Reading time: 8 minutes.
French Bulldogs love to play, but sometimes it seems that they can go a little crazy with it. Do French Bulldogs bite? What can you do if they DO?
French Bulldogs can sometimes be biters, although in most cases it is simply playing. Your dog might not know that they are hurting you or if they are older, then it could be related to fear, stress, or even an underlying health condition. Normally French Bulldogs are playful, rather than ‘mean’, so biting behaviors should be dealt with quickly.
Today we’ll explore this topic in a little more depth. We’ll tell you why puppies bite so much, what to do if you get bitten and it breaks the skin, tips to stop biting behaviors, and more! Let’s talk about French Bulldogs and why their barks are generally much worse than their bites!
Do French Bulldogs Bite?
No. For all their bluff and bluster, French Bulldogs are actually quite sweet. They might try to act intimidating, but it’s very rare that you run into a Frenchie that is genuinely aggressive. That said, if your French Bulldog DOES seem aggressive, then this is something that you need to investigate.
If a French Bulldog is biting and is reacting negatively to attention, then the first step is going to be taking your dog to the vet. If your dog has hurt themselves, it’s not always readily visible, and a dog that is in pain may act out, simply to keep you from touching them and making them sore areas hurt.
Rescue dogs can sometimes be aggressive and in this case, it’s going to b a matter of teaching a dog that has possibly been abused to trust you. This is a long process, but you can do it. With lots of treats and love, you can slowly build up your dog’s trust.
Your vet can likely help to recommend trainers, as Socialization training can help as well. On your end, socializing your dog a little more by taking them to dog parks, letting them play with neighbor dogs, and introducing them to your friends can help. When your dog starts feeling safe, things will improve.
Do French Bulldogs pups bite a lot?
Yes, Frenchie puppies are a bitey bunch and this is completely normal – especially if the dog has been weaned before reaching 8 weeks of age. Puppies learn a lot from their littermates and their mom and among these lessons is what amounts to the doggy version of ‘Biting 101’.
With mom’s supervision, puppies play together, and biting naturally becomes involved. When a pup bites another too hard, it will whimper, and sometimes mom gets involved. This helps to teach the puppy that did the biting that they are biting too hard. This is one reason why early weaning can be so problematical.
This is not to say that an 8-week-old won’t bite – they’ll still bite a lot, but the nips tend to be much more calculated and subdued. This kind of biting and playing is to be expected, but you can help them along by trying not to encourage it. This is done mostly by stopping play whenever things get too ‘rough’.
It will help things along if you also understand that there are a few reasons why your pup bites so much at this stage in life. Let’s take a look at those so that you will better understand your pup’s behavior!
Why do Frenchies bite so much?
The biggest reason that your French Bulldog pup is biting so much right now is most likely a simple one. Your little puppy is teething! Until your puppy is 20 to 24 weeks of age, this is the most common reason for chewing and biting behaviors. Don’t believe us? Here are some signs that you can look for:
- Small ‘milk teeth’ showing up in the carpet on occasion
- Small droplets of blood seen on toys and other chewed items
- Drooling more than usual (which should correct itself after 24 weeks of age)
- Your Frenchie seems to be chewing absolutely anything that they can (because teething hurts!)
- Swollen, red gums should be very obvious during this time
If your Frenchie is biting and chewing and exhibiting these signs, then you are almost definitely dealing with the ‘teething phase’ and while it will pass, it can definitely be very frustrating for the both of you until it does. Don’t worry, though… we’ve got some advice that is going to help!
Don’t punish your dog for biting
First things first… you can’t punish your dog for biting or chewing. So, if your Frenchie manages to find and chew your favorite shoes, you’re going to need to forgive them, because if you punish them it’s only going to cause problems.
Your puppy simply won’t understand it. They won’t know what it is that you are mad about. After all, you give them things to chew already in the form of toys, why are your shoes different? After all, they were right there on the floor!
Put items that you don’t want to be chewed on during this time somewhere safe. Puppy proofing is very important during this stage, so this is a definite must. It’s also an opportunity to teach good behavior. Take the ‘bad chewing item’ away and give your dog an ‘authorized’ chew toy and give them a treat when they chew it.
This will help to teach your dog that certain items are okay to chew, while others aren’t, and this is important to establish at an early age. This kind of positive reinforcement is much better than punishment – which will only make your dog distrust you or think that you are mean.
Other ways to stop Frenchie-bites
There are a lot of things that you can to help minimize the amount of biting and chewing that your Frenchie pup is doing right now. Here are some excellent options:
- When your pup is ‘play fighting’, stop it immediately when your dog bites too hard or starts growling. This will teach them that too much aggression means that they don’t get to play! Give them a treat when they calm down to reinforce the good behavior.
- Put some peppermint oil on a pair of rubber gloves. This makes a natural and safe ‘dog repellant’ and when your Bulldog bites, they will taste and certainly smell the peppermint. This will help to teach them that biting is an unpleasant thing and you can also put the oil on items you don’t want them to chew.
- When your puppy bites you, make the same kind of whine that a puppy or adult dog makes when hurt. Pull your hand back dramatically while you do this. You can say ‘oww’, instead, but a whine works better. When your dog understands that the biting hurts, they will do it less and less until they stop.
- Sometimes dogs bite hard out of fear – so visits to dog parks and having friends over that are also giving the dog treats can help them to be more relaxed around people and other animals – and also less likely to bite.
How do I clean a Frenchie bite?
If your puppy bites you, then most often it’s not going to break the skin (though it might not feel like it at the time!). Check to make sure that the skin has not been punctured and then simply clean it with a little antibacterial soap and water.
If the teeth have broken the skin, from a puppy or adult Bulldog bite, then we want to give it more attention. Stop the bite from bleeding by applying pressure to the wound with a soft, clean cloth.
Once you’ve stopped the bleeding, clean the wound with antibacterial soap and water and then apply some antibiotic ointment to it. Cover the wound with a bandage and keep the wound clean until it heals. This can take a few day, or even a little over a week, but as long as you keep it clean then it should heal fine.
If you notice a lot of redness and puffiness that persists, or any discharge coming from the wound, then it may well be infected. In that case, you should visit your doctor to have a professional take a look at the wound. While rare, this can happen, so if the wound starts looking infected then get it checked right away.
Adult Frenchies that bite
While puppies are the most common culprits when it comes to biting, on rare occasions you can find French Bulldogs that are indeed aggressive and prone to biting. This could be caused by neglect or abuse from a previous owner or your dog may have underlying health conditions that aren’t readily visible.
Check with your vet first in cases like this. Your dog may need socialization training, or they might need treatment because they have a condition that is causing them pain – and thus making them prone to defensive biting.
The sooner that you get this started, the better. Biting behavior should be dealt with right away and with adults, it is especially worrisome, but your Vet will have experience with this and can help you to set things right!
Some closing words
In this article, we’ve talked a little about French Bulldogs and the most common reasons why they bite. With pups, it’s generally teething, although in adults it is definitely a problem that needs to be quickly addressed.
Tactics such as peppermint gloves, stopping aggressive play, and determining the ‘why’ of the bites can definitely help. Remember through this process to be patient and to resist the urge to punish your dog. Positive reinforcement is going to be key here, so that you are winning trust rather than losing it.
Don’t worry, your dog is going to learn not to bite – it just takes a little time!