Can French Bulldogs Swim?- What You Should Know


You’ve probably seem videos on Facebook and Instagram of French Bulldogs swimming and splashing around and thought you yourself, ‘How Cute’ I would love to have my Frenchie swim. Who wouldn’t want to have fun and swim in a pool with their little fur baby. It’s every dog owners summer dream, right?

Can French Bulldogs swim? French Bulldogs (Bulldogs) are not known to be very good swimmers and that’s because they just aren’t physically built for swimming. The physical traits are not ideal characteristics. Bulldogs are very top heavy dogs with flat nose that makes it very difficult for them to stay above the water. Breathing is already a bit of a challenge for a bulldog and trying to keeps its nose above water without being suffocated is really difficult.

You will need to keep your swimming expectations low for your French Bulldog. Frenchies are not designed to swim.

Why Can’t French Bulldogs Swim?

On top of the fact that they are just too top heavy and don’t have the ideal snout to be able to keep it above the water to properly breathe. Due to they compact body, they just have a very difficult build to stay above water. They are very solid and heavy for their size. They have short, stumpy legs make it very difficult to be able to paddle enough to keep them afloat.

“There are also some breeds who have a weight distribution (Bulldogs for example) that would not make it possible for them to swim very well without a life vest.”

Michele Godlevski- Certified Professional Dog Trainer

Of course there are some exceptions to the rule like most things in life. Some Frenchies that are small framed and not quite as heavy and compact can swim “decently” enough that they can paddle for a little bit, but not well enough to be considered a good enough swimmer that you can just leave them alone to play in a pool. This doesn’t mean that you can’t take you Frenchie out for some fun pool time though.


Do French Bulldogs Like Water?

Most French Bulldogs like water. They’re some that absolutely hate it, and that’s just they way it is. But for the most part they do. French bulldogs do not like heat. They do not do well in hot temperatures due to their short snouts which makes breathing more difficult causing them to over heat pretty easily.

So being able to cool themselves off in the water in a hot day can be very satisfying for your Frenchie. For the most part you won’t have any trouble trying to convince your Frenchies to get into a pool.

However It’s very important to understand that especially at a young age as puppies that they DO NOT go near a full sized pool. You should avoid full sized pools all together as a puppy.

How To Teach A French Bulldog To Swim

First and foremost you need to invest in a doggie life vest. You should not teach or let your Frenchie swim without one. There a few different ones out there to choose from, but once you find the one you like you still have to take some steps before your dog can actually swim.

Get In The Water WIth Your Frenchie

Never let your Frenchie get in the water without someone being in the pool with them. Always start off in the shallow end. If you have a pool that has larger steps as you enter, start there. Let your dog just stand and walk around the steps first to get used to it.

Entertain Your Frenchie

If your dog loves balls, use a ball ( or whatever they like) to entice him and get him to swim. One of our dogs goes crazy for any type of ball. So we would just have the ball in from of her and let her swim towards it while we held on to the strap of the doggie vest.

As she got more comfortable we would put the ball further away and let her swim even longer. As long as they’re supervised they will be just fine.

Teach Them How To Exit The Pool

This is very important. Under no circumstances should your Frenchie be left unsupervised while swimming. However, sometimes there unfortunate circumstances where a dog can get out on its own and can fall into a pool.

If your dog is trained how to exit the pool, you can decrease the chances of your dog drowning should they fall in. Realistically the chances of a Frenchie falling into a pool and not drowning is probably not going to be very high. But if they can be trained to climb out of a pool, you can increase the chances of them being able to get out should this ever happen.

Reward With Treats

Just like any type of dog training, using treats to train your dog to swim is very beneficial. This works really well when trying to teach your dog to climb out of the pool.

Kiddie Pools For Frenchies

If you just want your Frenchie to cool off and have fun then getting a kiddie pool is the best option. Your pup can cool off and splash around without having to worry about it drowning. You can throw balls, sticks into he pool and let your Frenchie dive in for them.

Wrapping UP

I know it’s temping to want your Frenchie to swim in the pool. Just know that you nee to take the extra precaution to make sure that your Frenchie can be safe. We all see videos online of frenchies swimming but just understand that it takes time and 24/7 supervision.

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