Can French Bulldogs Swim At All?
I find a lot of people asking me when they see my Frenchie in his life jacket “Can French Bulldogs swim?!” The short answer is No. French Bulldogs cannot swim. They will sink like rocks in a pond. I am 100% serious when I say this, pay close attention: your French Bulldog can drown within seconds if they fall into water above their heads. Get that?
I’ll say it again: French Bulldogs cannot swim on their own. You must watch your French Bulldog like a newborn child when they’re near any kind of water deeper than a few inches. THEY CAN DROWN.
That said, French Bulldogs can be taught how to swim while wearing a well-fitting life jacket or life vest. Note well: this requires 100% constant supervision. You should never, under any circumstances, leave your French Bulldog alone near water or outside on a hot day. You can kill your dog if you leave them alone near water above their head. Read our french bulldog life jacket post for a rundown on your options.
Can French Bulldogs Swim in a Life Jacket or Life Vest?
Yes. French Bulldogs can be taught to swim while wearing an approved and well-fitting life jacket or life vest. It is important to watch your French Bulldog any time they are near water. Never leave your French Bulldog alone near water.
We like this brand for a french bulldog life jacket, they tend to fit pretty well. Note: our 30lbs (ole pork boy) male French Bulldog wears a small.
PetMD recommends actively teaching your Frenchie to swim using “the buddy system”. The buddy system is just swimming with your dog using a ritual approach by praising your pet before, during, and after a swimming session, along with a treat for properly exiting the water. PetMD goes further to suggest that you could actively train your pet to exit a swimming pool or other small body of water as an added safety precaution–using lots of treats along the way, of course. 
Woofipedia also suggests that on top of using a life jacket, you should teach your dog to enter and exit the water on their own, helping them along the way. They also suggest practicing swimming in water without currents.  This is especially important for French Bulldogs because they do not have a snout to help keep their breathing pathway above even the smallest waves. Their head nearly sits beneath the water, even when wearing a life jacket. Their faces are just too smushed! So, always watch your Frenchie near water or while they’re swimming (with a life jacket) to be sure their heads do not go under.
Can French Bulldogs Swim in a Kiddie pool or Baby pool?
Yes! It’s actually something we preach to everyone who has a French Bulldog. “You have to get one of these little pools.” French Bulldogs can die from overheating. Frenchies love kiddy pools! These little children’s swimming pools are great for French Bulldogs:
My biggest complaint about these cheap plastic pools is that they’re impossible to transport. We travel a lot and love to take our dogs. French Bulldogs can die in just a matter of hours if they’re outside on a hot day. You MUST provide a way for your French Bulldog to cool off while they play outside. These little pools are great but they’re limited to use at home. I found an awesome collapsible pool for dogs on Amazon that works just as well as these little pools and they’re made for Frenchie-sized dogs, too, so they’re much safer than swimming in creeks, lakes, ponds, or oceans! The best part is that it’s collapsible, so it can be folded up and put in your car when you and are dog are going to play somewhere all day.
So, there you have it! French Bulldogs CANNOT swim on their own. They must have a life jacket or life vest and you MUST watch them or swim with them the ENTIRE TIME they’re near water.
“Can French Bulldogs Swim Alone?”
“NEVER! Constant supervision or do not leave your Frenchie near water!”
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