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Can Frenchies Smile???

Updated: May 7, 2021

Sayid - Photo by vivz and frenchies on flickr published on Viva Les Frenchies Magazine, Winter 2009 edition

Being a photographer I can tell you that smiles are always in fashion.

My son’s dog, Ballzac, has the most amazing wide Staff smile we all know and love. Cebar, my 9 year old English Cocker, has the typical “Eyore” sad sack look - even when he is totally happy. So as I cuddled my new little 9 week old French Bulldog, Whisky, and stared into that sweet little sad sack face, I wondered will he be a smiler or not?

Frenchies are universally know to be one of the most sociable and friendly breeds, having been bred as companion dogs. They are often described as “clown-like” with a stubborn streak and cheeky personality. Given they are a brachiocephalic (squished in faced) dog this must limit their ability to make one facial expressions, and obviously there would be some individual differences in the dogs themselves. So I did a bit of research on Pintrest, and Viola - they do smile!!!!

They have ultra wide mouths so by opening their mouth wide and curling up their lips slightly they can smile, and at the same time their gorgeous googlie-eyes will narrow a bit.



  1. Their cute tiny tail shakes and their whole back end wiggles.

  2. Those big googlie-eyes look up into yours with LOVE.

  3. They follow you around like a shadow, even to the toilet

  4. They sleep close to you or in your company.

  5. They like to be close to you, sit on you or lean on you.

  6. Their mouth is relaxed, maybe slightly open, and their tongue sticks out a little bit.

  7. Their ears are relaxed, upright and slightly forward on their head.

  8. Their body is relaxed and not stiff.

  9. They want to play with you, or bring you their favourite toys.

  10. They don’t destroy things, eat dog poo or cry constantly.

  11. They have a good appetite.

  12. Their coat is clean and healthy.


  1. Hiding, cowering or being fearful of you.

  2. They sulk or won’t come to greet you when you come home or show other signs of separation anxiety.

  3. They drop their head or put it on the side but they eyes still look up at you showing MORE white (Whale Eye) - remembering the Frenchies will always have a bit of white showing their eyes due to their breed in any case.

  4. They stop eating or change drastically in appetite.

  5. Excessively licking, nibbling or scratching themselves. This can be as a result of anxiety or depression, but also can indicate a skin problem.

  6. Sleeping more than usual, sometimes sleeping less but this is rare, the former is more common. On average a healthy happy Frenchie will sleep 12 - 14 hours per day.

  7. Panting and yawning excessively can be signs of distress.

  8. Regression to peeing and pooing inside if they were previously housetrained.

  9. Disobedience and Destructive behaviour such as chewing on things - particularly YOUR things or digging, as well as ignoring you or your commands.

  10. Withdrawal - they don’t want to play and not interested in their favourite toys.

  11. Whining, howling and crying - even when you are in the house with them.

  12. Doesn’t want to cuddle and love up any more.

  13. Can start growling and become aggressive and try to bite you due to anxiety and fear.

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