As much as people may think that Frenchie’s are the perfect lazy day companion, they are actually very lively little dogs. The best way to satisfy their bursts of energy is by taking them on multiple shorts walks a day. You want them to get at least an hour of exercise in total every day.
Whilst they’re very young, keep their walk very short. Maybe just a 20 minute walk a day for the first few weeks. This is to protect their growing joints from the shock absorption of walking across hard ground. Another concern about puppies and exercise is that even in the house, try to limit them jumping on and off things from a height. For example, encouraging them to jump up and down from the sofa significantly heightens their chance of creating hairline fractures, or worse, in their joints! Now, just because you should limit the time your puppy charges about, doesn’t mean they have to be bored at home. Socialisation is a great way to exercise your puppy mentally without risking them risking injury. Take them out to dog-friendly coffee shops, teach them manners in a public place, let people come to visit your puppy, and again, teach them suitable manners even at home.
Once they have matured, you can start to take them on longer walks, keeping in mind that although they are lively, they’re still a small breed. Walks through the park, or a nature reserve, anywhere with interesting scents and smells is a brilliant way for any dog to enjoy their daily exercise. Whilst the Frenchie isn’t a scent hound, they still enjoy a snuffle about. As a companion dog, a French Bulldog is happy to spend most of their time with you, so don’t feel guilty if you’re unable to take them to the park every day. They do just enjoy simple walks, just take care not to make it a daily occurrence. They still need some level of mental exercise too.
French Bulldog’s are mischievous by nature and that can be made worse by boredom. If you find your Frenchie stealing things around the house, being stubborn, or simply ignoring your commands, you may want to re-evaluate their mental training. Upping the mental exercise with puzzle toys or just teaching them simple tricks will be enough to satisfy a French Bulldog. They aren’t stupid dogs but they also aren’t working dogs, so just 10-15 minutes of brain training a day can be enough to give them a positive outlet for some of that energy they have bottled up.
If you are an avid follower of the French Bulldog channel here at Fenrir, you will already have some understanding of caring for a Brachycephalic breed. So, it is so important to not over exercise Frenchie’s in hot weather. Due to their restricted breathing, they are unable to cool themselves down efficiently. If possible, take them first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening when the weather reaches the mid to high 20’s. If this isn’t a possibility, it is best to not walk them altogether. This can then lead to them suffering from heatstroke. Instead, if it’s too hot for a walk, keep them busy and occupied in the house with puzzles or teach them tricks!
To recap today’s video, Frenchie’s are deceptively energetic little dogs. Needing at least 1 hour of exercise a day, over 2-3 shorter walks. As puppies, it’s best to try and keep them from being too rambunctious to protect their growing joints. Once they’re matured, you’ll have a good walking companion that will enjoy simple walks through the park with you. Just keep in mind that whilst they aren’t of working intelligence, they can be mischievous, so a moderate level of mental exercise is also key to keeping them, and you. happy.
However, keep an eye on the weather during the warmer months. Frenchie’s are not made to cope very well in hot weather. Don’t let them overexert themselves either, these are two very important things to remember about owning and caring for French Bulldogs.