French Pitbulls have had a bad reputation for a long while, but they are becoming a popular pet choice once again.
If you are trying to decide if this is the breed for you, this comprehensive guide is filled with the information you need.
What Exactly Is A French Pitbull?
A French Pitbull is a mix of a French Bulldog and a Pitbull, both of which have their own interesting origins.
The French Bulldog actually came from England — not France.
However, they moved with their beloved pet parents to France when work became hard to come by in England.
Once in France, the Bulldog was crossed with other breeds to eventually create the Blue Bulldog, also known as Frenchies.
Later, the breed came to America and started being referred to as the Blue French Bulldog.
Pitbulls had a bit of a sadder start.
They are a crossbreed of Bulldogs and Terriers and were bred initially in England as fighting dogs.
Drunk gamblers enjoyed the sport until dog fighting was banned by law.
In the 1800s, Pitbulls made their way to America, where they began being bred for a different purpose.
They worked on farms as guard dogs, hunting dogs, and cattle herders.
Pitbulls were notorious at the time for how great they were with children and soon earned the name “nanny dog.”
They were known to be brave, loyal, and hardworking — so much so that they were used in advertisements during WWI and WWII.
Sadly, Pitbulls lost their good reputation over time.
They became known as vicious and dangerous, though this does not seem to be in their nature.
Instead, it appears to be the cause of how they are raised and trained.
It’s not fully clear when the French Bulldog and Pitbull became a crossbreed.
However, it has become a popular breed, despite its negative reputation.
Regarding that reputation, it’s time to learn what French Pitbulls are really like.
When raised well and cared for, they are some of the most loyal and affectionate dogs.
You can expect them to crawl up beside you or on your lap while watching TV or relaxing.
They are very playful and excellent guard dogs, as they tend to be so loyal.
You and your family can have a great deal of fun.
As with any animal, you’ll want to supervise them around young children. Sometimes little ones can get rough with the petting, might hit the dog to play, or may fall on them.
Though French Pitbulls are not naturally aggressive, they might try to defend themselves.
Additionally, the pup might be a little too aggressive while playing, even if they do not mean to.
Training can help teach your dog the best behaviors.
However, if you are aggressive with your dog, you can expect it to be aggressive with you.
That’s why it’s important to educate yourself on good pet parent behaviors, as well.
French Pitbulls are typically friendly to strangers. However, they are also loyal guard dogs.
If they feel someone is threatening you, you might notice them being tense or uncharacteristically aggressive.
As the French Pitbull is a mix of two distinctive dogs, it can be difficult to know exactly what to expect in the looks department.
Like human children, these pups might favor one parent or bloodline more, or it might be a good blend of the two.
However, there are a few common features that help them stand out in the crowd.
- Their ears are usually very pointed, similar to those of a bat.
- The fur is typically short since both breeds have short coats.
- Most often, their fur is light, though this can vary according to the lineage.
- The head is usually pretty large.
- Their muzzles tend to be on the shorter side.
- They usually look pretty stocky, though not quite the size of a Pitbull.
Keep in mind that these are just some common characteristics.
There might be some variations.
Weight and Size
A French Pitbull is considered a medium-sized dog.
A full-grown male will usually be around 15 to 18 inches tall, while females will usually be between 14 and 16 inches tall.
However, they can sometimes be as short as 11 inches tall.
As far as weight goes, you can expect males to range from 28 pounds to 40 pounds, while the ladies often top out at around 37 pounds.
It’s important to speak with your vet to learn the healthiest weight for your French Pitbull’s frame.
Their size and weight usually make them a good option for a house or apartment pet.
Thanks to the short fur, French Pitbulls do not require a lot of grooming.
Plan to brush them about once a week, though you can do it more often if you choose.
In the spring and fall, you’ll probably need to increase your brushing to meet the amount of shedding they experience.
The short, straight fur coat also means that they do not trap as much dirt and odors.
Most only need a bath monthly, though you can increase this if you notice them being smelly.
Be sure that you find a dog shampoo for sensitive skin as they are prone to skin allergies and irritation.
Some French Pitbulls have folds around their face.
If this is true, you’ll need to keep them clean with a wipe between baths to ensure no bacteria grow there.
Also, be sure to clean their teeth several times a week and provide dental treats in between.
If you take them out walking regularly, their nails should be okay.
Still, keep an eye on them.
If they seem to be getting long, or you are not walking consistently, use clippers to prevent any injury caused by unhealthy nails.
Do plan to have a full grooming completed three or four times a year.
Generally, French Pitbulls are pretty intelligent, making them easy to train.
However, there’s always a chance you’ll come across one with a strong will.
The earlier you can get them in a good training program, the better.
This will help them learn good behaviors at a young age that they can carry through their entire lives.
Interactions With Other Pets
As with most breeds, it can be hard to know exactly how a French Pitbull will interact with other pets until they are actually together.
While there is no reason to believe they’ll just automatically be aggressive or territorial, anything can happen when two different personalities are put in the same space.
Typically, the younger your pets are when they are introduced to one another, the better off you’ll be.
When they grow up together, it is much easier for them to learn how to get along.
Introducing them later in life can cause the same reactions that it would with humans.
If someone suddenly moved into your home that you did not know, would you automatically like or trust them? Probably not.
And there is a chance that you’d never learn to really like them because it would feel like they are encroaching on your way of life.
Pets — any species or breed — can feel the same way.
The best way is to have the different pets grow up together.
However, if your French Pitbull is older, it might be best to stay in a single-pet home.
Health and Exercise
If your dog has no medical issues or accidents, it’ll usually live up to 14 years.
Unfortunately, French Pitbulls face several potential health issues, passed down from both the French Bulldog and Pitbull.
Some of these are listed below:
- Breathing trouble
- Skin irritations
- Joint disease, often in the knees and hips
- Bone disease
- Thyroid and heart diseases
- Cancer, especially Lymphoma
- Gastric complications
- Heart disease
- Vision problems
There are several steps you can take to help prevent or minimize the risk of these issues.
- First and foremost, take your French Pitbull to the vet regularly. Your vet can help spot potential problems and set your pup on a course of treatment before it gets worse.
- Take your dog on a long walk or play outside every day. Try to go until they seem to be out of any excess energy. This will help keep them in shape and from misbehaving.
- Find out what a healthy weight is from your vet, and then monitor your dog to help them maintain that weight. It can be tempting to give those adorable faces an extra treat, but it’s not usually healthy for them. Instead, feed them a healthy diet and keep treats to a minimum.
- When you do take them outside, you might need to regulate their body temperature. Try not to take them out in the hottest part of the day to prevent overheating. Likewise, as they get cold in the winter, keep a sweater on them to make up for the short fur.
Overall, French Pitbulls can make an excellent pet for you and your family.
If you take good care of them, have them trained, and raise them well, you can expect loyalty, love, and a lot of affection.