French bulldogs are popular among families for many reasons. There are playful, loving, friendly, easygoing, and hilarious, and all these make them an excellent pet for any member of the family. But can this breed become aggressive?
French bulldogs don’t act aggressively unless you allow them to be. If you nurture their personality well from a younger age, hardly will you see them show any form of aggression. Essentially, how your pooch will behave largely depends on you. If you let them close the line, then they will continue it further and further. You need to show them you are the boss. In other words, you are fully responsible for their obedience and personality.
What causes aggression in Frenchies?
Naturally, Frenchies are not aggressive, and that why they make a fantastic family pet that is great with both children and other pets. But it is good to note Frenchies are dogs after all and can become aggressive in certain occasions. Here are some possible reasons why pooches might lash out:
They are in pain
Dogs when in pain tend to be by themselves. They limit interactions and if bothered, they are likely to respond with a certain level of aggression. So, if your Frenchie is in pain, it might be a bit aggressive.
They are fearful of something
When your Frenchie is scared or threatened by something, he may try to defend himself against whatever they are scared of including you, any member of the family, and other pets. For example, if planning to bring another dog in the family, your Frenchie can quickly become jealous, and that can trigger aggression.
Naturally, male dogs are more aggressive than females. So, you are likely to see more signs of aggression in your boys than in your girls. If you train your Frenchies well, they will unlikely show unwanted behavior. Proper training (from a younger age) helps boost their confidence and personality, and that will make your pooch easier to handle.
Just like humans, dogs too tend to guard what they see as “theirs.” Trying to take away what they are guarding may be met with some form of aggression.
Naturally, Frenchies are playful and love to be near their owners. They don’t like to be left alone for a long time. If left alone for a long time, they can become aggressive and develop separation anxiety. Luckily, separation anxiety is manageable if you train your pooch well and allow him to meet people and other pets.
How to handle aggression in Frenchies
Use the CAT (Constructional Aggression Treatment) Method
This involves taking your pooch out of his comfort zone and forcing him to accept what is causing the discomfort or adrenaline to rise. That way, your dog will learn that the situation or person is not going to away, and they will begin to accept it.
Socialize your pooch as much as you can
Do everything possible to engage your dog with other pets and people. With time, he will socialize with them, and this will help in lowering aggression towards them.
Eliminate things that trigger aggression
If you notice some things make your Frenchie more aggressive, eliminate or avoid them. For example, if he hates big dogs, avoid places where such dogs are present. If he doesn’t like sharing food, serve him on different food bowl.
Reward your dog
Whenever your Frenchie does something good, for example, engage with other canines and doesn’t get scared, don’t hesitate to reward him with tasty treats. That way, he will associate acting calm around other pooches as a good thing.
Common French bulldog behavior problems
Separation anxiety in French bulldogs is no joke. Frenchies love to be involved, and when left alone (especially for a long period) they may become distressed. So, make sure you spend enough time with your pooch.
Symptoms of separation anxiety
- Chewing, digging, and destruction
- Urinating and Defecating
- Eating their poop
- Barking and howling
What to do with an anxious Frenchie?
The best way to handle an anxious Frenchie is through counterconditioning. This involves associating something your pet doesn’t like with a positive experience. For example, your dog will always get his favorite treats when you leave the house. That way, even when you are away, he will not feel distressed.
Barking or whining
Frenchies bark and whine to express their feelings, but are not known for barking non-stop. So if barking is excessive, don’t ignore as there is gotta be a reason.
Some causes of excessive barking
- Attention seeking
- Emotional distress
- Alarm (for instant, barking when the doorbell rings)
Frenchies are very clingy. They will not let you out of their sight. Everywhere you go, they will follow you. Clingy dogs sometimes called Velcro dogs are more likely to develop separation anxiety, so don’t be fooled by this behavior. Clinginess can also be a sign of a health-related issue. So if you notice a sudden onset of clinginess, consider seeking your vet help.
Begging is bad manners and not to be entertained. Don’t in any way reinforce this bad behavior. If your pooch is begging, here are a few things you can do to stop this behavior:
Don’t give in when your dog is begging
Sharing your food with your Frenchie will only make things worse. Just don’t give in, and soon they will learn that begging will not get them any attention or food.
It will take time before your pooch stops begging, so be prepared to be patient a little longer.
Naturally, dogs love chewing, and they do so for many reasons. Some pooches chew to relieve stress, pain (common among puppies when teething), and others just to feel good. Training your dogs what is ok to chew is very crucial. So don’t blame them when you find them chewing what they were not supposed to chew.
Causes of destructive chewing
- Lack of exercise or mental stimulation
- Separation anxiety
- Fabric sucking
- Stress or frustration
Playing too rough
French bulldogs like to play a lot, and when playing with each other, you might think they are fighting. Rough playing Frenchies are still dangerous around children. Helping your pooches understand that not everything is Frenchie prevents them from roughing anything they come across. That is why socializing your puppy is highly endorsed.
Why do they play so rough?
- Learned to play rough from other dogs
- Rough play with people
- Trying to dominate the other dog. If things start to become uncontrollable, immediately stop the rough play. That way, they will learn that they need to contain their excitement if they want to play.
Jumping up on people
Frenchies are very playful and tend to jump on people to say hi. While you might be ok with this behavior, your visitors might find it annoying. Here is how to stop your Frenchies from jumping on you and other people:
- Keep your hands off from your pooches unless their front paws are on the ground.
- When their front paws hit the floor, immediately praise and pet them. That way, your pooch will learn that they won’t get the love they are seeking unless their front paws are on the ground.
Pulling on the leash
Frenchies have a tendency to pull on the leash when outdoors. While this is not common, if you have not trained your dog, you always have to deal with this annoying behavior. Puppies are more likely to pull on the leash than mature dogs. Consider training your dogs while still young. If you have zero tolerance for pulling on the leash, you can stop this behavior. You can equally reduce it by using this modern leash from Halti.
Not listening or coming when called
Frenchies sometimes can be stubborn, listening only when they feel like and acting at their whim. If you notice this behavior, here are some things you can do:
- Be consistent with your commands
- Remove excess energy
- Practice the basic commands (even if you think they have mastered them)
- Be calm and assertive
- Use hand commands. Canines tend to tune out verbal commands if you have been talking to them constantly.
Are Frenchies dangerous?
Frenchies are not dangerous. They are very friendly, playful, and love to be close to their owners. It is their aggressive character that makes them look aggressive. However, remember they are canines after all and can get aggressive in certain situations. Fortunately, it is possible to manage aggression in Frenchies.
Do French bulldogs bite?
Frenchies are not known for biting. While they occasionally do bite during playtime, they biting is no cause of concern as they are not aggressive.
Are Frenchies good family dogs?
They get along well with all family members, and since they are playful, loving, and hilarious, it is worth having them in the house. Just remember they love more attention and don’t like to be left alone as they can become distressed quickly.