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Are French Bulldogs Smart? Is Your Frenchie Albert Barkstein?

This is probably one of the most common questions people ask about this breed. Frenchies are among the most popular dog breeds today because of their cute appearance and nice personality. But in reality, how smart are they?

How Smart are Frenchies?

Are French Bulldogs smart? French bulldogs have been human companions for many years. They became particularly popular in France in the 19th century and then started gaining their popularity in other countries and parts of the world. They are considered perfect companions, especially for those who live in urban areas. 

Even though the French bulldog is not the smartest breed,  Frenchies are quite intelligent. According to the American Kennel Club, they have great trainability (four out of five), which means they are very smart. 

However, it is important to note that French Bulldogs are very independent, so they may not perform well on the tests like other breeds. It does not mean though that they are not smart. 

Also, most Frenchies’ owners agree that their four-legged friends are very intelligent, they learn new skills quite fast, and have a high level of adaptive intelligence. This all makes them great companions and watchdogs that get along with people, children, and other animals. 

How Smart are French Bulldogs Compared to Other Dogs?

According to the tests’ results, Frenchies did not perform as well as other breeds. Based on the results of the study conducted by a professor of canine psychology from the University of British Columbia Coren Stanley, the French Bulldog ranks the 109th smartest dog breed out of 138 breeds in working intelligence and obedience. They are definitely not as smart as the Poodle, Border Collie, or Golden Retriever. However, according to many owners of French Bulldogs, they are still quite intelligent dogs. 

are french bulldog smart

How Smart is Your Frenchie?

You might not think much about French bulldog’s intellectual capacity but surprisingly they fit right in the  ” intermediate ” category of the coren ranking system.

which is still a subject of debate for  is believed by many to be less than accurate.

How Can You Test How Smart They Are?

If you want to know how smart your Frenchie is, you can use the intelligence criteria developed by professor Coren Stanley. In order to measure work intelligence and obedience of a dog, he used the following criteria:


  • The number of repetitions the dog needed to learn a new command. Smart dog breeds need only a few repetitions to learn something new. On average, a French bulldog needs between 40 and 80 repetitions to learn a new command. 
  • The success rate a canine will obey a learnt command on the first attempt. Dogs with a higher success rate are more obedient and intelligent. Frenchies are able to obey a learnt command with about 30% success rate. 

Are French Bulldogs Fast Learners?

As mentioned above, Frenchies need between 40 and 80 repetitions to learn a new command. Even though these results are not as good as other dogs, French Bulldogs are still considered good learners. They can learn new commands pretty quickly, but they also can be very stubborn and do not always do what their owners want or ask. 

In general, you should not have any problem with training your Frenchie. It is a people-oriented breed, so most French Bulldogs like learning new things. You just need to make sure that you are patient with your canine and are not giving up too quickly. 

Is my frenchie smart?

What contributes to the French bulldog's intelligence?

There are two things that contribute to the intelligence of your French bulldog – BOAS and genes. 


BOAS (Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome) is a lifelong, progressive disorder that impairs the ability of your dog to walk, exercise, sleep, and eat. There is a common misconception that this order has an impact on the dog’s intelligence, as most dogs with BOAS (pugs, Pekingese, Shih-Tzu) are not as smart as dogs without it. 


Genes is the number one factor that influences how smart a dog is. Genetically, French bulldogs are generally not as smart as other breeds. 

How Can I Improve My French Bulldog's IQ?

If you want to make your French bulldog smarter, there are several things you can try:

Obedience Training

Taking your pooch to obedience courses can be quite helpful. According to research conducted at the University of Milan, the more you train your canine, the smarter they become. It is also important to start obedience training as early as possible. 

Canine Intelligence Games

There are many games and exercises that help your dog remain physically fit. The good news is there are games for your dog’s mind too. If you play them regularly, you will notice how smart your dog is becoming: 


  • Hide and seek. It is a fun and entertaining game, during which your Frenchie can use his ears and nose to find you. 
  • Treasure hunt. You need to hide your dog’s favorite treats somewhere and let him find them. First, you can make it easy to let the dog understand the rules of the game first. You can hide treats where it is obvious, so your dog can find them easily. Once your Frenchie understands the game, you can make it more complicated and hide treats in another room. 
  • The cup game. You will need three cups for this game. Line up all three cups in front of your Frenchie and hide your dog’s favorite treat under one of them. Then, move the cups around and let your pooch pick the right one with the treat. This game is perfect for the mental stimulation of your four-legged friend. 


Adequate socialization is important, especially at an early age. Therefore, you need to take your Frenchie puppy to places with other people, other animals, and different noises. The sooner you start your dog’s socialization, the higher chances that your French Bulldog will become a smart and intelligent dog. 

conclusion: are french bulldogs smart?

Generally, French bulldogs are not as smart as some other dog breeds, such as the Poodle, Border Collie, or German Shepherd. However, Frenchies are known for their excellent friendly personality and the ability to get along with other creatures in the house. 

Also, it is important to note that intelligence can be encouraged. There are certain things you can do to raise a smarter French bulldog. You can try obedience classes, early age training, and various games. 

Your Frenchie definitely needs good leadership in order to become a cute, well-behaved dog. This leadership may require commitment and a lot of time, but it is definitely worth it – in the end, you will have a dream dog. 

So, are French Bulldogs smart? In their own way yes, yes the are.

Improving your french bulldogs IQ

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