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Some people prefer a dog that they do not have to exercise. If this is true for you, the French bulldog may be a good choice for you.
French bulldogs are intolerant to a lot of exercise simply because of how their bodies are designed. It can be difficult for them to breathe when they have a lot of exercise, just like English bulldogs, pugs and other dogs with short noses. But French bulldogs are prone to weight gain, so they do require some daily exercise and play.
A nice leisurely walk around the block is enough daily exercise for most French bulldogs. Daily walks also provide your dog with plenty of mental stimulation from enjoying the outdoor sights, sounds, and smells.
French bulldog exercise needs are of vital importance. French bulldogs are prone to overheating and breathing issues that are directly related to the structure of their faces. It is extremely important that you do not over-exercise this breed. Brachycephalic dogs like the French bulldog are prone to heatstroke because they cannot take in enough oxygen to keep them cool and refreshed. They have trouble regulating their body temperature effectively. So don’t make your French bulldog physically exert himself too much.
The term “low energy” is often used to describe the French bulldog. They are couch potatoes. It is not that the French bulldog doesn’t want to run and play, it’s just that they quickly run out of energy because they are not able to get enough oxygen into their tiny bodies. So it is normal for the French bulldog not to be able to exuberantly run like other dogs.
French bulldogs would rather lounge around all day and enjoy the occasional play with their owners. This is not because they are lazy but because of their exercise intolerance due to the fact that they tire easily. They also have compromised air passages and are prone to overheating.
Exercise for the French bulldog should be mild and not too physically demanding. They don’t need a lot of exercise – just enough to keep them healthy. Younger dogs will be more active than older dogs. You will find that as your Frenchie ages he will want to do less and less.
Remember, the French bulldog does not require a lot of exercise because of their compromised breathing and the fact that they can easily overheat. While you don’t want to over-exercise them, it is important to provide enough exercise to manage their weight. Exercise will help keep their muscles strong and will provide mental stimulation to prevent boredom that can lead to destructive behaviors.
How Much Exercise Do French Bulldogs Require?
French bulldog exercise needs are minimal. They do not require a lot of exercise, but they do need daily walks to keep them at a healthy weight. Go for a short, relaxed walk every day. Ten to fifteen minutes should be long enough, or just a casual stroll around the block.
Make sure that you monitor and limit your dog’s exercise, especially in warmer weather. French bulldogs do not handle heat very well and need to be monitored on hot days so they don’t overexert themselves. This can cause them to overheat or have labored breathing. Hot and humid weather is a problem for all dogs, but for Frenchies, it can be life-threatening. They must also be protected from temperature extremes and they must have access to shade and water. So limit your outdoor walks and active play to cool mornings and evenings.
As your Frenchie gets older, he will become less active and have lower energy levels. But it is still important to keep your dog active to help him manage his weight. It is also important to keep the joints and muscles mobile.
Best Types of Exercise for French Bulldogs
French bulldog exercise needs are minimal. A good exercise for a French bulldog is taking a walk around the block once or twice a day – as long as the weather is not too hot or too cold. French bulldogs are extremely sensitive to hot and cold weather, so on bad weather days, it is best to skip the walk, opting instead for some indoor play. This will help your Frenchie to release some of that pent up energy, and it can be a lot of fun to play with your dog.
French bulldogs are very comical and they love to have fun with their owners. They enjoy a fun game with people, other dogs or by themselves. Give your Frenchie the chance to play whenever possible. Playing with your dog will help him to burn energy. It also will help to stimulate his mind and strengthen his bond with you and help keep him from becoming bored and destructive.
Swimming is not a good exercise for a French bulldog. It is important to remember that because of their front-heavy structure Frenchies cannot swim. You should never leave your French bulldog unattended near a tub, pool or any body of water.
Tips on How to Exercise with a French Bulldog
Here are some tips about French bulldog exercise needs.
If you take your French bulldog for a walk, use a harness instead of a collar. A collar can crush your dog’s trachea or cause straining of the neck. A harness, on the other hand, provides great support for the dog – and if your dog starts running and pulling on the leash the strain is not as great.
Avoid walking your French bulldog in heat and humidity. Early morning and evening walks are best. That’s because Frenchies have a hard time breathing because of their short nose and compromised airways. Any exercise that increases the demand for oxygen should not be overdone.
It is best to exercise before meals. French bulldogs tend to become drowsy and they prefer to just lay around when they are full.
The exercise needs of an adult Frenchie and a puppy are quite different. With a puppy, over strenuous walks are unnecessary – and they could possibly harm your pup. As a general rule, walk your French bulldog puppy about two minutes for every month of age. So a three-month-old puppy would walk about six minutes. During the walk, monitor your puppy for signs of fatigue and end the walk if they seem too tired to continue.
The best exercise for a young Frenchie puppy is free to play with age-appropriate toys and socializing with other pets. Not only will it help your puppy to burn some energy, but it will also help them to learn the social skills they need.
To learn more about owning a French bulldog, read our article Owning a French Bulldog: What You Should Know.
This article is also a great source of information about the French bulldog. Go to Choosing a French Bulldog.