French Bulldogs are very popular with dog owners because of their lovable and inquisitive nature. Families with children, potential dog owners may have a few extra considerations. We’ll cover questions when deciding if the French Bulldog is the right choice for a family pet.
Are French Bulldogs Good Family Dogs? Yes! French Bulldogs make wonderful family pets. They were specifically bred for their companionship and love of being with people. Their small size, easy going nature, and gentle disposition make them wonderful with kids. Young children and dogs should always be supervised. Make sure very young children are not too rough with a Frenchie pup.
It’s also worth noting that puppies of any breed will need supervision, and need to learn what is acceptable play. They all naturally tend to “mouth” when they play. This is not aggressive, but when they have sharp puppy teeth you’ll know it! Again this is common to all breeds, and not a particular concern for Frenchies, who are overall a very easy going breed.
Each dog will have different temperaments of course. If you are adopting an older dog you will want to have your family meet him or her in a controlled environment so you can gauge reactions and make sure they are comfortable.
Why are French Bulldogs so good with people?
While most dog breeds were created for work purposes (like hunting or herding), the Frenchie was created only to be a friend. We can see the results of this when we look at their temperament. The American Temperament Test Society tests dogs of all breeds and scores their temperament based on obedience and aggression. When we look at the average scores for the French Bulldog, we can see a score of 96.2%. This indicates a dog with a very docile temperament.
Some have described the Frenchie as a “clown dog.” This name comes from their natural desire to put on a show for their master. When this dog is trying to get your attention, they will often do silly and entertaining things. This might include jumping, rolling, pawing or any number of other tricks. These adorable antics can make them a lot of fun for kids.
Speaking of fun, French Bulldogs tend to be very playful. All bulldogs have a natural love of rough play, and the Frenchie is no exception. This is a dog that will enjoy wrestling around with the kids. Their thick build and natural durability make it highly unlikely that your child will injure this dog. The loyal and gentle nature of this breed makes it highly unlikely that the dog will pose any threat to your child.
Another thing that makes the French Bulldog a good choice as a family pet is their devotion to the pack. Extreme devotion to their owner and family unit is another common bulldog trait. You can really see this aspect of their personality in the fact that they are prone to separation anxiety. To put it simply, they do not like to be left alone for very long. Thus, these dogs are best-suited for dog owners with a houseful of people, so that there will almost always be someone at home.
As a final note, we might mention this dog’s frequent issues with flatulence. Although this is a downside, children tend to get a lot of laughter from this kind of thing. Also, be aware that a change in diet can help to reduce this problem.
Are French Bulldogs Likely To Have Aggression Problems?
As we already mentioned, Frenchies have generally scored very well when tested for aggression. As such, with a well-socialized puppy, you don’t need to worry too much about it. That being said, dogs will almost always display warning signs before biting. Make sure your children know these signs and make sure that they understand how to react. In general, they should react to canine aggression by ceasing whatever activity seems to be irritating the dog. These signs of aggression include:
- Lowering the head while staring intently
- Hair standing on end, especially the hair on their back
- Dropping into a low and widened stance
- Growling, snarling, and excited barking
- Lifting the upper lip to show the teeth
Will Kids Have Fun Playing With This Dog?
As mentioned earlier, the French Bulldog is a playful breed. All bulldogs have a certain “rowdiness” to their nature, and this quality contributes to their unique behavior patterns. Since the Frenchie has never been used for aggressive purposes, their rowdiness mostly takes the form of rough play.
The build of this dog might well be described as “a barrel with legs and a head.” As such, they can take a spill and roll to avoid injury. These dogs particularly enjoy vigorous games of chase and tug-of-war. However, Frenchies can only maintain this high level of activity for a short time. They are relatively low-energy dogs, but this might be a good thing for children.
As you may already know, French Bulldogs are completely unable to swim. As such, you should never let them play in the water. If you have a swimming pool or a pond, you will need to take steps to keep the dog away. For that matter, it’s also not a good idea to let small children play in the water unattended. You can use fences and locked gates to restrict your children and pets from those areas when you are not there to keep watch.
A Word About Separation Anxiety:
If you have a dog that tears up the house when left alone, the dog is probably just freaking out because they have been left alone. Remember; the dog is a pack animal, and it is not natural for them to be alone for very long. When put in this situation, the dog simply doesn’t know what to do. This often results in destructive behaviors (probably done out of frustration or panic) like digging in the trash and chewing at the walls.
If you must leave your Frenchie alone for more than a couple of hours, it might be a good idea to put them in a crate, because separation anxiety can result in a lot of household destruction. You’ll want to take a look at crate training your puppy from the outset so he or she is comfortable and happy to spend some time alone.
Crates can be a form of security for a dog. Dogs are den animals and naturally seek a safe shelter for themselves. The crate is a good way to provide that den and security for them.
How big do Frenchies get?
You can find this information by looking at the accepted AKC standards for this breed. As you can see, a French Bulldog cannot exceed 28 pounds. If a Frenchie exceeds this limit, they cannot be registered as a purebred dog.
The AKC breed standards do not specify a correct height, but the CKC standards are a little more specific. The CKC demands that these dogs must be roughly as long as they are tall. Height is measured at the tops of the shoulders AKA “at the withers.” Length is measured from the withers to the tail.
What role was the French Bulldog originally bred for?
The French Bulldog was bred to be a companion dog. Most experts agree that this dog is a modification of the English Toy Bulldog. Although this breed is now extinct, we do have some historical illustrations of the dog, and they apparently looked a lot like the French Bulldogs of today.
During the Industrial Revolution, lace workers from England were replaced by machines, forcing many of them to move to France in order to find work. As the Toy English Bulldog was very popular with these lace workers, many were brought to France along with their masters. Over time, these were mixed with certain kinds of French Terrier to create the current breed. From the very start, they have been a companion dog.
What is a companion dog?
A companion dog is a canine that was created to be a pet. Companion dogs do not usually serve any other purpose, although French Bulldogs are definitely smart enough to be trained for a variety of tasks. In many ways, you could say that this breed was created strictly to be a friend of humanity.
That’s A Wrap!
When we look at all of these factors together, we can see that the French Bulldog can be an excellent family dog. In fact, they may be one of the best-suited of all canines when it comes to this particular purpose. They are friendly, playful, safe, and personable. Of course, there are some arguments against this breed as well. Let’s compare both sides of this question.
- Very affectionate and devoted
- Poses no danger to children under normal circumstances
- Very playful
- Strong and durably built for maximum injury resistance
- Some potential for use as a watch dog
- Not well-suited for children that like to play in the water
- Low-energy dog with little endurance
- More frequent flatulence
- Serious issues with separation anxiety
When we compare these qualities side by side, we can once again affirm that the French Bulldog is an excellent choice for a family pet. When given the right kind of loving family environment, these dogs will usually respond to your care with the obedience and devotion that your family deserves.