Are French Bulldogs Smart? Exploring Frenchie Intelligence

Prospective Frenchie owners and dog enthusiasts often ask us -  "are French Bulldogs smart?"  

In this blog post, we'll examine the intellectual capacity of French Bulldogs to give you a full understanding of their mental abilities.

We'll explore various factors that affect the intelligence of these charming canines, as well as discuss effective training methods for young dogs.

Additionally, we'll cover ways to stimulate your Frenchie's mind and keep them engaged throughout their lives.

By the end of this article, not only will you have a clearer answer to "Are French Bulldogs smart?", but also gain valuable insights on how to maximize your beloved pet's mental prowess.

So let's dive in and learn more about what makes this breed an ideal companion dog for many households.


Table of Contents:


Are French Bulldogs Intelligent?

French Bulldogs (aka. Frenchies) are cute, loyal and affectionate dogs. They are the ideal breed to be your best friend!

When asking the question "Are Frenchies smart?", consider that their intelligence is unique and not easily measured by traditional rankings.

Unlike other breeds, Frenchies excel in social intelligence, allowing them to form strong bonds with their owners and communicate through body language and facial expressions.

A Frenchie's intelligence is shown best through its:

  • Loyalty: Frenchies' unwavering devotion to their owners showcases their emotional intelligence.
  • Cleverness: These dogs know their strengths and can strategically use their cute faces to get what they want.
  • Sense of Humor: Frenchies' playful antics and sense of humour can bring joy to any home.

However, their working intelligence and ability to problem-solve varies among individuals. Frenchies can be a very stubborn breed so patience and consistency are key when working to help them reach their full potential.

Factors that can affect your Frenchie's intelligence include proper training and mental stimulation, which we'll discuss in the next sections. Check out AKC for more information on French Bulldogs.

Bulldog's intelligence will depend on genetics, environment, and training


Factors That Affect French Bulldog Intelligence

Your individual French Bulldog's intelligence will depend on genetics, environment, and training.


While French Bulldogs may not be the smartest breed, their lineage and breeding history will contribute to their innate cleverness.

Originating from the English Bulldog and a small French Terrier, the French Bulldog inherited intelligent traits from both breeds.

From the English Bulldog, the Frenchie gained its resilient nature and determination. From the French Terrier, the modern Frenchie received its alertness and excitable personality.

Beyond their historical lineage, the breeding history of individual French Bulldogs will also play a significant role in their intelligence.

Dedicated Frenchie breeders will selectively pair dogs with desirable cognitive traits such as trainability. This will result in more intelligent puppies down the line.


Providing your Frenchie with a stimulating environment is crucial for nurturing their mental growth. Try the below tips to improve your Frenchie's intelligence:

  • Socialisation: Regular interaction with other dogs or pets at parks or playdates.
  • New Experiences: Different walking routes or new places to expand their horizons.
  • Puzzle Toys: Treat-dispensing puzzles designed for dogs to encourage cognitive stimulation.


Proper training plays a vital role in shaping your French Bulldog's intelligence. When training your Frenchie, ensure you incorporate:

  • Starting Early: Begin obedience training when they are still puppies for better results.
  • Consistency: Consistent commands and rewards reinforce desired behaviours.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Use praise, pats or treats as positive reinforcement when they successfully perform a command or task.

Incorporating a stimulating environment and routine training into your Frenchie's life will contribute positively towards their intellectual development, making them smarter and more well-rounded companions over time.

Proper training is important for them to reach their full potential

Training Your French Bulldog

Proper training is essential for French Bulldogs to reach their full potential. 

Like humans, dogs can increase their intelligence by learning. For Frenchies, this can include learning the rules of the house, learning tricks or learning to interact with others.

When training your French Bulldog, these tips are essential:

Start Early with Socialisation

Expose your Frenchie to various people, animals, and environments early on to reduce fear and aggression later in life. 

If your Frenchie becomes well-socialised and confident, it will develop more social intelligence and have more opportunities to go to new environments and learn new skills.

Use Positive Reinforcement Techniques

Positive reinforcement is the most effective method of dog training. This involves you (the trainer) rewarding good behaviour with treats, praise, pats, and toys.

This fun method makes your dog want to learn and is a more rewarding experience for you both.

Avoid punishment-based training methods. These are less effective, often causing your dog to hide bad behaviour from you rather than actually stop doing it. It can also cause your dog to feel stressed or afraid, leading to aggression.

Be Consistent and Patient

A dog owner should use the same commands and reward system consistently and be patient with their Frenchie. Not all dogs will learn at the same pace.

Going slowly can also help you form a stronger bond with your dog, resulting in the dog respecting you more and following your commands better.

Enrol in Obedience Classes

Professional obedience classes offer structured lessons and advice for training your pup. This may be with a one-on-one trainer or in a group class (such as puppy preschool).

Group obedience classes also allow socialisation opportunities for your Frenchie.

By following these tips, you'll have an obedient and well-mannered French Bulldog that's eager to please. 

French Bulldogs are mentally sharp

Stimulating Your French Bulldog's Mind

Keep your French Bulldog's mind sharp by regularly providing mentally stimulating activities:

Interactive Toys and Puzzles

Challenge your Frenchie's brain and body with interactive toys and puzzles that require problem-solving skills to receive a treat or access a favourite toy.

When first introducing puzzle toys, start with something simple like a Treat Roller then slowly advance until you get to something much harder like the Smarty Paws Puzzler.

Training Sessions

Improve obedience and mental agility by incorporating daily training sessions that teach new tricks, practice old ones, or work on advanced commands.

Socialisation Opportunities

Expand your Frenchie's social skills and mental enrichment by visiting the local dog park, arranging playdates, or enrolling in group training classes.

Environmental Enrichment

Encourage curiosity and interest by introducing new experiences and environments, such as walks in different locations, exposure to various sounds, or new scents through grooming products.

Brain Games

Strengthen the bond between you and your Frenchie with simple brain games like hiding treats, playing "find it," or teaching them the names of their toys.

Remember, a mentally stimulated dog is less likely to develop behavioural issues and will lead a happier, healthier life overall.

5 Signs of an Intelligent French Bulldog

An intelligent French Bulldog will show the below features:

Problem-Solving Skills

They can solve puzzles and find hidden treats with ease, which a dog owner can encourage with toys from Zach's Pet Shop.

Quick Learning Abilities

They learn new commands and tricks faster than average dogs, and you can track their progress during training sessions.

Obedience From Training

A well-trained Frenchie will be obedient and respond promptly to commands like "sit," "stay," or "come".


Intelligent French bulldogs adapt quickly to new situations, environments, or changes in their daily routine, making them excellent companions for exploring new places together.

Social Skills

They exhibit good social skills around other dogs and humans alike, which can be developed through proper socialisation during puppyhood.

French bulldogs exhibit good social skills around other dogs

FAQs in Relation to Are French Bulldogs Smart

How intelligent is a French Bulldog?

French Bulldogs are moderately intelligent, ranking 58th out of 138 dog breeds in Stanley Coren's classic book The Intelligence of Dogs.

Do French Bulldogs have a good memory?

Yes, French Bulldogs have a decent memory and can remember commands and routines when trained consistently.

Are French Bulldogs easy to train?

French Bulldogs are smart but can be stubborn during training, so consistency and positive reinforcement methods work best.

What is the most intelligent dog?

The Border Collie holds the title of the most intelligent dog breed due to its exceptional working intelligence and obedience capabilities.

Ian's Wrap

Here's a couple of things to remember, when asking "Are French Bulldogs smart?", it's important to remember that genetics, training, and socialisation can all play a role in a Frenchie's intelligence.

As I mentioned earlier, that while the average Frenchie is smart, they are more known for their affectionate and playful personalities, making them the ideal companion dog.

I always suggest a mix of training, mental stimulation and interactive toys can help to improve their cognitive abilities.

For those considering getting a French Bulldog, I would like to point out that it's important to note that they are a stubborn breed and not necessarily the ideal breed for training. They will require patience and consistency from their owners.



Pet Expert - Ian Hamblin

About Ian

Ian Hamblin is a renowned pet enthusiast and the driving force behind Zach's Pet Shop, a trusted name in the Australian pet industry.

With an impressive track record of nearly 15 years, Ian has been supplying high-quality pet products to Australians, earning their trust and loyalty.

French bulldog

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