How much exercise does a French Bulldog need? [Age, Time, Distance, Activities]

How much exercise does a French Bulldog need [Age, Time, Distance, Activities] - FLF

French Bulldogs are low-maintenance and content with living in apartments, yet they require exercise just like every other breed. It’s critical to establish a suitable fitness program for your Frenchie so that they may remain healthy and happy, but finding the proper balance is essential. Many people believe that French Bulldogs don’t require much activity since they have a flat face, cuddly disposition, and a preference to sleep for the most part of the day. But trust me, French bulldogs are a very energetic breed of dog indeed!

They’re quicker than you can imagine (you should see the zoomies!), enjoy playing, and want to go on walks or play with other dogs. Po is the funniest, friendliest, happiest dog I’ve ever owned who lives her life to the full.

So, how much exercise does a french bulldog need?

In general, a daily exercise goal of 60 minutes is ideal for an adult French Bulldog ( this includes walks, playtime and training activities). Because of their flat faces, many Frenchies suffer from breathing difficulties, so it’s essential to go for short, low-intensity walks in the coolest parts of the day. Spread your activities throughout the day in short bursts so they can do what they do best, and sleep in between.

The length of your French Bulldog’s stroll will be determined by their age, as well as some on the character and disposition of the dog. Po would love to ramble for miles and miles, but it wouldn’t be good for her, especially as she is now 8 years old and has had surgery on her knee.

It is important for your dog to get exercise at least once a day. Whether it’s a walk around the block or a trip to the dog park, getting your dog out for fresh air is always good for them, and you.

One of the great advantages of having a Frenchie is that short walks and playtime at home offer your dog all the exercise they need without overworking them. It also breaks up your day and gives you an excuse to stop and recharge your mental health, so it’s great for you both.

French Bulldog outdoor exercise time guide

Here’s a quick rundown of how much outdoor exercise a French Bulldog might need in one go, depending on their age. For dogs under one year, split the walks into at least two per day to help their limbs and muscles develop naturally without deforming them.

The times below are totals and include walking, stopping, playing, pooping, and sniffing around – basically how much time we are out and about overall.

Be cautious, however; French bulldogs are a brachycephalic breed, so don’t take them out in the heat or allow them to run continuously for more than 5 minutes; they may become overheated and have breathing difficulties.

Age of French BulldogExercise Time requirements
4 months old12 minutes
5 months old15 minutes
6 months old18 minutes
7 months old21 minutes
8 months old24 minutes
9 months old27 minutes
Adult30 to 45 minutes
SeniorDependant on health conditions
Table 1. French Bulldog outdoor exercise time guide

How often you walk your French Bulldog will boil down a number of factors;

  • Age: Puppies build muscle and learn to walk with awkward limbs natural while more mature dogs have some balance issues that need time to overcome.
  • Health: Any health conditions your dog may have will determine the frequency of walking.
  • Character: Some dogs prefer to be couch potatoes, others just want to run and play.
  • Terrain: Don’t take your dog on a route that is too strenuous or they will become exhausted quickly. Take it nice and slow, allowing them time to stop and smell the roses along the way.
  • Environment: Heat can build up rapidly in short- muzzled dogs like French Bulldogs, so if you walk them in warm weather try to do it early morning or evening when the temperature is cooler.

You don’t need to be a speed-walker with your Frenchie; they are happy strolling along slowly as long as they are able to explore and sniff around. Also, take water on your walks in warm weather, particularly if you are doing an extended one.

If your French Bulldog is panting excessively when you get home or has a glazed look in their eyes it’s time to call it quits for the day.

Keep in mind that 4-6 months of age is a crucial time for developing leg and hip strength and bone and muscle tone in long-legged breeds. It’s important to limit strenuous activity, such as running or jumping, during this period so they don’t develop leg deformities.

Also very important – French Bulldogs love to eat anything they can get their paws on (and some things they can’t), so always bring a leash with you on walks and carry a bag to clean up. There may be things your Frenchie finds that you do not want them to eat.

How much exercise does a French Bulldog puppy need?

Frenchie puppies don’t require as much physical exercise as other canines. When it comes to walkies, they appear to be little balls of energy, but they should be limited to around 3 minutes for each month of their age. So, for example, a four-month-old French Bulldog only requires 12 minutes of total daily walkies

At this age, walkies should be spent exploring their environment instead of just walking back and forth along a street. Allow them to do plenty of sniffing, visit various environments, and interact safely with new people and animals.

How much exercise does a senior French Bulldog need?

When your dog reaches adulthood, the amount of exercise they need will go down. However, by how much? Every dog is unique, so let them choose their own speed. If they appear to be slowing down, it’s time to head home.

Be aware that some dogs don’t understand what’s best for them, so they’ll happily go on walks even though they should stop. Keep an eye on them and, if you see that they’re stiff, trailing behind, or having trouble in any way, shorten the length of their walks. 

What is the best way to get my French Bulldog more physically fit?

Discover what exercises you can do at home that will help build muscle tone in your pet’s body.

What Type of Exercise Should You Do With Your Frenchie?

There are a variety of things to do in order to satisfy your dog’s interests and get them moving. Frenchies are recognized for their intellect and sociability, so think about giving them some physical activity that appeals to both of these traits.

If you live in the city, walk your dog down the street for a cup of coffee (plus, your adorable pooch will brighten everyone’s day). If you’re more of a country person, spend some time actively playing with your dog outside. It’s also great to go to a local dog park where you and your dog may socialize. 

How to keep your French Bulldog busy with enrichment all year round

French Bulldogs, like many other dogs, benefit greatly from keeping their brains engaged as much as possible to keep them mentally healthy. It’s important to make sure they stay occupied throughout the day, especially if they are left alone at home. They can suffer from terrible separation anxiety ( they’re also known as velcro dogs) so why not try some of these ideas to keep them busy?

  • Snuffle mats
  • Kongs
  • Food puzzles
  • Lickimats
  • Interactive toys

What happens if your French Bulldog doesn’t get enough exercise?

Exercise and health: Overweight French Bulldogs will experience breathing difficulties, diabetes, and hip and joint damage. French bulldogs are already prone to a number of medical issues, but walking them on a regular basis can help to reduce their risk of dying prematurely due to weight gain.

Mental stimulation: Indoor dogs who do not get the exercise they require will become mentally unstable. It’s not just about separation anxiety; it’s also about keeping them cognitively engaged. If you don’t walk your Frenchie on a regular basis, he may begin to exhibit destructive behavior in your home.

Natural instinct: Walking your dog allows them to release built-up energy, which will keep your Frenchie active and allow them to run around as they would in the wild. If you don’t walk your Frenchie regularly or let them outside, they could become increasingly restless and feel like they need to start hunting down prey.

Socialization: Walking develops a healthy sociability in your Frenchie, allowing them to socialize with other dogs, people, and adapt to different circumstances so that they may grow into well-adjusted pets. This will make your puppy or adult dog much more content and less prone to depression.

Training and behavior: Walking your Frenchie allows you to train them, practice obedience skills, and reaffirm your own connection with them. When you’re out, they’ll be exposed to a variety of new things that will pique their interest, allowing you to teach them how to behave properly. Dogs who are walked on a regular basis are generally better behaved all round.

Can I Over-Exercise My French Bulldog?

Overexerting your Frenchie can cause a number of health problems that you will want to avoid. French Bulldogs are prone to several different medical issues, and their respiratory system is not made for extended periods of running and strenuous activity.

What Are Some Things to Watch Out For When Exercising My French Bulldog?

Take your French bulldog for a walk using a harness rather than a collar. A collar might damage your dog’s trachea or cause him to strain his neck. A harness, on the other hand, provides excellent support for the dog – and if they begin running and pulling on the leash, it is less stressful.

Morning and evening walks are ideal for this breed. Because of their tiny noses and restricted airways, French Bulldogs have a hard time breathing when they exercise. Overdoing any sort of activity that raises the need for oxygen is not a good idea.

Frenchies have a harder time keeping their body temperature steady, so you should always walk them during the cooler hours of the day which can be 5am in the summer and 11pm at night.

In heat and humidity, avoid taking your French bulldog for a walk. Pay attention to your Frenchie’s behavior while taking walks. Heat exhaustion may be recognized by increased panting and foamy saliva, which are the first indicators. Always bring water and find shade when walking your dog outdoors if you do go out during the day. During the summer months, you might want to play in an air-conditioned location instead.

Before meals is the ideal time to exercise your French bulldog. When their stomach is full, French bulldogs tend to become drowsy and wish to simply lie around. 

French Bulldog Exercise FAQs

Do Frenchie Puppies Need Formal Exercise?

Frenchie puppies really don’t need a lot of formal exercise like walkies.

How Much Exercise Do French Bulldogs Need?

Whilst they may seem like little balls of energy when it comes to walkies they should be limited to around 3 minutes for each month of their age.

What Are The Best Toys  For French Bulldogs?

Snuffle mats, Kongs, Food puzzles, Lickimats and Interactive toys are great choices to keep your Frenchie occupied.

How can I monitor my French Bulldogs activity level?

To make sure you’re keeping them in tip-top shape, get a PitPat dog activity monitor to record exactly how much activity they’re doing.

How much exercise should Frenchies get?

45 minutes of daily exercise is plenty for an adult French Bulldog.

How Long Should You Walk a French Bulldog?

Your French Bulldog’s walk time will vary depending on their age, and also a little bit on their own personality and character.

Do French Bulldogs Need Exercise?

It doesn’t matter what the breed is, and Frenchies are no different; French Bulldogs need exercise.

What is the best way to walk Frenchies?

Whilst Frenchies do sleep a lot ( here’s how much ), when they are awake they have lots of energy to burn, and walking is the best way you can handle this.

Mother of Frenchies

I’m Sarah-Jane White, an Animal Behaviourist and Trainer and one of my degrees is specifically in Canine Behaviour and Training. I’m a supporter and occasionally foster for the Phoenix French Bulldog Rescue and French Bulldog Saviours. I have grown up with bullbreeds and currently have one fawn pied French Bulldog called Dolly, her nickname is Po, after Kung Fu Panda because she loves noodles and has some great ninja moves.

Other articles you might like: