Called a "Wash 'N Wear" dog by show fanciers, the French Bulldog's
grooming is simple, minimal, but, nonetheless, must be
done on a regular and consistent basis. These are the six
COAT: Use a tearless puppy or baby shampoon
every 3-4 weeks during winter months and twice a month in humid, hot
months. In this humid southern climate, I switch to Malesob, a
deep cleansing equine shampoo, or other antibacterial, antifungus
shampoo right before summer weather emerges. This is a
preventative measure. My dogs go through hot Oklahoma
summer months without a patchy, plucked look that you see on some
dogs of this breed. Deep cleansing shampoos are too harsh, too
expensive, and rather unnecessary in colder, drier months but
definitely worth the extra bucks especially for teenagers in
puberty. The breed tends to get fungus coat in the southern
areas or accummulation of oil and bacteria in the follicles during
hot, humid weather. Many breeders use DAWN, ultra dishwashing
detergent to deep clean follicles at base of the fur.
Those beautifully erect batears have deep
crevices and ridges. Flush once a week with a commercial
preparation. Even a squirt of peroxide from a puppy sized syringe (without
needle of course) will keep ears cleansed if a commercial rinse
isn't available. . Use a moist Q-tip around the ridges but avoid
running swabs down into the canal as this may pack debris in the ear
canal. Let the dog SHAKE out the debris and cleansing agents.
(BY THE WAY: STAND BACK)/ Use this recipe concocted by a Texas
vet for breeders who fight fungus and bacterial ear infections:
Basic ear cleanser: Mix 1/3 Isopropyl Alcohol, l/3 vinegar, l/3
water in a
squeeze bottle. Flush ears once a week.
Solution for yeast (fungal) ear problems: use once a day for
30 days; thereafter,
one or two times per week to maintain:
Dissolve 1 oz. Boric Acid powder (purchase at a pharmacy), + 8 oz.
Keep in capped jar. Use this in the following solution to
l/3 Boric Acid solution + l/3 propylene glycol + l/3 water + a few
drops of any of these:
Teatree oil OR chlorohexadrine, or capitan, Betadyne.
NOBODY likes this grooming chore - not the dogs and
not their owners. DO IT ANYWAY! To have short nails will help
puppy's pasterns(ankles) become strong; it also prevents an ugly
flat paw. In spite of the drama, ignore the Frenchies screams,
yelps, pouting,or kicking; wrap a towel around his body, firmly cuddle
dog, and GO FOR IT!
companion/pet owners, you can limit this to once every week to ten
days. For the show enthusiast, this needs to be done twice a week
when puppy is under five months of age, and then once a week
thereafter. Cat claw scissors suffice until puppy is over 16
weeks, but I use a Pedi-Paws on tiny pups to help them overcome the
fear of the noise. As they grow, I switch to an Oster or Dremel nail
honing device, preferably one that has a speed control. If you are
regular and diligent with nail grooming, the nails will stay under
control. Slightly cauterizing the quick will deter the nails
from growing. Daily walks will eventually prevent nails from getting
out of bounds altogether and eliminate constant need for honing and
flat noses are so cute, but they become dry, crusty, cracked, and
ugly if neglected. The intake of air on the bracychephalic's
nose creates a dry and soon scaley nose. These scales can even form in rows as the dog's
own breath fans his flat snout while harsh winds blast sand and cold
air against his foreface. Sometimes in Northern regions, the
dogs have "winter nose" - a condition of faded pigment that occurs
where the dog is not exposed to sunshine for long periods.
(This goes away when Spring sunshine returns.) REMEDY:
Break open a Vitamin E capsule, or buy Vitamin E oil or Bag Balm
(available at Farm or Fabric stores) for a moisturizer. Vaseline is
better than NOTHING! A little dab of this every day
or two protects and keeps the skin supple.
Piebalds,creams and fawn coated Frenchies can develop dark streaks
down their nose roll wrinkle. Prevention is the best cure.
Use a commercial tearstain cleanser and cotton boll to wipe down
crevices in the muzzle area and under the dog's lower jaw. These
crevices can actually become so acidic that there can be red yeast
or hair loss in the deep crevices. It
takes some experimentation to find the commercial cleanser that
works best with a particular dog. 10 Volume Peroxide works
fine with most of my dogs. After cleaning, let the area dry
and then cover with Desinex or other salve with zinc.
DISCOVERY: Some do not tearstain because their bodies have
less acid in chemistry, but if your pet is one with a higher
acidic body chemistry, then the stains can be dark and close to
unremovable. After trying many commercial preparations, I
accidently discovered that Johnson & Johnson's Promise, a ladies'
cosmetic facial cleanser, removes the stains quite well - better
than most commercial cleansers on one of my toughest dogs to keep
the tearstains develop at all may depend on the cause.
Some never stain. It depends on the dog's own body
chemistry. Other causes of excessive tearing: dry eye, a plugged
tearduct(puncta), a bacterial or red yeast infection,
entropion. See an opthomologist for diagnosis if tearstains are not
manageable with regular cleanup.
TAILS (AND OTHER
RUFFLES AND RIDGES): Babywipes,
antibacterial wipes and antibacterial soap are a must-haves to
periodically clean the deep niches above the nose, above the
onset of the tail, and vulva area of females between shampoos.