Are French Bulldogs Smart or Just Really Good Actors?

French bulldogs have a reputation for being loyal and funny companions, but are they actually smart? It’s important to consider the different types of intelligence that measure how well dogs can think and process information. This article will explore whether or not French bulldogs are intelligent as compared to other breeds, what makes them so smart, and ways you can build their intelligence with training tips and activities.

Brief description of French Bulldogs

French bulldogs, also known as Frenchie‘s for short, are beloved pets that come from a lineage of small British Bulldogs and French Terriers in the late 1800s. They have since become increasingly popular due to their loving and entertaining personalities.

are french bulldogs smart

Frenchies typically weigh up to 28 lbs., stand up to 12” tall at the shoulder and live an average of 11-13 years. They are known for their stout frame, wrinkled faces, short muzzles and droopy ears. Those deep characteristics have made them a favorite among all sorts of pet owners across the U.S., Europe and Asia alike!

Purpose of the article

The purpose of this article is to discuss whether or not French bulldogs are actually considered intelligent dogs compared to other breeds, what makes them so smart, and ways to build Frenchie’s intelligence through activities and training.

Canine Intelligence and how it is measured

are french bulldogs smart

When trying to understand canine intelligence, it’s important to know that there are three different types: adaptive intelligence, instinctive intelligence, obedience & working Intelligence. Each type of these can be used in order to gauge the overall cognitive ability of a dog breed.

Explanation of adaptive intelligence

Adaptive intelligence is how well a dog breed can learn and adapt to its environment. Ability in this type of intelligence includes problem-solving skills, the ability to remember things for extended periods of time, and understanding commands quickly, among other things.

Explanation of instinctive intelligent

Instinctive intelligence deals with what breeds are born knowing or have an ingrained sense of. This can include things such as protecting their territory and property, herding other animals, a sense of you are my master etc.

are french bulldogs smart

Explanation of obedience and working intelligence

Obedience & working intelligence deals with how well a breed can follow commands or protocols given to them when trained properly/from an early age. This type is also sometimes combined with adaptive intelligence in order to get the most accurate understanding of the overall canine intellect.

How canine intelligence is measured

Unfortunately, there is still no method to accurately determine the exact IQ (Intelligence Quotient) of an individual dog, as this type of test would be too long and not easy to repeat in a reasonable period of time. However, studies have been conducted on different breeds that offer broad estimations into overall smartness and where particular ranks in the spectrum are given when compared to other similarly trained animals.

Are French Bulldogs Smart?

are french bulldogs smart

French bulldogs are generally considered to be an intelligent breed, but do they live up to those expectations in comparison with other breeds? Let’s take a look at the overall intelligence of the French Bulldog as compared to some other popular dog breeds.

Overview of French Bulldog Intelligence

In general, French Bulldogs are moderately intelligent dogs and rank around 29th out of 138 breeds when it comes to intelligence. They have been found to excel in many areas and do not take long to learn a few basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” and/or “come” with proper training.

Comparison of French Bulldog Intelligence

When compared with some other popular dog breeds, such as Golden Retrievers (ranking 4th), Poodles (ranked 2nd) or Pit bulls (ranked 73rd), French Bulldogs do not rank as high but are still considered above average in intelligence. However, some studies have shown that their ability to problem solve and the reason is higher than many other breeds – even those with an overall better ranking score.

are french bulldogs smart

Factors influencing French Bulldog Intelligence

The environment and upbringing of a particular Frenchie can play a huge role in determining how they will fare when it comes to intelligence. Early socialization and exposure will play a large part in how quickly they learn things as well as their overall mental ability. French Bulldogs that are not properly trained or given enough stimulation may have some difficulty learning commands, but with time, patience, and repetition can eventually get the hang of it.

are french bulldogs smart

IQ of a French Bulldog

As mentioned earlier, there is no absolute way to determine an exact IQ for any particular dog breed due to the complexity and time it would take. However, a study by Stanley Coren in 1994 rated French Bulldogs as one of the more trainable breeds, with an average score of 81 out of 100 on his obedience trials.

are french bulldogs smart

What makes French Bulldog Smart?

When trying to determine why French bulldogs are considered smart let’s look at some specific traits they possess that help gives them an edge over other dogs when it comes to intelligence.

Explanation of French Bulldog characteristics

are french bulldogs smart

French Bulldogs, like all other breeds, have their own set of distinct traits and qualities, giving them that extra edge when it comes to thinking and processing information. That being said – their above-average problem-solving abilities and the fact they are easily trainable make them a good choice for families looking for an intelligent companion who isn’t too much work.

Unique qualities that make them intelligent

The unique and special qualities of a French Bulldog that help it stand out from the “smartness” spectrum include its stubbornness, sometimes aloof nature and low energy level. All of these traits can be used to your advantage when training in order to get better results, as you won’t have an overly active dog who becomes easily distracted or too tired out during long sessions.

are french bulldogs smart

Ways to build French Bulldog Intelligence

It is important for any pet owner to understand the importance of building and maintaining their dog’s mental stimulation. This means training properly, giving them activities that involve thinking/exploring and often exercising in order to stimulate both their bodies as well as brains.

are french bulldogs smart

Training tips

Training your French bulldog regularly with positive reinforcement will help build its intelligence easily over time. Try different commands or activities that involve problem-solving or memory and reward them every time they do it correctly. In addition, keeping sessions short but frequent is key – as extended periods of this type of training can get boring for them quickly!

Activities to promote mental stimulation

There are a few different activities that you can use in order to help your Frenchie stay mentally active such as hide & seek food puzzles and nose work games. Nose work involves using their unique sense of smell in order to locate hidden items, which will help them stay alert and focused.

are french bulldogs smart

The importance of exercise and socialization

Exercising your French Bulldog regularly is very important for keeping their mind sharp as it helps them process information quickly and easily. In addition, allowing plenty of opportunities for socializing with other animals or people is great – this can help prevent any potential aggression issues down the road as well!


are french bulldogs smart

French Bulldogs are considered an intelligent breed when compared to other dogs – and their unique characteristics, such as stubbornness, low energy levels etc., can make them even smarter. With proper socialization and training, they can become great companions who obey orders quickly and problem-solve effectively. Regular exercise and activities that promote mental stimulation should also be implemented in order to help round out Frenchie’s overall development into a smart doggy!