Are French Bulldogs Good Hunters? Can They Hunt?

Ahh, Frenchies! With their flat faces and stocky built, they are one of the most popular breeds in the US, and for a good reason.

They are playful and loving yet still, make excellent watchdogs. They are also relatively low-maintenance compared to other breeds, making them a great choice for busy families. And French Bulldogs come in a wide range of colors and markings, so it’s easy to find one that fits your style. 

However, if you’ve got a vermin problem in your basement or yard, a Frenchie might not be your best choice for pest control. Their built and sense of smell make them just a tad less prolific than many other breeds in the hunting-talent department. 

That’s not to say they don’t try; they totally get bonus points for enthusiasm and effort, though!

In this blog post, we’ll look at the French Bulldog, its hunting prowess, and some other traits that hunting dogs typically have. 

The French Bulldog – A Brief History 

French bulldogs are one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the United States. Their playful, affectionate nature has made them a favorite of families for generations. But where do these lovable pups come from?

French bulldogs are actually a relatively new breed, developed in the 19th century in England. They were originally bred as companion dogs for wealthy Victorians, who cherished them for their small size and confidante-like personalities. 

However, over time, they fell out of favor with the English aristocracy and began to be associated with the working class. In the 1850s, many English bulldog fanciers decided to emigrate to France, taking their beloved pets with them. 

It was here that the French bulldog we know today began to take shape, as breeders began to focus on developing the characteristic “ bat ears” that are now so iconic of the breed.

Today, French Bulldogs are prized as much for their adorable look as they are for their personality. They make loyal, loving companions, and their even temperaments make them ideal pets for families with children.

What Makes A Dog A Good Hunter? 

Dogs have been hunting alongside humans for centuries, and there are many reasons why they make such excellent partners in the field. One of the most important qualities in a good hunting dog is a strong innate desire to please their owner. 

This motivates them to work hard and follow commands, even when they’re tired or distracted by the excitement of the chase. Additionally, dogs have an acute sense of smell, which can help them to track down prey that would be otherwise invisible to us. 

And finally, dogs are intelligent and learn quickly, making them quick studies when it comes to mastering new skills. From retrieving game to finding truffles, there’s no limit to what a good hunting dog can do.

With their loyalty, keen noses, and willingness to learn, it’s no wonder that dogs have been such valued members of the hunting community for so many years.

Hunting Vermin

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and while some breeds like the Karelian Bear Dog or the Dogo Argentino are meant for large game, you really don’t want one of them to take off after a mouse. Think: flying furniture! 

In this article, when we talk about hunting, we’ll talk about vermin like mice, rats, and any other small animal that can destroy crops or spread diseases. A good vermin hunting is often called a “ratter”. 

A good ratter must have a strong instinct to hunt and kill rats. They must also be able to fit into small spaces, be agile, and have a strong body and jaw to kill the rats. 

Some of the best ratters are Terriers, including Jack Russells, Cairn Terriers, Yorkshire Terriers, and Scottish Terriers. 

These dogs were bred for hunting small game and vermin, and their natural abilities make them ideal for the job. 

Are French Bulldogs Good At Catching Mice?

As just mentioned, a good ratter should be incredibly agile, lightning-fast, and be able to fit into small spaces. They also need a strong body and jaws to quickly kill rats, even large ones.

Well, the French Bulldog IS fast and is likely to have powerful jaws, but for agility, and to fit into small spaces? Errrr…maybe not. 

The French Bulldog’s Physique

Despite their small size, French Bulldogs are powerful dogs. They have a muscular build with a broad chest and short, muscular legs. Their heads are large and round, with pointed ears and a flat face. 

Stocky and squat, they belong to a group of dogs called brachycephalic breeds, which also include Boxers and Pugs.

These breeds often have more challenging respiratory systems because of their shorter snouts. They frequently exhibit signs of difficulty breathing, especially when they sleep.

While these breeds can make excellent sprinters, they have problems with the stamina side of athleticism.

Frenchies are also not known for their agility. This is because their short legs and compact bodies make it difficult for them to move in a normal way. As a result, they often waddle instead of walk, which is what Frenchie-lovers adore about the breed in the first place. 

Additionally, their gait helps reduce the impact on their joints, which can benefit their overall health. 

Athletic Capabilities Of A French Bulldog 

While French Bulldogs may not be the first breed that comes to mind when you think of an athlete, they are actually quite athletic dogs. 

They may not be able to run marathons or clear ridiculously high jumps but can make great hiking and camping companions. They are also excellent swimmers, but their short legs disadvantage them to the other lankier breeds like the Border Collie and the Retrievers. 

Although there are exceptions to every rule, Frenchies are typically not agility course champions but will make good companion dogs in a moderately active household. 

Are French Bulldogs Ratter Dogs?

While French Bulldogs are likely to chase after anything enthusiastically, it is highly unlikely that they have the agility and grace to catch a rat! These little waddlers have short, stocky bodies that don’t fit into small spaces and while they totally get effort points for trying, they may not make the best ratters. 

Their stout build and large heads make it difficult for them to move their legs in a normal, fluid motion. 

Instead, they often end up taking short, choppy steps that result in a waddle. In addition, Frenchies often have weight issues. They are one of the heaviest breeds of dogs for their height, and this extra weight can further impede their movement. 

But Can They Catch Rats?

However, despite these challenges, Frenchies are known for being extremely resilient and determined animals. They may not be the fastest breed around, but they always eventually get where they’re going.

While they’re not known for being the most active dogs, they do have a few handy skills that make them great candidates as ratters. Frenchies are very persistent, and once they start on a task, they’re not likely to give up until it’s done. 

They’re also brave, which means they’re not afraid to go after vermin even if they’re larger than the dog. And while Frenchies aren’t particularly fast, their short legs allow them to turn quickly, giving them an advantage when chasing after pesky critters. 

Do They Have Any Hunting Traits?

Despite their physical shortcomings compared to more agile dogs like Terriers and herding dogs, French Bulldogs are tenacious little dogs with a number of qualities that can make them suitable for hunting.

Prey Drive 

Frenchies, like their Bulldog ancestors, have a very high prey drive, which means that they are instinctually drawn to chasing and catching small animals. 

This prey drive is so strong that it can often override the dog’s natural caution, leading them to pursue even dangerous prey. 

Eager to Please

French Bulldogs are eager to please their families. Loving and affectionate, Frenchies love being around their humans and don’t like being left alone for long periods. They will happily work for praise and treats and might become sad and depressed when they are left without their humans or any attention. 


French bulldogs are not particularly known for being quick, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be. With a little bit of training, Frenchies can be quite speedy. They may not be able to keep up with the fastest dogs out there, but they can certainly hold their own in a race. 

And, since they’re not naturally inclined to run long distances, sprinting is often their forte. So, if you’re looking for a dog that can sprint short distances at lightning speeds, a French bulldog may be just what you’re looking for.

Working Drive

French Bulldogs are known for being playful and affectionate companions, but they can also be surprisingly tenacious workers. When properly motivated, Frenchies have a strong working drive and can excel at a variety of tasks. 

From herding livestock to working as a service dog, there is no job too big or small for a Frenchie who is up to the challenge. In fact, the versatility of the French Bulldog makes them one of the most popular breeds for working dogs. 


French Bulldogs are often underestimated when it comes to intelligence. While they may not be the most obedient dogs out there, they are actually quite clever. Frenchies are quick learners and can be trained to do a variety of tricks. 

They are also good at problem-solving and have been known to escape from their pens or open doors. In addition, Frenchies are highly attuned to their human companions and can pick up on emotions. 

What Other Jobs Are Good For French Bulldogs?

While French Bulldogs may not make the most prolific hunters, they are versatile dogs that can excel at many kinds of jobs. 

Emotional support animal 

French Bulldogs make great emotional support animals for a number of reasons. First and foremost, they are incredibly affectionate and love to cuddle. They also have a calm demeanor, which can be a soothing presence in times of stress. 

Additionally, Frenchies are very intelligent and easy to train, so they can learn tricks or behaviors that help to ease anxiety or provide comfort. 

Therapy dog 

French Bulldogs make great therapy dogs for a number of reasons. They are small and compact, making them easy to transport from place to place. They also have a calm and gentle demeanor, which helps to put people at ease.

Additionally, French Bulldogs are relatively low-maintenance dogs, so they don’t require a lot of care and attention. This makes them ideal for busy environments like hospitals and nursing homes. 

And finally, French Bulldogs are very affectionate and relish human contact, which makes them perfect for providing comfort and companionship to people in need. 

Companion dog 

Of course, their most widely cherished role is that of a companion dog. Beloved by millions around the world, Frenchies are loving and affectionate and will suit households of all kinds, including those with seniors and young children.

There’s a reason why they are the #2 most popular breed in the US! 

Final Thoughts 

While your Frenchie is probably not going to rid you completely of your vermin problem, he or she will most certainly be game to try. Keep the furniture out of the way so your pooch doesn’t hurt himself, and let him go wild chasing the pests! 

Frenchies are lovely, enthusiastic dogs that will fit most lifestyles, so successful ratter or not, enjoy the time! 

Recent Posts