I'm sure you have a lot of high expectations when adopting a French Bulldog. You're inevitably going to be a little nervous and will be overly focused on how cute he will be and what you and your new best friend's lives will be like together, but there are some critical factors you need to consider that will influence your early experiences when adopting a French bulldog.
I probably don't have to enumerate why adopting a French bulldog, or a Frenchie (as the breed is lovingly nicknamed), is a great idea. But I will!
A little bit about French Bulldog's History and Personality
French bulldogs came from France during the Industrial Revolution, when English lacemakers came to France with their small British bulldogs after machinery took over lacemaking in England, the French people quickly adopted the bulldog for their own, even renaming it. Their cute markings and bat ears are a staple of the breed now.
Frenchies make excellent companion dogs and can quickly adapt to many different lifestyles, especially apartment dwelling or urban living. They have a friendly temperament and are loyal to the end. You'll get lots of kisses and playful nudges from a Frenchie. One daily walk is sufficient for exercise when you also factor in potty trips outside. This dog has a low-shedding, short coat and is super easy to take care of and groom at home. Finally, French bulldogs are very healthy dogs, although care must be taken as Frenchies have a few common health issues that you need to be aware of such as sensitive stomach and skin allergies.
Suitable homes for Frenchies are where they will receive daily attention. The Frenchie will not look kindly to be left alone for hours on end. Spend quality time with your new pet in the evenings if he is alone during the daytime hours.
Expect your Frenchie to live with you and your family. They are indoor dogs. They cannot be tied up outside in all kinds of weather. That would not be appropriate at all. Too hot and too cold are not right conditions for the Frenchie. Walk the Frenchie in the morning or evening to avoid the hot sun in the middle of a day during an unusually warm spell.
French Bulldog Socialization
Don't expect your Frenchie to make fast friends with other pre-existing household pets, especially cats. A little puppy training can go a long way to making the relationships work within the house. But it will take time and attention on your part to make those connections function smoothly.
Expect to train your French bulldogs and invest time in his socialization. If you don't, expect a dog that barks or displays watchdog tendencies. These issues can be avoided with time and attention for socialization and the proper training.
Even though French Bulldogs are good with children, there should be supervision over young children when they socialize with dogs.
French Bulldog Adoption
You'll want to consider adopting an adult French bulldog for a few reasons. His personality will be established, and he'll be potty trained. These are definite perks as you will know what you are getting. Additionally, there won't be any of that destructive puppy behavior that can seem to go on forever. An adult Frenchie will be forever grateful and appreciative of his new home. This adoption will go a long way to help the breed since most people want puppies. Your adoption would be a real "rescue."
Before delving into the adoption process, beware of scams. Obvious mistakes on websites, such as spelling, grammar, and headlines in capitals are quick giveaways to a scam. The dog should not be shipped to new owners. They are either collected or delivered, but never shipped. A real and true French bulldog rescue website or kennel will have information about their operation and the legalities of adoption. They will have done all they can to look after the Frenchie, ascertain bloodlines, and update immunizations.
Most French Bulldog breeders/kennels and rescue organizations will require you to fill out an application and then schedule an interview. The interview will cover the purpose of your pursuing a particular type of dog, what your home environment is like, and any other requirements. The kennel or rescue group should work closely with you to help you pick out the French Bulldog that will best suit you and your family. Some organizations may even require an inspection of your home before the adoption can be completed. Once the adoption is finalized, pick up can be arranged. You may be asked to sign a contract that assures FBRN that in the event you can no longer take care of the Frenchie, that the dog will be returned to the care of the organization. When you arrive to pick up your dog, have a tag with information on it, ready to go. There will be toys or personal items that the Frenchie brings with him; you'll inherit those.
Bringing home your French Bulldog for the first time
Once you bring your Frenchie inside your home, take a few days to settle in. Allow him to be in the room with your other pets but at a distance. Let your puppy get used to the new surroundings and all that goes with it: sounds, sights, smells, and such. He may lose his housebreaking due to the stress of changing homes. You may have to start at the begin, crate her when you aren't paying attention, take him outside, or giving lots of potty praise. Be realistic about the ease with which this change will happen. It'll affect everyone in the household.
Set up a schedule and start getting your French bulldog used to it. Expect to ask your children to restrain themselves from picking him up all the time and carrying him around. Their excitement might be too much for your Frenchie. Help them to hold back a little on all that love and affection. Know that 3-6 weeks may pass before you see your Frenchie's personality coming out. He'll want to get to know who's the boss, where the treats are, and the like. Once he's confident, then he'll show his true colors.
Know that many rescue dogs come with baggage, physical or emotional. That being said, think about what you can successfully manage in your home and with your family. Cost should not be a factor when considering adopting or purchasing a Frenchie. Both will require vet bills and such that will be similar in price. Choose your Frenchie for his alert, intelligent expression, upright bat ears, square jaw, smooth coat, compact body, and curious nature. Avoid dogs with a dry nose or dried feces, which may be signs of illness.
You'll find the right Frenchie, and the right Frenchie will find you.