Ten Common Submissive Behaviors In French Bulldogs

Ten Common Submissive Behaviors In French Bulldogs

 We cannot communicate with our furry friends with words, but we can understand them with their body language. When you look at the behaviors of dogs, there are some submissive and dominant dogs, and you can know what type of dog you have by just observing their body language. There are many submissive behaviors that you can keep an eye on. This blog will explain different submissive behaviors in French bulldogs, how your pup displays them, and how you can manage these behaviors.

Ten common submissive behaviors in French bulldogs

Tail Wagging and Low Posture:

The most common way by which French bulldogs express their submissive behavior is through their body language. If their wagging tail are low, it means that they have a non-threatening and submissive demeanor. When you observe this behavior in a new situation, it is an indication that your pup is trying to establish harmony and don't want any conflict.

Avoiding Eye Contact:

When a dog manages to establish eye contact, it is a sign of dominance. However, a submissive dog will avoid managing direct eye contact and show defense and respect. If you recognize this behavior and respect it, this will make a safe and comfortable environment for your pet.

Rolling Over:

One of the classic examples of submissive behavior in French bulldogs is rolling on the back and exposing the belly. This vulnerable position shows how much your pup has trust in you. Being an owner, it's important to interpret this situation correctly and respond to it affectionately to evolve the bond of trust.

Ears Back and Pinned:

French bulldogs have long bat-like ears, and they communicate through them. When your French bulldog pulls his ears back and pins them to the head, it is a sign of discomfort and submission. This is most common when meeting with new animals and people. If you understand this behavior and respect the boundaries of your dog, it will build confidence in them.

Licking and Nuzzling:

Dogs use licking as a sign of affection and submission. If your Frenchie is licking you or another dog, it is a sign of expressing submission and a desire to connect positively. Similarly, snuggling against another animal or you is a way to show submissive behavior. 


If you see your Frenchie yawning, it is not always a sign of tiredness. In most cases, it is considered as a calming signal that your pup is trying to diffuse stress or tension. If your Frenchie is yawning in a social gathering, it is an expression of submission and a desire to maintain a peaceful atmosphere.

Sitting or Standing Still:

When your submissive pup gets into an intimidating situation, he will sit still or freeze. This is a natural instinct to avoid drawing attention or appearing threatening. If you recognize this behavior of your French bulldog, you know when to provide support to your pup.

Whining and Soft Vocalizations:

French bulldogs are very vocal and expressive. However, when they are showing submissive behavior, their tone will change suddenly into softer, plaintive whining. This will help your French bulldog to seek attention and comfort without showing dominance. If you respond to them gently, your bond with your pet will strengthen.

Allowing Others to Eat First:

You will often see that submissive dogs will let the dominant one eat first. This behavior is natural and very common in canines. Even in a house, you will notice that your Frenchie will let other humans and dogs eat first, showing their submissive behavior.

Following You Around

A submissive Frenchie has a nature to stay solid and close to the owner and go wherever they go. This shows that your pup relies on you for the sake of guidance and security. Accepting this attachment and showing affection in regard will make your bond strong with your companion.

Managing Submissive Behaviors in French Bulldogs

While submissive behaviors are not completely problematic, it is important for Frenchie owners to understand how to manage them properly.

Provide a Safe and Stable Environment

If your pup has a safe and stable environment, it will help in minimizing submissive behavior. A Frenchie is less inclined to show submissive behavior if he lives in a secure and predictable environment.

Practice Ongoing Socialization

Socialization will help your French bulldog to adapt to different situations and build confidence. This also includes interacting with new people, dogs, and different new situations.

Use Positive Reinforcement

The use of positive reinforcement is an important way to reinforce desirable behaviors. When your pup is displaying submissive and positive behavior, try to reward them with treats and playtime. Provide your pup an interactive toy like an interactive egg treats ball that will keep them engaged and distribute treats.

Such toys will also help keep their mind engaged.

Avoid Excessive Punishment

Punishing your pup too often will result in submissive behaviors in French bulldogs. Try to use those training methods that are based on rewards rather than punishment.


Understanding the submissive behavior in French bulldogs will help in creating a relationship full of trust. When you recognize and respect these cues, it will help in making a solid bond with your Frenchie and help in providing them the support that they need. Keep in mind that every dog is unique, and paying attention to the individual needs of each Frenchie will deepen your connection and contribute to a happy and fulfilling life together.


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1 comment

I find that my Frenchie feels he is the dominant one. He lives with a 17 year old chihuahua. They eat sometimes together, of course they have their own bowls with my Frenchie breaking bad.

Jaime Ash

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