10 Beautiful French Dog Breeds For Every Owner

french dog breeds

Are you thinking about adopting a wonderful Chien into your family? Then you’ll need to check out these 10 amazing French dog breeds. Throughout history, the French have bred dogs really well – there’s honestly a pup for everyone. From some of the best hunting dogs in the world to adorable little toy pups for cuddling on your lap.

As with all breeds, it’s really important to research French pups carefully and make sure that you can care for them properly. Some of the doggos on this list are big (👀 Great Pyrenees) and they’re not a good choice for first-time pup parents. So, that’s really why we’ve made this list – so you can get a good idea of the types of French dog breeds available.

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10 Stunning French Dog Breeds

When you think of French dogs, the iconic French Poodle may be the first pup to pop to mind. These pups aren’t, however, actually French. They originated in Germany (and their name comes from the German word for puddle).

But don’t worry, Poodles might not be included in this list but there are 10 other wonderful French pooches for you to consider.

#1 French Bulldog

black and white french bulldog

The French Bulldog is one of the most popular breeds in the world (and not just out of the French dog breeds). These adorable, cheery, and affectionate dogs are a favorite for city dwellers as French Bulldogs don’t need much exercise and are happy playing much of the day at home.

Known for their iconic ‘bat ears’ these robust and smiley dogs come in several different colors (the beautiful lilac French Bulldog is particularly popular) but fawn and black are also common. Potential pup owners should be aware that Frenchies are a brachycephalic breed, which means they can be prone to some health issues.

#2 Papillon


Did you know that papillon means butterfly in French? Their name refers to their stunning feathered ears which, with a bit of imagination, look like the wings of a butterfly. Although small in size, these determined Spaniel dogs have a lot of personality and are not just lap dogs. They’re alert and make great guard dogs too.

They don’t need much exercise and can get a lot of their daily movement needs from playing with a ball indoors. It is, however, important to take them outdoors to socialize and for mental stimulation. They’re highly intelligent and love learning new tricks.

Papillons come in several different colors and many are tri-colored. As you can imagine from such a silky coat, they do need regular brushing to keep them looking their finest.

#3 Basset Hound

basset hound

Oh the beautiful Basset Hound. How can you not fall in love with these affectionate yet calm dogs? Easily recognizable thanks to their long ears and short little legs, the Basset Hound (Basset means low) is an incredible hunter and has one of the best noses in all the doggie kingdom. They’ve long been favorites amongst the French nobility who love to hunt.

Although adorable (especially the little folds of skin around their feet 😍) Basset Hounds can be stubborn and dog lovers will have to be patient with them. They’re very food-orientated and don’t love being taken out for a walk – which isn’t the best combination.

Be sure to feed them healthy snacks and give them plenty of fun toys to get them moving and engaging. They’ll love snuffle mats, although with their noses don’t expect the game to last too long!

#4 Brittany Spaniel

brittany spaniel

We absolutely love this French dog breed – and not just for their stunning red and white coats. Brittanys are also excellent hunters and versatile companion dogs. They were originally bred in Brittany, an area on the west coast of France, and are still a popular hunting companion on both sides of the Atlantic.

As is the case with many hunting Spaniels, Brittanys are very active dogs and need lots of regular exercise. They need to be adopted by an active family that enjoys spending time in the great outdoors, going for hikes, long walks, and even camping trips. Having been bred to pounce and retrieve birds, they also like swimming and playing in wetlands.

#5 Briard


The Briard is a quintessential French herding breed, known for its rugged appearance and impressive work ethic. They were first bred in the Brie area of France and are still used as herders today.

They have all the typical personality traits of an amazing herder, including versatility, trainability, and intelligence. Seeing as they were also bred to protect their flock, they can be protective of those they love (especially children).

Briards need lots of time outdoors and aren’t suited to living in an apartment. These working dogs can be wary of strangers and may even be a bit standoffish with those they don’t know.

Briards are accepted by the American Kennel Club in three colors – gray, tawny, and black. They have beautiful peek-a-boo haircuts which may need a little maintenance to stop them from irritating their eyes. They also need regular brushing.

#6 Dogue De Bordeaux

dogue de bordeaux

The Dogue de Bordeaux is an impressive, powerful, and rugged dog that was first brought to France by the Romans. The Romans bred many large, mastiff-type pups that were used as guard dogs, in the ring with gladiators, and as part of the Roman army.

Naturally, these strong dogs were used a lot over the centuries in dog fighting, which led to some unethical breeding.

By the 1800s, these dogs were employed on French estates to help guard, hunt, and even herd. They’re incredibly loyal pups that form really tight bonds with their owners and are deeply affectionate. They’re good with kids they’ve grown up with and have a very playful side too.

The Dogue de Bordeaux isn’t a good choice for first-time or inexperienced owners as they can be very strong-willed and their physical strength can be hard to manage. They’re protective and can easily become overly protective if they’re not trained correctly from puppyhood. They might also not get on well with other dogs and need to be well-socialized.

#7 Great Pyrenees

great pyrenees

There’s a little bit of a debate as to whether the Great Pyrenees is a French dog or a Spanish pup – after all, the Pyrenees mountains cross both France and Spain. For the sake of this list, we’re including them as a French dog breed.

The Great Pyrenees is a favorite French dog, loved for their unrivaled loyalty and snowy white coats. These guarders were bred centuries ago to defend livestock from large threats such as wolves and bears. It’s thought that their coats are white to help them blend in with the snow-covered terrain so they could surprise any possible predators.

Although an excellent guarder, the Great Pyrenees is also a popular companion dog. They’re loyal and very dedicated to their owner. Even though they’re big, they’re not very active and don’t need huge amounts of exercise. They’ll be happy with a daily walk and a property to wander around and protect.

#8 Barbet


The Barbet is an adorable, curly-coated canine friend that was bred to retrieve waterfowl. These cheery and sweet-natured dogs are still relatively rare although efforts are being made to increase their numbers. These wonderful dogs have tightly curled coats that can be several shades of brown, gray, black, and fawn and some pooches have white markings too.

Even though these pups are fun and playful French dogs, they’re also keen hunters and love to participate in dog sports and outdoor adventures. They have lots of energy and need to be adopted by an active family who can keep up with them.

Barbets do have some grooming requirements and will need a trim every couple of months to keep their coats in top shape. If you’re interested in showing your Barbet, the hair on the head needs to reach the muzzle.

#9 Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is one of the lesser-known French dog breeds on the list but they’re just as adorable. These amazing, low-lying dogs have a similar body shape to the Basset Hound (little legs, long body, and very long ears) and they were originally bred to hunt rabbits.

They have a shaggy coat that can be serval colors including white and grizzle, white and lemon, white and black, and white and gray.

They’re usually very friendly dogs that get on well with kids and strangers. They were bred to work in a pack and therefore love being around canine friends too. The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is a playful dog that’s also highly intelligent and quite active. They’ll enjoy playing with fun, interactive puzzle toys that can help them learn new skills and keep them entertained.

#10 Grand Bleu de Gascogne

Grand Bleu de Gascogne puppy

The Grand Bleu de Gascogne is one of France’s most beloved hunting dogs from the Gascogne region of the country. They’re also the first on this list of French dog breeds not to be recognized by the American Kennel Club.

These beautiful scenthounds have strong, athletic bodies, long floppy ears, and an air of elegance and grace. They’re adept at chasing large prey such as deer and they have a loud bark to alert hunters to their or the prey’s location. They’re very active dogs and are not a good choice for people who live in apartments. Not only will your neighbor have something to say about their bark, but they’re also energetic and need space to run around in.

These dogs are pack hounds and therefore like being around other dogs. Whilst they enjoy working, they’re also wonderful family pets and get on well with kids. As long as they’re in an active family, they’ll be a happy pooch!

So, Which Of These French Dog Breeds Is For You?

Whichever dog breed you go for, you’ll be getting a wonderful addition to your family. French dog breeds really come in all shapes and sizes and have very varying personalities too.

Before adopting one of these pups, it’s really important to research them well. Some dogs have very high exercise needs and others are physically very demanding and not the best choice for first-timers. By researching the breed well, you’ll get a dog that’s perfect for you and the best companion possible!