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Should You Let Frenchies Play Fight? Find The Right Answer

Should You Let Frenchies Play Fight? Find The Right Answer

Frenchies are a beloved and popular Bulldog breed known for their playful personalities and goofy antics. 

One of the most common questions that French Bulldog owners have is whether or not it’s okay to let their furry friends play fight. The short answer is yes, but with a few important caveats.

Stick around with us to find out should you let Frenchies play fight or not!

Should You Let Frenchies Play Fight? The Truth

French Bulgos fight on the floor
Photo from: @taichi_gidget_frenchies_702

When you see two French Bulldogs play fighting, it’s hard not to laugh at the silly faces they make and the way they waddle around. It’s like watching a comedy skit, but with fur and drool. 

But before you let your Frenchie join in on the fun, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Play fighting is a normal behavior for dogs as it helps them to socialize and bond with other dogs and humans. These pups have a playful and affectionate temperament, which makes them well-suited to this type of play. 

While generally the answer is yes, you should let Frenchies play fight, it is not as simple as it sounds. You see, play fighting can often turn into aggressive behavior, especially in the case of younger dogs attacking the older. We don’t really want that! 

This is why you need to follow these few tips we have prepared for you!

What Is Frenchie Play Fighting?

You know what they say, “Practice makes perfect!” And that’s exactly what Frenchies are doing when they engage in play fighting. It’s like they’re going back to their wild roots and channeling their inner wolves!

Wolves, the wild ancestors of our beloved domestic dogs, would play fight as a way to practice hunting skills and establish dominance within their pack. Similarly, dogs use play fighting to bond with their pack members (aka their human family) and to practice important social skills like communication, body language, and bite inhibition.

So, when you see your French Bulldog play fighting, don’t just see it as a silly and goofy behavior, think of it as an important training session for your furry friend. It’s like they are preparing for a hunting trip with their wild pack!

That’s why you should let your pooch play fight, it’s not just for fun, it’s for their development and well-being. Just make sure to keep an eye on them and intervene if necessary, because there is a thin line between aggressive play and an innocent one. 

A well-socialized Frenchie, who has learned appropriate play behavior, is less likely to engage in aggressive play.

Frenchie Play Fighting Or Aggressive Behavior?

two Frenchies lie on the floor and invite each other to play
Photo from: @dfw_frenchies

Knowing the difference between play fighting and aggressive behavior in French Bulldogs can be tricky, but here are a few tips that might help you tell the difference:

When a French Bulldog wants to initiate play, they’ll often lower their front end and wag their tail. This is their way of saying “let’s play!” and that’s what we call the play bow. 

Playful pups will often have their mouths open wide and make soft, playful noises. They may even stick their tongues out!

On the other hand aggressive Frenchies will usually have their mouths closed or make deep, growling noises. Some may even bark or growl at nothing in particular. 

Keep an eye out on the dog’s body language – pups that are play fighting will have a relaxed, loose body. Their tails will be wagging, and their ears will be perked up. If their body is stiff and tense, it’s a sign that they may be feeling aggressive and angry.

Don’t worry about the nibble behavior as long as you can tell the difference between a playful and a harsh bite. Some pups may bite each other’s necks during play fights. 

Even though these dogs are generally not known to bite, hard bites can be a sign that they’ve taken the play time too far.

Think of it like this, when your Frenchie is playing, they are like a kid in a playground having fun and laughing, when they are aggressive, it’s like they are in a fight in the schoolyard, serious and tense.

Therefore, it is important to monitor your French Bulldog’s play and intervene if necessary, to make sure they stay safe and have fun while playing.

Play Fighting With Dogs And Other Animals

These pups are social and outgoing animals that enjoy interacting with other dogs, and play fighting is one way for them to do so.

French Bulldogs typically play fight with dogs they are familiar with, such as those they live with or see regularly. They may also play with other dogs they have met before and have a pawsitive relationship with. 

It’s not uncommon for both male and female Frenchies to play fight with other animals, such as cats, if they have been raised together and have a positive relationship. 

However, it is important to know that they have a strong predatory instinct and if not exposed and trained properly, may see small animals such as cats, rabbits or guinea pigs as prey.

If play fight gets too rough, it is important to remember that Frenchies may have a harder time defending themselves from other animals due to their brachycephalic (short-faced) skull. So, it is best to supervise them when they are interacting with other animals and intervene if necessary to keep them safe.

When it comes to unknown faces, these dogs may be less inclined to playfight with strangers, as they tend to be more reserved around unfamiliar dogs and animals. This is not a general rule, as some French Bulldogs are very outgoing and sociable, and may initiate play with unfamiliar dogs or animals.

If you want your furry companion to get along with other pets, then early socialization and proper training is the way to go! Socialization is an important aspect of their development and helps them learn how to behave around other animals and dogs in a safe and appropriate way.

Should I Encourage My Frenchie To Play Fight?

Frenchies are playing
Photo from: @a_frenchie_called_larsson

It is generally a good idea to encourage play fighting in Frenchies, as it is a natural behavior for them and helps them to socialize and bond with other dogs and humans. However, it’s important to monitor the play and intervene if necessary to make sure that it stays safe and sound.

During play, you should look out for signs that the play is getting too rough or that your pup is getting too tired. If the play becomes too rough or aggressive, it’s important to intervene and stop it to prevent any injuries. 

Similarly, if your French Bulldog is showing signs of fatigue, such as snorting, heavy panting or lying down, it is a good idea to stop the play and give them a break.

It’s also important to keep in mind that French Bulldogs have a brachycephalic (short-faced) skull and may have breathing difficulties during play, so they should be monitored closely during any exercise or play activities.

Should I Punish Aggressive Behavior In Frechies? 

Not really! 

Punishing aggressive behavior in French Bulldogs is generally not recommended as it can make the problem worse and cause fear or anxiety in your dog. Instead, it’s important to redirect your pup’s energy and focus during playtime. 

Just like kids, dogs need a break when they get too rough. If your pooch is getting too rough, simply end the playtime and give them a “time-out” to calm down.

These puppies never get easier! They have a lot of energy and they need an outlet for it. If you see your Frenchie getting too ruff during playtime, try redirecting their energy with a new toy or game.

It is also a good idea to teach your Bulldog the “gentle” command, which means that they should be careful with their bites and use a softer touch during play. Similar to bite inhibition training they get from their peers and momma!

When your pup plays gently, make sure to reward them with treats and praise. Positive reinforcement for the win! This will help reinforce the behavior you want to see.

Think of it like this, your Frenchie is like a kid that likes to roughhouse, but sometimes they get carried away and play too rough. Just like you would tell a kid to stop and take a break if they get too rough, you should do the same with your pup. 

Also, just like you would redirect a kid’s energy to a different activity, you can do the same with your dog, by giving them a different toy or game to play with.

Final Thoughts

My dear paw lovers, we have reached the end of our play fighting journey! Should you let Frenchies play fight? The answer is obvious!

So far we’ve learned that play fighting is a natural behavior for dogs that can be traced back to their wild ancestors, and that it serves an important purpose for them. It allows them to bond with their pack members, practice important social skills, and burn off energy.

However, it is extremely important to make sure that it’s done safely and responsibly. 

It is also very important to remember that training and socialization are key elements in preventing and managing aggressive behavior in French Bulldogs, and it’s essential to start working on it from an early age.

So, go ahead and let your lovely pooch play fight to their heart’s content, just make sure to keep an eye on them and intervene if necessary!