French Bulldog Behavior Problems

Is your French Bulldog having behavioral problems? Learn about French Bulldog temperament, behavior problems, and how to correct behavior problems.

~10 minute read
last updated March 08, 2019

French Bulldog Temperament

While some may mistake their appearance for an aggressive, mean dog, French Bulldogs are some of the most playful, loving, and hilarious dog breeds out there!

They love being the center of attention and will always find a way to steal some attention!

Frenchies have huge personalities and are definitely one of the best companion dogs in the world! If you’re looking for a lap dog that’ll hang around and watch TV with you and then go outside for a run in the park, a Frenchie is perfect for you!

Your French Bulldog loves you more than anything! They don’t tend to do well when left alone for long periods of time and are prone to separation anxiety. Some Frenchies are also pretty clingy to their owners and will follow you around the house wherever you go.

If you work long hours and aren’t going to be home for a majority of the day, you should consider another breed; your Frenchie isn’t going to be happy sitting around at home alone all day!

If you’re planning on getting a Frenchie, you better get used to all the strange sounds they make! They’re constantly snorting, snoring, farting, and talking in their own little language. Love it or hate it, these sounds are what makes the Frenchie such a unique breed!

Stop bad behaviors in their tracks

Are you trying to break your Frenchie of a bad behavior? Whenever I catch my Frenchie doing something bad, I always make a loud, unpleasant sound by clapping or banging on a table. It always catches her off guard and makes her jump a bit.

You might be wondering what this accomplishes. What it does, is associate the bad behavior with an unpleasant outcome. They will learn that continuing in their naughty ways will get them nowhere.

It’s important to note that this is not a good training technique for trying to break your Frenchie of behaviors such as fear, separation anxiety, etc. This will only make matters worse.

I’ve found this works best when using it for behaviors such as jumping on people, excessive barking, stealing food, jumping on furniture, or chewing on things. A problem I’ve run into using this technique is that my Frenchie seems to be unfazed by my senseless clapping and banging that she has grown accustomed to. I can’t get her attention by clapping anymore.

For anybody else in a similar situation, I recommend using something like this pet corrector spray. What it does is emit a loud, unpleasant sound similar to a warning hiss made by a cat or snake. It does this by releasing compressed gas (it sounds like an air compressor sorta) which is loud, but perfectly safe for your Frenchie.

My dog trainer showed me this trick and it never fails to startle any dog. If you’re struggling to break your Frenchie of any bad habit, I seriously recommend checking this product out. It’s amazing how quickly you can stop those stubborn bad behaviors. It’s just such an unpleasant sound that they’ll do anything to avoid hearing it again.

Most Common French Bulldog Behavior Problems

Separation Anxiety

One of the most common behavioral problems in French Bulldogs is easily separation anxiety. Left alone, they could wreak havoc around the house!

Dogs that are very attached to their owners become distressed when left alone, especially for long periods of time.

Separation anxiety in dogs is characterized by their extreme distress when you leave the house. They will do ANYTHING to try and find you, even if it means they get hurt in the process.

Symptoms of separation anxiety

  • Urinating and Defecating
  • Barking and howling
  • Chewing, digging, and destruction
  • Escaping
  • Pacing
  • Eating their poop

french bulldog anxiety

Your French Bulldog may develop separation anxiety after developing an attachment to one person. When this person isn’t present, the dog panics.

Separation anxiety is no joke; it’s best to treat the behavior early before it gets even worse. You cannot simply let them “outgrow” this behavior or “work it out” on their own.

Luckily, there are a few treatment options for dogs suffering from separation anxiety however you may need the help of a professional dog trainer to treat the condition.

Treatment of separation anxiety usually includes a process called counterconditioning. This works by associating something that the dog doesn’t like with a positive experience such as toys or treats.

For example, your dog will always get his favorite treat and toy when you leave the house. Over time, they will start to associate you leaving the house with them getting a treat!

Clingy Behavior

Does your French Bulldog follow you around the house everywhere you go? Can they not let you out of their sight? If so, your dog might be what is called a velcro dog.

french bulldog clingy

Clingy dogs, sometimes called velcro dogs, follow their owners everywhere they go. This behavior is also called Velcro Dog Syndrome.

Just as Frenchies are prone to separation anxiety, they also commonly exhibit clingy behavior. They really love their owners! French Bulldogs have been selectively bred to be dependent on their owners.

Velcro Dog Syndrome is often confused with separation anxiety because of their similarities, however, there are a few key differences. Clingy dogs are more likely to develop separation anxiety.

While you may think this clingy behavior is cute and loving, it may be caused by emotional or physical distress. A sudden onset of clinginess may mean something health-related is going on; check with your vet.

Barking or whining

Barking and whining are just some of the ways your dog expresses its feelings. When barking gets excessive, it's important that you don't ignore it; it could be a sign of a more serious health problem.

Not only is this behavior extremely annoying and disturbing to you and your neighbors, it can also be a symptom of more serious health problems.

Why do dogs bark and whine? Dogs don’t usually bark for no reason, however, this isn’t unheard of. Toy breeds such as Yorkies and other terriers are notorious for their excessive barking. Luckily French Bulldogs aren’t known for their non-stop barking.

Some causes for excessive barking include

  • Pain
  • Anxiety
  • Alarm (i.e. barking when the doorbell rings)
  • Territorial
  • Attention seeking
  • Distress
  • Genetics


Begging is one of those problems where the owner is usually to blame (no offense!). When you give in to a dog that is begging for food it only reinforces this negative behavior.

Not only is begging bad manners, there are many health reasons to not share food with your Frenchie

If your dog is begging, there are a few things you can do to stop this behavior in its tracks.

Don’t give any food when your dog is begging

I know it’s so hard to resist those puppy eyes but sharing your food is only going to make their begging worse. They’ll stop begging for a few seconds until they wolf down their food; then it’s right back to begging.

Completely ignore your dog

A good way to stop many of your dog’s negative behaviors is to completely ignore them. They will soon learn that begging won’t get them any food or attention. When you yell at your dog to stop begging or give them any type of reaction at all, they are going to keep begging.

It might take a while for your dog to completely stop begging. Be persistent in your training. They eventually will learn that begging is a waste of time.


It’s completely normal for puppies and dogs to chew on things; it’s in their nature. What dog doesn’t love chewing on a big bone or bully stick?

Dogs chew for many reasons. Chewing is a great stress reliever and tons of fun!

I’m sure we’ve all come home to our puppies to find out they’ve chewed apart something you accidentally left on the floor. Don’t blame your puppy for this! It’s your fault for not puppy-proofing your house! You have to teach your puppy what is okay for them to chew.

Puppies chew to relieve the pain caused by their teeth growing, commonly known as “teething”. This is why it’s so important to give puppies plenty of things to chew on.

french bulldog tearing apart toilet paper

While some chewing is normal, in some cases it can become destructive and excessive.

Causes of Destructive Chewing

  • Separation anxiety
  • Fabric sucking
  • Hunger
  • Lack of exercise or mental stimulation
  • Stress or frustration

Pulling on the leash

This is one problem that I’ve been dealing with recently. My Frenchie is always so excited to go out for a walk and just wants to pull the entire time. It’s pretty frustrating.

A common misconception is that dogs pull on the leash trying to “lead the pack” or be dominant.

The most common reason for dogs pulling on leashes is simply the fact that they are untrained. I know some lucky people whose dog walks next to them without any training at all. It’s pretty common for a young dog to pull on the leash.

french bulldog on leash

Just like any other negative behavior, if you allow the behavior, they will keep doing it because they know it works. You have to have zero tolerance for pulling on the leash if you want them to stop.

The outdoors is much more interesting to your dog than you are; your dog would rather chase bunnies than listen to you tell them to stay!

No pull harnesses are great ways to stop pulling on the leash. They are usually used in cases where other methods that you have tried to stop the behavior haven’t worked.

Jumping up on people

Dogs naturally jump up on people to say hi! They like to get as close to our faces as they can to see what they can smell.

While you might not mind your dog jumping up on you when you get home from work, strangers might not feel the same way.

If you want to stop your French Bulldog from jumping on you and other people, try the following.

  1. Keep your hands away from your dog unless their front paws are on the ground.
  2. When their front paws hit the floor, instantly praise and pet them. Your dog will learn over time that they won’t get the love they’re seeking unless their front paws are on the ground.

Not coming when called or not listening

Frenchies are stubborn little buggers and commonly suffer from a serious condition called selective hearing. Half-kidding. Frenchies listen to you when they feel like it and perform commands at their whim.

What can you do if your Frenchie isn’t listening to you?

  • Remove excess energy
  • Be consistent with your commands
  • Be calm and assertive
  • Practice the basic commands (even if you think they’ve mastered them)
  • Use hand commands. Dogs commonly tune out verbal commands when we’ve been talking to them constantly.

Playing too rough

If you haven’t seen Frenchies playing with each other before, you’d probably think they’re fighting or hurting each other! This is just the way French Bulldogs play.

While Frenchies are tough little guys that can handle this rough housing, it’s important that they understand not everything is a Frenchie! This is why socializing your puppy is so crucial.

Why do French Bulldogs play so Rough?

  • Overexcitement
  • Learned to play rough from other dogs
  • Rough play with people
  • Trying to dominate the other dog What can I do if my Frenchie is playing too rough with other dogs or people? When things start to get out of hand, instantly remove them from the situation. Give them a small timeout and try to calm them down.

french bulldog in shark

Don’t get mad at your dog; they’re just excited! If you don’t let them continue playing and roughhousing, they will learn that they must contain their excitement if they wish to have fun.

Rough play should be stopped as soon as possible to prevent anybody from getting hurt. Luckily Frenchies aren’t the biggest dogs out there and usually won’t hurt seriously hurt anybody. A rough playing Frenchie is dangerous around small dogs and children though!


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