Oui Oui: What are the Best Toys for French Bulldogs?
Have you ever encountered a breed and thought, "I wish there were a smaller version?" The French bulldog scratches this itch, albeit in a roundabout way. This rare but popular breed with genetic links to the English bulldog is a cute, quirky pooch whose play style can be equally adorable.
OUR PICKS FOR THE TOP TOYS FOR FRENCH BULLDOGS
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A Look at French Bulldogs
The French Bulldog is arguably the most impressive genetic specimen in the dog world. As the name suggests, the breed's bloodline stems from the English Bulldogs. However, the development of the breed was completed by introducing elements consistent with the terrier and the pug into the mix.
This cross-pollination, which was originally bred to be companion “office” dogs in factories to boost morale during the Industrial Revolution, led to a small, top-heavy dog that has an oddly charming look. The combination of face wrinkles, bat ears, expressive eyes, and smooshed muzzle isn’t glamorous, but it still manages to be irresistibly cute.
The Frenchie’s instincts for companionship is still its prime mover, and he’ll want to be by your side letting you know how much he loves you as much as possible. This trait makes a properly socialized Frenchie a terrific companion for children, especially since he’ll revel in the affection coming from the kids.
For the most part, Frenchies are easy-going pooches that are perfectly content chilling on the couch, which makes them an ideal apartment dog. The fact that he has a short coat also means that they are pretty easy to groom. All you'll need to do to keep their coat healthy is to give it an occasional brush.
Frenchies also have a tendency to be stubborn, independent thinkers, well-prepared to hunker down and wait until you give into their demands. This can make training a challenge at times, and you may need to experiment with different approaches. However, making training sessions fun and treat-filled will usually get him to relent.
Since Frenchies are a brachycephalic breed (in other words, dogs with flat, smooshed faces), you can expect to hear plenty of snorts, grunts, and wheezes coming from his wrinkly face. This can either be a blessing or a curse, depending on your point of view. And one unpleasant trait carried from his pug lineage is a tendency to be rather gassy.
However, if you don’t mind a bunch of loud sounds and the occasional whiff of foul air, the Frenchie can be an outstanding addition to your home. One thing’s for sure – this is a breed that will love you unconditionally when you treat him kindly. What’s more, he’ll never be shy about expressing his feelings.
The French Bulldog at Play
One of the most endearing elements about the French bulldog is their tendency to be an unabashed goofball when it comes to play. They love putting on a show for you during playtime, primarily because they’re smart enough to know their antics are entertaining you. This makes them just as happy as you.
While Frenchies tend to be filled with mischief, this sense of mirth tends to come from a place of entertainment rather than energy. You won’t have to commit to long walks or extra-long exercise session to nourish their soul. A couple of easy 15 minute walks per day is all it takes to keep them happy and their waistline trim.
One thing to be aware of when you are exercising your Frenchie concerns the weather. Like most brachycephalic dogs, this breed does not handle extreme warm weather well. Please exhibit caution while playing outdoors with your pooch during the summer – failure to do so could result in a serious issue like heat stroke.
Also, be very careful with your Frenchie if you own a swimming pool. Because of the top-heavy way in which the breed is built, he is unable anything that even remotely resembles a dog paddle and will sink like a stone. The best course of action is to make sure it’s impossible for him to get access to the pool’s surrounding area.
The Best Toy Types for French Bulldogs
Not surprisingly, Frenchies thrive on any playtime that involves interaction with their owner. They love romping with stuffed animals, playing fetch, and you could make the argument that they live to chase balls. They aren’t built for endurance, so you can expect play sessions to mostly be meted out in short bursts.
Of course, when they capture the stick or ball, the air will probably be filled with those enduring grunting and snorting noises. When they bring the ball back, however, you may want to have a rag handy, as the breed is inclined to drool.
Avoid these Toys at All Costs
Obviously, since Frenchies can’t swim, buying any type of pool toy designed for dogs is a pointless endeavor. Sure, you may be able to use these kinds of toys on dry ground, but if you’re going to do that, you’re better off just getting land-based toys instead.
Additionally, while Frenchies love to chase down balls and can even be trained to use a skateboard, they aren’t exactly what you’d call natural athletes. Stuff like Frisbees or dog obstacle course materials won’t work with this type of pooch. It’s kind of a shame, though – it would be cute.
You may also want to think twice about buying any chew toy or toy used for a game of fetch made from cloth or any other material that can soak up fluid. Frenchies are prone to drool and drool a lot. If he's constantly wrapping his drippy maw around an absorbent toy, it may become difficult to keep clean.
This doesn’t mean that you should avoid soft, stuffed toys altogether – again, Frenchies do get a kick out of tossing stuffed babies around. If you’re going to get him a stuffed toy, make sure it doesn’t have a thick fur or is overtly plush.
Our Final Recommendations
Grriggles Fruit Friendly Dog Toy
The important thing to remember regarding a dog and stuffed toys is that they often don't really care what the toy looks like, just as long as it can be used in play. The Grriggles Fruit Friendly Dog Toy proves this primarily because it's shaped like an apple. But it works because it brings a lot to the table.
For instance, it’s plush, but it doesn’t have a thick plush coat, which means it is less prone to getting icky with drool. It also has a squeaker inside, and while your Frenchie may eventually wear it down, the outer layer is durable enough to make sure it serves its purpose for a long time.
It's also at a size that makes it easy for the Frenchie to fling in the air without it going too far. This may make him more prone to playing in this manner since he won't have to exert an inordinate amount of energy tracking down the gizmo.
Snug Rubber Dog Balls - 3 Pack
If you are going to purchase any toy for your Frenchie, it had better be a ball. From a playtime perspective, nothing makes this breed happier than the chance to chase down a ball. One of the reasons for this is because you are the one throwing it, and the fact that you’re engaging him in playtime makes him outrageously happy.
The Snug Rubber Dog Balls – 3 Pack works very well here because they are versatile. You can use them indoors as well as outdoors, provided that you’re not whipping the spheres around in your home at a high velocity. Considering that you want your Frenchie to enjoy his playtime, you wouldn’t want to do that in the first place.
Because they are made of rubber, they’ll be easy for you to clean up once you’re done with the playing session. You can just give them a good wipe down, and you’ll be good to go. Plus, the fact that the balls are rubber and not plastic means that they’ll be a little gentler on your Frenchie when he grabs it with his mouth.
Whenever you sit down and engage your Frenchie in a play session, be prepared to see a dog that will be over the moon with excitement. This is a breed designed for companionship, and playing with him represents the ultimate companion activity. He may not have the endurance like other dogs, but he surpasses many breeds in enthusiasm.
Better yet, playing with this pooch is a breeze, if only because all of the goofy antics that makes him so endearing will be on full display if not amplified. The snorting, the excited body movements, and a happily bouncing trot are all fine reasons to welcome a Frenchie to your home in the first place. Why not encourage such behavior with a bit of playtime?