15 Facts About French Bulldogs That Make Them Popular

Also called the Frenchie by fans, this is a breed with a fascinating journey to fame.

As of 2013, the French Bulldog didn’t figure in the American Kennel Club’s top 10 most popular dogs.

Skip a few years to 2020 and it was top 2, kicking out the German Shepherd and the Golden Retriever to become the Labrador Retriever‘s competition.

How did it happen? The Frenchie is not as attractive to the eyes as the Golden Retriever or the German Shepherd, yet it seems the general public doesn’t care about looks in this case.

Could there have been other facts about French Bulldogs that make them so popular? Turns out there are up to 15 solid ones.

In this article, we’ll chart the French Bulldog facts, from its origin till the moment it became the 2nd most popular dog breed in the United States.

We will then unveil 15 fun facts about French Bulldogs, which contribute to the breed’s popularity. 

French Bulldog History, Origin, and Rise to Popularity

French Bulldog Standings Near Beach
Slonme / Getty Images

Once upon a time, in the old city of Paris, there was a bustling district named Montmartre.

In the heart of that district ran the infamous brothels, and guess who was the main companion to the ladies of the night? That’s right, a small dog with a comical face. 

But the French Bulldog’s story doesn’t start on the laps of scantily dressed ladies. It doesn’t start in Paris, even.

The history of the Frenchie takes us to England, where a bigger dog named the English Bulldog was a major participant in the bloody sports of Bullbaiting. 

Eventually, bullbaiting got outlawed as England got more concerned with animal rights and better treatment of all living things.

The English Bulldog soon become a showbiz star, and it was at that moment that it got bred down in size to develop into the English Toy Bulldog. 

The English Toy Bulldog got the attention of lace workers in Nottingham, and when these lace workers moved to France in search of better opportunities, they took the English Toy Bulldog along.

This breed got popular in France, and many more were imported from England as the English didn’t seem to have use for them. 

In France, the English Toy Bulldog became the Bouledogue Français.

That was when it became an asset for brothels, but the evening ladies weren’t the only fans of the Bouledogue Français.

It soon became a symbol of taste, and even pictures of ladies in the noble class featured these small dogs on their laps. 

The Bouledogue Français got to America in 1885 and back to England in 1893. In 1898, the American Kennel Club recognized the breed.

In 1903, the English Kennel Club followed. The Bouledogue Français became the French Bulldog in 1912. 

The First World War, the rise of the Boston Terrier, and some other factors contributed to the steady decline of the French Bulldog.

By 1940, the Frenchie was considered rare and might have gone extinct bet to the works of American and European breeders.

This breed got back to its feet in the 1980s, and it first got into the Top 5 AKC’s list in 2017.

It ranked 4th till 2020 when we noticed a hike in fame as it became the 2nd most popular breed in the United States. 

French Bulldog Dog Breed Information

Portrait of Female French Bulldog Standing
Bigandt_Photography / Getty Images
Height11 to 12 inches
Weight16 to 28 pounds
Life Expectancy11 to 14 years
CoatShort, smooth, shiny
ColorsFawn, white, brindle
TemperamentEasygoing, bright, playful
Ideal ForApartment dwellers, new and old pet parents, stay-at-home folks, elderly people
Puppy Price$1,500 to $3,000
AKC GroupNon-Sporting Group

French Bulldog Characteristics

Grooming NeedsLow
Energy LevelAverage

15 Fun Facts About French Bulldogs You Need to Know

1. French Bulldogs are good family dogs

Black Brindle French Bulldog Resting on Sofa
LightFieldStudios / Getty Images

Perhaps the most important reason for Frenchie’s popularity is that it is a true companion and family dog.

Some other popular dogs like the Labrador were bred for work as much as companionship, but the French Bulldog’s main role was to be a companion.

It did play the role of a ratter at some point, but that was more of a side job than its main “career”.

This breed is the right amount of playful and laid-back, and it can adapt to your mood. If you’d rather lie on the sofa on the weekend, it’d be right there with you.

On the days you want to have an outdoor picnic, you can count on the French Bulldog to tag along and make it fun. 

The Bulldog nature in Frenchies can sometimes make them stubborn and freethinkers, but that has its advantage once you get to train them and set boundaries.

They won’t always depend on you but are pleasing enough to listen. 

2. They are popular amongst celebrities

The Rock Dwayne Johnson's French Bulldog Hobbs
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson with his Frenchie Hobbs. @TheRock / Instagram

The French Bulldog is a celebrity amongst celebrities. Many of your favorite actors, artists, and other important personalities were smitten by this breed, gaining them several noble fans. 

Examples of celebrities who own a Frenchies are Hugh Jackman, Lady Gaga, John Legend, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Megan Thee Stallion, etc. 

Because celebrities influence a lot of people, it isn’t surprising that the demand for this breed increased after so many celebrities appeared on social media with them. 

3. They have a knack for fashion

Cute French Bulldog in Superhero Costume

Besides being the opted pet for many celebrities, the French Bulldog has become a fashion statement.

They are used to portray doggy fashion and are also a part of fashion as a whole. This isn’t the first time, of course, as history seems to be repeating itself.

Just as this breed was an accessory in old Paris, so it has become today.

Some events have made that clear. Besides seeing Frenchies pose alongside celebrities on their social media handles, some have even appeared on the red carpet.

One such Frenchie was Gary, who walked the red carpet with his owner Carrie Fisher to the 2015 London Premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

4. Frenchies adapt to any environment

Another advantage the French Bulldog has over other very popular dogs is its adaptable nature.

Labradors, Goldens, and German Shepherds are poor choices for apartment dwellers, but the Frenchie isn’t.

What’s more, because the Frenchies aren’t noisy, they won’t disturb your neighbors. They can also live in homes, as well as countrysides. 

The only challenge you’d have with the French Bulldog is during the summer. Because this breed is brachycephalic, it is vulnerable to overheating during warmer weather.

You can take some time steps to avoid overheating like placing damp towels on your Frenchie, proper grooming, and spraying water, among others. 

5. They are good for new pet parents

Because of its size, companion nature, and love for people, the French Bulldog can make a good first-time dog.

If you haven’t owned a pet yet and looking for a good option, we recommend this breed. They are easy to train and care for. 

Do know that the Frenchie’s stubbornness can pop up sometimes and make training a bit challenging, but you can overcome those by making your training consistent.

Frenchies like to learn, but you’ll need to make training a habit if you want to succeed.

Teach it basic commands and socialize for a start, and it’s better to start training when the Frenchie is still a pup.

This breed is sensitive, so you should be careful with how you correct it. A little harsh word will hurt, and you don’t want the guilt of staring into those sad eyes.

Find an easier way to correct when it does something wrong, and use a lot of positive reinforcements. 

6. Frenchies have a low exercise need

Frenchie Puppy Running Outdoors
Bigandt_Photography / Getty Images

Frenchies aren’t the best fit for those who want an exercise buddy, but of course, every Frenchie fan knows this.

The French Bulldog has a low energy level, though it can play when it needs to. This energy level is seen as a benefit, not a downside.

Many people are too busy to devote hours exercising a dog, so the French Bulldog fits the current society. 

A few minutes’ walks are enough for a Frenchie adult. It doesn’t like to run and should not be allowed to do so or it will go out of breath.

Low-intensity exercises are better than higher ones. Also stimulate their minds with games like food puzzles, interactive toys, and lickmats

7. Frenchies are easy to groom

Added to every other fact that makes the French Bulldog popular, it also has a low grooming need.

Its coat is short and smooth and needs only occasional brushing. The Frenchie is not hypoallergenic, however, as it sheds and drools.

You might also have a problem with flatulence, but hey, that’s a human problem too. 

Besides coat brushing, the French Bulldog needs other forms of hygiene. Wipe its mouth of drool and give it good dental care.

Clean its ears with a damp cloth and a cotton swab around the ear canal, never inside. If you notice dry ears, apply baby oil. Also, trim the nails regularly. 

While grooming, check out for any signs of skin, ear, or eye infection. Start grooming at a young age so your Frenchie becomes used to it. 

8. They have a unique look

Close Up Frenchie Dog Standing on Grass
Hailey Dean / Getty Images

While it is true that many other dogs out there are more attractive than the French Bulldog, it has its physical appeal.

The batlike ears, huge eyes, and wrinkles make it look unusual, and who doesn’t like unusual? For Frenchie lovers, the appearance is a definite plus, not a flaw. 

Some people describe the French Bulldog as a “piglet with bunny ears”, which is a fanciful way of saying it is cute.

It is hard to resist the lovey-dovey eyes, and the comical expression can leave you in stitches for a long time. 

9. The Frenchie is a good lapdog

Woman Cuddling a Frenchie
Ignacio Ruiz Casanellas / Getty Images

The Labrador Retriever wants what the Frenchie has in abundance, the ability to cozy up on the owner’s laps and spend a quiet afternoon.

The bonding moment between the Frenchie and its owner is emphasized by those pleasant moments. 

There’s no lonely moment with the French Bulldog. It enjoys cuddling, taking a sweet nap, sticking close to its owners, and making good memories. 

The only challenge you’d have is that Frenchies might get a bit too heavy to fit on your laps, but when that happens you can still have good company on the couch!

10. It doesn’t have a long lifespan but will love you throughout its days

According to the American Kennel Club, the French Bulldog lifespan falls between 10 and 12 years. That’s a short lifespan, especially for a dog that’s not too big. 

The biggest problem that makes the Frenchie among the shortest living dog breeds is the many health issues they face.

According to a study on the subject, the Frenchie is vulnerable to 20 illnesses.

Heatstroke is common amongst members of this breed. It also suffers from breathing complications. 

Why is this so? An expert explains that:

“Flat-face dogs do not exist in nature. They’re a creation of mankind’s desire for a flat-face dog, and there were huge health issues associated with them”.

What’s more, “we [humans] actively seek out dogs with conformations that we find cute and appealing as owners as humans but that actually are really unpleasant and unhealthy for the dogs.”

— Dan O’Neill, senior lecturer in Companion Animal Epidemiology at the Royal Veterinary College in London

Besides heat stroke and breathing problems, other French Bulldog health issues include hip dysplasia, multiple allergies, patellar luxation, Von Willebrand’s disease, and Cleft palate.

For Frenchie lovers, however, it is worth it. This breed’s love for humans is noteworthy.

Getting a good breeder also reduces the chances of getting an ill-bred Frenchie. Alternatively, you can adopt. 

11. The Frenchie makes a good watchdog

Close Up Frenchie Standing and Watching
Cynoclub / Getty Images

Though this breed is not a big barker, it has some qualities that make it a good watchdog.

It is loyal and protective, so it would keep you alerted of anything it finds strange. It is also territorial and would like to defend its family. 

However, its small size makes it a poor guard dog. It also loves people a lot and isn’t prone to being aloof towards strangers, especially when well socialized. 

12. Frenchies are good with kids and other pets

The French Bulldog is ideal for a family with kids, regardless of their ages. It isn’t too small, too big, or too energetic for toddlers.

It also flows well with adults. You shouldn’t leave the Frenchie unsupervised with kids, though. 

Frenchies also do well with other dogs and cats. Your cat might even be the one to have issues with the French Bulldog because of the latter’s clinginess.

With other dogs, only a spoilt Frenchie might react negatively. 

13. They are good therapy dogs

Frenchie Dog on Woman's Lap Outdoor
PTG PRO / Getty Images

French Bulldogs are affectionate, loving, and sensitive, making them ideal for emotional support.

These dogs can be trained to be good for therapy, and offer comfort to those struggling with depression, anxiety, and other forms of mental illnesses. 

Their size makes them easy to carry and pet, and their sensitivity would make them attune to your mood.

Frenchies are also not aggressive, and their playful nature can draw you out of the blues. 

14. There’s a variety of French Bulldog colors to choose from

Different French Bulldog Colors to Choose From
Cynoclub / Getty Images

The standard colors of the French Bulldog are fawn, white, and brindle, and they come in different shades, offering a variety.

Markings are also permitted. Frenchie fans also add coat colors to the list of the many lovely qualities this breed has. 

15. They are lovely and adorable

Overall, the Frenchie is popular because it is adorable in many ways. It is an ideal family dog with a unique and endearing look.

The French Bulldog also shows affection to everyone, including kids and pets, easy to train and adaptable — no wonder the breed is popular. 

How Much Does a French Bulldog Cost?

Young French Bulldog Puppy Standing on white background
Kabantsev / Getty Images

Thanks to its popularity, getting a Frenchie puppy isn’t difficult.

The average French Bulldog price is between $1,500 to $3,000 from a reputable breeder if you want to shop and lesser if you choose to adopt.

Where to Find a Frenchie Puppy for Sale

Many experts discourage buying the French Bulldog for sale in a bid to reduce ill-breeding that has become rampant amongst this breed.

While there’s some truth in their assertion, some pet parents still prefer getting a puppy no one has owned before.

If that’s you, then ensure that you get a reputable breeder who can prove that your Frenchie puppy is healthy (at least to a large extent).

Some websites to get you started if you prefer to shop for this breed are the AKC Marketplace and PuppySpot.

French Bulldog Adoption

Adoption is often praised as the better alternative, especially when it involves brachycephalic breeds like the French Bulldog.

If you agree, or you just feel like adoption is a cheaper option, then some rescue shelters to help you out are French Bulldog Rescue Network, Adopt-a-Pet, and For the love of our Frenchies.

300+ Best Male & Female French Bulldog Names

Related Questions

What is special about the French Bulldog?

French Bulldogs have a lot of traits that make them special. It has a unique look and is affectionate with everyone, family and strangers. These dogs are easygoing and know how to have a lot of fun. 

What makes Frenchies so popular?

After a dark period in their history, French Bulldogs rose in popularity and are now a celebrity sensation.

The size makes it easy for owners to carry them around, and they have endearing personalities.

They also adapt to different environments and are suitable for both new and old pet parents. 

Where are French Bulldogs so popular?

The French Bulldog is the 2nd most popular breed in the United States and has also recorded a high number in the United Kingdom and Australia.

It is the 2nd most popular dog breed in the United Kingdom, as well as Australia. 

When did French Bulldogs become popular? 

The French Bulldog was rare for some years in the 20th century, but picked up in the 1980s and kept steadily climbing till it got to the 2nd rank in the United States and some other countries. 

Final Thoughts: Should I Get a French Bulldog? 

So, is the French Bulldog right for you? There’s a lot to consider, one of which is the health issue.

Frenchies are also not suitable for very active owners, nor are they hypoallergenic.

Nitpicky and fastidious owners would also feel frustrated by the Frenchie because it drools, farts and snores.

Other than those caveats, the Frenchie is an excellent family dog for many owners.

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Authored By

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is a canine behavioral and nutritional specialist, professional dog trainer, and the CEO of Puplore. A former military working dog handler, Ben founded Puplore to provide owners with breed-specific information and to act as a go-to guide to health, nutrition, care, and to help them find the confidence they need to step up to the plate and become the best pup parents they can possibly be. A firm believer in treating all animals with kindness and compassion, and that positive discipline is paramount in achieving a harmonious canine-human relationship, Ben’s former and present careers have enabled him to become a leading light in his chosen profession and business.

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