The Best French Dog Breeds That Make Great ESAs

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images of various french dog breeds

History has seen much rivalry between the French and the English. It seems there is another battle on our hands. When it comes to English vs French dog breeds, the vote is unanimous! Instagram has 7.5 million #englishbulldog tags and a staggering 23.5 million #frenchbulldog hashtags! The English bulldog is adorable with its generous fat rolls, but the Frenchie is one of the world’s most popular breeds. So loved that the American Kennel Club (AKC) ranks it fourth for popularity out if 193!

Let’s look at other dog breeds from this pooch-loving country. Is a French dog breed your next “grand amour”?

ESAs: Who They Are and What They Do!

Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are animals that provide companionship, emotional support, and affection. This animal assists its owner when they feel affected or overwhelmed by their mental health struggle.

From Shepherds to Bird Dog Breeds: Any Dogs Can Be ESAs!

ESAs are unique to their owners. Whatever your need, lifestyle and personality, find an ESA that can be your best friend. If you love to hike, adopt a breed of dog that has boundless energy. If you need extra cuddles to help you during a depressive slump, get a pup who is generous with physical affection.

Here is a List of Our Favorite French Dog Breeds!

Are you ready to meet the “amour de votre vie“? We don’t speak French either but that means “love of your life”. Here is the list of our favorite French dog breeds…

French Dog Breeds Large and Lively: The Dogue de Bordeaux

This age-old favorite may have a mean mask, but it has a soft heart. The Dogue de Bordeaux, also known as the French Mastiff, is best suited to experienced dog owners. This wrinkly and well-built breed makes a great guard dog and companion. They are fiercely loyal to their family and are known to be affectionate, calm and courageous.

largest breed of dog three dogue de brourdeux dogs

Loving and Loyal: Beauceron aka The French Shepherd

If you are looking for an ESA that can keep up, then this is the pet for you! The Beauceron breed is a ‘jack of all trades’ and is still used as a herding dog on french farms, hence its nickname. They are full of energy and need a lot of activity. They are loyal and levelheaded towards their humans despite their mistrusts towards strangers.

black dog breeds beauceron standing in field

Love Large White Dog Breeds? A Great Pyrenees is the ESA for You!

Hello fluffy white French dog breeds! If you love a fur-banket squeezed up beside you then the Great Pyrenees, or Pyrenean Mountain Dog, is the ESA for you! These mellow 100 plus pounds of white hair may seem like the perfect couch potato companion, but these giants can move when they need to. They’re lovable, zen-like and loyal. Read up on any health issues with this breed, such as hip dysplasia.

large white dog breeds two great pyrenees dogs

Popularity Contest Winner: The French Poodle

The poodle is one of the most popular dog breeds in France. So popular that they’ve been bred in several sizes, colors, and mixes. This pompous and proud fur-baby is extremely playful, loyal and sweet.

french dog cute poodle lying on bed

Fun and Fabulous French Dog Breeds: The Pyrenean Shepherd

Descendants of the Pyrenean mountain dog, the Pyrenean Shepherd dogs are historically hard workers. They’re mischevious, energetic, watchful and can make great family dogs when socialized at an early age. These dynamic dogs make great watchdogs.

french dogs beautiful fluffy pyrenean shepherd

A Fantastic Scruffy Dog Breed: The Berger Picard

This rare breed is perfect for athletic owners who can keep up with this hardy, mountain dog. The Berger Picard is sensitive and will be in tune with their owner’s emotional needs. They’re full of life and are loyal and good-natured.

happy berger picard running in field

Who Can Resist the Puppy Eyes of a French Basset?

The soppy and slobbery Basset Hound is a great companion dog. These low-key, calm, gentle and loyal hounds are great with children and will not hesitate to smother you in love (and drool). These hunting dogs are after one thing – your affection!

adorable french basset puppy

French Water Dog: Is the Barbet Your Next Canine Companion?

Ironically popular amongst French nobility, the Barbet has an enduring lack of refinement. This scruffy fur child is sweet-natured. They are social, friendly, and playful and do not like to be alone. Their name comes from the French word, “barbe”, meaning beard, a physical feature of this fluffy friend.

fluffy brown barbet dog lying down

Fluffy Fire Crackers: The Bichon Frise

Peluche balle” or fluff ball, the Bichon Frise is a small dog breed with a peppy personality. They’re perfect friends who will never want to leave your side thereby making great ESAs. They have medium to long life expectancies (12-15 years). Keep in mind that they are high maintenance when it comes to grooming. 

fluffy white bichon frise standing on steps

For Spaniel Lovers: Look No Further Than the Brittany Spaniel

The Brittany Spaniels were gun dogs, much like their cousins, the Cocker Spaniel, Picardy Spaniel, and any other Spaniel breed. They make obedient and loyal companions and their beautiful nature will ease the stress in your life. This upbeat puppy will have a spring in its step that is sure to help you have one in yours.

brittany spaniel chewing on stick

French Language 101: Dog in French

Oui, the French people love their dogs, but the French word for dog, “chein“, also has a negative use. When used in French phrases, “chien” negatively translates to reference unpleasantness.

For instance, if someone has a “caractère de chien“, directly translated as “dog’s personality”, it is an insult meaning that they have a bad attitude. To “arriver comme un chien dans un jeu de quille“, directly translated “to arrive like a dog at a bowling game”, means that someone has arrived when they’re least wanted. Ouch!

Met Your ESA Match? Let’s Have a Look at French Dog Names!

French is the language of love so what better language to choose when selecting a name for the puppy love in your life. Here are some of our favorite French dog names, and of course, ladies first…


  • Celine – meaning “moon”. Wouldn’t this be perfect the Braque du Bourbonnais with their beautiful markings, much like the full moon’s pattern?
  • Cherie – perfect for your “dear beloved” pooch.
  • Vivienne – meaning “lively, animated”. This would suit many of the playful French hunting breeds.
  • Paris – name them after the city of love.
  • Mignon – meaning “cute, dainty” for small dog breeds.


  • Beau – for your handsome hound.
  • Leon – meaning “brave as a lion” for those great guard dogs.
  • Napolean – the best choice for your Basset Griffon and their Napolean complex.
  • Louis – name your fur-child after a French king.
  • Felix – a popular dog name meaning “lucky, happy”.

Dog? Check! Name? Check! Next Step: Get an ESA Letter

So you’ve got your French pal, but you need to make it official and get an ESA letter!

How CertaPet Can Help You Get Your ESA Letter!

CertaPet helps people get their ESA letter by connecting them with licensed mental health professionals (LMHP). Simply start by taking our free, 5-minute online pre-screening today! If your answers indicate that you may qualify for an ESA, we will connect you with a LMHP in your state, who can issue your ESA letter!

France has many dog breeds, some that you may never have heard of. If you adopt or buy a French pal as your ESA then know that they’re as lovable as the romantic country they came from. Your Frenchie might not be able to say it, but every tail wag means je t’aime.

Common Questions on the Best French Dog Breeds:

Do the Great Pyrenees have health problems? 

Are Basset Hounds good with kids?

Is the French Mastiff dangerous?

How Long Can a Bichon Frise Live?

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