play. Majority of the time he freaks the other dog out with his outgoingness and they mistake his snorting for growling. Usually the only dogs he gets along with really well are puppies because they don’t know any better.  My parents dogs (Chihuahua and Mini Aussie) completely ignore him and won’t play with him. Jack loves to play but sometimes it’s tricky to find dogs who aren’t intimidated by him, or confused by his weirdness.

8.   Avoid hard wood floors – They slip and slide and can barely balance as it is with their odd shaped bodies. Plus I think the hard floor is tough on their joints.

9.   Drool – If you can’t handle drool on everything you own then don’t get one

10.  Be prepared to give your heart and soul away. While the above covers the difficulties you may encounter while having a frenchie, I can’t even put into words the joy, love, and entertainment you will get from these furry little slobber faces. Jack has more personality than most humans. There is never a day that goes by where he doesn’t bust me up with laughter. He is the most loving little dog and I truly consider him my baby. Once you go french you never go back!

Here are some funny videos for you to watch of Jack...

Jack chasing this twirly light ball thing

Jack loves to catch feathers from the air

Don't judge me for this one - Jack stuck in a bag

Jack attacking matches


  1. Hey, I had trouble finding an email address. Can you email me so I can ask you a question?

  2. Hi there, I read the below article and wondered, did you experience all these hardships with Jack? I am doing research to maybe buy a frenchie next year and want to find out if the majority of frenchies have all these difficulties as I've found a few different testimonials. Thanks for any help :)


  3. Jasmine,

    I own a wonderful little Frenchie and aside from a minor food allergy that was corrected with a different brand of food, she is a perfectly healthy 3 year old girl.

  4. Would love to feature your article on our website.

  5. i just started a blog and found yours when i was looking for things to write about; we have a frenchie named louis that's a total mess and we're obsessed with him too; love the blog, love your logo!

  6. Number 6 made me laugh really hard. He head butt you? OMG that is so hilarious! Thank you so much for sharing your experience and it is a very useful article for me as I'm currently researching if a Frenchie could be the right dog for me.

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  10. YES!!! Everything you've said is correct, but a LOT more expensive!!! We have a 12 year old Frenchie and it has cost us over $50,000. And everything he's had done had been "normal" for the breed according to UC Davis Vet Hospital, the #1 vet hospital is the country, where he goes regularly. They said 8 out of 10 will require spinal cord surgery in their lifetime, and it can happen at age 1 or 6 or 9. They slip discs VERY easy (jumping off any furniture like couch or bed, and even walking up or down stairs or being picked up or held incorrectly). This dog is only for people who have a lot of time and money and energy to devote 100% to them. They are NOT good dogs for kids and will act out if you have one. Best for the permanently childless.


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  14. I have had Boston Terriers growing up and can't help but ask your Jack has
    the exact markings of a Boston Terrier. Is Jack a mixture - I was just
    wondering. Also, is there such a thing as tea-cup French bulldogs and
    if so what health problems do they experience, One thing to mention which
    someone brought to my attention - do not leave a French bulldog out in your
    alone as hawks could snatch him up in seconds. If you put them in a small
    wire pen in the yard it must have a top on it to avoid hawks or any other
    creatures that would attack - French bulldogs are so small and light-
    they could not fight off a bird or animal attacking them. I am seriously
    thinking of buying one down the road. They would be the best pet for me.