How Much Do French Bulldogs Bark And What Causes Them To Bark?

French Bulldogs are a awesome little bundles of love, but make no mistake French Bulldogs bark.  It can be a cute bark and it can drive you crazy but they certain can be vocal little dogs.  

So That Begs The Question – how much do French Bulldogs bark?

Every French Bulldog I have ever met does bark and was a vocal little thing.  From my experience and research they aren’t excessive barkers so that should be refreshing news to anyone researching the breed to see if it is a good fit for their home. Frenchies may bark when they’re overstimulated or excited.  They can bark when they are happy, when they are in alert mode (ie. someone at the door), or when they have to go outside to go to the bathroom.  Our French Bulldog Augie has a bark that is more amusing than threatening.   Our Frenchie isn’t a constantly barking “yapper” like many small breed dogs I have seen.  When my French Bulldog does start, I am usually able to get him to stop barking on command.  As mentioned, there can be a variety of reasons why your Frenchie may be barking.  A French Bulldog may bark for any number of reasons.  Here are some of those reasons your Frenchie may be yapping away:

  • Feeling Anxious
  • He’s In Pain
  • Looking For Attention
  • Someone Is At The Door (Stranger Danger)
  • Territorial Aggression (Telling another dog to get away)
  • Distress
  • Needs To Go Outside To Use The Bathroom
  • Genetics

If you’re thinking of getting a French Bulldog, understanding what they want, and knowing why your dog may be barking can be helpful in stopping the barking.  It can be an adorably cute bark but I am a fan of keeping the barking under control as much as possible. I will admit though, sometime it is fun to hear them bark.  

Common Reasons Why Your French Bulldog May Be Barking

The French Bulldog doesn’t tend to bark as much as most small breed dogs and isn’t prone to being quite so “yappy.”  Of course, the French Bulldog is a dog, and by nature all dogs do bark.  That is to be expected.  Discovering the reason your Frenchie is barking is the key.  French Bulldogs have been bred to be companion dogs and are used to being indoors.  They have a quiet, loving demeanor to them but they do bark when they want to communicate something to you.  When your French Bulldog is barking, it is important to understand that he’s attempting to communicate something to you. Let’s go a little deeper into the many reasons your dog may be trying to communicate something to you through barking. 

  • Felling Anxious – Your Frenchie may be feeling anxious about an unfamiliar person, sound, or object.  Just this morning, our Frenchie Augie saw our 13 year old child playing with a large inflatable exercise ball.  He had never seen this before and it made him anxious so of course he barked at the large ball and you could tell from his body language that he didn’t like the ball.  Removing the ball from the room solved the barking issue immediately.  
  • Feeling Pain – If your French Bulldog is usually a quiet and loving little fur ball and all of a sudden starts barking incessantly, he could be in some sort of physical pain. It might be good to check his paws, ears, joints etc to make sure he is ok.  Usually if your Frenchie was barking due to pain you might have also seen some sort of mechanism of injury (ie.  jumped off the couch and started limping).  
  • Looking For Attention – French Bulldogs are social little dogs and they love attention.  Our Frenchie loves being near his humans and is a big fan of loads of attention from every member of the family.  If your Frenchie is feeling neglected, lonely, or feels like he is in need he may bark to get your attention.   Our little Frenchie may also bark if he is on the wrong side of a door (ie. one of his family members is in a room with the door closed and he wants in).
  • Someone Is At The Door (Stranger Danger) – One thing is certain, if a mail man or anyone for that matter knocks on our door, our Frenchie will immediately start barking and run to the door to see who it is.  This can be ok in small doses and I think it can be a positive thing but in excess it can be problematic.  This can be remedied with training.  
  • Territorial – Like many small dogs, Frenchies are territorial about their food dish and toys. If they see another dog or animal invading “their space”, they will often bark as a warning to the other animal to say away.
  • Distress – The Frenchie may also bark if he’s left alone and feeling distressed.
  • Needs To Go Outside To Use The Bathroom – I am happy to report that our efforts in potty training our French Bulldog have been very successful.  As a one year old he now goes to the door and lets out a bark when he needs to go outside and go to the bathroom.  
  • Genetics – If both French Bulldog parents were constant barkers, your Frenchie pup may also grow up to share that same trait.  There is a component of Nature vs. Nurture here of course but genes do matter.  If his first eight weeks of your Frenchie’s life were spent around non-stop barkers, this may be a behavior he picks up on and considers normal behavior. Proper training can help with this but this can be a contributing factor.  

Most French Bulldogs are not constantly barking dogs normally.  While some barking is normal, if your French Bulldog has just recently started barking more so than usual you may want to look into what could be causing this change of behavior.  Let’s look more into French Bulldog barking.  

How Often Do French Bulldogs Bark?

Perhaps you are looking into getting a French Bulldog puppy of your very own.  You want to be well-informed and know what you are getting yourself into.  You may be curious how often these little Frenchies bark before making a final decision.  If you live in a small apartment you may have concerns about how a barking French Bulldog will affect the neighbors and your social standing in the building.  Perhaps you live in a home with some senior adults and you want to ensure the Frenchie isn’t a source nuisance to them?  On the other end of the spectrum, maybe you have young children and you don’t want the dog constantly waking up your children.  The only real answer to this is “it depends.”  It depends on the individual Frenchie, it depends on how good of a job you do training your dog, and other factors.

French Bulldogs as a breed are not known for being constant barkers but, they are dogs.  Like all dogs, they bark.  They can bark for a variety of reasons as mentioned above.  I have found my French Bulldogs are not big barkers.  They are vocal when they have to be but they are far from being overly “barkey.”  Frenchies may not bark excessively, but they are capable of communicating using their bark when they have something to communicate.  

It is important to mention that French Bulldogs are not known for barking a lot.  They typically only bark when they have something important to communicate to you.  In the rare case where your Frenchie is in fact a barker, I would highly recommend seeking guidance from a qualified dog trainer.  In the proper hands a good dog trainer can help solve the barking issue for your French Bulldog.  

What Does The French Bulldog Bark Sound Like?

A bark is not always a bark, and not all barks were created equal. What does that mean? It means that even though a French Bulldog may bark it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily going to sound like your typical dog’s bark. Some Frenchie owners believe that the reason Frenchies don’t bark that often is that they have so many other methods of communication.

Small dog breeds have always been known for the high-pitched squeaky bark. The French Bulldog is a small breed dog, so it makes sense that their bark may be similar yet it’s not a high-pitched sound. The one area where they are different from other small breeds is in the duration of their barking. Whereas small breeds like Yorkies or Chihuahuas tend to bark almost non-stop once they get started, French Bulldogs only bark if necessary and it isn’t non-stop.

The Frenchie’s bark can actually be described in a few different ways. Although it may sound like a bark at times, it more often sounds almost like a growling or excited yelping. It’s not unusual for a guest to believe the Frenchie is growling at them when they’re actually showing their excitement at having a guest. It’s the Frenchie’s way of talking or yelping. A dead giveaway is that the Frenchie’s tail is usually wagging happily when he’s doing his “growling”. French Bulldogs are infamous for the various funny sounds that come out of their mouths.

French Bulldog Barking Videos So You Can See What You Might Be In For

Frenchies can be quite the vocal little pups.  Check out these two videos of adorable French Bulldogs barking.  

Cutest French Bulldog Barking

Hilarious French Bulldog Barking Video

Tips To Stop Or Reduce The Barking Of Your Frenchie

Many French Bulldogs owners wonder why you may want to stop your dog from barking.  French Bulldogs park right it is part of their nature.  However, I have found letting the barking behavior go unchecked, or worse, encouraging it because it is “cute” can create a monster of your own making.  A French Bulldog that barks non-stop can be annoying and incredibly disruptive behavior.  This is controllable behavior and can be corrected.  Below I have compiled some tips that can help control the barking of your French Bulldog.  

  • Exercise and Stimulation:  One major cause of bad behavior and barking especially can be due to a lack of exercise and adequate stimulation.  While Frenchies sure do love to sleep they do need a good dose of stimulation and exercise in order to be well-behaved dogs.  My dog trainer once said “a tired dog is a good dog.”  We have our Frenchie go to doggy day care 3 days a week and he comes back exhausted and not barky at all.  
  • Don’t fight fire with fire:  Your natural reaction to a Frenchie that is barking excessively is to yell and try to out-yell them.  This is less than ideal.  I would recommend using a calming voice instead to lower their level of excitement.  If you try yelling at your Frenchie to stop barking it sends the wrong message.
  • Ignore the bad behavior and don’t give them the satisfaction – Many times your French Bulldog will likely be barking because he wants your attention. If you know they don’t need to go to the bathroom and are just barking to get you to look at them it might be worth ignoring them. Everr heard of Pavlov’s dog?  This is a learned behavior if you allow it to continue.  If your Frenchie gets your attention, even if you yell at it to be quiet, the dog will have been successful and thus continue to bark for your attention.  This is the outcome that you don’t want to continue.  
  • E-Collar Training – I must admit when I first heard of bark collar training I didn’t like the idea of it but then my dog trainer Barbara educated me on the benefits of it for my family and our Frenchie.  E-collars have been successful in decreasing needless barking for our Frenchie. Dog training collars use low level vibrations or or a mild electric stimulation to help foster obedience.   This collar can help stop excessive barking and encourage desired behavior.   The proper use of a dog training collar can be the best tool in your toolbox. The E-collar we use with our Frenchie is called the 300 Educator E-Collar remote dog training collar.  Here is an article she wrote about it.   
  • Expert Dog Training – I am a big fan of seeking guidance from an expert dog trainer.  I have found the sooner you can get your Frenchie working with a dog trainer the better.  I had our dog trainer start working with Augie as soon as he came home.  It is possible to teach your French Bulldog to bark (speak command) and then once they know that you can teach them the Quiet command.  It takes some work but it is possible.  

Conclusion – How To Deal With your French Bulldogs Bark

French Bulldogs are a great dog breed and they are highly intelligent.  There can be a lot of reasons why your dog may be barking and as much as possible this can be controlled with training.   While it is a cute bark, it is important to keep it in check.  

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