Popular French Dog Breeds: A Guide to the Most Beloved Breeds from France

If you’re interested in learning about popular French dog breeds, this article is the perfect place to start. French dog breeds are known for their unique characteristics, small to medium size, and friendly temperament. From the elegant French Bulldog to the adorable Bichon Frise, these breeds have captured the hearts of both royalty and everyday dog lovers.

In this article, you’ll discover the fascinating world of French dog breeds. Whether you’re a dog enthusiast or considering adding a French breed to your family, join us as we delve into the world of popular French dog breeds.

Brittany Spaniel

The Brittany Spaniel is a versatile hunting breed that is highly adaptable and can thrive in various environments, making them suitable for both urban and rural settings. They are known for their intelligence, athleticism, and excellent hunting skills, making them a great choice for avid hunters. The breed ranks 27th in the AKC and is popular among dog enthusiasts.

Brittany Spaniels have a friendly and sociable nature, making them great family companions. They get along well with children and other pets. Their medium-sized build and beautiful coat make them a visually appealing breed.

Overall, the Brittany Spaniel is a wonderful option among popular French dog breeds. Whether you’re an avid hunter or simply looking for a loving and energetic companion, the Brittany Spaniel is a great choice.

Basset Hound

The Basset Hound is a friendly and lovable breed known for its unique appearance. They have long ears, droopy eyes, and short legs which make them an adorable sight. They are gentle and loyal companions, which makes them a popular choice for families seeking a laid-back and affectionate pet. With patience and consistent training, the Basset Hound can overcome their stubbornness.

This French breed is ranked 34th in the AKC and has gained recognition for its friendly nature. They thrive in a loving and caring environment with moderate exercise and regular ear cleanings to prevent infections.

Here are some characteristics of the Basset Hound breed:

Characteristic Description
Size Medium-sized
Weight 20-35 kg
Coat Short
Temperament Gentle, loyal, stubborn
Trainability Moderate
Exercise Moderate
Health Can be prone to ear infections
Lifespan 10-12 years

Overall, the Basset Hound is a great choice for families looking for a low-energy and affectionate pet. With their unique appearance and friendly nature, they make great companions for those seeking a laid-back lifestyle.

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is a small, charming, and affectionate breed that is loved by many dog owners. With its fluffy white coat and playful temperament, it’s no wonder that this breed is a popular choice for those seeking a low-maintenance companion.

One of the most appealing features of the Bichon Frise is its friendly nature. This breed is known for its affectionate and lively personality, which makes it a great choice for families with children or individuals seeking a loyal companion. Additionally, the Bichon Frise is hypoallergenic, which means it’s a good option for those with allergies.

In terms of grooming, the Bichon Frise is easy to maintain. Its non-shedding, cotton-like fur requires regular brushing and occasional trimming to keep it looking neat and tidy.

Overall, the Bichon Frise is a lovable and charming breed that is sure to bring joy and companionship into your life. With its AKC ranking of 47, it’s a popular choice for those seeking a small-sized, low-maintenance companion.


Bloodhounds are a large and powerful breed of dog that are known for their incredible sense of smell and tracking abilities. They have a distinctive appearance with loose skin and droopy ears. Bloodhounds are often used in search and rescue operations due to their exceptional sense of smell. These dogs are calm and gentle, making them great family pets. However, it is important to note that they require regular exercise to prevent them from becoming bored or destructive.

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Bloodhound is ranked 50th in popularity. This ranking indicates that the breed is not as popular as some other breeds, but it is still a well-known and respected breed among dog lovers. Bloodhounds are intelligent and loyal dogs that can make excellent companions for the right owner. If you are considering a Bloodhound as a pet, make sure you are prepared to provide them with the exercise, training, and attention they need to thrive.


The Papillon is a small French dog breed that is known for its unique butterfly-like ears, which give it a distinctive appearance. Despite their small size, Papillons have a big personality and are highly intelligent and trainable. They are also friendly and sociable, making them great companions for families of all ages.

One of the reasons why the Papillon is a popular choice among dog lovers is their elegant and graceful appearance, which adds a touch of sophistication to any family. Their beautiful coat comes in a variety of colors, allowing you to choose the one that matches your style and preference.

Here are some key characteristics of the Papillon breed:

Breed Group Toy Group
Height 8-11 inches
Weight 5-10 pounds
Temperament Friendly, Sociable, Intelligent
Coat Long, Silky, Straight
Life Expectancy 12-16 years

Overall, the Papillon is a charming and elegant breed that makes a great addition to any family. With their unique appearance and friendly personality, it’s no wonder why they are a popular choice among dog enthusiasts.

French Bulldog
French Bulldogs are a popular breed known for their adorable appearance and friendly temperament. Originating from France, they have a big personality despite their small size. French Bulldogs are great with families and make wonderful companions. However, it’s important to note that they can be prone to breathing difficulties due to their flat face. Here are the top 10 facts about French Bulldogs:

  • French Bulldogs are one of the most popular dog breeds worldwide.
  • They are descendants of English Bulldogs.
  • French Bulldogs have a lifespan of 10-12 years.
  • They are small in size, weighing between 19-28 pounds and standing 11-13 inches tall.
  • French Bulldogs have short, smooth fur that comes in a variety of colors, including brindle, fawn, and white.
  • They are playful, friendly, loyal, affectionate, lively, and sociable.
  • French Bulldogs are not hypoallergenic.
  • They were originally bred as companion dogs for lace makers in England.
  • French Bulldogs are loved by celebrities like Lady Gaga and The Rock.
  • French Bulldogs can be prone to health issues such as hip dysplasia and skin allergies.

In summary, French Bulldogs are a wonderful choice for those considering adding a furry friend to their family. They are playful, friendly, and make great companions. However, it’s important to be aware of their potential health issues and to provide them with the care they need.

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is a charming French breed that is known for its adorable appearance and energetic nature. As part of the scent hound group, they are intelligent and possess a keen sense of smell. They have long eyebrows that add to their charm and make them irresistibly cute.

This breed is extremely friendly and enjoys the company of their human family members. They have an endless supply of energy and love to explore and engage in various activities. They make an ideal choice for families looking for a fun-loving and lovable pet.

Here are some key features of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen:

Feature Description
Size Small to medium-sized
Coat Shaggy and low-slung
Temperament Friendly, energetic, and curious
Exercise Needs Regular exercise and daily walks
Training Intelligent and trainable
Grooming Requires regular grooming to prevent matting

Overall, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is a delightful breed that brings joy and liveliness to any household. They make great companions and family dogs due to their adorable looks and energetic personality.

Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees is a French dog breed with a majestic appearance, once loved by French nobility. They are known for their calm and affectionate nature, making them devoted family members and friendly with children. Originally used as farm flock guardians, the Great Pyrenees were considered the Royal Dog of France by King Louis XIV.

These dogs have a distinctive appearance, with a thick, double coat that is weather-resistant and comes in a solid white color. They are large in size and have a regal presence that is sure to capture your heart. To help you imagine their beauty, here is a table showcasing their distinctive features:

Feature Description
Size Large
Coat Thick, double coat with a weather-resistant outer layer
Color White

Overall, the Great Pyrenees is a beloved breed among dog enthusiasts, thanks to their elegant appearance and noble history. Their gentle demeanor and loyal nature make them a great addition to any family.


The Beauceron is a French dog breed that was originally bred as a herding dog. They are well-known for their remarkable qualities, which make them an excellent choice for many dog owners.

Here are four reasons why the Beauceron is a beloved breed:

  • They are highly intelligent and have a strong desire to please their owners. This makes them easy to train and teach new skills.

  • Beaucerons have a calm and affectionate nature, which makes them excellent companions. They are great with children and other pets.

  • With their impressive skill set, they were trusted police dogs and even participated in World Wars. They are incredibly brave and loyal.

  • These working dogs require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation to prevent problem behaviors. They are highly active and need plenty of opportunities to run and play.

Overall, the Beauceron is an excellent choice for those looking for a loyal, intelligent, and active companion. With proper training and socialization, they can make wonderful family pets.

Dogue De Bordeaux

The Dogue De Bordeaux is a popular French breed known for its powerful build and distinctive wrinkled face. Originally used as hunting partners and guard dogs for French nobility, they have a gentle and loving nature, making them wonderful companions. Despite their size, these dogs are known for their calm and friendly temperament.

Proper training and socialization are important for the Dogue De Bordeaux, as they can be protective of their family. However, with the right care, they make loyal and devoted pets.

Some key characteristics of the Dogue De Bordeaux include:

  • Size: Males can reach up to 27 inches in height and weigh up to 110 pounds.
  • Coat: Short, eye-catching fawn-colored coat.
  • Health issues: Hip dysplasia is a common orthopedic issue in many large breeds, including the Dogue De Bordeaux.

Overall, the Dogue De Bordeaux is a wonderful choice for those looking to add a loyal and popular French breed to their family.

Berger Picard

The Berger Picard is a French herding dog breed with a unique history and independent nature. This breed was used by French shepherds to herd and guard livestock, making them highly skilled and reliable working dogs. The Berger Picard has a long and fascinating history, dating back centuries.

Berger Picards are known for their independent and self-reliant nature. They have a strong sense of individualism and may require patient training and socialization to develop a strong bond with their owner. However, once they form a bond with their owner, they are loyal and affectionate companions.

This breed is highly energetic and agile, excelling in activities such as agility, obedience, and herding trials. If you lead an active lifestyle and enjoy outdoor adventures, the Berger Picard will be a great companion. They have excellent stamina and agility, making them ideal for outdoor activities.

Berger Picards are also intelligent dogs, quick learners, and have excellent problem-solving abilities. With proper training and mental stimulation, they can be obedient and well-behaved pets. They are known for their loyalty and make great family pets.

Overall, the Berger Picard is an exceptional breed with a rich history, independent nature, stamina, agility, loyalty, and intelligence. If you’re looking for a unique, intelligent, and active breed with a fascinating history, the Berger Picard is an excellent choice.


Briards are versatile and protective dog breeds that originated in the Brie region of France. They are known for their gentle disposition and eagerness to please, making them great companions for respectful children. However, they may not always get along well with other dogs.

Briards require a lot of exercise and grooming due to their long coat, but their loyalty and intelligence make it worth the effort. They are skilled herders and protectors of flocks, making them a popular choice for those looking for a loyal and protective companion.

Here are some key characteristics of the Briard breed:

  • Size: 50-80 lbs, 24-26 inches tall at the withers
  • Coat: Long, all uniform colors except white
  • Temperament: Affectionate with family, independent, purposeful, and serious
  • Exercise needs: High
  • Grooming needs: High

Overall, Briards are a great choice for those looking for a loyal and protective companion. However, they require a lot of exercise and grooming, so potential owners should be prepared for the commitment.


The Barbet is a French breed of dog that is specifically bred for water activities. They are excellent swimmers and love to dive into the water, making them the perfect companion for beach or lake trips. Their thick, curly coat helps protect them from the cold water, making them comfortable in any weather.

This breed is known for their friendly and sociable nature, making them a great fit for families with children or other pets. They are highly intelligent and easy to train, making them a versatile and obedient companion both on land and in the water.

Barbets are medium-sized dogs that typically weigh between 35 to 65 pounds and have a life span of 12 to 14 years. They have a calm, goofy, devoted, and joyful temperament. This breed comes in a variety of colors including black, grey, brown, or fawn, and some have white markings.

Here are some key characteristics of the Barbet:

Characteristic Description
Group Sporting
Height 19 to 24.5 inches from the shoulder
Weight 35 to 65 pounds
Coat Long, dense, curly
Coat Color Black, grey, brown, or fawn, and some have white markings
Life Span 12 to 14 years
Temperament Calm, goofy, devoted, intelligent, obedient, joyful
Hypoallergenic Yes
Origin France

With their water-loving nature and friendly disposition, the Barbet is a wonderful choice for families looking for a dog bred for water activities.

Final Thoughts

French dog breeds offer a wide range of options for those looking for a furry companion. Whether you’re seeking a small or medium-sized dog with a friendly personality or a breed with a rich history and cultural significance, French dog breeds have something for everyone. With their unique characteristics and popularity, a French dog breed can make a wonderful addition to any family.

Frequently Asked Questions

Top Large-Sized French Dog Breeds

French dog breeds come in various sizes, ranging from small to large. Among the large-sized French dog breeds, some of the most popular ones are:

  • Great Pyrenees
  • Dogue de Bordeaux
  • Briard
  • Beauceron

Most Commonly Owned Small French Dog Breeds

Small French dog breeds are a popular choice among pet owners. Some of the most commonly owned small French dog breeds are:

  • French Bulldog
  • Bichon Frise
  • Papillon
  • Pomeranian

Rare French Dog Breeds That Are Lesser-Known

Apart from the commonly known French dog breeds, there are also some rare breeds that are lesser-known. Some of these breeds are:

  • Barbet
  • Blue Picardy Spaniel
  • French Spaniel
  • Pyrenean Shepherd

Distinctive Characteristics of French Hunting Dog Breeds

French hunting dog breeds are known for their exceptional hunting skills and unique characteristics. Some of the distinctive characteristics of French hunting dog breeds are:

  • Strong sense of smell
  • Agile and athletic build
  • High energy levels
  • Excellent hunting instincts

French Dog Breeds That Are Known for Their White Coats

White-coated French dog breeds are a popular choice among pet owners. Some of the French dog breeds that are known for their white coats are:

  • Bichon Frise
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Berger Blanc Suisse
  • White Shepherd

National Dog Breed of France

The national dog breed of France is the French Bulldog. This breed is known for its small size, affectionate nature, and distinctive “bat ears.”

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