Could you love something that snores, snorts, is big boned, big eared, often makes strange noises and has a reputation of room-clearing flatulence? When you meet the French bulldog, you’ll answer a resounding “Yes!” These charming companions steal hearts, and according to the American Kennel Club(AKC), San Francisco has rolled over to make the French Bulldog its fourth most popular breed.
Recognized by the AKC in 1898, the “Frenchie,” as the breed is affectionately called, has spent the past decade tenaciously climbing the popularity ranks from 71 to 21 nationwide. In fact, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. are leading the Frenchie revolution, being the two large cities where French bulldogs rank highest, in fourth place. Miami and New York City are close on their heels, though, making the clown-like French bulldog their fifth most popular breed.
To anyone who has met one of these characters, this isn’t surprising news. French bulldogs are of compact size and between 22-28 pounds, a size which makes them well suited to city living. They have a short coat which requires minimal grooming, and while they are lively, they don’t require extensive exercise. Behaviorally, the breed is very sociable and considered good family companions, although as with any dog, early socialization and training are key.
Kristin Borello caught the French bulldog craze several years ago and aside from their laid-back style, says, “I love how they play, the crazy noises they make and how they just always make me laugh.” She is proudly owned by a Frenchie named Bianca, and in January 2010 started Marin County French Bully Buddies, a social monthly meet-up group for other French bulldogs and their people.
The AKC assigns French bulldogs to the “Non-Sporting” group and they excel at their job, namely entertainer, lap warmer and faithful companion. This doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy obedience training or playing games, but most of all, they want to be with their people.
French bulldog life does have some considerations, though: Their trademark brachiocaphalic or “smush face” snout means that they cannot handle heat or overexertion well. Also, due to their physical conformation, French bulldogs are difficult to breed, which often results in a fairly pricey puppies. Lastly, they can suffer from genetic and general health problems, so if you are considering purchasing a French bulldog, thoroughly researching their lineage and the breeder should be a priority. Check out the AKC website for more information on this rapidly rising star, the French bulldog.
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