Discover 7 Popular French Dog Breeds

November 12, 2019
Today, we want to take a look at 7 of the most popular French dog breeds in the world.

France is the birthplace of more than 40 different dog breeds. Many of these breeds have risen to international fame, while others are only found in rural France. In this article, we want to tell you about 7 of the most popular French dog breeds.

French dog breeds

If you count up all the different dog breeds that were born on French soil, you’ll reach a grand total of 43 breeds, making France one of the most prolific dog breeders in the world. Take a look at some of the most popular French dog breeds:

A French bulldog puppy.

1. Basset hound

Basset hounds are a member of the bloodhound family. They have short legs, long bodies and long, drooping ears, which often reach down to the ground. A cross between an old-type French basset hound and an English bloodhound, the modern basset hound was originally bred for hunting hares, foxes and deer.

Basset hounds are friendly, laid-back, affectionate and playful animals, that often have a stubborn streak. They get on well with children, and prefer sleeping and eating to doing exercise. However, ensuring they get enough exercise is essential for managing their weight.

2. Popular French dog breeds: Dogue de Bordeaux

This French dog breed belongs to the Mastiff or Molosser family. The Dogue de Bordeaux is a large, powerful breed, famous for its strong, decisive character. It’s this character that makes it such a popular guard dog.

In the past, people used the Dogue de Bordeaux for hunting large animals, as well as dogfighting (both of which are now banned). In terms of temperament, the Dogue de Bordeaux is affectionate, and extremely loyal to its family. They hate being on their own, and may even become aggressive.

3. French bulldog

The first French bulldogs appeared at the end of the 19th Century. They are descendants of the English bulldog, which first arrived in France after the Industrial revolution. This small Mastiff is strong and muscular. One of its most notable characteristics is its small, bat-like ears, which are upright and point forward.

The French bulldog has a short muzzle and small skin folds around its eyes and mouth. These are sociable, playful and cheerful dogs, and can happily live in an apartment, so long as they get plenty of exercise every day.

4. Poodle

The poodle is one of the most popular French breeds. First appearing at the end of the 15th Century, the poodle was the pet of nobles and aristocrats. In the past, hunters also used them as water retrievers, fetching game that had fallen into lakes or rivers.

Today, they are famous for their great beauty and elegance. There are three different size variations of poodle: toy, miniature, and standard. These dogs are playful, active, intelligent and energetic, but they can get distracted easily.

A white poodle.

5. Pyrenean Shepherd

The Pyrenean Shepherd is a member of the pastoral group, and is often used as a guard dog in the Pyrenean mountain region of France. There are two varieties: the rough-faced, and the smooth-faced. These brave, agile animals aren’t afraid to attack a wolf or bear when necessary. Known for their great independence (which can make them difficult to train), these adorable dogs have thick, white fur and semi-prick ears. The Pyrenean Shepherd is a medium-size breed with a light build.

6. Popular French dog breeds: Griffon Bleu de Gascogne

This bloodhound originated from the region of Gascogne, in the south-east of France, and was originally bred for hunting small game. They have a rough, speckled coat, drop ears and a slightly curving tail, which they carry upright. A cross between the Bleu de Gascogne and the Griffon Nivernais, the Griffon Bleu de Gascogne isn’t very well-known outside of France. Excitable and affectionate, they are always on the alert.

7. Papillon

This is another French breed that was popular among the upper classes during the 18th Century. The Papillon gets its name from Queen Marie Antoinette, who affectionately called her own dog le petit papillon (little butterfly). A relative of the Spaniel, its butterfly-like ears are pointed and upright, while its coat is typically white with black or red patches. Papillons are loyal, active dogs, with beautifully soft fur.