Are French Bulldogs Good for First Time Owners? Our Personal Experience

Are French Bulldogs Good for First Time Owners

We’ve owned our Frenchie Claude since 2016. He was the first dog we’ve ever owned as a family, and since then we’ve gone on to create one of the largest French Bulldog blogs on the Internet. As first-time owners we’ve learned a lot and shared a lot with our readers too.

Are French Bulldogs good for first time owners? French Bulldogs are a good choice for first time owners. They require less exercise and grooming than larger breeds and most of the time are simple to train. They are an adaptable dog breed that will fit in with most owners.

However, that’s a very simplistic answer. Whether they are good for you as a first-time owner will really depend on a lot of other factors too.

Handy Hint: Subscribe to our French Bulldog YouTube Channel to see what it’s really like to own a Frenchie with weekly episodes being released.

In our experience, owning a French Bulldog has completely changed our lives (for the better). But with the ownership has come a huge amount of commitment and changes to our lifestyle.

If it’s a more in depth answer you want with real-life and personal experience, then continue reading to find out what the challenges are and what you can expect.

Why Frenchies are good first-time dogs 

I didn’t own a dog as a kid. My family just had cats. When my wife first mooted the idea of getting a French Bulldog, I remember saying to her that I wouldn’t walk it, I definitely won’t deal with the poop, and it would be all her responsibility.

That changed as soon as I saw Claude. I fell in love with him and now he’s might right hand man – and here are my top reasons why French Bulldogs are good for first time owners.

1. Frenchies require little exercise (allegedly)

French Bulldogs are said to not require huge amounts of exercise. Whilst that is true to an extent, you will still need to walk them twice a day.

Claude is a very hyper Frenchie and needs a lot of exercise, but in the main they are less energetic than larger breeds and will snooze a lot.

This makes them perfect for a first-time owner who perhaps doesn’t want the commitment of a large dog who needs to run for hours a day.

2. Frenchies don’t need a lot of grooming

As a short-haired breed, French Bulldogs won’t need haircuts or trips to a dog groomer. It’s very rare we need to clip Claude’s nails either as they tend to keep themselves short due to the daily walks we take him on.

However, don’t let that fool you into thinking there won’t be hair in your home. Frenchies do shed a lot of hair, especially during the warmer months when they lose some of their coat to keep cooler.

3. Frenchies are great with kids

One of our biggest concerns about getting a dog was how it would be with our young son. He was around 3 years old when we got Claude.

Frenchie paddling pool
Frenchies are great dogs for first-time owners who have children.

But we needn’t have worried. French Bulldogs are amazing with kids; they are like kids themselves to be honest!

Frenchies are a good-natured breed who fit in very well as family dogs. If you have children, they will help teach your child responsibility but also become their best buddy.

4. Frenchies adapt to non-canine pets well

As long as you get your Frenchie as a puppy there’s no reason why he won’t adapt to any other pets you already have.

We had a cat and it took just a few days for her and Claude to get used to each other. They now live in harmony.

5. Frenchies will fit around your life

French Bulldogs are extremely adaptable. Claude has slotted into our family routines easily and is now the fourth member of our family.

He has taken to riding in cars with ease, comes to the office with me, travels to most places with us, and has fitted into our family’s lifestyle with no problems. 

6. Frenchies will become your best friend

French Bulldogs are companion dogs. They want to be part of a pack and that’s what you will become. They crave human attention, cuddles, love and just being a part of things.

are underbites in frenchies normal
Frenchies love to have cuddles and will become your best friend.

If you’re looking for someone to love you unconditionally you can’t go wrong with a French Bulldog as a first-time owner. 

7. Owning a dog will keep you fit and active

Before we got Claude, I had turned into a couch potato. I was overweight, listless, and completely addicted to my work.

That all changed once we got our dog. I now get out and about into our local forest, walk for up to an hour a day, and even started up a YouTube channel showing off our adventures in the great outdoors. 

Why Frenchies aren’t good first-time dogs

And now for a reality check; French Bulldogs can come with health issues and personality traits that first-time owners will need to adapt to.

I believe that people who get a French Bulldog as their first-time dog to do because they fell in love with how Frenchie’s look and their unique personality.

There are some ethical questions that this raises as Frenchies have been bred to look a certain way; squashed faces, squat bodies, and cute wrinkles. This breeding has resulted in potential health issues including breathing problems.

I would really question whether you should get a Frenchie because of this, or whether you would be fine getting a rescue dog instead.

Do your research into how Frenchies are bred before you decide to take the plunge. The bottom line is; getting a dog is a huge commitment.

Here are my reasons why French Bulldogs aren’t good for first-time owners. 

1. Frenchies come with health problems

I’ve already touched on this briefly so won’t go into too much more detail, but it is a huge concern and something you need to be aware of.

It can result not just in heartache for you and pain for the dog, but also additional on-going costs. To find out more take a look at this list of French Bulldog health concerns.

2. Frenchies suffer with separation anxiety

French Bulldogs need a lot of companionship and aren’t a good match for first-time owners who have busy commitments.

If you are going to be away from the house for long periods of time, please don’t get a Frenchie. It will cause them unnecessary suffering as you can see in this guide to separation anxiety I wrote.

French Bulldog depression really is a thing.

3. Frenchies come with hidden costs

As well as the cost of buying a Frenchie for the first-time which can be in excess of £2,000 pounds or $3,000 dollars, there are other costs you need to factor in.

This includes paying for dog sitters or kennels when you go on holiday, insurance, training classes, and vet bills relating to those health problems.

4. Frenchies need to be trained

French Bulldogs aren’t a hard breed to train, but it’s going to be a shock to any first-time owner. In fact, I remember turning to my wife and saying this was just like having a baby again!

We had to deal with lots of peeing everywhere in the house for the first 8 months, puppy socialization classes, jumping up, biting, and chewing.

5. Frenchies need help cleaning themselves

You will need to wipe a bum… so if that’s not your thing this isn’t the first-time dog for you.

French Bulldogs will need help cleaning between their face folds as they can’t reach them, and the same goes for their backside area.

frenchie bum wiping
Yep, you might have to wipe a Frenchie’s bum for the first time.

Find out more about this very unappealing side of Frenchies in this article I wrote about how they can’t clean themselves very well.

6. Frenchies are hyper and destructive

The hyperactivity in the puppy phase can be hard to deal with, especially if you haven’t owned a dog before.

I’ve written some notes up which are ideal for first-time owners who want an insight into how this hyper destructive behavior can play out.

Tips for first-time Frenchie owners

I hope this has given you some insight into whether or not a French Bulldog will be good for you as a first-time owner.

I would encourage you to do some more research too before making your final decision. The guides I have published below will hopefully prove invaluable to you.


French Bulldogs are amazing dogs and can be ideal for a first-time owner. However, make sure you do your research and make sure you’re ok with the ethical considerations involved in owning this breed.

The last thing I would encourage you to read would be my list of pros and cons to Frenchies. That goes into a lot more detail on some of the topics I’ve touched on today.

Marc Aaron

I am one of Claude the French Bulldog's human parents. I write about all the things we've learned about owning a Frenchie, the adventures we have, and any advice and tips I've picked up along the way. Read more about Marc Aaron.

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