Are French bulldogs good with kids?
Frenchie lovers are absolutely obsessed with these pint-sized pups. With those adorable bat ears and short noses, they have crept into the hearts of many families worldwide.
But are French Bulldogs good with kids?
The answer is a resounding yes!
Let’s look at just a few reasons why you’d want to consider getting one of these little guys as a family pet, especially if you have young children at home.
#1 They’re small in stature - Big in personality
French bulldogs are a very small dog breed. Full-grown, they only stand about 12 inches at the shoulder, weighing between 16 and 28 pounds.
This makes them the perfect companion dog for small humans.
While larger dogs can be overwhelming, Frenchies seem much less intimidating and get along well with younger kids.
But don’t let their small stature mislead you. French bulldogs have a lot of heart and personality. They are mischievous, especially as puppies, and will entertain kids with little effort.
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#2 They’re playful
Have you ever tried to get a toddler to sit still for more than 10 minutes? It’s not going to happen.
And French bulldogs, especially younger ones, are the same.
They have an extremely playful nature, running around and exploring their immediate vicinity. They like to smell and soak up everything they see and hear.
Frenchies love learning new games and, with proper training, will gladly play a game of fetch in the backyard - keeping your kids (and puppy) entertained.
#3 They don’t bark too much
Unlike other dog breeds with a deep, loud bark, French Bulldogs don’t bark as much. In fact, they’re much quieter dogs than other breeds their size.
Again, this is perfect for younger children who would easily be scared by a large, loud dog in their space.
This is also one of the reasons why many people living in apartment blocks or quiet neighborhoods choose to keep this breed as a family pet.
While other dogs start barking as soon as they get excited, a French bulldog will keep chewing on a toy, run after its playmate, or use soft, gentle barks to grab attention.
If you have a young family, live in an apartment, and are looking for a quieter dog, opting for a Frenchie is a good idea.
#4 They’re energetic, not hyper
Some dog owners will warn you not to throw a tennis ball or stick for their dog to fetch unless you’re ready to commit for a few hours.
That’s because many dog breeds have an excess of adrenaline and energy stored up that they need to release. And playtime is the perfect way to do that.
French bulldogs, too, are energetic.
Whereas some smaller breeds, like the English Bulldog, can be rather lazy, choosing to nap in a sunny spot for most of the day, Frenchies enjoy a run-around or a game of fetch.
This, however, does not mean that they’re hyperactive.
French Bulldogs don’t need to be played with the entire day and are just as happy keeping their owners company during laptop-bound work sessions.
#5 Stamina and attention span similar to kids
Something else that dog owners with young kids will appreciate is that, like children, these dogs seem to run out of steam fairly quickly.
They’re often content with finishing a play session after an hour or two.
And that’s exactly what younger children need. They need to be distracted and entertained for short periods, where they can get rid of excess energy but not run around the entire day.
According to some sources, a french Bulldog only needs about 60 minutes worth of exercise daily to keep them at a healthy weight and mentally in a good space.
As regards their attention span, French Bulldogs can focus on a task, making them perfect for training from young. And yet they don’t require much mental stimulation, like a Border Collie, for example.
These attributes make them perfect companions for young kids.
They can be left together in the backyard, exploring and playing together for a few hours. Then go down for a nap simultaneously, giving the entire household some quiet time.
#6 They’re Gentle - won’t bite
Kids get so excited when there’s a puppy around. They talk at a high pitch, making them louder than you thought a human could be.
And this can really make your dog excited.
When dogs get overexcited, they’ll display it by holding their tails higher than normal, fiercely wagging them from side to side. They bounce up and down and start barking.
Often struggling to contain themselves, an overexcited dog could hurt a young child, knocking them over, scratching them, or even nipping at them.
But Frenchies are known for their gentle nature.
When they get excited, they seem to put a smile on their faces and drop their head down to the same height as their playmates, seeking attention and approval.
They won’t bite their child companions, especially if they’ve been brought up together.
#7 Content with indoor and outdoor playtime
Due to a mixture of almost all the reasons mentioned above, French Bulldogs make great playmates.
They are content with playing in a large pen indoors or a room dedicated to playtime. And they’re equally content going to the park for a walk, run, or training session with their owners.
They’re social animals and enjoy meeting other pups and remembering and recognizing other dogs from the play park.
By now, I'm sure that you get the point. Although not all dogs are the same - there are more than enough reasons to welcome a French bulldog into your family.
But there are just a few points that you’d need to keep in mind when doing so, consider the following:
Training your pup to befriend your child
Welcoming a new puppy to a family is an exciting time. But you need to ensure that everyone, including your puppy, knows what their role is and what is expected of them.
French bulldogs can have an alpha dog mentality, asserting their position as the head of the pack. They do this by keeping others around them in check, which could be the case with their owners and young children.
So here are just a few things you need to do to train your puppies when welcoming them into your pack.
#1 You’re the Alpha
French bulldogs aren’t a complicated breed, but they are known to be stubborn when fully grown and need structure in their lives.
They have an innate drive to be the pack leader, and if you don’t take the position from the very beginning, they will.
This can easily be done with some basic command training and positive reinforcement.
Train your pup to sit before feeding it a snack, to wait before running in our outside of the house, or even to perform a more advanced task like fetching his leash before going on a walk.
#2 They’re there as a companion to your children
Introduce a puppy into your family when the kids are young.
As they grow together, they will view each other as companions, not adversaries fighting for your attention.
French bulldog puppies will sense the love they receive from young children and form a strong bond with them. This loyalty will serve them well later on if your child needs help or defending from any unwanted attention.
As your children have friends over, your Frenchie will also get used to having other children around the house. This is extremely good for their social skills.
#2 They’re them as one of your own
Managing a household can be a tiring job. And keeping up with playtime, nap time, family time, and relaxation can be overwhelming.
Imagine having your new puppy on a different schedule from your new baby. Oh boy.
So, include your puppy in the family activities as much as possible. When going to the park for a picnic, choose a dog-friendly location. Thinking of your next family vacation? Get a dog-friendly Airbnb.
Take it as far as feeding your dog - although separately from your family - simultaneously. This will help them view your family as a pack they are part of and have a place in.
Training your child to befriend your pup
Just as your pup needs to learn its place in the family unit and what to do and not to do, you must ensure that your children know the dos and don’ts of owning a french Bulldog.
Here are a few points you should teach your young children.
#1 Play gentle
Like most medical bills, vet bills can be costly.
So while you want your children to spend quality time playing with their dog, you must teach them to play gently.
Something that children often forget is that as they grow, their strength and stamina increase. What seemed gentle a year or two ago can quickly turn into rough play, possibly hurting their dog.
French bulldogs are prone to back issues, often suffering from Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) (1) Damage to their spinal cord could be irreversible and cause a lifetime of problems.
Teach your children not to pick the french bulldog puppy up too often and be careful when doing so.
#2 Be careful around feeding time
While French Bulldogs aren’t known for being aggressive, they can be extremely protective about their food.
Do not confuse their small size for being a pushover around feeding time. They will nip at anyone trying to take away their snack or bowl of food.
Make sure your child knows and understands this. At feeding time, it is best to leave your puppy alone.
#3 Teach them how to take care of their dog
It’s good for your puppy and child to spend time together regularly, and as they grow, your child will realize there are some things that a puppy needs.
Teach them to clean up their dogs' litter and to care for their physical needs by playing with them or taking them on a walk.
Buy a walking leash for your puppy and introduce it to him from an early age. Then teach your child that it is their responsibility to get the leash and get their puppy ready before every walk.
This also gives children a sense of responsibility.Showing caution
French bulldogs are a flat-faced breed and while this may appear very cute to others, it can be a source of worry for them.
Like other dogs with similar features, they struggle to regulate their air intake, especially on hot days.
Their short face structure often means they develop difficulties breathing and filtering out dirty air particles.
So be careful when taking your pup out for a walk or a run in the park. Choose the cooler times of the day, avoiding the midday heat. This will help them to get enough oxygen in.
You’d also want to avoid long periods of play where they can become fatigued.
A final word
Frenchies are extremely well-rounded pets for kids of all ages.
They have easygoing personalities and adapt well to all environments. As with most dogs, they benefit from obedience training and really flourish when they feel cared for.
You won’t go wrong with getting one at a young age and raising it alongside your own kids.
1 - lombardvet.com