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French Bulldog Pros and Cons, Is A French Bulldog Right For You?

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Reviewed by Alexandre Beaumont
French Bulldog Pros and cons

Getting a Frenchie is one of the best things you can do – as long as you know the pros and cons of owning a French Bulldog well in advance!

Yes, having a furry little friend hang out with you is fantastic, although a few things can go wrong when a Frenchie is around (especially if they have an upset stomach).

How do I know that? Well, I have two Frenchies! I adopted Manny in 2022 and purchased Luzy in early 2023 – but that’s a story for another day.

So, speaking from experience, here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly of owning a Frenchie (and how to figure out if you’re ready to meet your future best friend, too).

Pros Of Owning A French Bulldog

Amazing Companions

Frenchie in a kayak with 2 other people
Lola, Alex’s Frenchie always up for an adventure!

I can’t tell how often being with my Frenchies made my day or helped me through something.

It doesn’t matter if I’m having a tough day at work, bored, or anything else – they’re always there with their fluffy faces, ready to play or chill on the couch, turning an average day into an awesome one.

Do you want to go out for some fresh air? They’re game. Do you want to go out for a bite to eat? You can guess they’re more than willing. Do you want to meet someone? They’re happy to go with you!

Perfect With Pretty Much Everyone

French Bulldogs are amazing companions because they’re cuddly, friendly, and happy – all the time.

They make no distinctions: they will have a blast with your friends, siblings, and strangers. I’ve never seen either one of my Frenchies bark or throw a bite at anyone for any reason.

However, they may like to be with people a little too much – but I’ll get to that in the second part of this article.

It’s in their nature to be good! What’s the best part about that? It often goes both ways. I’ll explain below.

Everyone Likes A Frenchie!

French Bulldog playing with two labradors

People love stopping to meet my Frenchies when I take them for a walk!

They sometimes rush through their walks like they’re trying to break a world record – but when I stop to talk to people, they stop and play with people, too.

French Bulldogs have the IT factor that makes them stars! It may be their mushy faces, happy demeanor, or playful attitude. More likely than not, it’s all three.

It doesn’t matter: everyone loves a Frenchie for their own reasons – and Frenchies love them back because that’s how they’re!

Smarter Than You Think

French Bulldog Obedience Training
Obedience Training

Frenchies are very smart – but there’s a catch.

You have to make it fun for Frenchies to interest them in something. Intelligent dogs tend to get bored easily, so you need a fair number of toys to keep them happy.

At the same time, they may not want to play the way you want to – or want to stop playing! Walking away from the park when your Frenchie is not finished playing is a tough task.

Of course, that doesn’t mean Professor Frenchie will lecture you on quantum mechanics (their preferred department is the science of siestas), but they’ll learn their cues quickly!

Live On A Schedule (Eat, Play, Sleep, Repeat)

French Bulldogs are smart – but they just want to play every once in a while, eat some tasty treats, then sleep to recover their energy. No need for homework here!

From Creams to Blues and every Frenchie in between – it’s all the same.

They’re pretty low maintenance in that aspect – and you can find more than one way to fit their needs into your schedule. Add a few cuddles and pets here and there to have the happiest Frenchie on Earth.

Half Dog, Half Couch Potato

Frenchie taking a nap with her owner
Always up for a nap!

Do you live an active lifestyle? No? Great! Frenchies neither! 

They prefer to sleep until late, watch TV with you, and may use a short burst of energy to catch that potato chip you dropped, then return to their much-needed rest.

In fact, two 10- to 15-minute walks per day is enough to have a fit Frenchie – as long as they’re not overeating, but that’s another subject.

You can still go on an adventure with your Frenchie if you want to! Frenchies are as lazy as they’re adaptable, so you can choose how you want to spend your day with them.

Low Maintenance (Physically Speaking)

Plenty of animals leave a trail of hair behind them – but not Frenchies.

Why is that? Because they have short coats! That means they need little grooming, especially when you compare them to other breeds like Huskies and Maltese dogs. 

In other words, Frenchies don’t need premium grooming sessions or expensive products – just a regular bath every once in a while, some brushing here and there, and lots of love.

However, I’m not saying Frenchies shed no hair. They do, especially during autumn and spring, when they change their coat.

Needs Little Space (But Will Love The Extra Room)

Frenchies are small and happy to live in a small apartment (as long as you’re with them). That makes them picture-perfect for anyone who wants a dog and lives in a small flat!

Your furry little friend would love a backyard to run and play in – but that’s not a must-have for this breed. Larger dogs need the space, but French Bulldogs can hang around everywhere.

There’s a little downside to owning a Frenchie in a small place – and you’ll understand what I’m talking about once we get to the first con of this article.

Great Watchers (But Poor Warriors)

French Bulldogs seldom bark – unless something is going on. That’s what makes them perfect for watching your house because they only bark when something unusual happens.

In fact, I don’t think I’ve heard Manny bark for a long time after I adopted him. I know Manny (and Luzy, too) will bark when something’s up – but that’s as far as they go.

Even if Frenchies descend from a pretty ferocious breed, they’re relatively docile and friendly now. So, unless you want an intruder to die from a melted heart, you’ll need someone else to do anything but watch for trouble.

Frenchies Are The Best!

French bulldog sleeping on a bed

French Bulldogs are amazing! They’re the smartest, friendliest, cuddliest kissing machines you’ll ever see.

Does that mean I’m biased toward them? Absolutely. I smile whenever I see one walking down the street (have you ever seen a Fawn Frenchie? How could you not smile when you do!).

That doesn’t mean there are no bad sides to owning a Frenchie. So, before you think about the name you’ll give to your Frenchie, let’s look at the cons of owning one.

Cons Of Owning A French Bulldog

New Smells And Sounds Come Your Way

I adopted Manny in July 2023. He was a car drive away, and I was in the passenger seat with Manny on my lap for 10 minutes on the way back.

I thought my pants would melt long before we got home – because Manny kept farting so bad. The little man gave us a 10-minute crash course on chemical warfare (we had to roll down the windows not before long).

Fortunately, I keep that under control with a good diet. What I can’t get under control is his snoring, but you get used to it after a while.

So, yeah, most Frenchies will fart and snore their way into your heart, so to speak.

It’s The Frenchie’s Way Or The Highway

French Bulldog playing tug-o-war
Lola, let go!

“Oh, you don’t want to play? But I want to play, so I guess it’s time to play!” That’s what I think Manny, my Brindle, thinks four or five times per day.

Yes, Frenchies have a way of getting their way. You, as the owner, have to play the bad guy every once in a while. That’s how you prevent your Frenchie from having problems from eating too many treats, for example.

Do you know what happens when two Frenchies have the same favorite toy? I call it stubbornness squared, and it’s nothing short of a battle!

May Cost More Than A Car

A Frenchie alone will cost you a few thousand dollars. In fact, some French Bulldogs cost up to $50,000!

Your wallet will also take a hit after your Frenchie moves into your home. A French Bulldog needs a bed, food, toys, and a few more things.

Let’s not forget grooming, training, and other necessities that people often don’t think about – until after they get their dog.

The Frenchie economy is wild, but make sure to avoid too-good-to-be-true deals when buying a puppy. That often means you’re doing business with an unethical breeder.

Cold In The Winter, Hot In The Summer

Frenchie rolling out in mud
After 5 min of intense play in the summer

You’ll need to keep your Frenchie warm in the winter and fresh in the summer – because they’re far from the best at regulating their temperature.

Manny, for example, will not move from under the blankets during the cold months of the year.

It’s not that bad, but you have to keep it in mind.

They also take their time to cool down after walking or playing because of that reason. Fortunately, as you know, they need little daily exercise.

I know what you’re thinking. I’m taking my Frenchie to the pool during the summer. Well, hold that thought.

Won’t Make It To Swimming Olympics

French bulldog in a swimming pool
Lola’s first time at the pool

Does it get any better than jumping in the pool during one of those scorching summer days? Well, not for Frenchies – because they can’t swim.

Their body is heavy enough to sink quickly, and their legs are too short to help them stay afloat. That’s why you always have to watch your French Bulldog when they’re near water.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t let your Frenchie swim. In fact, I have it in good authority that Lola, Alexandre’s Frenchie, is a fantastic swimmer!

How can you help a French Bulldog swim? A little doggy life jacket goes a long way to help a Frenchie swim during summer.

You’ll Learn To Bob And Weave

French Bulldogs need to kiss people. They have to. It’s in their nature. 

They also have very strong hind legs to jump to your face if you dare not go low to receive their wonderful kisses.

What happens when they go high and you go low at the same time? A headbutt happens – and I’ve been in my fair share of close calls to know how to bob and weave like Mohammed Ali.

Training often fixes that, though sometimes, their excitement trumps their training – fortunately, I still have sharp reflexes!

Furniture Will Take A Hit (Early On)

Do you know what the thing Frenchies love eating the most is? I thought it was my couch for a while.

Yes, you read that right. Both Manny and Luzy spent their puppy years trying to figure out the best way to chew up expensive things.

I actually thought eating furniture was an improvement for Manny – because he kept trying to eat his poop. Yes, you also read that right. I had to switch his diet to deal with that issue.

Other than that, Frenchies often grow out of their furniture feeding phase soon enough – but early training is needed for that to happen.

Needy (Up To The Point Of Overattachment)

Separation Anxiety French bulldog

Frenchies are amazing companions. It’s one of the things I love most about my two dogs! They’ll keep you company – even when you don’t want to: I had to train Luzy, my Piebald, to have her stop following me to the bathroom.

And while my Frenchies don’t suffer from separation anxiety because I work from home (and when I leave, they stay together), I know Frenchies can’t take loneliness for too long.

Their emotional well-being is somewhat fragile, and sometimes, so is their physical health.

Health Issues Always Play A Part

French Bulldogs have their fair share of health concerns – and certain Frenchies also have a few issues of their own (such as Merles).

Your Frenchie may suffer from:

  • Eye Issues
  • Hearing Loss
  • Skin Conditions
  • Breathing Problems

For example, not so long ago, Manny scratched his ears and showed discomfort. I thought it was unusual, so I took him to the vet. He had an ear infection!

That meant paying the vet, paying for the ear drops, and taking the time to apply these drops a few times per day for a few days. You have to consider health issues before getting a Frenchie because of that.

You can save yourself from future headaches by hiring pet insurance for your Frenchie. That’ll put you ahead of any hiccups. It’s an affordable way to save money in future emergencies!

The Main Pros and Cons of Owning A Frenchie Compared

ProConCompromise
Frenchies are excellent companions.They get overly attached to their owners.Spend time with your French Bulldog and, if possible, have someone dog sit when you leave.
Frenchies are very smart.They tend to be stubborn.Train your French Bulldog (and be patient when they act up).
Frenchies require little grooming.They need some hands-on treatment from time to time.Avoid complacency. Watch your Frenchie’s folds, teeth, and the like to get ahead of issues.
Frenchies live a fine life in an apartment.They will make you leave the room if their diet goes wrong.Fine-tune your French Bulldog‘s diet, so you can avoid bad food choices from backfiring on you (quite literally).
Frenchies are the best.They have health concerns you’ll have to watch out for.Take care of your new best friend and save money for an emergency vet visit.

3 Questions To Ask Before Getting A French Bulldog

1. Am I Ready For A Long-Term Commitment?

Getting a Frenchie is the easy part, even if it costs thousands of dollars. You need to be a responsible owner for years after that.

If you’re lucky enough, you may spend more than a wonderful decade with your new friend.

Think about that for a second. Ten years – or more. That’s how long you’re in for when you adopt a French Bulldog. Are you 100% sure you can take it?

Let’s put it this way: are you ready for more than ten years of kisses, cuddles, and farts? That’s the deal – and it’s a good one if you ask me!

2. Do I Have Time, Money, and Patience?

Owning a French Bulldog is not all sunshine and rainbows (it’s also chewed-up couches and having a blast at the park).

You need to spend a lot of time with your Frenchie, especially if you two live alone. For example, if I go to dinner later, I will try to be with my French Bulldogs during the day.

The wallet takes a hit, too – and sometimes, it’ll come out of nowhere: Luzy, my youngest Frenchie, was in tip-top shape for the first few months, and then she showed cherry eye symptoms.

Cherry eye means vet appointments plus surgery, which is far from cheap, though I’m happy to keep her healthy, even if it costs.

And, you know, you have to be patient around Frenchies. I work from home, so I get to spend a lot of time with them – but sometimes, they want to play when I have to work. It’s not like they understand that my work gets them new toys (and I have tried to explain that to them, but you already know how stubborn they are).

3. Should I Get A Frenchie?

Do you want to make a decade-long commitment to care for a small soul who will rely on you for everything? That’s a tricky question!

Some people think they want a dog – because they’re bored. They may get a dog, have fun, get bored again, and want to get rid of their new puppy. Their puppy, in contrast, is head over heels for their new owner. It’s a terrible situation.

At the same time, make sure everyone around wants a dog! Is your family, roommate, other pet, or anyone else (living with you) ready for a dog?

In my experience, getting a French Bulldog is worth it because I’m willing to be responsible – and have the means to be accountable. What about you?

What You Should Know

Cute funny Frenchie

Getting a Frenchie is a wonderful opportunity – but far from seamless. You’ll get a fantastic friend who’ll keep you company, make your day every day, and will only ask for attention and cuddles in return. You’ll also have to do your part and pay for food, vet visits, and a few other things, as well as make sure your Frenchie is emotionally healthy (which requires a lot from time to time). Take some time to figure out if you’re ready for this adventure! And, of course, you can count on your friends at French Bulldog Lovers if you need help with your Frenchie.

Photo of author

AUTHOR

JM is a freelance writer who focuses on all things interesting. He works part-time as a toy judge whenever Manny and Luzy, his two Frenchies, fight over the same squeaky bone.

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