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Do French Bulldogs Bark A Lot?

French Bulldogs or Frenchies are one of the cutest and friendliest dogs on the planet.

Bred to be close companion dogs to their owners, Frenchies have a compact size and an open demeanor that make them easy to own.

However, dog breeds have some downsides that can challenge a dog owner.

For example, Frenchies are known for their problematic howl and scream.

But do they genuinely bark a lot? No, Frenchies don’t bark a lot.

When your Frenchie goes off at 3 a.m. for no discernible reason, you might be inclined to assume that they are a very bark-heavy breed.

However, that isn’t necessarily the case.

All dogs bark for one reason, and the Frenchie is no different.

Understanding why your Frenchie barks and howls and how to discourage this behavior can improve your dog-owning experience.

Why French Bulldogs Bark

french bulldog yawning

The short regarding Frenchie barking is that they don’t bark as often as other breeds.

While they have many vocal behaviors, including whining and howling, they don’t bark as often as it may seem.

The Frenchie is a reasonably quiet breed compared to hounds or other bark-heavy dogs.

When they do bark, they are usually doing it for a good reason.

Dogs don’t just bark to annoy you, even when they do it late at night.

Your Frenchie always has a reason to bark, often very instinctive impulses based on their understanding of their world.

Barking is just one way your Frenchie communicates with you.

They typically use different bark types to communicate varying messages, which can vary depending on individual dogs.

For example, your Frenchie may bark at the door or walk in a circle near you when they have to go outside.

A properly trained Frenchie will tell you when they have to go and bark sharply and persistently to alert you.

growling french bulldog

However, don’t discourage this barking behavior!

Doing so may leave them unable to communicate this primal need beyond staring at you and hoping for the best.

Frenchies also bark when in pain or when they’re uncomfortable.

They’re more likely to whine or whimper than fully bark.

They bark if you seem to ignore their whimpers or if their pain gets severe.

It would help if you didn’t discourage this barking behavior because it can alert you to a health problem and help you get your pup to the veterinarian to see what is wrong.

Doing so might save their life.

Otherwise, Frenchies may bark when they see other dogs or notice someone walking by your home.

They aren’t heavily “defensive” dogs, like Dobermans, but naturally, want to keep you and themselves safe.

Their amiable personality usually means they warm up to legitimate visitors reasonably quickly when they’re in the home.

But they may also bark at people behaving oddly and not entering the house.

Some Frenchie owners may find that their dog seems to bark for no reason at all.

They aren’t in pain, don’t have to go out, and nobody is wandering around outside the house.

What gives? In this situation, your Frenchie probably needs your attention.

Remember: they’re a companion breed. They need attention and will let you know if they want your attention.

This barking behavior should be discouraged to ensure that your Frenchie doesn’t become a bossy or demanding pet.

While it might seem cute that they bark and even howl at you when bored, it can quickly become annoying.

It also teaches them clingy behaviors that are often quite prominent in this breed.

Thankfully, you can teach them to avoid this barking while retaining healthy kinds.

Why Doesn’t My French Bulldog Bark?

french bulldog puppy

Breeding dogs is a careful and fascinating art that has taken place over many generations.

The breeders initially creating the French Bulldog breed wanted to develop a companion breed that would comfortably relax with their owners without being annoying.

As a result, they typically focused on non-verbal breeding partners to help eliminate unwanted barking behaviors from this breed.

This process helped create a breed that doesn’t bark a lot most of the time.

That doesn’t mean that your Frenchie will never bark, whine, or howl.

It just means that they don’t bark as often as other breeds.

However, some Frenchies may be even quieter than usual, which can upset some owners.

For example, they may not even bark when somebody comes to the door, which is a common barking trigger for all dog breeds.

Why wouldn’t your Frenchie bark in these situations?

They may be naturally quiet dog that doesn’t enjoy barking.

All dogs possess unique personalities, and your Frenchie might naturally prefer quiet.

By contrast, other Frenchies are more vocal and may bark a lot.

Check with your Frenchie breed to learn more about your pup’s parents and vocalization preferences.

They may be content if your ordinarily vocal Frenchie isn’t barking very much.

For example, they may not need to go out (or you have a set schedule that you follow correctly) and feel no pain.

Furthermore, you may have trained them to be more independent than other Frenchies, meaning they may not need to demand your attention to feel comfortable and safe constantly.

In other words, your Frenchie isn’t barking because they don’t want to bark.

Just think of those times when you have nothing to say.

You probably don’t say something to talk, and neither will most Frenchies.

However, if your Frenchie is out of control and won’t quit barking, there are a few steps that you can take to minimize their barking behaviors and create a quiet home.

woman holding frenchie

How To Minimize Frenchie Barking

If your Frenchie’s barking behaviors are out of control and you’re just about ready to pull your hair out of your head, follow these three simple techniques to keep them quiet:

  1. Teach Them the “Quiet” Command: Frenchies are intelligent and can learn many commands. For example, you can teach them the “quiet” command and use it when they bark unnecessarily. When they bark, say “Quiet!” commandingly and with firm facial expressions and body language. Keep saying it until they stop barking and give them a treat. Repeat until they quit barking on command.
  2. Remove the Offending Object: Frenchies can be a somewhat quirky and eccentric breed. For example, there may be a random object in your home that they may hate. Common offenders include vacuums, which are often loud and aggravating to your pup. Leaving a vacuum cleaner out in the open may cause them to bark and trigger anxiety. Store this item away from where your puppy can see it.
  3. Improve Their Independence: Frenchies often become dependent on their owners and may bark whenever you leave them alone. As hard as it may be to do, it would be best if you left them alone during these times to help them build independence. Dogs are amazingly adaptable and, given enough time, they’ll grow used to not having you around and won’t bark nearly as much as they did before.

Why Do French Bulldogs Howl?

french bulldog in grass

French Bulldogs are known for their scream-like howl that can be very upsetting to owners.

So why are they behaving in this way? Frenchies scream due to:

  • Boredom: Frenchies may get easily bored and scream to entertain themselves. They may also scream if you react to it and give them attention. Try to provide them with plenty of toys to avoid boredom.
  • Excitement: Frenchies love, we repeat, love new people, and may howl in excitement when meeting new friends. Discourage this behavior with the “quiet” command, even if your guest thinks it’s cute.
  • Loneliness: Dependent Frenchies may howl if you’re not paying enough attention to them and when they feel lonely. Use the “quiet” command to discourage this behavior.
  • Breathing Troubles: Unfortunately, the Frenchie’s cute little face makes it hard for them to breathe, and some may howl in frustration. Talk to your veterinarian about breathing treatments for your pup.
  • Pain and Discomfort: Uncomfortable or suffering French Bulldogs may scream to vent their agitation and to let you know that they need help. Take them to your vet right away if they continue to howl without any other reason.

Work With Your Veterinarian

Your French Bulldog should be an excellent companion when handled and trained correctly.

They love to play, have funny personalities, and will love just about everybody who comes to your home.

However, if you find your Frenchie keeps barking and howling after these steps, talk to your veterinarian right away.

There may be something wrong with them that needs to be addressed.

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National Canine Research Association of America