Meet America’s Most Popular Dog: The French Bulldog

January 13th is French Bulldog Day! These adorable, lovable dogs definitely have a lot to celebrate. They’re now America’s most popular dog! For the past three decades, the Labrador Retriever was happily sitting in that top spot, with a cheerful grin and a wagging tail. We were not expecting these comical little dogs to knock the Lab down to second place, but that is exactly what happened! Here, a local Ludington, MI veterinarian shines the spotlight on this lovable little dog.


Breed Basics


The French Bulldog has a big heart and a huge personality, both of which are stuffed into a small, compact body. Frenchies usually weigh under 30 pounds, and live about 10 to 12 years, on average. They have short, sleek fur that requires little grooming and is easy to maintain.


What Is A French Bulldog’s Temperament?

It’s no wonder that Fido is now the most popular dog in America. Frenchies have wonderful personalities. They’re fun, playful, and affectionate, and tend to make friends with everyone. They’re also often hilarious to watch. There’s a lot to be said for having a furry roommate that is constantly making you laugh!

However, that isn’t to say that these guys are perfect. They can be a bit stubborn, and are quite protective. Proper training is a must! 

They get very attached to their humans, and tend to get lonely and unhappy if left alone too long. If your pup is going to be home alone a lot, you might consider getting your pup a buddy, or choosing a breed that is more independent.

French Bulldog History


Frenchies made their first appearance in the mid-nineteenth century and quickly became a beloved pet among Paris’ lacemakers. Technically, the Frenchie is a cross between Paris’ ratter dogs and imported toy Bulldogs from England. However, while they still resemble other Bulldogs, their personalities are more like to those of other companion dogs, like Pomeranians. This isn’t a coincidence: as bull-baiting became prohibited in the 1830s, breeders focused on eliminating aggressive characteristics. (They also put those trademark bat ears on Fido.) 


What Makes French Bulldogs So Special?


The Frenchie may not have the intelligence of a Border Collie or the dignity and work ethic of a German Shepherd, but he does possess some unique charms. Besides being cute, lovable, fun, and loyal, these guys are also pretty easy to keep. They don’t need much exercise or room, and they usually don’t bark without cause. They’re also an ideal pet for apartment dwellers.


What Foods Are Unsafe For French Bulldogs?


Frenchies are also prone to obesity. This is partly because they are small, and also partly because they love food. Don’t feed your furry friend foods high in fat, such as fried food, cheese, and fatty meats, such as bacon and sausages. (Sorry, Fido!) Salty foods should also be off the menu, since they can cause dehydration.


Fido also should never be given the foods that are unsafe for all dogs, such as chocolate, grapes and raisins, garlic, onions, and avocado. Ask your Ludington, MI veterinarian for more information.


French Bulldog Health Concerns


Frenchies are brachycephalic, which means that they have very short airways and are prone to respiratory problems. They’re also susceptible to eye and skin problems, intervertebral disc disease and dental issues. Several tests are recommended for this breed, including patella, hip, ophthalmologist, and cardiac evaluations and exams. Contact your Ludington, MI veterinarian for specific advice.


What do French Bulldogs love?


Life! These pooches are extremely affectionate and crave attention and cuddles from their human companions. If we asked Fido what his favorite things were, he would probably say napping and eating. He’ll stay happy if you give him naps, treats, and belly rubs.


What Are The French Bulldog’s Care Needs?


Fido’s basic needs are similar to those for any other dog: good nutrition, enough exercise, regular vet visits, and, of course, lots of great TLC and belly rubs.


However, there are a few things to be aware of:


  • French Bulldogs are not able to swim, so you should be very careful around water. Since they are so small, they can get into serious trouble in just a few inches of water.


  • Brachycephalic breeds, such as Frenchies, are particularly prone to overheating, because of their short airways. That makes it difficult for them to regulate their body temperature, so they. Take extra precautions to prevent your canine buddy from overexerting himself during the summer months. (Tip: buy a cooling mat or vest for your pooch to keep him cool.)


  • Fido’s eye level is another important consideration. Don’t go overboard, but avoid placing sharp, thorny plants in places where he could run into them.


Do French Bulldogs Have Dental Issues?


Dental problems are quite common for small dogs. The Frenchie is no exception to this. Fido is particularly prone to overcrowding and misalignment issues. Get specific advice from your vet about how to keep his choppers clean. You’ll also need to watch for warning signs like drooling, bad breath, and tartar buildup.


Why Are Frenchies Stolen So Often?


French Bulldogs are among the most commonly stolen dogs. Because of their popularity and small size, they fetch top dollar. (There is also a fluffy variety of the breed, which can cost as much as $30,000.) They’re also small enough to be easily carried off. One woman in Washington D.C. received a ransom demand after her Frenchie was stolen. (The dog has since been found and is safe at home.)


While you don’t need to hire a security team for Fido, it may be wise to take precautions. Make sure that your furry pal has been microchipped and is wearing identification tags. Avoid leaving your dog alone, especially in locations like parks or other public spaces where he could potentially be taken.


Additionally, spaying or neutering your dog can discourage breeders, and also offers other benefits. If your canine buddy has not yet been fixed, reach out to your veterinarian.


You may also want to get a pet tracker, such as GPS tags, for added peace of mind. Lastly, keep all adoption paperwork on hand as proof of ownership may be crucial in legal situations.


What Stars Have French Bulldogs?


Fido has quite a fan base, including actor and rapper Snoop Dogg. Another notable Frenchie fan is Megan Thee Stallion, who owns six dogs, two of which are Frenchies. (One of her furry friends, 4oe, has his very own Instagram page and even made an appearance on The Tonight Show in 2022.) Some other famous French Bulldog enthusiasts are Reese Witherspoon and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. We suspect that the list is still growing.


Why Are French Bulldogs So Popular?


Knocking the Labrador off that number one slot is no easy feat, especially considering that the Lab was happily panting and looking adorable in that top spot for three decades. You may not expect a little pooch with bat ears and a squashed face to win the title of America’s most popular dog, but Fido managed.


Why are these funny (and, depending on one’s opinion, possibly funny looking) so beloved? They’re playful, affectionate, charming, easy to care for, and, well, a little bit extra. They don’t require much exercise, and they love nothing more than snuggling with their owners. They are also often hilarious to watch. There’s a lot to be said for having a furry roommate who can make you laugh constantly.


For questions about French Bulldog care, contact us here at Animal Hospital of Ludington, your local Ludington, MI pet clinic.


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