French Bulldogs are known for being sweet, adorable little dogs that adore the families they become a part of. French Bulldogs aren’t often regarded as showing signs of aggression. However, are French bulldogs territorial, leading them to possibly show aggression if they feel the need to defend their territory?
French Bulldogs can be territorial depending on the circumstances in which they have been raised or socialized, even before you adopt them into your home. Two of the most common reasons that a French Bulldog could exhibit territorial behavior could be to protect their home or protect their resources.
Territoriality in pets is not uncommon, but there are ways to try and mitigate those behaviors through understanding the signs and causes for territorial behavior and making an effort to socialize your Frenchie as best as possible.
Are French Bulldogs Territorial?
French Bulldogs can be territorial, but they are not inherently more territorial than other breeds of dogs. Their propensity to act out because they feel like they need to guard or protect something can be linked to their sense of loyalty. However, Frenchies aren’t necessarily aggressive to the point of being scary or dangerous.
Generally speaking, you’ll notice territorial tendencies from your French Bulldog at home. Your home is their safe space, their sanctuary, and where their family lives. They want to be sure that it’s safe at all times because they love you and your family that much. They also have pretty discerning eyes, so they’ll sense someone coming to your doorway before you do.
A French Bulldog might also act out because they are resource guarding. This is when they want to claim ownership over things that they believe are theirs, which are usually toys, their bed, their food and water dishes, and sometimes, even a person.
Signs Your French Bulldog Is Becoming Territorial
Your French Bulldog will often show signs of being territorial when they are feeling protective over something. One of the most obvious signs that your Frenchie is trying to claim ownership over your home is by barking at people, animals, or things that they see outside. Some Frenchies might just growl or make noises as opposed to barking.
Moreover, some Frenchies are quieter, so they might not bark incessantly, but will growl and keep a close eye on things. That being said, if your French Bulldog doesn’t bark outside of when people get close to your home or close to those things, that’s a very good sign that they are feeling territorial.
Your French Bulldog might also growl and snarl at someone in order to keep them away from their territory. If your Frenchie doesn’t feel like they are getting their point across, or someone is antagonizing them instead of respecting their boundaries, they might also nip or bite.
It’s also a good thing to note that for many French Bulldogs, their need to protect is often very temporary. They might initially react to a new person, for example, as infringing on their territory or home. However, a few minutes later, they might be trying to give that person kisses and convince them to play.
When Do French Bulldogs Get Territorial?
Since French Bulldogs can feel so protective over their home, they might become territorial when someone they aren’t familiar with comes into your home. If someone enters your home or comes towards you or them in a manner that your pup interprets as aggressive, they might bark or come to your side in an effort to protect you.
As most French Bulldog owners know, these pups can be especially clingy. They would be at our side all day, every day if they could be. Thus, they can get jealous if they feel like others are getting too close to you, which can awaken their territorial instinct.
Your dog might act out to protect their territory out of fear because of a prior experience they have had with another pet in the household, or even before you adopted them. If another animal is trying to assert dominance over them, they might try to respond to that behavior by trying to regain territory over what they have, such as their favorite toy or their dinner.
Are French Bulldogs Good Guard Dogs?
While you might think a territorial Frenchie could make a good guard dog, unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Frenchies are very observant and wouldn’t hesitate to protect you should a real threat be there, but they aren’t prone to being aggressive. Even when they get protective, they don’t usually lash out and attack.
Additionally, if something or someone doesn’t seem threatening, your Frenchie is more likely going to try and get some pets from them as opposed to scaring them away. They are just simply too cute to be scary.
As previously mentioned, Frenchies also tend to lean on the side of wanting love from others rather than scare them off, so they might only bark and growl for a couple of minutes before submitting to the person and trying to get some affection from them.
How To Avoid Territorial Behavior
Socialization, affection, and reassurance are tools that you can use with your Frenchie to avoid territorial behavior. The younger your pup is, the more likely they are going to pick up cues on how you want them to behave quickly. Older dogs can still learn; it just might take more time to teach them.
French Bulldogs typically don’t struggle with learning how to socialize with others, as they aim to please their pet parents. Socialization includes slowly introducing new people, places, and pets to your Frenchie with your constant supervision. There should be precautions in place to keep everyone safe, and your Frenchie should be rewarded for good behavior.
Your Frenchie also thrives on affection, as it helps them understand that they are loved and valued. If your Frenchie feels like they aren’t getting enough attention and affection from you, they might act out when someone else, either person or pet, comes on the scene. They might try to claim ownership over you so your attention isn’t diverted elsewhere.
While your instinct might be to shout no at your pup when they act territorial, remain calm and try and reassure them that it is okay, that they are safe, and that their resources are theirs. Reward them when they share, and play with toys with them and with other dogs, going back and forth, so they see what sharing means.
How To Handle Territorial Behavior At Home
If you are planning on bringing another pet home when you already have a French Bulldog, you might worry about how their territorial tendencies might manifest. It’s never recommended to just let two animals roam around without supervision as soon as a new one is brought home. You have to introduce them slowly.
One thing some dog parents will do, when bringing home another dog, introduces them on a walk outside in neutral territory. They are more likely to be open to being close to each other this way. Then, when you bring them both home, it might feel a little less jarring than if the dog just appears inside your house one day.
Each pet should also have their own safe space, such as a bed or crate, and their own toys. Keep both pets on leashes and separate them when things get too much. Be patient with both pets and give them both plenty of attention.
Introducing a new pet into the home with a Frenchie in this manner should lead to the best results, and should help avoid them exerting dominance or trying to push the other pet out of their territory.
Is Aggression And Territorial The Same Thing?
Aggressive and territorial behavior is often considered the same thing by some, while others would say territoriality is a milder form of aggression. Some dogs that are territorial by nature will get aggressive, but French Bulldogs usually aren’t. While Frenchies are lively and energetic, they have a calmer disposition than other territorial dogs.
When a French Bulldog is scared, for example, they are more likely to hide behind you or run away before they lash out. These can be very anxious dogs, especially when their favorite human is not around.
French Bulldogs are not inherently territorial but can be sometimes. They can get snippy and nippy when they feel the need to be, but Frenchies are rarely ever aggressive to the point where they might hurt someone. Calmly reassuring your Frenchie while exposing them to people and other animals as early as possible is one of the best ways to avoid having them feel the need to act territorial.
While we can assume why a Frenchie acts territorial, we don’t know for sure whether or not they’re acting out of fear. Therefore, we don’t want to make them feel worse; instead, be sure they are getting enough love and attention, and make sure they have space and things to call their own.