A small dog with a grey, shiny, short coat, large triangular ears stood on top of their head, a short nose and a big, happy smile sits on a wooden bench.

French Bulldog

The French Bulldog is a very popular breed in the UK - there are more than 5,000 of these pups on BorrowMyDoggy. They are the smallest of the Bulldog breeds - likely developed by mixing Toy Bulldogs (now extinct) with terriers. They are much smaller than the American Bulldog and the English Bulldog and have characteristic “bat-ears”. While their descendants may have been used for bull-baiting, these cheeky chaps fit firmly in the companion dog category. Though they are adorably cute, prospective French Bulldog owners are advised to look into the particular dog care and health needs of short-faced (brachycephalic) pups.

This article might be of interest to:

  • Owners looking to share their pet French Bulldog;
  • People thinking about getting a Frenchie, looking to borrow a dog or keen on dog sitting; or
  • Anyone who wants to pawfect their knowledge of small dog breeds.
Text to speech not available for this image

What is a French Bulldog?

Nicknamed “Frenchies”, they are small in size but big in character with fun, engaging personalities. They usually weigh around 10 - 12kg - they are small and stocky. They have distinctive “bat-like” ears and their smooth, short haired coat can be a variety of colours, such as brindle, fawn, tan, black and white. The average lifespan of a French Bulldog is 12-14 years.

They are sadly prone to quite a few health issues. Further research into keeping them healthy is very important if you are considering the breed. For example, breathing issues associated with their short noses which makes them particularly susceptible to struggling in hot weather or when they are stressed. They also only have a single coat and so must be kept warm in colder weather.

In terms of history: although considered a French dog breed, Frenchies have British descendants in the form of Miniature Bulldogs. The displacement of Nottingham lace workers in the industrial revolution led to people moving to France with their dogs - including these small versions of the English Bulldog. Once they were in France, their popularity grew and they were bred with French terriers, apparently particularly by artists and breed specialists. Perhaps this is where they got their distinctive and fun personalities from?!

Fun fact

The breed had a big resurgence in the 2010s making them one of the UK’s most popular breeds according to the Kennel Club. However, it seems numbers may have fallen slightly since then. A 2019 survey by tv channel, ITV, listed them as number 42 out of 100 of Britain’s top dog breeds. The apparent decrease in popularity could perhaps be attributed to an increased public understanding of the health challenges faced by brachycephalic (short nosed) dog breeds.

How much exercise does a French Bulldog need?

They are a lively breed so do need a minimum of one hour of exercise each day, despite their small size. Several short walks throughout the day is recommended. As they are a brachycephalic breed, they should not be over-exercised during the warmer weather as they have trouble breathing and can overheat. So during summer months, lots of indoor playtime and cuddles are needed.

A stout, short haired, white and brown dog with a short nose and huge ears sits under a barstool

"Mr. B likes walking but isn’t much of a runner as he gets out of breath pretty quickly. He may not require a lot of exercise, but he always needs lots and lots of love and attention!" - Yumiko, Owner of Mr. B

What is the temperament of a French Bulldog?

Vivacious and affectionate, Frenchies are similar to other companion breeds and enjoy close contact with humans. They are an ideal breed for people who live in a flat or apartment and who are around a lot. They don’t like being on their own as they are such friendly companion dogs although they don’t have a tendency to bark. They make a great family dog as they are good with children and are great for first time owners.

One of the dogs is white and the other is black and tan. Both have short hair, short legs, a short nose and huge ears

"Like most French Bulldogs, Daphne is a big personality in a small doggy. She loves people, playtime and walkies - fetch and tug are her favourite games." - Christopher, Owner of Daphne

Katherine, an owner from London, gives a lovely overview of her Frenchie, Winston:

“Winston is rambunctious and playful with a heart of gold. He loves to run around and play with other dogs. He is very friendly and polite when he first meets other dogs and is trustworthy to be off the lead in enclosed areas. While he loves going on long adventures, he also loves to be a couch potato! Winston is lovable and hilarious with his silly antics! He is good with children, but LOVES food...maybe even a little too much :) There is never a boring moment with Winston and he will keep you laughing for hours!”

A stocky grey dog with tan markings and large ears is walking on a muddy path

Are French Bulldogs easy to train?

Although they’re people oriented and eager to please, French Bulldogs tend to have a stubborn streak. With enough training they can make for a wonderful family pet. They are known to be very easy to train once you overcome the stubbornness. As with most dogs, varied rewards and consistent training from puppyhood and all through adulthood will help them integrate well into every situation they find themselves in! Owners from the BorrowMyDoggy community share their thoughts:

Owner, Sam:

Charlie is a typical Frenchie - he’s so happy and lovely, but also has a mind of his own and is quite stubborn.

Owner, Marianne on her French Bulldog, Hypnos:

He makes lots of noises, which includes snorting, grunting, snoring, and farting. It’s all part of his charm.

Owner, Charlie:

Milo just wants to be cuddled all of the time, by as many people as possible, for the rest of his life. He’s loving, stubborn, slightly lazy and a bit of a clown.

Most common French Bulldog names on BorrowMyDoggy:

  • Hugo
  • Louis
  • Lola
  • Frank
  • Frankie
  • Gus
  • Coco
  • Buddy
  • Molly
  • Charlie

BorrowMyDoggy member, Fabiola, joined with her adorable French Bulldog, Bobo. Watch their story to see why she says:

We just clicked with our borrower and I have peace of mind knowing Bobo is happy and safe with wonderful people that live close by.

Thanks to the cute Frenchies (and owners) from the BorrowMyDoggy community for sharing their thoughts and photos.

  • Owners - if you’re looking to find your French Bulldog a new friend or some extra cuddles, why not get in touch with borrowers from the community? Why pay extra dog walking charges when a borrower might be able to help you out simply for the love of dogs?
  • Borrowers - if you’re looking to learn more about any dog breeds, why not reach out to local owners in the community who are looking for a helping hand?

As more owners and borrowers join the community and start messaging, more woofs, walks and waggy tails can be spread to share the love of dogs.

Why not join the BorrowMyDoggy community today?






Tibetan terrier


French bulldog

Shar pei

Lagotto romagnolo

Hey there!

Want to hear about a different kind of dog care that both you and your dog will love?

Or perhaps you’re a dog lover who can’t have one of your own right now?

We have the pawfect solution, BorrowMyDoggy!

How it works
Dog speaking