How Smart Are French BulldogsHow Smart Are French Bulldogs

How Smart Are French Bulldogs?

Last Updated: August 20, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

The French Bulldog ranks 109th in obedience and working intelligence among dog breeds. It is likely that their low ranking is a result of their stubborn nature. Reading, understanding, and communicating human emotions is what makes them smart.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “How Smart Are French Bulldogs?“.

French Bulldogs are smart but how smart are they? Since you are thinking about taking one home soon this is probably one of your questions. Maybe you are anxious because it is your first time owning a dog and you are concerned about the training process.

How Smart Are French BulldogsHow Smart Are French Bulldogs

Dogs are generally intelligent. Some of their behaviors are indicative of their intelligence. When properly trained they can learn to react appropriately to humans especially when given commands. It is important to note however that dog breeds differ greatly in their level of intelligence as well. The purpose of this article is to find out how smart Frenchies are and why this breed is the best choice for a pet.

How Smart French Bulldogs Really Are?

Apart from being so adorable and easily adaptable to a new family Frenchies are also very intelligent. This makes them one of the most favorite breeds in the world. Would you like to know why they star in some blockbuster Hollywood movies such as “Due Date”?

Studies have shown that French bulldogs are smarter than other dog breeds. French bulldogs are considered to be the smartest of all bully breeds.

There are several ways in which this breed displays its smarts including:

They Can Understand Emotions

They might be a handful but Frenchies understand emotions.

Some owners of this breed say that French Bulldogs seem to know when to be mischievous and when not to be. During times when she wasnot feeling well someone shared their experiences with their dogs. She was astonished at how well her pup behaved. Staying by her parents side it was as if she was comforting them.

They Can Sense Danger

Though Frenchies are gentle in nature they can also sense when somebody especially an outsider has bad intentions. While they may not bark that much they have other means of communicating with their owners when they need to give warnings. These include howling and yelling. An example of how smart a French Bulldog can be is this right here. They know how to get their message across.

If you do end up getting a Frenchie it is important that you also understand what he is trying to tell you. To put it another way the two of you should figure out a way to communicate. This can be accomplished through proper training.

They Can Follow Commands

There is a reputation for stubbornness among French Bulldogs. Thats not a good thing. However this does not mean that they are less intelligent. As long as they have been trained properly they know how to follow orders or commands.

You may have to repeat the commands a few times during training due to their stubborn nature. This requires patience. Having your dog follow orders will be worthwhile at the end of the day.

They Can Comprehend

French Bulldogs have appeared in a variety of Hollywood movies as we have already mentioned. This is another indication of their intelligence.

Filming a particular scene involves training the dog to do what he needs to do. Watching the movies you will be surprised at how well those Frenchies have behaved and acted. Not only can they comprehend things but they are also great actors.

They Can Do Tricks

In addition to being good at learning tricks French Bulldogs are also intelligent. Among their many abilities they can “shake hands” (with their paws) “kiss” you “catch” “fetch” “beg” “bow” “talk” “play dead” and more!

There are lots of tricks that Frenchies can perform but they will need your assistance as they will need training. This group of dogs is also very trainable a testament to how intelligent they are.

Gauging a French Bulldog’s Intelligence

Dr. Stanley Coren conducted studies in the 1990s to analyze how different breeds of dogs think. In the same way a scientist or doctor would do when studying human behavior and intelligence the psychologist also gave the dogs some puzzles and tests. Here he watched how long it took a particular canine family to solve the obstacles.

The experiment included French Bulldogs. They still scored fairly even though they did not score the highest. In this case the doctor had to repeat a certain command 40 to 80 times before the dog family obeyed. As we mentioned in the first part of this article Frenchies are known to be extremely stubborn. It does not mean they’re stupid though. Its not as if they do not understand what they’re told to do. The problem is their motivation.

According to the ranking there were three categories:

  1. Instinctive intelligence
  2. Adaptive intelligence
  3. Working and obedience intelligence

The reason why French Bulldogs did not score well is that the first criterion is about the dogs ability to perform the activities expected of a breed. So why breed Frenchies in the first place?

Another reason they scored low in the third criterion is that they are stubborn. On the other hand when it comes to adaptive intelligence Frenchies are the best.

High Adaptive Intelligence of French Bulldogs

A dogs adaptive intelligence refers to both its problem-solving abilities and its ability to learn from its environment. This is when the French Bulldog really shines.

French Bulldogs have a high degree of adaptive intelligence as evidenced by the majority of the evidence we have cited earlier. In light of that we can conclude that this group is indeed very intelligent.

Can You Make Your Frenchie Smarter?

Ideally dog owners or soon-to-be owners want their pups to be smart. Frenchies have a high level of adaptive intelligence so you’re lucky if you choose this breed of dog. You need to be prepared though as this group could be really hard-headed too.

You can certainly make your French Bulldog smarter if you have patience though. Here are a few tips:

Early Obedience Training

If you teach your Frenchie early enough you can somewhat eliminate this trait even though it is already in their nature to be stubborn. The puppys brain will be stimulated by a few minutes of being held away from the litter once it has been born and this of course will improve its intelligence.

Daily Physical Manipulation

It is very important to start physically handling your Frenchie the moment you bring it home. The dog will accept change more willingly if you start doing this from the moment you bring it home. Slowly the stubbornness will disappear and you will find it so much easier to get it to follow your orders.

Regular Socialization

In addition to puppies socialization is essential for adult dogs as well. Why? As a result they are exposed to other dogs people and a variety of situations from which they can learn. It is highly recommended that you begin socializing your dog at the age of three months however for better results.

As in the case of human babies a dogs brain is like a sponge at this stage. The possibilities are endless. Proper training should therefore begin as early as possible. You should correct your dogs bad behavior as soon as possible so he does not get worse.

Continuous Training

When you train your Frenchie to be more obedient you can teach him a lot of things. Besides new tricks you’ll be able to teach him better ways to communicate. Its just a matter of watching what triggers his intelligence. I think thats the best way to sharpen a Frenchies brain or the brain of any dog for that matter.

Use of Praise and Rewards

Treats are a French Bulldogs favorite thing. If your pet shows intelligent behavior you should reward him with new toys or even a delightful meal if he deserves it. By doing so you will encourage him to be more obedient and to perform better in every task or command you assign him.

Do not forget that dogs have a good memory as well. In other words if you acknowledge his good work he will continue to do so and even try harder so that he will be rewarded. This is a great way to make a dog smarter.


Not only do French Bulldogs have a cute appearance but they are also known for their adaptability. It is true that this breed is known for being stubborn but you can actually eliminate this trait with proper training. Frenchies can even become much smarter than other dog breeds if you are patient enough.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

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Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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