Anyone that ever meets a French Bulldog finds it hard not to fall in love. Those lovable little snort factories are the 4th most popular dog in the United States for a reason. They are affectionate, playful, smart and highly entertaining dogs. But are French Bulldogs calm dogs?
As a general rule a French Bulldog, or Frenchie, can be a very calm and docile dog when their needs are fully attended to. A French Bulldog, especially a younger Frenchie, can have a ton of energy and be hyper at times. As long as their exercise and affection needs are met French Bulldogs are calm dogs.
That being said, French Bulldogs can be high maintenance when it comes to their needs being met. They are very human oriented dogs that crave attention. Almost to the point of feeling like you have a little shadow following you around.
Frenchies can become stressed and anxious when they are not receiving enough attention. They are particularly prone to separate anxiety, and this can lead to destructive behaviors such as chewing things they shouldn’t chew.
A hyper French Bulldog is not uncommon in bursts of puppy energy, and general zoomies here and there. If your French is constantly hyper, anxious, or generally not calm, then you will need to address this behavior.
In this post I’ll walk you through some of the causes, and some of the solutions to keep your French Bulldogs calm, and reduce the level of hyper energy your Frenchie displays. Let’s dig in.
Will My French Bulldog Ever Calm Down?
On average a French Bulldog will calm down around the age of 4-5 years old. French Bulldog puppies are full of energy. There is no denying that the Frenchie in the first 2-3 years of their lives will be constantly on the go. This puppy energy can be managed to not be consistently hyper, and by around the age of 4-5 years old the French Bulldog calms down noticeably.
This is totally natural for pretty much every puppy breed around. Puppies play hard, and nap hard. The French Bulldog is no exception. When your French Bulldog appears to be constantly hyper and rarely calm, that is where energy management is going to need some attention.
French Bulldogs crave attention. This is part of their DNA as a companion dog. The history of the French Bulldog literally had them used as lap dogs for lace makers in the mid 1800s. Yes they had a small job as ratters, but they primarily were kept as companions and so are always looking to fill that role.
When a Frenchie is not calm there can be a few reasons why.
- Lack of exercise
- Lack of attention
- Stress & Anxiety
To create a balanced and well behaved French Bulldog you have to ensure you are attending to any of these potential causes. The Frenchie is a very sensitive breed of dog. Simply scolding hyper behavior or crying and whining will get you nowhere. This may in fact only worsen the behavior.
How Do You Calm Down A Hyper French Bulldog?
There are several ways to calm down a hyper French Bulldog. A French Bulldog that gets a case of the zoomies and runs around in quick bursts of energy for a couple minutes is normal. A French Bulldog that is constantly running around the home and getting into all sorts of mischief is not. This is where you step in to calm down your French Bulldog.
The French Bulldog is not a high energy dog in comparison to some Bully breeds like the Staffy or Cane Corso. They do however require daily exercise, especially as puppies. One of the best ways to curb a hyper Frenchie is through a routine of daily exercise.
Walking is a perfect activity to do with your French Bulldog. This not only allows your French Bulldog to blow off some of that extra hyper energy, but it strengthens your bond with the dog. A 30-45 minute daily walk can be the easiest solution to calm down a hyper French Bulldog.
Mental exercise is often overlooked as a means to calm a dog. French Bulldogs are relatively smart, and do enjoy a good challenge and engaging activity with the family.
Simple activities like tug-of-war, fetch, and basic obedience training can drain a lot of energy from a Frenchie. These sorts of activities can attend to both their physical need to burn off energy, but also leave them calm and content after a big session of training and mental exercise.
I believe that training in one form or another should happen every single day for 15-20 minutes. Not just when your French Bulldog is a puppy, but for the rest of their life. Consistency with training is great for reinforcing good behavior, and managing energy.
Giving a hyper French Bulldog a distraction can be an excellent way to focus their energy and produce a calm end result. By giving your Frenchie a task, or “work” you are redirecting their hyper energy into a job.
A perfect distraction is a good chew toy or food puzzle. These types of distractions allow you to carry one with your daily routine while providing your French Bulldog with an enjoyable activity. After all Frenchies love to chew, and giving them permission to do so with an assigned toy or puzzle is a win win.
There are a wide variety of options available. Things like Kongs, and puzzle treats are amazing ways to keep your Frenchie busy. I keep three Kongs in my freezer at all times for my Staffy when she is getting a little hyper and it’s not time for a walk yet. Works every time.
Check out some of my other top recommendations on my resources page. These are some of the best chew toys and food puzzles on the market. Guaranteed to keep your hyper French Bulldog entertained, and leave you with a calmer Frenchie in the end.
How Do You Calm Down An Anxious French Bulldog?
Sometimes hyper behavior can take the form of stress and anxiety. For a French Bulldog this can be a real issue that prevents them from being able to calm down in the home. Especially when left alone. French Bulldogs are prone to separate anxiety.
Separation anxiety in Frenchies is common due to their extreme attachment to their family unit. Cases can range from mild sadness, to full blown anxiety resulting in destructive behaviors and distress. No matter the severity, there is a way to manage this anxiety.
Just like calming a hyper French Bulldog, an anxious French Bulldog will benefit from exercise. That extra energy that is being channeled into anxiety will melt away with a good walk every day. In the cause of separation anxiety a brisk walk before you leave the home works great.
A tired dog is a happy dog I always say. When a French Bulldog has been exercised properly before you leave the house, they have little energy left over to give to their anxiety and stress.
Separation anxiety is a behavior that can be trained away, or at the least dramatically reduced. Most of the time the reason a French Bulldog suffers from separation anxiety is due to the behavior of the owner. A few corrections, with some consistent practice can go a long way.
Crate training is one of the best ways to stop separation anxiety before it starts. Giving your French Bulldog a safe, comfortable place to be when you are away can make a huge difference in their behavior.
Slowly introduce the crate to your Frenchie in a very positive manner. This is a place they can go to relax, be calm, and rest. Invite them into the crate and reward them once inside. Repeat this process a number of times. Rewards should be given in a calm and positive manner. The goal is to not excite your French Bulldog.
Once they are used to going in the crate, gently close the door. Reward them. Wait a minute, and if they are calm, gently open the door, reward them, and repeat.
Do this a number of times and gradually increase the duration they are inside the crate. Eventually move to leaving the room, then eventually the home. Always reward calm behavior. Soon your French Bulldog will realize this crate is a place to be calm and relaxed.
Similar to the crate training, desensitization training works in a very similar process of gradually increasing time away from your dog and rewarding calm behavior.
Desensitization training is basically getting your French Bulldog accustomed to the idea of your coming and going from the home as a non event. This solely relies on your behavior as the owner to be successful.
Simply leave your house without an excitement or eventfulness. No “Mama is gonna miss you!” or tons of excited affection. Get up, grab your keys, step outside the door of the house, and wait there for 1 minute. Come back in with the same calmness as you left.
Your French Bulldog may be super excited to see you, even though you have been gone for literally 60 seconds. Ignore this excited behavior, and reward them with calm affection once they have reached a calm and balanced state of behavior.
Repeat this process over and over again while gradually increasing the time you are gone. Eventually your French will become desensitized to the routine of your coming and going. I used this exact method with my Staffy as a puppy and with consistent practice it worked amazing.
Sometimes a hyper French might need some supplementation in the form of a natural non-sedative calming chew or CBD oil. These supplementations have proven to work great with dogs that suffer from anxiety.
Consult with your vet first for any severe anxiety symptoms. As a added layer of comfort for a French Bulldog with mild separation anxiety, storm stress, or firework stress, a calming chew or CBD is great.
I have a great resource page with some of the best CBD oil brands on the market with a full breakdown of each. If you would like to learn more about CBD oil for French Bulldogs head over there to get the details.
Sometimes all you need is a hug. French Bulldogs love affection and sometimes a stressed or anxious Frenchie just needs some calm, soothing attention. Inviting your dog to join you on the couch for a cuddle can help them settle in and relax.
Try not to make a big production of things. Don’t forcibly pick up your Frenchie and start hugging and loving on them. Even petting them while they are in a state of anxious panting or pacing can confuse them and make the problem worse. They may think you are rewarding their anxious behavior.
Instead make an inviting situation available to them. If they decide to join you on the couch, let them settle into a cozy spot and then gently give them a nice massage or calming pet. A massage works much better to calm a dog than a stroking petting motion. We are encouraging a state of relaxing with this setup.
French Bulldogs have specific needs, and as an owner it is your job to identify and attend to these needs as best as you can. A calm French Bulldog is one that is getting adequate exercise, training, affection, and attention.
Hyper Frenchies can be a result of the lack of one or all of the above. Some methods of calming a French Bulldog that is hyper or anxious can seem tedious. But trust me they work, and the results are worth the effort.
This post may come across as painting the French Bulldog as a neurotic and needy breed of dog, and I assure that is not the intent. I only wish to address hyper or anxious behaviors that you may notice as a guide to help keep and maintain a calm French Bulldog.
The French Bulldog is generally a calm dog by default. As I mentioned at the very beginning. Sometimes however they may need a little energy management to keep a calm and peaceful household. These tips will get you well on your way to ensuring a happy, healthy Frenchie.