The French bulldog is the fourth most popular breed in the world. It is affectionate and easygoing, gets along well with kids and other dogs, and doesn’t need a lot of grooming and exercise. They have built a name for themselves as the perfect companion dogs for first-time dog owners and apartment dwellers.
Recently, there’s been a lot of interest in the teacup French bulldog (and teacups in general). They have all the physical features of the traditional Frenchie but with a smaller—and some would say, cuter—frame.
Some say it’s like owning a Frenchie who permanently looks like a puppy. Here’s what you need to know If you’re interested in getting a miniature French bulldog for a pet.
Teacup French Bulldog: Name, History, and Breeding
The French bulldog breed (aka the Royal Frenchel Bulldog) first emerged in England during the late 18th century, as a result of cross-breeding English bulldogs with toy dogs. They soon grew in popularity as a companion dog, especially in the working class. Because of their size, they were often the lapdogs of ladies, or practical pets for small size homes.
According to the AKC, boutique lace workers brought these dogs with them when they migrated to France to work in after the Industrial Revolution. That’s when they got the name of French bulldogs. Contrary to popular belief, Frenchies are not part of the toy dog group but are actually considered a small or medium-size breed.
But what about the mini Frenchie? The Teacup French bulldog is not recognized by the AKC (American Kennel Club) and the EKC (English Kennel Club) as an official breed. They are just an exceptionally small version of the French Bulldog.
The Frenchie’s small size is achieved by careful breeding, such as:
- Cross-breeding the runts or smallest bulldog puppy in every litter
- Cross-breeding French bulldog with toy dog breeds like a poodle or a Yorkshire terrier
- Cross-breeding French bulldogs with dwarfism
Since the teacup French bulldog breeding process can also pass on undesirable traits and genetic health problems, it’s important to buy your French bulldog puppy from a reputable breeder who uses only healthy breeding stock.
Runts are generally weaker than their bigger siblings because they don’t get enough milk, and dogs with dwarfism can have a higher risk for disc problems. Reputable teacup French bulldog breeders will carefully monitor the breeding process to avoid these problems.
Tea Cup French Bull Dog: Features
- Size and weight. Adult mini French bulldogs are less than 11 to 13 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 5 to 14 pounds. This is half the size of the French bulldog, which can weigh up to 28 pounds.
- Face and build. The French bulldog is known for its large bat ears, compact head, wrinkles around its nose, and overhanging lips that lead to the familiar French bulldog pout. They have a small but muscular frame, with broad shoulders and small hips. The mini French bulldog has similar features but may have noticeably slimmer hips.
- Common color and markings. The teacup French bulldog comes in a variety of shades and colors. The Frenchie can sports light to dark coats, with shades like fawn, black, white, cream, brindle, and pied. They may have a black mask around the muzzle and nose or white markings on a dark coat. Some Frenchie puppies may also have spots or patches of a different color, leading to combinations like the chocolate brindle.
- Rare colors and markings. Some mini Frenchies have been cross-bred to have a rare color like blue sable, blue merl, lilac, chocolate, and tan. These may fetch a more expensive price because of their rare color but may have a higher risk for health issues like Color Dilution Alopecia. Note that these color combinations are not approved by the APC.
- Life expectancy. The mini Frenchie actually enjoys longer lifespans (12 to 16 years), compared to the traditional French bulldog (10to 14 years).
Mini French Personality Traits
- Very loving. The teacup Frenchie is a mini breed that has a huge heart. It is very affectionate and loyal to its owners and is happiest when it’s around people.
- Good with kids and other animals. Frenchies are a very patient and good-natured breed, which is why they are a good breed for families with young kids. They may even treat kids like a “puppy” and be very protective of them. They are also sociable and will get along well with your other pet dogs or cats.
- Playful. Your French bulldog teacup puppy will love playing games with you, and enjoys belly rubs and any kind of attention. It may sometimes “dance” at your feet, and bark playfully—a sign that it’s in the mood for a game or wants more affection from you.
- Adapts well. One of the reasons why Frenchies are such a popular dog breed is that they’re not as nervous, sensitive or high-maintenance as other small dog breeds. It adapts well to any environment and aren’t skittish around strangers. However, these gentle pups do not like being yelled at or hit, and can become anxious in loud environments.
- Suitable for apartment life. Tea cup French bulldogs—or even the larger traditional French bulldog—are quite content even in a small home. It is one of the most popular apartment dogs in the United States.
- Not tolerant of hot weather. All French bulldogs are prone to heat stroke, so they may become weak and start to pant or have difficulty breathing in very hot weather. If you live in a warm climate like South Florida, take extra steps to keep your Frenchies cool.
- Prone to separation anxiety. Since teacup French bulldogs are very affectionate and social, they will become anxious or even depressed if they are left alone for long periods of time. Sometimes they will lose their appetite, or engage in destructive behavior like chewing furniture.
Tea Cup French Bull Dog: Health Issues
Teacup French bull dogs have a higher risk for certain health problems. Always monitor for signs and symptoms of these conditions, and bring your pet to the vet for regular check-ups and information about how to avoid these disorders.
- Cataracts and other issues with the eyes
- Skin disorders
- Breathing issues
- Heat stroke
- Hip dysplacia
- Back or gait problems
- Brachycephaly (with possible complications of respiratory problems and corneal ulcers)
- Von Willebrand’s Disease (similar to hemophilia)
Tea Cup French Bull Dog: Grooming and Care
As a responsible pet owner, you should ensure that your teacup French bulldog gets enough food, exercise, grooming and attention. Here’s what you need to know about the kind of care this breed requires.
Exercise and Play
French bull dogs only need moderate activity, and teacup French bulldogs need even less than their larger counterparts. Because of their curious and social personality, they will enjoy walks where they get to sniff out new surroundings and interact with other people and pets.
It’s important that your pet teacup French bull dog doesn’t become overheated. This breed is prone to heat stroke, because their small head limits their oxygen intake and makes it difficult for them to regulate their body temperature when they exercise.
Always give your teacup French bulldog plenty of water before and after a walk, and avoid going outdoors on very hot days. Instead, stay home and play fetch or give it toys.
Grooming your miniature French bulldog
The French bulldog has smooth, short and fine hair that is very easy to care for. Brush it once a week to stimulate their skin oil, which will help keep their coat shiny and stimulate hair growth.
Teacup French bulldogs do shed hair, but not as much as other teacups dog breed. If you use a rubber grooming mitt, you can remove enough of the dead hair so it doesn’t end up all over your floor and couch!
Frenchies only need a bath once a month. They tend to have skin allergies, so you may need to get a hypo-allergenic shampoo, or a medicated dog shampoo to prevent itching and scratching. Signs of skin irritation include licking paws often and rubbing against the wall. Left untreated, the irritated areas will lose hair and the bald spots will increase in size.
As for food, talk to your vet about the best food for mini French bulldogs or other small breeds. Teacups tend to have special diet requirements that can’t be found in “regular” breeds.
Training your teacup French bulldog
Unfortunately, a Frenchie puppy can be hard to train because they are quite stubborn! To avoid this, start socializing teacup French bulldog puppies when they are about 14 weeks old. Be firm and consistent about rules, because these smart dogs know when they can get away with something!
How to Buy a Tea Cup French Bull Dog
Mini French bulldog puppies can be quite expensive, because of their popularity and the fact that they’re actually hard to breed and find. Expect to pay a price of $1,400 to $8,500 for a bulldog teacup French puppy with a common color, and an even higher price for a rarer color.
Always go to a trusted teacup French bulldog breeder. Beware of people claiming they claim to have “cheap teacup French Bulldog puppies for sale” because there is no such thing. They could either selling you a premature or malnourished bulldog, or the runt of the litter. These puppies may seem small at the beginning, but with proper care and diet, will grow to the size of the regular French bulldog.
To avoid being scammed, check the reputation of the teacup French bulldog breeder. Ask about their breeding practices and the lineage of the puppies. Are they pure French bulldogs or were they cross-bred with other mini breeds? If they are purebred French bulldog, how did they select the puppies for cross-breeding? Did they have dwarfism or where they the runts of the litter?
You can usually find listings of French bulldog teacup puppies for sale in dog websites, magazines, or from asking your local veterinarian for information about nearby breeders or puppies boutique. The price of the Mini Frenchie pups can depend on the lineage, color, and availability.
You can also go to pet forums to ask other owners of bulldog teacup French puppies if they know of any Frenchies for sale and the average price in your area.
Is the Mini French Bulldog the right pet for you?
Don’t just buy a mini French bulldog puppy because you think it’s cute. You have to consider the dog’s needs and personality, and whether the two of you are a good match. While Frenchies won’t need a lot of exercise or grooming, they do need a lot of affection and attention. They are not a good breed for you if you won’t be home a lot, or if you don’t have time to play with them– and French bulldog puppies will need more attention than most!
Because the French bulldog has a genetic disposition to several health problems, you have to be prepared for higher medical costs or more visits to the vet. They may also need special shampoos or skin treatments, which usually have a higher price than other grooming supplies.
The mini French bulldog’s even disposition is good for first-time dog owners, families with young kids, or a household with several pets. However, a French bulldog puppy can be stubborn, so you need to start training early and be firm about rules.
But rest assured that your teacup French bulldog will reward all your love and attention with deep loyalty and affection. Pretty soon, you and your Frenchie will be best friends for life.