French Bulldogs are the perfect companion dogs much preferring to be around people than being left on their own. They crave human contact and enjoy nothing more than acting "the clown" whenever they can. They are considered to be of average intelligence but are able to learn new commands readily, once you get passed their stubborn streak. They are known to be easy-going and loyal companions to live with thanks to their sweet and affectionate natures. They are a good choice for people who live in smaller homes and apartments with the good news being they are not known to be "barkers" although they don't like being left on their own.
The French Bulldog is an ideal choice of pet for people who lead quieter lives because they will quite happily sit on the couch with their owner. However, these little dogs need to be given regular daily exercise and ideally this needs to be at least 1 hour a day otherwise French Bulldogs can quickly plough on the pounds. Obesity is a real problem for the breed which results in dogs developing all sorts of health issues and can shorten their lifespans considerably.
As previously mentioned, Frenchies are intelligent little dogs that rank 58 out of 79 breeds in many surveys. They love to please which means they are quite easy to train, providing their stubborn streak does not rear its ugly head. It pays to take things slowly and surely when training a Frenchie and being very patient will pay off in the end. Frenchies can be taught to do all sorts of things, some of which are highly amusing which adds to their label of being the "clowns of the dog world".
Positive reinforcement training is essential, but itís important to monitor how many rewards a Frenchie is given during their education to ensure a dog does not put on too much weight, especially when they are still puppies or young dogs. Carrying too much weight puts extra pressure on growing joints and not fully developed ligaments which can lead to all sorts of bone deformities, a problem the breed is already known to suffer from anyway.
Are they a good choice for first time dog owners
French Bulldogs are a great choice for first time owners because they are always so amenable and eager to please. They make wonderful companions and family pets because they thrive in a home environment loving nothing more than to be involved in everything that goes on in their surroundings.
What about prey drive
French Bulldogs are known to have quite a high prey drive and they like to chase anything that moves especially if it's a smaller and weaker than them. As such, care should be taken when they are around small pets and animals they don't already know. When out on a walk, French Bulldogs should only be allowed to run free off their leads in areas where there is little chance of them taking off after any smaller animals they might come across. It's also important that French Bulldogs be well trained from the word go so they respond to the "recall" command rather than turn a deaf ear when called.
What about playfulness
French Bulldogs are known to be very clown-like and love entertaining their owners which is just one of their most endearing traits and why the breed has become so popular over the years. They remain very puppy-like well into their senior years making them a joy to have around.
What about adaptability
Frenchies are highly adaptable small dogs which means they are just as happy living in an apartment as they are in a house providing they are given the right amount of daily exercise that is. A bored French Bulldog would quickly find ways to keep themselves entertained which is often by becoming destructive and noisy around the house when they find themselves on their own.
What about separation anxiety
Frenchies form very strong bonds with their owners and as such they can suffer from a condition known as separation anxiety if they find they are left on their own for any length of time. As such they are better suited to households where one person stays at home when everyone else is out.
What about excessing barking
French Bulldogs are not known to be that vocal, but should a dog feel neglected or left to their own devices for too long, they may well start barking for attention. The same can be said of dogs that are spoiled and therefore become more demanding. Frenchies need to be taught from a young age not to bark and this should always be done gently, but firmly without frightening dogs so they understand what is expected of them and therefore mature into well-balanced, quiet dogs.
Do Frenchies like water
French Bulldogs are not particularly fond of water and are not very good swimmers. In fact, it would be fair to say that a Frenchie would "sink like a stone" if they ever fell into a river, pond or other sort of water course which is why care should always be taken when they are being walked anywhere near water.
Intelligence / Trainability
French Bulldogs are quite intelligent, but they do have a bit of a stubborn streak in them at times. The good news is that these little dogs like nothing better than to please which in short, means that with the right sort of handling they are easy to train. With this said, their training needs to start early and it's essential that it remains consistent throughout a dog's life.
The other thing about Frenchies is they can be boisterous when the mood takes them which usually means they act like real clowns and this can make training them more challenging. As such, it sometimes takes a lot of patience and a little more time to get them focused on what is being asked of them. The thing to bear in mind is that these dogs are smart and know just how to wrap their owners around their little paws which is something that should be taken into account when training them.
Children and Other Pets
Thanks to their gentle natures and providing French Bulldogs are well socialised from a young age, they generally get on well with other animals and family pets. Early socialisation is essential as it will enhance their laid back but playful natures. They are also noted for being a breed that gets along extremely well with children of all ages because they always display a lot of patience and kindness towards younger members of a family, which is just another reason these little dogs have consistently remained high up on the list as a popular choice of family pet.
However, it always pays to take things slowly, quietly and smoothly when any dog first meets another animal or dog they have never encountered before to avoid any aggressive behaviours. If a Frenchie has grown up with a family cat, they generally form strong bonds with each other, but the same cannot be said of any other cats they might meet which they would happily chase away. Care should be taken when they are around small animals and pets thanks to their high prey drive.
As the owner or a dog, as well as enjoying the rights (and responsibilities) of ownership which are designed to protect you and your pet from theft, neglect and malicious injury, you too have various duties and responsibilities to ensure that your dog does not cause injury or harm to another person or property, and to make sure that your dog is under control and cleaned up after in public places.
As the keeper or owner of a dog, you must ensure that your dog wears a collar with a tag showing your contact details at all times when in a public place- microchipping is also recommended, but is not legally controlled, and is not considered a suitable substitute for a tagged collar. You are legally obliged to clean up after your dog in any and all public spaces, including on the road, in fields and parks, on beaches, and in specially designated dog walk areas. You must bag up the poop, and dispose of it in a specially provided dog waste bin or other suitable receptacle.
On some roads and in many public places, your dog must be kept on a lead at all times, regardless of whether or not you are confident of being able to control and recall your dog when off the lead. Similarly, if your dog should cause an accident or damage to property such as by running into traffic, damaging crops, digging up someone's garden or breaking someone else's property, you hold ultimate liability for their actions and can be prosecuted under civil and criminal laws accordingly. The same applies if your dog were to attack a third party, or cause accidental injury such as by knocking someone down in play.
Special mention is made of the protection of livestock from dogs chasing or worrying them, such as sheep, poultry or any other farm animals. You must control your dog at all times around other animals, and should your dog be found to be worrying livestock then the farmer or owner of the affected animals has the right to stop or prevent your dog from doing so- up to and including shooting your dog. You are also responsible for the actions of your dog within your own home or on your own property, if the actions of your dog cause a nuisance, such as in the case of a persistently barking dog, which is covered under environmental and noise abatement legislation.