How to Handle French Bulldog Behavior Problems? - TomKings Puppies Blog

How to Handle French Bulldog Behavior Problems?

If you’re a proud owner of one of these adorable, snub-nosed pups, you already know that Frenchies are a breed like no other. They steal your heart with their charming personalities and comical antics, but just like any dog, they can have their moments of mischief. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common French Bulldog behavior problems and offer practical tips and solutions to help you and your furry friend live harmoniously. From separation anxiety to stubbornness and whining, we’ve got you covered.

Frenchies are Marvelous. At Least, Most of the Time

French Bulldogs are truly marvelous companions known for their playfulness and endearing quirks. They’re like little clowns, always ready to put a smile on your face with their entertaining antics. They are also incredibly social and thrive on human interaction. With their expressive eyes and loving demeanor, they form strong bonds with their owners, often becoming a cherished member of the family.

Dina, available French Bulldog puppy at TomKings Puppies
Dina, French Bulldog puppy at TomKings Puppies

However, it’s important to remember that even the most marvelous dogs can have their challenging moments. French Bulldogs are no exception. So, let’s take a closer look at some common behavior problems that can arise in Frenchies and explore how to handle them effectively. After all, a little guidance can go a long way in ensuring that your Frenchie remains the marvelous companion you adore most of the time!

Is a French Bulldog
the Right Dog
Breed for You?

Take Our Quiz!

The Most Common Behavior Problems in French Bulldogs

While French Bulldogs are undeniably charming, they are not without their behavioral challenges. As a Frenchie parent, it’s important to understand and address these issues with patience and knowledge. Here are some of the most common behavior problems you may encounter!

Separation Anxiety

Ah, the heart-wrenching moment when you leave your Frenchie alone and those soulful eyes plead for you not to go. French Bulldogs are known for their attachment to their owners, and may experience separation anxiety when left alone, leading to destructive behaviors. We’ll discuss strategies to ease their anxiety and make your departures less stressful.


Frenchies are notoriously stubborn creatures: you tell them one thing which they either ignore or do the exact opposite of what you expect from them. Most parents are not aware that dogs understand much more from non-verbal communication like body language, so we’ll teach you what you need to know about that!

Ronald, available French Bulldog puppy at TomKings Puppies
Ronald, French Bulldog puppy at TomKings Puppies

Food Aggression

Some French Bulldogs can display food aggression, growling or showing their teeth when you approach them during feeding. It is not acceptable behavior, so we’ll guide you on how to establish yourself as the pack leader and ensure mealtimes are stress-free.

Destructive Chewing

Like most puppies, French Bulldogs like to chew. But if left unchecked, this behavior can lead to damaged furniture and belongings. We’ll provide tips on redirecting their chewing habits and keeping your possessions safe.

Check out our
available puppies

Barking and Whining

Frenchies are typically a quiet breed, but some of them can be quite vocal. Excessive barking or whining can definitely be a nuisance, so we’ll explore ways to manage and reduce these behaviors while maintaining a harmonious environment at home.

Leash Training and Walking Problems

Walking your Frenchie should be an enjoyable experience for both of you, but leash pulling and erratic behavior can make it frustrating. You’ll learn how to establish control and turn your walks into pleasant outings.

House Training and Potty Issues

Accidents happen, especially with puppies. We’ll discuss the best practices for house training and minimizing indoor accidents.

Bruce, available French Bulldog puppy at TomKings Puppies
Bruce, French Bulldog puppy at TomKings Puppies

Now that you’re aware of the most common behavior problems that as a Frenchie parent you may encounter, let’s see what are the essential steps to overcome these and raise a well-behaved companion!

Separation Anxiety

1. Gradually Increase Alone Time: Start by leaving them alone for short periods and gradually extend the time. This helps them get used to the idea that you’ll always return.

2. Keep Departures and Arrivals Low-Key: Don’t make a big fuss when you leave or return. This can help reduce their anxiety.

3. Offer Long-Lasting Snacks: Treat-dispensing toys or chews can keep them occupied and distracted during your time away.

4. Walk or Play with Them Before You Leave: A tired Frenchie is less likely to get anxious, so a bit of exercise before you leave can help.

5. Consider a Professional Pet Sitter: If you’ll be gone for extended periods, a pet sitter can provide companionship and comfort.

Remember, it takes time, patience, and consistency to overcome separation anxiety. Read our article for more details about the topic.


1. Commands: When giving commands, use a firm, confident, neutral tone of voice and normal volume. Stand in one place with a firm, normal posture and neutral facial expression. Keep commands simple and use the same words consistently.

2. Praise: When praising, use a friendly, enthusiastic, sweet, thin tone of voice, and normal or high volume. Either stand in one place or move away from your puppy with a kind, smiling facial expression, you can also pet them.

3. Punishing: When disciplining your Frenchie, use a forceful, strict, deep tone of voice and high volume. Stand in one place or move towards your puppy with an angry facial expression and make direct eye contact.

Jacobo, available French Bulldog puppy at TomKings Puppies
Jacobo, French Bulldog puppy at TomKings Puppies

4. The Golden Rule: When your Frenchie is misbehaving, start with a neutral “NO” command. Offer praise when they respond well, reinforcing positive behavior, if they don’t, apply appropriate punishment. Always choose one of the last two methods.

5. Consistency is Key: Be consistent in your commands, praise, and discipline. Frenchies thrive on routine and clear expectations, making it easier for them to understand what you want.

To learn everything about the topic, read our article How to communicate with your Frenchie. By mastering the art of communication, you’ll build a stronger bond and ensure a harmonious relationship with your pup.

Food Aggression

1. Establish Yourself as the Alpha: Before feeding, ensure your Frenchie recognizes you as the pack leader (here’s how). You decide when it’s mealtime, not them.

2. Make Them Wait: Before placing their food bowl down, ask your Frenchie to sit and wait. This reinforces your control over their meal.

3. Allow Approach After Permission: Only allow your Frenchie to approach the food after you’ve given them verbal permission.

4. Deal with Impatience: If your Frenchie gets pushy or impatient, assert dominance by stepping between them and the food. Reinforce your role as the alpha.

Food aggression can be a serious issue if not addressed, but with consistent training, you can make mealtime a calm and peaceful experience. Read our full article about the topic.

Destructive Chewing

1. Provide Regular Exercise: A tired Frenchie is a well-behaved Frenchie. Ensure they get enough physical activity to reduce pent-up energy, which can lead to destructive chewing.

2. Mental Stimulation: Engage their minds with puzzle toys, playtime, interactive games, and training exercises to tire them mentally.

3. Chew Toys: Offer a variety of chew toys, including dental chews and Kong toys, and rotate them to keep things interesting.

Anson, available French Bulldog puppy at TomKings Puppies
Anson, French Bulldog puppy at TomKings Puppies

4. Keep Non-Chew Items Out of Reach: Puppy-proof your home by removing items you don’t want them to chew. Prevention is often the best cure.

5. Safely Confine When You’re Not Home: If you can’t supervise your Frenchie, use a crate or playpen to limit their access to potential chew targets.

With the right mental and physical stimulation, your Frenchie can learn that there are better things to chew than your favorite pair of shoes. Plus, they will be much happier! Here’s our full article about the topic.

Barking and Whining

1. Ignore Barking: When your Frenchie barks, try not to react. This sends a message of calmness, indicating that barking won’t get them what they want.

2. Use a Cue Word: Introduce a command like “quiet” and reward your pup when they stop barking. Consistency is key here.

3. Identify the Cause: Understand why your Frenchie is barking. It could be boredom, fear, excitement, or a need to alert you. Address the underlying issue.

4. Desensitize with Treats: If your Frenchie barks due to specific triggers (like the doorbell), use treats to desensitize them. Reward silence when the trigger occurs.

5. Redirect Barking: Teach alternative commands like “lay down” or “sit.” When they obey, reward them, redirecting their focus away from barking.

With patience and consistent training, you can help your Frenchie become a quieter and more well-behaved companion. To learn more, read this article.

Leash Training and Walking Problems

1. Establish Your Authority: Right from the start, let your Frenchie know that you’re the leader. You lead the way during walks, not them.

2. Never Allow Pulling: When your Frenchie pulls on the leash, use a firm “NO!” and give a gentle leash pull in the opposite direction. This shows them that you’re in control.

3. Change Direction: If your Frenchie tugs, switch direction abruptly. This reinforces your role as the leader.

Jeffrey, available French Bulldog puppy at TomKings Puppies
Jeffrey, French Bulldog puppy at TomKings Puppies

4. Maintain Consistent Expectations: Be consistent with your expectations during every walk. If your Frenchie knows what you want, they’ll be more likely to comply.

5. Reduce Treat Rewards: As your Frenchie grows more accustomed to walking without pulling, gradually decrease the frequency of treats. Reward good behavior, but make it less predictable.

Walking your Frenchie should be a time for bonding and exercise, not a stressful experience. With some patience and training, your walks can become a joyous activity, read our article for more effective leash training tips.

House Training and Potty Issues

1. Identify the Right Times: Frenchies typically need to go after waking up, after eating, and after sniffing around. Remember that younger puppies cannot hold their bladder for long so you need to take them out as often as possible.

2. Take Them Outside: When you notice those signs, take your Frenchie outside immediately. Choose a designated potty area and wait for them patiently to do their business.

3. Praise and Rewards: When your pup successfully goes outside, praise them enthusiastically. Show how happy you are with your affection.

4. Correct in the Act: If accidents happen indoors, correct them immediately while they’re in the act. Never scold afterwards, as they won’t understand.

Dina, available French Bulldog puppy at TomKings Puppies
Bruce and Dina, French Bulldog puppies at TomKings Puppies

5. Establish a Routine: Consistency is key. Set a regular schedule for potty breaks and make sure you stick to it.

6. Be Patient: House training takes time. Frenchies are quick learners, but they may have occasional setbacks. Stay patient and persistent.

By following these steps and providing positive reinforcement, you’ll help your Frenchie become reliably house-trained. Read this and this article for more tips!

We Can Help You Become a Fantastic Frenchie Owner!

At TomKings Puppies, we’re not just passionate about breeding French Bulldogs; we’re dedicated to supporting you as a Frenchie owner. For a comprehensive guide to raising a happy and healthy Frenchie, check out our Ultimate Guide to Raising a Happy and Healthy Frenchie ebook. It’s packed with expert tips and insights to ensure you and your furry friend have the best journey together. We’ll help you become the ultimate Frenchie parent!

Ultimate Guide
to Raising a Frenchie

If you’d like to learn more about Frenchies, join our Facebook group called TomKings Frenchie Family to read our Frenchie parents’ experiences.

The article is based on the expert knowledge of the TomKings Puppies team who have been breeding French Bulldogs for 10 years on their farm. All the pictures in the post belong to them and their customers, and show puppies from their breed. Check their available French Bulldog puppies, or if you have any questions or comments let us know below the article.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Celia, the calm


, French Bulldog,



Silas, the stunning

Blue merle

, French Bulldog,



Lizzy, the lovely

Blue merle

, French Bulldog,



Sofia, the striking


, French Bulldog,



Patricia, the princess


, French Bulldog,



Theodore, the terrific

Blue merle and tan

, French Bulldog,



Which adorable Frenchie will you choose? Difficult question, right? To help you out, we will gladly provide you with some extra photos or videos of our available Frenchies, you just need to ask! Send us an enquiry with the name of the puppy that catches your attention and we will tell you all about him or her. We also look forward to answering any questions you may have! 

If you can’t find your dream Frenchie amongst our available Frenchie puppies, sign up to our New Puppy Notifier to get notified when new puppies are available:

New litter

Send me an email when a new puppy is available on the website:

Send me an email when a new puppy is available on the website!

Consider adopting a French Bulldog?

Download our FREE Ultimate Guide to Adopting a Frenchie, and prepare to become the best dog parent!

Don’t miss out Your Ultimate Guide to Adopting a Frenchie e-book