French bulldog with glasses

Are French Bulldogs Smart?

French bulldogs, once they come into your life, steal your heart and change everything.

Owners of the fourth most popular dog breed in the USA are no doubt curious about their furry companion’s intelligence. If you, too, want to adopt one, you must be wondering, “Are French bulldogs smart?”

Are French Bulldogs Smart?

It depends! Their cleverness may be determined based on many factors, including their IQ level, their obedience, intelligence, and the ease of training them.

But are you seeking a straight answer? Then here it is…

They are a mid-range breed. Sometimes smarter than you may think, and sometimes stubborn! Behavior-wise, they are not always an easy breed.

How? Let’s get down to it.

French Bulldogs Intelligence

Genes can be the key factor contributing to a French Bulldog’s Intelligence. Since humans started breeding bulldogs, they have been refining their characteristics. Finally, after 200 years of rarefying, we have our perfect love bugs.

The French Bulldogs to date are created by choosing the most entertaining and jolly individuals for breeding. Therefore, they are cute lap-warmers, batty buddies, and playful sidekicks.

But, they aren’t always good learners and can lack obedience. Oops! 

According to Coren Stanley’sThe Intelligence of Dogs, French Bulldogs are ranked to be the 109thbreed out of 138 breeds.

Not so smart, right?

This classification puts Frenchies in a kind of below-average category, leaving most of the French bulldog’s parents aghast. 

Hold your heart, because the method Stanley came up with the ranking was flawed. 

Why didn’t the French Bulldogs perform well?

Well, if you are a bit aware of French Bulldogs’ habits, they are known to be self-willed. Stanley’s Intelligence test was more likely to be an obedience test. The dogs who participated in the trial were the pick of the American Kennel Club, which means that not every breed was tested.

The criteria Stanley used to outrank the dogs were controversial.

What if the French Bulldogs that participated in Stanley’s test didn’t want to obey his commands? Frenchies are bright companions and sweethearts, indeed. But once they are not in the mood, they will show off their stubbornness.

It’s really hard to estimate a dog’s intelligence level based on some faulty trial and command standards. After all, we can’t decide on a dog to be less intelligent just because he’s expressing stubborn behavior, can we?

How Are French Bulldogs Smart?

Frenchies are goofy. They are real clowns. They can be the most intelligent, silly, and darling dogs, yet they aren’t easy. The large personalities in the small, stocky, and muscular bodies need massive time investment.

These squishy souls were bred to be the ultimate companions. Of course, they are!

Apart from that, there are a bunch of other things that make them an awesome breed.

Their friendliness, alertness, and affectionate temperament, to name a few.

The Most Intelligent Breed of Bulldogs:

No matter at what rank, the intelligence evaluators keep Frenchies amongst all breeds of dogs. They are the most intelligent breed of all Bulldogs, even more intelligent than their ancestors.

If you do your part of training well, they will absolutely train well.

Watchful Home Guards:

Bulldogs are the most alert home guards. Yes, you heard that right.

Don’t underestimate bulldogs because they mostly rely on you. They do so just because they find you dependable.

They turn into watchful home guards, but it takes time and patience. They are incredible at alerting you of danger. They don’t just bark. They communicate using their gargles, yips, and growls.

Train them to be watchful first and enjoy the perks. 

Great Babysitters:

French Bulldogs make the best babysitters. They are often people-oriented and love being in someone’s company. Therefore, they are great at babysitting your little babies.

Caution: You should never leave your dog and babies unsupervised, no matter what.

Factors that Decide the Smartness of French Bulldogs

Besides genes, there are some other elements too that decide the smartness level of a French bulldog. For instance, context, lifestyle, and age.


Frenchies are very good at turning our bad days into good ones. They are the natural therapists, BUT their overall performance in terms of obedience training is of a mediocre level.

Like the fact or not, they are not programmed to be obedient.


The importance of lifestyle factor, in terms of intelligence, can’t be denied. Some French Bullies can be smarter than others because of the lifestyle they have.

According to a study of Behavioural Processes:

 “These results indicate that high levels of training improve dogs’ problem-solving ability, with dogs appearing to be more proactive in their interaction with novel objects.”

So, you can raise a smart Frenchie with some hard work. Engage your buddy in training games and improve their brain power along with problem-solving skills.


If you tend to train young French bulldogs, fine, but an oldie, there are fewer chances.

Young dogs are trainable. They are really good at remembering objects, their locations, and acquiring action commands. 

While you can go unlucky with training senior Frenchies, as they grow, their ability to comprehend starts to fade away.

Wrapping Up:

Neither smart nor stupid! French bulldogs are just too cute to handle. They are eager learners, but only if you know how to be the leader. 

Without proper leadership, they are going to be bossy, and you shouldn’t mind it (your fault, not theirs). All dogs demand commitment, but French Dogs want it immensely. Get them if you’re willing to dedicate a lot of your time. If not, they aren’t the breed for you.


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