Last Updated/Info Checked on October 18, 2023 by Linda Michaels
French Bulldogs are one of the cutest human companions in the dog world and keeping them is a joy. They are intelligent, easy-to-train, family-oriented dogs that go well with other dogs, first-time owners, and dog veterans.
They are generally regarded as lazy dogs and people often ignore their exercise needs. However, a Frenchie requires anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes of exercise daily in order to have a healthy life.
The variation depends on the age of your dog and health status and also on other factors that will be discussed in today’s article, so kindly read till the end.
How Much Exercise Does A French Bulldog Need?
Let’s discuss why a French Bulldog requires moderate exercise only and how much you should exercise them at various months of ages:
Exercise Demands of a French Bulldog
French Bulldogs were bred to be ratters, helping humans to get rid of such pests. Such a task was a good fit for their small bodies and did not require much endurance, hence they did not develop exercise tolerance.
Consequently, Frenchies have low energy levels and less exercise as compared to German Shepherds, Retrievers, Spaniels, Collies, Pointers, etc, which are the most exercise-demanding breeds. Dogtime rates their energy level as 3/5 while exercise needs as 2/5, a considerably low score.
With that in mind, here is a breakdown of Frenchie’s exercise needs at different ages.
1. Birth To 3 Months
As a rule of thumb, French Bulldog puppies need 5 minutes of exercise a day for each month of their age. That means a 3-month-old Frenchie would need 15 minutes of exercise a day.
From birth till the completion of a dog’s vaccination, it is not advisable to take it out for exercise as this exposes its weaker immune system to foreign pathogens. Hence, the daily indoor activity of 5-15 minutes is sufficient for them.
2. 3-6 Months
As mentioned before, 3-6-month-old French Bulldogs would need 15 to 30 minutes of exercise a day.
By this time your Frenchie’s vaccination schedule would have been completed, so it would be safe to take it out for routine activity.
3. 6-12 Months
The 30 to 60-minute exercise needed by this age can be divided into two halves, one for the morning and one for the evening. This is more manageable for most people as this doesn’t take much time when divided into parts.
Also, this is the time when you can change the way you exercise your pooch. Introduce your dog to sports like Frisbee and Treibball so that it develops the mental faculties needed for coordinated movements along with simple muscle usage.
4. Adult Frenchie
By 12-14 months of age, a French Bulldog is considered to be an adult and it stops growing together along with a behavioral maturity.
Most Frenchies by this age would require 45-60 minutes of daily activity to keep them sound and healthy.
Mental And Seasonal Variations
The above-mentioned routine is an average that should cover most of the dogs within the French Bulldog breed.
However, it needs to be understood that within a breed, dogs do differ in their energy levels and attitudes toward exercise, some may be more enthusiastic about exercise while others could be more laid back.
Hence, you would need to decide for yourself how much exactly your dog needs to be exercised daily to have and maintain an ideal body.
Additionally, French Bulldogs are more active in winter than in summer, so would tend to exercise more. This would also help keep their bodies warm.
But you need to make sure that a minimal level of activity is being done even in summer for health maintenance.
Best Exercises for a French Bulldog
Although French Bulldogs do not have an aptitude for intense physical activity, still they are smart enough to take part in and enjoy various sports that require mental faculties in addition to physical ones.
You can try Treibball with them where a large-sized ball needs to be heard around a course that has different shapes. This is a great play for herding dogs to polish their skills but Frenchies would also like it.
The good old sport of Frisbee is always convenient and fun to play. Just make sure you don’t jump your Frenchie too high to catch it.
Another simple yet interesting game is Hide and Seek which is not only fun to play but also good for bonding with your pup.
For Frenchies who can swim, Dock Diving is a great sport, especially during the summer months when it also helps keep the dog cool.
Then there is Fetch, a sport that doesn’t need any introduction or explanation.
What Does Being Brachycephalic Mean?
Brachy means small and cephalic is used to indicate the head, so brachycephalic means dogs with a small head.
Bulldogs are brachycephalic just like Pugs, Boxers, and Terriers, such dogs have smaller passages for breathing which makes it difficult for them to breathe more during strenuous activity. As a result, these dogs cannot tolerate highly intense exercises which should be avoided.
How To Spot Exhaustion From Exercise?
Following are the signs of exhaustion during exercise. Any activity should be stopped when these appear and the dog should be given rest:
- Increased Panting
- Signs of dehydration like loss of skin and pale facies
- Muscle Soreness
- Behavioral changes
When ignored, it can lead to severe exhaustion and unconsciousness in the dog.
Benefits of Exercise For A Dog
Exercise has many benefits for a dog and these need to be known to understand the importance of exercising regularly, so let’s discuss them:
1. Body Growth
The growth of a dog’s body depends on its muscles and bones which in turn are dependent on exercise in various ways.
First, exercise leads to the restructuring of bones, making them bigger and denser, increasing the overall body weight. Similarly, muscles grow when exercised, giving bulk to a dog’s body.
Moreover, Exercise itself enhances the release of growth hormone that is responsible for increasing the body’s size. Physical activity enhances sleep as well, another inducer of growth hormone release. So if your Frenchie sleeps well, he will have a proper muscle size.
2. Good For Immunity
The circulation of blood through the body is increased during any kind of physical activity.
This causes white blood cells and antibodies to circulate faster through the system and reach any pathogens and harmful chemicals quickly to destroy them.
This enhances the ability of the dog’s body to both prevent and fight diseases.
3. Gives Longevity
One of the major morbidity and mortality factors in dogs, especially those with a tendency to gain weight like the French Bulldog is cardiovascular accidents.
The best way to reduce this risk is to lower blood lipid levels, this is easily achieved by exercising regularly.
Similarly, regular exercise maintains weight that protects against joint issues later in life hence greatly improving the quality of life a dog has.
4. Promotes Stress-free Life
Endorphins are natural chemicals that are produced by the body during physical activity like walking, running, etc. These elevate the mood and help prevent stress and depression.
5. Helps In Socialization
Exercise provides a great opportunity for dogs to socialize. Dogs that go out regularly meet new people and pets all the time and are better able to connect with them as compared to dogs that stay inside most of the time.
6. Calmer Dog At Home
A dog that tires itself out during exercise remains calm and relaxed at home. Thus, decreasing any chances of negative behaviors like barking and biting.
How Does A Lack Of Exercise Affect A Frenchie?
French Bulldogs are prone to weight gain and any lack of exercise can easily make them obese. This can greatly affect their mobility and make them at risk of many heart conditions like angina and MI (heart attack).
With that, a lack of exercise also makes a dog more likely to get depressed and anxious. All the energy built up within can get redirected to negative behaviors viz barking, biting, nibbling, and hitting objects.
Thus, exercise is very crucial for the physical and mental health of any dog including a French Bulldog.
Following are some of the most frequently asked questions.
Can French Bulldogs go on long walks?
Yes, An Adult Frenchie needs about 50-60 minutes of activity daily. This can be in the form of long walks as well. However, you would need to give your pooch some rest if it gets tired along the way to avoid exhaustion.
How many miles should a French Bulldog walk a day?
Keeping in view the 60-minute average exercise that an adult Frenchie needs every day, it can easily walk 12-15 miles before it gets too tired.
Wrapping Up – Conclusion
French Bulldogs are low-energy dogs that require 10-60 minutes of exercise daily to be healthy, both physically and mentally. The total time depends on their age and individual stamina which may vary across the breed.
Apart from walking and running, a Frenchie can enjoy Treibball, fetch, frisbee, and many other sports.