French Bulldogs are cute, affable, and will brighten your day. They have widely-set, loveable eyes and cute pointy ears. They have a personality that’s so entertaining you can’t help but smile in their presence.
French Bulldog Personality
Just like humans, dogs’ personalities are shaped by their environment as well as their genetics. While we can generalize and draw patterns in certain canine personalities, each dog is going to differ. The truth is, their personality depends on everything from their parents’ temperament and personalities, their upbringing, breeding, and the amount of training they received in their youth. A dog’s developmental years are incredibly important, as it’s that very root which will shape their personalities and temperaments in adulthood.
Generally speaking, the tiny little French Bulldog is one of the most dynamic ‘apartment dogs’ around. So much so, that they’re in the top ten of the American Kennel Club’s most popular list of 155 dog breeds. Their overt cuteness and bat-shaped ears, paired with their loving rapport make them fantastic pets. They’re often sought after because not only do they fit in most living environments—being that they’re small and require little exercise—but they’re not avid barkers like most tiny dogs.
As a puppy, you should expect an incredibly energetic canine that likes to get in trouble. Although this vehement enthusiasm will wane, while they are puppies, they’re simply a handful. Especially because they like to play rough, which means they’ll chew through their toys and find their way into trouble.
One thing to note is that the French Bulldog is a particularly intelligent breed. They’re known to shock their owners by expressing a startling intuition, and also by how well they can adapt to their environments. Their personality traits vary in this department, as they can range from the calm attentive observer to the highly energetic adventurer (constantly stimulated by everything, although their adventures are usually just hopping on and off the couch).
But the overall point is, your puppy will know how to get himself into trouble. That’s why puppy classes and certain training techniques are so important.
As the French Bulldog puppy ages into adulthood, they lose quite a bit of their energy, but usually remain active socialites. They’ll bounce at any opportunity to sit on someone’s lap, aren’t unkind to other dogs, and love to be loved. A well trained French Bulldog should be the center of attention in the household, the active lover, and the dignified adult. And even as adults, they never lose that mischievous behavior that makes them such coveted pets. They’ll still love to play in the home or steal some attention whenever they see fit.
The French Bulldog personality might just be the best personality of any small dog. They’re fun, loving, and absolutely adorable and will turn into well-mannered and charismatic adults. But without the proper upbringing they can become reclusive, aggressive, and barky. This phenomenon occurs with every breed, which makes their puppy years so important.
Personality Differences Between Male & Female French Bulldogs
You’ll find a variety of differences between male and female French Bulldogs, and generally there’s a rule of thumb to follow: males are more prone to be rambunctious, playful, and assertive. Females on the other hand can often be a bit more timid, but incredibly more affectionate between the two. Females are also said to be more docile, while male dogs take longer to house train.
Just as well, females tend to be a lot nippier. They’re quicker to aggression if they’re tempted, and often a bit more temperamental in their early youth, but outgrow it as they age. Males can have this same problem, most often curbed by proper training, but they tend not to be as aggressive.
French Bulldog Temperament
Similar to their personality, French Bulldogs’ temperament largely depends on their early youth, how they were bred, and that of their parents. Let’s start by pointing out the good. First, Frenchies are relatively docile, meaning they’re easy dogs to train. While they do have extremely short attention spans, by in large they’re capable of learning quickly, and they have the capacity to be calm throughout their puppy years.
They’re not an aggressive breed, although they do tend to nip, and instead like to outpour affection rather than hold a reservation or suspicion of the world. This means that they’re good with children. They are constantly seeking validation, but not in an unhealthy or obsessive way.
With that being said, these dogs crave affection to the point that, although being commonly known as the perfectly adaptable home dog, they can often become anxious or depressed if they’re left at home for too long. They’re by and large confident animals, but that doesn’t make them impervious to becoming extremely dependent on the presence of their owners. This makes them a poor fit for an owner that is constantly away from his/her home, and a better fit for an owner with more time on their hands.
Not only that, but a Frenchie can become destructive in a home without proper guidance. They are ‘rough players’ for their size, and they love to chew through things, play tug-of-war against inanimate objects, and dig if the environment permits it. While your Frenchie might be the most dignified and confident couch potato you’ve ever seen, that doesn’t mean you should leave him alone for long periods of time, as he may be particularly prone to have extreme separation anxiety.
Where the French Bulldog temperament becomes a problem is often when it comes to their stubbornness. As they age, they become strikingly more stubborn, and if this isn’t treated with care then it becomes a problem. They can be stubborn to the point that they simply refuse to learn or follow the rules set before them, in which case they can also become aggressive. If this stubbornness isn’t managed early on, it manifests into poor behavior in other facets of their temperament.
Overall, French Bulldogs are well-tempered, friendly animals whose worst temperamental flaw is that they can have a stubborn streak. They’re affable by nature, and they’re not quick to aggression, and their separation anxiety comes exclusively from just how much they love their owners.
Tips for Raising a Well-Behaved French Bulldog
Puppy training classes are very important to ensure your dog is well-mannered. It will teach your dog obedience and work to produce the best French Bulldog personality possible. They can certainly be expensive, but the French Bulldog isn’t that hard to train, meaning there won’t be any specialization involved.
Due to their innate stubbornness, the mix between obedience classes and then your own ‘home training’, work to curb that overly dignified presence and enforce what you want them to learn. They’re docile, which will make them prone to responding to both their teachers and you as their owner, and as a bonus they’re intelligent enough to keep up.
At home, be affirmative but extremely sensitive to your French Bulldog’s feelings. He’ll have mischievous tendencies, and while these can be adorable or simply entertaining, it’s important to draw a line and ensure that he knows the differences between what is and what is not appropriate. Positive reinforcement and a steady reward system are the most effective techniques, as they don’t damage your Frenchie’s feelings.
Early socialization is also incredibly important when it comes to their personalities. Expose them to the world, other people, and other dogs early on to spark that social adaptability they’re known for. Be active about this one, as a French Bulldog that becomes accustomed to the world early-on often is a vastly different adult than one that stays indoors.
Outside of early-socialization and training, it is essential to know your French Bulldog breeder. If you do indeed decide not to rescue a French Bulldog but instead want a purebred, then do the proper research and ensure that you choose a reputable breeder who produces quality canines, and that the parents have received the proper health clearances before purchasing your puppy.
Acquaint yourself with your dog’s parents, as their personalities will often have an influence on the personalities of their offspring. Often, some personalities are simply hereditary and innate, and if you’re buying a puppy from poorly tempered parents, it can have an effect on your dog.
French Bulldogs are tiny, adaptable, and absolutely lovely pets for the household. They’re dignified, can be stubborn, but mostly they just want to love and be loved. They’ll find their way to receive attention when they want it, and they’ll give it to just about everyone.
They snore and can be a bit noisy. Since they have such huge hearts, separation anxiety is common in Frenchies. They’re mischievous in their youth, then often grow to become calmer in adulthood.
If not properly socialized and trained, stubbornness can become a big problem in their adulthood, making it all the more important to give them the proper attention early in their youth. Overall, French Bulldogs are astounding companion dogs and will bring a whole new light into any household.