Dog aggression can be a challenge for any dog owner to deal with. An aggressive dog can go from calm to unpredictable and dangerous in a matter of seconds, putting people and other animals in its crosshairs. Although some breeds are known for being more aggressive, than others, a dog of any breed can be aggressive, depending on their personality and training. People herald the French bulldog breed as an excellent companion and family breed, but even the Frenchie dog isn’t exempt from aggressive behaviors.
Are French Bulldogs Aggressive? 9 Signs Your French Bulldog May Be Aggressive
- Body Language
- Strong Demand for Attention and Affection
- Excessive Barking
- Desire for Dominance
- Fear or Anxiety
The French bulldog personality is one that families love. Overall, the French bulldog temperament is calm, cool, and collected, making Frenchies good family dogs that love to be around their people and are happiest when they give and receive affection.
An aggressive dog often becomes so due to a lack of dog training or less-than-ideal breeding situations, like coming from a puppy mill. Frenchies are not known for being aggressive, but it’s still possible for this little dog to show signs of aggression depending on their personality, socialization, training, and home environment.
Are French Bulldogs Aggressive?
If you’re considering adopting a French Bulldog, there are a few questions you might want to research the answers to:
- Are female French Bulldogs aggressive?
- Are male French Bulldogs aggressive?
- What aggressive behavior might the Frenchie dog have?
- Is the French Bulldog temperament right for my family?
- Can dog training curb aggressive behavior in a Frenchie puppy or adult?
Understanding the French Bulldog personality and signs of aggression can lead to a better understanding of this bulldog breed. As a rule, French bulldog aggression is rare, but it still can happen. In the case of the Frenchie breed, it’s often stubbornness and separation anxiety issues that cause aggression and other unwanted behaviors.
French bulldogs are, by nature, a stubborn breed. Their stubbornness can sometimes lead to training difficulties, manifesting into disobedience and other undesired traits and behaviors. Without proper training, aggression can happen, especially if a Frenchie isn’t taught basic obedience and manners with their people and other dogs.
Frenchies can also become very anxious when separated from their loved ones, even if only for a few minutes. When a dog is overly anxious, they can become more susceptible to aggressive behaviors, even toward those they love. It’s usually necessary to treat the dog’s underlying anxiety to improve their aggressive tendencies.
9 Signs Your French Bulldog May Be Aggressive
The average French bulldog temperament is overwhelmingly loveable and affectionate, but the breed isn’t exempt from aggression. Here are some common signs of aggression to be on the lookout for with your Frenchie:
French bulldogs aren’t necessarily disobedient dogs by nature. However, both female and male dogs of the breed can be very stubborn, making them seem unruly. Their stubbornness doesn’t usually come from a place of wanting to do the opposite of what you tell them. Instead, Frenchies just like doing things their own way. As a French bulldog owner, you might find that your pup is challenging to train because of their stubborn nature.
How does this relate to aggression? Aggressive tendencies often come from a lack of training or an inability to train properly. If your Frenchie exhibits their stubbornness during training sessions, they probably won’t get the most out of their training.
As a puppy, your Frenchie will learn basic obedience and socialization with a trainer. These tasks are crucial to raising a well-behaved and well-mannered dog that enjoys being around other animals and people. Without this fundamental training, your older dog may feel timid or aggravated around others, leading to potential aggression.
The best thing you can do for your Frenchie and your family is to ensure that your dog gets proper training as a puppy. Also, work on socializing your pup frequently during the first three months of its life to help them get used to being around people and animals.
Growling at other pets or people in the family can be a sure sign that your dog might be on the verge of becoming aggressive. Growling is a form of communication for dogs, but it’s rarely a sign that positive behavior is on the way. More often, it shows that your dog is scared, angry, or maybe even in pain.
If your Frenchie growls at you, someone else, or a pet, it’s essential to know how to handle it before it turns into a serious situation where someone can get hurt. The best way to quickly diffuse the problem is to get your dog’s attention and offer a reward when your dog responds. This is known as positive reinforcement, and it rewards your pup for positive behaviors rather than scolding it for negative behaviors.
A more long-term solution to curbing growling is to help the dog’s underlying problem that’s causing it. A vet visit can rule out any physical ailments that could be causing your dog pain. Professional training can help with people and animal aggression and other fears your dog might have.
Snapping is similar to growling in that dogs tend to do it when they’re scared, hurt, or agitated. A dog may progress to snapping when growling hasn’t proven to curb the problem. For example, if your Frenchie begins growling when a child interrupts it from a nap and continues to play with the dog, the next step might be to snap.
A dog that’s prone to snapping can progress to biting and causing harm to people and pets, and it can be challenging to stop the behavior once it’s started. Because the causes are usually the same, the steps needed to curb the behavior are similar.
The ASPCA stresses the importance of bite inhibition, which is your dog’s ability to control how much mouth force it uses. During play, make it known when your dog goes too far with play biting by letting out a scream to indicate that you’re hurt. Giving your dog plenty of chew toys to play with and avoiding rough play may also teach better mouth habits.
4. Body Language
It’s often easy to tell when a dog is fearful or upset enough to become aggressive just by looking at its body language. Common signs that your dog could lash out include:
- Arching its back
- Stiffening its tail or tucking it between its legs
- Baring teeth
- Hair sticking up on the back of the neck
- Tensing its body
- Laying ears back or standing them up tall
- Staring at a target
If you notice any combination of these signs in your French bulldog, you should work on getting its attention and removing your pup from the situation as quickly and smoothly as possible. You need to stay calm in this situation, or your dog could pick up on your anxiety and attempt to attack its target. Keep your face and body relaxed, get your dog’s attention, and walk away from the situation. Remember to reward your Frenchie when its attention goes back to you and it complies with your guidance.
Does your Frenchie puppy or adult seem agitated when you give another pet or person attention first? Jealousy can run rampant in French Bulldogs, a breed that loves being the center of your attention. While this jealous streak might seem cute in puppies, it can easily give way to aggressive behaviors as your dog ages and thinks this behavior is acceptable. Signs of jealousy in dogs include:
- Barking or growling at the person or pet you’re giving attention to
- Walking in between you and the other person or pet
- Snapping or biting at you or the other person or pet
To curb jealous behaviors, you’ll need to remember that you’re the reward. Try not to show your dog affection after its period of jealousy, or you’ll risk reinforcing that behavior. Instead, walk away and wait to reward your dog after it calms down.
6. Strong Demand for Attention and Affection
A significant part of the Frenchie temperament is the desire for attention. These small dogs crave affection, even though they like it at their own pace! Some French bulldogs might become aggressive when they get attention when they don’t want it. In contrast, others might desire attention so much that they are willing to behave aggressively to get it.
This isn’t quite the same as jealousy, but the two may go hand-in-hand. A Frenchie that demands affection might do so even when there isn’t anything or anyone to be jealous of. Instead, your dog might attempt to communicate its needs for love by nipping at you when you’re trying to relax or barking at you when you’re not giving your full attention.
In these cases, it’s essential to teach your pup how to communicate more effectively. Trainers usually work with a dog on some form of “ask” behavior that helps them mind their manners while communicating. For example, your dog might learn to sit on a special mat or blanket when it wants to play rather than scratching at your feet for attention.
7. Excessive Barking
Barking excessively can be a sign of dog aggression, especially if a dog is territorial or has separation anxiety. These problems stem from fear, and a fearful dog can be on edge and unpredictable, so aggression is always something to watch for.
Try to spot a pattern in your Frenchie’s barking. Does your pup bark when it sees another dog near its yard? Does barking happen when you leave for the day and during crate training? Does your Frenchie tend to bark more to get attention? Once you figure out the cause, you can work on positive reinforcement training to reward your pup for participating in good behaviors, like sitting and waiting when someone walks by with a dog, instead of barking.
Like other signs of aggression, barking can also come from pain. Be sure to rule out underlying health issues with your veterinarian, especially if your Frenchie’s barking has randomly begun or gotten worse recently.
8. Desire for Dominance
French bulldogs sometimes have a desire to be the dominant one in the pack. This usually happens with male dogs, but female dogs can have the personality trait too. You might not know whether your dog craves dominance until you have a new pet in the home or you send your Frenchie on a playdate with other dogs.
When the need to be the dominant dog in the pack is there, behaviors can escalate to aggression quickly, especially with dogs that haven’t had impulse control training. Adequate training and socialization during puppyhood are critical in preventing a strong need for dominance that could develop into more aggressive behaviors down the road.
9. Fear or Anxiety
Anxiety, especially separation anxiety, is prevalent in the French bulldog. Dogs with separation anxiety get upset when you leave them alone, even if it’s for a few minutes. They might soil their crate, scratch or chew furniture, and display other negative behaviors when you leave home.
Like humans, dogs with severe anxiety can’t always control their feelings or behaviors because fear takes over. Separation anxiety and other worries can stress your dog to the point that they don’t know how to handle aggressive behaviors that stem from those fears.
Fortunately, along with proper training, there are many ways to keep your dog calmer overall to work through anxieties, including:
- Making sure your pup has plenty of exercise every day
- Using a calming jacket or shirt designed to curb anxiety
- Playing music when you’re gone
- Talking with your vet about your concerns
Royal Frenchels are Calm and Cooperative
Did you know that an adorable, loving dog breed is very similar to the Frenchie in terms of its looks and positive personality traits? The Royal Frenchel pulls genetics from the French Bull Dog, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and other breeds that are as loving as they are adorable. However, the Royal Frenchel stands out in many ways from the French Bulldog, and their benefits may give you a different outlook on what dog breed is best for your family.
In terms of temperament, you probably won’t find a breed that’s more fun-loving and people-pleasing than the Royal Frenchel. Each pet owner that meets the breed falls in love with their larger-than-life personalities, even as a tiny puppy. Frenchies exhibit many of the same characteristics, but their stubbornness can often get in the way of becoming an obedient member of the family.
When it comes to having a well-mannered dog, the Frenchie isn’t always the best option. The breed is as affectionate as they come, but their goal isn’t necessarily to make their humans happy. Instead, it’s more self-focused, making them driven to please themselves first. Often, training and obedience don’t fall in line with that goal.
In contrast, the Royal Frenchel can be an incredible service dog. Their intuition, combined with their trainable personalities, make them one of the best dog breeds for people looking to add a service or therapy dog to their family.
Royals also don’t tend to exhibit as much of the separation anxiety and aggression problems as the French bulldog. The Royal Frenchel is rather laid back and happy-go-lucky. Your puppy or adult dog will undoubtedly miss you when you leave, but a well-trained Royal Frenchel won’t be plagued by overwhelming anxiety that can lead to aggressive behaviors.
Another area where Royal Frenchels stand out is with their health. French bulldog health problems are many; allergies, ear infections, breathing problems, and spinal disorders are just a few issues that plague the breed. However, Royal Frenchels have a 10 times lower percentage of health problems as a breed than the French Bulldog.
What does that mean for you? As a potential pet owner looking to find the perfect companion dog to spend time with for years to come, you can expect a Royal Frenchel’s lifespan to extend longer than the French bulldog lifespan. You may also spend less time and money on veterinary trips, medicines, and treatments for health problems.
Are French Bulldogs Aggressive?
French bulldog aggression isn’t necessarily typical for the breed, but it can happen even in well-behaved Frenchies. Separation anxiety is one of the most significant causes of aggression in a French bulldog puppy or adult, and it can be difficult to undo once it’s become a prominent struggle for your pup. Improper socialization, training, and breeding can also cause Frenchie aggression.
The Royal Frenchel comes from a reputable breeder devoted to giving each Royal Frenchel family the tools they need to transition their new dog into their family. That includes tips and resources for proper socialization with children, adults, and other animals to prevent fears and anxiety that cause aggressive behaviors. We want to help you succeed with your new fuzzy family member. If you’re interested in learning more about the Royal Frenchel or adopting one, please contact us today.