One of the most common questions I’m asked by people thinking about getting a Frenchie is how well they get along with other dogs. It’s essential if you already own a dog, have family and friends with dogs, or are planning on getting your existing Frenchie a companion.
What I am going do is relay our personal real-life experience of Frenchies. This will include how good they are with other dogs, how we’ve seen our own dog playing, and seeing other Frenchies playing too. Let’s get started…
However, it’s important to understand that all dogs are different and will often be a product of their environment. That means if you don’t treat your Frenchie well, haven’t trained and socialized him properly, or he’s got some behavioral issues, then yes, your French Bulldog might not along with other dogs.
But I would say that this is the exception to the rule, rather than the norm based on my personal experiences. Here’s what I’ve learned, and what you can probably expect should you decide to get a French Bulldog companion
How Frenchies get along with other dogs: a personal experience
A few caveats first though. The reason I think our French Bulldog is so good with other dogs is down to a number of points:
- Genetics: I met the mother of Claude before we bought him, and saw what a good temperament she had. When buying a Frenchie, always ask to see the mother. It’s one of the best guidelines to follows when buying for the first time.
- Breed characteristics: The French Bulldog breed is renowned as being playful and fun, with little aggression. Of course, this won’t always be the case, but it’s a decent generalization that Frenchies will be good with other dogs and should get along together.
- We have a kid and a cat: When we first got Claude, he slotted into our life very quickly. We already had a toddler and a cat, so he had no option but to adapt and learn how to get on with other “unpredictable” beings. I think this has helped to form his friendly character.
- Training and socialization: As soon as Claude had all of his vaccinations, we started taking him to puppy training and socialization classes. This meant he was exposed to other dogs from a young age and was able to get along with them quicker than you might expect.
- Stimulation and walks: Claude has been walked twice a day from the moment he was allowed outdoors. This means that on an almost daily basis from a puppy, he was meeting other dogs for play when we were at our local parks. He’s was also quickly exposed to traffic and loud noises, being he didn’t develop anxiety.
How our Frenchie behaves with other dogs
The points above will give you a taster of how good a French Bulldog can be with other dogs. From a young age we’ve found it very easy with Claude, and this is probably due to the points I raised earlier.
When we go for walks, frenchie will be let off his leash once we get to the local dog park or woods. 9 times out of 10 there will be other dogs out and about and our Frenchie will want to play with them (and vice versa).
What tends to happen is that Claude crouches down when he sees another dog, which is his playful and submissive stance. He will then watch the other dog for about 10 seconds and then start to run at a full pace towards the other dog.
If the other dog reciprocates and wants to play, then it’s game on and the two of them will start to chase each other and play fight or do tug of war with a stick.
How things can go wrong
Whilst our French Bulldog thinks that every dog is a potential playmate, the feelings aren’t always reciprocated by other dogs. Not all will want to play!
Most of the time this is quite a placid interaction. Our Frenchie runs up to another dog who doesn’t want to play, and that other dog will not respond. In cases like this, Claude will read the situation quite quickly and turn around to find something else to do.
But there have been times when other dogs have reacted badly…
How a French Bulldog’s features can result in negative responses
Occasionally we have encountered dogs will react badly to Claude wanting to play with them. Some of the time you can simply put this down to a grumpy or naturally aggressive dog who just doesn’t want to play.
Other times though, it could be the Frenchie’s features that produce this response, and here’s why: Frenchies have a very expressionless face, with not many available expressions.
I’ve heard that some dogs do find it hard to read a French Bulldog’s face. That means another dog might see a playful Frenchie approaching, and think that the face they see is an aggressive one.
Let’s be honest, Frenchies only really have one facial expression apart from when they open their mouth wide, so you can forgive other dogs for thinking the wrong thing when encountered with the face below!
I am a member of lots of French Bulldog Facebook groups, and there have been a few posts from people saying their Frenchie gets attacked by other dogs, often for no reason.
Whilst we’ve not had this with Claude, perhaps some dogs do give off different vibes – who knows? I do believe some of it could be due to their lack of facial expressions.
How to avoid potential flash points
If you do decide to get a Frenchie and another dog breed, here are a few things you can do to help make sure that they get along:
- Keep them apart when one dog has had enough: Learn to understand when one dog has had enough of play. Often younger dogs will have more energy than older dogs and won’t know when to stop until the older dog snaps back at them.
- Keep their food separate: Particularly during the early stages, keep their food separate. Older and larger dogs can be dominant over small Frenchies and might eat the food. Both dogs can also display aggression if they think their food supply is threatened.
- Watch out for jealousy: Our own Frenchie gets jealous when my wife and I give our son or cat attention. He won’t be aggressive but will try to get in-between us. Be careful when introducing a new dog into your home, as jealousy might mean they don’t get along with each other. They will both need attention, and that means the old dog just as much as the cute new puppy!
What dogs get along with French Bulldogs?
And now for the practical part; what dogs do Frenchies get along with? Well, firstly I going to list the dogs that our Claude gets along with most – in other words, the ones he always plays with when we’re at our local park. These could be the perfect companion for your Frenchie.
Dogs that DO get along with our Frenchie
- Boston Terriers
- English Sheepdogs
- English Springer Spaniels
Dogs that DON’T get along with our Frenchie
Then there are some dogs that our French Bulldog has not got along (and this is one-way aggression from the other dog, not ours) are:
- Border Collies (nip at our Frenchie)
- Staffordshire Bull Terriers (growl at our Frenchie)
- West Highland White Terriers (bark at our Frenchie)
I think the dogs above that don’t get along with Frenchies probably get irritated by our breed’s clownish nature. Breeds like Border Collies who are bred to herd animals will probably try nip and herd a manic Frenchie!
What dogs do French Bulldogs get along with?
Here’s a list of dogs that get along with Frenchies according to what other owners say:
- Boston Terrier
- Boxer Dogs
- English Springer Spaniel
- French Bulldogs (other ones!)
Any of these breeds would be the best dog companion for a French Bulldog, other than another Frenchie of course!
In all honesty though, I believe it all boils down to personality and compatibility. If you have an aggressive dog, he’s not going to get on with any other dog unless trained out of it.
Are French Bulldogs good with big dogs?
Some of Claude’s best playmates at the park are big dogs. He plays regularly with dogs as large a Lurchers and English Sheep Dogs and holds his own against them.
French Bulldogs are good with big dogs, medium dogs, and small dogs! They really are not fussy about who they play with and probably don’t understand how small they are.
How to introduce a Frenchie to another dog
Once you’ve settled on which dog to get that will be good with your Frenchie, here’s a quick overview of how to introduce them.
- Make sure both the other dog and the Frenchie are on leashes.
- Take both dogs out on a walk together in single file.
- Keep praising both dogs no matter how they react.
- Keep both dogs moving at all times to keep them distracted.
- Let them slowly sniff at each other as they walk.
- If one dogs goes poop or pee, let the other dog smell it.
- Move onto walking together still on the leash.
Please note that all of the advice and the list of dogs Frenchies get along with is purely anecdotal and based on my experiences and that of owners I spoke to. It doesn’t mean it will work for you as every dog is different, and breed should only be considered one indication of temperament.
I will conclude by saying one thing though; I have mainly positive experiences of Frenchies getting along with other dog breeds aside from a few exceptions. I hope you have the same!