Do French Bulldogs Like to Cuddle? + Some Health Benefits!

do french bulldogs like to cuddle

Who doesn’t love a cuddle? Frenchies certainly do, as just like us humans they crave love and attention. Believe it or not, having a cuddle with your French Bulldog can actually be good for your mental health too. Read on to find out why French Bulldogs like to cuddle, what do when the love stops, and why cuddles are good for you and your pup.

Do French Bulldogs like to cuddle? Frenchies are very cuddly dogs. They have been bred to be a human companion breed and want to feel part of the pack. As you are the pack leader, they will crave the love and security they feel from getting close and warm to you when cuddling.

As Frenchie owners ourselves we know only too well how many cuddles Claude loves to give on a daily basis. When we don’t get cuddles or don’t feel loved, it can lead to anxiety, depression, and stress… for both you and your dog!

Our personal experience of French Bulldog cuddles

Are French Bulldogs cuddly? 100%, yes!

Every evening my wife and I will sit back and relax on the couch or bed to watch TV, and this is Claude’s cuddle time. You can see an example of a French Bulldog who love to cuddle in the photo below.

why do French Bulldogs like to cuddle
Why French Bulldogs love to cuddle is open to debate, but mainly they need love, security, and affection.

He loves nothing more than getting right into our personal space to keep warm and close to us. Sometimes it can be quite funny, particularly with my wife.

Claude loves to literally get right into her face and will try to sit on her chest to get as many cuddles as possible. He’s a stubborn boy and knows what he wants!

We also have a younger Frenchie puppy come visit us. She’s still very young and when a friend comes into our house will love nothing more than to get up on their lap to get cuddly and warm. You can see the puppy cuddling up in the photo below.

do French bulldogs cuddle
Frenchies loves cuddles as you can see when our friend came to visit.

Why are Frenchies so cuddly?

I cannot find any scientific explanation as to why Frenchies are so cuddly. I do have my own assumptions though.

I think it’s down to the way in which they have been bred. In the early days of breeding they were designed to be companions for lace makers during the industrial revolution.

Some people also say they used to protect children of the workers at this time. You can read more about Frenchie origins here.

The bottom line is this; French Bulldogs are cuddly dogs and love to be close to their owners. They need to be part of a pack, and you, the owner, are the leader who feeds and takes care of them.

How to cuddle your Frenchie properly

As I’ve established, most French Bulldogs are cuddly dogs.

But there’s a wrong way and a right way to cuddle a French Bulldog, and it all starts off with how you pick them up. As a general rule, dogs don’t like to be given large bear hugs or feel like they can’t get away from you.

If you wrap your arms around your Frenchie, they will feel constricted and trapped and could struggle. The best way to cuddle a Frenchie is to let them come to you.

They will typically either try and almost sit on you and get really close into your face, or want to sleep up against your body to feel the warmth and closeness.

For tips on how to pick up and hold a French Bulldog properly, read this guide or just watch the quick video I published on our YouTube channel (click to subscribe).

Are male or females cuddlier?

Male and female Frenchies can have slightly different personalities with some traits relatable to each gender. However, please take this with a large pinch of salt, as most of time, character will depend on up-bringing, training, and environmental factors.

But, if I was to apply a very generic and sweeping statement, I would say that male French Bulldogs like to cuddle more… and here’s why:

  • Males: can be more assertive, more playful, more mischievous.
  • Females: can be nippier, more attitude, shyer, more docile, moody, dominating, quicker to show aggression as a puppy.

However, these character traits are more common when the male hasn’t been neutered and the female hasn’t been spayed. Once the small operations have been done, the differences between male and females dramatically reduces.

To conclude, as long as the dog has been spayed or neutered there should be no difference between whether a male or female Frenchie likes to cuddle more.

Handy Hint: Read more about the differences between male and female Frenchies in this comprehensive guide to the genders. 

My French Bulldog won’t cuddle

If your French bulldog won’t cuddle, then it could be due to a number of reasons. For example, was your Frenchie a rescue dog? If so, it could have problems in being close with humans in the cuddling context and be fearful due to a prior bad experience.

With time and patience, you should be able to win the trust of your Frenchie and get him or her to cuddle up to you eventually.

frenchie loves cuddles
This Frenchie puppy loves to cuddle.

However, the more common issue is a French Bulldog who loves to cuddle but is now refusing to do so. This can be for a number of reasons.

  1. Injury and sickness: if your Frenchie is ill then it they might just want to be left alone. Consider that they may be in pain when you pick up and cuddle them.
  2. Older age: as dogs get older, they can become more independent. You can compare this to how teenagers don’t want to be fussed over anymore once they pass a certain age. Older dogs may also have aches and pains that mean they don’t like cuddling anymore.
  3. Stubbornness: perhaps your Frenchie is just stubborn? They are renowned as a stubborn breed and could be paying you back for leaving the house for a few hours, not playing with them, or some other perceived slight!
  4. Character: or it may just be that you have one of those rare French Bulldogs who don’t love to cuddle. All dogs have their own unique personalities.

What to do if your Frenchie has stopped cuddling

If you have checked for any health concerns and still can’t get your French Bulldog to start loving cuddles again, then don’t despair – you might be able to get the love and cuddles back!

Here are some things you can try to get them all loveable again.

  • Give your Frenchie’s ear a gentle rub.
  • Encourage them over with a treat.
  • Exercise them to burn off any excess energy.
  • Rub and itch their belly.

If they still need their space, then respect that and let them come to you when the time is right.

The benefits of cuddling your Frenchie

I earlier alluded to the fact that cuddling your dog can actually be good for you. Believe it or not, there’s even scientific research to back this claim up.

Studies have shown that:

  1. People who own dogs are less prone to depression and stress.
  2. People who own dogs have lower blood pressure.
  3. People who cuddle dogs are less at risk of strokes.
  4. People who cuddle and play with dogs increase serotonin levels in their brain.
  5. People who own dogs are less prone to heart disease.
  6. People aged 65 and over with dogs visit the doctors less often.

And cuddles are good for your dog too.

French Bulldogs can suffer with depression (click here if your Frenchie is sad) and even separation anxiety. Cuddles with their owner will help make your Frenchie feel more secure and loved.

By cuddling your Frenchie, you can also be a lot more in tune with their overall health. To give you an example, I was cuddling Claude last week and noticed a small lump on his back. Thankfully it was nothing serious, but at least I was able to diagnose any potential problem.

Should your dog sleep in your bed? 

The most common place that Claude likes to cuddle up with us is in bed. We will let him sleep on the bed with us for a few hours in the evening before he goes downstairs to his own bed.

But, there’s a lot of debate as to whether a dog should sleep in your bed at all, especially all night and under the covers.

So, what it the right answer?

I don’t have an opinion on this as I am not a vet. However, I did find a great article online from the American Kennel Club (read in full) written by a qualified veterinarian. Here are some take outs from what the expert says:

“There are some health concerns related to co-sleeping with your dog. Human allergies can be aggravated, for example. There is also the risk of transmission of disease, from both the dog to the human and the human to the dog. However, such transmission is rare. Quality of sleep can also be affected. Previous studies have shown that owners sharing a bed with their pet report greater sleep disturbances than people whose pets did not sleep in their bed.” 

Despite those caveats, the vet went on to say that is the dog is well-behaved, it’s very unlikely that you will experience any health risks from cuddling up and sleeping together at night.

If anything, night-time cuddles will keep your dog happy, and increase the good bond between the owner and the hound.


Frenchies are a very cuddly breed of dog and it’s certainly one of the amazing benefits to owning one. Claude has become an extension to our family, and just like we have family cuddles with our young son, we also have our Frenchie join in too. He loves it and we love it too.

If you want to read more about Frenchies and what the pros and cons to owning one is, take a look at this list of the positives (and negatives) to having a French Bulldog.

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Whilst we’re on the subject of love, affection, and cuddly behaviour, you might also be interested in these other guides on the French Bulldog Owner website.

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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