Are French Bulldogs Protective? Will Your Frenchie Guard You?

French Bulldogs are cute, cuddly, and friendly dogs, but they are still dogs, and all dogs have protective instincts, right?

But after decades of selective breeding that has changed a lot in Frenchies, can you expect your Frenchie to protect you if needed? Does your french bulldog still have these instincts that made dogs our favorite companions in the first place?

So, are French Bulldogs protective? French Bulldogs are protective of their families, but they do not make good guard dogs due to their friendly and trusting nature. French Bulldogs have territorial and protective instincts that are strong enough to make them bark to alert you of intruders, but they are unlikely to attack the intruder.

So, yes, your French Bulldog still has the protective instincts that make them alert and watchful over their loved ones and their home, but if an intruder does come to your house, you should not rely on them to defend you or your home, as they are simply too good-natured to attack, and they may expect pets and cuddles from the intruder instead of harm.

To understand what makes French bulldogs protective but not good guard dogs, and to know how your French Bulldog will react in different situations, keep on reading, I’ll explain everything…

Are French Bulldogs Protective?

french bulldog barking to answer are french bulldogs protective

French Bulldogs are protective indeed, and they still have the intrinsic dog instincts of protecting their herd, in this case, that’s your family, but you should not rely too much on their protective instincts.

French Bulldogs were never meant to be guard dogs. They were originally bait dogs for bulls, which is where the name comes from.

They were not originally bred to protect houses, but to rather be a miniature version of the English Bulldog, which was originally bred to work with bulls, as the name might suggest. So, basically, they are friendly working dogs, not guard dogs.

However, they still possess the basic instincts that make dogs protective of their family and their territory. In essence, they may protect you if they are sure that you are threatened, but you should not count on it too much.

Here is what the American Kennel Club says about it:

Although not at all yappy, he’ll bark to let you know if someone’s at the door. The breed can be a little territorial, but that’s where his job ends: don’t expect him to be a guard dog.

8 Things to Know About French Bulldogs

And here is what people are saying on Reddit about it:

He’s pretty protective of us and always barks when someone is outside the house. But, man, he can be so territorial and bossy with our other dogs

Krystal bee / Reddit

Will Your French Bulldog Protect you?

Your French Bulldog will protect you if they sense imminent danger to you, although this will depend more on the dog’s training and personality than the breed itself. A well-trained French Bulldog will protect its owners, but you should not count on them to be your main guard dogs.

Although some may disagree with this, it is true. French Bulldogs are still good dogs that will do the good dog thing and protect their owners when need to.

In fact, when Frenchies were exploding in popularity in Europe, and France in particular, it was their protective nature that made them very popular with people like Cafe owners, traders, and “ladies of the night” – (yes, it’s what you think, of course) – because they made them feel safe while still being small and cute dogs that can go everywhere with them.

Due to this explosion in popularity, people started breeding Bulldogs more aggressively to make them smaller to be better companions, and the French Bulldog was born, with its fighting instinct still there, but much weaker, and their fate now changing into being companion animals instead of working or fighting dogs.

It’s worth noting that French Bulldogs are, still, dogs at the end of the day, and they can rise up to the occasion when the time calls for it. You can learn why and how French Bulldogs attack here.

Can French Bulldogs protect themselves?

French Bulldogs can protect themselves quite well. Despite their small size and friendly nature, French Bulldogs have a lot of strength, self-confidence, and aggression that allows them to fight other dogs to protect themselves if needed, and some owners even report their Frenchies bullying much larger dogs.

In my heart, I believe that Frenchies are the reason behind the saying:

“it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog”

Well-trained, well-socialized French Bulldogs are rarely aggressive with other dogs, and Frenchies have a reputation of being good with other dogs in general, but they are still strong enough to defend themselves if needed.

With that being said, one of the basics of training a dog is to teach them to never intervene on your behalf, and that you are in control all the time. This means your dog should not need to protect themselves and it should be on you.

Leaving this job to your dog will not only change the dynamics of your relationship, but it will also make the dog more aggressive with time.

Are French Bulldogs Good Guard Dogs?

French Bulldogs are not good guard dogs, but they do make surprisingly good watchdogs. Your French Bulldog will bark to alert you of intruders, but they are unlikely to attack these intruders unless threatened or provoked.

So, while your Frenchie has the territorial instincts needed to make them identify an intruder as an alarming thing that they should alert you to, they are too good-natured and too trusting in people to make them good guard dogs.

If what you need is a dog that will bark to alarm you of an intruder (or the mailman), a French Bulldog is a good option, but if you want a good guard dog, then they definitely are not, and you should instead look into other dog breeds like the German Shepherd.

To understand more why French Bulldogs don’t make good guard dogs, we need to dive a bit deeper into the nature of your Frenchie, so let’s do that…

Why French Bulldogs Make Don’t Make Good Guard Dogs

Here are the main reasons why French Bulldogs don’t make good guard dogs:

Frenchies are small and weak

Compared to other dog breeds, French Bulldogs are tiny, and they just don’t have the same strength and muscle power that other dog breeds like Pitbulls or German Shepherds have.

This means that even if they fight an intruder, they are unlikely to do much damage unless they can get a bite on from the very first moments.

Frenchies Love People

One of the major factors behind their popularity is that French Bulldogs really do like people a lot, which means they are rarely hostile and aggressive with humans, and this includes intruders.

If an intruder comes through my house’s front door right now, I am pretty sure my Frenchies will bark for a while but then will jump to get the intruder to pet them.

Think of it this way, when a Pitbull or a German Shepherd or any other good guard dog sees an intruder they immediately think “stranger danger”, but when a Frenchie sees one they will first think “hey, dad, there is someone here we have not seen here before” before quickly transitioning to “oh, a stranger, maybe today we make new friends!”

Frenchies are very eager to please

French bulldogs are very eager to please, which is very useful when training them, but it also makes them quite bad guard dogs. You want a guard dog to not care at all about the intruder and instead attack with full force when the intruder steps over into your house, but Frenchies are not like that.

Frenchies are not very energetic

Have you ever been around a border collie? These dogs seem to be from another dimension, their energy is almost infinite. They can literally run for hours before they need a break, which is why they are so incredibly good at competitions.

Frenchies are like, the opposite of Border Collies. They will bark for a few seconds before they are too tired. That’s because of their physiology as their short airways make them gasp for breath more quickly as barking takes a lot of breath.

This is the same reason they can’t run or do any intensive activities for any period of time.

They are easily distractible

It’s so very easy to distract your French Bulldog with any kind of food that the burglar will just need to throw them any piece of meat or chicken and they will have the house for themselves. That’s not how you want a good guard dog to act at all.

French Bulldogs have such an insatiable love for food that actually makes them prone to obesity, which is why you should be very careful when giving them table scraps or treats because you know they are definitely going to burn off these calories running.


So, to conclude our discussion:

Yes, French Bulldogs are protective of their family, especially young kids, and they make good watchdogs that will alert you to intruders and burglars, but they are not good guard dogs and the chances of them actually fighting an intruder are slim.

You should not count on your French Bulldog to protect you, your family, or your house, but if you are looking for a companion dog that will occasionally alert you to strangers approaching your house or land, a French Bulldog is a very good choice.

French Bulldogs are extremely good companion animals, they are friendly, affectionate, cuddly, and they like nothing in the world other than spending time with you. Frenchies also love kisses very much.

Related Questions suggestions

Do French Bulldogs hold grudges?

French Bulldogs do not hold grudges, and they are quick to forget and forgive our mistakes, but if you do something that upsets your Frenchie quite a bit, they will make an association. So, while your French Bulldog will not hold a grudge for the negative experience, they may make an association to help them avoid the negative experience in the future.

Frenchies can’t hold grudges because grudge is simply too complicated of emotion for them to comprehend or create. You can learn what emotions your French Bulldog can and can’t feel here.

Do French Bulldogs like to fight?

French Bulldogs do not like to fight, but they will do anything they need to in order to grab your attention, and if they try starting a fight with other dogs once to grab your attention and it works, they may form an association and repeat it, again and again, to grab your attention when they need to.

Are French Bulldogs Territorial?

French Bulldogs are territorial and will try to protect their owners and their home from other dogs, and some French Bulldogs can be too territorial and act as if they ‘own’ you or the house, and this is usually the start of an aggression problem and should be handled quickly.

Helpful Resources

The French Bulldog Handbook by Linda Whitwam (which you can also check on Amazon here)

Did you like the post? If so, please share it!

Similar Posts