French Bulldogs have a terrible reputation as being lazy dogs. Those that aren’t familiar with the breed tend to see these stockier dogs, who are perhaps a little heavier than they should be, and assume they aren’t that active. Or, they have heard from Frenchie owners that they don’t do much other than sleep. How close to the truth is this, or are these dogs misunderstood?
Are French Bulldogs lazy?
Are Frenchies lazy? Not necessarily. You will encounter many Frenchies that don’t stay that active and love nothing more than cuddling with their owners and taking naps. Their low activity requirements and health issues also mean that they aren’t going to want a long walk. But, other Frenchie owners would say that their Frenchies are a lot more energetic.
Frenchies Love to Do What Their Owners Do
The activity levels of these dogs will depend on what you are like as an owner. This is one of those dogs that will fit in with its owner’s lifestyle – to a point.
Some Frenchies will be quite active when given the opportunity by their owners.
They can exercise and play and have a lot of fun, even if there are physical limitations.
But then there are the owners that assume they don’t have to do anything with these dogs and let them laze around the house all day.
It isn’t uncommon for French Bulldogs to become firmly attached to their owners.
They want to be around them 24/7 – even when sleeping. While this can lead to some challenges, such as separation anxiety and Frenchies crying for attention, it can also mean that you have a companion that follows you around and is practically attached to the hip.
Therefore, it is hard to say that a Frenchie is a lazy dog if it spends most of its time following you around the house and engaging in the same activities.
A lazy dog would probably prefer to doze in its bed all day and leave you to it.
If you were to put a step counter on a Frenchie, even one that stays all day indoors, you would probably be surprised at just how active they have been.
Do French Bulldogs Need Exercise?
Active owners will see anything but a lazy Frenchie.
Frenchie owners that encourage their pets to run around and play with them in the garden should find that their pets join in happily.
They will have fun playing with toys and joining in with games because they love to be a part of whatever is going on and be by your side. The bond between the two of you is that they will have a lot of fun and want to be there.
You aren’t going to have to coax them out of bed to join you outside.
This also means that these dogs are happy to partake in some outdoor exercise.
There is a difference between being low maintenance and lazy. This downward maintenance dog could get just as excited as any labrador or spaniel to head out for a walk.
If you gave them a chance, they would follow you for miles and run around the park after toys until it gets dark.
It is just their physical restrictions that get in the way. They might even go swimming with you if you make sure to keep them safe with a doggy life vest.
This is why it is so vital that Frenchie owners take the time to find the right exercise and activity regime for their dogs.
You can’t assume that Frenchies won’t do anything sporty or active because the experience could be beneficial and enjoyable for them.
It is all about finding the right balance and keeping it fun.
Beware of those that say that Frenchies don’t need any exercise.
There are blogs out there from Frenchie lovers saying that the breed is excellent because they can stay healthy without exercise.
This isn’t true.
These dogs need less time outside than more active breeds. But, it would be best if you still kept them strong and at a healthy weight.
You can’t feed them a fatty diet, offer them treats, and expect them not to put on weight.
With all that said, you still need to be careful that your pet doesn’t do too much.
Frenchies are still limited in what they can and cannot do because of their shape and health restrictions.
As brachycephalic dogs with shortened muzzles and deformed air passages, it is harder for them to catch their breath.
They can struggle for air if they push themselves too hard. Shorter sessions of activity are always better than long walks. It would help if you also were more careful in the summer when heat exhaustion is an additional concern.
The critical thing to remember is to provide the right bursts of activity with enough time to rest.
Play with them for a little while, but then let them nap or snuggle.
Also, make sure to give them enough time to catch their breath when they need to.
You can take them for gentle walks around the neighborhood, let them run around in the park, or play games out in the yard.
Less active owners will spend their time with Frenchies that are happy enough with a lighter schedule.
This desire to be by your side at all times means that Frenchies will do whatever you are doing.
If you want to do nothing better than watch TV with your dog in your lap in the evening, they will happily oblige there too. Frenchies are very affectionate and cuddly dogs, and this sort of activity allows for that physical closeness.
Their need for a lot of sleep also means that they are likely to have a doze on your lap and ignore whatever is on the screen. This can result in some unfortunate snoring and farting, but this is all part of Frenchie’s ownership.
There is no reason why you can’t strike a balance in your day where Frenchies get to show their “active” side and their “lazy” side.
They don’t have to have a one-note personality.
You can take them for a good walk in the morning, have some energetic playtime after work, let them follow you around at home, and then end the day curled up on the couch.
Do French Bulldogs Sleep A Lot?
Part of the misconception about Frenchies being lazy comes from the fact that they sleep a lot.
French Bulldogs do need a lot of sleep.
This can be as much as 12 to 14 hours of sleep a day.
The problem with this is that this doesn’t always fit in with the schedule of their owners. We need an average of 8 hours, with many of us surviving on less when we have busier weeks.
So, if our Frenchie goes to sleep at 10 simultaneously as us and then wakes up at 7 am, they still need to find time in the day for enough rest. This need for regular naps adds fuel to the idea that Frenchies are lazy.
Also, be aware that Frenchie puppies will sleep for even longer.
They need rest from their activities and time to grow and develop.
They may only be awake and active for about 5 out of the 24 hours of the day.
Those that get a Frenchie for the first time may, therefore, assume that this is the norm and that their dog will continue to need a lot of rest and a lazier lifestyle.
However, this doesn’t consider just how active and ready to play the dog is during those hours they are awake.
Sickness & Psychological Issues
Frenchie can also become less active if they are sick or dealing with some psychological issues.
Frenchies are emotional dogs and can become anxious and sad.
One way that they will manifest these emotions is by becoming more withdrawn and less active.
They may not follow you around quite so much or decide to sleep a little longer than expected. If there is no sign of ill health and your vet gives them the all-clear, consider the potential for any psychological issues.
Has there been any significant change in their life that would make them upset? It could be the loss of a companion, a change in their schedule, or something that has recently scared them.
Give them some encouragement and support, and they should be back to their old selves.
Final Thoughts – Are French Bulldogs Lazy?
In short, Frenchies are as lazy as you make them. They follow your lead and will happily exercise and play as well as snuggle on the couch. The regime you create will influence their responses. They want to do what you do and be close to you. Therefore, you can have two Frenchies in the same neighborhood with very different lifestyles and activity levels. Don’t assume that this low maintenance dog doesn’t need exercise. Please give them the opportunities to have fun and thrive.
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