If you’re like me, one of the first things you want to know when considering adopting a French bulldog is this: Do French bulldogs shed?
It may be easy enough to find an answer to the question, but it's not a simple answer either.
What you’re really asking is: Am I going to be spending my life cleaning hair off my furniture and carrying a lint roller around with me forever? Will I never wear black again?
So Do French Bulldogs Shed?
Yes and no.
Most dogs shed -- even those breeds commonly assumed to be non-shedders, such as poodles. The difference is that some dogs shed a lot. Others shed only a little, hardly enough to be a nuisance.
Do French bulldogs shed a little or a lot? French bulldogs have a short, fine coat that is smooth. As a result, French bulldogs shed minimally, meaning a bit here and there, and at different times of the year. For example: when winter turns to spring or fall into winter.
They don’t shed so much that you’ll spend all of your time with a lint roller or vacuum.
Do French bulldogs shed like pugs? Definitely not. Those dogs shed all the time!
Do French bulldogs shed if they have long-hair vs. short-hair?
Most French bulldogs have relatively short coats. But there are some with longer, furrier ones.
It would be too much to call these odd Frenchies a separate breed. Indeed, there are those who believe they are a genetic aberration that doesn’t conform to the breed standard.
Long hair on a French bulldog is associated with a recessive gene, so breeders who try to achieve the trait may inadvertently exacerbate the breed’s other genetic problems.
If you want your Frenchie to be healthy and happy, you’ll want to adopt one from a rescue organization and not from a breeder who may be experimenting with the breed to achieve a particular look to appeal to a particular customer demographic.
Do French bulldogs shed if they have long hair more than short-haired varieties? There’s not enough information on long-haired French bulldogs to make that judgment. But, in general, long-haired dogs shed more than short-haired ones.
For this reason, as well as the potential for other health problems, it may be a good idea to stick with the more traditional and characteristically short-haired French bulldog.
A Brief History of French Bulldogs
Dogs that we now know as French bulldogs actually appeared first in English cities in the mid 19th century. A small bulldog became popular among craftspeople in English cities such as Nottingham, where they became the mascot of lace makers.
When lace making migrated to northern France in the wake of the Industrial Revolution, the dogs went as well. They became popular there, interbreeding with terriers and pugs and evolving into the dogs we know today.
They called them Bouledogue Français: French bulldogs. The breed eventually became popular among the cafe elite of Paris and even appeared in paintings of the late 19th century.
From there, they rose in popularity around the world, eventually winding up in the cities of the United States. Only the English balked at adopting the breed -- ironic, considering it originated in England -- because they perceived a rival to the nation's mascot English bulldog. A French rival -- imagine!
Breeders in the U.S. originally wanted to breed the dogs to look more like English bulldogs. That would have meant eliminating the breed's familiar bat-like ears in favor of rose ears.
Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed, and the French bulldog we know and love today retains those signature ears.
5 Things You Need to Know About French Bulldog Grooming
The good news is that French bulldogs are relatively easy to groom and maintain.
1. Bathing and brushing
That helps remove dead, loose hair, stimulates new hair growth, and helps keep your Frenchie’s coat smooth and healthy. If you miss a week or so, don’t worry. Your Frenchie will be fine.
You may need to do this a bit more during certain times of the year when your French bulldog loses her undercoat in the spring and fall. Do this if you want to minimize the amount of hair coming off your Frenchie during those times.
Don’t be shy about bathing her, either. About once a month is good, using a gentle dog-safe shampoo. Don’t worry about drying out your Frenchie’s skin; she’ll have ample skin oil if you brush her regularly. Be careful about getting water into those trademark bat ears!
There’s no need to have your French bulldog professionally groomed. Frenchies are famously low-maintenance when it comes to grooming. Plus, they’ll love the personal touch you provide by brushing and bathing them yourself.
2. Skin care
One of the things we love about French bulldogs is their little, wrinkled faces. But those wrinkles require a bit of care.
Pay attention to the deep skin folds around your Frenchies' snout. Clean them out pretty regularly, depending on how much stuff accumulates there (dead skin, dirt, etc.).
Make sure nothing nasty grows there. Clean the folds with cotton swabs, baby wipes, or a damp washcloth. A couple of times a week should do it, or daily if your dog’s wrinkles seem to accumulate a lot of stuff.
Make sure you dry the area with a clean cloth when you’re done.
While you’re at it, check the wrinkled indentations around her tail and the outer skin folds around her vulva. These can also be potential sources of bacterial growth, so you’ll want to monitor them and keep them clean.
Do any of these areas look inflamed, red, or otherwise painful? Then it’s time to consult your veterinarian.
And be sure to look at those bat ears. You'll want to clean them as well on a regular basis. And make sure you dry them off.
If your Frenchie scratches at her ears a lot or shakes her head frequently, you may want to have your veterinarian take a look inside to make sure there's nothing amiss.
Your French bulldog will have nails that grow pretty fast. So you’ll want to make sure they’re trimmed regularly.
Nails that get too long can make it difficult to walk or cause your little Frenchie foot pain. And we're not even mentioning the scratches on your floors and furniture.
Think of trimming your French bulldog’s nails every couple of weeks. You’ll know when it’s time if you can hear your Frenchie clicking loudly as she walks across the floor.
You may want to have a professional groomer or vet trim your pet’s nails if you’re not proficient at it yourself. It can be tricky, and you don’t want to cut the nails too short, or you could cut into the quick.
That is extremely painful for your poor Frenchie and will cause bleeding as well.
4. Flea prevention
Needless to say, you don’t want your French bulldog to become a flea’s breakfast.
Fleas aren’t just a nuisance: They can cause major skin irritations and even disease in your pup.
Part of your grooming routine should be to check your Frenchie for fleas. Is she scratching a lot in one area? Be sure to check her coat as you brush or groom her, looking for the telltale signs of flea infestation.
You may not see the fleas themselves -- they move pretty fast -- but you’re likely to spot their waste, which looks like small, black spots of pepper on your French bulldog’s skin. You can see them best on her undercarriage.
If you spot any signs of fleas, consult your veterinary for the best way to treat them. You’ll also want to talk to your vet about clean and flea-proof their bed and favorite spots in your house, not to mention your carpet, furniture, and bedding.
Of course, the best way to deal with fleas is to prevent them in the first place. Your vet can offer you a lot of advice on medications and other treatments that you can use to keep your Frenchie from developing a flea infestation.
5. When something’s not right
Grooming your French bulldog is not only a good way to bond with her, but it’s also an opportunity to assess her well-being. The health of your Frenchie’s coat and skin may provide warning signs of potential health problems.
The default for your French bulldog is a smooth, soft coat that is clean and doesn’t shed excessively.
You should worry if you see any of the following:
If you see any of these, it might be something to check out further with your veterinarian.
Do French Bulldogs Shed? Not so Much They Aren't Great Pets
Now you know the answer to the question: Do French bulldogs shed? And you know that a lack of significant shedding as one more positive reasons to adopt these great dogs.
Frenchies require basic grooming and care to maintain a smooth, clean coat and healthy skin. That leaves you a lot of time to smother them with love and attention!
Do you have a French bulldog? Does she shed a lot? Share your experience in the comments!