Ooh là là! It’s time to put on your best French accent and meet these lovely French breeds. When we think of French canines, some breeds quickly come to mind such as the French Bulldog or the Poodle, but there are also many more French dogs to discover. Here are some of the sweetest and most lovable dogs to ever sashay out of France.
Top French dog breeds any dog lover should know about
The Frenchie, as the French Bulldog is sometimes adorably called, is a little pooch who hides their mischievous, loving personality behind their serious looks. But don’t let appearances fool you when it comes to this amazing companion. After all, this is a breed that’s often featured in the top most popular dogs in both the UK and the US, and has melted the heart of many celebrities including Lady Gaga and even The Rock. Their charisma is truly irresistible!
That being said, due to their flat face, this breed is prone to breathing difficulties which can be serious. So, if you are considering this breed, it’s very important to be aware of this, and really do your research first.
Although the French Bulldog breed primarily originates from France, if you dig a little bit deeper into their past, you’ll discover that the Frenchie actually has a well-known ancestor on this side of the Channel- the English Bulldog.
Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen
With an adorable French name, signature long eyebrows and a lovely personality, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen stands out as one of the most delightful companions in the canine world.
Ask any owner and they’ll tell you that the PBGV will quickly win over your heart with their antics. Intelligent, cute and extremely friendly, this French dog breed is part of a group of breeds called the scent hounds- once bred for their amazing hunting skills. And as soon as you welcome them into the family, their endless supply of energy will give you a hint that this dog is more than just a snuggling companion. The Petit Basset is always looking for opportunities to explore their surroundings, play and generally keep everyone around them on their toes. As long as you keep them entertained with lots of exercise and dog games, they’ll give you back plenty of love.
The majestic appearance of the Great Pyrenees meant that these canines were once often seen in the company of French nobility. King Louis XIV himself loved the calm and affectionate nature of the Great Pyrenees, so much so that he named the breed the Royal Dog of France.
Although back then these dogs were trusted farm flock guardians, nowadays they’re devoted family members and, despite their large size, will quickly become best friends with everyone, including children.
Beauceron dogs are brave, smart and loyal. And if this description sounds more worthy of a superhero than a dog, that’s because they might not be that far off, as Beaucerons participated in both World Wars transporting precious supplies and important messages.
These days they are trusted police dogs and search-and-rescue canines, developing their awesome skill set by guarding flocks and land for generations, and they’re now considered one of the oldest French breeds in existence.
When a Beauceron joins your family, you’ll soon notice that they’re one of the most affectionate and calm breeds you could ever wish for.
Dogue de Bordeaux
Another ancient French dog breed, the slobbery Dogue de Bordeaux is a gentle giant with a biography that might as well be an epic novel. According to some accounts, the Romans themselves were keen on having this dog’s ancestors accompanying their legions back in ancient times and even introduced this mastiff type of dog to France. Many centuries later, Dogue de Bordeauxs began to be used as a hunting partner by the French nobility and a guard dog for their estates. And these days they’re a lovely companion to have around the house.
The Dogue de Bordeaux was originally bred as a guard dog, which can mean that they are very protective of their family. However, while the breed can be very friendly and good-natured when raised and trained correctly, it’s important to bear in mind that they have traits for guarding which may cause them to be less friendly or even aggressive, especially around people they don’t know.
The rambunctious Papillon might be small in size, but get to know them a little bit better and you’ll discover a personality twice their size hiding behind that cuddly appearance. This means that if you’ve got evening plans for sitting on the sofa with the Papillon curled up in your lap, you might need to reconsider. They love nothing more than to explore every nook and cranny, chase rodents and give copious kisses to anyone walking through the door – friend or stranger.
Although these days they’re often seen tucked under their owner’s arms or strutting their diminutive figure down the street, this dog breed was once the best friend of royalty, and has graced many noble laps throughout the centuries, with quite a few Renaissance paintings out there to prove it.
This little dog has the spirit of a lion and is one of nature’s best creations. In fact, the name Löwchen means precisely that: ‘little lion dog’. With a mane similar to that of a lion, and a bark that this little dog tries hard to turn into a roar -the Löwchen is one of a kind among the French canines. Add to this their long history of being a dog breed present exclusively in the houses of French nobility and we might have just found the canine version of the ‘Lion King’. And, just when you thought they couldn’t get any better, their playful and loving personality fits in well with any family.
Even more French dogs that will melt your heart
- Basset Hound
- Berger Picard
- Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen
- Basset Bleu de Gascogne
- Picardy Spaniel
Looking for more amazing pooches from around the globe? Check out these Chinese dog breeds. And if you’re after dogs that are a bit closer to home, here are the top English dog breeds.