Selecting The Right Breed



(But Not For Everyone)

Size   For American-bred Frenchies, there are basically two styles:  a petite 16-21 lb. cutie vs. a beefy, larger-bodied dog  which is limited to 28 lbs. if competing in AKC conformation competitions.  This  diversity in size and type evolved from  roots of the breed in America as the French Bulldog Club of America became the first official Breed Club in 1897 and established the American  standard for this breed that dictated weight of females could not exceed 20 lbs. or 22 lbs for males.   In 1903, the standard  was further revised to establish  a 28 lb. maximum.   For a time, the breed was separated into separate classes by weights dividing the breed judging for French Bulldogs  into an under 22 lbs. division vs. 22-28 lbs.  To me, the total weight isn't as important to style as a body that is "cobby" which is  created by a  shorter body and  larger bones compacted into a small to medium-sized body.

GROOMING Since shedding is light and seasonal, there is minimal grooming required.   Doggie odor is close to non-existent.   Maintenance:   Flush ears, clip nails, dab protective oil on nose,  shampoo bi-weekly in summer or once per month in winter.  This grooming routine is likely required slightly more for young pups.

DISPOSITION The AKC standard describes the French bulldog as,  "Well behaved, adaptable, and comfortable companions."    It also describes the Frenchie as affectionate, even-tempered, active, alert, and playful but not unduly boisterous.  Yet, not all breeders focus on  developing this temperament in their breeding program.  Many times, the French bulldogs that are turned over to Rescue Organizations are done so because the temperament does not meet the AKC standard for this breed.   Rowdy behavior, hyperactivity, and aggressive behavior is not the standard for the breed but can also be the result of improper socialization by the owners.     As with humans, temperament is significantly hereditary;  however, the  disposition and intelligence  is also developed by the manner in which a Breeder handles the puppies from the first moments of life.  Behavior and intelligence is further  reinforced and  developed by bonding and training with  the  new owners in the forever home. In other words, my opinion is that environmental conditions blend with genetic predispositions.   Stimulation of puppies by breeder, its mom, and other dogs  not only increases intelligence but influences behavior and habits developed.  The period at  8 to 12 wks is a critical development stage.  A puppy needs the influence of its dam, sire, and   Breeder.   The best bonding time with a new owner is thought to be 9-14 weeks.   Fancibul pups get a jumpstart toward socialization, whereas, new owners develop.   I highly recommend a Basic Puppyclass for new owner and the puppy starting at 16-18 weeks to take puppy to the next level in socialization.

HABITS  French Bulldogs are often referred to as "little clowns". They have certain play behavior that typically surfaces at 6- 8 weeks of age.  They are famous for initiating  play with their famous "play bow".  Their playtime can be  rigorous as they race fullspeed to make circle 8's on the lawn, play tag, play  keep away, or become "King O' the Mountain."  Anything new initiates dancing in a circle or bunny hopping.  Frenchies seldom bark, yet, they are MOUTHY dogs that experience the world by grabbing, nabbing, snatching, mouth wrestling with other dogs, and alas, gnawing and nibbling (Must be provided with chew toys).  The French bulldog  has a lazy streak,  so he tires and crashes for a rather long nap several times a day.  He tends to drink a lot of water and likes it fresh because his flat snout leads to dry mouth and tends to retain grass, dirt or debris from food. 

 Most Frenchies have less prey drive than other breeds, such as terriers or a sporting dog  breed but some are inclined more toward the terrier side of their ancestral beginnings.  This prey  drive, fearless type personality, and impetuous response to their environment can lead them into danger from overheating or impetuously running toward a car, into a pond or pool.   Most  seldom bark; however, remember this breed was a manmade blend of bully and terrier types. There are some French bulldogs with  "watchdog"  tendencies to  alert and warn of encroachment into the family's territory.   Most Frenchies  like to romp with children, snuggle up to owners, greet visitors at the door,  or bow to say "hello" as they take a stroll in  their neighborhood.   They like to sit under the computer with their body lightly touching your ankle.  Most  endearing is the "angel's kiss" that devoted Frenchie pets lightly place on your ankle or shin while they accompany you in your daily tasks. That's their way of letting you know how important you are to them.  In spite of a stubborn, tenacious streak, the French bulldog is quite a needy dog that does not thrive without a human and/or dog companion. (Most people that buy a Fancibul puppy will desire another one about a year later. Some Fancibul pet owners have 3-6 Fancibul pets all spayed/neutered as there is a tendency to collect these endaring dogs like potato chips.)  If you have more than two, you are gathering a pack and must have ability to manage pack behavior that is inherent in canines. 

 French bulldogs  are very amiable types that are friendly to everybody and enjoy  diverse relationships with people and other breeds too.     In some countries,  this breed is still used for a "ratter" so imports tend to have a bolder, more  aggressive tendency and are  more prey driven.    Boys tend to be clownlike babies for life, whereas, the females tend to be dominant little "Boss Ladies".   If purchasing a Frenchie, please express your needs and ideals to the breeder because Frenchies have a multi-faceted personality.   A sensitive,  knowledgeable, caring breeder would not mismatch a puppy by placing it in a home that is not appropriate for its temperament and the family's needs.

Socialization  Since this breed is extremely loyal,  devoted to people,  and thrives with praise and pats, it is easy to encourage the French bulldog's development into a comfortable companion pet IF you keep in mind the dog's inclination to be distracted  by its  curiosity  coupled with its stubbornness.  These two characteristics tend to become the "magnets" that pull the undisciplined French bulldog on  a sidetrip from YOUR PLAN.   His curiosity and intelligence can join to draw the alert and adventurous little clown into dangerous situations.    Without proper boundaries established, the puppy  can become a demanding tyrant and rule rather unwisely over the owner's household.  It's HARD TO SAY "NO" to their whims because their intelligence allows them to "read you like a book"  so Puppy-in-Training can pull out of its  bag of tricks just the right tool to win over its master.   The bag of tricks include  the clownlike behavior, angel kisses, vigorous wet licks, bowing at you feet, pouting, turning their  backs and walking away, throwing a dish of kibble,  refusal to eat as you fret and cajole, and, of all things,  ignoring you.   (Likely, there are  other ploys that I haven't discerned yet.) Like a toddler, the French bulldog puppy needs structure and routine with limits set so he fits into your environment and lifestyle.  

This is a "clean dog" by nature. Don't believe the negative reports you find on the internet about an inability to housetrain this breed.   I am giving my perspective about housebreaking -- likely others are reporting their experiences.  Fancibuls  don't like to be "dirty" nor dwell in untidy quarters because they are never allowed to develop insensitivity to feces and urine as babies.  It  is natural for them to learn appropriate household behaviors with a consistent, structured routine. Neglect and lack of attention leads to insensitivity to filth, depression, and coping mechanisms you won't like. 

 Most towns have some type of puppy obedience classes available for very nominal fees.  In a few short weeks, owners and their Frenchies have learned together.  I must brag at this point that our FANCIBULS always make the highest scores in their puppy courses.    Owners that take their Fancibul puppies for training  make me VERY PROUD!  I know their future is more secure.  Winston on my "Lovin'  Pets " page is just one of many that graduated cum laude when his caring owners had the desire to "do everything right" as they settled-in with their Fancibul.


  • Some movies staring Frenchies include: "From Hell" with Johnny Depp, "Secondhand Lions" with Michael Caine and Robert Duvall, and "Bringing Down the House" with Steve Martin and Queen Latifah. There is a shot of a French Bulldog in the movie "Titanic". The dog is portraying the Frenchie that really was on the doomed ship. They are featured in dozens of TV commercials. From a rarer breed in the USA in 1990, the recent popularity can be attributed to this publicity

  • While most people picture "Toto" from "The Wizard of Oz" to be a Cairn Terrier, in literature the dog was illustrated as a French Bulldog. R.A. Neill, who drew the pictures for the books "The Road to Oz" and "The Emerald City", pictured Toto as a French Bulldog.

  • A member of the Non-Sporting Group, the French Bulldog is the 2nd  most popular breed in the United States, according to the 2020 American Kennel Club registration statistics.

  • One of the French Bulldog’s ancestors was the English Bulldog. A large number of toy English Bulldogs were sent to France around 1860 and crossed with various other breeds to create what we now know as the Frenchie. A pug and a boxer were blended into the breed around 1900 in Portugal and Spain.

For those looking to add a French Bulldog to their home, AKC recommends that potential dog owners contact to obtain information about responsible breeders in their area at

For more information about getting a dog from a responsible breeder visit: