There is nothing quite as satisfying as knowing with certainty that your French Bulldog loves you. But if you’re new to owning dogs, this may not always be so obvious. After all, a dog can’t just walk up to you and say what they’re thinking.
There’s also the consideration that Frenchies don’t have the most expressive of faces. Yes, they can do a slight smile, but they can’t wag a tail and don’t have the range of expressions other dogs will have.
However, Frenchies do have their own special way of letting you know how they’re feeling, and if you’re attuned to their behavior and body language, you’ll quickly be seeing the little signs of their affection everywhere.
Are French Bulldogs affectionate?
French Bulldogs are renowned as being affectionate. They are lap dogs that love nothing more than having human company and will show their love and affection in many different ways.
If you scroll further down you can see some of the top ways in which French Bulldog love is displayed.
Are French Bulldogs cuddly?
Do French Bulldogs like to cuddle? It’s a resounding yes, and throughout this blog post you will see various photos of Frenchies cuddling into my wife. To find our more about cuddling, check out this longer blog post.
French Bulldog cuddles are just one of the many ways in which a Frenchie will show affection and love to their owner. Keep scrolling to read the other signs of love.
How do French Bulldogs show love?
So, with that said, how are some of the ways that a Frenchie shows you love?
1. Wiggly bums and tails (almost!)
Perhaps one of the most universal indicators of happiness and affection among dogs would be a wagging tail. This is a little more subtle in Frenchie’s owing to how short their tails are, but they will still express this sign in their own quirky little way.
While other breeds will display a very distinct wagging from side to side, an affectionate Frenchie’s tail will wiggle or shake as they greet you.
If they’re really excited to see you, their whole lower body can get in on the action, resulting in their little hips swaying so much they struggle to stay balanced.
I call it the “bum wiggle” and it’s one sure-fire way of recognizing French Bulldog love!
2. Following you like a shadow
Once you have earned your Frenchie’s trust, you will find that they begin to follow you around like a shadow, trailing behind you with their distinctive panting. You will find with time that your little Frenchie will want to follow you everywhere, even to the bathroom if you let them!
This is a breed that can become especially attached to their owners and are more susceptible to separation anxiety.
Handy Hint: For more details on French Bulldog separation anxiety read this guide to what the symptoms are and how you can start to leave your Frenchie alone at home for longer periods of time if needed.
If your Frenchie likes to follow you around, they take a great deal of comfort in your presence, and it’s also their way of trying to protect you in their own way.
There’s no doubt about it; if your dog follows you everywhere it’s an indication of a French Bulldog love affair!
3. Sloppy kisses on your face
Frenchies will happily show their affection for you by giving you big, sloppy kisses. Although this is behavior that you may want to train your dog out of, especially if they have a habit of jumping up and licking your mouth, this is nonetheless a clear indicator that they love and respect you.
You might want to start brushing your dog’s teeth if they do this a lot. After all, whilst your French Bulldog love might be adorable, their breath might not be so.
4. Bringing you toys
If you find that your Frenchie keeps bringing you toys, this is another way that they are showing you love and affection. This is especially true if they insist on bringing you their favourite toy.
This is their way of acknowledging you as the pack leader, and by offering you some of their most loved toys, they are not only showing you that they trust you to take care of their most precious possessions, but this is also an indicator that they are trying to share these toys with you, hoping that you will like them just as much as they do.
Think of this like their little gift to you and just one of the special ways a French Bulldog will show you love.
5. Contagious yawning
If you’ve ever noticed a friend or family member yawning when you do, this is a biological response triggered by biological empathy, resulting in this type of contagious yawning. However, a recent study indicates that dogs do the same thing.
A study from 2008 demonstrates that dogs are more likely to engage in this contagious yawning with their owners, but will not do so with strangers (source: Scientific American).
If you catch your Frenchie yawning along with you, it’s another small way of showing you that they love and trust you.
6. Puppy dog eyes
Although direct and prolonged eye contact between dogs is a sign of aggression, this is not the case when your dog is making eye contact with you.
Studies have shown that when you make this type of eye contact with your pet dog, that the love chemical oxytocin is released not only in your brain, but in the brain of your dog as well (source: National Geographic).
For some context, this is the same chemical that is released during parent-child bonding, so if your Frenchie is making eye contact, this is their way of telling you just how much they love you.
7. Raised eyebrows
This is a more subtle indicator, but a recent study from Japan has shown that when owners walk into the same room as their dog, that the dog will raise their eyebrows (source: Daily Mail).
However, they will not do this if a stranger walks in. So next time you step into the same room as your Frenchie, keep an eye out for those expressive eyebrows; it’s a sure sign that they love you.
8. Jumping up
Although a lot of owners will train this behavior out of their dogs, jumping up is nonetheless another way that your Frenchie will show affection.
When you first get home from work and you find your Frenchie pacing at the door and jumping up to meet you, it’s their way of showing you how excited they are, but it’s also their way of trying to get closer to your face so they can give you a good sniff.
A small word of warning though. Yes, jumping up can be an adorable habit when your Frenchie is a puppy. But as the dog gets older it could become problematic.
We put together a short guide which explains to you how you can stop a French Bulldog jumping up if it becomes more of a concern.
9. Leaning into you and cuddling
There are a number of reasons why a dog might lean on you, and all of them indicate trust and affection. Your Frenchie may lean on you because they are nervous of a new person or environment, but if they do this it’s because they trust you and see you as someone who can protect and comfort them.
Additionally, your Frenchie may lean on you because they want you to do something for them, or they may just be leaning on you because they want to be close to you.
Whatever the reason, it’s a huge sign of love and affection from your Frenchie, and it means they view you as someone safe.
10. Nudging you
This one is a little less common but can be another sweet way that your Frenchie is trying to communicate their affection and showing how much they love you.
If you find your Frenchie giving you a soft nudge with their nose after you come home from work, this is their way of greeting you home.
You may also find them nudging you if they want you to give them attention, or to do something for them. This is especially true if you’ve just finished giving them affection and they follow this up with a little nudge.
It’s their way of telling you not to stop!
11. Rolling over
Another way that your Frenchie may show you affection and love is by rolling over for a good belly rub.
This will typically happen when you are already showing them affection, but either way this playful display of submission is a huge compliment as it means they view you as someone safe, and they trust you enough to expose their most vulnerable parts.
With our own Frenchie Claude he will often roll on his back in the presence of other dogs. When he does this I see it as a sign of him being submissive so the other dog knows that he is safe and ready to play with.
12. Sleeping close to you
Some owners prefer to train their dogs to sleep on the floor or even in another room, but if your Frenchie is trying to join you on the bed or prefers sleeping in your room, this is another massive indicator that they love you.
Frenchie’s are notoriously clingy dogs, so it’s best not to let this behavior get out of control if it starts causing you issues, but it is nonetheless a heart-warming sign of their loyalty and affection for you.
As an extension of this, being able to nod off easily around you and going out of their way to sleep near you means they not only trust you and view you as someone safe, but it also shows that they view you as family.
Although French Bulldogs do not bark much and make perfect pets for people who live in apartment complexes because of how quiet they are, Frenchies are nonetheless notoriously vocal, and will have a wide assortment of unique sounds that will give you some indication of how they feel.
One sound that shows that your Frenchie is happy to be around you is a contented sign or low moan, accompanied by half closed eyes and them settling into a more comfortable position.
This is another big sign that your Frenchie loves you, and views you as someone trustworthy and safe.
14. Smiling at you
Frenchies can smile! Whilst it’s not the broad smile a Labrador might do, you can still see them grinning.
I’ve put together a short gallery of photos of the best smiling French Bulldogs which will give you more of an insight into this sign of love and affection.
How to make a French Bulldog love you?
As with any dog breed, you get what you put in. If you care and love your Frenchie, he or she will reciprocate that affection back to you.
If you are worried that your Frenchie might be unhappy, I’ve put together some signs to look out for. You can read those in my guide to French Bulldog happiness.
Claude the Frenchie shows us love all the time. If you decide to get a French Bulldog, love will be a constant feature as well as the cuddles, snuggling, and general affection.
One thing though; keeping a Frenchie isn’t easy and shouldn’t be something that you rush into.
To help you make a decision, please read this guide on the best age to get a Frenchie puppy. It includes some notes on what to look out for when buying from a breeder (and even more advice on buying here).
I’ve also explained other behavioral traits related to affection and love, including: