There's no denying Frenchies are the dogue de jour. Ha! They are on every second ad and they seem to be multiplying every time I step outside. If I had a dollar for every person that has told me they are 'gonna' get a Frenchie since we got Marcel, I'd be buying a lot of French Bulldogs.
In an ideal world I'd have gotten a rescue doggie, something I've done before and will definitely do again. I've always had a dog until I moved out of home around the time BJ, the world's best Golden Retriever, passed away at age 16. My aunty used to breed Goldens, BJ was the runt of the litter so we got him, and he turned out to be the most amazing dog, in looks and personality. My aunty was probably pretty dirty that we got him!
We decided on a Frenchie after going to New York, seeing them EVERYWHERE and realising how good they were for small spaces. I'd never seen these dogs before, but every one I managed to make stop and listen to my crazy dog lady harping on told me they were the best. And they were right.
Back in Oz, I did a bit of research and started to get cold feet. They were really rare (back then) and hard to get a hold of. No one wanted to talk to me, it was like some secret society. I now know why.
One day walking at the beach I saw a woman with two of the best looking- to this day- Frenchies I've ever seen. I THREW my bag and towel at my husband and sprinted over to her. She was probably freaked out and was really stand offish. She ended up being the breeder we got Marcel from, after a 12+ month wait, so she can't have been too scared. She asked us a million questions, made sure we did everything she wanted before we got our hands on her precious puppies, for which I am eternally grateful. Frenchies are not for everyone. They are obviously the cutest things in the world, but you have this dog for 10+ years. Lots of the people that ask us about Marcel are just not cut out to own a Frenchie. So to do my duty to these awesome little dudes, here are some reasons you shouldn't get one.
You work long hours
Flight attendants, truck drivers, people who travel heaps for work. These are all the people that have told me they're getting a Frenchie. Please don't. These are not dogs that like to be alone (well, apart from naps in the sun they don't want disturbed). Leaving them alone for hours and hours a day is cruel. They want to be with you and they want your attention.
I'm quite sure Mr B and I put more thought and research into getting a puppy than most people do into having a baby, but that's me and I make no apologies for it. When I was offered a promotion I made sure Mr B was ok with it, because it meant he would be doing most of the doggy care from then on. I was working from home when we got him as a puppy, and I don't think I would have gotten one if I wasn't.
You think they're going to be a guard dog
I was once stopped by a truck driver (a different one to above!) who told me he wants one because they 'look so tough' and would go well with his staffies who guard his house. No no no no. So many nos. Marcel thinks he's tough, has mega small man syndrome, but to use him as a guard dog? He would assume an intruder was there to play with him and no doubt end up very, very hurt.
You think the puppy stage ends at 12 months
Marcel is extremely clever, but extremely stubborn. A totally different kettle of fish to having a Golden Retriever (or any other dog I know). You give him a command he looks at you out of the corner of his eye and you can see him contemplating it. He's not at all food motivated and is not at all interested in doing anything you want him to do.
The 'Frenchie 500' is still a daily occurrence for him, at almost 4. He's a total clown, with the most distinct personality, and that's why we love him so much.
You like to exercise with your dog
Marcel is the exception to the Frenchie laziness rule. He gets two, one hour+ walks a day, and loses his shit if you make him wait for them. There are exactly two times in his nearly four years that he hasn't stuck to this schedule. Once when it was hailing, another when we were super mega hungover after a wedding and he sensed this and let us off. So nice of him.
Frenchies generally hate exercise and do not do very well in heat. We never walk Marcel in the day in summer, he goes before and after work all year round. Rain, wind and hangovers included.
You think they're expensive
Your mate knows where to get one for $2000? Awesome. You think $1000 (or whatever amount) is going to make a difference for a dog you'll have for 10+ years? Vet bills add up and $1000 will be small change if you buy a dog from a dodgy breeder.
You want a 'fad' colour
A very controversial issue in French Bulldog circles. Personally I feel ill when I see blue, tan, red etc Frenchies for sale for inflated prices because they're so 'rare.' You're basically asking for health problems.
You want to breed Frenchies
No doubt plenty of people are thinking they're going to get rich from selling $3000+ puppies. These people are idiots. They also should definitely NOT be breeding dogs when they have no idea what they are doing, especially with a breed that has more than its share of health problems.
Most Frenchies are born by caesarian. If you don't know why, google it, and don't think about getting one before you do a LOT more research.
You don't know about the health issues they have
Like any dogs, dodgy breeding results in dodgy dogs. Health problems in any dog are awful, but in Frenchies they can make life really hard.
Marcel has been relatively issue free, no more vet visits than any other dog, the same with the other puppies that came from his breeder. We do a lot to make sure this is the case though. From the food we feed him to the shampoo we use to the bed he sleeps on. They can be hard work, there is no doubt about it, but totally worth it. You really need to know what you're getting yourself in to.
If you're ok with all of this, congratulations. Frenchies truly are the best.