A little dog with a big personality, the French Boodle incorporates the Poodle’s intelligence and charm with the poise and humour of the French Bulldog. A real people-pleaser, this breed loves to be around humans and dislikes being left in its own company. A great choice of pet for families with children, the French Boodle should keep them occupied for hours on end and never say no to a game.
French Boodles should be lean and athletic with a small, compact body. They have an attractive face with kind brown eyes, and while some will be born with the typical Frenchie ‘bat ears’, others will inherit the pendulous Poodle ears. The fur of the French Boodle varies from one pup to another, and there are many different colour possibilities with fawn and black, as well as white and black, being two of the most common.
About & History
The French Boodle is one of the lesser-known designer dogs that is thought to have originated in the last 20 to 30 years. Though theoretically any three variants of the Poodle (Toy, Miniature or Standard) could be used in this mix, it tends to be the middle-sized Miniature Poodle crossed with the French Bulldog. While these two breeds are small, the physical similarities end there, making for a hybrid that can vary quite a lot in appearance.
The Poodle is a real celebrity of the Designer Dog world, contributing to more hybrid breeds than any other pedigree. Indeed, the first Designer Dog was most likely a Labradoodle, a cross between a Poodle and a Labrador. Poodles are used so widely because they offer great diversity as they come in three quite different sizes. As well as this, they have a hypoallergenic, low-maintenance coat, which is a real plus for any owner who suffers from allergies or is eager to keep their home pristine.
Poodles are also well-known for their sweet-natured temperaments and trainability, making them a superb all-rounder. While rarely used for this purpose today, Poodles were traditionally bred to hunt waterfowl, such as ducks, and were equally good at hunting in the water as they were on the land. The classic ‘Poodle haircut’ actually first came about when hunters were attempting to make their coat easier to manage when wet, rather than for any fashionable reasons (as is often assumed!).
The French Bulldog
The French Bulldog, or Frenchie, is a direct descendant of the Toy Bulldog, an extinct English breed similar to the English Bulldog but far smaller.
Its ancestors were brought to Northern France from Britain and were crossed with French Mastiffs. These dogs were not used to fight like their ancestors. Instead, they were fawned over and doted on, kept as beloved pets of the higher classes. Today, this breed is recognized in the Kennel Club’s Utility group. It is an incredibly popular choice of pet, owned by many celebrities (including Reese Witherspoon & Madonna) and even features on primetime TV shows, such as the TV comedy Modern Family.
The French Boodle has not yet established a uniform appearance, and it can be hard to predict what each pup will grow up to look like. Most will be small, weighing between 7 and 11kg and measuring from 30cm to 38cm. Depending on which genes they inherit, they may have a more snub-nosed appearance like the brachycephalic Frenchie or a longer muzzle, akin to a Poodle.
Some will have the characteristic ‘bat ears‘ that Frenchies are known for, but their ears will hang down close to their face for others. Their eyes are dark, round, and expressive, offering a glimpse into their busy minds. Their body will be relatively compact with visible musculature. They have a barrel-shaped chest and quite straight limbs. They may have a very short tail like their Frenchie parent or a medium-length, slender tail similar to the Poodle.
The coat of the French Boodle may be short and smooth or a little ragged. All will have a low maintenance coat that does not require much upkeep and should not shed very much (if at all). There are many possible fur colours, including fawn, brindle, black, brown, and white. Solid colours are possible, but most will have coats, which contain two colours or more. White patches are not uncommon.
Character & Temperament
A friendly, boisterous character, the French Boodle is the soul and life of the party and loves to be social. These guys never lack confidence; these guys enjoy having company over and may even show off and clown around when new guests are about. They particularly appreciate being around children and never tire of playing with them both inside and outside the home.
Some can become overly dependent on their families and may struggle to adjust if left alone. In the worst cases, dogs will develop separation anxiety, a behavioural disorder that can lead to destructive behaviour and a deeply unhappy dog. Due to this, it is not advised that families take on French Boodles out for much of the day.
While the French Boodle will know when someone new has arrived in the home, they are typically too gregarious to warn them away and are far more likely to try and make friends with them than anything else! Due to this, this is not a wise choice of watch or guard dog. Though the French Boodle indeed makes a wonderful companion for children, as they are quite small, it is always sensible to supervise them when around youngsters.
Smart, biddable, and curious, the French Boodle makes a fun training companion. However, some will possess a stubborn streak that may become apparent during longer or harder training sessions. Owners can keep dogs on track by ensuring sessions are not continued for too long and do not become boring or overly challenging. Anecdotally, this hybrid dog does not have any problems with toilet training, despite its small size.
It is now common knowledge that pedigree dogs tend to suffer from more hereditary health issues than mixed-breeds, meaning the French Boodle should enjoy better health than each of its parent breeds. Despite this, there are still several conditions that should be watched for.
A luxating patella is a knee cap that does not sit in place as it should, resulting in a knee joint unable to function properly. Affected dogs will eventually develop arthritis due to the joint’s rubbing, which is painful and will negatively impact their mobility. Surgical intervention is a good choice for many dogs, though some will be managed conservatively.
BUAS (Brachycephalic Upper Airway Syndrome)
Not every French Boodle will suffer from BUAS, but those who have a snub-nose like the Frenchie will be more likely to be affected. These animals tend to have narrow nostrils, an elongated soft palate, and a small windpipe, resulting in difficulty breathing. Animals will suffer more in warm weather and when exercising. There are surgeries available that can improve the quality of life of many.
Smaller dogs have smaller jaws, meaning there is less space within their mouth and more chance of dental overcrowding occurring. These dogs are also more prone to calculus build-up, which results in gingivitis and dental disease over time. This can be prevented with regular tooth brushing and by avoiding giving soggy, wet foods. For most, a professional dental cleaning will be needed once or twice during their lifetime.
Exercise and Activity Levels
French Boodles are energetic dogs though they are not particularly big, so they only require around 30 minutes of exercise each day. They enjoy going on short hikes and having the chance to play with toys in the back garden. It’s important not to neglect their minds and provide plenty of mental stimulation every day, which can be in the form of games, puzzles, and training.
While not every French Boodle has the same fur type, none will have particularly long fur and can get by with a brush down once a week or so. Those with drooping ears should have their canals cleaned out with a canine ear cleaner when necessary.