French Bulldogs are loyal pets – no wonder they are AKC’s #2 most popular breed of 2020. They are also versatile canines that can thrive in almost every living setup. But we can’t help but wonder: are French Bulldogs protective? Can they become guard dogs?
We’ve received this question a few times, and as Frenchie owners, we feel obliged to answer. Below, I discussed how much of a protector a Frenchie could be and what you can do to train your dog as an effective guard dog.
Are French Bulldogs protective?
Frenchies have a territorial and protective nature. They can excel as guard dogs but not as watchdogs. A Frenchie will bark and alert their owners of an intruder, but you can’t expect them to attack the burglar. Given their small size, this is more than reasonable.
Nevertheless, here are some characteristics of French Bulldogs that make them somewhat of a guard dog. Still, it’s important to put your expectation of your Frenchie on the right level.
✔️Small dog, big protector
Many dub French Bulldogs as small dogs but big protectors. While many are very friendly, some are raised with a sense of aloofness toward strangers.
You can train your dog to bark in the presence of a stranger at the door or when the doorbell rings. Many Frenchies will also bark whenever they hear a noise or smell something they can’t recognize.
✔️They are clingy and loyal.
French Bulldogs love staying by their owners’ side. They also tend to become protective of their owners in the face of a threat. You can count on them to be your companion and unofficial guard.
✔️They can get jealous.
At least based on our experience, French Bulldogs can get pretty jealous when someone else is occupying their owners’ attention. I once invited a friend over, and my Frenchie keeps on jumping on my lap. He doesn’t do this on other occasions, but only when there are strangers around.
It’s either my dog also wants the attention, or he’s ensuring that his human is safe.
✔️They are protective of babies.
This part has a lot to do with Frenchie’s upbringing. But based on what we observed, our Frenchie becomes protective when it comes to babies or kids.
Many Frenchies won’t leave their baby siblings’ side. And if someone tries to get the baby, they will bark or grunt, but not in an aggressive manner.
✔️They are alert
French Bulldogs are also known for their alert personality. Their raised ears, round eyes, and stern look can somewhat make a stranger stop on its tracks. With this, you can easily train your Frenchie to respond to various sounds.
Reasons why French Bulldogs can’t be guard dogs
As much as French Bulldogs are protective, they aren’t absolute guard dogs. You also have to factor in the following reasons why they’re not the best pick for the guarding job:
🐶They are small dogs
French Bulldogs are considered a small to medium-sized breed. Far from true guard dogs like Rottweilers, German Shepherds, and Doberman Pinschers, Frenchies aren’t physically gifted to fight an enemy. With this, they are better off as an ‘announcer’ whenever someone’s at the door.
Their small size also makes it impossible for French Bulldogs to injure a burglar seriously. Worse, your small dog might be the one to end up with life-threatening injuries.
🐶They are very friendly.
Another thing you should know about Frenchies is that they are one of the friendliest dog breeds. Highly socialized Frenchies can get along with just about anyone. They will also welcome strangers with a wagging tail.
If your Frenchie has this personality, you can’t expect it to be a good guard dog. The upside here is that you have a socialized dog who thrives on the presence of children and other people.
🐶They love to play
French Bulldogs are playful canines, and they tend to mature quite slowly. Most French Bulldogs I’ve owned and met will remain puppy-ish until the age of two. Some would retain their energetic behavior until their mid-years.
If an intruder tries to break into your home, they can easily distract a French Bulldog with a squeaker toy. Your dog may bark at first, but it may soon yield to the toy from the intruder.
🐶They are highly food-driven
If there’s one weakness all French Bulldogs share, it would be their love for food. These canines have an insatiable appetite, which makes them prone to obesity.
If a burglar offers your barking French Bulldog a piece of tasty bacon, the doggo will surely devour the food and forget about the stranger. While this isn’t the case for all Frenchies, this scenario is very likely to happen.
You simply can’t train a Frenchie to stop wanting food. And even if they’ve just eaten a meal, Frenchies will find it hard to resist the lure of a delicious reward.
🐶They can’t bark for too long.
As brachycephalic canines, French Bulldogs can’t bark for too long. Their short airways tire them easily, and barking makes air intake much harder.
Also, not all French Bulldogs are inclined to bark in the presence of a stranger. Depending on your pet’s fight or flight response, your Frenchie may run away when it sees a stranger.
Can my French Bulldog protect me?
The chances of French Bulldogs protecting you from a burglar are quite slim. Again, this is a small dog. Even if your Frenchie has the courage of a warrior, they can be subdued quite easily.
Besides, it’s not responsible as a pet owner to use your dog as the first line of defense. If you’re living in an area with a high crime rate, a dog should be an additional level of protection. They aren’t substitutes for security cameras or burglary alarms.
Are there Bulldog breeds that can be guard dogs?
If you’re looking for a Bulldog breed that can potentially scare intruders, you have better chances with an English Bulldog. Compared to Frenchies, English Bulldogs are bigger, and their facial expression can be intimidating to the person who’s meeting them for the first time.
Aside from that, English Bulldogs have stocky bodies that pack more power than Frenchies. Their barks are also relatively louder, which will alert anyone at home.
However, just like French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs are friendly and food-driven. Their scaring tactic is usually superficial.
Dog breeds that are more protective than French Bulldogs
If you’re keen to have a dedicated guard at home, you should consider the following breeds instead:
- Rottweiler. Rotties are the very first police dogs. They have stocky and powerful bodies as well as aloofness to strangers. While they can be intimidating guard dogs, they are extremely affectionate toward their owners.
- Doberman Pinscher. Doberman Pinschers are notoriously stereotyped as vicious and dangerous canines. They have erect ears, a scary gaze, and a confident posture that can scare an intruder. Dobies are also brave enough to launch toward a threat.
- German Shepherd. GSDs or German Shepherd Dogs are lauded for their intelligence and dedication as guard dogs. They keep a close eye on strangers, and they don’t trust quite easily.
- Giant Schnauzer. Giant Schnauzers are loyal dogs that will guard you against strangers. However, this breed isn’t the best choice if you have small kids and other canines at home.
- Rhodesian Ridgeback. The Rhodesian Ridgeback has the appearance and personality of a reliable guard dog. Unlike Frenchies, this breed has a strong prey drive and will usually chase after a trespasser.
- Bullmastiff. Bullmastiffs are friendly and affectionate dogs. But when it comes to strangers, they are on guard mode. This is quite a large dog, though, which can grow up to 130 lbs.
- Cane Corso. This dog is bred to be a guard dog so that you can count on its keen surveillance and unfaltering courage. However, Cane Corsos are only suitable for experienced dog owners who have a large yard.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are French Bulldogs aggressive?
A: In general, French Bulldogs are friendly and affectionate dogs. But if not socialized well, these sweet canines will become aggressive. It’s a matter of how you raise the dog. Training and early socialization are key ingredients in raising a well-rounded pet, regardless of breed.
Q: Which is better in guarding, male or female French Bulldog?
A: Female Frenchies are observed to be more reserved around strangers. Meanwhile, males are playful and quite assertive. When it comes to being a guard dog, both genders are suitable only for warning purposes and not as an actual watchdog.
Q: Do French Bulldogs bite?
A: To be fair, all dogs will bite if they are provoked. French Bulldog puppies are pretty nippy and will bite anything, especially while they are teething. Meanwhile, adults tend to calm down and less likely to bite than other breeds.
Q: Why does my French Bulldog attack me?
A: If your Frenchie is attacking you instead of strangers, it might be imposing its dominance. This means that your French Bulldog is trying to be the alpha. You have to train your dog to reclaim your spot as the head of the pack.
Q: Can I train my French Bulldog to bite?
A: It’s not wise to train your French Bulldog to bite just for the sake of turning it into a guard dog. Doing so may just fuel aggression and a slew of behavioral problems. If you’re keen on getting a guard dog, you should consider bigger breeds like Rottweiler, Pit Bull, German Shepherd, and more.
Q: Are French Bulldogs easy to train?
A: French Bulldogs can have stubborn streaks, so patience is a must if you’re planning to train one. They also take time to potty train, which can last up to 8 months. You have to be consistent and patient because this breed is prone to distractions, especially the puppies.
Are French Bulldogs protective? This breed can be protective pets, but you can count on them to be the most courageous guard dogs. Frenchies are small, and they were not bred for guarding purposes.
As ratters, French Bulldogs thrive as companion canines. They are better raised as a family pet instead of a guard dog with a task. As Frenchie owners know, this breed can be quite a couch potato.