Thursday Thirteen – 13 Best Reasons to Own a French Bulldog

I’ve taken a certain amount of grief for a list I created for, called ‘Top Ten Reasons to NOT Own a French Bulldog‘. The list wasn’t created to be cruel, or for pointless reasons – it was created to help stop people from buying a Frenchie without understanding what they were getting themselves into.

That said, there are also a ton of really good reasons to consider a French Bulldog as a pet, so here are my thirteen personal favorites.

  1. Low exercise needs = perfect pet for lazy people. OK, maybe that’s not a great reason to pick out a dog, but it’s realistic – if you’re not a jogger, you’re better off not getting a breed that requires hours and hours per day of intensive exercise. Frenchies will adjust their exercise needs to your preferences, although all Frenchies require at least two good walks per day.
  2. Minimal barking. I’ve had a handful of really barky Frenchies in my life, but the most barking Frenchie on the planet pales in comparison to the average Jack Russel.
  3. Soft ears make wonderful relaxation tools. Forget those destress squoosh balls – after a hard day, what you really need is to pet some Frenchie ears. They’re like warm, soft velvet.
  4. Freckle bellies. There’s just something about a freckle belly that just demands rasberry kisses.
  5. Big, brown, sensitive eyes. Yeah, I know – all dogs have them, but Frenchies know how to work those eyes. They have eerie hypno powers, and can enslave a mere human with a single glance.
  6. Wiggle butts. The short stump tail of a Frenchie leads them to wiggle their entire butts when their happy. Nothing says ‘happy to see you!!’ like a wiggling butt.
  7. Frog sits. I was amazed the firs time that someone from France accused me of calling French Bulldogs ‘Frog Dogs’ as a sort of ethnic slur against French culture. I’d always thought it was abundantly obvious why we call them Frog Dogs – it’s because of their distinctive, rear leg extended sit positions, which cause them to resemble nothing so much as a swimming frog. Frog sits rock.
  8. Chicken leg sits. The other great sit position in the French Bulldog repertoire, the chicken drumstick sit is where your Frenchie sits with just their lower leg popped out behind them. It makes them look like they have fat little chicken drumsticks stuffed underneath them.
  9. Snorking noises. Yes, I know – some of those noises aren’t cute, they’re the result of impaired breathing. That said, I have some of the best breathing Frenchies I know of, and they still manage to make the most adorable snorking, snuffling noises. We call it ‘pig latin’.
  10. Frenchies make great listeners. No matter what I have to say, there’s always a Frenchie willing to sit and listen intently to me. Chances are, what they’re listening for are the words “Want a cookie?”, but I’ll take any audience I can get.
  11. Three ring circus in every dog. French Bulldogs have been called ‘the Clown in the Cloak of a Philosopher’, and it’s a remarkably apt description. Those serious miens hide the soul of some seriously weird and wonderful dogs.
  12. Big dogs in small bodies. Frenchies are the perfect dog for people like me, who usually prefer large breeds. I don’t want a shivery, shaky, nervous toy under foot – they’re too breakable for my taste. Frenchies are rough and tumble dogs – true bull and terrier breeds. They’re also one of the few small breeds even the most macho of men isn’t ashamed of walking.
  13. Absolute adoration. It’s true that some Frenchies are utter sluts, willing to fling themselves at anyone who offers them a cookie. Every so often, however, you’ll encounter a Frenchie who adores you with such complete and total adoration that it’s both a privilege and a gift. Once you’ve experienced this kind of devotion, no other dog breed could possibly do.

Thursday Thirteen – 13 Most Useful Books on Dog Breeding


Thirteen Things Most Useful Books for Dog Breeders

I should note here that I don’t think that any book can ever replace the best source of information and advice on dog breeding, and that’s a mentor. A mentor is an older dog breeder who ‘takes you under their wing’ and offers hands on advice, help, suggestions (and usually really good gossip).

That said, I’ve also gotten a lot of useful, practical advice from the following books, including a crash introductory course on canine genetics.

A caveat: books with asterisks beside them are pretty much French Bulldog specific only.

1. Born To Win: Breed to Succeed
Patricia Craige’s book is a really great crash course on how to go beyond just ‘dog breeding’ and start breeding to win.

2. Genetics of the Dog
Malcom Willis’ book is considered to be the classic ‘layman’s’ guide to canine genetics. Invaluable for understanding – or at least trying to understand – coat color genetics, in particular.

3. Canine Reproduction: The Breeder’s Guide
Patricia Holst’s book is a wellspring of practical, no nonsense advice and tips. I refer to this book at least once per litter.

4. Successful Dog Breeding: The Complete Handbook of Canine Midwifery
Offering more than just practical advice, Chris Walkowicz emphasizes the ethics and responsibility that goes along with breeding.

5. The Whelping and Rearing of Puppies: A Complete and Practical Guide
A great book that covers all of the ‘what ifs’ and best and worst case scenarios. Spiral binding makes it a breeze to use in the somewhat hectic conditions of the whelping room. And no, I’m not saying that just because Muriel is my editor at ‘Just Frenchies‘.

6. Puppy Intensive Care: A Breeder’s Guide to Care of Newborn Puppies
This is just about the most useful book for a novice breeder. It comes along with shopping lists, and a companion CD showing video illustrations on such topics as tube feeding and a live delivery.

7. Breeding Better Dogs
Long time breeder and judge Carmen Battaglia shows you how to apply canine genetics to your specific breeding program.

8. Another Piece of the Puzzle: Puppy Development
This useful little paperback helps breeders to develop the absolute best puppies possible, utilizing puppy’s varying developmental phases to enhance temperament and behaviors. Really useful and simple to follow.

9. The Joy of Breeding Your Own Show Dog
This book, like “Successful Dog Breeding“, shows you how to plan out a breeding with the ultimate goal of producing a show winning litter. Helping you to see beyond just what’s down on paper, to what’s actually within your dog’s genes.

10. Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook
Every dog breeder needs a good, basic, simple to understand veterinary handbook, and this one does an exceptional job at being easy to read and follow.

11. The Healing Touch for Dogs: The Proven Massage Program for Dogs
This might seem like an odd choice for a list on dog breeding, but I’ve found that using massage on pregnant moms, moms in whelp and on puppies enhances their health and wellbeing. New, nervous moms can be calmed into accepting their pups more readily if you use massage while introducing them – especially useful if mom is shaking off the effects of anesthesia from a c-section.

* 12. The French Bulldog by Steve Eltinge
Yes, we know this book require deep pockets, but this is the classic book on French Bulldogs, and contains some fantastic photos of dogs you’ll find behind the pedigrees of most of the top show dogs in North America. Put it on your wishlist.

* 13. The French Bulldog (Kennel Club Classic)
Pockets not quite deep enough for the Eltinge book? Muriel Lee’s new book is a fantastic, more up to date alternative. Covering health, history and much more on the Frenchie, it’s an essential addition to the library of any aspiring French Bulldog breeder.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Thursday Thirteen – 13 Dog Breeds I'd like to own

So, I’ve decided to become a Thursday Thirteen-er. This is a simple little meme that encourages you to devote your Thursday blog entry to a list of thirteen things – any thirteen, really. Thirteen things about yourself, thirteen things about your dog, thirteen things you hate/love/envy/desire. Whatever it is, post thirteen of them. I tag everyone with it – just make sure to visit the official Thursday Thirteen Blog to snag the code.

Thirteen Dog Breeds I’d Like to Own

As I’ve mentioned before, I basically got my start in dogs with (English) Mastiffs. My Grandmother bred them, and some of my earliest memories are of lying in a pile of Mastiffs in front of the fireplace, reading a book, and listening to the sound of a thousand pounds of snoring dogs surrounding me. Mastiffs will always be my first love (but shhhh! Don’t tell the Frenchies).

My mother also bred American Cockers for a while, but I don’t really remember much about them, since she passed away when I was just four, and my stepmother was, most emphatically, not a dog person. Owning my own dog would have to wait until I was grown up and living on my own.

Over the years, I’ve owned a few breeds of dogs other than Mastiffs and Frenchies, but there are still lots of breeds out there I’d someday like to own – even though, for some of them, I know I never will.

  1. Akbash Dog. These are some of the most lovely flock guardian dogs I’ve ever seen. I am still toying around with the idea of getting either goats, or Alpacas, in addition to the Frenchies, and if I do a good flock dog will be essential. Akbash are the breed I’d choose. They’re beautiful, strong and independent – everything you could ask for in a flock dog.
  2. Presa De CanarioPresa De Canario. Also known as the Perro De Presa or the Dogo Canario. These are a large, muscular, intimidating looking Mastino breed. Hyper alert, with well articulated muscles. I just think they’re wonderful looking, and they’ve kept their working instincts intact. They might not be everyone’s idea of adorable, but I just want to hug them.
  3. Tibetan Mastiffs. These gorgeous, big, thick coated dogs are considered by some to be the progenitor of all the modern mastiff breeds. Bred in Tibet to be Monastery guardians, they are fearless, strong and blessedly free of many of the genetic ailments plaguing some of the other large breeds. Unfortunately, their rarity has led to some ridiculous high prices, including one that recently sold for over $100,000.
  4. Tibetan Spaniels. The companion dog to the Tibetan Mastiff, the Tibbie is considered to be the progenitor of many of the small, long coated companion breeds we know today, including Shih Tzu, Maltese and perhaps even the Yorkie. Tibbies are the best kept secret of the companion breeds – merry, good natured, uncannily clean, smart and outgoing. They require minimal grooming, have snowshoe feet, and are the perfect, healthier alternative to the more commonly seen toys. My godmother bred them, and I think they’re the most bonny of the small breeds. I fully plan to own one or two in the next few years.
  5. Neapolitan Mastiff. Another wonderful mastino, but oh! The drooling!
  6. Argentine Dogo. A gorgeous dog, with a wonderful head, but I fully acknowledge this is more dog than I can handle.
  7. Fila Brasileiro. Like the Argentine Dogo, only more so. If I ever wanted a truly tough, intimidating dog for hunting or home protection, this would be my choice. So definately not the dog for novice owners.
  8. African Boerboel Mastiff. Another gorgeous Mastino that I’d love to own, but never will.
  9. Bullmastiff. I love the look of the Bullmastiff, but if I had to choose, I’d pick the more laid back Mastiff instead. That said, I think Bullmastiffs are one of the best of the so-called ‘giant’ breeds.
  10. Peruvian Inca Orchid Dog. I want one out of sheer perversity – how can you not love a purple splotched, hairless dog that squints in the sun and has satellite dish ears?
  11. Leonberger. Germany’s ‘lion dog’. Like (english) Mastiffs, Leos require a ton of early socialization. The long coat and high price tag pushes them down my ‘likely to own’ list, but I do think they’re wonderful dogs.
  12. Cane Corsos. I’ve owned a Cane Corso once, and will never own one again – not because they’re terrible dogs, but just because they are too much dog. They are possibly the smartest, most alert, and most protective dog I have ever owned, and no dog I’ve owned has learned commands more quickly than my Corso. If I lived alone, I’d want a Corso by my side to make me feel secure. As a person who has other dogs and frequent visitors of all ages, a Corso becomes a risky proposition.
  13. (English) Bulldog. A confession – I probably like English Bulldogs more than I like Frenchies. Personality wise, what’s not to love about Bulldogs? They’re mellow, sweet natured dogs who have never met a stranger. They’re loyal and loving, and perpetually happy. That said, I doubt I’ll ever own one again, as this is one of the most health issue plagued breeds I know of. I’m not sure I’m prepared to deal with the basket full of potential health issues that come along with Bulldog ownership.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!