9 Popular French Dog Breeds

Many amazing things originated in France like the Braille System, motion pictures, crepes, and numerous dog breeds.

Aside from their famous cuisine, art, and fashion, France has provided some popular and loved dog breeds to the rest of the world. French bulldogs are probably the most famous as they often make the top 10 list for most popular dog in cities and nationwide.

Learn about some more popular French dog breeds (in no particular order) below and be sure to share with your dog-loving friends.

Basset Hound

Photo: Pixabay/Sebastian Molina Bullrich

Who can resist those long velvety ears?! The basset (which means “low” in French) hound is a laid-back breed with a powerful nose, second only to the Bloodhound – according to American Kennel Club. The stubborn yet loyal dogs may have originally been bred in France but can be found around the world.

Bichon Frise

Photo: Pixabay/Joyce McCombs

This hypoallergenic breed is loved by all who met them. The fluffy white dogs are great family pets as they get along well with children and other dogs. Their small size makes them great companions for people in apartments and homes. The curious dogs have been resting in the laps of humans for centuries.


Photo: Pixabay/SergVG

Papillon means “butterfly” in French and the name refers to the shape of the dog’s ears which resemble butterfly wings. While they may appear dainty, these small dogs are tough and always up for an adventure. They are surprisingly good at tricks and agility.

Brittany Spaniel

Photo: Pixabay/Imre

The ideal bird dog was named after the French providence it originated it. The athletic and energetic dogs need a job to do and excel at dog sports. They have been hunting partners since the 17th century and continue to be a cherished companion.


Photo: Pixabay

This French water dog has a dense curly coat from head to tail that is his defining characteristic. The affectionate shaggy dogs have been around since the 16th century and are still beloved pets today. They are intelligent dogs who are great swimmers and hunters.

Great Pyrenees

Photo: Pixabay/jathomas

The large and powerful dogs were originally bred to protect livestock in the Pyrenees Mountains, hence its name. Today, the massive white dogs continue to guard their home and farm. When not on the lookout for intruders, these gentle giants enjoy time with their favorite human.


Photo: Pixabay/markfizzwig

The best detective on four legs. Their powerful nose can sniff out missing people and those hiding from the law. When not busy following a scent, these easygoing dogs like to spend time with their family. Just be warned that they may drool on you.

French Bulldog

Photo: Pixabay/GLady

Frenchies have become popular dogs in the U.S. due in part to their adorable “bat ears”. Aside from their cute faces, these dogs are smart, affectionate, and entertaining. They typically get along well with children and other dogs and steal the heart of everyone they meet.

Dogue de Bordeaux

Photo: Pixabay/Warren Matthews

The oldest French dog breed is believed to be the Dogue de Bordeaux, also known as Bordeaux or French Mastiff. The stocky guard dogs were unknown to most people outside of France until one was portrayed in the movie “Turner & Hooch.” People were able to see how gentle and entertaining this breed can be.

The odd thing is the national dog of France is the poodle – who originated in Germany. France is home to over 7 million dogs who are kept as pets, but you may be surprised to learn that the most popular breeds are actually not French. The loyal Australian shepherd, golden retriever, and Belgian shepherd top the list.

If you are thinking about adding a dog to your family, head to your local shelter first. Adopt, don’t shop!

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