French Bulldogs have taken the dog internet by storm, and by now, every dog lover has heard of a Frenchie or short-haired French Bulldog. However, their close cousin, the long haired French Bulldog, is just as cute and still not as famous, except in dog breeding circles.
These fluffy French Bulldogs are in many ways similar to other similar dog breeds. Still, their unique appearance and especially their coat has caused many discussions around how purebred the dogs are and the explanation for their cuddly look.
What is a long haired French Bulldog?
The French Bulldog is one of the most popular dog breeds in the US, and it didn’t take them long to achieve that high praise.
In 2008 it was the 26th most popular breed in the US. Just ten years later, it was the 4th. In some places, such as the UK, it has even become more popular than the Labrador Retriever.
However, most French Bulldogs have short hair, and most dog owners and even some novice breeders have a hard time imagining a long-haired variety.
There is one, and genetically speaking, it’s rather similar to the more common French Bulldog.
Where does the long hair come from?
A long coat in French Bulldogs is what is known as a recessive gene trait. It means that a dog that carries the gene for long hair looks just like any other dog of the Frenchie variety.
The gene responsible for the long hair is usually known as the L4 gene (or, more scientifically, the c.559-560dupGG gene).
French Bulldogs with just one L4 gene don’t display the trait in any way, and those with two (from both their parents) have distinct long hair.
It won’t be a coat of fur that will roll down to the ground, but it will still give the dog a lush and warm look.
There are other recessive mutations that are associated with this feature, known as the long-haired gene. It’s a mutation in fibroblast growth factor-5 (FGF5), meaning that this dog will have some similar traits to other dogs with long hair.
Are long-haired French Bulldogs purebred?
It’s a common question, mostly from those unfamiliar with how the dogs get their most noticeable trait, but it’s a bit difficult to answer without going into some detail. Simply put: yes, the dogs are purebred, by which we mean they are not a hybrid of two species.
However, the American Kennel Club (AKC) doesn’t recognize them as a unique breed since they are a subset of one. This means that they can’t participate in AKC dog shows or anything else due to how they are bred.
Purebred dogs with unique features are often accused of being hybrids, but there’s been a change in kennel culture lately, and these rare dogs are being celebrated and sought after.
Some dog breeders even specialize in selecting the L4 gene and thus produce litters with only long-haired Frenchies.
What does a long-haired French Bulldog look like?
A typical French Bulldog is cute enough on its own, and the long-haired variety is no different in most respects. They are similar when it comes to body size and shape. They also have bat ears that are common with the breed.
Male fluffy bulldogs are a bit larger than their female counterparts and a bit taller. A full-grown French Bulldog ranges from 11 to 13 inches in height, and males weigh between 20 and 28 pounds, while the females can grow up to 16 to 24 pounds.
The hair, which is the main attraction, is medium length and covers the ears, head, back, and chest. Altogether, this makes for a fluffy albeit unkempt look that will make you want to cuddle and pet them at all times.
These are all the traits described by the AKC within the breed standard, but as is the case with any animal, there are variations within that.
French Bulldogs have all the personality traits sought after in a pet, and very few of them are found to be troubling to pet owners.
As is the case with the short hair variety, French Bulldogs with long hair are affectionate and calm. They are easy to get along with, even though it takes them a while to get used to new people and new pets.
It’s important to note that they don’t require much exercise, but they are also not the type of dog to lay around all day. You’ll need to schedule a portion of your day for walks and playtime.
These dogs are also quite social, and once you add one little Frenchie to your home, you should consider adding one or two more, or your pet might get lonely, and it will show in their behavior.
Potential health issues
When a long-haired French Bulldog comes from a reputable breeder, it shouldn’t have any more or fewer health problems than any other bulldog.
However, this still means they are prone to quite a few health issues, as is the case with their short hair relatives.
Most of the health problems they might face come from the flattened face shape (known as brachycephalic), which causes breathing issues.
There are other less common maladies, all coming about from the specific genetic traits that French Bulldogs carry from one generation to another.
For instance, skin inflammation caused by rubbing skin folds also happens to Frenchies and requires veterinary attention.
Sometimes there are also problems with the tear glands that cause swelling, and some French Bulldogs suffer from Epilepsy, which manifests similarly to how it does in humans.
Regardless of their hair size, some French Bulldogs have a problem with what’s known as luxating patella or a dislocated kneecap. It can sometimes be fixed without a trip to the vet, but it will be painful and complicated to do.
All of this is to say that you may want to consider pet insurance before getting a French Bulldog of your own.
Long haired French Bulldog colors
The genes responsible for the length of the fur aren’t related to its color, meaning that the long haired dogs could be of any color common in short-haired bulldogs.
There are 16 of those recognized by the AKC. White, cream, and fawn are the most common, and there are also three common types of marking to distinguish from: brindle, piebald, or a black mask.
There are also five colors that aren’t considered official by the AKC but are common and recognizable in the breeding community. Those are blue, lilac, blue and tan, chocolate and tan, and blue merle.
Grooming and shedding
Short-haired dogs are easy to groom and take care of since there’s little fur to worry about and little fur to shed.
However, when it comes to fluffy Frenchies, you’ll need to put in some work if you want to keep that hair healthy and shiny.
They will shed somewhat over the year, and that may require you to clean your furniture more often. Also, longer hair will attract more dust and dirt, requiring some extra work.
For instance, they will need at least four baths a year, which isn’t a lot compared to common dogs such as a Chihuahua.
Their wrinkles also need to be cleaned daily as this will stop them from getting infected. It should become a part of your daily ritual together with walking and playtime.
Are they a good choice for a family dog?
For the most part, your long-haired friend will be a perfect family dog if you treat them right and make sure that their needs are met.
This bulldog breed is a people pleaser, which means they will be easy to train if you put in the time and don’t rush the training.
As is the case with most dogs, a long haired French Bulldog obeys based on rewards and motivation, and they are rather playful as long as they are healthy.
These dogs are as suited to city and apartment life as are pugs, so you don’t have to worry about them adapting to a small space.
It’s also important to note that they don’t react well to separation, and it can cause them to be anxious or depressed, so once you get a Frenchie puppy, you’re up for a commitment. They also tend to be destructive when they’re bored.
How much does a long haired French bulldog cost?
Long haired French Bulldogs are a relatively rare breed, and very few are sold every year.
This has started to change in recent years as the interest in them has grown, and there are breeders that specifically produce litters of them. However, the cost of one is still on the high side.
When a dog is purchased from a breeder, it may be useful to get a DNA test to sort out the lineage and find out about any potential problems that may come about from mixing.
The price will also reflect the choice of breeder that you make as a good breeder also means a healthier dog, and that will decrease the long-term costs that go into taking care of a Frenchie. There’s also a big discrepancy in price based on the quality of the litter.
Simply put, these dogs can set you back anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000. It’s also important to note that female French Bulldogs are more expensive than male ones.
As is the case with any other dog, the costs don’t stop there – you’ll also need to cover food, toys, vet visits, pet insurance, and other smaller items that need to be replaced now and then.
The cost of grooming is also slightly higher than for most dogs of a similar breed, but that’s the price you pay for that lush fur.
Frequently asked questions
Can I fly with my Frenchie?
For the most part, the answer is no. You won’t be able to take your dog on a trip with you as most airlines don’t allow them to fly. That’s the case regardless of the length of their hair, and it’s mostly due to the breathing problems that these dogs are prone to. This could get worse in flight and is a common safety measure.
Can French Bulldogs swim?
Again, the answer is no. Both short and long-haired bulldogs can’t swim due to their short stature and breathing problems caused by their short snout. Make sure to keep your Frenchie away from water.
Are they loud?
French Bulldogs are great apartment pets because they are not big barkers. After a while, you’ll be able to figure out what they are trying to communicate through cute noises.
A few final thoughts
Finding the perfect dog for your family doesn’t have to be difficult. What you’re looking for is a companion that will be loyal, playful, and that’s also cute to look at and cuddle with. All of these qualities can be found in French Bulldogs.
What makes long haired French Bulldogs so special is that they are a unique little genetic quirk, which makes them stand out from their relatives but also allows them to keep most of their fun and cute traits. These are relatively rare dogs, which will be reflected in their price, but they are also loyal, cute, and not that difficult to groom and keep healthy.
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