Are you a French Bulldog owner? Do you want to know how much exercise your Frenchie needs?
We’re here to help. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about the breed and their exercise requirements so that you can keep your pup healthy and happy for years to come.
You may think that because they are small dogs, they don’t require as much exercise as larger breeds. But in fact, French Bulldogs are lively little dogs and need up to an hour’s activity daily.
They dislike being left alone as they are such friendly companion dogs and love playing with toys and running around outside just as any other dog would!
However, they can be prone to breathing difficulties, so care should be taken with French Bulldog exercise in hot weather.
So if you want your Frenchie to be healthy and active throughout his life, it is vital for them to get enough daily activity. And we will show exactly what kind of activities they should be doing regularly so that they stay fit and strong until old age!
Keep reading for more information on how much exercise does a French Bulldog need? Plus, what other things you can do apart from daily exercise to keep your Frenchie fit and healthy.
Why is Exercise Vital For your French Bulldog?
Whilst Frenchies are not the most active of breeds; they do need sufficient exercise to prevent weight gain and keep their muscles mobile; they can be prone to many health issues, so keeping them fit and active is essential.
Physical activity can also prevent behavioural problems in younger dogs; the sights, sounds and smells on a walk also provide your dog with mental stimulation. A visit to the local dog park can help with socialisation and build confidence.
How Much Exercise Does a French Bulldog Need?
A French Bulldog’s walk time should be divided into short walks of ten to fifteen minutes a couple of times a day; this is because being a brachycephalic breed, they have difficulty regulating their body temperature and are often prone to breathing problems.
This depends on the individual dog; of course, mine doesn’t have trouble breathing; however, some Frenchie owners have dogs with severe breathing problems, which can result in exercise intolerance, so it’s important to pay attention to any signs of fatigue.
Best Types of Exercise for French Bulldogs
There are a lot of overweight French Bulldogs. While too much physical exercise, especially in warmer weather, can be detrimental to their health, they do require scheduled occasional play and mental stimulation; otherwise, they can exhibit destructive behavior.
Below are some things you can do that will keep your French Bulldog busy and stop them from becoming a couch potato.
Many dog owners fail to give their French Bulldog sufficient training from a young age, it’s easy to let those cute faces get away with mischief, but like any other dogs, they need to know their boundaries.
This breed has a stubborn streak and obedience training should always be part of their daily activity. Teaching basic commands such as “sit”, “stay”, and “leave it” will exercise your French Bulldog mentally and result in a well-balanced adult dog.
They can be a challenge to train, but they can learn tricks quickly with lots of positive reinforcement and treats; just be sure not to overdo the titbits!
Chew toys provide mental stimulation.
French Bulldog owners often find their pups lick and chew their paws a lot, whilst this is usually due to allergies (Frenchies suffer from allergies more than many other dog breeds). It can also be caused by boredom and anxiety.
Most French Bulldogs love to chew, so providing your pooch with a chew toy such as a small stuffed kong or a plush squeaky toy taps into their natural instinct.
They can also reduce anxiety and the mental stimulation will burn energy without the risk of damaging their compromised air passages or overexerting themselves.
Make your own agility course.
French Bulldogs are not one of the dog breeds renowned for their athletic prowess, and we are not recommending they charge around a full-size obstacle at full speed.
However, giving them some low impact obstacles to negotiate is a fantastic way to keep them active, maintain a healthy weight and strengthen the bond between dog and owner.
A couple of low-level jumps, a tunnel and a balance board would be enough to get your French Bulldog going without risking any health issues.
Want to know how to build your own agility course? Check out this article
A French Bulldog exercise both you and your dog will enjoy is training them to use a balance disc or peanut. These exercises are fantastic for both French Bulldog puppies or even a Senior French Bulldog and have tons of benefits.
Balancing requires lots of focus and concentration, which reduces anxiety, teaches impulse control and strengthens your dog’s core, which can prevent injuries. You can also see results fast; just 3 or 4 short training sessions a week will improve your dog’s overall well being in a couple of weeks.
Hide and seek
French Bulldogs tend to stick close to their humans, so a game of hide and seek is a great way to get them moving in the home.
Start by getting your pup to stay while you hide behind the curtains or door and then calling their name and rewarding them with lots of fuss when they find you.
In time you can make the game more difficult by hiding in different rooms or upstairs. Alternatively, you can create a treasure hunt by hiding healthy treats or their favourite toy in places and encouraging your pooch to find them.
This funny video shows just how much fun animals have playing hide and seek.
Can a Frenchie Have too Much Exercise?
Brachycephalic dogs like the French Bulldog can be susceptible to heatstroke as their short noses can’t breathe in sufficient oxygen to keep them cool, unlike other dogs. So, yes, it is very easy to over-exercise this breed.
Keep walks short, especially in warm weather, try to walk your dog in the early morning or evening when it is cooler, make sure they have plenty of water and maybe invest in a cooling jacket.
Their short nose makes it difficult to regulate their body temperature, so a winter coat is also a good idea. You can find the best coat for Frenchies in our comprehensive guide.
How Much is Enough Exercise Does a Senior French Bulldog Need?
Like many dogs, as your Frenchie gets older, they will require less exercise; that’s not to say they should laze around all day. Physical and mental activity are essential for staying healthy and not becoming overweight.
Frenchies are prone to a range of mobility conditions as they get older such as hip dysplasia, luxating patellas, IVDD and Degenerative Myelopathy (DM). If your dog suffers from any of these, they may require extra support such as a lift harness or even a wheelchair to help them get around.
Check out our article on the best lifting dog harnesses
Pottering around the garden, short walks, games and chew toys can still be enjoyed. Just watch out for signs of tiredness and don’t overdo things.
How Much Exercise Does a French Bulldog Puppy Need?
Frenchie puppies are little bundles of energy and mischief and tiring them out can be quite a challenge. When you first bring a French Bulldog puppy home, it’s essential not to give them too much exercise. Their bones, joints and muscles are not fully developed and you may do more harm than good.
A good rule of thumb is to allow 5 minutes of walking per month of age, with training, play and mentally stimulating toys as well.
Most Frenchies enjoy a game of fetch or tug of war, so spend a few minutes a day in the garden with them if the weather allows. This, combined with a couple of 15 minute walks a day, should suffice.
As they get older, you can increase their activity but always make sure your dog has plenty of opportunities to rest if needed.
Here at Dogsbarn, we understand just how important it is for our readers to feel informed about their dog’s health and wellbeing. That’s why we’ve made it our mission to provide accurate information in an easy-to-understand way.
Our goal is simple – help people become better dog owners by providing helpful advice.
So exactly how much activity should a Frenchie have per day? Depending on their age, health, own personality and the weather, about an hour should be sufficient for an adult French Bulldog, with some free play and interactive games included to prevent them from becoming couch potatoes.
French Bulldogs are known for their love of attention and interacting with their owners, so practice obedience skills alongside formal exercise and your Frenchie will be healthy, happy and active through to old age.