Close this search box.

French Bulldog Pros and Cons: Is This The Dog For You?

Written By: Sharon Waddington

Last Updated:

French Bulldogs are a popular breed of dog that have captured the hearts of many dog lovers. They have unique appearances and loving personalities and are great family pets. However, like any breed, they also have their pros and cons.

Pros of French Bulldogs are that they’re excellent companions and remain loyal to their owners. Additionally, they don’t need much grooming and are generally docile. A con of French Bulldogs is that they often have health issues and a low life expectancy. High costs and shedding are other downsides.

Thinking of getting a French Bulldog but want to learn more about their primary pros and cons? Keep reading to get all the necessary information before deciding if this breed is for you!

French Bulldog Pros and Cons
French Bulldog Pros and Cons

What Are The Pros & Cons of a French Bulldog?

Throughout history, dogs have earned their deserved place as our best friends and continue to hold that title to this day. It’s no surprise that they are the most popular pets in our homes, offering loyalty, companionship, and boundless love.

However, owning a dog is not all sunshine and rainbows. While they bring many advantages to our lives, they also come with their own set of challenges. French Bulldogs, in particular, are known for their unique traits that can test their owner’s patience, financial stability, and time management skills.

When considering the pros and cons of a French Bulldog, it’s important to compare each point to make the right choice. 

French Bulldog ProsFrench Bulldog Cons
Frenchies are excellent companionsFrenchies often have health issues and low life expectancy
French Bulldogs don’t need much groomingFrenchies aren’t great swimmers
French Bulldogs don’t require much exerciseFrench Bulldogs shed somewhat
French Bulldogs are ideal for all householdsFrench Bulldogs walk very slowly
Frenchies are calm and quietFrench Bulldogs become lazier as they age
French Bulldogs are expensive
Frenchies are often bred irresponsibly
French Bulldog Pros and Cons

The Pros of a French Bulldog

To better understand whether or not a French Bulldog is the right choice for you, let’s dive into the main advantages of this popular breed:

Frenchies Are Excellent Companions 

There’s no question that there are many French Bulldog pros and cons, and one of the main benefits is that they’re excellent companions. Most people like to focus on positive behavioral traits when choosing a dog breed, so it’s no surprise that many end up with a French Bulldog. 

Of course, most dog breeds are loyal and make good companions, but a Frenchie will go the extra mile to ensure they can be near you.

Those who like forming close bonds with their dogs will surely find a life-long friendship in a French Bulldog, which is one of the reasons they’ve become such a popular breed over the past few years.

If you show them affection, they will certainly appreciate and reciprocate it.

French Bulldogs Don’t Need Much Grooming 

Many dog breeds are high-maintenance and require grooming every few weeks to keep their fur short and free from matting. 

Thankfully, French Bulldogs have short hair that sheds, meaning there’s no need to spend money on groomers multiple times a year. Of course, you’ll still need to maintain their coats by brushing regularly, but this is nothing compared to the needs of a high-maintenance and long-haired breed.

Many dog breeds like to roam around in the dirt, dig, and eat questionable things. In contrast, Frenchies are not so adventurous. Since they are generally not too “outdoorsy,” they also are less likely to get dirty quickly. As a result, you only need to give their coat a deep wash once every two to three months (unless they’re visibly dirty before this).

“Washing them once every 2-3 months ensures they remain clean without stripping too much of their coat’s natural oils. Most importantly, they won’t stink this way!”

World of Dogz
French Bulldog chilling outdoors
French Bulldog chilling outdoors

Frenchies Don’t Require Much Exercise

As you may know, many dogs are highly energetic, requiring multiple long daily walks and playtime. This can be overwhelming for dog owners because keeping up with lively furry friends takes emotional and physical energy.

Thankfully, French Bulldogs don’t require much exercise because they prefer to take it easy rather than stay active all day – like another small breed, the Shih Tzu

Although they need walks and time for other physical activities, Frenchies get tired pretty quickly, so you’ll notice they slow down sooner than other breeds.

So, a Frenchie is one of your best options if you don’t want a high-energy dog and would prefer a companion that only needs short walks and minimal activity (especially as they age).

They’re Appropriate for All Kinds of Households

A French Bulldog can be considered a “universal” breed because it’s appropriate for all kinds of households. Whether you live alone, with young children, or with a partner, a French Bulldog will settle in with no issues.

On top of that, their small size makes them excellent choices for those who live in small homes or apartments. As mentioned, French Bulldogs don’t need much physical activity (compared to other dogs), so they only need a small space to roam around. 

A small home or apartment will not negatively impact a Frenchie’s quality of life, but it would likely affect a larger and more energetic breed like the German Shepherd. If you live in an apartment and want a French Bulldog, ensure there’s an easily accessible outdoor area for them to relieve themselves.

French Bulldogs Are Generally Calm and Quiet

French Bulldogs are known for their docile temperament because they are always quiet and calm, even on walks or around many people. Unlike dogs that frequently need sedation to undergo some minor veterinary procedures, French Bulldogs usually don’t need such medication because they’re naturally calm.

Although they may bark and make noise occasionally, they’re not as loud as other small breeds, such as chihuahuas and terriers. Their quiet nature is another reason they’re a perfect breed in an apartment where noise complaints are more common.

Additionally, this docile breed shouldn’t cause issues if you have young children (or plan to have children soon) because a Frenchie is unlikely to make loud noises at night or during nap time.

As long as you feed and care for them effectively, they should remain relatively quiet throughout the day and night.

If you’re overwhelmed with the list of pros about French Bulldogs, wait! Here’s a video from a French Bulldog owner after five years of ownership. This can help you make a careful decision.

The Cons of a French Bulldog

Since this article aims to discuss French Bulldog pros and cons, it’s now time to look at the primary cons. Be sure to compare all pros and cons to decide whether or not this breed is the right choice for you:

Frenchies Often Have Health Issues and Low Life Expectancy

Unfortunately, like many other purebreds, French Bulldogs have specific health issues that cannot be ignored. According to a study by BioMed Central, otitis externa, diarrhea, and conjunctivitis were the most common issues found in French Bulldogs. 

Otitis externa is a condition that affects the ears, and it can be rather uncomfortable for dogs. It causes swelling, redness, and foul odors. 

Other conditions that affect French Bulldogs include:

  • Breathing issues. Due to their flat faces, French Bulldogs–and other breeds, like Pugs–face breathing difficulties as they age. It can also result in loud breathing and snoring, which may keep you awake at night if the dog sleeps in your bedroom.
  • Skin problems. Unfortunately, French Bulldogs are prone to allergies; some of the main symptoms include skin rashes. The coat may also become dry and irritated.
  • Eye infections and problems. Conjunctivitis, allergies, red eyes, and other conditions affect French Bulldogs’ eyes. They are also prone to cataracts, which are often hereditary.
  • Herniated discs. According to another study by BioMed Central, herniated discs (IVDH) affect many French Bulldogs, which can cause back pain and trouble walking.

Since some health conditions in French Bulldogs are hereditary (i.e., passed down through generations), it’s recommended that breeders carry out DNA tests before beginning the selective breeding process.

Low Life Expectancy

Dogs’ life expectancies vary from breed to breed. Staggeringly, some ‘flat-faced’ (brachycephalic) dogs will live less than half as long as other breeds.

A recent study by the Royal Veterinary College analyzed 30,563 dogs that died between January 2016 and July 2020 to determine which breeds have the longest and shortest lifespans.

Analysts found the overall average life expectancy to be 11.2 years. But French Bulldogs have an average of just 4.5 years.

“You must consider the short life expectancy of the French Bulldog. I think it calls on all potential owners to stop and think before buying a Frenchie.”

World of Dogz

French Bulldogs Aren’t Great Swimmers

If you like to go to the beach and bring your dogs, a French Bulldog might not be the right breed. Unfortunately, they aren’t great swimmers because they lack physical agility and have breathing difficulties. As a result, it’s best to keep them away from the sea and other bodies of water.

Frenchies find it hard to float in water because their bodies are strong and heavy, so keeping them in the water for too long makes them more likely to lose energy and drown. 

If you have a swimming pool in your yard and are thinking of getting a French Bulldog, they should be supervised at all times when around the pool to minimize the chances of drowning. Placing fencing around the pool would also be a good idea for added safety.

French Bulldog sitting on the beach
French Bulldog sitting on the beach

French Bulldogs Shed 

Although French Bulldogs don’t shed as much as other breeds, they still shed a decent amount, which can be annoying for many dog owners. The exact amount of shedding varies from dog to dog, but weather and seasonal changes can greatly impact the shedding cycle.

For example, French Bulldogs generally shed the most amount of fur during spring, as it helps prepare them for the warmer summer months. Having too much fur during the summer would cause them to become too warm, so it makes sense that shedding increases during this period.

They also shed more in the fall, allowing them to grow a thicker, warmer coat to stay warm during the cold part of the year.

As a result, you may notice hair around the home and on your clothing, which can quickly get messy. Frequent vacuuming is the best way to tackle dog hair, and you may need to vacuum more often than usual (especially during spring when your Frenchie is most likely to shed).

Frenchies Walk Very Slowly

French Bulldogs can be fast walkers and might occasionally pull on the leash. However, as they age, you’ll probably notice the pulling eases, and they become much slower. Sometimes, you may even need to pull the leash to get them to walk with you.

While this might not be an issue for some people, it can be annoying for others. For example, you might be in a hurry and need to complete a walk within 40 minutes. However, a slow-walking French Bulldog can increase the time it takes to finish the walk, turning a 40-minute walk into a 1.5-hour stroll.

You shouldn’t have many issues as long as you have the patience to stroll with your Frenchie.

They Become Lazier As They Age

Slow walking is just one sign of an aging French Bulldog. You’ll also notice they become lazier in general as they age, which some dog owners might find “boring.” Those looking for a high-energy dog with lots of energy should avoid buying a Frenchie.

Since older French Bulldogs spend much of their days lying around and relaxing, they may also gain weight and become unhealthy over time. You must be extra careful about how much and what you feed them to ensure they don’t become overweight or obese. 

Lazy French Bulldog
Lazy French Bulldog

Frenchies Are Usually Costly

French Bulldogs are becoming increasingly popular across many countries, including the US. As a result, demand is high, which drives up their cost. It’s rare to find a French Bulldog that costs less than four digits, so keep that in mind if budget is a concern.

The general price range for a Frenchie is between $2,000 and $3,500, making it an extremely expensive companion to buy. However, due to the demand and popularity of the breed, people are happy to pay such high prices.

There are plenty of cheaper breeds to choose from, many of which are similar in size to a French Bulldog, so consider more affordable options if the four-digit range is too steep.

Perhaps, you can find one at a rescue center or an animal shelter at your location. On top of the high initial cost, you must also factor in veterinary fees, insurance, and other essential costs. 

For example, food is a regular cost you’ll have to incur, and it’s not always cheap. To learn more about the cost of dog food, check out this article, which discusses the different price points and more.

All in all, a French Bulldog certainly isn’t the right choice for anyone on a tight budget.

French Bulldogs Are Often Bred Irresponsibly

Of course, there are plenty of responsible French Bulldog breeders. However, plenty also breed dogs irresponsibly and in bad conditions. Since the Frenchie is such a popular breed, hundreds, if not thousands, of people nationwide breed these dogs, increasing the chance of irresponsible behaviors among breeders.

Make sure to go with a reputable breeder who treats the dogs well and performs DNA tests to minimize any health issues that can be passed down. Before agreeing to purchase, look around the dog home to ensure everything is clean and above board. 

Since there aren’t many breeding restrictions in the US, many breeders aren’t careful when choosing French pitbull parents. There are many health issues to consider before the selective breeding process, like dystocia, and many uneducated breeders simply ignore such issues (or are unaware of their existence).

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of French Bulldog pros and cons to consider. After reading this article, you should be able to compare each pro and con to decide whether this breed is the right choice. 

Frenchies are generally excellent companions and require minimal grooming, but they also have different health issues that can decrease their quality of life. Consider all aspects before making a final decision.

Photo of author

Sharon Waddington

Sharon Waddington is the founder of World of Dogz. With over 30 years of experience working with dogs, this former Police Officer has seen it all. But it’s her trusty German Shepherd, Willow, who steals the show as the inspiration behind this website. As Sharon’s constant companion Willow has played a pivotal role in shaping her passion for dogs.