As you might have guessed, this website is all about French Bulldogs. We own one, and we love him. He gets on great with our 6-year-old son and is pretty much his best friend (you can see video below). So, what I am going to tell you will have a heavy bias.
But I think you will find that most of what I say about French Bulldogs getting along with children is quite a universally accepted point of view amongst owners.
Are French Bulldogs good with kids? French Bulldogs are good with children in the main. Frenchies have a reputation for little barking, low aggression, cuddliness, and also protectiveness of their owners. They were bred to be human companion dogs, and this is seen in the way they behave with young kids and toddlers.
Of course, there will also be rogue dogs out there and exceptions to the rule. But most of the time this is down to how their owners have brought them up and trained them.
If you have small kids or perhaps have a baby on the way and are worried about how a French Bulldog will fit into this family dynamic, please read on (the babies section and concerns over how safe this will be is lower down the page).
I am going to try and answer as many questions and concerns that you might have about how well French Bulldogs get on with kids, are they safe with babies, and more!
Take the time to read though this post as once you’ve read it, I think you will have a better idea on how French Bulldogs are good with kids, and the experiences your children might have with a dog in their life.
Why Frenchies are good for kids
Has your kid been begging you for a Frenchie? Perhaps you’re in two minds about whether or not to get a dog for your family?
We are firm believers that French Bulldogs are good with small and young kids. Claude came into our life when our son was just 3 years old, and here are just some of the reasons why my wife and I don’t regret the decision for one moment.
1. Frenchies are easy going and good natured
The easy-going nature of French Bulldogs make them ideal for kids, because, let’s face it, young kids can sometimes unknowingly be rough.
When our son was 3, he used to pull Claude around a lot. Our Frenchie never reacted, never bit, never growled, and never barked.
He would put up with a lot, and not once did he react badly like some dog breeds might.
We trust our Frenchie implicitly around children.
The only downside I can think of is that Frenchies can get easily excited. I took Claude for a walk at the park once and he jumped up at a toddler to play with him. The kid was knocked to the ground and I had an unhappy parent to apologise to, but it wasn’t a malicious act on our dog’s part.
Handy Hint: Find out how we trained Claude to stop jumping up as it was starting to become a little bit of a problem for us.
With that being said though, you will still have to always supervise children with dogs. This even goes for the softest natured animals such as the Frenchie breed.
A child might hurt a dog by accident and a dog could snap back as a reaction to protect itself. So always be around your small kids and their beloved pet, especially with younger children. It’s pays to be on the safe side at all times.
2. Frenchies can teach kids responsibility
One of the most interesting factors about having Claude in our family is the responsibility it has given our young son.
If your child would like a puppy, then this is a good way for your child to learn to look after another being. They will have to feed their puppy, give them water, bath them and play with them.
Our son has grown up with certain chores and tasks he needs to do in order to take care of our French Bulldog.
- Feeding our dog in the morning and late afternoon.
- Taking our dog out for walks with us.
- Making sure our dog is ok and giving him plenty of love and attention.
3. Frenchies can be your child’s playmate
My wife and I have one child. He was aged around 3 when Claude first arrived in our life (see what the best age to get a Frenchie is). We don’t plan on having any more kids and we sometimes refer to Claude as our son’s little brother!
And that’s not too far from the truth.
We will often find our French Bulldog and son playing together and keeping each other entertained. It really is like having another kid and has keep our son busy for hours at a time over a weekend.
Frenchies don’t like being left alone (view the signs of separation anxiety) so to have a child companion is amazing for them.
In fact, studies have shown that having a dog helps prevent loneliness and depression in humans too (view source: Psychology Today). I remember talking to my dog as a kid when I was mad at my parents. Dogs also always want to play and be rubbed all of the time.
Your child will have a best buddy for life. A child will always feel wanted around their dog.
Frenchies can also be very protective too. We’ve seen that with our son as when visitors come to the house, Claude will want to sit on our child’s lap (here’s more on how protective French Bulldogs can be).
Whilst Frenchies aren’t huge barkers, they will be very protective of their families (see how Frenchies show love). They might alert you to an intruder by barking when they can sense something weird is going on – this is great for peace of mind when your child is out of sight.
You can see the first time our son and Frenchie met in the video below.
4. Frenchies don’t bark a lot and aren’t scary
Another thing which I love about Frenchies, is that they don’t bark a lot. This means they can be really good with kids who might be scared of dogs due to a previously bad experience.
The lack of barking also reflects well in their lack of aggression. We’ve never had a situation where our French Bulldog was aggressive towards our child… but please be aware, not all dogs are going to be the same.
Another reason why this low-level barking can help is for those people reading this and wondering whether French Bulldogs good with babies or not (read more about this later on).
For example, let’s say you have spent a good solid hour trying to get a crying baby to sleep. The last thing you need is a loud dog barking to wake up the baby.
Frenchies aren’t scary and love being around kids and toddlers.
5. Frenchies keep kids fit
If you already own a Frenchie, you will already know that some of them are clowns in tiny and stocky bodies. Others are lazy couch potatoes, and some are just the sweetest of fur balls.
However, there is one thing that all Frenchies have in common. They can be hectic for certain periods in the day!
They are wonderfully playful and love to chase a ball, even after they have grown out of the puppy stage. These gorgeous pooches also enjoy leisurely strolls but nothing too strenuous, as they can overheat very easily.
This means they can help to keep your kids fit, and at just the right level too. French Bulldogs will have bursts of energy for around 15 minutes and then want to take a nap.
This not too strenuous activity is ideal for younger kids. It’s not too much, and it’s not too little so with the play and walking, your Frenchie could help to keep your kids fitter and healthier.
In fact, studies have shown that people who have dogs exercise more than those without (view source: Active.com). This makes sense, as you will need to take your dog for walks regularly.
Studies have also shown that kids who are exposed to pets from small are less prone to allergies and asthma (view source: Independent.co.uk).
You can see a video of one of those fun tests below which gave our son and Frenchie both their allotted exercise for the day!
6. Frenchies can help reduce anxiety
Perhaps you have an anxious child, or one who lacks in confidence?
There are many dogs that have been used as therapy dogs to reduce anxiety and depression in people. In fact, French Bulldogs make for amazing therapy dogs for emotional support. Some hospitals and schools even have them visit.
When your child feels anxious a cuddle from their favorite pup, or a hello lick, can release a hormone called oxytocin in your child and this helps to calm the nervous system.
Oxytocin is also known as the love hormone.
Are French Bulldogs good with babies?
As with any dog, bringing a puppy home when you have children might be a better idea, as your puppy will grow up around children and get used to them.
But what about babies?
We’ve all seen those horror reports in the press about babies being attacked by jealous dogs, sometimes with fatal consequences, so would a French Bulldog be good with a baby in your house?
I guess it all depends.
But the bottom line is, you need to be ultra-cautious at all times as you never know how a dog might react.
Are French Bulldogs safe with babies? French Bulldogs can be good with babies as they are a very placid and cuddly breed. However, no matter what the breed, you should never leave a baby alone with a French Bulldog and be cautious at all times.
So that’s the scary answer out of the way, but let’s get into a bit more detail with an email someone sent me a couple of weeks ago.
“Recently I was having fabulous (sarcasm) bouts of nausea, fatigue and mood swings. Thinking that there was something really wrong with, I went for blood tests and to my utter surprise and ecstatic happiness, I found out that we were expecting! The only thing that I was worried about was how would my gorgeous French Bulldog, Abbie, react to a new baby. Luckily, she is still a puppy. I have no idea if Frenchies are good with babies. My Frenchie is our baby, so how will she react to a new little being on her turf?”
The response I sent to my friend went something like this.
French Bulldogs can be very possessive of their owners, and I have heard of problems happening when a baby arrives on the scene and takes the attention away from the dog.
You might find that the dog freaks out every time your baby cries, or it could demand more attention from you and become destructive.
However, this is all based on anecdotal evidence having spoken to Frenchie owners. Some had no problems at all, others did experience issues for a while.
Interesting, none of the French Bulldog owners I spoke to experienced aggression towards a baby, but that’s not to say it won’t happen.
The best thing to do is to take your Frenchie to obedience classes from a young age. If you never took your French Bulldog to puppy school, that’s ok. It is never too late to train your dog.
Start introducing your older Frenchie to kids in a controlled environment if they have never had exposure to children before.
See how your dog is around children, toddlers, and babies. Try to expose them to children as often as you can.
Or if you’re adopting an older Frenchie, first see how he is with your family.
With all this being said though, older Frenchies get along with kids. They were bred for companionship and they love being with their families.
The bottom line is; don’t take any risks.
Despite the fact I have never heard of French Bulldogs not being safe with babies, every case will be completely different as dog’s have individual characters.
Handy Hint: I just wrote a new blog post about why French Bulldogs love to cuddle and the health benefits it can bring both you and your dog.
Are there any negatives of having dogs and children?
As with any dog, you will have to always supervise them around your small children. This is to make sure that everyone stays safe and happy.
Puppies also have really sharp teeth, that could hurt whilst playing and small kids could fall on top of your puppy, hurting it.
Whilst I have fully promoted French Bulldogs being good with kids, and possibly to an extent with babies and toddlers, it isn’t always easy.
Here are some downsides to having French Bulldogs and kids in the same house.
It’s hard work
Having a French Bulldog puppy and children can be hard work. You as the parent are in charge of taking care of them, and young puppies can be just as challenging as having toddlers in the house.
There is the poop to clean up, puddles in the house, shedding and so on. Some puppies also bite furniture and your kids’ toys.
We’ve had lots of tears in our house when Claude has chewed up one of our son’s toys…
Some dogs will also dig up gardens and flower beds (here’s how to stop it), this is true of most dogs.
If you are a bit OCD about your home staying neat all the time with no mess, then combining the chaos of a French Bulldog and kids might not be the best option for your family.
You will also need to exercise your Frenchie regularly. Even if you have had a long day at work, your best friend still needs at least an hour of play or exercise, such as walking which can be tough if you have young children to deal with.
Can you give a dog and your child the time and attention they will both need?
French Bulldogs can be expensive
We all know how expensive it is to raise children, and it’s the same with French Bulldogs. They come with a range of health issues that you might be unlucky enough to have to pay for treatment on.
If you do decide to get a Frenchie, you will then have to factor in extra expenses. You will need to buy dog food, grooming products, and there will also be vet bills.
If you go on holiday, you will need a doggy sitter. You won’t be able to just up and leave, you will have to find someone responsible to take care of your beloved pooch.
Can you afford all of this as a parent on top of childcare and family expenses? It’s worth thinking about before you take the plunge into dog ownership.
Dogs are not good for allergy sufferers
Young kids and babies are more prone to getting ill. Despite what you might have heard, French Bulldogs are not hypoallergenic.
Frenchies shed a lot of hair (you can see how much in this video) so won’t be a good for kids and babies who might suffer with allergies and asthma type illnesses.
You will have to say goodbye eventually
The sad thing is that dogs don’t live as long as we do. Most dogs live up to 15 years old. The same goes for Frenchies who live between 10 and 14 years.
Saying goodbye to a beloved pet is one of the most heart-breaking experiences that you will ever have to deal with.
Think about this, particularly if you are adopting an older French Bulldog. You might have to go through this pain with a younger child who might not cope too well with the bereavement.
Frenchies are wonderful companions for small children. There are so many videos on the internet of Frenchies with babies, toddlers, and kids. In fact, if you subscribe to our YouTube channel you see lots of examples of our Frenchie being good with kids and toddlers.
If you do decide to choose a French Bulldog as a companion for your child please remember that it will be hard work and is a long commitment. They become part of your family.
Be assured though, that if you do decide to get a Frenchie, your child will have a best friend for many wonderful years to come.
That’s our personal experience anyway.
To conclude, French Bulldogs are good with kids of all ages, particularly if they have been raised together as puppies and children as ours have.
The Frenchies sturdy build and small size, make wonderful playmates for children. Frenchies are also easy going with a gentle nature.
As a final point, if you are thinking about getting a Frenchie, please read this guide to what to look for when meeting with a breeder. It will help you increase the chances of getting a healthy and happy puppy.
Handy Hint: If you are worried about your Frenchie biting your child, read this training guide on how to stop fear and aggression biting.