French Bulldog Temperament – A Deep Dive Of The French Bulldog Personality

French Bulldogs are all the rage, extremely cute, and entertaining but what about their personality?  I’m happy to report we have found the French Bulldog temperament is excellent and words like affectionate, easy going, sociable, playful, intelligent and athletic.  They are full of character and will fill your heart with joy.  

A Deep Dive Into The French Bulldog Temperament

I’ll never forget the day we went to meet our French Bulldog Augie at the breeder.  We knew we wanted a loving Frenchie that would be good with kids so we were looking for just the right temperament.  We did some French Bulldog temperament tests with the puppies in the litter and settled on our Augie.  

The French Bulldog breed as a whole are intelligent, loving, and sociable . They are full of personality and are great at adapting to the environments they are raised in.  French Bulldog personality traits can vary of course. They are partially a learned behavior and equal parts genetics.  I’ll share the general personality traits of a French Bulldog but it is important to understand the individual personality traits of your Frenchie can depend on a lot of factors.  

French Bulldogs Temperament Factors:  

  • The parents’ temperament and personalities 
  • The breeding of the French Bulldog litter
  • Their early socialization of your French Bulldog puppy
  • The training your French Bulldog received as a puppy.

I can’t emphasize enough that your French Bulldog’s developmental years are so very important.  Apart from picking the right Frenchie for your home early socialization and good training are the most controllable factors in affecting the temperament of your Frenchie as it grows.  

The Characteristics of French Bulldog Personality

French Bulldogs are in the top ten of the AKC’s most popular list of dog breeds.  Their adorable ear “bat ears,” their loving nature, the fact they are great with kids, and their loving demeanor makes them wonderful companions. The French Bulldogs are an attractive dog breed because they’re small, don’t need a lot of exercise, they fit in most living environments, and most are not big barking dogs.

It has been said “all generalizations are generally false….generally” but with that said here are the general characteristics of French Bulldog personality traits:  

  • Intelligent
  • Affectionate
  • Easygoing
  • Love their humans
  • Lively
  • Sociable
  • Great with kids
  • Alert
  • Playful
  • Athletic
  • Entertaining

French Bulldog Temperament As A Puppy

Your French Bulldog’s temperament will change and evolve as your dog ages.  When your Frenchie is a puppy you should expect a very energetic dog that will likely make mistakes and get into trouble. I’ll never forget the night we brought our little Augie home.  The first night he was afraid to stand on the wood floor and was clearly apprehensive of his new environment.  

However, he quickly gained confidence, improved his mobility, and started conquering his domain.  He required constant attention, regular training, potty training, and cleaning up lots of messes.  Frenchie puppies are full of energy, love to play, and they will likely require lots of attention or they will find trouble.  

French Bulldogs Do Calm Down As They Get Older

Even if your French Bulldog puppy is on the wild side, fear not.  As your pup ages their energy levels will lower and they will get a little less “crazy.”  Your French Bulldog will likely always remain a very social dog loving being around “their people.”  Our Frenchie Augie even at almost a year and a half in age eagerly takes advantage of any opportunity to sit on a family member’s lap. Frenchies love to snuggle and appreciate affection and play time no matter the age.  

A well trained Frenchie will likely remain the center of attention in the household no matter the age.  Even adult Frenchies may never lose those mischievous and quirky behaviors that makes them such awesome pets. They’ll still love to play with their people or steal some attention whenever they see fit. They are full of character and that never changes.  

The French Bulldog personality is arguably the best personality of any small dog. Our Augie is fun, affectionate, and absolutely adorable.  As your French Bulldog ages they will likely turn into well-mannered and charismatic adults assuming you trained them well. 

I will say that I have met other French Bulldogs who admit they didn’t train their Frenchie well as a puppy and they have battled with reclusive behaviors, aggressiveness, and incessant barking. This of course can happen with any dog breed, which makes how you socialize and train your puppy during those early years so important.

Are There a Personality Difference Between Male & Female French Bulldogs?

There certainly are temperament differences between male and female French Bulldogs.  My first bulldog was a girl and she was sweet, attentive, timid, loved being near her people, and wasn’t dominant at all.  Female Frenchies tend to be more docile, while male Frenchies tend to take longer to house train. Male Frenchies are more likely to be dominant, playful, assertive, and can be more aggressive. 

Some Frenchies owners have said their females tend to nip more than their male counterparts. They may be quicker to aggression if they’re tempted too.  My female Bulldog Noble was very docile and loving especially as she aged. Males can have this same problem.  Proper training can help with all of this as well.  

French Bulldog Temperament

French Bulldogs are loving and well-tempered dogs.  I will say one thing I have noticed with my bulldogs is that they tend to be stubborn.  Frenchies are loving by nature but it can be a double-edged sword.  Frenchies can have some separation anxiety issues because of just how much they love their people.  We have noticed when we get ready to leave the house our Frenchie Augie can start whining because he knows we are about to leave.  This separation anxiety has improved with age, training, and regular exercise. 

French Bulldogs’ temperament is greatly dependent on how you socialize and train them during the first 16 weeks of their life.  That is a critical period in your Frenchie’s development and you should aim to expose them to as many situations, people, and environments.  

Frenchies tend to be relatively docile animals and can be trained easily due to their intelligence and food-driven mentality.  Frenchies do have extremely short attention spans so short, focused bursts of training is recommended.  

French Bulldogs tend not to be overly aggressive as a dog breed.  Frenchie puppies can tend to nip but as mentioned proper training can stop this behavior.  We have found that Frenchies are very loving and this means that they’re great with children. 

Frenchies crave affection from their humans to the point that they can often become anxious or depressed if they’re left at home for too long and don’t get enough exercise. That is one of the primary reasons we enrolled our Frenchie Augie into doggy day care a few days a week.  

French Bulldogs are confident and proud little animals.  With that said, that doesn’t make them immune to becoming extremely dependent on the presence of their owners. This makes them a poor fit for an owner that is constantly away from their home.  I would advise anyone that is constantly away from home to reconsider getting a Frenchie. Frenchies love to be around people and need stimulation especially in their younger years.  

Without proper stimulation and adequate exercise Frenchies can become destructive in a home without proper guidance. We have experienced some bathroom incidents where Augie ripped apart the roll of toilet paper, stole a sock from a bedroom, or nibbled on one of the kids’ shoes.  If we don’t walk him enough he tends to find trouble.  

Frenchies love to play and this is no secret.  Our male Augie loves to play tug-of-war and he sounds tough when he plays.  While your Frenchie might be completely comfortable relaxing on the couch that doesn’t mean you should leave him alone for long periods of time.  As mentioned previously, they can suffer from extreme separation anxiety.

If there is any downside to the French Bulldog temperament, it can be their stubbornness.  As your Frenchie ages there is a chance that they can become more stubborn.  If this isn’t treated with care their stubbornness can become a problem.  Frenchies can be stubborn and with Augie this has manifested in multiple ways such as; not wanting to go for walks or stubbornly not wanting to stop sniffing something while on a walk.  If this stubbornness in your Frenchie isn’t managed early on, it can turn into poor behavior in other areas of their temperament.

Tips for Raising a Well-Behaved French Bulldog

It is well-established that early socialization, proper training, and adequate exercise can make a big difference.  Here are some tips that will help:  

Know Your French Bulldog Breeder

Before I touch on early-socialization and dog training you should start with getting to know your French Bulldog breeder.  If you do plan on investing in a purebred French Bulldog be sure to do proper research and ensure that you choose a reputable French Bulldog breeder. You will want to ensure that the Frenchie parents have received the proper health clearances before purchasing your puppy.  As much as possible you should work to get to know your Frenchie’s parents because their personalities will often have a large influence on the personalities of their puppies. Some Frenchie personalities are simply hereditary.   If you’re buying a Frenchie puppy from poorly tempered parents it can have a negative effect on your puppy.

Socialization – The First 16 Weeks Rule

When we picked up Augie one of the first things we did was consult with a local NH dog trainer.  She advised us that the first 16 weeks of our Frenchie’s life were a critical learning experience.  She informed us that early socialization is incredibly important when it comes to forming his personality.  When you get a French Bulldog puppy you should work to expose them to the world in as many ways as possible.  You should try to expose them to other people, people with hats on, people with hoods on, etc.  

It is also important to expose them to other dogs early in their development to ensure they play well with others. A French Bulldog that becomes accustomed to other dogs and to the world early-on often is a vastly different adult dog than one that never interacts with other dogs. 

French Bulldog Puppy Training

Training your French Bulldog puppy is one of the most important things you can do to affect the temperament of your growing pup.  Puppy training classes can go a long way to ensure your Frenchie is a well-behaved young dog. Most towns and cities have multiple dog training businesses within close proximity.  With Augie we did a mix of private dog training lessons and group puppy training classes to improve the obedience of your Frenchie.  If you are concerned about the investment of puppy training I encourage you to consider the cost in money, frustration, and 10 years of owning a poorly-behaved French Bulldog.  I assure you the value of having a well-trained puppy far outweighs the investment in dog training classes. 

Frenchie stubbornness can certainly be alleviated by a mix between obedience classes and at home dog training.  With diligence you, your family, and your dog trainer can work to reduce the downside of Frenchie stubbornness. We found that Augie responded very well to the dog training classes and was a star student in his dog training classes.   

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.

Conclusion – French Bulldog Temperament Insights

French Bulldogs are compact packages of love that are adaptable, trainable, and have big personalities.  They’re proud and stubborn little creatures.  Frenchies just want to love and be loved. They will find their way to receive attention when they are on the hunt for it and they love attention anytime they can get it. 

While Frenchies do snore, gassy, and noisy little things they have huge hearts and love their humans. They’re mischievous in their younger years but they can grow to become calmer as they age. 

Be sure to pay attention to early socialization and dog training.  Frenchie stubbornness can become a bigger problem in their adulthood if you don’t manage that early on in their development.  French Bulldogs are great companion dogs and will bring a lot of love and entertainment into your home.  

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