First things first...
Frenchie= French bulldog
(just didn't want you to be confused throughout this whole post!)
and this is Ernie, our 2 year old Frenchie...
Owning a Frenchie is one of the most rewarding things in my life, second only to my faith and marrying my husband. They aren't a common dog but have been in the media quite a bit lately (Modern Family, Sketchers commercials), making them a hot dog, no pun intended. I actually had never seen a Frenchie in person until we went to pick up our bundle of chunk from the breeder. For those of you unfamiliar with the breed, interested in getting one, or just want to see cute pictures of Ernie, I am going to give you some info on owning one of these cuties.
Size: this is what attracted me to Frenchies. Ernie is an average sized Frenchie standing about a foot tall and weighing 24lbs. He is really muscular and lacks rolls which is not the Frenchie norm. Larger Frenchies are 30-32lbs and smaller ones, like Ernie's parents, are 19-20lbs. Seriously Ernie's neck is so thick and he is super barrel chested.
Look: Frenchies are known as "frog dogs" and have a very distinct look about them. They have Brachycephalic syndrome meaning flat faced (along with pugs, Pekingese, etc). I love his squishy little nose and die for his batty ears that always stick up! Because of their flat faces, Frenchies often have breathing problems and bad gas due to inhaling their food without chewing it. Ernie is definitely an offender! Frenchies come in many different coats and Ernie is a reverse brindle- black with blonde highlights. They also come in fawn, cream, and fully black. All Frenchies have a white spot on their chest varying in size, Ernie's is really small. They also have nubs for tails!
Personality: Frenchies (and most bulldogs) are really stubborn. We tried to break this from the beginning with training but Ernie is still pretty stubborn. He is such a happy guy but knows how to push our buttons. For example, we will take up his ball so he will eat and he runs right up stairs and finds another ball that he has stashed away. He wants to do things on his time. Ernie is such a ham and literally stares and poses at the camera when I pull it out. He loves licking babies and is quite the party animal at parties.
Activity: since Frenchies are normally chunky and sometimes overweight, most of the time they are pretty lazy...but not Ernie! He spends lots of time sleeping and cuddling during the day but that boy has more energy than any 2 year old I know! His favorite toy is a tennis ball and he could spend hours playing fetch. He also loves playing with other dogs, wading in the water and "hunting leaves", going for walks, and chewing on empty water bottles. When we tell people how active he is, they are amazed! We thought it was a phase but man he has got some energy! He loves when my husband chases him around the house too.
Health: Frenchies have a 10-12 year lifespan but we are hoping to extend Ernie's by feeding him a holistic, grain free diet. Frenchies have lots of nasal/breathing problems because of their squished nose so we make sure Ernie gets lots of rest and water after he plays. They also have hip problems because they are so top heavy. Something interesting is that Frenchies have to be artificially inseminated because most of them are too top heavy to mount and they have to be born via C section.
Cost: because they take so many resources to conceive/birth, Frenchies are expensive, running between $1,500-upwards of $3,000 for AKC show dog parents. Healthcare can be an added cost but prevention is the best medicine!
If you are looking for a sweet, loveable dog to become a not only a pet but a true family member, I highly recommend Frenchies. Ernie can be a major toot and definitely isn't as obedient as his lab retriever cousin, but we love him so much. And he loves us. He gets so excited when he sees his mom and dad and gives us unconditional love, support, and cuteness with his big ol' smiley face. He will make a wonderful big brother to our human babies one day, but for now, he is our chunky first born fur baby!
Check out more Ernie posts here!