Are French Bulldogs Cuddly? Why It Really Matters

young afro woman hugging french bulldog

If you are on the hunt for a new furry companion, you may be looking for one who wants to snuggle up on the couch with you. While some breeds are more standoffish and aloof, others love to cuddle and follow their owners wherever they go.

When choosing a breed, it is important to take their typical temperament into account. French bulldogs often have loving personalities that make them a popular choice for owners who want a constant companion.

So, do French bulldogs like to cuddle? Yes. French bulldogs enjoy spending time with their owners whether they are lounging around or on an adventure. They are happy to be around their people and will follow them around the house seeking attention. They will readily join you on your couch or bed seeking cuddles.

Besides being cuddly, French bulldogs, or Frenchies, are easygoing and playful. They do well in homes with single people, couples, and families! In this article, we are going to discuss how to find and train a bulldog that loves affection and why this aspect of their personality is important for pet owners. 

Where did French bulldogs come from?

This charming breed was created in Paris in the middle of the 1800s. Toy bulldogs (an extinct breed that was an attempt to make the English bulldog smaller) were bred with local ratters. These ratters were small dogs who were bred to catch and kill rats and mice, like the rat terrier. 

Unlike their ratter ancestors, French bulldogs were bred to be companions. They were owned and loved by many people in France and soared in popularity. In 1885, they were brought to the United States and quickly gained a following there as well.

What is the French bulldog’s personality?

The personality of French bulldogs is generally affectionate, easygoing, playful, and patient. They are usually sociable and able to get along with visitors and other pets.

While part of their personality can be influenced by training and socialization, it begins with genetics, breeders, and experiences as very young puppies.

The core personality of any dog begins with their genes and the personalities of their parents. Responsible breeders take personality and sociability into account when choosing dogs that they will breed.

When meeting breeders and looking for puppies, be sure to interact with the parents and see if they are friendly with a good overall temperament.

Another thing to assess is the environment of the mother and puppies. Responsible breeders raise the puppies inside their house in a safe space. If the mother and puppies spend most of their time outside, in a kennel, in a basement, or in a garage, do not buy from that breeder.

Not only do the puppies need to be around normal household activities as part of early socialization, but the mother and puppies deserve to be in a safe environment.

Make sure that the breeder handles the puppies regularly. Early socialization is critical to help them become friendly, adaptable adults.

How do you bond with your French bulldog?

After finding a reputable breeder and selecting a puppy (or rescuing an adult), you can begin to bond with them. Through socialization, playtime, training, and hanging out, you can build a connection with your bulldog and teach them to cuddle!

The importance of good socialization continues after bringing your new dog home. As they go through the first year and a half or so of their lives, they go through periods of time where they are extremely impressionable.

If someone or something scares your bulldog during this time, or they are not introduced to a wide variety of situations, they could become fearful and anxious about those things for the rest of their life.

Introduce your French bulldog to people and places in a calm manner. Reward them frequently with treats and praise for remaining happy and relaxed in new situations.

This is also the time to introduce them to other pets, both cats and dogs, to ensure that they can get along with any housemates. 

Some French bulldogs do have a prey drive, meaning they may chase cats and other small animals and injure them. To help prevent this, introduce your puppy to cats while they are young and reward calm and respectful behavior. 

When it comes to training, work on teaching commands and desirable behaviors in a calm place. Your dog will learn best without distractions from other people or pets. This will allow them to focus on you and the task at hand and make your training sessions more effective.

It may also be beneficial to walk your bulldog or play with them for a while before training. This helps them to release some energy and be more attentive while you teach them.

Properly training and socializing your French bulldog helps build a bond based on trust. By teaching your dog good behavior and giving them a reward, your dog learns that there will be a positive outcome from interacting with you.

This builds trust and makes your relationship and cooperativity stronger. When they know they can trust you, they are more likely to show affection and spend as much time with you as possible.

How do French bulldogs show affection?

French bulldogs are naturally loving and eager to spend time with their owners. They will stay with their people and follow them around the house.

If you are sitting on the couch, you can expect your bulldog to want to join you. They are also playful and appreciate the attention of children and adults alike. 

If you want to maximize the frequency of cuddles your French bulldog can give you, invite them to occupy the same spaces as you. While some pet owners train their dogs to stay off of the couch, you may want to encourage your bulldog to join you.

Whether you are watching a movie, reading, or napping, they will be happy to lie right beside you. Like the couch, the bed is a no-go for some pet parents, but bedtime cuddles can be a great part of owning an affectionate dog.

While French bulldogs usually very much enjoy the interaction, they may require their space at times as well. Let’s briefly discuss how to tell if your bulldog does not want to be cuddly.

Why is your French bulldog not affectionate towards you?

Some dogs, like humans, need their alone time and breaks from social interactions. This does not mean that your bulldog is mad or does not love you anymore. They may simply not want to interact at that particular moment.

Respecting your dog’s personal space and boundaries is an often-overlooked part of good care. Here are some common signs that your dog is uncomfortable:

  • Whale eye: When your dog is tense or nervous, their eyes may become rounder than usual and show a larger part of the whites (called the sclera). This is often accompanied by turning away and avoiding eye contact. If you reach to pet your dog and notice that they look away or side-eye you and the whites of the eyes are more visible than usual, it’s a sign to back off a little.
  • Panting: While panting is a normal behavior for dogs and does not always indicate a problem, I can also be a sign of stress. If your bulldog begins panting suddenly, and it is not due to activity or a temperature change, they may be telling you that they are nervous.
  • Overall posture: If your bulldog has stiff movements or tries to move away from you, do not continue to come closer to them. This is a subtle way for them to say that they do not want to be touched.

If your bulldog displays some of these signs sometimes, it’s okay! They are just trying to communicate with you and will be thankful if you “listen” to their wishes.

If your dog is constantly nervous or afraid, however, it may be beneficial to seek the help of a professional trainer to work on the root problem.

Now that we’ve gone over how to help your French bulldog trust you and be cuddly, let’s talk about why this part of their personality is important for their owners to understand.

Why does it matter that French bulldogs like to cuddle?

The affectionate nature and loyalty of French bulldogs are important for potential and current owners to realize because it impacts their relationship with their dog.

Since these dogs typically need a lot of human interaction to be happy, they may be a good fit for some people but not for others. 

French bulldogs can thrive as a family dog. They love to play and are will enthusiastically interact with children. They can bask in the attention of all members of the household and be a great cuddle buddy.

They also do well with a single person or couple as owners as long as their attention needs are met. 

However, this need for frequent interaction may make them a poor choice of companion for people who are away from their house a lot. People who work long hours or travel a lot may not be a good fit.

French bulldogs will get lonely if they are left alone for too long and do not receive enough attention and affection from their people. This breed needs owners who have a good amount of time each day to dedicate to their dog.

On top of frequently needing attention, French bulldogs are also unique in their noises and hygiene needs. They are known for snoring, “talking,” and passing gas.

They also require regular cleaning of their facial folds, which can become dirty and smell (and even get infected) if not properly maintained. If someone finds any of these behaviors or needs gross or undesirable, it may be best to get a different breed.

As a French bulldog owner, you are constantly exposed to any or all of the above and your dog will still cuddle you all the same.


French bulldogs are a wonderful breed with lots of love to offer. In order to be happy, they need owners who are willing to invest the time to form a strong bond built on trust. The cuddly nature of these dogs shines through and is maximized with proper training and socialization from an early age.

If you want the ultimate cuddle buddy and can handle the snoring (and other noises), French bulldogs may be a good fit for you!

John Kilmerstone

I love dogs and believe that in particular, the bulldog breeds make great family pets and companions. Please visit this website and explore the wonderful world of bulldogs. Discover how to care for and look after this faithful pet and make the most of your valuable time together.

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