The Mini French Bulldog is a teacup-sized version of its larger brothers and sisters, the standard French Bulldog. The Mini Frenchie is literally just a French Bulldog in miniature form - they have the same look, the same shape, the same physical characteristics, temperament, and character; they are just much smaller.
Before we get into more detail, it’s good to know that the Mini French Bulldog isn’t recognized as a distinctive breed by any kennel clubs. In fact, Mini French Bulldogs, while particularly cute and adorable, are often bred down by unscrupulous breeders using unethical breeding techniques that lead to dangerous health problems.
If you decide that you want a Mini French Bulldog, be rigid in your background checks, and make sure the breeder checks out. In this article, we explain what you can expect from a Mini French Bulldog and why they can be so prone to health problems.
What is a Mini French Bulldog?
The Mini French Bulldog is simply a smaller-sized French Bulldog. Often known as the Mini Frenchie or a Teacup French Bulldog, this tiny pup is seriously small.
A standard Frenchie dog is already rather small, as this unique breed of dog has already been bred down from larger English Bulldogs in order to be companion pets. A standard Frenchie is around 12 inches tall and weighs no more than 28 pounds (they are short but squat!) - Mini Frenchies are smaller than this standard size.
Frenchies (big and small) make for some of the best apartment dogs, given their small stature, friendliness, craving for affection, and lovable characters. Sure, these aren’t the most good-looking dogs, but Frenchies, whether standard or mini, are bursting with love and personality.
The Mini Frenchie isn’t an official breed, and because of the health dangers posed by breeding a small Frenchie down even further, it’s not recognized by kennel clubs and the vast majority of breeders.
Let’s take a quick overview of a Miniature French Bulldog:
Height: A Mini Frenchie must be smaller than a standard Frenchie. There’s no set height (as this isn’t an official breed), but a Frenchie is considered to be a Mini Frenchie if it’s smaller than 12 inches.
Weight: Again, there’s no defining weight for a Teacup French Bulldog. Generally speaking, these small dogs are going to be 20 pounds or less when fully grown.
Physical attributes: A French Bulldog in miniature form, these tiny pups have the classic squashed bulldog facial features, tall ears, and squat body shape. These pups are born with a wide variety of Bulldog colored coats: you can find a Blue French Bulldog, a Brindle French Bulldog, a Lilac French Bulldog, a Merle French Bulldog, and more!
Lifespan: Once fully grown, a healthy Miniature French Bulldog can live between 11 and 13 years.
Known health problems: Incredibly prone to inherited diseases, as well as health issues directly resulting from their small size. See our section below for more detailed information on health problems.
Temperament: An intelligent companion dog that’s full of love, loyalty, affection, and kindness. The French bulldog temperament means that they train well but can be stubborn when they want to be!
A brief history of the Mini French Bulldog
The history of the Mini Frenchie is essentially the same as the history of the standard French Bulldog - it’s only in recent years that the popularity of miniature toy dogs and designer dog breeds has led to an explosion of interest in the Mini French Bulldog.
The French Bulldog was specifically bred to be a small companion dog in the 1800s. English Bulldogs were imported to France, where they were bred down or crossed with smaller breeds of local dog.
French Bulldogs are popular the world over, these days, and as with all breeds, there are constant efforts to shape and mold them to better suit our desires as owners. This led to the Frenchie being bred down further (often dangerously so) in order to meet the increased demand in recent years for miniature and toy dogs.
How are Mini French Bulldogs bred so small?
Mini French Bulldogs are undeniably adorable - that’s just one reason why they are so popular! But adorable, small dogs don’t just appear out of nowhere. Because this particularly petite version of the French Bulldog is so prone to unethical, dangerous down breeding, it’s important that owners know how their Frenchie got so small.
There are three common methods of down-breeding that result in smaller, teacup-sized Frenchies. Once you realize how these dogs are bred, however, you’ll realize why they aren’t recognized as an official breed.
The major ways to breed small Frenchies are the following:
- Breeding Runts
- Introducing Dwarfism
Let’s take a look at these breeding methods in more detail so you have a full understanding of what they entail for your Mini Frenchie.
Crossbreeding is the safest way for dogs to be bred smaller. This method involves crossing a standard-sized French Bulldog with a smaller breed of dog. Common crosses include Yorkshire Terriers, Miniature or Toy Poodles, and Chihuahuas.
This method is the best method, as breeders widen the gene pool and reduce the risk of inherited disease. However, it’s also unpredictable. There’s no way to ensure that resulting puppies of a cross look like French Bulldogs or even become smaller - there’s a lot of chance involved!
Breeding runts is a common way to downsize the breed, but it can lead to problems. Runts are the smallest pups in a litter, and so it makes sense to breed the smallest pups possible (from different litters) together. Over several generations, the size of a dog can be brought down dramatically.
However, breeding runts can lead to an influx of hereditary diseases. Runts are often small for a reason, too. They are frail, unwell, and prone to genetic diseases. Breeding these dogs together seriously emphasizes their health defects.
Frenchies are already small dogs, and so breeding runts together can, unfortunately, produce unhealthy dogs. This method just isn’t ethical when it comes to Mini Frenchies.
A small number of Frenchies can be born with dwarfism, a condition that makes them much smaller than standard Frenchies.
Finding Frenchies with dwarfism and breeding them can produce a line of Mini Frenchies that are super-small. Introducing dwarfism to a group of dogs just isn’t ethical, however, as it’s a dangerous condition that has a string of health conditions attached to it.
Mini French Bulldog care and health problems
Because of the way they are bred, Mini French Bulldogs are always going to be susceptible to health conditions (as are all toy dogs). For owners taking on Mini French Bulldogs, it’s important that they take their pet to the vets for regular checkups.
This needs to start when it is a pup, as the vet can identify early on any potential congenital diseases that may already be making themselves apparent. There are a wide range of conditions to be wary of, including the following:
- Swollen eyes and eye infections.
- Skin conditions (eczema, Intertrigo, etc.).
- Brachycephalic Obstructive Syndrome - a severe condition that causes breathing difficulties.
- Mobility problems (A bed ramp for dogs can help to reduce mobility issues, particularly the onset of luxating patellas, or dislocated knee caps).
- Heart Disease.
On top of congenital diseases, Mini Frenchies are prone to many other infections and viruses due to their weakened immune systems.
Pups with dwarfism are particularly prone to early death, as they have incredibly fragile bodies and an immune system that’s sincerely lacking in its ability to protect the poor Mini Frenchie.
Regular medical checks are vital, and you will need to ensure that you are prepared to deal with (and pay for) recurring medical issues and medical treatment throughout their life.
Mini French Bulldog: the final say
The Mini French Bulldog is an undeniably cute and adorable type of dog, and they do make for the perfect companions in small apartments and tiny homes. However, these tiny pups are so small that they are plagued with a range of health problems throughout their lifespan, and unethical breeding methods can seriously exacerbate these problems.
Before you bring home a Mini Frenchie, take their potential health needs into consideration. Always run background checks on the breeder, too. Ask them how the dogs were bred so small, and check they have had prior experience breeding Frenchies and hold any necessary licenses.
If in doubt, don’t feed the demand for unethical breeding of Mini Frenchies. There are always reputable breeders or other toy dog breeds that are healthier and more ethically bred.
If you’re thinking about a new Mini French Bulldog, then why not bookmark our guide for future reference?