One of the more common questions that potential new Frenchie owners will ask is what are the differences between a male and female French Bulldog? For example, do their personalities differ, is one easier to train than another, is one more aggressive, or affectionate, and are there health differences?
We own a male Frenchie called Claude and often have his female pal Lola come to stay with us. Unlike other websites written by people who don’t own Frenchies, I am perfectly placed to tell you exactly which is better; a male or female French Bulldog.
In this guide you will find a lot of personal opinion and anecdotal evidence on the French Bulldog male versus female debate, but also some scientific evidence to back up what I am saying.
However, there is one huge caveat. Frenchies are a product of their environment, training, diet, and genetics. The differences I list between the genders here should not be applied to all Frenchies. Every single doggy in the world will be different to another.
French Bulldog differences in male vs female
Before I get into the detail on the range of differences you might expect to see between a female versus a male Frenchie, here’s a very generic overview on how they compare physically with some pros and cons.
What is the difference between male and female French Bulldogs? Male Frenchies have larger heads and a bigger physical frame. On average a male will weigh between 2 and 4 pounds more than a female. Males are also more prone to health issues than females.
French Bulldog male vs female
Physical appearance (size and weight comparison)
The differences in size between a male and female Frenchie isn’t huge, and many females will often mirror their male counterparts. We’re dealing in very small differences in truth.
Here’s the difference in size and weight between a male and female French Bulldog based on averages:
- Male average weight and height: 20 to 28 pounds weight / 11 to 12 inches high.
- Female average weight and height: 16 to 24 pounds / 10 to 11 inches high.
You will also notice that males have larger heads than the females and can be much stockier in appearance. For example, Claude our male is all muscle, whereas his friend Lola the female is very slim and slight looking.
Without wanting to tar all Frenchies with the same brush, there are some typical characteristic differences in personality between male and female French Bulldogs.
Here are some words that other Frenchie owners have used to describe the personality differences and pros or cons of a female versus a male French Bulldog.
- Males: more assertive, more playful, more mischievous.
- Females: nippier, more attitude, shyer, more docile, moody, dominating, quicker to show aggression as a puppy.
However, let me place a large disclaimer around those statements. These are typical comments, and in fact the personality of a Frenchie very much depends on how they have been raised, trained, and the environment they live in.
There’s also another HUGE factor which comes into play: The differences in personality between a male and female French Bulldog drop to virtually zero once they are spayed and neutered.
This is why it’s so important to make sure you have the female spayed and the male neutered. It will make for a far better pet in your home, and also negates a lot of negative and aggressive personality traits in both sexes.
Neutered and spayed dogs have fewer health problems, won’t dirty the floor as much or try to mate with your leg. They also won’t have mood swings during periods of heat or be at risk of running away.
However, having spoken to breeders as part of my research into the are male or female Frenchies better debate, there were a few key take-outs regards neutering and spaying.
“The male French Bulldogs we have raised and put to stud can be more aggressive than the female when the females are in heat. This can sometimes occur even if the boy has been neutered and the female has been spayed, so it’s not a hard and fast rule.”
“All of our Frenchies have unique personalities and once they have had their small operations, we don’t see any differences between male and females. The only time I do see a big personality difference in the sexes is with our females who are in their heat cycle and are still intact”
Are male French Bulldogs aggressive?
From what I have researched regarding spaying and heat cycles in female French Bulldogs, you might assume that the female of the species is the more aggressive sex.
Again, there is no hard and fast rule here.
Speaking from personal experience, when Lola the puppy has come to stay with us, she has shown far more aggression than our male Claude. However, Lola hasn’t yet been spayed, so perhaps that could be the issue here.
Some owners of male Frenchies I spoke to mention their boys displaying alpha male behaviour. This aggression manifests itself in the dog believing it’s the dominant force, and that includes being in charge of the owners.
In cases such as this, it’s almost entirely down to the way in which the Frenchie has been trained. I wrote a guide on how to stop a French Bulldog from biting which goes through 13 different methods which can curb aggressive tendencies in both males and females.
So, to conclude, are male French Bulldogs more aggressive? In my experience it’s not the case, and that seems to be backed up by what breeders say about heat cycles in the females.
Here are some quotes from other owners I spoke to on social media about the male versus female Frenchie differences regarding aggression and biting.
“My husband and I are breeders of Frenchies and have to say that the female puppies we have are always nippier and more bitey. But they definitely do grow out of this biting phase.”
“I have to agree with my friend that the females we have owned and raised have been bitchier than the males. Our current boy is a lot mellower and relaxed, but like other people say he can be more badly behaved in a loveable mischievous way.”
“As an owner of 3 Frenchies, 2 female, 1 male I can 100% say that the females are far feistier than the males. The girls always seem up for a nip as puppies!”
Is there any evidence on which gender is easier to train? I can’t find any, so only have anecdotal evidence to go on.
The bottom line is; Frenchies can take a long time to house train. If I remember it took us 8 months to get Claude potty trained before he stopped peeing on the kitchen floor.
Lola the female is now approaching 8 months old and she is now starting to get potty training at a similar age to Claude. You can read my guide to potty training which we used with our male.
I also read on a web forum that male Frenchies take longer to house train properly, but with my limited experience I’ve not seen this.
The forum poster said that male Frenchies are harder to train as they are more mischievous and have alpha male mentality with the owner during their puppy phase.
How neutering and spaying can make a difference to training
With training in mind, I wanted to come back onto the neutering and spaying topic, as this can play a large part in the personality of your Frenchie. It applies for both male and female French Bulldogs.
The established opinion of dog owners the world over is that once a female is spayed and male neutered, they are easier to train. This quick medical procedure can change the dog’s personality to be less aggressive and moody.
The by-product of this is that the Frenchie should be easier to train.
With less hormones to deal with, your French Bulldog’s temper will be placed into check. This applies to other Frenchies you might meet as well.
For example, if you have a female who is in heat, you might have to deal with other males paying her close attention. This attention could result in unwanted behavioural issues, including aggression from the boys.
Female Frenchies in heat are also prone to be more aggressive.
Plus, with a female who hasn’t been spayed, you will experience the traditional bloody discharge on your carpets and couches.
Get your dog spayed or neutered, and you will have a far better-behaved pet suitable to your home and family, whether it’s male or female.
One of big deciding factors over whether to choose a female or male Frenchie will be potential health problems. If you have a Frenchie more prone to health problems there will not only be cost implications, but also potential heartache down the road.
And here’s where it’s gets very interesting; male French Bulldogs do appear to be more inclined to have health issues than their female counterparts.
This finding was published by the Royal Veterinary College in the UK who said that “male French Bulldogs also appeared to be less healthy than females” in the study from 2018 (view website).
The research analysed the health records of over two thousand French Bulldogs in England, Wales, and Scotland. Overall it will come as no surprise to you to hear that more than 70% of Frenchies will encounter some health problem in the first 12 months of their life.
What you might find more surprising though is how much the health can differ when comparing a French Bulldog male versus a female.
Handy Hint: To see what health problems your male or female French Bulldog may suffer from during their lifetime, check out this list of 31 potential issues.
Here’s a quote from the press release regarding the Frenchie gender health comparison:
“One of the interesting findings from our research is that male French Bulldogs appear to be less healthy than females. Males were more likely to get 8 of the 26 most common health problems while there were no issues that females were more likely to get than males.”
I examined the data from the research and created a comparison table which shows how health problems compare with male and female Frenchies.
As you can see, in the majority of cases, the health problem is more common in the male. In fact, of the 26 health issues listed here, the female Frenchie only rates higher in 4 of them.
|Fine-level disorder||Count||Female prevalence %||Male prevalence %|
|Skin fold dermatitis||66||2.6%||3.3%|
|Anal sac impaction||64||3.1%||2.7%|
|Upper respiratory tract (URT) infection||61||2.1%||3.3%|
|Prolapsed nictitans gland||57||2.4%||2.7%|
|Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS)||54||1.4%||3.4%|
|Infectious canine tracheobronchitis||47||2.2%||2.0%|
|Upper respiratory tract (URT) disorder||47||1.4%||2.7%|
Is this comparison enough of a pro and cons to make you choose a female over a male? I will let you decide that.
If you’re in the decision-making process right now and are trying to decide whether to choose a male or female French Bulldog, then the difference in cost could be a factor.
Why are female French Bulldogs more expensive? Some breeders will charge more for a female. The reason-being, you could choose to breed her. Some unscrupulous owners will buy an expensive female with the only aim of making some money through selling her puppies.
I don’t recommend this.
However, if you do own a female Frenchie and want to breed her it will also cost a lot more than owning a male. Frenchies breed typically via artificial insemination.
There are also the costs of a c-section to consider, as the females cannot give birth naturally. I’ve outlined what you might to pay for a Caesarean section elsewhere on the blog.
As I’ve established already, males are more prone to health problems so that could also present increased costs should you decide to buy a boy over a girl.
Are male or female Frenchies more intelligent? I honestly cannot give you a definitive answer on this one, as I can’t find any published research from any reputable organisations.
However, based purely on anecdotal evidence and from first-hand experience, female French Bulldogs do appear to be more intelligent.
Please do take this statement with a pinch of salt though as it’s only based on owning a male (Claude) and frequently having his female friend (Lola) to stay.
When Lola stays with us, she seems to have the upper hand over Claude in terms of decision-making skills, advance planning, and even devious and manipulative behaviour.
By that I mean there have been times where she will eat her food quicker than Claude so she can then get to his bowl. Or she might be naughty and then start being all submissive and “puppy dog eyes” at us to win us over.
It could well be just her personality rather than being a key indicator of the differences between male and female French Bulldogs though!
Do male and female Frenchies get along?
If you can’t decide which is better, a male or female French Bulldog then I would recommend getting a pair. Two Frenchies are always better than one as they are:
- Social pack animals.
- Can be companions to each other.
- Keep each other fit and healthy.
- Can act as role models to each other.
- Can help reduce separation anxiety.
- Can be left alone longer.
I’ve written in depth about how Frenchies are better in pairs. Take a look at that to read the pros and cons to owing two in more depth.
But, should you mix the sexes?
From personal experience of looking after Lola the female Frenchie, her and Claude the male play together extremely well. The only issue we do have is her puppy-like over exuberance which can tire Claude out.
As long as both have been spayed and neutered, there’s no reason to not mix the two together.
In fact, some breeders say that they have had two females who can’t stand the sight of each other and will constantly battle. I’ve heard similar stories about owning two males who can act out their alpha male behaviour with each other.
My opinion on this is that opposite sex dogs get on better together in a pair than same sex relationships. Having seen a male versus female French Bulldog relationship in our own home, they appear to interact very well together.
How your gender might matter
And another thing; it’s not just the gender of your Frenchie you should consider. When choosing a male or female French Bulldog plus the pros and cons, think about your own gender.
For example, if you are male, then perhaps a female Frenchie will be better. If you are female, perhaps a male Frenchie will be better.
According to a well-renowned author and dog trainer “female dogs sometimes develop deeper relationships with male humans” versus female humans, and vice versa.
On the DailyPuppy.com website I read the following explainer:
“Male dogs too often get along famously with humans of the opposite sex. This too might be related to traits that are common in the sexes. Some male dogs become extremely watchful over their female owners, in attempts to shield them from possible dangers. When female humans are pregnant and nursing, this relationship with male dogs is sometimes intensified.”
Whilst there doesn’t appear to be any scientific evidence to either confirm or deny this claim, I’ve come across many dog owners who swear it’s true.
I’ve often seen female Frenchies gravitate towards me, and male Frenchies tend to want to be closer to my wife.
Training is key to personality and behaviour
There have been some heavy generalisations in this guide to the pros and cons of a male or female French Bulldog. It’s important to remember that not all dogs will fit into this blanket approach as training and upbringing is so important.
Factors such as socialisation, how they were treated as puppies, their diet, security, love and affection will dramatically influence a Frenchie’s temperament; be they male or female.
It doesn’t matter if you have a male or female French Bulldog. Ultimately as it’s down to the level of care and training you put into the dog that matters.
With training, diet, care, and attention, you will have a happy Frenchie. They show their happiness in many different ways, some of which you can read about here.
Genetics can also play a large part
There’s one last thing that can also influence whether you choose a male or female French Bulldog; genetics.
This factor alone can completely negate the argument over whether male or female Frenchies are better… and it’s something you should check when buying your dog.
Let me explain.
The upbringing and breeding of a Frenchie’s previous generations can play a huge part in how they behave. For example, many breeders will tell you that the personality of a mother and even a grandmother, can have a big impact on the personality of the new puppy.
Here’s what a couple of breeders told me whilst I was researching male versus female French Bulldogs.
“One of our most beloved males was the type of Frenchie who got along with everybody. He was never aggressive and the most friendly and loving dog you could ever meet. We are now two generations down with him, and every male since has had the same characteristics. It’s lovely to see, and we see a little bit of our old boy in ever new litter that comes along.”
“We breed a female who absolutely cannot stand other smaller dogs. All of her offspring have inherited this exact same trait. It’s weird to see but makes me think that genetics is very important and passes down to puppies from their mother.”
Which is better, a male or female French Bulldog?
Which gender should you choose?
So, it’s decision time over whether to choose a female or male Frenchie. Has this article helped you understand which is better with the comparisons I’ve attempted to make?
Probably not, and there’s a reason for that which has been the recurring theme through this guide; individual personality.
I believe that you get what you put into a dog and how it’s going to adapt and grow with your family. They are amazing family dogs, and particularly good with kids.
Obviously, there are some things that are outside of your control such as genetics and how the puppy was treated by the breeder, so what can you do and how do you make your mind up?
Well, firstly to help you out I’ve put together a guide of what to look out for when buying a Frenchie puppy. Please read that and take your time to take it all in.
One aspect I didn’t cover in that guide was the differences between male and female Frenchies. Personally, I don’t have a preference as long as the dog has had been spayed or neutered when the time is right.
And when you do see your possible puppy, choose the one that is in the middle range of behaviour and character in the litter. In other words, not the smallest, not the feistiest, and not the most docile.
All French Bulldogs, whether male or female will have their own unique personality. I really don’t believe that gender plays a massive part. A male or a female Frenchie is not better, it’s all about the dog.
Above all, please make sure that you are set-up to have a Frenchie in your home. It’s hard work, and here are the pros and cons to owning one.
Be prepared for your life to be turned upside down… in a good way!