The French Bulldog is a companion dog through and through. This little dog much prefers the company of people to being isolated. They can be extremely sociable dogs if socialised properly as a puppy, I will go into more detail about socialisation later on in this video! They’re very playful and so they can be suitable for families with children, again, this is dependent on their socialisation! Their historical instincts make them a perfect four-legged best friend meaning that for a first-time dog owner, they can become perfect additions to the family.
But if you are precious about sharing your favourite spot on the sofa, this breed isn’t for you. Their affection is arguably what has made them one of the most popular breeds today but it’s worth noting that they may become a bit possessive of their owners. As a couple, you can tackle this by training in equal parts and spending as much time with your Frenchie as your partner. When training these little dogs, be prepared to come across an intelligent pet with a stubborn and mischievous side. Due to this, you may need to remind them on occasion where they are in your family ‘pack’ but consistent training should reduce the need for that.
Now for more on their training.
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! Don’t be put off by the ‘stubborn’ stereotype, Frenchie’s can be trained using simple commands, you won’t need a Crufts level of experience to create a well trained French Bulldog, just plenty of patience!
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.
Frenchie’s are deceptively energetic little dogs. Needing at least 1 hour of exercise a day, over 2-3 shorter walks. As puppies, it’s best to try and keep them from being too rambunctious to protect their growing joints. Once they’re matured, you’ll have a good walking companion that will enjoy simple walks through the park with you. Just keep in mind that whilst they aren’t of working intelligence, they can be mischievous, so a moderate level of mental exercise is also key to keeping them, and you. happy.
It would be a doing the breed an injustice if we at Fenrir didn’t highlight a few medical concerns any Frenchie owner should be aware of. We do have a health deepdive video if you would like some more information, for now, I will just overview the most important points. Brachycephalic, flat-faced, breeds can have issues with breathing. Which can be handled by keeping your pup at a healthy weight, watching they don’t over-exert themselves and keeping them cool in hot weather. Their adorable little faces will need regular cleaning, especially between the nose folds! The flaps of skin can harbour bacteria so keeping it clean will prevent any irritation to your little pup! And as always, we recommend consulting a veterinary professional if you have any major concerns!
Now, let’s say you’ve researched and located a reputable breeder that will give you a lively, adorable Frenchie pup, you have to be able to give them the best home. Again, in the early stages, it is best to ask a reputable breeder who they think the breed is perfect for. They will know the breed inside and out, meaning they can make sure suitable homes are found. French Bulldogs are small, friendly, affectionate and have relatively long lives. Now, these all sound like good traits! But only in the right environment. A Frenchie is not for you if you have to leave them alone for long periods, are precious about sharing the sofa with a dog or are expecting a baby at the same time! (Looking after a newborn AND a new puppy is a mammoth task, no matter how small the dog).
As much as you might prefer one breed over another, you have to be somewhat objective when looking at your suitability. If you have an outdoorsy job that allows for a four-legged coworker, a bigger, more independent breed may be more suited to you. However, if you can spend the majority of time with your Frenchie and enjoy leisurely strolls through the parks and country roads, they may just be the best companion.
Let’s recap what we’ve gone through today.
Their affection, playful nature and historical instincts in excelling as companions, these little dogs can be the best dog for a first-time owner. Whilst their stubborn streak can require patience when training, it isn’t something that should deter anyone from getting one. Consistent training is the key to correcting this! They will enjoy leisurely walks with their owners, and will still have the energy for a playful episode later in the day! They will seem to have endless energy but will always want to take their favourite place on the sofa next to their favourite human!
Their recent popularity has caused irresponsible breeding that has accentuated some of their medical issues. To best tackle this, please, please do you research before buying one. A healthy Frenchie will be a loved, fun member of the family but one from a reckless breeder will more than likely come with the challenge of major medical issues. And make sure you can give a Frenchie a suitable home, they will be a part of your life for a long time! It’s fair to say that a responsibly sourced Frenchie is suitable for a first time owner, there are just some aspects that they should be are of!