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Are French Bulldogs Smart?

Although all dogs are smart in a general way, each one has a level of intelligence in a specific area. For example, not all dog breeds are capable of learning commands quickly. That doesn’t mean they aren’t smart.

Many people think that intelligence has to do with the ease of training a canine, but that is not all that intelligence encompasses. Actually, we can determine the level of intelligence of an animal of this type by its ability to respond and comply with each of our orders.

Are French Bulldogs Smart?

Generally speaking, the French Bulldog is not overly intelligent. In fact, it is ranked 109th among the most intelligent dog breeds. That means that this canine is below average when it comes to obedience and functional IQ.

This level of intelligence may be due to the fact that the French Bulldog is a canine that tends to be stubborn. Although it is not the best dog when it comes to responding quickly and positively to our commands, it stands out for its intelligence in other areas. This breed has a high adaptive and instinctive intelligence.

The Intelligence of the French Bulldog According to the Coren Criteria

As we have already said, French Bulldogs are ranked 109th among the most intelligent dog breeds in terms of obedience and functional IQ. Therefore, they are dogs with below-average intelligence.

The Coren criteria used to measure obedience & work intelligence are:

  • The number of repetitions: This is the number of times a French Bulldog needs to learn a new command.
  • Success Rate: This is how quickly a French Bulldog obeys a known command on the first try.

Tests conducted on French Bulldogs place them 109th out of 138 breeds. Being located in that classification, we can say that their intelligence is below average, but that does not mean that they are not intelligent since they stand out in two other types of intelligence that we will mention later.

According to tests, a French Bulldog can learn a new command in the range of 40-80 repetitions and will obey a known command with a success rate of 30% or more. These data are lower than the results achieved by the most intelligent dog breeds in the world, which are capable of learning a new command with less than 5 repetitions and have a success rate of 95% or more when obeying a known command. 

Do the Tests Show the True Intelligence of a French Bulldog?

No! These are intelligence tests, so it is normal for stubborn dogs like French Bulldogs to not perform at their best. That temperament makes them need more time to learn and obey new commands. Simply put, French Bulldogs aren’t dumb; they just don’t feel like knowing or following orders at the moment.

Types of Intelligence of the French Bulldog

Apart from obedience and working intelligence, there are two other types of intelligence to measure the IQ of dogs: instinctive and adaptive.

French Bulldogs Instinctive Intelligence

Instinctive intelligence refers to an innate talent that the canine was born with. This type of intelligence includes companionship, which is the natural ability the French Bulldog was born with and for which it was bred from the start.

These dogs were bred to have a calm temperament and make excellent companion dogs. That is why they love to spend time with people, including children.

French Bulldogs Adaptive Intelligence

This type of intelligence refers to the canine’s ability to solve problems and learn on its own. The French Bulldog stands out in this area over other dog breeds.

Generally, French Bulldogs have high adaptive intelligence as they can easily understand human emotions. They can feel what their owners feel at a given moment and empathize with them.

In addition, this type of intelligence makes a dog of this type capable of learning from its past experiences and finding solutions to problems that have arisen.


Many people consider Coren’s dog classification system to be unimportant. The main reason for this is that the tests only take into account the level of obedience of each breed. The measurements are taken based on the dog’s ability to quickly follow instructions.

It should be noted that the test ignores a dog’s ability to adapt to new conditions, as well as its ability to quickly respond when faced with complex scenarios and several options. Smartness is often a bonus in a French bulldog, even if it isn’t a vital trait. It makes your relationship and living together easier and more enjoyable.