What Do French Bulldogs Look Like?
French Bulldogs are muscular, with heavy bones, short faces, and upright “bat” ears. The round, intelligent eyes have a sweet expression under a wrinkled forehead that can give the impression that a Frenchie is a deep thinker — right before he pulls his next comical stunt.
The back has a slight dip (or fall) behind the shoulders that gradually rise to a slight peak over the loin area of the French bulldog’s spine. From this rise over the loin, the back tapers downward to the onset of the tail which is naturally short. This completes the “roachback” of the breed’s “topside” or “profile.” If the rise begins right behind the last rib, you have a “wheelback” which is incorrect.
The French Bulldog is commonly known as a “Frenchie” and they were the result in the 1800’s of a cross between Bulldog ancestors imported from England and local ratters in Paris, hence the name.
Brindle is the dominant standard color of the breed. Brindle is a stripy pattern of hairs which can range in color from deep copper red to pale cream or an admix of lighter hairs.
Fawns are standard, but also a recessive genetically, and range from a pale cream to a peachy hue or even into the more vivid copper and red tones.
The piebald coat color is a white coat with patches of brindle, fawn or cream; sometimes the patches are outlined by black hairs, which is the handiwork of the black-masked genetics.
Some more rare colors are created by mutations, such as merle, or by a “dilute” gene which modifies the standard colors. These are white (a piebald that is absent of color patches), a blue or blue fawn (which are diluted standard coat colors), or a black and tan (origin in this breed uncertain).
The rarer colors are discouraged by kennel clubs throughout the world since diluting coat color is connected with deafness, incurable skin disorders, and immune system disorders.
The blue coat is a disqualifying color for showing, worldwide. A flood of blues are shipped into America weekly and sold at twice the price as a dog with a legal coat color. Because some breeders are promoting “blues”, it has created a volatile and controversial topic. Ethical and conservative breeders now do DNA testing to be sure their bloodline is free of this color gene.
Frenchies should weigh less than 28 lbs. / 12.7 kg in order to fit the American Kennel Club official standard, although breeders do often end up with males over this weight, meaning they cannot enter shows.
They are notorious chow hounds, given to packing on the pounds if their owners aren’t careful.
Between improvement in dog food and selective breeding of healthier examples, their longevity is increasing. Their lifespan is usually 12-14 years, although I know of some who are over 18, and although normally healthy, can be prone to a number of problems, which will be discussed in full later.
French Bulldogs are a companion breed only, with no working function and are described by the American Kennel Club standard as, “well behaved, adaptable . . . active, alert, and playful, but not unduly boisterous.”
Frenchies are typically social with humans and other dogs alike. They get along with well-behaved children, the disabled, and the elderly. French Bulldogs are hams at heart. They love being the center of attention, which is part of their incredible charm.
The Frenchie Personality
Although affable and adaptable, French Bulldogs do demand attention from their humans. They don’t do well left alone for long periods of time and are happiest when they have the constant attention of their family or solo human.
It’s common for Frenchies to be referred to as “little clowns.” These dogs truly do seem to possess a sense of humor and they’re never happier than when they’re being loved and loving someone in return. It’s hard to find a better lap dog and best canine friend than a French Bulldog.