Can a French Bulldog Smile? Everything You Should Know

One reason why French Bulldogs are such popular pets is their affectionate personality. Because they are such a friendly and compassionate breed, you may have some wonder about a French Bulldog smile.

Can they do it? Why don’t they do it more? How do I know if they’re smiling? Why are they smiling?

The thing is that Frenchies don’t have an expressive face in the same way that other dogs do. But, rest assured, French bulldogs can smile and they are a pup that often shows their happiness in many other ways.

Keep reading for everything you need to know related to French bulldog smiles!


Can a French Bulldog Smile?

Some French Bulldogs will smile more than others depending on their genes. Due to their breed, they don’t show facial expressions so simply and may often look as if they’re grumpy or sad even when they aren’t.

But, don’t worry because there are times when you may spot a smile! To know if it’s a French Bulldog smile that you see, look for your Frenchie’s wide-opened mouth and their lips curled up. Their eyes may also squint when they are changing their facial expression to show their smile. It’s actually quite adorable!


Other Ways a French Bulldog Shows Joy

As we know, Frenchies are full of charm and pleasant moods! Even though they don’t always show a great big smile, they can show joy in other ways.

Here are 9 signs that a French Bulldog smile is there whether you can see it or not.

  1. Their bottom in wagging Remember, Frenchies don’t have a long tail to wag. This is why they wag their bottom and tiny tail instead.
  2. Their mouth is relaxed – An aggressive or mad dog will show their teeth, but a Frenchie isn’t typically in an angry mood unless they feel there is danger.
  3. Their ears are relaxed – While Frenchies’ ears do stand up when they are unhappy their ears will be lowered and pointing a bit forward.
  4. They don’t show destructive behaviors – If your French Bulldog is chewing everything up, they may have separation anxiety. Destructive behavior is a sure sign that your pup isn’t happy. Tips and tricks for separation anxiety can help improve this. Contact your vet if the issue lasts.
  5. They have good eating habits – If a Frenchie has no issues with eating, they are a happy French Bulldog! If you notice your pup isn’t interested in eating, consult with your vet.
  6. They stick their tongue out – Keep in mind that sometimes the tongue out is because of an overbite or underbite. However, often their tongue is out because they are relaxed and happy. If a Frenchie’s tongue is out while snoozing, they’re probably cozy and sleeping peacefully.
  7. They are ready for playtime – While French Bulldogs can’t participate in too much exercise due to known breathing issues, they are typically playful and want to chew on a toy or chase a ball.They also like to relax, so this won’t necessarily mean they are unhappy. However, if they seem lethargic for long periods of time, contact your vet.
  8. They cuddle up and lean into you – A cuddle is equivalent to a French Bulldog smile and it shows their pure delight. If your Frenchie seems distant, it could just mean it wants some space and doesn’t want to be around people. This is certainly okay from time to time, but if they are often distant, there could be more going on.
  9. They have a healthy coat – You know how the saying goes, “you’re glowing!” We can say the same for a Frenchie. If their skin and coat look shiny and nice, this reflects health and happiness.

Help your pup maintain a nice, fresh coat with a proper diet which consists of protein, healthy fats, fiber, and water. Regular grooming is also key. Who doesn’t thrive off of a high-quality diet and a nice bath?

Now that we know of the alternatives to a French Bulldog smile, I bet all the Frenchie owners out there are able to see just how happy their pup really is!


How to Make Your French Bulldog Smile

As pet parents, it’s our number one priority to make sure our furry family member is as happy as can be. There are a number of ways to make our French Bulldog smile and express happiness in other ways, too.

  1. Groom them. Remember, your French Bulldog will glow if their skin and coat are healthy. Baths every few months, or when needed, along with regular brushing can keep them nicely groomed.
  2. Wipe their ears clean to avoid irritation and/or infection as we all know this could become frustrating. You can do this about once a month.
  3. Clean their skin folds. French Bulldogs are prone to Intertrigo, an inflammation of the skin caused by rubbing skin folds alongside each other as a result of excess skin. This is not fun at all for a Frenchie. Sometimes the problem is inevitable, but you can help it by keeping the areas clean and dry.
  4. As mentioned, health issues are common in French Bulldogs. Anyone who is ill is less happy so stay on top of their health by taking regular vet visits.
  5. Keep them indoors. French Bulldogs are not outdoor dogs. They can struggle with breathing and easily overheat, so stay inside unless it’s early morning or late afternoon.
  6. Play with them. Just because they like to be inside, this doesn’t mean they don’t need a little activity.
  7. Love them! Frenchies aren’t called low-maintenance for no reason. Part of this is how easy they are to love. Cuddles and treats are a sure way to see a French Bulldog smile.

But I Don’t Have Time to Cuddle and Play All Day…

Life can get busy. People have jobs, chores, and other family members to tend to. The good news is that Frenchies are quite easy to please. A short walk once a day, a full belly, some cuddle time a few times a day, treats when you need to leave, and fun toys for them to play with will keep them content.

If you’re so busy that you can be around enough to provide these things, that’s something to consider. Otherwise, rest assured that your French Bulldog is going to be just fine with proper love and care.


How to Know if Your French Bulldog is Unhappy

Just like with humans, Frenchies can’t be happy all of the time. The occasional occurrences of not seeing a joyous pup are totally normal. However, dogs can also experience depression. The dog experts say that dog depression appears to be similar to humans in that they may show their change in emotions. The difference is, we can’t ask them about it so being observant of changes is important.

A period of sadness in dogs is often seen during a life change such as moving to a new location, a new baby in the family, or the loss of a family member (or another pet). When these things happen, try to make your pet as comfortable as you can with life changes. One way to do this is to prepare your pet for the change if you see it coming. For example, if you have a new baby on the way, you can introduce your dog to baby sounds, sights, and smells. You can also encourage a relationship with your dog and another person before the change in order to have more humans that are able to provide them comfort. This person can be another family member or a dog walker.

It is quite sad to think of our loved dog being depressed, but there are ways to know if that’s the case in order to remedy the issue and see our French Bulldog smile again.

Here are signs that your Frenchie is unhappy.

  • It’s not eating like it usually does.
  • It’s whining a lot.
  • It often shows fear by hiding or cowering down.
  • It’s not interested in playing.
  • It’s showing destructive behaviors.
  • It’s using the bathroom indoors.
  • It’s not showing affection.
  • It’s sleeping too much or not enough.

If you notice any of these signs for a long period of time, consult a vet. Dogs are resilient and often liven back up in no time with some extra love and care. If not, there is prescription medicine as a last resort.


Final Thoughts

A French Bulldog smile is surely something its owners want to see because it’s so cute and it lets us know they’re doing good. And, according to studies Frenchies also want to show us their smile because they’ve seen humans do it and they’ve learned to recognize a smile as something good. They also know they may get rewarded giving us a big grin.

The truth of the matter is that a French Bulldog smile can be shown in various ways from bottom wagging to playful energy. And, the even better part is that our Frenchies can make us smile, too. When humans interact with dogs, it’s been proven that our oxytocin hormone increases which boost relaxation and empathy and reduces stress and anxiety.

“There is nothing truer in this world than the love of a dog.”