Bringing home a new dog, especially a super cute Frenchie puppy, is exciting for all involved. But if you have small children or other pets in the household, there will be that ‘moment of truth’ moment when they all meet each other.
So, are French Bulldogs good with kids and other pets? Yes, they are. Frenchies were bred to be companions and usually have a laid-back, yet entertaining, personality. Their goofy side makes them especially loved by kids.
When it comes to cats and other pets, French Bulldogs to great because they are generally non-aggressive and not known to be barkers. Be sure to make introductions to cats and other pets slowly and in a controlled environment.
French Bulldogs With Other Dogs
Frenchies are typically very laid back and have a fun, friendly personality. So to think of one being aggressive to other dogs might be a far stretch, but it could happen under the right circumstances. While it’s probably a rare occurrence with them, conflict can be triggered by a variety of things (source). Here are some of the most common ways in which canine conflict can arise.
- Territorial trespass
- Disputes over toys
- The scent of a female in heat
- Disputes over Food
- Rough play that goes too far
Of all these scenarios, cause number five is probably the most common. French Bulldogs don’t usually start fights, but they do like to play roughly. Sometimes, this rough play can escalate and become a serious fight. Cause number four (food) is also a very common source of friction.
Importance Of Socializing Your Frenchie With Other Dogs
Unless you plan to isolate your French Bulldog from all other animals, there will be a need for a socialization process. This is very important for Frenchie owners because you have a little dog that doesn’t necessarily realize that they are a little dog. They love to play, and this play often includes play-biting and other playful aggression. The problem arises when a Frenchie meets a larger dog and tries to play with them.
When To Begin Socializing Your Frenchie
You should start socializing your Frenchie as early and as young as possible. This is especially important if they’ll be sharing your home with other dogs or cats. Even if they’re your only pet, socializing them with other dogs will teach them some valuable life lessons.
Experts feel that the most decisive time for getting a dog socialized is from 7 to 16 weeks of age. It’s hard to believe that such a short period of time can make such a big difference, but it truly can. This is when a puppies brain is most impressionable and can soak up the most information.
How To Properly And Safely Begin The Process Of Socializing With Other Dogs
First and foremost, remember to make the experience of socializing your French Bulldog fun and enjoyable. Don’t force the matter.
Make sure you keep a close eye on your puppy and look for signs of fear, stress, and overall uneasiness.
Tips For Socializing With Other Dogs
- Start by introducing your Frenchie to other dogs you know.
- Make introductions in a secure (fenced) area.
- Dogs can’t be themselves on-leash. So avoid on-leash introductions.
- Don’t force them to meet tons of other dogs the very first time.
- Bring treats and reward them for nice, friendly meetings with other dogs.
- Closely watch their body language and behavior for signs of fear (neck and back hair standing on end, growling, covering).
- Take your Frenchie to puppy obedience classes. This is a great way to get them used to being around other dogs and work on any stubbornness they might have.
French Bulldogs And Cats
When it comes to French Bulldogs and cats, the question is not quite as simple. Sometimes, French Bulldogs can be aggressive to cats, though it certainly doesn’t have to be that way.
If you want a cat and a Frenchie to get along, there are several things that can get in the way, including:
- Fear (from either animal)
- Territorial defense/trespass
- Natural dislike of the unknown
- Differences in scent
Cats and dogs don’t have to fight like cats and dogs. If possible, you should raise the animals together so that they will “pack up” and begin to see one another like family. If this is not possible, you will need to get them used to one another under controlled conditions.
The Importance Of Socializing Your Frenchie With Cats
You may not need to socialize your Frenchie with cats. If you don’t own a cat, and if you don’t expect your dog to be around cats at any time, you can safely disregard this section. However, you probably have at least one friend that owns a cat, and it would be nice if you could take your dog along when you visit that friend. After all, Frenchies often suffer from separation anxiety if they are left home alone for too long. (We wrote an entire article about leaving your Frenchie alone, which you can read here.)
How To Properly And Safely Begin The Process Of Socializing With Cats
Hold the dog on a short leash and bring them into the same room as the cat. Don’t try to direct the dog’s attention toward the cat or vice versa, just let them notice each other on their own time. The cat will probably be afraid, and they will almost certainly bolt and hide. That’s fine for the first meeting.
Tips For Making The Introduction
After you have allowed a few semi-free meetings (described in the previous section), you will need to repeat the process with the cat confined to a cage. This will prevent them from bolting and hiding, but make sure that the cage is thoroughly escape-proof. Don’t let the dog get too close, as this will only spook the cat and may earn your dog a claw across the nose for his trouble.
You need to understand that this will be a gradual process and that you cannot expect either animal to shed their natural distrust without regular and patient work on your part (source).
Things To Look Out For When Socializing Frenchies With Cats
It can be helpful here to educate yourself about some general trends regarding canine aggression. It wouldn’t hurt to read up on feline aggression as well.
You need to look for signs of aggression, and also for signs of fear. Since one of these things usually leads to the other, fear is just as much of a problem as outright aggression. In fact, there is a lot of research that fear is the primary root cause of most animal aggression.
Can dogs be allergic to cats?
Yes, but it is not a common occurrence. Because cat hair and dog hair contain similar allergens, they are not particularly sensitive to one another. However, there are rare instances in which a dog can be allergic to cats. One way to deal with this issue is to buy a hypoallergenic breed of cat.
Will a French Bulldog cuddle with a cat?
This will probably happen if your Frenchie and your cat become friends. Dogs are natural pack animals, and they prefer to sleep in a pile of their packmates or with their humans. While cats are not pack animals, they always appreciate a warm place to sleep.
Your Frenchie might not cuddle with your cat, but she’ll definitely like to cuddle with you. Read more about what makes them such a cuddly breed, here.
That’s A Wrap
For French Bulldogs, aggression is not a common problem. They generally have no issue getting along with other dogs and can get along with cats if properly acclimated to them. Frenchie owners are lucky in this regard because this level of socialization is not always possible for other breeds.
If you find yourself dealing with one of the rowdier examples of this breed, you need to understand that they are the exceptions, and can be put in line with a lot less trouble than other breeds. We hope that you will never have to deal with these kinds of issues and that your dog lives a long and happy life.
You’ll find answers to your other French Bulldogs questions and some you haven’t thought of, HERE.