Because of their flat face, cuddly personality, and tendency to sleep for most of the day, many people think that French Bulldogs don’t need much exercise. But in reality, Frenchies are a very active breed of dog.
They are faster than you think, love to play for hours on end, and are eager to go for walks or play with other dogs.
A healthy exercise routine for your Frenchie is essential to keeping them healthy and happy, but it’s important to strike a balance.
Let’s take a closer look at how much exercise your French Bulldog really needs.
How Often Should Your French Bulldog Exercise?
Although French Bulldogs are generally low energy and are happy with apartment living, they need exercise just like the rest of us.
Making sure your dog gets exercise at least once a day is recommended. Whether that be a trip to the dog park or a walk around the block.
One of the many bonuses to having a Frenchie is that you can do this without carving out too much time during the day. Short walks and playtime at home provide the perfect amount of exercise for them without running the risk of overworking your dog.
What Type of Exercise Should You Do With Your Frenchie?
There are a lot of different activities to meet the interests of your dog and get them moving. Frenchies are known to be smart and social, so consider providing them with physical activity that can appeal to both of these qualities.
If you live in the city, take your dog on a walk down the street to get a coffee (plus, you’ll brighten everyone’s day with your adorable pup). If you’re struggling with leash walking, Pupford Academy’s course is worth a look!
If you’re more of a suburban dweller, spend time actively playing with your dog in the yard. It can also be nice to take your dog to a local dog park where they can interact and socialize with other dogs.
Overall, it is recommended that Frenchies walk for about 15-20 minutes per day at a minimum.
What If It’s Winter and Too Cold To Go Outside?
One easy inside activity is to use house-friendly toys to get your Frenchie moving. This could be a good old fashioned tennis ball or a toy that your Frenchie naturally gravitates to.
If you feel like investing a little bit more time in training your dog, hide and go seek is a great way to appeal to your dog’s curious and playful side while also giving them exercise. First, teach your Frenchie a word like “stay” (or use a word they already know that conveys the same meaning) and continue to say the word while you hide somewhere in the house. Then, train your dog to respond to another word to come and find you. You might be more successful with this activity with a treat, but overtime they will want to find you even without the treat.
Can I Over-Exercise My French Bulldog?
As with any dog, Frenchies can be over-exercised. However, Frenchies are at particular risk because they are a brachycephalic breed (with a flatter face and shorter nose) that makes it difficult for them to regulate their body temperature.
The best way to determine the amount of exercise you should be providing your dog is to be particularly observant of when they tire during physical activity.
Whether you just added a Frenchie puppy to your family or have had one as a companion for many years, it is important to know that Frenchies are prone to being overworked more easily. Overworking puppies and older dogs puts them at greater risk for joint problems and heat exhaustion.
In addition, because older Frenchies have given so much love over their lives, their heart might not be as efficient as it once was and may render them more tired when exercising.
Thankfully, Frenchies are pretty smart when it comes to this kind of thing. Whilst they can become over-excited at times, they will typically stop exercising and try to cool themselves down if they need to. So if you live in a hotter climate, we would recommend investing in a dog or children’s pool that your Frenchie can cool down in after they exercise.
What Are Some Things to Watch Out For When Exercising My French Bulldog?
Given that Frenchies have a harder time regulating their body temperature, you should always walk your dog during the cooler parts of the day (generally below 70 degrees Fahrenheit). You might also consider having play time in an air-conditioned place during the summer months. Always make sure to bring water and have shade readily available when you are walking your dog outside.
Be sure to pay attention to your Frenchie’s behavior when they are out for walks. The first signs of heat exhaustion usually consist of increased panting and foamy saliva. If your dog experiences this, it’s important to help bring your dog’s body temperature down by placing them in cool water and using a fan.
Although Frenchies are generally calm, puppies can be nippy especially when they are excited or around new people (or dogs) and environments. Although this behavior usually decreases with age, it is important to socialize your dog with other dogs, people, and environments at an early age to prevent this hyperactive behavior and allow your dog to lead an active lifestyle.
If there is one word to sum up what your Frenchie’s exercise regimen should reflect, it is balance. Although these dogs need regular physical activity to keep them healthy, it is also important to keep in mind when to limit this activity to make sure you don’t put them at risk of exhaustion or other health issues.
Will is the proud co-owner of Frankie, a Female Brindle French Bulldog, with his wife Michelle. We share our Frenchie experiences with the world to help health-conscious French Bulldog owners who want a happy, healthy, and long-living dog.