As you begin a search for a dog, it is important to consider if they will be good with children if you have them or if you plan to have them in the future.
With their cute faces, clownish personalities, low exercise requirements, and easy to manage size, French Bulldogs are a go-to pick for many families. According to Dog Time, Frenchies have a long-standing history as a family companion breed.
So, are French Bulldogs good with kids?
According to French Bulldog breeder Jennifer Santarpia of New York, French Bulldogs are good family dogs and generally enjoy children.
Despite the fact that all French Bulldogs look the same, they each have unique personalities, and as such, each specific French Bulldog will have a different take on tiny humans.
Starting off on the right paw
When you purchase a French Bulldog puppy or adopt an adult French Bulldog, you will want to do everything you can to prepare her to excel in whatever life will bring her by socializing and training her.
There are several reasons that training and socialization are very important:
- Having a well trained and well-socialized dog is an absolute delight and will make your journey as a French Bulldog pet parent a very happy and fulfilling one. A poorly behaved French Bulldog can be very difficult to live with.
- Ensuring that your Frenchie is well socialized and trained will make your her more adoptable if something were to happen to you.
- An aggressive dog is a liability, both to herself and to others. If a dog bites someone, she and your family could face serious repercussions, such as a civil lawsuit, Court ordered fines or Court ordered euthanasia.
Take the first step to training and socializing your French Bulldog by signing her up for a beginner training class or a puppy training class at a local pet store or with a local dog trainer.
How to plan for your French Bulldog is a part of your future family
When you bring your French Bulldog home, you will begin to fall in love with him immediately.
If you plan to have years of bonding with your dog ahead of you before adding children to the family, you will have an opportunity to learn his personality and have the advantage to ensure that his relationship with your future children will be a good one.
Begin the first step towards this goal by doing socializing your French Bulldog to ensure that your dog will always be able to be a part of your family.
If you are getting a Frenchie before you have children, it is crucial that you socialize your Frenchie with children from the beginning of his joining your family.
Always seek out opportunities for your Frenchie to interact with children who treat him kindly so that he can learn to love little ones.
If your French Bulldog consistently has bad experiences with children, he might not be excited as you are when you bring home a bundle of joy in the future.
According to CannaPet, A general disposition to like children as the breed will only get a dog so far if his only interactions with children are negative ones.
Without positive socialization with children, your French Bulldog may not take well to children joining your family in the future.
If your French Bulldog cannot tolerate children to the point of becoming aggressive towards them, your first course of action should be keeping the children separate from him as much as possible, and finding a local dog trainer to assist you.
Without the assistance of a trainer, you could have to make a heartbreaking decision to re-home your Frenchie with a childless family.
How to introduce your baby to your French Bulldog
According to the American Kennel Club, a baby joining the family can be scary for a dog, but if introduced properly, the dog can learn to bond with the baby too.
Here are some tips to help your Frenchie become smitten with his new brother or sister:
Lessen the amount of attention your dog gets for 3 weeks before the baby is due to avoid him associating the baby with something negative. Then give your Frenchie lots of attention when the baby arrives so that he associates good things with the baby.
Play recordings of baby sound in the house for 2 weeks before the baby is due.
Have a family member take a blanket or item of clothing that your baby has used from the hospital to your Frenchie to smell. Rub some of his toys on the item to transfer the baby’s scent to something positive.
Give your Frenchie a few days to get used to the baby’s presence before introducing him to the baby.
After a few days, arrange a meet and greet. Put your Frenchie on a leash to control the interaction and allow him to choose to approach the baby; do not force him to interact with the baby; it should be his idea.
If your Frenchie finds your baby’s toys appealing, do not scold him for trying to play with them. Instead, replace the baby toy with an appropriate dog toy immediately.
It takes two: teaching your children to respect your French Bulldog
In order for your French Bulldog to enjoy spending time with children, it is imperative that the children be taught to respect dogs.
By teaching your children the following, you will pave the way to a treasured friendship between your Frenchie and your children, and a lifelong love of dogs for your child:
Children should not treat dogs like toys. Since Frenchies can be small, many children may attempt to play with them as they would a toy, which may cause injuries to the dog or the child.
According to Cuteness, Children should never attempt to ride a dog like a pony, sit on a dog or use a dog as a pillow. The dog could become injured and bite as a result.
Children should be taught to treat dogs with kindness and respect.
It is important that they understand that while dogs like to play and snuggle, they may not like to play and snuggle the same way children do. Parents Magazine recommends that children be taught to think like dogs.
Children should be taught what animal abuse is, and that it is not okay to hit, kick, throw, choke, or drag a dog. Children should also be taught to alert their parents immediately if anyone abuses or is mean to their Frenchie.
Remember, dogs only have two ways of saying no; running away or biting. If a child is mean to a dog and will not leave them alone, their chances of being bitten increase.
For a video with more advice on how to teach your children to respect dogs, watch this video by Top Dog Tips.
How to Help Children and French Bulldogs bond
As children get older, Whole Dog Journal recommends involving them in caring for your dog.
It is important to involve them in age-appropriate ways to help take care of their French Bulldog to help them form a strong bond. Some ways to help children bond with their French Bulldogs are:
- Teach your children how to measure their Frenchie’s food and prepare their meals. Though your Frenchie may love the idea of multiple meals, consider purchasing a feeding indicator to ensure your French Bulldog is not fed multiple times a day if you have several children who enjoy preparing their meals.
- Show your children how to play with your French Bulldog; his favorite games to play and how to play with him respectfully.
- Have your children help bathe your French Bulldog.
- Take your children shopping to pick out toys for your French Bulldog.
- Teach your children how their Frenchie is trained; what commands and tricks your French Bulldog knows. Once they learn how to have him obey their commands, take a video of them running through the commands and tricks to preserve sweet memories.
Getting a breed of dog that generally likes children does not guarantee that your dog will like children. While French Bulldogs generally like children, if they are not trained and socialized properly, the chances that they will like children greatly decrease.
Even though French Bulldogs as a breed generally do enjoy the company of tiny humans, there is an exception to every rule.
Some French Bulldogs may not like children because a child has abused them or because they are often loud and rowdy, or for no reason at all.
It is imperative that children be taught to be respectful and kind to dogs to help French Bulldogs learn to like children and to prevent dog bites.