As a society, we seem to love to miniaturize our dogs. While this is not a new practice, it is a controversial one. This is especially true when it comes to modern-day dogs that are being bred down rapidly, like the French Bulldog.
Already considered a small breed dog, the French Bulldog is riddled with health issues in his average size. Now that he is being miniaturized, the Mini French Bulldog’s long list of health problems has only gotten longer.
That said, the Mini French Bulldog does have his fair share of pros, and he’s certainly an adorable and adoring canine companion.
Today we are going to cover 12 things you should know before you invest in this pint-sized pup. But before we begin, let’s take a look at the Mini French Bulldog’s breed overview. Keep reading.
The Mini French Bulldog – A Brief Breed Overview
Mini French Bulldogs are growing in popularity, but this may not be a good thing.
Height: 11 Inches and Under
Weight: 28 Pounds and Under
Temperament: Affectionate, Loyal, Playful, Friendly
Best Suited For: Families With Older Children, Seniors, Singles, Retirees, Couples
Health Issues: Hemivertebrae, Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome, Cataracts, Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Skin-Fold Dermatitis, Von Willebrand’s Disease, Dwarfism, Bladder Issues, Inflammation of the Brain, liver Issues, Heart Defects and Fluid on the Brain
Lifespan: 12 to 14 Years
Other Names: Mini French Bulldog, Teacup French Bulldog, Miniature Frenchie, Toy French Bulldog
Breeds That Recognize The Mini French Bulldog: None
The Mini French Bulldog, also known as the Teacup Bulldog, is a bred down version of the average sized French Bulldog. Like his average sized counterpart, Mini French Bulldogs are beloved for their adorable appearance, family-friendly nature, and comedic personality.
However, their very small size can lead to a number of serious health complications. Furthermore, Mini French Bulldogs are often sold for much more than average sized Frenchies, which can be concerning and lead to a greater number of irresponsible sources breeding and selling this type of dog for profit.
Are you considering getting a Mini French Bulldog? If so, here are 12 things you should know before you do.
1. The Mini French Bulldog Is Not An Official Breed Size
The Mini French Bulldog is not an official size variety of true French Bulldogs, which could be controversial.
Some dogs do come in different size varieties, but the French Bulldog isn’t one of them. Fancy names like Teacup Frenchie, Mini French Bulldog, and Toy French Bulldog lead many unwitting yet well-meaning dog lovers to think these dogs officially exist by breed standard when they don’t.
And while breeding dogs down into miniature versions is nothing new, it can be problematic when it’s done on dogs that already have a good number of health problems to contend with.
Sadly, French Bulldogs are already a controversial breed thanks to their serious health issues. When you breed this dog to be even smaller, those health issues are often compounded, leading to a dog that suffers throughout his life.
The good news is that there is a way to go about getting a Mini French Bulldog that will help ensure you get the healthiest Frenchie possible. The bad news is that not all breeders are as careful about their breeding practices as they should be.
With that noted, let’s take a look at some of the methods breeders use to create what some would consider Mini French Bulldog litters.
Crossbreeding is another controversial practice, though it’s also another age old one that has been going on since the beginning of the human/dog relationship. This act entails crossing two different purebred dogs in the hopes of combining certain genetic traits from each.
If you’re looking to get the healthiest Mini French Bulldog possible, your best bet is to go through a breeder that provides you with a crossbreed French Bulldog mix.
There are a few benefits of getting a crossbreed, and one of those benefits is health. Crossbreed dogs are likely to benefit from what is known as hybrid vigor, which is the idea that they have a wider gene pool and are thus less likely to suffer from certain genetic health problems common in both of their breeds.
Some common cross breed mixes that could equate to a Mini French Bulldog would include:
- The Yorkshire Terrier French Bulldog Mix
- The Chihuahua French Bulldog Mix
- And The Toy Poodle French Bulldog Mix
Another method some breeders use to breed Mini French Bulldogs is the method of breeding runts. Now the term “runt” isn’t widely accepted by all breeders or even veterinarians. But for the sake of this article and considering most of us are aware of what the term “runt” means, we are using it here.
A runt, by definition, is considered the smallest and weakest puppy in a litter. Sometimes runts are born smaller for no particular reason, while others are born smaller due to serious health defects.
Most runts do struggle with certain issues, whether these are internal health issues, physical abnormalities, digestive problems, heart issues, breathing issues, or stunted growth.
Breeding two runts with potentially serious health issues can lead not only to smaller French Bulldog puppies, but also to French Bulldog puppies with those same serious health issues.
Breeding French Bulldogs With Dwarfism:
The last method some breeders might use to create Mini French Bulldogs includes breeding dwarfism into their puppies.
For the most part, dwarfism is not purposefully bred into dogs or mixes. This is because dwarfism like Chondrodystrophy, the type of dwarfism sometimes bred into French Bulldogs to produce smaller French Bulldogs, comes with a long list of risks.
Risks include bone and joint issues, muscle issues, large heads and a more narrow pelvis. For French Bulldogs, who already have many of these health issues, breeding dwarfism into their genetics only exasperates issues and can lead to serious and sometimes costly problems down the road.
Let’s learn more.
2. The Mini French Bulldog’s Potential Health Issues Are Nothing To Ignore
Frenchies are already notorious for their poor health, and a mini French Bulldog could be even more at risk.
Even average sized French Bulldogs are known to suffer a great deal from a number of serious health concerns. In fact, one study estimated that roughly half of the French Bulldogs studied had at least one serious health defect.
For Mini French Bulldogs, these health defects can be even more severe due to their smaller size, and especially due to the irresponsible breeding practices used to create them.
Health issues common to Mini French Bulldogs include but are not limited to:
- Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome
- Hip Dysplasia
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Skin-Fold Dermatitis
- Von Willebrand’s Disease
- Bladder Issues
- Inflammation of the Brain
- Liver Issues
- Heart Defects
- Fluid on the Brain
- And Whelping Issues
Tips On Keeping Your Mini French Bulldog Healthy
If you want to avoid dealing with a sick dog, it may be best to avoid investing in a Mini French Bulldog altetoher. As we now know, these dogs are already riddled with health issues, and smaller French Bulldogs are at even greater risk.
That said, if you have your heart set on this little dog in spite of what we’ve learned, then it’s important to pick a breeder you trust when looking for a Mini Frenchie. Avoid breeders who breed dogs with dwarfism or introduce multiple forms of dwarfism into their litters to make them smaller. It’s also best to avoid breeders that purposefully breed runts.
Instead, choose a crossbreed version of the Mini French Bulldog. Crossbreed dogs have been found to have the benefit of hybrid vigor, as we discussed above. So while your Mini French Bulldog may not be considered a purebred, he will be healthier and likely happier.
You also have the option of rescuing an adult mini French Bulldog from a shelter. An adult mini French Bulldog’s size has not only already been established, but many potential health issues can be screened for and regulated.
Along with getting your Mini French Bulldog from a reputable source, we also recommend ensuring your dog maintains a healthy diet, has a good grooming routine, regularly visits the vet, and gets enough exercise.
3. Mini French Bulldogs Are Costly Both To Buy And To Raise
These tiny dogs can cost up to $5,500 to buy from a breeder. From there, raising them can be even more expensive due to health issues.
French Bulldogs are notoriously expensive, not only to buy upfront but also to raise. This is due to a number of factors.
Breeding a French Bulldog, whether it is an average sized Frenchie or a Mini French Bulldog, is complicated and expensive. French Bulldogs have larger heads and a more narrow pelvis, which means female French Bulldogs almost always need assistance during whelping which can often include a C-section.
Many puppies are born with health issues, especially if breeders are not careful, and this can exasperate costs. The cost of breeding a French Bulldog litter can hike up the price when it comes to selling a puppy, which brings us to supply and demand.
Supply and Demand:
In the UK, French Bulldogs have surpassed the Labrador Retriever as the country’s most popular dog. In the United States, the Lab still sits at number one, according to the American Kennel Club.
But for how much longer is anyone’s guess. Seeing as the French Bulldog is a fast rising star in the canine kingdom, it’s no surprise breeders are raising their prices due to supply and demand of French Bulldog puppies.
And now that Mini French Bulldogs have hit the scene, you’re likely to see the cost of these dog’s skyrocket.
In fact, it’s estimated today that the cost of a Mini French Bulldog puppy can range between $2,000 to $5,500.
Your financial commitment isn’t over once you purchase your Mini French Bulldog from the breeder. In fact, it’s only just begun. Raising a Mini French Bulldog is expensive, thanks to their long list of health issues.
If you do opt to purchase and raise a Mini French Bulldog, it would be wise to consider pet health insurance to help cushion the costs. Remember, your dog is going to rely on you for everything, and it’ll be up to you to ensure he has the happiest, healthiest life possible.
This is just one of the many reasons it’s important to think hard before you commit to a dog with so many serious health complications and special needs.
4. The Mini French Bulldog Is A Good Family Dog But May Not Be Suited For Homes With Small Children Or Larger Dogs
Frenchies are known to be playful and sweet natured; two perfect combinations for a family with children. However, Mini French Bulldogs can be prone to injury if handled too roughly.
Once you get past all the health issues Mini French Bulldogs can be predisposed to and the fact that they can cost you upwards of $5,000 when going through a breeder, Mini French Bulldogs do have the potential to make great companions.
They do well in a number of households and environments, and their playful, sweet-natured temperament means they can get along well with children, strangers and even other pets.
However, just because a Mini French Bulldog can get along well with children and other pets doesn’t’ mean he should be in a home with them. This is especially true if you have very young children or very large, playful dogs in the home.
Because the Mini French Bulldog is so much smaller than he is supposed to be, he can be prone to serious injury if handled or played with too roughly.
With that noted, the Mini French Bulldog is likely best suited for families with older, more gentle children and those with smaller pets like cats or other toy breed dogs.
Mini French Bulldogs will also do well with seniors and retirees, as they are relatively low maintenance and require only moderate exercise.
5. A Quality Diet Is Important For Your Mini French Bulldog’s Health And Happiness
Your dog’s diet plays a huge role in his overall health.
As we discussed above in our section on Mini French Bulldog health, your dog’s diet can play a vital role in his overall health and happiness.
French Bulldogs in particular can be prone to a few digestive disorders and food allergies, making their diet that much more important.
The Mini French Bulldog will do best on a quality dog food specified for his age, weight and activity level. This means he should eat a quality dog food for small breed dogs that is rich in protein, fatty acids, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and contains a good source of water.
The Mini French Bulldog may also be prone to food sensitivities, so you might consider a limited ingredient diet or a hypoallergenic dog food for your Frenchie.
It’s also important to make sure that your Mini French Bulldog eats a dog food specified for his life stages. This means that puppies should eat puppy food, adult dogs should eat adult dog food, and senior dogs should eat dog food for seniors.
6. Grooming Your Mini French Bulldog May Be Simple, But It Should Be Taken Seriously
Grooming is simple thanks to the Frenchie’s small size and smooth coat, though grooming should still be routine.
Grooming is another important part of keeping your Mini French Bulldog healthy. Luckily, the Frenchie is a naturally clean dog who doesn’t need too much brushing or bathing.
His short, smooth coat does shed, but he sheds moderately and only needs occasional brushing with a deshedding comb. Bathing should be done once every few weeks with a dog-safe shampoo, and your Frenchie’s teeth should be kept clean with a toothbrush and dog-safe toothpaste each day.
The Mini French Bulldog should also have his nails trimmed down regularly to keep them from cracking and splitting.
Most importantly, keep an eye on your Mini French Bulldog’s skin folds around his face and eyes. These dogs can suffer from skin-fold dermatitis, which can lead to sores and skin irritation around his face.
Keeping his folds clean will help reduce a buildup of moisture, bacteria, and infection.
7. A Mini French Bulldog Does Not Require Too Much Routine Exercise
Because they are small, mini french bulldogs don’t require too much extensive exercise.
Even at his average size, the French Bulldog doesn’t require an extensive amount of routine exercise. In fact, this is a dog that can be prone to suffering from heat exhaustion and exercise induced collapse if he over exerts himself.
A brisk walk once a day should suffice for the Mini French Bulldog, as should some free playtime both inside and outside of the home.
But just because your Mini French Bulldog isn’t the most athletic dog in the canine kingdom doesn’t mean he won’t require attention and mental stimulation.
These dogs can be prone to boredom, and will need plenty to do to help keep them busy during the day.
8. Mini French Bulldogs Are Good Dogs For Laid Back Owners
Mini French Bulldogs tend to be relaxed, making them great for more laid back owners.
Due to their size, it’s no surprise that Mini French Bulldogs are a more low maintenance type of dog. (They are low maintenance in temperament and exercise needs, not in health.)
That said, they do well with dog owners who are not as active or outdoorsy, and will enjoy small adventures and walks from time to time as opposed to long hikes, jogs or runs.
Mini French Bulldogs also make great traveling companions and road trip buddies. Their compact bodies fit nicely in dog bags, and they will do great on trains as they are relatively quiet.
9. Mini French Bulldogs Are Comedic and People-Oriented
Frenchies are people dogs. They love to be with their families and make them smile.
If you do get a Mini French Bulldog, you’ll be in for a treat. Like the average sized Frenchie, Mini French Bulldogs are funny, sweet natured and somewhat clumsy. They will keep you laughing from sunup to sun down, which is part of what makes Frenchies such great therapy dogs!
Mini French Bulldogs are also incredibly people-oriented. They enjoy their families and may become depressed if left alone for too long during the day.
If you have a busy schedule but would still like to raise a Mini French Bulldog, we recommend considering investing in a professional pet care expert or local dog walker to help keep your dog company while you are away.
10. These Dogs Need Plenty Of Training and Socialization In Order To Grow Up Happy and Healthy
Training and socialization should begin early and continue on throughout your Frenchie’s lifetime.
All dogs require training and socialization from an early age in order to ensure they grow up happy, healthy and well-rounded. The Mini French Bulldog is no exception.
Training and socialization should begin as early as possible and should be carried out throughout your Mini French Bulldog’s life.
Frenchies are naturally sweet natured dogs, but they can be mouthy and stubborn. They’ll require an owner who is committed to investing time and attention to training and socialization to help their Mini French Bulldog develop good manners and a sense of confidence in the world around him.
Most experts agree that using positive reinforcement training techniques work best when it comes to training a Mini French Bulldog. Avoid punishments like scolding, fear or force, as these techniques could cause your Frenchie to shut down.
Instead, stick with treats and praise and lots of patience. You’ll be surprised at how far it gets you!
11. Mini French Bulldogs Can Do Well In Apartments, Though They Can Become Destructive If Bored
Mini French Bulldogs can do well in apartments and smaller spaces so long as their needs are met.
Just because a dog is small does not always mean he will make a good apartment dog. Luckily, the Mini French Bulldog is an adaptable companion that does well in a wide variety of home environments.
He does exceptionally well in smaller apartments and home spaces considering his tiny size. He’s also relatively quiet and mild-mannered, so long as he is kept busy with a fun toy or KONG.
However, if left alone for too long or if he has not had the proper training and socialization, Mini French Bulldogs can become anxious and destructive. Keep this in mind when investing in a Mini French Bulldog and be sure to take the time to invest in puppy playpens and plenty of chews, puzzle toys and KONG toys to help keep him busy while you are away.
12. It’s Important To Get Your Mini French Bulldog Through A Reputable Source
Avoid going through irresponsible sources to obtain your Mini French Bulldog.
As we mentioned briefly above, getting your Mini French Bulldog from a republic source is key to ensuring you get the healthiest Mini French Bulldog posible.
Whether you choose to go through a breeder or a rescue to obtain your dog is up to you, but we do have some tips experts recommend you follow to help you choose the best breeder or shelter in your area.
When Going Through A Breeder:
- Average Cost – $2,000 to $5,500
Avoid going through backyard breeders, online sellers, or unqualified sellers that can’t provide you with paperwork, proof of their breeding license, or proof that their puppies have been screened and cleared of any serious health issues.
Remember, breeders breeding Mini French Bulldogs are already partaking in a less than responsible practice, especially if they are breeding runts or dwarfism into their litters. Most experts agree that the ideal breeder of a Mini French Bulldog puppy is a breeder who sells crossbreed Frenchies.
We also suggest you ask plenty of questions when looking at breeders, and avoid breeders who are selling Mini French Bulldogs for a price that is astronomical. It’s equally important to avoid going through breeders who are practically giving their Mini French Bulldogs away for nothing.
When Going Through A Rescue:
- Average Cost – $250 to $500
If you prefer to go through a shelter to adopt or rescue your Mini French Bulldog, keep in mind that there are several shelters throughout the United States that specialize in this particular breed.
While you may not be able to find a French Bulldog specifically labeled as a Mini or Teacup French Bulldog, you should be able to find smaller Frenchies if you are patient.
When going through a shelter, be sure to ask plenty of questions and explain to them the type of dog you are looking for, your lifestyle, and be honest about whether or not you have children or other dogs in the home.
It’s also important to ask about the temperament of any dog you are interested in and any potential health issues.
Some shelters will provide you with a free initial vet exam, while others will have had your dog undergo some basic behavioral testing and training.
Another benefit of going through a rescue to adopt your Mini French Bulldog, aside from the fact that you’re offering a dog in need of a loving home, is the price.
Mini French Bulldogs can cost thousands when going through a breeder, but a shelter will often charge a fraction of this.
So, would you consider a Mini French Bulldog now that you know the pros and cons? Tell us what you think about this cute but complicated canine in the comment section below.
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.