Many people who like the idea of a smaller dog will opt to go for a French bulldog. This tiny but gorgeous breed is often found playing in the home or strutting its stuff at dog shows. The question is, are French bulldogs good with kids? Today, we will talk a bit about the ins and outs of this breed, how to introduce one into your home, and when and if you should bring one into a house with kids.
How Big Do French Bulldogs Get?
In general, French bulldogs are a smaller breed, which already gives it positive points when it comes to being with kids. Toddlers will typically be taller than an adult dog of this breed, so the pup won’t be able to overpower them. Male and female French bulldogs are typically the same size. You can expect them to be up to 11 to 13 inches tall, and they generally weigh 16 to 28 pounds.
How Much Energy Do French Bulldogs Have?
You can expect most French bulldogs to have a moderate energy level. They can sometimes be compared to cats in the way that they are often low-energy when they lounge around the house and relax. These are dogs that will want to be by your side, and they will be nice around kids.
While some families are looking for an active dog that they can run and play with, others are searching for a companion dog. A French bulldog fits the bill. As opposed to larger dogs, this breed only requires moderate exercise that will likely include a walk outside or some time at the park. When they get back indoors, they are typically laid back.
With that said, this breed is great for kids because although they don’t go wild, they do love to play outside and fetch the ball. That means that your kids can get some necessary physical activity when they play with the dog. Just keep in mind that after about 15 minutes, your pup will start to get tired, so don’t try to push them too hard.
Training French Bulldogs as Puppies
In order to properly prepare your dog to share a space with your kids, you should train them properly from the start. Begin when they are puppies and be consistent as you focus on basic commands like “stay,” “heel,” “sit,” and “come.” Every time they follow through with a command, make it a point to reward their efforts with a toy, snack, or pet on the back.
French bulldogs are a bit more stubborn than other dogs, so it may take time to get the routine down. Also, this breed typically has a short attention span, so keep training sessions to 10-15 minutes. Keep in mind that every French bulldog will have its own personality and learning style, so you may need to modify the routine until you are satisfied with their behavior.
It is important to remember that when your dog is a puppy, it will be like a toddler, and it will want to get into the cabinets and anything else it can find. So, make it a point to put dangerous items out of reach and supervise them at all times.
How Much Maintenance Do French Bulldogs Require, and What is the Cost?
Since French bulldogs have moderate energy, they are pretty easy to maintain while requiring minimal grooming and exercise. Still, they will need some maintenance like all dogs.
Typical Maintenance Requirements
French bulldogs have a short and smooth coat that requires very little grooming. In fact, you can get by with a weekly brushing. The difference between them and other dogs is that they are prone to constant drooling, so maintenance may include wiping their faces and using digestive enzymes.
Baths are only required on an as-needed basis. When you do bathe your dog, make it a point to keep shampoo away from their eyes, as they can be quite sensitive. When they are done, make sure to dry out each of their folds carefully. Even if you don’t give them a bath, make sure that you cleanse their ears regularly to avoid an infection.
As far as health is concerned, while they are typically healthy, French bulldogs can be prone to certain health conditions. Among them are skin allergies, breathing difficulties, and eye problems, so bring them in for regular veterinarian check-ups.
Finally, this breed can often gain weight more easily than other dogs, so ensure that you feed them a balanced diet and keep an eye on their calorie intake.
Costs for French Bulldogs
The original cost to buy a French bulldog is typically around $1,500 to $7,000. However, on an annual basis, you can expect to pay about $180-$330 per year.
The costs of owning this breed will start with food. Although they are smaller dogs, they will still need a balanced diet. You can expect to pay $50-$100 for food. Veterinary care will also need to be a part of the budget. Find a good pet insurance policy, and you can cut down your healthcare costs dramatically.
In addition to other various costs associated with grooming and training, you will need to buy toys, bedding, equipment, a crate, leash, bedding, and other miscellaneous expenses. Every family will pay a different amount for their pup. Just like with a child, the costs you pay will depend on how much you splurge or the possible emergencies that can come up.
How Old Should Your Child Be When You Get a French Bulldog?
If you plan to bring a French bulldog into the house, but you don’t intend to give your child any responsibilities, then you can typically bring the pet in at about 6 years old. That is the age when your kid will be old enough to realize what a dog is and how they should react when they are around it.
However, if you plan to give a French bulldog to your kid and you want them to care for the pet, then you should wait until your child is around 8-10 years old. That is because, although they are a low-maintenance breed, French bulldogs will still need regular feedings, grooming, and some light exercise. When the dog goes outside, it will need someone to supervise them.
As a general disclaimer, it is important to remember that you need to look at your family dynamic and your current financial situation before you bring a dog into the picture. A pet takes a lot of time and money, so look at your budget and determine what you can realistically afford. If you really want to have a pet but you are unsure how much time you have, then consider starting smaller with a fish or hamster. Then, move on to the dog.
Are Allergies an Issue with French Bulldogs?
Yes, there is a possibility that your children could be allergic to French Bulldogs. However, this can be the case with many different dog breeds. Typically, it is the dander, urine, fur, and saliva that may cause people to experience sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and an itchy nose. If your child were to be allergic, then you should bring them to the doctor to get their opinion.
If you want to find out if your kids are allergic to this breed before investing the money and you know someone that has a French bulldog, then visit them and see if your child shows any symptoms.
General Tips and Precautionary Measures
It is important to be careful when you are introducing your French bulldog to your kids for the first time. Although this breed is very friendly with babies and children, it is still important to be cautious. Before you bring the dog home, it is a good idea to have a talk with your kids to get them ready for the big reveal.
Consider reading books about pet care and read articles online about the safe handling of dogs and discuss it with your children. If you have younger children, then display how to properly hold and pet a stuffed animal first. When you bring the real thing home, gently let the dog smell your child and get used to their scent. If you have older children, hold the dog and allow them to pet it in a calm manner.
It is also important to teach your kids what not to do in order to avoid causing the dog or themselves harm. If you have younger children, then always supervise them when they are with the dog.
Advise your child that they should never pull on the dog’s ears and tail and to otherwise not poke, pinch, or try to ride on the puppy. You can explain that even though the dog does not intend to cause harm, if they are startled, then it may act out. Of course, you should instruct the kids to never strike the dog.
Since French bulldogs are a quieter and more sensitive breed, they may be easily startled if your children run around yelling, squealing, or stomping around. If they are prone to do that, then teach them to take it easy around the pup. It is also important to give your dog a quiet place to go to eat and sleep. Advise your kids not to bother the puppy while they are eating or sleeping.
It is a wise idea to make some preparations before you bring the dog home so you can get started on the right foot. Take some time to shop for necessary items, including:
- Dog bowl
- Dog bed
- Nutritious food
Speak to your vet to determine if you need to purchase any specific medications or supplements. The good news about French bulldogs is that, in general, they tend to live for about 10 to 14 years, which can make them a great long-term companion for your kids.
With that said, they are susceptible to some common health conditions. Among them are corneal ulcers, respiratory system disorders, ear disorders, skin allergies, and spine, back, and neck issues. So, to ensure the health of your dog and to avoid worrying the children, make sure to bring your French bulldog to its regular veterinary visits.
Verdict: Are French Bulldogs Good with Kids?
After considering all of the information provided above, it is safe to say that French bulldogs are a good breed to mix with kids. They have a much more laid-back temperament than many other dog breeds. Similar to a cat, they tend to spend time alone, and they do not pose a health threat. Consider adopting a French bulldog and adding a furry friend to your family unit.
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