Picking your puppy......
All of our puppies are registered with the American Kennel Club. They also come with a puppy contract . Be wary, of on-line breeders who sell their 'purebred' French Bulldogs (or any other breed) with no papers. It is these backyard breeders, who breed two dogs with little or no knowledge of their hereditary history...They are usually not a great deal less to buy then the registered breeder's pups...but you don't get the lifetime of support that an experienced breeder gives their puppy owners. A puppy from a pet shop may cost more than a puppy from a breeder, but you lack the benefit of the breeder's experience. No one is available to call when you need advice. Whether your French Bulldog has a major health problem or you can't keep the dog for any reason, the pet shop won't take him/ her back.
No matter where you get your French Bulldog, finding a healthy one is important. Meeting the parents or the mother gives you an idea of what your puppy may be like. Any adult you meet should be friendly, not shy or fearful. If you aren't able to meet either of the puppy's parents, then you won't have any idea of temperament or size. Generally poorly bred or pet shop french Bulldogs are leggier and thinner than the puppies that comes from a reputable breeder.
Good breeders may also have a contract drawn up, that states if for any reason you can't keep the dog, the French Bulldog returns to the breeder. It's a clause to prevent dogs they've bred from ending up in shelters or rescues. Don't be afraid to admit that you made a mistake or that you can't afford the dog. Good breeders would rather take the dog back than see him suffer in a shelter.
No matter where you find your breeder, be prepared to wait for your puppy. Producing a litter of French Bulldog puppies is an expensive, time consuming process, and the litters aren't very large. Breeders you talk to may already have a waiting list. A good breeder is a valuable source of information. They know the history of the breed and what physical problems occasionally occur. They are likely to introduce you to the adults in the household first so that you know what you're in for. Puppies are always adorable...A good breeder will...
* Encourage you to train your puppy
* Suggest that you join a local dog club
* Ask you to keep in touch
* Offer instructions on feeding, vet care and grooming
* Give you spay/ neuter requirements
* Request that you notify them if you ever need to place your dog
A puppy needs to stay with his mother and siblings until he is at least 8 weeks old. If the breeder or pet store is selling younger puppies, find another place to get your dog. Some breeders feel that 8 weeks is ideal; others like to keep the puppies for 12 weeks; making sure the puppies have had 2 sets of vaccinations and a start on crate training and house training. The puppies surroundings should be clean, well lit and near household activity. If the breeder brings out individual puppies and refuses to show you where the litter lives, find another breeder.
Why should I buy from a breeder?
Many breeders have spent considerable time, energy, and money on showing their dogs, competing in obedience, agility, tracking, hunting, field trials, and other specialized events including search and rescue and therapy. They have done these things to produce the most well-rounded dogs with the soundest temperaments and the best training possible. They have spent literally years in researching their breeds to produce the best possible examples of their breed and to enhance their dogs' temperament and physical structure. They work, together with other breeders with the ultimate goal of eliminating hereditary diseases from their breed. In addition, they have a reputation to protect and are accountable to the American Kennel Club for questionable breeding practices. Buying from a pet store encourages the inhumane practices of those operating puppy mills.
CHOOSING YOUR FRENCH BULLDOG
Be prepared to interview breeders, and be prepared to be interviewed by them as well. Reputable breeders look for a family with children no younger than five. Breeders want to meet the whole family, not only to make the right match between the French Bulldog puppy and it's future home, but also to observe how parents supervise their children. Children may innocently hurt a puppy if not shown how to pick one up or hold it. All families should consider the age of your child before getting a puppy. Children usually don't have a good understanding of boundaries with pets, until they are at least 5 years old.
Most breeders will caution a prospective owner that the French Bulldog is a high maintenance breed. There are common health related issues with all Bulldogs that you must research and understand before making a lifetime commitment to a Bulldog. They are not a regular breed and they require a little more attention and effort to make sure they live a quality life. The French Bulldog is not a rough and tumble athlete with unlimited endurance. Although capable of playing in a fenced yard in comfortable or cool weather, the Frenchie must be considered an indoor dog. This breed cannot tolerate heat, dry or moist, because of it's facial and nasal structure. Similarly, these dogs should not be allowed to jump off couches, chairs or beds as they are growing, because of their spinal formation.
The French Bulldog breed is totally human-orientated, they are loyal and yet they'll scamper into anyone's lap at the slightest invitation. Given the opportunity to play with other dogs or a member of it's human family, the French Bulldog will consistently pick the human. They are trusting and will approach anybody or any dog , big or small, with the sole intention of playing. French Bulldogs want to please, yet they can be outrageously stubborn. This negative quality is extremely amusing, as when French Bulldogs are scolded, they will turn their backs to you and sit down. It's easy to change the mood and stance of a French Bulldog, just picking it up will engender a cuddle and kiss. Whatever was amiss is forgotten and forgiven.
French Bulldogs are completely lovable, yet they are capable of creating havoc in your life. There are two personalities, the cozy couch potato and the hyperactive rascal. I associate each personality with a particular physical type. Sometimes coat color has something to do with personality as well. Red-coated dogs are more likely to exhibit more assertive, controlling behavior, brindled are generally sweeter. Creams are considered the stereotypical ditsy blondes!
French Bulldogs are social, yet their curiosity may lead them into innocent but serious trouble. Responsible breeders will rarely sell a French Bulldog to a family whose property includes a swimming pool. The French Bulldog is a head heavy breed. As a consequence of their uneven weight distribution, these dogs would like to but should not be allowed to swim, even under supervision. They will sink and drown in a matter of seconds. Totally focused on being in the company of their owners, they will follow their human family anywhere without regard to personal safety. In every respect the French Bulldog is indeed a breed to be babied. Many dog breeds adapt to all sorts of living conditions. To the contrary, the French Bulldog is a breed whose family must adapt to it's needs.
Puppies make terrible surprise gifts!! Buying a pet for someone else is one of the worst ideas you can ever have, unless you like dogs too and you're willing to take responsibility for the first time your girlfriend steps in a cold puddle in the middle of the night. Scheduling a family meeting and obtaining the approval of everyone who'll share a household with the pet is a good idea, even if you'll be the main caretaker. The parents who grudgingly buy their child a dog in hoping to teach him or her responsibility, will end up to their necks in doggie doo within a week. When a child promises they'll take care of the pup, get real.
Although you may not currently have small children, consider the possibility of becoming a parent, or think about visitors, neighbours or grandchildren. A child CAN love dogs too much, by hugging them too tightly, falling on them, picking them up the wrong way or even dropping them and seriously injuring them, especially a puppy. And it isn't always the dog that is injured. Rowdy play can result in a child being knocked over or scratched. Small or timid dogs can snap if cornered. You can still choose your ideal dog, but you just may want to wait a few years until your children are older.
Most first-time dog owners express the desire for a female. They seem to feel they're less trouble. Untrue - I've known males just as sweet as any female. They don't have heat cycles as females do, and once they're neutered-as ALL pets need to be, they won't suffer hormonal surges at puberty. I've seen timid males and bossy females, just like humans a few generalizations can be made, but individual characteristics can always change the picture. I advise potential puppy owners to keep open minds about the gender of the dog. The most important qualities to seek are good health and temperament, along with a personality that fits your lifestyle.
FACE WRINKLES and NAIL CARE
Keep your Bulldog's wrinkles clean and dry. Wipe all the folds on his face with a wet cloth or baby wipe, then dry them really good. Once they are dry, sprinkle some Gold Bond or Baby Powder and he stays beautiful. You can also purchase Malacetic wipes from your vet. They clean wrinkle pockets and kill any yeast causing moisture, all at once. They can also be used on armpits and paws. French Bulldogs don't require alot of grooming or exercise and generally do well in small living quarters. They are not noisy and most of them are very fond of people, though there are individual differences in how well they get along with other animals. They should never be allowed to run free and should only be allowed outdoors in a fenced yard or on a leash. Occasional brushing keeps the coat shiny and regular nail trimming is a must since French Bulldogs don't usually wear their nails down by running. Keep an eye on the pinky toe nail on each paw. Bulldogs in general put all of their body weight when walking and resting, on the inner part of their legs...so that pinky nail has a tendency to not get worn down and in fact will curl under. Make sure this one gets trimmed regularily.
Housebreaking and training....
Select a specific site outside in your yard you have already designated as his/hers. He'll soon associate it with bathroom breaks. Visit it often. It's best to take your new puppy outside every two hours, as well as upon waking, after playing and feeding and before going to bed. In addition, be alert to signals like sniffing and circling that may indicate that he has to go. For his new home, your new puppy will need a place he can call his own. You may want to purchase a crate. Expect four to six months of consistent crate training. The crate will be used to housebreak your Bulldog, a safe place for your puppy while you are away and a place for your puppy to sleep. As soon as your puppy is let out of it's crate take him outside and do not let him come back inside until he goes. French Bulldogs are not Golden Retrievers and most can be quite stubborn and/or manipulative. You must show them through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say. Food is a good motivator with French Bulldogs, but if you give too much and don't provide commensurate exercise, you'll end up with a fat, unhealthy French Bulldog. A little praise goes a long way! Most all dogs will not soil where they sleep if they are let out often enough. If you do not want a crate for your new puppy, a nice doggie bed will do just fine as long as your still able to confine your puppy. Correct him kindly. Accidents will happen. Remember that shouting, scolding and punishment serve no purpose and will only frighten and confuse your dog. Even if you catch him in mid-act simply say "NO" and immediately take him outside. Praise him. Lavish praise on your dog each time he goes outside on his designated spot. Speak in an upbeat voice, smile and reward him with treats after he does his business. You should take your Frenchie to training classes as soon as he or she is old enough and has all of their immunizations, usually about 4 months of age. This will get him/her accustomed to being around other dogs and people, will teach you how to communicate your wishes to him and will teach him the basics such as walking on the lead, sitting, staying and coming on command. although cute and cuddly-looking, a French Bulldog has a big personality and needs an adequate amount of training to make it a civilized companion.
Above are examples of perfect crate liners to use to keep your French Bulldog comfortable while you are away. They are very easy to wash!
OVERHEATING!! And minimizing the problems that can be caused by their short face....
As a short-faced breed (brachycephalic), French Bulldogs have some health concerns that you should be aware of. Their short face makes breathing less efficient than that of the long-nosed breeds, so French Bulldogs have less tolerance of heat, exercise and stress..all of which increase their need to breathe. His respiratory system is compromised, so don't smoke near him, don't use chemical cleaning products and keep them away from allergenic pollen and freshly cut grass. Keep your French Bulldog cool in warm weather and avoid strenuous exercise. Bulldogs can die from heat exhaustion. In hot or humid weather, minimize their outdoor activity and keep them in an air conditioned home. Short-faced dogs have a high risk of heatstroke because they can't pant vigorously enough to lower their body heat. Whenever you and your French Bulldog are out in warm weather take water with you. If you are going to be out for a while, take along ice and lemon juice. If your Bulldog starts to overheat and brings up phlegm, you must act quickly to cool him down. Get your Bulldog out of the heat. Squirt lemon juice into his mouth to clear the phlegm. Put a wet towel on him and keep him calm. If your Bulldog goes down with heat exhaustion and his tongue turns blue, wet him with cool water and cool him with ice. Lay him in cool water or ice if you can. You must bring his body temperature down. Anesthesia is also more risky in short-faced dogs, so be sure your veterinarian is experienced with such breeds should your French Bulldog need to be anesthetized for any reason. Make sure your vet only uses the most modern anesthetics (such as isoflurane) and insist on a heart and blood pressure monitor. Many vets are not careful enough when anesthetizing short-faced breeds.
Bulldogs have elongated palates and sometimes vomit or bring up phlegm. This is normal. If your Bulldog is doing it constantly when he is not overheated or excited, consult your vet.
You will want to feed a good quality puppy food three times daily until he or she is about three months of age. From 3-6 months of age continue to feed three times daily. Then from 6-12 months feed two times daily. Switch your Bulldog to adult food at 12 months of age. Continue to feed twice a day. Always have plenty of fresh water available to your Bulldog at all times. Do not feed your Bulldog soy! Some Bulldogs are allergic to soy products, along with corn and wheat. When soy filler is mixed with water it will expand and can cause gastric tortion that may be fatal to your Bulldog. Always look on the back of dog food bags to make sure the first ingredient is always protein, not corn or wheat! We have some suggestions of great quality food ..... If you have more than one dog, it is possible that your kibble isn't one food fits all! You may have to adjust their food based on each one of their needs. Follow the amount on the bag of food and adjust it to your feeding schedule. Or introduce them to the raw diet! Our dogs have thrived on it!!
THE BEST TOYS FOR FRENCH BULLDOGS
Puppies chew to relieve the discomfort of teething, from around 3 to 8 months of age when their adult teeth are erupting. They also use their mouths to explore the world around them, and will pick up almost anything and chew on it! Give them many different kinds and textures of chews, and keep extras on hand to substitute when they pick up a forbidden object. Frozen bones or rope toys that have been soaked in water and then frozen will provide cooling relief when teething.
KONG IS THE KING OF CHEW TOYS !!
If from the outset you always confine your puppy with a selection of stuffed Kongs and Biscuit Balls, chewing these appropriate chew toys will soon become an integral part of his or her day. Your puppy will quickly develop a socially acceptable Kong habit. And remember, good habits are just as hard to break as bad habits. Your puppy will now spend a large part of his day musing over his Kong products.
Let’s pause for a moment to consider all the bad things your puppy will not be doing if he is quietly engaged with his chew toys. He will not be chewing inappropriate household and garden items. He will not be a recreational barker. (He will still bark when strangers come to the house, but he will not spend all day barking for barking’s sake.) And he will not be running around, fretting, and working himself up if left at home alone.
The wonderful thing about teaching a puppy to enjoy chewing chew toys is that this activity excludes many alternative, extremely annoying puppy behaviors. A stuffed Kong is one of the best stress-relievers, especially for anxious, obsessive, and compulsive dogs. (A Kong for a dog is also one of the best stress relievers for the owner.) There is no single device that so easily and so simply prevents or resolves so many bad habits and behavior problems.
BENEFITS OF ANTLER CHEWS
- Humane- Antlers are naturally shed from animals and cause no harm to them
- Sustainable- New antlers are naturally grown each year
- Nutritional Value- Antlers are high in healthy minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and phosphorus
- Long Lasting- The majority of antlers will last a dog weeks, or even months
- Natural- Because they come direct from the animal, they contain no potentially harmful artificial ingredients
- Convenient- Antler chews won’t leave a messy aftermath as their rawhide counterparts dO.
- Oral Health- Keep teeth clean
- Low smell
- Rarely splinter or chip
As with any chew toy, be sure to monitor your dog as they chew antlers. Be sure the antler chew is large enough so that there is no possibility that your dog could choke on it. It is also advised to regularly check your antler chew over for any sharp edges. If there you notice any, you can remove them by rubbing the sharp edge against concrete or sandpaper. Finally, you should limit your dog to chewing no more than ½ to 1 inch of the antler per day. Because the antlers contain rich protein, large amounts ingested all at once can cause a upset stomach.
FRENCH BULLDOG ALLERGIES
Let's learn about the allergies that plague French Bulldogs...allergic reactions due to the fact that they are closer to the ground and can easily brush up against many irritants such as pollen and grass. French Bulldogs have fine, short fur and these irritants can easily gain access to their skin, allowing them to penetrate easily. And the more they go up against these irritants, the more they are likely to feel the effects and become agitated, causing more problems. Wipe your French Bulldog down gently with hypoallergenic wipes, once he or she is inside. Nipping allergies in the bud is easier if you know what's causing the condition. Going to the vet is always the best solution but sometimes there are home remedies that you can use to counter attack these irritants. Allergies can mostly come from two factors, environmental and from the food they eat. If you don't know which one is causing the allergic reactions then you will find it very difficult to treat it.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, in it's raw, organic and unpasterized form has many health benefits for dogs. Apple cider vinegar, or ACV, is acidic, helps balance out PH levels and has antibacterial properties. ACV contains iron, potassium and magnesium and other essential vitamins and minerals.
Apple cider vinegar can be sponged onto a dog's coat after bathing to remove soap residues and improve hair condition. The vinegar's acidity and live enzymes are said to kill bacteria that cause flaking skin conditions. The same treatment is said to repel fleas and ticks! ACV can help to relieve itchy skin and rashes caused by yeast. The best way to apply is by making a 50/50 solution of apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle and applying directly onto itchy spots, but NOT ON OPEN WOUNDS. Of course, the vinegar would sting if the wound is raw. If you can't apply it onto the coat/skin then you can feed ACV in your pet's food or water. It is to be said, yeast does not do well in an acid environment ACV creates. Check your dogs ears daily for wax and dirt. Clean dirty ears using cotton balls soaked in the solution. Swab out the ears until no gunk appears on the cotton ball. Make sure to go back in and thoroughly dry the ears afterwards!
Dogs with seasonal allergies can develop itchy feet in response to pollen exposure. Soaking the paws in diluted ACV can help reduce itching.
DOG HOT SPOTS occur due to different health conditions including allergies, flea bites, tangled fur or increased humidity on the skin. It is also called moist dermatitis, and isn't a serious condition but can cause major discomfort. The symptoms of hot spots can include licking, scratching, red oozing skin and hair loss. The treatment of hot spots in dogs can be made up of conventional vet treatments but there are also a few at-home remedies that can help eliminate moist dermatitis. Apple cider vinegar is a solution that can be used on hot spots, as it contains acetic acid. wash the dog's skin once a day, with the 50/50 solution, half water, half ACV, avoiding the eyes. This helps to regularize the PH of the dog's skin and kill the bacteria. After doing this, use an oatmeal rinse and then pat the dog's skin dry. Hydrocortisone creamor powder also work well for hot spot treatment. If the dog keeps scratching and biting the hot spots, you should get an Elizabethan collar for a few days. Another good remedy, is black or green tea bags applied on the hot spots. Dip in hot water, let them cool, then apply them directly on! ** Dog hot spots should be treated as soon as they are detected, to prevent them from spreading to other areas of the body.
Your new puppy will require an initial series of four vaccinations. Yearly boosters are required after the initial series. Follow your veterinarian's recommendations.