ha awesome! I love finding similar pups to her, there’s so many different shapes & sizes of Frenchies! !
Hi there, congrats! So exciting. This is a great question and something I ask every Frenchie owner I meet because I think everyone does things a little differently. I was in a unique situation because I quit my corporate job to start working for myself and timed the puppy purchase with the month I was taking off. So when Charlie first arrived she had a ton of attention and very little time alone. Now I work from home often but she can be left alone because we have a doggie door and she can let herself out on her own. This is how we handled things when Charlie was a baby and some info I’ve gathered from others in our neighborhood:
- When Charlie first arrived, she was never ever left alone to wander around in the house. She didn’t know what she could or couldn’t chew on so it’s dangerous to give them full freedom. I am a total softy though so I wasn’t crazy about putting her in a little pen. For the first few months anytime we left (and for periods of time when I couldn’t give her my full attention) she was in an X-pen that had a couple of safe toys, water, a weewee pad and her carrier with a cushion where she usually slept while we were away. They feel safe in these carriers but I wanted to give her some freedom in the X-pen.
- When she was a baby I read that she should not be alone for more than 4 hours and I have to strongly agree. I probably was a bit more conservative than that. If you are working long hours you should definitely have someone come take her out or play with her for a bit in the middle of the day so she doesn’t feel abandoned. Again, I’m not a vet I’m just an owner and this is my opinion.
-Charlie had some trouble at one point every time I left. I will post a video but she would screech and cry and jump like a little kangaroo to try to get out. It’s heart breaking but you can’t watch your pup 24/7. We tried to work on this by leaving for just 15 minutes at a time sometimes and coming right back to show her we would indeed be back, we were not leaving her forever! I think this helps.
-We were very lucky and charlie quickly proved she could be left on her own without an X-pen. She has free range of the house which I know is not the case for every puppy. We made sure she had plenty of toys to chew and the second she approached a non-toy item she was told no and given a toy to chew instead. She’s never chewed on chews, furniture, or ruined anything so we trust her with the house.
-Charlie is 1 yr now. I leave her for 5 hours on her own on a regular basis. She has a doggie door though so can let herself out which is not a luxury everyone has. I can leave her for 8 hours but when I come home she is visibly upset. This is very likely also because she’s used to have me at home a lot so I think some puppies are just fine alone for longer hours.
- We have friends that leave their pups alone for 10+ hours (I do not recommend) and that have the pup boxed into a corner when they’re not home to keep him out of trouble & safe. That’s something you’re going to have to feel out with your dog. If you’re working long days, get a dog walker. If your dog is always well behaved she can roam around and if she’s constantly eating things that are not OK to eat she probably needs to be limited.
Sorry this was so long-winded but I think the key take-aways are the new puppy shouldn’t be alone more than 4 hours at a time, we always had a wee wee pad for her & she was restricted with an x-pen. Encourage chewing toys, not furniture or shoes. As the dog gets older she can manage 8 hours, mostly because they’re more mature AND they can wait to go potty for that long. Every puppy is different & every schedule is different, you’ll learn as you go along but feel free to send any questions you have since it can be very overwhelming at first!
I will continue to post Charlie pictures up here but did also want to share some information I’ve gathered along the way since the process of picking a breed & a puppy was a stressful but exciting one for us! Charlie lives with us in Brooklyn. She’s a great dog for an apartment and obviously feels like the best choice we could have made now but for your benefit here are some upsides & challenges to the breed from our experience only:
1) SIZE. Charlie is particularly small for the breed, weighing just 12.5 pounds and pretty much full grown. During our search we were told to expect a dog between 15-25 pounds but she’s clearly smaller and we have certainly run into some monster frenchies in the neighborhood that are almost 35 pounds! Nonetheless, the breed is typically nice and small which is great for apartment living BUT she is muscular & sturdy so she doesn’t feel like a wimpy chick dog (my boyfriend’s main concern during our search), is super fun to play with, and strong enough to handle kicks tugging on her ears or whatever comes her way.
2) PERSONALITY. This is the #1 upside for me. I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into when we started our search. Frenchies were almost immediately ruled out because of some of the negatives I’ll touch on, most of all price. But let me tell you, this girl’s spirit is simply priceless. She is a true lover, she will kiss dogs, cats, people & especially babies (not all parents love this…). She is always happy, never moody. She has never done anything vindictive. She is sweet and yet sassy at the same time. I do feel some of these things are helped by proper training & attention but that’s for another post. Almost every frenchie we run into in this neighborhood, though they may vary in size, have bright, playful, loving & affectionate personalities.
3) MOOD BOOSTER! This probably is just an extension of #2 but this dog has helped make my relationship stronger with my boyfriend because she keeps us both so happy regardless of what’s going on in the rest of our lives. I can be super stressed and come home huffing & puffing and moaning about my day and then I open the door and BAM! Charlie is kissing me and welcoming me home and so excited to have me in her company. She is hilarious and sweet and keeps our moods in check. It’s hard to be sad or too stressed or depressed with that face around the house or when she wags her whole body to greet me hello.
1) PRICE & EXPENSES. Let’s just say there are high barriers to entry into the Frenchie owner community. For starters, we found it difficult to find a Frenchie from a reputable breeder that cost less than $2500. You can get some from puppy stores for less but that introduces a TON of issues, puppy mills aside that I won’t get into here. You don’t want the cheapest puppy, shipped from a puppy mill in the middle of the country because even though you may be saving a few hundred dollars to start, there’s no end to how high medical bills can pile up. When we paid for Charlie it HURT and it took a lot of time to get us to accept the price. Now, however, we feel like it was a major investment in our lives and we would do it again in a heart beat if we knew this is the lovely girl we’d end up with.
2) HEALTH ISSUES. You will, without doubt, read all about the health issues frenchies have. For starters, they have to be born via c-section. I had a hard time with this when we first explored the breed and I almost ruled them out again because of this fact. It’s certainly something you should be aware of not only for the moral challenge this introduces but also because it’s representative of the various challenges associated with the breed’s build. I strongly encourage you to speak to your breeder at length about the health history of the parents. There are very healthy frenchies and very sick frenchies. Some are in pain all the time. Issues range from problems with their eyes, allergies (almost every frenchie we know has some sort of allergy), skin sensitivities, hip dysplasia, breathing problems, norting, farting, etc etc. I’m happy to answer any specific questions about Charlie’s health but overall she is in pretty good shape. She looks healthy, she breathes well, she’s nice and muscular. We haven’t had allergy issues yet that we know of (I think she may have a chicken allergy but it hasn’t been confirmed). That being said, when Charlie was sick recently we had her x-rayed to make sure she didn’t swallow something & were told she has a fused vertebra & arthritic hips already (she’s almost 1 yr old). So, she looks pretty healthy & acts healthy but you should know that health challenges are part of this adorable package. You should be ready to deal with some of these challenges both emotionally & financially since vet bills can get expensive. If you do get a frenchie I strongly encourage you to get pet insurance before any problems arise!
3) SHEDDING. My boyfriend & I wear a ton of black. I mean, 90% of our outfits are black and yet somehow we ended up with a cream puppy! I thought the short-haired breed would be lower maintenance, and it is to some extent. She doesn’t need a ton of brushing & doesn’t need to be groomed. HOWEVER, her hair is everywhere. In our couch, on our floors, all over our clothes. We are constantly vacuuming and we always have a tape lint brush on hands at all times! I suggest leather furniture for starters, as well as leather interior in your car. It’s almost impossible to get her hair off our couch or car because its short & stiff. She feel soft to the touch but that hair is everywhere! This is probably also a consideration if someone in the house has allergies.
I could go on & on but will leave it here for now as our introduction to the pros & cons of Frenchies. Feel free to reach out with specific questions!
Hi! Thanks, we adore her :) I actually got her in Pennsylvania from Fantasia French Bulldogs. I know she had a couple of puppies recently and is having one more litter this spring before she stops breeding! Happy to put you in touch!