French Bulldogs have enjoyed a long history as companion dogs around the world.
Originally bred in France, their ancestors were English Toy Bulldogs which were taken to Paris, in France, with English lace-makers in the 1800s. Here they were crossed with local French “ratter” breeds (dogs used to catch vermin) to produce the stocky, compact dogs we see today.
French Bulldogs make fabulous family pets and are extremely popular as show dogs. They are extremely intelligent and affectionate, quiet and good-natured.
Like all dogs, your Bouledogue Français will, however, shed hair. This can be a problem for people with allergies, so the amount of shedding that French Bulldogs typically do can be an important factor when choosing if they are a breed that suits you.
So how much hair do French Bulldogs shed? Let’s take a look at these fantastic little dogs and find out.
French Bulldogs are the second most popular dog breed in both the United States and the United Kingdom.
- Their many attractions for pet owners include:
- They are perfectly suited for small spaces and apartments.
- They are an excellent first dog for novice owners.
- They are well known for being affectionate, and extremely friendly towards strangers and children.
- They are highly intelligent and easy to train.
- They have a medium level of energy and are very playful.
Being perfect dogs for smaller homes and apartments, it is natural for people to ask: “do French Bulldogs shed a lot?” No-one likes having to constantly brush dog hair off their clothes and furniture, and chase random bits of dog hair around the corners of their home.
Luckily, Frenchies are only moderate shedders, so in addition to being super cute and super clever, they aren't going to mess up votre maison with too much fluff!
A Natural Process
All dogs shed their hair. It's a natural process and something that all dog owners are used to. As a matter of fact, pretty much every animal on the planet, including humans, sheds hair to some extent.
It is impossible, therefore, to prevent a dog from shedding its hair. And while French Bulldogs aren’t classed as a hypoallergenic breed, their shedding is usually quite easy to manage.
Of course, just like people, Frenchies are all different, and some will shed more hair than others.
A number of factors come into play to determine the amount of shedding a French bulldog does.
The Age of the Dog
Young French Bulldogs go through a “puppy shedding” phase, where they lose their puppy coats at around four to six months of age.
Being relatively petite, though, means that the puppy bouncing around on your furniture and wrecking your best shoes, doesn’t have a great deal of fur to shed, so keeping on top of it is easy.
Older Frenchies, on the other hand, will shed more hair simply because they are “bigger.” But regardless of a French bulldog's age, they are still relatively small dogs, so they have less surface area to shed hair than bigger breeds.
What’s the Weather Like?
For French Bulldogs, there are generally two seasons in which they shed the most hair.
In summer, Frenchies shed their undercoat in order to keep themselves cooler on those hot sunshiny days when they are out having fun with you.
When winter rolls around, their coat grows thicker in order to keep them nice and toasty warm when it's bitterly cold outside. This extra fur means that there is more to shed. Your French Bulldog is also likely to spend more time indoors during winter, so their excess hair will collect inside your home rather than out in the great outdoors.
The Yummy Stuff
A balanced diet is important for all pets. The phrase “we are what we eat” applies just as much to your French bulldog as it does to you.
So the healthier your Frenchie’s diet is, the healthier they will be, and the healthier their coat will become.
A balanced diet will provide all the vitamins and nutrients your Frenchy needs to maintain healthy hair follicles, and hair that doesn’t become brittle and break off.
Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, are especially good for promoting healthy hair growth.
And, of course, access to plenty of water goes hand in hand with a balanced, healthy diet.
Its All in the Genes
Breeding is one of the prime factors in how much your French bulldog will shed.
Geneticists have identified a specific gene, called the MC5R-gene, which can impact the amount of shedding a dog will do. The gene influences the hair follicle glands that produce an oily, waxy substance called sebum.
Sebum keeps a dog’s hair flexible, assists in temperature regulation, and helps to repel water.
There are two variants of this gene: the A-variant and the B-varient. Of these, the A-variant causes less hair shedding. French Bulldog breeders can use this information to select for bloodlines that are less prone to shedding.
How Can I manage My Frenchie’s Shedding?
While you can't stop your French bulldog from shedding its hair, there are several steps that you can take in order to make this natural process more manageable.
Brush their coat regularly.
Regular brushing will not only remove excess hair. It is also very good for their skin. Most dogs love a good brushing session anyway!
For brushing your French Bulldog, these are some of the things you should consider:
Bristle brushes are a perfect choice for all coat types. For short-haired French Bulldogs, the best choice is a stiff brush.
Use a brushing tool such as a “Furminator”, which has short metal teeth that will comb out excess hair before it can be shed.
A rubber curry comb is also a good choice for Frenchies. Curry combs help remove dander (dead skin) and old hair. You will also find that your bijoux French amis will love a good brushing with a rubber comb. For them, its like a massage at a doggie spa...ooh la la!
Rinse and Repeat
Proper skin care and regular bathing with a good shampoo will keep your Frenchie’s coat and skin in tip top condition.
The bathing will remove any loose hair that has already been shed, and the massaging effect of your fingers will stimulate the hair follicle glands to produce more of that hair-conditioning sebum.
Check that your Frenchie does not suffer from any food allergies.
You can do this by trying different combinations of food and observing any changes in their skin, or the condition of their coat, that may result from them being allergic to certain types of food.
Shampoo and Conditioner
There are a number of deshedding treatments on the market. These are usually in the form of a shampoo that you can use when you're giving your French Bulldog a nice bath.
You should, however, check with your veterinarian before using preparations such as this. They will be able to give you specific advice about the best deshedding treatment for your little French buddy.
Water, Water, Everywhere!
We all know how important hydration is to us humans. If you want your skin to stay supple and healthy, and your body to function at its optimum level, you gotta drink lots of water.
It’s the same for your French Bulldog. Ensure that they have access to fresh water at all times. By making sure your Frenchie consumes plenty of water, and doesn't become dehydrated, you will ensure that their coat stays healthy and less prone to shedding.
As well as putting water beside their feed bowl, you should also put some beside their bed, and perhaps outside as well. That way, they always have access to water whatever they are around the house.
Try introducing different supplements to your French Bulldog’s food.
Supplements such as fish oils, brewer’s yeast and flax seed oil can be quite effective in promoting the growth of their undercoat, and reducing the amount they shed.
It is best if your dog does not sleep with you. All dogs are wild animals at heart and your French Bulldog will pe perfectly fine sleeping alone. So will you!
Get them a nice, cozy little bed of their very own, and encourage them to only go to sleep when they are in it.
As for the other furniture in your house, if your little amis Français insists on being on the sofa, or your favourite chair, use slip covers that can be removed and washed regularly.
If your French Bulldog is showing signs of excess shedding, there may be some underlying health reasons why this is so. These could include:
So if you are concerned that your Frenchie may be shedding more than is normal, take them to see your local veterinarian. Dogs love visits to the vet anyway, so you can treat them to a checkup and a nice walk afterwards.
Pamper Your Frenchie
We all love to be pampered, don't we? And your little French friend will be no exception. So give them plenty of TLC. This will make sure that their coat stays in tip top condition, and that they don’t shed all over your nice new clothes and your expensive carpets.
The joys of owning a French Bulldog will far outweigh the slight inconvenience of having to tidy up a bit of their hair occasionally.
So pamper your chien, or your chienne...they deserve it!