Why Is My French Bulldog Acting So Aggressively?


Frenchies are cute little companion dogs, they are a very energetic dog breed and will keep you entertained all day. French bulldogs love being doted on and it’s not unusual for them to demand attention and they sure do get it! 

These affectionate little dog breed have a very entertaining personality and you can’t help but enjoy their presence. They are full of energy and never seem to get tired, but all Frenchies don’t exactly behave alike. 

Just like humans, dog temperament and personality depend on a number of factors, from genetic composition to the environment they grow up in and how much training they get. And depending on all these factors, the personality traits of a French bulldog can range from very energetic to calm and reserved, though they’re more likely to be full of energy.

Besides genetic composition and inherited characteristics, a dog’s temperament and personality can be shaped in the first few weeks of its life, same goes for Frenchies. Male Frenchies tend to be more playful, energetic and rambunctious than female Frenchies, who are more gentle and affectionate. 

As puppies, French bulldogs are highly energetic and mischievous, and won’t think twice before getting into trouble. As adults, these cute companion dogs lose some of their energy and become less hyperactive. 

Well trained Frenchies show a high level of intelligence and amazing instinct and they communicate and interact well with other breeds. Amongst all small dog breed, French bulldogs are thought to be the best behaved. 

Besides being very energetic and assertive, French bulldogs are really very sweet and affectionate companion dogs, they enjoy being held and will gladly sit on their owner’s laps. With the right training, a Frenchie will be entertaining, very obedient and a good dog. 

Can French bulldogs be aggressive and why?

If you want a cute little lap dog that’ll sit with you to watch TV and also excitedly accompany you for a walk in the park, then a French bulldog is the dog for you. These hyperactive fellows will certainly never tire of hanging out with you. With their playful and entertaining personality, Frenchies are definitely one of the best companion dogs in the world! 

But besides this exciting disposition, Frenchies have an aggressive side. This shouldn’t come as a surprise because if you carefully think it through you’ll realize that French bulldogs are actually dogs, and like other dogs, they can be aggressive in certain occasions. Actually all dogs have the potential to be aggressive and Frenchies are no different! 

French bulldogs aren’t prone to explosions and will rarely get aggressive, but when it does happen there will certainly be a reason and an explanation for the usual behaviour. 

Aggression in Frenchies can be a way to show they feel threatened, attacked or provoked. They can also become aggressive if they are jealous or feel insecure about their owner or other animals. 

And when this happens, you will see them bark or growl, but it never gets past this level. They very rarely attack anyone or other pets physically, especially if they’ve known them as puppies. French bulldogs love kids, probably because they are very energetic and love playing and kids tend to match that energy. 

What is fear aggression and how can you stop it?

When a dog faces something it finds scary, it’s default response is to run away. But if it can’t find a way to get out and feels trapped, then it will either submit or decide to fight and become aggressive.  This aggression due to fear is known as fear aggression

When a dog is fear aggressive, there will be obvious signs that will tell you this; it’ll start backing or growling with its ears pinned to the head and its nose wrinkled. Hackles will be raised, teeth bared, tail tucked and body lowered while it pants very fast. 

Different things can make a dog fear aggressive, one is obviously trauma. If a dog has being abused, neglected or have had to endure something unpleasant, it can become fear aggressive. But this isn’t always the case, dogs who are well treated and properly taken care of but weren’t properly socialized as puppies also become fear aggressive!

Lack of socialization means the dog isn’t familiar with a lot of things like meeting different people, different sights, sounds or even other animals. These dogs spent so much time in doors as puppies and basically grew up in isolation, so when they are eventually confronted by strangers or things that are generally strange to them, they get scared and may become fear aggressive. 

Thankfully, there are ways to help a dog with fear aggression to be less fearful. One of them is the CAT (Constructional Aggression Treatment) method. This treatment requires that you expose the dog to what or who he finds scary. Instead of shielding the dog, you let him face his fears until he learns to be calm and realize that what (or who) he’s afraid of isn’t really a threat to him. 

Re-training a dog that’s fear aggressive doesn’t happen in one day, it’s a gradual process and will require time, effort and consistency. And if done properly, you’ll definitely have a less fearful dog. 

When dealing with a fear aggressive dog, there are a few things you should always remember

  • The treatment is gradual, so gradually expose your dog to what he’s afraid of. You can first do this from a distance for short periods of time before bringing him closer for much longer and always reward the dog each time he doesn’t react fearfully. 
  • Teach your dog to obey your commands, an obedient dog will always look at you for directions on how to act. 
  • If you have more than one pet, ensure there is always enough food to go round, this eliminates competition.
  • When you dog is having an episode of fear aggression, don’t become nervous or anxious because your dog will sense your unease and get worse. Just by being calm will help your dog will feel safe. 
  • Never punish your dog for being fear aggressive as this will only act to increase his fear, making him worse.
  • If your dog’s fear aggression becomes very severe, you should visit a vet for medications to reduce your dog’s anxiety or consult an animal behaviourist.

How can you stop your Frenchie growling or snapping?

When your French bulldog growls, it simply means they are warning someone to stay away from him, but if left untreated this may get worse. French bulldogs are very small dogs and may not be able to really do much harm to an adult, but it can hurt kids who get in his way and fail to back out when he growls. 

Growling isn’t really what Frenchies normally do, so if yours suddenly start to growl you have to find out why. This is important because it’ll help you understand your Frenchie better. 

If he growls while eating, this may be because he’s guarding his food and warning everyone to stay away. To correct this, fed your Frenchie in a private place where he can be alone and eat peacefully. You can also fed him yourself, that is, hand-feed him from the food bowl, this will help relax and not worry about losing his food.

Frenchies also growl when they are afraid of someone or a situation, especially if they it strange, this mostly happens if the dogs weren’t properly socialized as puppies. Taking steps to gradually and properly introduce your dog to new things and people will make this behaviour go away. 

If your Frenchie suddenly started growling or snapping with no provocation or justified reason, then it may be a sign of something more serious like a medical condition. These cute little dogs also suffer from a number of health problems that may cause severe pain making them growl and snap. You may have to take your dog to a veterinarian for a thorough checkup to determine if he has a medical condition. 

While you may be desperate to stop his growling or snapping before it escalates to something unpleasant, you don’t want to punish or yell at him because this will only make him more scared and worse. Also using negative training methods will only worsen it and even if he doesn’t growl anymore he’ll still be scared, and a scared dog is potentially dangerous. To avoid this, you may want to consult an animal behaviourist.

Can French bulldogs be possessive and how can you stop it?

Frenchie can be very possessive of anything they perceive as theirs, like their food, toys and even their owners. It’s very easy to understand this behaviour in French bulldogs because they are companion dogs, so they thrive on human companion and affection. 

They resent being by themselves and would always love the company of someone, especially their owners. If this is the case with your Frenchie and he follows you everywhere, but you want to stop this clingy and possessive behaviour. 

There is actually some form of training you can give your Frenchie so he can be more independent. A simple one is to keep him separated from you for much longer than you’ve ever done before, you can install baby gates or some form of barrier to help you do this. 

You should also train your Frenchie to understand the stay command. With this command, your dog will learn that it’s okay to stay alone sometimes. This should be gradual, first start with very short distances like a few step away before going as far as a room apart. Also remember to always reward him with his favourite treat after each successful exercise. 

You can also get a mat and call it your dog’s place and make him understand that. Train him to understand the command ‘go to your place’ so instead of following you, you’ll tell him to go to his place and reward him for doing just that. Also place some of his favourite toys on the mat so he can entertain himself while sitting there.

Why does my Frenchie suffer from separation anxiety and how can you stop it?

Dogs are social animals, therefore they always feel better in the presence of family. For your French bulldog, your family is the only family he knows so when you leave him home alone he’ll definitely feel lonely, depressed or very anxious. This is generally referred to as separation anxiety. 

As companion dogs, Frenchies dislike being alone for too long and are very prone to separation anxiety. When your Frenchie is going through such episode, he may engage in some destructive activities like chewing your furniture, scratching the doors, barking, whining, howling, hiding, or urinating and pooing all over the floor. 

You may also notice that he starts getting frantic and nervous whenever he senses that your preparing to go out. Leaving your dog alone at home can be very distressing for him and even for you, because you’ll definitely worry about how he’s feeling and what he’s doing back home. With a few tips you make your Frenchie a little happier and help him cope well alone.

Get some toys and treat dispensers for your Frenchie. Toys and treat dispensers are great for keeping dogs busy, this will help him stay active and keep his mind off you till you get back. 

Dogs enjoying watching TV, so you can leave the TV on. The sound from the television means the house won’t be awfully quiet so he won’t feel alone. The moving pictures on the television can also keep him entertained. 

You can also give him one of the clothes you wore before leaving to play with. Dogs have a unique sense of smell and he’ll detect your smell in the clothe, this can help him stay calm and not miss you so much.If you have neighbors who have pets, you can drop your Frenchie with them while going out, your pet and the neighbor’s pets can be playmates till you get back. Before you do this, first may sure that these pets get along to avoid any form of brutality. And if this isn’t an option, you can consider taking him to a Dog Daycare Facility and picking him up when you get back.