So, according to the official ranking of dog intelligence, the poor little Frenchie is way down at 109th…out of 138 dog breeds. Now, on the surface, that indicates a below average intelligence. However, the reason they are so low down in the rankings is due to their stubbornness! If you are to get one of these characteristic little dogs, be prepared to come up against a clever, stubborn companion that have their own best interests at heart!
Now this isn’t to say that they’re untrainable, they know when it’s worth listening to you. It will just be a labour of love and patience when it comes to getting them to listen to you on your terms! Stubbornness aside, they can be deceptively clever little dogs.
They will learn to test your patience as they are famously into making mischief. Whilst you can’t always expect a wholly obedient dog from a Frenchie, like you’d expect of a Collie, they will probably still surprise you! They will be a people pleaser, but mainly for their main companion. If you get this little dog as a couple, make sure to spend as much time as your partner training them. This will ensure that your Frenchie will listen to both of you!
So yes, their stubbornness can hinder their training, and test your patience. However, for their owner, they will be eager to please. It’s always best to discover if your dog is more food or praise orientated early on so they associate training with a reward they want from a young age. A firm hand is what is going to be needed to train your Frenchie but harsh correction is unlikely to produce a well trained dog. French Bulldogs respond best to positive reinforcement!
As a puppy, once they’re cleared to meet and greet other people and other dogs, it is so so important to socialise them correctly. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean meeting as many dogs and as many people as possible! It’s more that they need to explore the world around them in a positive way to ensure you have a well-rounded dog that’s less likely to be reactive. Taking this mischievous little dog into places like cafes and dog parks and teaching them from a young age not to beg or not to charge over to every dog they see is crucial to a happy life with them. Whilst they aren’t the most intimidating breed to look at, their stuck up ears and alert eyes can come across as confrontational body language to another dog. The last thing you want is for them to think is that bounding over to all the other dogs that they see as good manners. It will get them into trouble should they approach a nervous or reactive dog.
Recall on a stubborn dog can be a task that may take you months or even years to master. It is worth the effort though. Until this is set in stone, I’d be reluctant to let a Frenchie truly off-lead. Instead, whilst you don’t have 100% confidence in your dogs’ recall, a long line, simply a lead that can be 5-10ft, will be your safety net.
So let’s do a quick recap to end today’s video. Whilst the Frenchie is classed as ‘below average’ intelligence in the rankings, they are clever in their own right! They will test your patience with their stubbornness, and you may need to persuade them with extra tasty treats when trying to teach them a new command. But they can surprise you when you do crack their codes! Teaching your Frenchie good manners from a young age is a must, through no fault of their own, their stuck-up ears and prominent eyes can unsettle other dogs. Being a responsible Frenchie parent means educating yourself on these topics. It is the best thing you can do for your future Frenchie pup!