How Much Exercise Does A French Bulldog Need?

August 3rd, 2019   |   Updated on February 10th, 2023

The French Bulldog has rapidly become the most popular dog breed in recent years. From their funny and fantastic faces, to their cheeky and happy nature, a Frenchie brings so much happiness to their forever homes.

With this growing popularity comes the growing need to make sure that our Frenchies are happy, healthy and properly exercised.

This breed more than most others, has a high level of importance on getting the exercise amount just right! And you may be surprised just what amount of exercise is needed for your Frenchie. And too little, or too much can cause problems down the road.

1. Why Exercise Is Important For French Bulldogs

Exercise is important for all dog breeds of course, and for French Bulldogs in particular, it has the following benefits….

  • Muscle tone is improved which gives proper support around the hips and knees. French Bulldogs can get hip and elbow dysplasia, so this is very beneficial.
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes.
  • Plays a crucial role in a French Bulldog staying the right weight.
  • Releases pent-up energy, instead of venting it through barking, chewing or destruction.
  • How much exercise does a French Bulldog need?

The French Bulldog is not a breed that needs hours and hours of vigorous exercise a day, I think we all know that. But neither is it a breed that just requires a quick walk down the street. Many people have mistaken the French Bulldog for a very exercise lite, inactive breed.

That isn’t true! In fact they are usually a very spirited breed, with plenty of energy is short bursts. The rest of the time they are happy to laze around, and chill out contentedly.

At the absolute minimum, a Frenchie should have two 20-minute sessions of exercise per day. This doesn’t just mean walking, but at least half of it should be. Ideally an hour or so of exercise per day is a good rule of thumb.

Exercise should be light or moderate cardio that increases the heart rate slightly and keeps the French Bulldog’s body moving. Such as walking, very light faster walking, fetching, or playing.

The 20 minute rule per session can be greatly extended for healthy, enthusiastic and energetic French Bulldog. With care, a French Bulldog can enjoy a walk for more than an hour in one go occasionally.

2. How Much Exercise Does A Frenchie Puppy Need?

Exercise Does A French Bulldog

While a French Bulldog puppy may want to play a lot, and have lots of energy, their exercise needs are lower than that of an adult. This is especially true as they are growing and you don’t want to put strain on their little legs.

Here Is A Rough Guide Of Exercise Per Day, Which Includes Walking And Any Vigorous Playing:

              Age                        Amount per Day

8 Weeks                     10 minutes
3 Months                   15 minutes
4 Months                   25 minutes
6 Months                   35 minutes
9 Months                   45 minutes

Of course every Frenchie is different, and if your French Bulldog tires sooner, don’t worry. And if they enjoy a little more without looking overly tired that is fine too.

3. Why Too Much, Or The Wrong Exercise, Is Dangerous For French Bulldogs

Every French Bulldog owner has to face the fact that this breed comes with several health considerations.

Though a properly bred French Bulldog, from an expert breeder, will have the perfect conformation of the breed, and be in great health, the very shape, size and structure of these breeds, bring about issues, that ever owner has to take care of.

They are a brachycephalic dog. This is due to their flat faces, and flat nose. The reduction in the muzzle and facial bones pinches the nostrils, making air intake an effort. The short palate tends to block the airway, which is also smaller in size.

So any owner has to take care when exercising their French Bulldog, especially in hot and cold conditions.

So always, always keep walks and playtime to a minimum during extreme weather, and in the peak of summer, a walk at the start and end of the day when it is coolest is ideal.

Any strain on a French Bulldogs breathing can lead to serious consequences, so if your Frenchie starts panty or breathing heavy during exercise, STOP right away.

4. What Type Of Exercise Is Good For A French Bulldog?

Exercise Does A French Bulldog_1

A little walk out twice a day, probably won’t be enough for your French Bulldog. The average dog needs a little more bounce than that if they are going to be happy, and healthy too.

They need a few nice play times each day. You can have a toy tug with them, and a throw about with a ball, so they can have a bounce around.

They love to interact and to have fun with people, so some exercise through playing is an ideal way to keep your Frenchie healthy. Around 5 – 10 minutes of this would be enough for most Frenchies, and a couple of times a day.

Some French Bulldogs love to swim, but this is also a very strenuous activity so if you do take your Frenchie swimming keep it to short bursts with lots of rest between. French Bulldogs can still overheat, even when in the water.

Jogging, running or going on a steep walk are not going to be suitable for your French Bulldog. They do love to explore though, so if you are a hiker, taking a specialized Frenchie backpack, where they can be off for bursts during easier parts of the walk, can be super.

So if you thought your French Bulldog was a layabout that just needed a quick walk or a play in the garden each day, then think again. When you choose a French Bulldog, you will realise that they are not as lazy as some other Bulldogs.

And to keep them happy, healthy, and a good weight, a couple of nice walks, and some fun play periods are ideal.

As long as you don’t push the limits, and overdo the amount of exercise, then you will have a laid back, and snuggly Frenchie, happily enjoying life in your home.