If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you will know how much fun we have with Claude. He’s friendly, entertaining, and full of beans. But, does our French Bulldog make for a good guard dog? Ours certainly doesn’t, and I will go into that in a bit more detail. But overall, are they a protective breed or not? Let’s find out.
Are French Bulldogs good guard dogs? French Bulldogs aren’t good guard but can be good watch dogs. Whilst they might bark to alert you that someone’s at the door and can be somewhat territorial, they are not overly aggressive and would not deter a criminal. In fact, they are more likely to jump up on an intruder and demand petting.
In short, don’t put too much expectation on your Frenchie in terms of being a guard dog. They simply don’t cut it as a breed.
However, French Bulldogs can be good watch dogs, as many of them will bark and get excited if someone approaches your home, or there’s a noise they don’t recognize.
What other owners say about French Bulldogs being good guard dogs
There are some excellent Facebook groups dedicated to Frenchies which I am a member of. I found some comments people made about Frenchies being good guard dogs (or not as the case is almost 100% of the time). Here’s what was said:
“Is your Frenchie a good guard dog? Mine sure isn’t! You can break into my house and he would love you and slobber you to death before anything else!”
“I wouldn’t call ours a guard dog but more of an alarm dog as she’ll tell you someone is there, but she likely just wants to play and love you.”
“Our Frenchie barks at everyone, everything, the wall, thin air, a leaf blowing by. But would she guard us in a burglary. I very doubt it!”
“Honestly, ours is the first dog I’ve had that doesn’t at least let me know when someone comes over. I always tell him he’s not a good guard dog. He looks at me like so, and?”
“Our Frenchie acts all alert at any sign someone is here. Barks (and by barks, I mean gremlin noises) and stands there acting like he can contribute some form of protection. But the only threat you’re under coming in here is being cannonballed by 30 pounds of love.”
“Frank would greet a burglar with unbridled joy and amazement that they hadn’t been introduced before. He would then lead them to the most expensive items in the house! A guard dog he isn’t!”
“Frenchies are not supposed to be guard dogs. They are simply too small and don’t have enough aggression, they are good watch dogs though and will alert you to stuff.”
“Guard dog, not a chance. But they are a breed that lets me know when he hears a noise. And I mean any noise absolutely. Here’s the kicker my Frenchie sleeps through everything and I mean he literally sleeps through everything.”
Some Frenchies bark, some don’t…
As a breed, Frenchies openly love visitors especially the friendly and polite ones. Through their endless craving for attention and love afforded by snuggling and cuddling, they simply aren’t designed to be good guard dogs.
Whilst yours might bark upon hearing the ringing of the doorbell, once the door is opened, they are more likely to jump up, sniff, and get all excited about the prospect of a new face.
For example, when family members or any known friends show up, it does not bother them at all. Compare this to how Yorkies will bark like crazy until they’ve figured out exactly who the intruders are.
Our own Frenchie Claude is not a huge barker. Some are known to bark a lot, but you do get a lot of Frenchies who are very limited vocally.
Claude will occasionally let out a short sequence of barks if he hears someone coming up our driveway, but that’s it.
What this is good for is alerting us to a visitor coming – but not much else.
Although Frenchies (in the main) don’t bark a lot, they’re generally fairly decent watch dogs if you just want an alert. But don’t expect anything more than that!
Are French Bulldogs protective of their owners?
Yes, can be but don’t expect protection if someone decides to mug or attack you when out on a walk.
Our own experiences with Claude are that he will get jealous if our cat or another dog gets attention. He will also get jealous of our son sometimes too.
But not in an aggressive way.
For example, if my son comes and sits in my wife’s lap, Claude will jump up and try to engineer a way in, so he also gets attention. That’s about as far as he gets when it comes to be protective of his owners.
Some French Bulldogs will be very protective of their owners
However, I didn’t want you to just have our own limited perspective, so I found out what some other French Bulldog Owners said about their Frenchie being protective or a decent guard dog. Here’s a selection of the best comments I found on Facebook:
“Our Frenchie has to be top dog! She’s so protective of my family that when new people come into my home, she tries to head butt them or even bite them until they’re sat down and it’s calm then she wants to make friends.”
Obviously, this is a huge problem, as the French Bulldog here is overly protective of its owner. This is unusual, but can be solved with training. Here is what an expert responded with:
“Dogs are pack animals by nature. A dog behaviorist could help, but you need to be top dog not her. For some reason Frenchies seem to be overlooked as cute fur babies, but what people seem to forget is that they are ultimately dogs and should be treated and trained as any other. You need to be firm voiced with her and if you tell her to do something and she doesn’t, don’t give up.”
In addition to the reply above, I would also advise that the owner crates the dog until she gets the scent of the person, sees that they are settled and that they offer no threat.
This is what I would do, then let her out to interact with them. I would not chance a bite. In many states and counties, if a person is bitten and seeks treatment, the person treating must report it, then the health department and authorities can get involved.
Another person on Facebook had this problem, and it sounds like their own French Bulldog could actually be a good guard dog. Joking aside though, this is a big problem below.
“Our Frenchie can at times be a little protective and jealous, but he is full of love and excitement. Just wondering if anyone has any suggestions as to how they dealt with introducing a new family member as our barks and nips at any strangers or other dogs who come into our house.”
With this one, I would suggest that the dog is being territorial so any introductions to a new dog should first be made on neutral ground. With adult dogs, it’s key to looking into socialization training.
For people coming into the home, use the crate at first as I referenced in the previous comments.
Here’s another example of a French Bulldog being protective of an owner.
“Our French Bulldog is only aggressive when I am in the room. He will be fine but as soon as I come in the room, he’s a crazy beast to any person in sight, as if he’s being overly protective of me.”
The best reply was from another owner who had this to say:
“You need to work with him by yourself you need to educate him what acceptable and what is not. You should reward him always and not when he is naughty. It sounds like he is in protective phase with you. If he is old, then it might be too late to change. If he is a younger French Bulldog puppy, then you need to be patient with him and less spoiling.”
If you have a Frenchie who is protective of you and starts biting, nipping, and yapping if anyone comes near you, then I would suggest it’s more about the dog claiming you and the territory around you.
Each time your dog does this, they should get a sharp verbal reprimand and then put down off your lap or couch and on the floor immediately.
To conclude, no one dog is the same. Some Frenchies can be somewhat protective and territorial, so can make for good watchdogs. However, it’s not really the type of behavior you should encourage and can lead to problems as we’ve seen with the comments above.
What makes French Bulldogs “bad” guard dogs?
Back onto the guard dog topic now, and why Frenchies don’t serve this purpose too well.
If your Frenchie is like our Claude, then in most cases yours won’t be overly hostile. For the most part, this breed is one of the friendliest on the planet. They only bark to announce their presence.
I know of other Frenchies were this isn’t the case though.
Our friend’s French Bulldog, Lola, has an impressive ability to sense the presence of unfamiliar faces and will bark continuously until she understands who the unannounced visitors are. Here’s a photo of Lola below. Hardly scary is she!
She’s not a good guard dog though, just like other Frenchies.
They don’t grow big enough to transform into a threateningly scary dog, so you can’t depend on them for the security of your home or family.
Many are far too friendly to threaten intruders.
According to varied responses and opinions from different dog owners, their prowess depends largely on the neighborhood you reside in and how you train the dogs. If allowed to remain indoors and get used to a few individuals, some of them can grow to persistently bark at strangers.
However, since they lack the ability to bark vehemently like most guard dogs do coupled with the fact that they do not grow big enough, chances are high that they aren’t the best dogs to guard or watch over your home and family.
What are the best guard dogs?
The American Kennel Club (view source) says that the best guard dogs are brave and devoted and know when and how to fight off an intruder. However, this doesn’t mean that they’re always vicious.
Provided you give them the appropriate training especially when young, these pets will certainly offer all the protection you need.
Throughout history, the main objective of a domesticated dog has always been to offer protection to its owners against unwanted animals and people.
While a good number of modern dogs instinctually act as guardians, certain specific breeds boast the particular characteristics needed to ward off any form of intrusion.
Some dogs boast a natural instinct to protect their family and home. This attribute makes them excellent guard dogs. Guardian breeds are courageous, watchful, strong, fearless, resistant to pain, and loyal.
They are not only great at alerting you when a visitor shows up but also intuitively know when to offer protection from dangerous situations. Due to their sheer size and strength, guardian breeds need socialization and proper training.
Some of the best watch or guard dogs include:
- Anatolian Shepherd
- Belgium Malinois
- Bergamasco Sheepdog
- Black Russian Terrier
- Doberman Pinscher
- German Shepherd
The barking habits of Frenchies
All dog breeds bark. French bulldogs are no exception. How much do they bark? Compared to other breeds, Frenchies bark far less.
The most important thing to know is that the barking of Frenchies isn’t generally considered as ‘yapping.’ Theirs is more guffer and deeper than others.
So, when do they bark?
Most of the time, they bark once they notice there’s a stranger at the door. Others do so when they see other animals or dogs through the windows or fence. Their barking can be in a scared, friendly, or exciting way.
After spending time with your pet, you should be able to differentiate the tone or intensity of barking.
For instance, when the barking is friendly, he or she tends to run towards you or wiggle the tail. Some French bulldogs bark due to fear or when something startles them. They can also do so when they desire to play with you.
How do I stop excessive barking?
To stop it, you must first diagnose the chief reason behind it. Most of the time, it only lasts until the threat gets away or is removed. Excessive barking can also be occasioned by loneliness or demand for attention.
Handling this one is easy because all you have to do is spend more quality time with him or her.
Always remember that because your pet is a pack animal, it’s normal for him or her to desire affection and attention. Therefore, avoid leaving your pet alone for too long.
An effective way of teaching your Frenchie to bark less is by teaching him the ‘’quiet’’ command. Every time the dog begins barking, say the word ‘’quiet’’ in a firm and calm voice.
If necessary, use your physical correction or body language to shut him up. Wait until the dog stops barking and then offer praise and a tasty treat. You could also have a dog with too much pent-up energy; take him for a long run or walk, play ball or head over to the dog park.
Ensuring your dog is mentally active is also important. Consequently, occasionally give him some mental challenges like obedience games, agility training, or herding.
Stopping excessive barking calls for calmness from your end. It takes consistency, patience, and time.
Are Frenchies sociable?
Most dogs seem to do better by being exposed to people, other aspects of life, and other dogs. Frenchies are not known to be vicious, aggressive or mean animals. Experts recommend that it’s a great idea to introduce your pet to new people, places, and other animals.
Doing so helps your dog to be a better pet and avoid overreacting out of fear of the unknown. Additionally, it builds character and confidence in your dog.
Both of you will have an easier time when separated or traveling together.
The last thing you want is to pen up your dog for long stretches of time. Your Frenchie needs to be part of your life.
There’s no doubt that there are better guard dog breeds out there if that’s primarily what you’re looking for.
However, if you desire a dog breed that offers companionship, then I’d highly recommend a Frenchie.
In most cases you can also count on him or her to let you know when the house is on fire or when a stranger approaches. I guess that means they can be quite good watch dogs, with the emphasis on watching and alerting you, rather than guarding you.
Did you know? French Bulldogs can be very good as therapy dogs, but not so much as service dogs. Here’s what I found out.