Can French Bulldogs Swim? Tips to Help Them.


Can French Bulldogs Swim? Tips to Help Them: Most dogs love swimming. And Frenchies do love water, especially on a hot day and they are looking at cooling down. But the truth is like most Bulldog breeds they may be able to sustain brief periods of swimming but they will eventually make their way to the bottom of the pool or lake.

Unlike some other dogs, once they go under, they will have a tough time getting above water again

Never let your French bulldog swim unsupervised because as with children all it takes is a few minutes and you may lose a best friend.

Why Cant They Swim?

The main reason why French Bulldogs and similar breeds can not swim is that they are brachycephalic dogs. (Flat-Faced) Their short snouts mean that they will have to lift their heads up to keep them out of the water.

When tilting their heads up to get air, it brings their centre of gravity lower, making it much more difficult for them to stay afloat. In conjunction with their short legs and bulky torso, they are not really built to float.

You may have seen videos on Youtube of French Bulldogs swimming. Or you know of one that can swim perfectly fine. However, don’t take this as proof that every Frenchie can swim or would swim with little or no precautions. Fatigue and even humidity might have an effect on your dog’s ability to remain above water. As mention above all, it takes is a small mistake for your pet to suffer tragic or lethal consequences.

Brachycephaly it’s not the only factor Frenchies cannot swim. Short-legged dogs, with their muscles weighing more than fat, add to that a short snout makes them top-heavy.

Any “top-heavy” dog with a heavy chest or a big head can find it very difficult or impossible to hold their head out of the water.

So how can you Frenchie enjoy water?

Dog Life Jackets

One way to allow your Frenchie to enjoy the joys of swimming and not have them risk themselves at the same time is to invest in a dog life vest or jacket.

When you purchase a life jacket for your Frenchie, make sure to get something that fits securely to avoid the possibility of slipping off or not holding your dog above water. These work in a similar way that you see young children floating vests.

Search for a dog life vest which is simple to get on and off but fits nicely sufficiently hold your dog’s head out of the water.

Your Frenchie ought to be able to move unrestricted when wearing a jacket, whether they are in the water or on land.

The extra bouncy can help maintain them above the water, but with every case, it’s essential to keep a close watch on your French Bulldog to make sure they do not get into any difficulties.

While your Frenchie may have a life vest on, because of the flat face of the French Bulldog, their nose may just be above water.

In the end, life jackets are suitable for your water-loving Frenchie that need some extra assistance to feel comfortable in the water or to stop them from getting tired too quickly. You can feel relaxed when bringing them on boats, kayaks, beach or any other aquatic activities.

If You Are Thinking Of A Life Jacket For Your Frenchie, We Recommend The Following Two Jackets. One Is A Little More Expensive Than The Other Though! Click Image To Learn More.

Life Jacket
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Sophie French Bulldog Swimming Lesson

Children Pools

Children Pools can achieve more than one outcome for you little Frenchie. As we have mentioned in other articles, French Bulldogs are incredibly prone to overheating.

Experts suggest that a pool is the fastest way to cool a hot dog. This is particularly true if it’s held in a shaded area. But there is much more fun a Frenchie can have in a children’s pool and can allow then to have there swimming fun without the danger.

Heatstroke in dogs: Clinical signs, treatment, prognosis, and prevention

However, it turns out that certain standard, inflatable kiddie pools don’t work for Frenchies because their nails can be sliced through the vinyl.

Therefore, you need to have a kiddie-style pool which works better with dogs. Pools made of soft and robust material, such as PVC rubber or hard plastic, is what you are looking for.

French Bulldog (Hugo) running leap into splash pool, absolute classic

How To Your French Bulldog to Swim With A Vest.

So you have a great new life vest for your little Frenchie. But you just don’t want them bobbing around like a cork in the water. Here are some ideas to get your French Bulldog mobile in the water.

Ok first off make sure you have found a body of water that goes gradually increases in depth. Make sure you have fitted your Frenchie with their life jacket.

Make sure there are no distractions

Make sure there is not a lot of noise and movement as this can be distracting as you teach your Frenchie to swim. As mention above you should start their swimming lessons in a quiet place of the lake, river or swimming pool.

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Keep Your Frenchie on a Leash

Make sure your Frenchie on a leash at all stages during the lessons. A dog leash will help you make sure your Frenchie stays out of trouble and will not swim very far. Do not detach the leash before your Frenchie can swim unassisted in their vest and returns to you if you call them over.

Never Throw Your Dog In the Water

You’re always going to need to make sure your French Bulldog has a positive relationship towards the water, so it’s never a good idea to throw your Frenchie in the pool for their first swim. It will only frighten them and they will cautious in engaging with swimming latter in life.

Swimming Lessons Time

It’s best to start teaching your French Bulldog to swim in shallows where you can be next to them. Put on your Frenchies life jacket, fasten your leash, then walk slowly into the water. Have your Frenchie get used to the idea of having wet paws.

Start walking in shallow water, then back out again, such that your Frenchie knows that they can get out if they are overwhelmed.

If your French Bulldog is hesitant, use a supportive tone of voice as well as a lot of verbal support when they enter the water. Monitor your Frenchies behavior to make sure it is happy and confident, particularly when you slowly move towards deeper water.

When your Frenchie wants to start paddling to keep afloat, you could use your leg to provide some additional support underneath the stomach if it needs it. This gives them the ability to paddle their back legs together with the front legs.

You do not want your Frenchie just to use its front legs to swim, because it’s going to tire faster and struggle. Continue to support beneath their belly until they are comfortable in the water and using all four legs to swim. Hold your initial swimming experience short so that your Frenchie is not overworked.

If they seem to be panicking at any stage, go back to the shallow water and just let them calm down before attempting again.

Once the lesson comes to an end, take your time to teach your Frenchie the best and safest way to get out of the water, so they will know for next time.

Lastly, after the lesson, give them a lot of verbal and physical encouragement, and maybe some special dog treats. Doing so will allow your Frenchie to associate fun and enjoyable moments with the excitement of swimming.

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