French Bulldogs make great city dogs due, in large part, to their attitude. They take a lot of things in stride, love people, and demand being the center of the attention. Frenchies can be seen riding on the backs of motorcycles, sitting on buses, and happily jaunting down a busy city sidewalk.
All this robust behavior, however, does not mean they never get frightened. All animals get nervous or stressed at some point. Knowing when your Frenchie is anxious about something is part of helping them live their best lives. Here are 5 signs your French Bulldog is stressed that you should know.
#1 – Whale Eye
“Whale eye” is when the white in your dog’s eye – around the iris – is visible. With many French Bulldogs, their eyes will actually bulge out. This is a definite sign that he is stressed or anxious. Since some Frenchies have eyes that naturally protrude out more due to their face shape, some may show a bit of white even when they are perfectly relaxed. Pay attention to what your Frenchie’s eyes look like when he is relaxed so you can notice the change.
#2 – Won’t Eat
If you train using positive reinforcement (or just happen to be feeding him) and your French Bulldog is not interested in the food that he normally inhales, something is up. Barring any medical reasons, he is probably stressed or anxious. Change the environment so he is more comfortable and then he will eat.
#3 – Yawning & Panting
Yawning in humans is a strange thing that isn’t really understood. In dogs, yawning can actually mean they are stressed! Yawning is a way your French Bulldog may try and relieve anxiety. Excessive panting when they are not warm often accompanies yawning and is another sign of stress.
#4 – Whining
A stressed French Bulldog will often whine. Some will pace, and some will stay in one spot. If your dog is whining and you know he doesn’t have to go outside to go potty, he may be stressed.
#5 – Cowering
French Bulldogs who are stressed will often try and find a place to hide. They may cower behind your feet with their body hunched over or try to hide under furniture. Some Frenchies may even duck under their owner’s arm if they are being held.