Why Do French Bulldogs Cry So Much All Of a Sudden?

French Bulldogs are charming canines. They are popular among apartment owners because they are not obsessed with barking like other breeds. However, there’s a question many Frenchie owners ask: why do French Bulldogs cry so much? While mostly quiet, this breed can get whiny for a variety of reasons, including hunger, illnesses, behavioral problems, and more. In this post, I discuss these points to help you address the crying problem before it causes trouble with the neighbors.

Why do French Bulldogs cry so much?

A Frenchie’s whining and crying can be due to many things. Here are some of the most common reasons:

🐶Your Frenchie is anxious or stressed.

why do French Bulldogs cry so much

French Bulldogs, like other Bulldog breeds, are notoriously prone to separation anxiety. They don’t like being alone and will become noisy dogs when you do so. This is also the main reason why Frenchies cry excessively.

Take note that canine anxiety doesn’t just kick in when you’re not from home. For example, some Frenchies are so poorly desensitized that they start crying when you close the bathroom door. Loud sounds like thunder, fireworks, and sirens from passing cars can also make a Frenchie anxious.

Aside from that, stress will also push your Frenchie to be vocal. It could be due to a sudden change in the house, the arrival of a new pet, and so on. It’s important to get to the root of these problems as both anxiety and stress won’t go away on their own.

🐶Your Frenchie is hungry.

Another reason why French Bulldogs cry is hunger. This breed has a greedy appetite, so they tend to beg for food often.

It’s essential to set a feeding schedule for your French Bulldogs. This way, your doggo can predict when the next meal is coming, which will help reduce its begging attitude.

Take note that you should never give in to your French Bulldog’s crying. This breed is at risk of obesity if you don’t plan out their meals. Also, a few added treats may not seem to hurt, but they will start to pile up in a matter of weeks.

Aside from that, French Bulldogs will always cry their way into some table scraps. You should never tolerate this behavior, and you should also tell your family not to indulge the doggo in human food.

🐶Your Frenchie is bored.

why do French Bulldogs cry so much

Boredom can take the best of any dog. French Bulldogs aren’t very active canines, but they need ample physical and mental stimulation to avoid being whiny.

Unlike other breeds, Frenchies can’t entertain themselves. Instead, they rely heavily on their owners to keep them busy. And if you don’t leave the doggo with anything to do, it will resort to crying to pass the time.

Also, it’s important to assess your lifestyle before getting a French Bulldog. For example, if your family is always away from home and there’s no one to keep the dog company, you’re better off considering other breeds.

If you’re keen to own this breed under such living conditions, you should find ways to provide companionship and entertainment to your dog. Besides, Frenchies aren’t that hard to keep busy. Below, I have provided some tips on how you can combat canine boredom.

🐶Your Frenchie is uncomfortable.

Since French Bulldogs can’t talk, they communicate their discomfort through crying. Your Frenchie may be too cold or too hot. Remember that this breed has poor tolerance to extreme temperatures, so it’s crucial to always watch out for their environment.

Aside from that, Frenchies are single-coated dogs, so they don’t have much protection against cold temperatures. Their short fur doesn’t help either. That’s why you should crank up the thermostat a little bit. A cozy blanket will also help a chilly Frenchie.

If it’s summer, Frenchies are at high risk of overheating. You should keep the dog indoors, but make sure that you’re not ‘overcooling’ your pet either.

🐶Your Frenchie is sick.

why do French Bulldogs cry so much

Illnesses can induce a variety of behavioral problems among dogs, not just Frenchies. If the above conditions aren’t present, it’s best to get your Frenchie checked at the vet’s clinic. This breed has a share of health problems since they are flat-nosed dogs.

At the vet, your French Bulldog will undergo a physical examination, blood work, and other tests that the vet deemS necessary. In addition, the veterinarian will determine whether your dog is in pain or suffering from any health problems.

Aside from that, you should also observe your Frenchie’s behavior. If crying is accompanied by lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, poor appetite, or reluctance to stand, the dog is likely sick.

I always recommend professional diagnosis in these cases. While vet visits will cost you added fees, it’s better than late diagnosis.

🐶Your Frenchie wants your attention.

On a less serious note, French Bulldogs will cry because they know that it will get your attention. This often happens at night when Frenchie puppies don’t like sleeping alone. Any response from you, even if it’s shouting, reinforces the behavior even more. It teaches your dog that crying catches your attention and elicits a response.

Most of the time, this is learned behavior. But the good thing is that there are ways to combat the problem, which I discussed below.

🐶Your Frenchie needs to go potty.

French Bulldogs need at least three potty breaks a day. If you forget to bring them outdoors, be prepared to get an earful of crying and whining. This is aside from the mess you’ll have to clean at home.

Like with feeding, potty breaks should be scheduled throughout the day. Sticking to this schedule will train your Frenchie to hold its bladder for a specific period. However, you shouldn’t force your dog to hold it for longer than 8 hours. Like us, Frenchies can also develop urinary tract infections, which translates to added vet bills.

For my Frenchie, I schedule the potty breaks first thing in the morning, 30 minutes after lunch, and 30 minutes before bedtime. Most of the time, dogs will have to eliminate 30 minutes to one hour after their meals.

How to train your Frenchie not to cry

The sound of a crying Frenchie is annoying, but you should never resort to punishments. Once the vet clears your dog of any health problems, you should do the following to stop the crying:

✔️Come up with a schedule

It’s never too late to create a schedule for your dog. This should include meal times, potty breaks, playtime sessions, and outdoor walks. You should also stick to these activities daily to help your dog get used to its new routine.

Since your French Bulldog can predict how the day will go, it will be less likely to cry and whine. However, if your dog is already under a strict schedule, the next methods will help.

✔️Start crate training

Crate training can solve a variety of behavioral problems among Frenchies. This is an effective solution to separation anxiety and nighttime crying, especially for puppies.

Contrary to what others believe, crating dogs isn’t brutal. In fact, crating satisfies a dog’s wild instinct where they seek cramped spaces for safety against predators. In a domesticated setting, dog crates are an excellent alternative to give your pet the same sense of security and calmness.

Before you start training, make sure that the crate has a suitable size for your Frenchie. Generally, your dog should be able to stand, turn, sit, and lie down inside. Anything that’s too small or too large than that isn’t ideal. Very large crates give Frenchies the space to eliminate without soiling its bed, which will defeat the purpose of this training.

Here are the basic steps in crate training your Frenchie pup:

  • Start with familiarization. Let the Frenchie sniff and lick the crate freely. Never close the door if your dog decides to enter. Doing so will scare your dog and spoil your chances of training your pet.
  • Feed your dog inside. Next, you should feed your Frenchie inside the crate while keeping the door open. This will let your dog associate the crate with a rewarding experience.
  • Make the crate inviting. You can encourage your Frenchie to stay inside the crate by placing its bed and toys inside. It will also help to provide treats inside the crate.
  • Start closing the door. Once your Frenchie is relaxed inside the crate, you can try closing the door. If your Frenchie cries or shows dislike, open it right away. This will teach your dog that the crate isn’t a trap. Over time, you can increase the time you close the door until your dog doesn’t mind anymore.
  • Cover it with a towel. If your Frenchie still cries inside the crate, it will help to drape it with a towel or blanket. This will give a heightened sense of security to your dog. Some crates even come with roll up covers for this purpose. 

✔️Keep your dog active

Keeping your French Bulldog physically active will take its mind off crying and whining. Anyway, Frenchies don’t need a lot of stimulation to be happy, so this won’t be a burdensome task.

Here are some of my proven methods in keeping my Frenchies active:

  • Short walks around the neighborhood early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
  • Short playtime sessions at home done multiple times a day.
  • Watching anything your Frenchie finds interesting on the TV
  • Short training sessions, like teaching tricks or brushing up old drills.
  • Driving around the neighborhood
  • Bringing my Frenchie to a dog park
  • Setting up playdates with my friends’ dogs
  • Bringing my dogs when visiting my relatives/friends

Aside from keeping your Frenchie busy, these experiences will also socialize and desensitize the dog even more.

✔️Provide interactive toys

Interactive dog toys are a must if you’re planning to leave your Frenchie home for a short period. The toys will help keep your pet busy while you run errands. However, you should know that the efficacy of dog toys in preventing crying varies among Frenchies.

Some of my proven picks are lasers, treat dispensers, pet cameras, sniff mats with treats, and KONG toys with treats.

Whatever dog toy you choose, make sure that it doesn’t have any small parts that could cause choking. Frenchies are like toddlers, so you shouldn’t trust them with tiny squeakers and marbles.

Also, never leave your Frenchie with rawhides and bones. Your dog can chomp these to bits, which can lead to choking. This is why you should only provide such treats when you’re around to monitor your pet thoroughly.

If you want to leave your Frenchie with something tasty, I recommend using a KONG toy filled with treats instead.

✔️Consider enrolling in doggy daycare

If you can’t supervise your Frenchie all day long, one way to stop anxiety-induced crying is by enrolling the dog in doggy daycare.

Like daycare for kids, those for dogs have programs aimed to support your pet’s development. Your Frenchie will be socialized and will receive playtime through the help of the staff. Don’t worry because doggy daycares categorize dogs based on their size and temperament.

But before you enroll your Frenchie in this facility, you should get it fully vaccinated. Some doggy daycare facilities will also require basic obedience training.

Aside from that, you should ask the doggy daycare if they have insurance. This is added peace of mind that your Frenchie is in good hands.

✔️Hire a pet sitter

Is doggy daycare too expensive? You can hire a pet sitter instead. The pet sitter can drop by your home to play with your dog, so it won’t be sad and whiny while you’re away.

You can use pet sitter booking websites like Rover or Wag. If you don’t want a stranger handling your dog, you can ask a friend or relative willing to take on the job.

Through this, your Frenchie will not be left alone crying in your house. Just note that pet sitters usually charge by the hour, though you can talk to them about a fixed but reasonable price.

✔️Don’t give in to the crying

Lastly, never give in to your French Bulldog’s crying. In my experience, ignoring them works, but it still depends on how eager your dog is to get your attention.

Over time, my Frenchie realized that he would get nothing when he cries. So once he stops whining, I respond with a treat. This will teach him that being noisy isn’t a rewarded behavior.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why are French Bulldogs so clingy?

A: This breed is naturally clingy. It’s second nature for them to follow their owners around and to become whiny when left alone for long periods. This is the reason why French Bulldogs suit owners who are always at home and ready to provide companionship to the breed.

Q:  Are French Bulldogs always sad?

A: French Bulldogs may have a gloomy look on their face, but they are far from sad dogs. Frenchies are known for their goofy personality, and they love being with their owners. While they love playtime, their energy level remains manageable.

Q: How you can you tell if a Frenchie is sad or depressed?

A: If your once active French Bulldog suddenly exhibits low activity levels, it indicates a change in mood. Also, loss of interest in the things the dog enjoys is a sign of depression among canines. However, you should ensure that such symptoms aren’t triggered by other health problems.

Q: Will my French Bulldog get sad when they are left alone?

A: French Bulldogs are prone to separation anxiety. They will get anxious when left alone for long hours without any mode of stimulation. If repeatedly exposed to this kind of environment, your French Bulldog will develop other behavioral problems like aggressive chewing, excessive barking, and full-on aggression.

Q: What makes a French Bulldog happy?

A: French Bulldogs are the happiest when they are with their families. They also love food, so eating is something that will bring joy to this canine’s heart. Playtime sessions are also a good way to keep a French Bulldog happy. However, you should never overdo this as Frenchies are brachycephalic dogs that are prone to overheating.

Q: Will my French Bulldog outgrow its crying behavior?

A: Most French Bulldog puppies can outgrow their whiny attitude only with proper training. Most behavioral problems like these can be easily corrected with the right training approach. Also, the earlier you act upon the problem, the easier it will be for you to train your Frenchie.

Final words           

Why do French Bulldogs cry so much? This breed is known for its clingy personality, which will make them whiny when left alone. However, excessive crying can also point to health problems. It’s best to get your Frenchie checked at the vet’s clinic if you suspect this.

For behavior-related crying, training will go a long way. You just have to be patient because the French Bulldog breed can be quite stubborn.


  • Brad

    Hi I'm Brad, the founder of bulldogpapa.com. Having been a vet of 6 years I work alongside our team to provide valuable insight into your dog's health. I have a frenchie myself named Senzu who is my pride and joy!

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