How Smart Are French Bulldogs? Evaluating their Intelligence Levels

Mind-Blowing IQ Test: Unveiling the Genius of French Bulldogs!

Ever found yourself gazing into the soulful eyes of your French Bulldog, utterly fascinated by the cogs and gears turning behind that adorable smooshed-in face? Trust us, you’re not the only one! Many Mind-Blowing IQ Test Unveiling the Genius of French BulldogsFrenchie parent has been consumed by curiosity about their petite companion’s cognitive prowess, especially given whispers in dog lover circles that they rank pretty high for intelligence amongst bully breeds.

In this article, we’ll take an exciting deep dive into canine cognition to evaluate and shed some light on just how brainy our beloved French Bulldogs really are. Ready to explore your Frenchie’s mind? Buckle up—your fascinating journey starts now!

Key Takeaways

  • French Bulldogs exhibit a unique combination of instinctive intelligence, working and obedience intelligence, and adaptive intelligence.
  • They are considered highly intelligent among bully breeds, ranking higher than other popular breeds such as Pugs, Boxers, Bull Terriers, Great Danes, and English Bulldogs.
  • French Bulldogs have the ability to read human emotions and show outstanding problem-solving skills.
  • Training a French Bulldog requires patience, starting early with training and socialization, and monitoring their calorie intake.

Understanding Canine Intelligence

Can French Bulldogs Outsmart Humans

Canine intelligence is as varied and complex as human intelligence. Dogs, like French Bulldogs, show their smarts in different ways – through instincts, obedience, problem-solving skills, and the ability to read human emotions.

Just because a Frenchie doesn’t perform well on an obedience test doesn’t mean it’s not intelligent; they just have different motivations.

Gauging canine intellect isn’t merely about seeing if dogs can sit or fetch; it’s also about cognitive understanding. Traits such as empathy towards people and recognizing emotions suggest that our furry friends are more perceptive than we give them credit for.

For example, you may notice your Frenchie acting unusually excited when you’re happy or curling up by your side when you’re sad – these actions could indicate emotional intelligence.

Are French Bulldogs Smart?

unlocking the Hidden Brilliance of French Bulldogs

French Bulldogs exhibit a unique combination of instinctive intelligence, working and obedience intelligence, and adaptive intelligence.

Instinctive Intelligence of Frenchies

French Bulldogs, or “Frenchies,” exhibit a significant level of instinctive intelligence. This innate kind of intelligence refers to a dog’s ability to perform the tasks it was bred for.

For example, retrievers are instinctively good at fetching, and herding dogs excel at rounding up other animals.

Our precious Frenchies were initially bred down in size from their larger bulldog cousins by lace workers in England. The main goal was companionship, and they excelled as lap warmers on those chilly English nights.

Over time, these smaller dogs became popular with immigrants moving to France—hence their name.

Displaying cheerful dispositions and mild temperaments while being affectionately attached to their human families is second nature to them—which shows their high level of instinctive intelligence related specifically to companionship.

They also have an independent mind which can make them seem hard-headed at times but this does not mean they lack intelligence; rather it demonstrates how dedicated they are when pursuing something that interests them.

Despite living up to the expectation of a loving companion dog breed, French bulldogs do have protective tendencies over time towards their loved ones – reflecting another aspect of instinctive intelligence like being aware of potential threats around.

Reliability in such situation reflects well upon this type of canine intellect where survival instincts come into play.

Working and Obedience Intelligence

French Bulldogs display remarkable obedience and working intelligence, which refers to a dog’s ability to learn from humans. Their high ranking among intelligent bully breeds can be attributed in part to this ability.

Despite their stubbornness, Frenchies are often eager to please their owners and will follow commands when properly trained and motivated with treats. This intelligence isn’t about French Bulldogs blindly obeying orders but rather understanding what is being asked of them and responding accordingly.

This type of intelligence contributes significantly to making them excellent companion dogs, capable of forming close bonds with their families while ensuring their safety and well-being.

Adaptive Intelligence

French Bulldogs shine when it comes to adaptive intelligence. This type of intelligence refers to a dog’s ability to solve problems on its own and learn from past experiences. While French Bulldogs might not be the fastest learners in terms of obedience, they demonstrate great problem-solving skills.

Let’s say you hide their favorite toy under a blanket; the Frenchie will use its nose, paws, and even body weight until it retrieves what it wants. Their determination and resourcefulness are clear signs of high adaptive intelligence.

Moreover, Frenchies can also adapt well to different environments and situations which further proves their adaptive capabilities.

Evidence of French Bulldog Intelligence

From Dumb to Einstein Discovering the Genius in French Bulldogs

French Bulldogs show impressive intelligence compared to other breeds, making them excellent companion dogs. They have the ability to read human emotions and their adaptive intelligence helps them adjust well in different environments.

Find out more about their intelligence levels here!

Compared to other breeds

French Bulldogs, although they may not feature in the “Top 10 Smartest Dog Breeds”, still outshine many other popular breeds in terms of intelligence. Here’s a comparison:

French BulldogHigh
Bull TerrierAverage
Great DaneAverage
English BulldogBelow Average

As we can see from the table, French Bulldogs are considered the most intelligent among the “bully breeds,” surpassing breeds like Pugs, Boxers, Bull Terriers, Great Danes, and English Bulldogs. Their intelligence makes them highly trainable and able to pick up new commands and tricks faster than the other breeds. Not to mention, they show a great capacity to adapt and learn from their experiences, showcasing their adaptive intelligence.

French Bulldogs as Companion Dogs

French Bulldogs are known for their affectionate nature, making them excellent companion dogs. Originally bred to be companions, French Bulldogs have a mild-tempered and cheerful disposition that makes them ideal for households of all sizes.

They thrive on human interaction and form strong bonds with their owners, providing an abundance of love and companionship. Their small size also makes them adaptable to different living environments, whether it’s in a city apartment or a suburban home.

With their loyalty and gentle demeanor, French Bulldogs make wonderful family pets and bring joy to any household.

Their Ability to Read Human Emotions

French Bulldogs possess an impressive ability to read and understand human emotions. This is evidenced by their keen responsiveness to both our emotional cues and body language. Their expressive ears, which can be raised or lowered depending on their mood, effectively convey their own emotions and energy levels.

Additionally, French Bulldogs have “human-like” eyes that are particularly adept at conveying emotions such as happiness, sadness, excitement, or fear. Regular training and engagement in activities like obedience games can further enhance a French Bulldog’s ability to accurately interpret and respond to human emotions.

Training a French Bulldog

Are French Bulldogs Secret Geniuses

Training a French Bulldog requires patience, starting early with training and socialization, and monitoring their calorie intake.

Importance of Patience

Training a French Bulldog can be a challenging task, but one of the most important qualities to have is patience. Frenchies are known for their stubbornness, which means they may not always listen or follow commands right away.

It’s essential to remain calm and patient during training sessions, as getting frustrated or angry will only hinder progress. By taking the time to understand your Frenchie’s unique personality and learning style, you can tailor your training methods and exercises accordingly.

Remember that consistency and repetition are key when it comes to teaching new behaviors or tricks. With patience and perseverance, you’ll be able to establish a strong bond with your furry friends while helping them become well-behaved companions.

– Starting Training & Socializing Early

It’s never too early to start training and socializing your French Bulldog. The earlier you begin exposing them to different people, animals, environments, sounds, and experiences, the better prepared they’ll be for various situations as they grow older.

Starting Training and Socializing Early

To ensure the best results, it is important to start training and socializing your French Bulldog as early as possible. This will lay a solid foundation for their development and behavior. By introducing them to new experiences, people, animals, and environments at an early age, you can help them become well-rounded and confident dogs.

  1. Expose them to various environments: Take your Frenchie to different places such as parks, beaches, busy streets, and pet-friendly establishments. This will help them become familiar with different sounds, sights, smells, and interactions.
  2. Introduce them to different people and animals: Allow your French Bulldog to meet a variety of individuals including men, women, children, and other dogs. This will teach them how to interact appropriately with different types of personalities and species.
  3. Positive reinforcement training: Use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, praise, and rewards to encourage good behavior. This will motivate your Frenchie to learn commands and tricks more effectively.
  4. Basic obedience commands: Teach your French Bulldog basic commands like sit, stay, come when called, and leash walking. These commands are essential for their safety and can also enhance their overall responsiveness.
  5. Puppy classes or professional trainers: Consider enrolling your Frenchie in puppy classes or working with a professional trainer who has experience with the breed. They can provide guidance on effective training methods tailored specifically for French Bulldogs.
  6. Consistency is key: Be consistent in your approach to training and socialization. Set clear boundaries and expectations so that your Frenchie understands what is acceptable behavior.

Monitoring their Calorie Intake

French Bulldogs have a tendency to gain weight quickly, which makes it important to monitor their calorie intake, especially during training. It’s crucial to ensure that they maintain a healthy weight to prevent health issues and promote overall well-being.

By carefully measuring their food portions and choosing high-quality, balanced diets for them, we can help manage their calorie intake effectively. Treats are also an important part of training for French Bulldogs, but it’s essential to choose low-calorie options or use small pieces of their regular food as rewards.

With proper monitoring of their calorie intake, we can keep our French Bulldogs fit and healthy while still providing them with the treats they love during training sessions.

Tricks to Teach Your French Bulldog

Teaching your French Bulldog simple tricks can be a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your furry friend.


Teaching a French Bulldog to sit is an important part of their obedience training. French Bulldogs can be quite stubborn, so patience and persistence are key when it comes to teaching them this command.

Starting their training early and socializing them with other dogs can make the process easier in the long run. Using treats as motivation can also help in getting your Frenchie to understand and follow the command to sit.

Remember, consistency is essential when training any dog, including French Bulldogs. So keep practicing and reinforcing the “sit” command regularly for best results.

French Bulldogs have a reputation for being intelligent and eager to please their owners, despite their stubborn nature. While they may not rank among the top smartest dog breeds according to Stanley Coren’s intelligence criteria, they are still capable of learning basic commands like “sit.” With proper training techniques, dedication, and positive reinforcement using treats or praise, you can successfully teach your Frenchie this fundamental obedience command.


French Bulldogs can be trained to come when called, making it an important command to teach them. Despite their stubbornness, Frenchies are highly motivated by treats and will usually respond well to positive reinforcement training methods.

With patience and consistency, owners can successfully train their French Bulldog to come when called, ensuring better control in various situations such as off-leash walks or emergency recall.

Stay / Wait

French Bulldogs can be trained to stay or wait on command, showcasing their intelligence and ability to follow instructions. This obedience command is essential for keeping them safe in various situations.

By teaching a French Bulldog to stay or wait, you can prevent them from running into the street or approaching dangerous situations. Their willingness to learn and respond to this command demonstrates their intelligence and capacity for proper behavior.

With patience and consistent training, French Bulldogs can become well-behaved companions who understand the importance of staying put when needed.

Leave it / Drop it

When training a French Bulldog, it is essential to teach them the commands “Leave it” and “Drop it”. These commands are crucial for their safety and well-being. The “Leave it” command will prevent your Frenchie from picking up harmful objects or eating something they shouldn’t.

The “Drop it” command is useful when you need them to release an item from their mouth, whether it’s a toy or a forbidden object. By consistently practicing these commands with positive reinforcement and treats, your French Bulldog can learn to obey and keep themselves out of potential danger.

Enhancing Your French Bulldog’s Intelligence

To enhance your French Bulldog’s intelligence, focus on socialization, obedience training, discipline training, and engaging them in sports activities.


Socialization is a crucial aspect of raising a well-rounded and intelligent French Bulldog. By exposing them to different environments, people, animals, and situations from an early age, they can develop the social skills needed to navigate the world confidently.

Introducing your Frenchie to new experiences in a positive and controlled manner helps them become more adaptable and less fearful or reactive. Regular socialization also contributes to better obedience training results as they learn to interact with other dogs and humans in a polite manner.

Giving your French Bulldog plenty of opportunities for socialization will help foster their intelligence and overall happiness.

Obedience Training

Obedience training plays a crucial role in enhancing a French Bulldog’s intelligence. It helps them learn and follow commands, improving their obedience and responsiveness. Here are some key aspects of obedience training for French Bulldogs:

  • Consistent Commands: Using consistent verbal cues and hand signals during training sessions helps French Bulldogs understand and remember what is expected of them.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Rewarding desired behaviors with treats, praise, or playtime motivates French Bulldogs to continue behaving well and reinforces their understanding of commands.
  • Clicker Training: Training with a clicker, which produces a distinct sound when the dog performs a desired behavior, can be an effective way to teach French Bulldogs new commands.
  • Regular Practice: Consistency is key! Regular training sessions that gradually increase in difficulty help French Bulldogs retain information and reinforce their learned behaviors.
  • Patience and Persistence: It’s important to remain patient and persistent during training. Some French Bulldogs may take longer to grasp certain commands, but with time and repetition, they can learn effectively.

Discipline Training

Discipline training is an essential aspect of raising a well-behaved French Bulldog. It helps establish boundaries and teaches them how to behave in various situations. Here are some key aspects of discipline training:

  1. Consistency: Consistently enforce rules and boundaries so that your Frenchie understands what is expected of them.
  2. Firm yet Gentle: Use firm, but gentle, correction when necessary. Avoid using harsh punishment, as it can be counterproductive with this sensitive breed.
  3. Positive Reinforcement: Reward your Frenchie for good behavior with treats, praise, or playtime. This positive reinforcement encourages them to repeat the desired behavior.
  4. Set Clear Rules: Establish clear and consistent rules from the beginning to prevent confusion and promote obedience.
  5. Redirect Undesirable Behavior: Instead of scolding or punishing your Frenchie for undesirable behavior, redirect their attention towards more appropriate alternatives.
  6. Time-Outs: Sometimes, a brief time-out can be an effective way to discourage undesirable behaviors such as excessive barking or jumping on people.
  7. Patience and Persistence: Discipline training takes time and patience. Be persistent and consistent in your training efforts for the best results.

Engagement in Sports Activities

Engaging in sports activities is an excellent way to enhance the intelligence of French Bulldogs. Sports activities provide mental stimulation, which helps improve their cognitive abilities.

These activities not only keep them physically fit but also contribute to their overall well-being. By participating in sports, such as agility training or interactive games like fetch, French Bulldogs can develop problem-solving skills and quick thinking.

This improves their ability to adapt to different situations and enhances their overall intelligence. So, if you want your Frenchie to be a smart and well-rounded dog, make sure to engage them in regular sports activities.


French Bulldogs may not be on the top of every intelligence ranking list, but they are still considered one of the smartest bully breeds and generally smarter than many other popular dog breeds.

Their intelligence can be observed through their good memory, ability to read human emotions, and mischievous nature. While they can be stubborn at times, French Bulldogs are highly motivated by treats and will do whatever it takes to get one.

So if you’re thinking about adding a French Bulldog to your family, don’t let their reputation fool you – these adorable pups have plenty of smarts!


Are French Bulldogs smart dogs?

Yes, French Bulldogs are considered intelligent, especially when it comes to adaptive intelligence such as understanding and reading human emotions.

How do we evaluate the intelligence of a French Bulldog compared to other breeds?

Dog intelligence criteria include obedience & working intelligence and adaptive intelligence. Though they may have an independent mind, their ability to be housebroken or understand dog obedience commands contributes to their ranking in evaluations by canine psychologists like Stanley Coren.

Do all bulldogs show the same level of intelligence?

No, there’s diversity in terms of dog IQ among bulldog breeds which includes English Bulldogs, American Pit Bulls, Boxers, and Bull Terriers.

Can I train my Frenchie using treats?

Using treat motivation like Zuke’s Mini Naturals can stimulate your Frenchie for training obedience commands or interesting tricks making them more responsive due to their love for food.

Does a Frenchie’s expressive ears enhance its comprehension skills?

While the expressive ears add character and emotional cues to interactions with humans, the comprehension largely depends on training practices and the individual adaptability of each dog.

Are bigger dogs smarter than smaller ones such as a Shih Tzu or Chihuahua?

Size does not dictate a dog’s intelligence: Intelligence levels vary across various breeds irrespective of size including companion dogs bred down in size like French bulldogs which are known for being cheerful and affectionate.

About the Author

Tomas Rubio, a co-creator of has an outstanding passion for these charming companions. With his meticulous attention to detail and vast expertise in French Bulldogs, Tomas guarantees that each article is thoroughly researched and filled with informative content, making them essential reading for any devoted Frenchie's parent.

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T&C does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
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