Frenchies are loving companions who thrive on human contact. If you want an outdoor dog who can be left alone for long periods, the Frenchie is not the breed for you. This is a dog who enjoys lavishing love on his human companions as much as he loves the same treatment in return. They generally get along well with everyone, including children. French Bulldogs can, however, be territorial and possessive of their people, especially in the presence of other dogs. Socialization is a must for this breed, but with their easy companionship this is an enjoyable task.
Socialization occurs between the ages of 3 and 16 weeks of age. Socializing your puppy is all about teaching them that the world is a safe place and that new experiences, people, and other animals don't have to be scary. It's accomplished by positively reinforcing new situations to puppies during their first three months of life. Your puppy has already begun its socialization journey. It has been exposed to other dogs, people, sounds, and smells. Here are some safe ways to continue to socialize your puppy before he/she is fully vaccinated:
Please consider avoiding dog parks until your puppy is at least 6 months old. Vets and trainers agree that dog parks present all kinds of issues, mostly as a result of other owners who are not monitoring or able to control their dog, and can traumatize and permanently scar your puppy. Your puppy will also have a greatly increased chance of contracting illnesses or diseases.
Raw Food vs. Kibble
Your puppy has been fed a biologically appropriate and balance raw food diet. We strongly believe that this is the absolute best diet for a dog and encourage you to continue feeding a raw diet. Benefits of this diet include:
There are numerous reasons to avoid feeding Kibble.
FOR OTTAWA AREA BASED FAMILIES:
We get our raw food from Raw Choice, an Ottawa-based online retailer. Raw Choice does not have a bricks and mortar location, nor do they sell through pet stores. This allows them to keep their prices quite competitive. Raw Choice offers a number of different protein options as well as complete meal mixes.
*you may want to consider avoiding straight-up chicken/turkey – these are the number one protein allergens for frenchies.
Raw Feeding Tips:
Slanted or tilted bowls are a lifesaver for these flat faced guys! Not only do they make it easier for your dog to get at their food, they reduce the gulping of air which means less gas, lower risk of "bloat" and better digestion. The elle frenchies pack uses the SuperDesign Mess Free slanted bowls from Amazon. You will need a large/3 cup for your frenchie.
*Bonus; these bowls are also raised which is better for their spine!
The standard vaccination schedule is at/very close to 8, 12, and 16 weeks of age. Your puppy will have received it’s first set of vaccinations already. The date his/her second set is due can be found on the slip of paper inside YOUR DOG’S PASSPORT. In addition to a physical exam, fecal analysis and deworming, your puppy received the following vaccinations: Distemper, Adenovirus type 2, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus, and Coronavirus. These are considered ‘core’ vaccines. At 16 weeks of age, you can also opt for Lepto, Lyme and Bordetella. These are not recommended for this breed as they are linked to seizures, other neurological episodes and other adverse reactions. However, is ultimately your choice to administer them or not.
Frenchies, or any brachycephalic breed (smooshed in face), are very heat sensitive. Dogs suffering from heatstroke can have elevated breathing rates (pant excessively), dry or sticky gums, abnormal gum colour, bruising in the gums, may appear lethargic or disoriented, and can have seizures. It is urgent to lower your dog’s body temperature immediately. Move the dog to a shaded and cool area. Immediately pour cool (not cold to avoid shock) water over the dog. You can also put cool cloths behind the armpits, paws and behind the ears. Never force the dog to drink water or pour water into it’s mouth.
To avoid heatstroke, you’ll want to
Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD)
Just like in people, the neck and back are made up of multiple bones lined up in a row. These bones are called vertebrae. The vertebrae surround and protect the spinal cord, which transmits information from the brain to the legs and from the legs back to the brain. In between each pair of vertebrae is an intervertebral disc that is shaped like a jelly donut. The disc has an inner jelly part and an outer donut part. Intervertebral discs act as spacers and cushions between the bones of the neck and back.
In certain breeds, including the French Bulldog, the jelly inside part of the disc can come out of the donut. When this happens, it hits the spinal cord, causing bruising and swelling. Additionally, it compresses the spinal cord causing wobbling and incoordination, pain, nerve damage, and even lower body paralysis.
Here is a list of things to look out for:
It is heartbreaking to see our pets in pain. The earlier that you detect any symptoms the higher the chances of recovery. Be sure to report any symptoms to your vet.
Tips on trying to prevent IVDD:
Even though IVDD is often age related (effecting older dogs) it can occur at any life stage for this breed. It’s super important to do whatever you can to keep your fur baby safe.
Harness vs. Collar
While a flat collar is best for everyday wear and for displaying ID tags, a harness is the safest option for going on walks and other outdoor activities or situations that might cause your puppy to pull on the leash. Not only can using a collar cause difficulty breathing in a brachycephalic dog breed, but it can also put extra stress on the neck and put your dog at risk for IVDD. The elle frenchies pack wears Rabbitgoo harnesses purchased from Amazon.
Research is now showing that desexing your puppy at an early age not only puts them at risk for IVDD, but also significantly increases the risk of hip dysplasia, obesity, bone cancer, arthritis and other autoimmune disorders. Urinary complications in spayed female dogs are greatly increased. Removing their hormone producing body parts stops the growth of bones, the strengthening of ligaments and keeps your dog reaching their physical maturity. Let your French Bulldog grow fully before committing to the procedure. We do not recommend spaying/neutering till 16 months of age.
Sofa Stairs or Ramps
If you plan to allow your Frenchie to access your sofa or bed you will want to teach them how to use sofa stairs or ramps to reduce injuries from jumping off your furniture. We love these Pet Stairs from Amazon.
French Bulldogs are knows for their little wrinkled faces. All those wrinkles sometimes need special care. At least once a week, their folds and wrinkles and tail pockets, should be cleaned so that they dont get irritated. There are some amazing products on the market to keep those rolls nice and clean BUT good old sensitive skin/hypoallergenic baby wipes and a high quality, hypoallergenic shampoo work wonders.
Like any bulldog, Frenchies can have allergies. You can consult with your veterinarian about your dog if you think he/she may be expressing allergic reactions. Allergic reactions can express as welts, hives, dry flaky skin, itching, chewing of paws, ear infections, red eyes and such. Sometimes a simple switch in their diet can make all the difference! A good quality fish oil added to their food each day will also benefit/help to prevent allergies.
You form a strong bond that continues throughout your dog’s life. Having said that, Frenchies really don't require a lot of exercise. They do very well with about 30 mins of exercise a day. Although they are often far more energetic, puppies require shorter periods of exercise than adult dogs. Too much puppy exercise can result in exhaustion and joint damage, Follow the 5 mins of exercise twice a day per month of age rule. For example, a 5 month puppy should receive no more than 25mins of exercise 2x each day.
Heat and Cold Sensitivities:
This is probably one of the most important things to remember with French Bulldogs. Because they are a flat faced breed, they are not able to cool themselves as well as other breeds. They are susceptible to heat stroke if they are kept out in weather above 70 degrees for long periods of time. Just watch your baby, when they pant and seem to have trouble, bring them into a cooler area. Always make sure they have access to fresh cool water. They are also sensitive to colder temperatures. Because their ears stick up and catch all that cold wind, and their bellies have little to no hair on them, they can be subject to hypothermia. So on cold days make sure they don't stay outside too long!
Bulldogs are AVID CHEWERS. Especially puppies! You wouldn’t think such a small cuddly animal could have such powerful chewing power! But I always recommend indestructible toys, and Marrow bones to keep them busy. Also, NO rawhide as they can chew chunks off and choke on them, not to mention they are cured with all kinds of chemicals that can be toxic to dogs! Kong toys filled with peanut butter (always All Natural Peanut Butter, avoid Peanut butters with Xylitol as it is toxic to dogs) make great chewy toys! I do recommend crate training your puppy as it will help with house training for one, and it keeps your puppy in a safe environment until he gets older and learns not to chew on things that could hurt him.
French Bulldogs are very very smart! But some can be difficult to house break. I recommend crate training from the moment you bring your puppy home! If the puppy is out of his crate watch him every minute. If he starts to potty on the floor immediately scoop him up and place him in the desired potty area and them give tons of praise as soon as he does his business! Negative attention or punishments do NOT work with French Bulldogs. They are very sensitive and want to please their owners. Praise and positive reinforcements work 100% awesome with these guys! You will be amazed to see how quickly they catch on when they see they make you happy for doing something!
I highly recommend insurance for this breed. There are many pet insurance companies so do your research and choose the one that works best for you. The elle frenchies pack members are covered by Peppermint Pet Insurance. This company offers very affordable rates but be aware their packages do not cover dental.
A 30”crate will be the best size for your dog,
Does a male or a female make a better pet for you and your family?
It’s not uncommon for people to believe that a female dog will make a better pet. They don’t think that females will exhibit “alpha” behaviors like humping and/or marking. A lot of people think that females are more passive and friendly and that they don’t take part in fighting over dominance, which could NOT be farther from the truth. If you check out the structure of dog packs, the females determine the pecking order and rule the roost. The result of that behavior is that the females become more stubborn, independent, and territorial than the males. These females are much more intent on exercising their control by participating in that “alpha” behavior like humping. Most fighting will usually break out between two females.
Males tend to be more affectionate, exuberant, attentive, and even more demanding of attention. The males are very attached to their owners, tending to be more dedicated, reliable and less temperamental. They are more sociable, more accepting of other pets, playful for years, and take quicker to children. Most boys are easily motivated by treats/food, words of praise and are so eager to please that training actually becomes easier. Their playful nature, however, can make males more easily distracted. The boys are more likely to act silly and more puppy-like, always wanting to play games, no matter what their age. The boys are fun-loving until the day they die, whereas girls tend to be more standoffish and dignified the older they get. Neutered males rarely exhibit secondary sexual behavior such as marking and lifting their legs or humping. Once the testosterone levels recede after neutering, most of these behaviors will disappear if they ever existed. Boys who were neutered early* (by six months of age) usually don’t ever raise their leg to urinate.
So before making your decision on that age old dilemma of male verses female, hopefully this will give you some helpful info to think about.
*Early spay or neutering is not best for your dog! We do not recommend de-sexing until your dog is at least 16 months of age.