French Bullweiler

Pippa Elliott
Dr Pippa Elliott (BVMS MRCVS, University of Glasgow)
Photo of adult French Bullweiler
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The French Bullweiler is a hybrid dog, a mix between a Rottweiler mother and French Bulldog father. Given the size disparity between the parents it is important the mix is this way round to minimise the risk of birthing difficulties. The French Bullweiler varies in appearance, with the potential to look like an outsized Frenchie wearing a Rottie’s black and tan coat.

The French Bullweiler is an intelligent dog that makes a good companion in the right hands. However, they are not suitable for a first-time owner, given the Rottweiler tendency to be protective, which may manifest as aggression. For this reason, good socialisation from an early age is essential, as is ongoing obedience training. Potential health problems include hip dysplasia, bloat, and breathing difficulties, amongst other issues.

About & History

With a breed as new and unusual as the French Bullweiler we have to look to the parent breeds for their backstory.

The French Bulldog

The sweet-natured dog that is the French Bulldog (Frenchie) was bred as a companion animal. Their forebears were English Bulldogs selected for their smaller size. These dogs were popular with French workers living in England.

But when the Industrial Revolution took away their livelihoods, many of these tradesmen returned to their native France taking their small dogs with them. In turn, when crossed with French Mastiffs the popularity of the fledgling Frenchie was established. Their fortunes have been mixed, but needless to say at the moment they are enjoying a huge surge in popularity.

The Rottweiler

The strong handsome dog that is the Rottweiler has their origins back in ancient Rome. Their distant ancestors were the war-like mastiffs that the Romans used for guarding their camps and herding cattle for food. In the Rottweil region of Germany, these droving dogs were selectively bred to form the breed we recognise today.

Along with roles of guarding and herding, they were used to pull carts. However, industrialisation saw a decline in number in the late 19th century, to the point of near extinction. Happily, the Rottweiler breed was preserved by enthusiasts and has enjoyed a resurgence in number since the mid-20th century.


Like mixing oil and water, sometimes the initial constituents are evident in the final product. This is true for the French Bullweiler where some of the pups may strongly resemble one of the parents. However, a percentage of the litter will appear a 50:50 mix and it is these dogs we consider here.

Although both parents’ breeds are strongly built with powerful shoulders and heavy-boned heads, the French Bullweiler is a matter of scale. They are a medium to large-sized dog, but somewhat shorter in stature than a purebred Rottweiler, but larger than a Frenchie. Their wide shoulders may put you in mind of a doggy weightlifter, and indeed these are powerful dogs.

The French Bullweiler’s skull is broad and boxy, with a tendency to a fore-shortened snout. They often have the bat-like prick ears of the Frenchie, but drop ears are not unknown. They have a broad, barrel-like chest and a neat, tucked up waist. Their limbs are strong and heavy boned, but may be slightly bowed. Whether or not they have a tail is a matter of chance, since the Frenchie usually lacks a tail whilst the Rottie naturally has a long straight flag of a tail.

Their coat is short, with black and tan predominating. However, any colour is possible including grey, blue, fawn, tan, or tricolour.

Character & Temperament

Both parent breeds are intelligent and respond well to training. But whilst the Frenchie is a companion dog, born to please, the Rottweiler has altogether stronger protective and guarding instincts. The resulting off-spring may err towards either characteristic, but the wise owner put time and effort into socialising their French Bullweiler well as a pup and establishing who is in charge.

In the right hands, the French Bullweiler is a loyal, loving, fun dog that loves to be part of their owner’s life. However, because of the potential for aggression when poorly trained, they are not suited to young families and need an owner with previous experience.


The Rottweiler is a highly trainable breed but has a strong character, which may show through in the French Bullweiler. Good socialisation from an early age is essential, as are regular training sessions using reward-based methods. With guidance, they are a rewarding companion that could take part in competitive obedience to a high level.


The French Bullweiler is too newly established to have a picture of the health problems that show up. However, it is reasonable to consider the health problems faced by the parent breeds, as likely to occur in some of their offspring.

Hip & Elbow Dysplasia

These conditions affect the hip and elbow joints and can lead to premature arthritis, pain, and discomfort that affect the dog’s mobility. Joint dysplasia is a complex condition, of which hereditary factors play a part, along with diet and exercise. Ideally, both parent dogs should be screened prior to breeding and found to have healthy joints, which reduces the risk of their offspring having mobility issues.


Sadly, the Rottweiler is a breed that is over-represented with regards to the number of dogs that develop bone cancer (osteosarcoma). It has recently become recognised that early neutering can increase the chance of a dog developing bone cancer, and so it is advisable to delay desexing until after the dog’s first birthday.


The deep chest of the French Bullweiler places them at increased risk of gastric torsion or bloat. This potentially life-threatening condition happens if the stomach flips over on itself; sealing closed the entrance and exit. To reduce the risk, the French Bullweiler needs a good quality diet, low in fermentable ingredients (such as soy), and must rest for at least one hour after eating.

Breathing Difficulties

Sadly, the Frenchie is well-known for having breathing difficulties due to their fore-shortened face. Their large tongue and tonsils, along with an overly long soft palate may also be inherited by the French Bullweiler. This makes it difficult for them to breath, which can become dangerous in hot weather.

Exercise and Activity Levels

The French Bullweiler may be blessed with more enthusiasm than energy, and needs a moderate amount of exercise with plenty of opportunity to sniff. They like to meet other dogs and welcome the chance to play fetch or ball.

However, some words of caution. Their flatter face can compromise their breathing and may be prone to heat stroke in hot weather. In the summer, walk them in the cool of the day, stick to the shade, and take along plenty of water.


The short coat of the French Bullweiler takes little by way of maintenance, other than a regular slick over with a deshedding brush, to reduce the amount of shed hair in the home. As with all dogs, it is a good idea to get them used to having their teeth brushed from an early age, so as to reduce the risk of developing dental disease.

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