French Bulldog Exercise: How Much Exercise Do French Bulldogs Need?

French Bulldog Exercise: How Much Exercise Do French Bulldogs Need?

When I first got a french bulldog, I found myself worrying about the amount of exercise my frenchie was getting. Was it too much? Or was it too little? They are kind of chunky, after all. The truth is really pretty simple. French bulldogs need a little exercise, but not a lot.

My french bulldog’s outward behavior when it came to physical activity was always extreme excitement. So, for that reason, we let our first french bulldog run until he tired himself out. These days, that doesn’t take as long as it used to, but we still try to keep him active. Having a second french bulldog helps, as well. There are no “French Bulldog Exercise” DVD Courses featuring celebrity french bulldogs, so I decided to put together this quick post.

Like any biological or mechanical part, that which is not used is jettisoned. Alas, it is true for french bulldogs, too. We have taken this breed over the last century and stripped it of its ability to thrive in the wild. These days, most french bulldogs are couch potatoes, but that doesn’t have to be the case. French bulldogs still benefit greatly from a little regular physical activity. Our french bulldogs tend to keep each other occupied and spend most of the day wearing each other out. This is beneficial to us since both my wife and I have to work and we’re constantly busy keeping up with our home and businesses. However, not everyone is so fortunate to have a fenced yard and multiple french bulldogs to occupy each other. So, we decided to key on precisely how much and how often you should give your french bulldog some exercise.

Here’s two quick answers to the question:

  1. Not a lot.
  2. Enough to keep them happy.

A happy, healthy frenchie will occasionally get a case of “the zoomies”. Even a good case of the zoomies counts as a little exercise for your french bulldog. So, let them get worked up every now and then!

Both of our frenchies are pretty hyper, but our cream male, Auggie, is getting gradually lazier as he gets older. Still, we make sure they get outside and run around daily.

The Ideal French Bulldog Exercise Regimen

Here’s the rub: no two french bulldogs are identical. Particularly in terms of temperament, owner’s lifestyle, size & weight, et cetera. To that end, we can only make generalizations about how much exercise ALL french bulldogs should get at a minimum. In short, a daily walk around the block will usually suffice, but younger french bulldogs generally have a lot of energy. So, lots of time running around the yard (a fenced-in yard or dog park) is generally better. As french bulldogs get older, they tend to get lazier, but you shouldn’t skimp on getting them outside for some vitamin D and a walk around the block. What’s more important to your french bulldog’s health is their diet, their weight, keeping them cool, not crating them for long periods, and monitoring them while they’re playing outside.

Is Play-Time Exercise for a French Bulldog?

Yes and no. Our frenchies get riled up on their own and keep each other occupied in a rambunctious way. Single-frenchie or single-pet homes may see their french bulldog become dependent on their owners for visual and auditory cues as to when play-time is appropriate.

Both of our mature french bulldogs are excitable and generally keep each other occupied. We also have a fenced-in backyard that our french bulldogs play in 2-3 hours per day. This is, honestly, more than what’s necessary. We just like to let them do their own thing. Since everyone doesn’t have the luxury of letting their french bulldogs out to play in a fenced-in yard, some of you will have to stick to daily walks. This is especially true for you apartment-dwellers.

Can French Bulldogs Over-Exercise?

Absolutely. Just like humans, too much play-time can wipe your french bulldog out. Not to mention that french bulldogs can actually suffer from a number of conditions instigated by excessive amounts of physical activity. You have to get it just right with french bulldogs. Their joints, spine & vertebra, hips, and pelvis are all susceptible to some pretty nasty conditions including IVDD (Intervertebral Disk Disease) or hip dysplasia. IVDD can’t be caused by over-exercise, but excessive physical activity can exacerbate the symptoms. They say that french bulldogs make great apartment pets for a reason: they’re not built to last in the great outdoors for long. Still, a little regular play-time and a walk go a long way for frenchies.

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IVDD can’t be caused by over-exercise, but excessive physical activity can exacerbate the symptoms.

 

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The same is true for hip dysplasia: exercise can’t necessarily cause it, but over-exercising your french bulldog can severely exacerbate the symptoms.

Don’t Turn Your French Bulldog’s Exercise into a Stressful Ritual

It’s important to look at some very obvious details to determine how much exercise your french bulldog needs. Naturally, older french bulldogs need less and less exercise compared to their younger, more spry halcyon days. Conversely, younger french bulldogs will be much happier and have a much more pleasant demeanor overall if they get a regular walk and a trip to the dog park. French bulldogs already showing signs of congenital or genetic diseases or disorders should only be walked or exercised if a veterinarian approves it. Further, for severely affected french bulldogs with IVDD, hip dysplasia, or other conditions, many, many medical prostheses exist to aid in mobility.

Otherwise, if you’ve got yourself one regular old chubby frenchie, a daily walk and some nightly play-time ought to be enough! Go outside! Play fetch with your buddy and give them copious belly-scritchees!

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2 Comments

  1. Helen Timm June 19, 2017
    • Jordan Johnson June 19, 2017

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