Despite being bred from the Bulldog, Frenchies do not have an aggressive temperament. When properly socialised, French Bulldogs are affectionate and make one of the best canine companions. These fur babies love to play and have big, social, outgoing personalities.
However, like all other dogs, French Bulldogs can be aggressive under certain conditions. So pay attention if your Frenchie starts growling, snarling or suddenly goes stiff. This can be even more pronounced in female French Bulldogs who are quick to aggression.
Males French Bulldogs are slower to aggression and do not nip as much as their female counterparts. They are also quicker to correct, unlike female Frenchies who can be sassy with inconsistent mood swings.
What Can Make French Bulldogs Aggressive?
Take note of the triggers that cause your French Bulldog to exhibit aggressive behaviour. This helps you understand how to deal with it and possibly prevent future incidents.
Some common causes of aggression in French Bulldogs include:
Aggression in Frenchies can often be a sign of fear. Dogs react aggressively when provoked and feel the need to protect themselves and their territory. Your French Bulldogs may be afraid of:
- Fireworks and loud noises
- Specific objects
If your Frenchie is a rescue, they may not have been socialized properly from a young age and can react more violently to anything that scares them.
Medical Conditions or Injuries
If your French Bulldog suddenly shows signs of aggression such as snapping or biting, it could be triggered by pain caused by a medical illness or an injury. Bone fractures, puncture wounds or internal injuries can cause your Frenchie to act up and become aggressive.
If you notice your canine companion is behaving irrationally, see a vet immediately. Some causes of this behaviour could be serious conditions such as inflammation, respiratory distress, or musculoskeletal conditions.
Other medical conditions that can cause aggression in French Bulldogs include:
- Ear infections
- Skinfold dermatitis
- Breathing problems
If your Frenchie snarls when someone or another dog comes close to his toys, bed, food, or yard, they may have possession aggression. Frenchies, like most canines, can get territorial and may display aggressive behaviour to protect their favourite toys, food or bed.
The French Bulldog is also fiercely loyal. However, this loyalty is not extended to strangers or other dogs who may try to get your attention.
Possession aggression differs greatly in Frenchies. So, pay attention if your dog enjoys hugs and rubs while playing with their favourite toys but starts to growl and show its fangs when you attempt to touch them while they are eating.
Aggressive behaviour in French Bulldogs can also be a sign of frustration. If your Frenchie has spent all day locked up in the house, they can get irritated and display signs of aggression at anyone who tries to touch them. This is commonly known as barrier anger or redirected violence.
Redirected aggression is simply a sign of annoyance that can be triggered by simple factors such as being unable to find their favourite toy. The dog will transfer their frustration by growling or snapping at the nearest person.
Genetics caused by reckless breeding can also cause aggression in Frenchies. Aggression can be inherited if your pet is bred from dangerous breeds. Always buy dogs from reputable breeders.
How To Prevent Aggression in French Bulldogs
Before you can remedy aggressive behaviour in French Bulldogs, it is helpful to keep a record of the triggers that cause hostility. This record helps you identify the source so you can quickly and easily eliminate aggression in your Frenchie.
It is also important to act quickly. Left unchecked, aggressive canines including French Bulldogs can cause significant damage. Although the Frenchie is a small dog that can do no serious harm to an adult, it can cause serious injuries to children.
So when you notice your pup is suddenly acting up, put an end to it quickly with some of these tips.
Seek Medical Attention
If an otherwise calm French Bulldog starts behaving aggressively, it can be caused by a health problem. Carefully observe your pet to identify whether they are in pain or discomfort.
Seeing a veterinarian helps your dog get immediate relief from any medical conditions and rule out illnesses as you start the journey towards eliminating aggressive behaviour in your French Bulldog.
Consult an Animal Behaviourist
If your dog is still displaying aggression even after ruling out illnesses and injuries, consider seeking professional help. Seeing an animal behaviourist can help you identify the causes of hostility in your French Bulldog and learn how to prevent it.
Constructional Aggressive Behaviour
The CAT approach involves allowing your pooch to deal head-on with the source of their aggression. This is the opposite of isolation which is practised by taking the pet away from the source of their aggression.
CAT allows the pup to acclimatise to uncomfortable conditions and realise the cause of their aggression is not going to leave which instils acceptance. As you try out CAT, do not shout at your dog, it may do more harm than good.
Are French Bulldogs A Good Family Dog?
Interestingly, French Bulldogs love kids and make excellent family dogs. Their laid back personality makes them good family dogs and they are also quite popular with the elderly. The Frenchie’s size also makes it an excellent choice for families with smaller homes.
If you already have other dogs, French Bulldogs will make an excellent addition because they get along well with other breeds. Although they are smaller, Frenchies interact well with bigger dogs and even play and eat together without getting aggressive.
Despite their aggressive looks and their ancestors’ reputation, the French Bulldog is not dangerous and is not an aggressive breed. This playful, fun-loving dog breed is energetic and loves to be the centre of attention by getting along with everyone in the family.
If your family has small children, always remember to supervise and do not leave them alone with any dog.
The Bottom Line
If you’re thinking about getting a pet, the French Bulldog makes an excellent addition to the family. These pups are not only smart and friendly, but they are also energetic and mischievous so you can be sure you will always have a good time together.
When properly socialised, Frenchies are even-tempered and show no signs of aggression. However, like with all dogs, train them from a young age to get the best results. Older French Bulldogs can be more difficult to train, but it’s not impossible.
Originally bred as a companion dog, the French Bulldog lives up to its life mission. This popular canine companion can try to assert itself as the alpha, but as long as you train them from a young age, you will have no problems with aggression.