Are French Bulldogs Good for First-Time Owners? (17 Pros & Cons)


The French Bulldog, also known as the Frenchie, is a very popular breed and a great companion dog.

Also called the “clown dog” because they are fun-loving and playful, they are dogs that adapt well to living with families with children, singles, and seniors.

But, despite being a small dog with a great personality, are French Bulldogs good for first-time owners?

The answer to this question is not so simple.

Although there are characteristics that make a dog a good option for new owners, all breeds have their pros and cons that must be considered first.

Are French Bulldogs Good for First-Time Owners?

French Bulldogs can be a good option for first-time owners. They are dogs with a great personality that need little exercise and are easy to groom. It’s one of the most adaptable dog breeds out there and that easily adjusts to the lifestyle of its owners.

But, like all dogs, owning a Frenchie has its pros and cons that you need to know in order to make a more informed decision.

Pros of Owning a French Bulldog

Owning a new French Bulldog

1. They Have a Unique Personality

French Bulldogs are excellent companion dogs who love to be around people. They are well-tempered, easy-going, and friendly dogs with an affectionate, playful, and sociable personality.

Although they are very lively dogs who love to play and have fun, they are a breed that likes to cuddle.

Frenchies are also very loyal and protective dogs known to be good guard dogs despite their small size. They may not scare off any intruder, but you can be sure they will try.

2. They are Good Family Dogs

French Bulldogs make great family pets. They are very devoted dogs to their family and love to spend all their time with them.

They do not like to be alone so they are recommended for homes where there is usually someone at home with him.

His gentle, affable, and docile temperament make him excellent with children of all ages.

Frenchies like to have fun and are known for playing rough which makes them perfect playmates for kids.

But they are also very intuitive and tend to behave appropriately with young children. But you always have to be careful not to leave a dog alone with a young child.

3. They Are Good With Other Pets

French Bulldogs tend to get along well with other dogs and cats. But for this, it is necessary to properly socialize them from an early age.

Frenchies are dogs that love to be the center of attention and can become quite jealous if another pet is receiving attention instead of them.

So if they are not properly socialized they can express signs of aggression. But generally, it doesn’t go beyond barking or growling.

But it’s never too late to socialize a Frenchie. This allows him to get along with other pets if the necessary precautions are taken and presented properly.

4. They Don’t Need a Lot of Exercise

Daily exercise is a must for all dogs, and Frenchies are no exception.

The advantage of French Bulldogs is that they don’t need a lot of exercise. This makes them good dogs for first-time owners and a good choice for less active families and seniors.

They need at least one hour of daily physical activity. It is recommended that a Frenchie take several small walks a day instead of a long one.

You have to be careful not to over-exercise them in hot climates since they can suffer a heatstroke because they have difficulty breathing.

5. They Are Easy to Groom

The French Bulldogs have a short coat that is easy to groom. Weekly brushing is more than enough to keep it in good condition.

They also don’t need to be bathed very often. They generally need to be bathed once a month or only when he gets dirty.

It’s also necessary to clean their ears once a month, brush their teeth, and trim their nails in case they don’t wear them down naturally.

The most laborious thing is to clean their face folds to prevent dirt and moisture from accumulating which can cause an infection. For this, it’s recommended to clean once a week their skin folds.

6. They Are Quite Easy to Train

Frenchies are usually quite stubborn, but despite this, they can be easily trained.

They are intelligent dogs and always ready to please their owners, which allows them to be trained easily despite their stubbornness.

The secret to successfully training a Frenchie is to be patient and consistent.

They are fast learning dogs and are often very cooperative using positive reinforcement training.

Keep in mind that an important part of training is socialization. If you start socializing from an early age the process is much easier, both for you and your dog.

7. They Are Extremely Adaptable Dogs

French Bulldogs are one of the most adaptable dog breeds out there.

A Frenchie can easily adapt to living in a city apartment and a country house. They also adapt well and are excellent companions for singles, families with children, and even seniors.

As long as their basic needs for exercise, attention, and socialization are met, a Frenchie will adapt to the lifestyle of its owners.

8. They Don’t Bark a Lot

Although there are always exceptions to the rule, French Bulldogs are quiet dogs that don’t bark frequently.

Generally when a Frenchie barks it is for some good reason and worth paying attention to.

Although the most common thing is that they bark because they are excited, happy, or want to alert that something unusual is happening.

Other reasons why a French Bulldog can bark are:

  • Pain or discomfort
  • Distress
  • Attract attention
  • Keep an intruder away from his territory

9. They Are Not Aggressive Dogs

French Bulldogs are not usually an aggressive breed. They are dogs known for their lovely and kind nature that are generally sociable and get along with everyone.

But despite this, they can sometimes show signs of aggression in certain situations.

These signs are usually things like barking or growling and it’s very rare to escalate more than this.

Aggression in a Frenchie is usually caused by jealousy of other pets or by fear when they feel threatened by something or someone.

Cons of Owning a French Bulldog

Clown Dog

1. They Are Quite Stubborn

Even thought French Bulldogs are known to have an easygoing, affectionate, and playful personality, they are also known to be quite stubborn and hard-headed dogs.

This can cause training to be more complicated and result in behavioral problems if not properly attended.

It’s common for owners of small breeds to be more permissive than with larger dogs.

But with a Frenchie, if you don’t set clear rules and you are firm and consistent from the start, his strong will to do things his way can become a big problem.

2. They Can Be Hard to Potty Train

Although Frenchies are usually easy to train dogs, when it comes to potty training them it is not that simple.

This can be very challenging, some French Bulldogs taking up to eight months to potty train properly.

Although this can be quite frustrating, patience and consistency can be achieved.

3. They Are Prone to Separation Anxiety

French Bulldogs were bred to be companion dogs so they love to be the center of attention and need to be around their people most of the time.

Because of this, they are dogs that don’t handle well being left alone for long periods. They are more likely to suffer from separation anxiety than other breeds.

Some of the symptoms of separation anxiety are:

  • Excessive barking
  • Destructive behaviors like chewing
  • Escaping
  • Urinating and defecating around the house when home alone

Although a French Bulldog can be helped to better cope with being home alone, it’s not advisable to leave them for very long periods constantly.

In reality, French Bulldogs need homes where they don’t have to be left alone regularly.

4. They Are Prone to Health Issues

Frenchies are susceptible to numerous health problems.

Much of their problems are due to being brachycephalic dogs, that is, they have flat faces and short noses.

This causes them to have trouble breathing and have difficulty regulating their body temperature.

This causes them to easily overheat and suffer from a heatstroke.

Along with respiratory problems, Frenchies are also prone to illnesses related to:

  • Bone and joints
  • Eyes
  • Heart
  • Skin

5. They Shed a Lot

French Bulldogs generally don’t shed a lot. But during spring and fall, the shedding seasons, they lose their undercoat, which means they are going to shed a lot of hair during these seasons.

To keep the amount of hair under control it will be necessary to brush them daily to remove the excess hair.

It also happens that a Frenchie may start shedding more hair than normal. Excessive shedding can be caused by poor nutrition, allergies, stress, or medical problems.

6. They Can Be Quite Destructive

When young, Frenchies can be quite hyperactive and destructive. When French Bulldogs are neglected and not cared for, they can manifest destructive behaviors and can continue throughout their lives.

Some behaviors that a French Bulldog can show are:

  • Chewing and biting
  • Digging
  • Peeing and defecating inside

To prevent destructive behaviors, Frenchies need to be properly trained and a family that can give them the necessary care and attention.

7. They Drool a Lot

French Bulldogs tend to drool a lot.

Although they are fairly clean dogs, it’s common for Frenchies to drool quite often, especially after eating or drinking.

If it doesn’t bother you, the only downside to this is that you’re going to be cleaning slobber all over the house regularly.

However, when a Frenchie drools in large amounts it can be caused by several factors such as:

  • Excitement and food
  • Mouth disease and tooth decay
  • Heatstroke
  • Motion sickness
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Poisoning
  • Mouth injuries

8. They Are Expensive

Buying a French Bulldog from a responsible breeder is quite expensive. On average, they cost between $1,500 to $3,500 or more.

This is because breeding French Bulldogs is expensive since they require artificial insemination and c-sections to reproduce.

Besides this, owning a French Bulldog can be quite expensive. Expenses for caring for a Frenchie range from visits to the vet to daily expenses like food and toys.

You can normally spend between $700 to $3000 on a Frenchie a year.

Final Thoughts

French Bulldogs are great pets and can be a good choice for first-time dog owners.

Having a dog in our lives is a great responsibility that requires a lot of effort.

This is why it’s always important to research in-depth the dog breed characteristics. 

It’s necessary to know the dog’s personality and needs to ensure that we can offer him a happy and healthy life.

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