French Bulldog

October 12, 2022 - 4 min read
french bulldog puppy with tan coat looks up and over right shoulder

Vital stats

  • Breed type: Companion
  • Size: 10 - 14 inches
  • Weight: 22 - 31 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10 - 14 years


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  • Intelligence

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  • Trainability

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  • Exercise needs

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  • Good with kids

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  • Levels of shedding

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  • Good for new owners

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  • Overall health of breed

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French Bulldogs fall into the American Kennel Club’s “non-sporting-group” category, which is a diverse group of breeds that vary in size, appearance, and personality.

Contrary to their moniker, French Bulldogs weren’t originally French. The breed was created by lacemakers in Nottingham, England, in the 1800s. Their job was to catch rats and keep their owners' laps warm while they worked. They’re descended from British Bulldogs and were first bred as dwarf or toy Bulldogs by mixing the breed with terriers.

When these lace workers migrated to Normandy, France, only then did the breed become known as the French Bulldog. They now look very different from other bulldog breeds, with their small size and characteristic bat-like ears.

French bulldogs are a trending breed. They were the second most popular breed in the US in 2021, according to the American Kennel Club.

Types of French Bulldogs

The American Kennel Club lists nine breed standard colors, most of them variations of either brindle (a mottled brown and black) or fawn (light brown):

  • Brindle

  • Brindle and white

  • Cream

  • Fawn

  • Fawn & White

  • Fawn Brindle & White

  • White

  • White & Brindle

  • White & Fawn

French bulldogs also come in various color mixes, including lilac-and-tan or white-blue-and-tan. There’s even a particularly rare and expensive color called "Isabella." Isabella French Bulldogs have a pale liver color and usually have a pink or light brown nose and blue eyes.

French Bulldogs usually have very short fur, but there’s a gene known as "LH" that some breeders have deliberately sought out to create fluffy French Bulldogs.

The LH gene is recessive, so to get long-haired French Bulldogs, both parents must have the gene, and even then, only some of the puppies will be fluffy. And even fluffy Frenchies aren’t very long-haired, though—just a little shaggier.

French Bulldog temperament and characteristics

French Bulldogs were bred as companion dogs; they’re usually cheerful and good-natured with people and other animals if they’re properly socialized as puppies.

Their clown-like looks are often reflected by a quirky personalities, but they can have quite a stubborn streak as well. Because they’re so people-friendly, they don’t like to be left alone and sometimes suffer from separation anxiety.

How much does dog insurance cost for French Bulldogs?

French Bulldogs are one of the more expensive breeds to insure. The average premium for a French Bulldog is $80 per month. By comparison, our average monthly premium across all dog breeds and ages is $37.

So French Bulldog insurance costs more than double the average dog insurance plan. French Bulldogs cost more to insure than many other breeds because they're susceptible to a number of health conditions, which means there’s a higher chance you’ll have to make a claim.

(Keep in mind: These are just averages based on data from all customer premiums, including the pricier ones. Your pet's age and location will heavily affect your monthly price, and it's possible your premium will differ from the average —get a quote here!)

In 2022, The average claim ManyPets received for French Bulldogs was $650 — but we saw French Bulldog claims that ran as high as about $11,000.

When you choose dog insurance, make sure your coverage is comprehensive enough to help your French Bulldog every year — and throughout their entire life. ManyPets policies don’t have annual or lifetime reimbursement limits, so coverage for your Frenchie won’t suddenly run out.

If you’re purchasing insurance for the first time or switching pet insurance providers, be aware that any pre-existing conditions your vet has already diagnosed — like genetic issues with your French Bulldog’s breathing or their eyes — won’t be covered by your new policy. That's why it's best to get your French Bulldog insured while they're still a puppy.

However, once your pet has been free of diagnosis, treatment, and symptoms for a particular condition for 18 months, ManyPets will no longer consider that condition to be pre-existing. 

French Bulldog health conditions

Unfortunately, due to selective breeding, French Bulldogs can suffer from a number of genetic conditions.

They are a brachycephalic, or flat-faced, breed, which can cause some breathing problems.

  • Brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome (BOAS) is one of the most common conditions in French Bulldogs, and it can be quite costly to treat. In 2022, ManyPets received French Bulldog claims for BOAS that ran as high as about $3,600. Brachycephalic dogs essentially have too much soft tissue to fit on their small skeletons, meaning they have folds in places like their faces. This can mean their airways are blocked with this excess tissue, making breathing harder. A common treatment is to have the tissues of the soft palate and other airways surgically trimmed. This can regularly cost over $2,000.

  • Allergic skin disorders (AKA “allergic dermatitis”) are also common in French Bulldogs. In 2022, ManyPets received French Bulldog claims for allergic dermatitis that ran as high as about $280.

  • Eye problems are also common in French bulldogs, including corneal ulcers and dermoid cysts. In 2022, ManyPets received French Bulldog claims for eye-related conditions that ran as high as about $2,600.

  • French bulldogs can also suffer from skeletal problems and be born with spinal deformities, causing issues with their shins, hind legs, and back.

Just FYI, ManyPets can cover hereditary conditions so long as they’re not pre-existing.

Health tests for French Bulldogs

If you purchase a French Bulldog puppy, it’s worth asking the breeder if the parents have been health tested.

There are some recommended health tests for French Bulldogs to discourage those with breathing and other problems from being used for breeding. The French Bulldog Club of America (the breed’s national parent club, affiliated with the American Kennel Club) recommends a patella evaluation, a hip evaluation, a cardiac exam, and an ophthalmologist evaluation. 

A test for autoimmune thyroiditis is recommended but optional, as is a DNA test for juvenile cataracts.

French Bulldog popularity

Frequently asked questions about French Bulldogs

How much do French Bulldogs cost?

French Bulldogs have become a desirable breed in recent years, costing roughly $1,500-$3,000 in the US.

If you see litters of cheap French Bulldog puppies, be careful. Because of their high value, they have become the target of puppy farmers who will breed large number of unregistered and non-health checked pups. Read our advice on how to buy a puppy from a responsible breeder.

Do French Bulldogs shed?

Although Frenchies have short, fine fur, they shed year-round. Weekly brushing should help you manage the worst of it, as well as an occasional bath.

Can French Bulldogs swim?

French Bulldogs are not good swimmers and you should supervise them very carefully around water. Their short, stocky bodies don’t stay afloat well, and their flat faces can cause them to inhale water, so swimming can be quite dangerous for them. Best to stick to paddling in shallow water.

Do French Bulldogs have tails?

French Bulldogs do have tails, and you shouldn't assume they're docked; they just naturally have very small, short tails. Some Frenchies have a straight tail, and others have a corkscrew tail like a pig.

How many puppies do French Bulldogs have?

French Bulldogs only have a small litter. Two or three pups are normal, and anything above five is a very large litter for a Frenchie.

Are French Bulldogs hypoallergenic?

Although they create much less hair than big, furry breeds, French Bulldogs aren’t hypoallergenic and will continuously shed hair.