Do French Bulldogs Shed?: All dogs shed, but some a bit more than others. Contrary to popular belief, a short coat doesn’t always mean minimal shedding, so don’t let short-coat breeds fool you.
French Bulldogs are endearing, family-friendly, and loyal pooches adored by many. The Frenchie breed was voted the number four most popular dog breed in 2020 by the American Kennel Club. While there’s so much to love about Frenchies, French Bulldog shedding isn’t always so fun. Fortunately, knowing the causes, great products that help control it, and what to do about excess shedding can make it more than manageable.
Although considered a low-shedding breed, the French bulldog shedding circle depends on many factors. They are famous for their smooth, shiny, and silky coats and cute bat ears that make them one of the most unique-looking dogs in the World.
I will give you the best overview based on real, personal experience and comments from other owners, followed by some solutions.
This brings the question: do French Bulldogs shed a lot?
French Bulldogs shed with moderation during the year, shedding the most twice a year – during the fall and spring. They also have short and smooth coat that requires low grooming.
Shedding can become a problem when it is excessive or challenging to manage. Let’s see what tips you can implement to reduce it!
Why French Bulldogs Shed Less
There are several reasons why French Bulldogs shed so much less than others. While they may not be hypoallergenic, they’re close enough.
Frenchie’s Single Coat Sheds Less
French Bulldogs are fortunate enough to have been developed with a single coat. And like it sounds, a single coat is a single layer of fur. However, not all dog breeds have a single coat – many sport double coats.
The difference is that double-coated dog breeds have two layers of fur: an undercoat and a topcoat. This coat type is typically seen in either working dogs or breeds developed to withstand cold temperatures or both.
The undercoat is a dense coat that keeps the dog warm in harshly cold climates. It has a wool-like feel, which is probably why it’s so effective for insulation.
However, the topcoat has a different purpose. The second layer protects the dog from water, snow, shrubs, grass, or other environmental hazards. Perhaps it’s why the hairs of the topcoat are called “guard hairs.”
French Bulldogs, on the other hand, were bred to be companions. That’s it. Breeders had bred down the English Bulldog to create a “toy” version for English lace-makers in the mid to late 1800s. As such, Frenchies didn’t need double coats.
Sadly, dogs with two layers of fur have double the opportunities to shed. So, owners are lucky that French Bulldogs are single-coated dogs.
A Small Dog Leads to Less Shedding
French Bulldogs are not big dogs. They weigh no more than 16 to 28 pounds and grow no taller than 12 inches in most cases. They were purposely bred to be small-sized dogs to fit in their owners’ laps conveniently.
This means there’s less surface area on the Frenchie, thus less fur to shed. Small dog breeds may be relatively high-shedding dogs, but compared to a Great Dane, they will not shed nearly as much fur.
Fortunately for French Bulldogs, they’re both small and low-shedding dog breeds. So when it comes to the amount of fur you’ll have to clean up, you’ll have a much easier time. Still, this doesn’t mean no grooming is needed.
Reasons For Heavier Shedding in Frenchies
French Bulldogs won’t usually shed a storm in the home. However, there may be times when they’ll shed heavier than usual. These reasons for excessive shedding can range from underlying health issues to poor nutrition or genetics.
Frenchie Coat Colors Matter?
Sometimes the coat color of the dog may affect the amount of shedding. Most Pug owners will admit that black pugs shed less than fawn-colored Pugs. However, do colors affect the amount of shedding with French Bulldogs?
French Bulldogs have many colors they can come in. And according to AKC’s official breed standard, there are nine standard colors with 11 recognized coat colors. Depending on the coat color, the feel of the coat may be different.
After searching through forums, the consensus is that cream and light-fawn-colored French Bulldogs shed more than others. On the other hand, black and dark brindle-colored dogs shed the least.
Another owner claims his black & brindle-colored French Bulldog has a more silky and smooth coat, whereas his parent-in-law’s cream Frenchie has a coarse coat that sheds easier. But of course, there’s no conclusive evidence as to why this is.
Coat Blowing in Frenchies
The coat blow in dogs is a natural phenomenon where dogs shed their existing coats in preparation for a temperature change. It’s a way for dogs, especially those with thick double coats, to regulate their body temperature.
However, coat blowing is far more common and apparent in double-coated dog breeds because they have more fur. However, it doesn’t mean single-coated dogs like your Frenchie won’t experience this either.
In the summer, dogs need lighter coats to stay cool in warmer temperatures. But by wintertime, they’ll need a different coat. That is, their thicker and denser winter coats. To switch coats, dogs must shed in the spring and fall.
French Bulldogs only shed “a lot” twice a year – spring and fall. During the spring, the dog sheds the winter coat in preparation for the summer coat. Likewise, fall is when your Frenchie sheds the summer coat for the winter coat.
Malnutrition in Frenchies
Another reason your French Bulldog may experience heavier, or even excessive, shedding is when they aren’t receiving enough nutrients in their diets. According to Dr. Roy Cruzen DVM, this is the number 1 reason for excessive shedding in dogs.
Current research into canine nutrition has shown that a well-balanced diet is necessary for a healthy dog. The ideal canine diet consists of essential minerals, vitamins, proteins, and fats (fatty acids). But unfortunately, not all dogs are getting this.
It’s far too common for owners to go into discount stores to buy a huge bag of the cheapest dog food. And more often than not, they see increased shedding in their dogs. While buying premium isn’t necessary, you should buy from a reputable brand.
Roy Cruzen estimates that quality dog food should cost around $4 per pound, though it will vary. So next time you’re looking for your Frenchie’s food, skip the cheap discount stores. Also, some occasional fruits and veggie treats may be good.
Like us, humans’ skin breaks out when we get stressed; the same thing happens with our Frenchies too.
Abnormally excessive shedding can be caused by various medical issues only your veterinarian can help you with. If you suspect Frenchie’s shedding could be caused by the following, visit the vet!
- Fungal or bacterial infections
- Some form of allergy
- Kidney, liver, thyroid, or adrenal disease
- Immune disease
Females on Their Period
If you own a female French Bulldog, its heat cycle can affect its shedding patterns.
This is especially true during their first period.
Female French Bulldogs’ bodies normally adjust to the start of their heat cycle.
These hormonal changes can impact their skin and hair.
You might find bald patches around their bodies as well.
If the symptoms persist even after your Frenchie’s heat cycle is over, then it’s best to get a medical professional’s advice.
Age and Genetics
Genetics will essentially decide whether your Frenchie is a heavy or light shedder.
Scientists have found a gene that’s highly associated with shedding patterns named MC5R.
This gene is responsible for the glands on your dog’s skin that give off sebum or oils.
This points to a possible connection between how much sebum is produced and hair shedding.
Your Frenchie’s gene expression could then play a role in their constant shedding.
The older a French Bulldog gets, the bigger they are and the more surface area they have.
With more skin comes more shedding.
That doesn’t discount the fact that Frenchie puppies also undergo a shedding phase as they mature around six months after birth.
Signs of excessive shedding in French Bulldogs
Look out for these signs. If you notice any of these, bring them up at your next vet appointment.
- Skin irritation
- Open sores
- Bald spots
- Coat thinning
- Dull & dry hair
- Constant scratching, foot licking, and/or face rubbing
Regardless of the reason for your Frenchie’s shedding, there’s often an easy solution.
The hardest part is finding out why they’re shedding.
Tips to Reduce French Bulldog Shedding
Dealing with French Bulldog shedding doesn’t have to be a pain, but it is still necessary for a healthy coat and a clean home.
With that said, here are some French Bulldog grooming tips to handle shedding. You’ll need to spend time brushing and bathing your dog. Plus, we make a few recommendations on supplements for a healthy coat!
1 – Determine If It Is Excessive Shedding
According to WebMD Veterinary Reference, excessive shedding can be caused by stress, poor nutrition, allergies, or medical problem.
During a check-up, your veterinarian will be able to determine if your French Bulldog’s hair loss is part of the normal shedding process or is a symptom of an underlying disorder.
Signs of excessive shedding in French Bulldogs include:
- Skin irritation (redness, bumps, rashes or scabs).
- Open sores.
- Bald spots or thinning of the coat.
- Dull or dry hair.
- Constant foot licking or face rubbing.
If you notice any of the following, consult with your veterinarian.
2 – Eliminate What Causes Excessive Shedding
Once the vet eliminates the possibility of a medical condition like:
- Fungal or bacterial infections.
- Some form of allergy.
- Kidney, liver, thyroid, or adrenal disease.
- Immune disease.
But you notice a change in how much your French Bulldogs shed, here’s a list of possible causes:
- Bathing too often and/or using a shampoo with harmful ingredients.
- Lack of regular brushing.
- A diet low in nutrients.
- Living in a stressful environment.
Next, let’s see how to put these into practice!
3 – Adapt Your French Bulldog’s Bathing Routine
Does bathing my French Bulldog help with shedding?
More often than not, bathing your French Bulldog doesn’t improve shedding. On the contrary, overly bathing your pooch can cause skin irritation.
As a rule of thumb, dogs only need to have a bath when they get filthy or start to smell.
They need natural oils in their fur to keep their coats and skin healthy and frequent bathing strips these oils out of their skin.
Which shampoo should I use?
Go for a dog shampoo that is:
- Free of harsh chemicals (i.e., no sulfates and fragrance).
- Certified organic ingredients (like organic coconut oil).
- D-trans Allethrin: It is from a class of synthetic chemicals called pyrethroids, derived from natural chemicals found in chrysanthemums. Synthetic varieties are significantly more potent and persistent than naturally-occurring products and can cause allergic responses. Also, a suspected endocrine system disruptor.
- Resmethrin: It is also from the chemical class called pyrethroids.
- Pyriproxyfen and S-Methoprene: It is considered relatively safe with low toxicity. However, data is lacking about their risks when combined with the above chemicals, which may be true in some dog shampoos.
Since Frenchies have sensitive skin and are prone to develop skin allergies, I suggest you buy a hypoallergenic dog shampoo suitable for sensitive skin. Check out the following Bathing Salt created especially for those furry gremlins. Another option may present a bathing salt that will not sting their eyes and cause any irritations on their skin.
Also, it would help if you avoided oatmeal shampoos since some dogs (including Frenchies and Boston Terriers) have allergy problems with grains.
4 – Brush Your Frenchie’s Coat Weekly
Your French Bulldog doesn’t require daily brushing thanks to their short coat. However, it would help if you brushed your Frenchie weekly to eliminate the excessive dead hair on their coat.
Brushing your dog will also help you to keep an eye on parasites like fleas, lice, mites, and ticks, which cause skin problems and more severe issues too.
Another advantage of this breed is that they don’t need regular bathing unless they get very dirty or start to smell. Plus, overbathing your pooch can cause skin irritation and make things worse!
5 – Feed Your Dog A Balanced Diet
Whether you buy your dog food or make it yourself, your pup needs a species-appropriate balanced diet to stay healthy inside and outside.
Fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6, are essential for a healthy coat and can control shedding.
Also, your Frenchie needs to be well-hydrated, essential for good skin and a healthy coat.
So, what does a healthy, species-appropriate diet look like?
Apart from providing your puppy with plenty of fresh water, a dog diet should include the following:
- High-quality protein – muscle meat, not pieces or parts.
- Moderate level of animal fat.
- High levels of EPA and DHA (omega-3s).
- High moisture content.
- A few fresh-cut veggies (mimics prey’s stomach contents).
- No grains.
- No potatoes or other starches.
When trying different dog food, see if you notice any difference in your French Bulldog’s shedding pattern. You can also use natural supplements for dogs, for instance, krill oil capsules, which have omega-3 fatty acids.
6 – Provide a Low-Stress Environment
High-stress levels in dogs can cause excessive shedding.
So, if your French Bulldog is shedding more than usual, he might be under stress.
Many changes and situations can cause stress. Some common triggers include:
- Novelty: Exposure to new items, new people, or new animals, especially when they haven’t been socialized.
- Boredom: Lack of mental stimulation like playtime, exercise, and training.
- Loud noises: Fireworks, thunderstorms, heavy wind, etc.
- Sudden changes: In the house/environment, household members, or daily routine.
- Punitive training methods: Shock collars, yelling, hitting, etc.
- Separation anxiety: Staying at home alone for long hours.
- Trauma: A loss of a fellow pet or owner.
Help your doggie by providing him with a quiet place to chill.
Comments from other owners
During my research and poll (you can see what people said further up the page), I also searched what other owners had said on social media about the subject.
Here are some of the best comments, which have some interesting and alternative tips if you want to try to reduce your Frenchie from shedding so much.
“You could try some olive oil in your Frenchie’s food. Just a little if she eats dry, or feed her a chunk of liverwurst every few days. Oily meat and liver are good for them. Ask for advice from a pet store too.”
“Buster sheds mostly when he is nervous or excited, like at the vet’s office. Normally, he sheds very little compared to our English Bulldog.”
“Ours doesn’t shed much at all, but she is a brindle. I don’t know if that makes any difference. We always give her treats for her coat and put fish or coconut oil in her food. Maybe that would help.”
“Titan sheds horribly. If I move his crate, piles of fur will surround it. Isabelle sheds too. Not horrible. I can tell her fur is different than Titans. Isabelle’s is more like normal short hair dogs. “
“Boris the Frenchie doesn’t shed a lot. I think it helps that I bathe him once a week and use a sprayer to rinse the shampoo off. I think that helps wash the loose hair off too.”
“I don’t know if my Frenchie sheds more than any other dog. I think the amount of shedding is normal compared to the other dogs I’ve owned.”
“I am an animal science student, and we do grooming at our school. We find that rubber curry combs used in circular motions will eliminate the falling out hairs. We also use a coat conditioner spray on my Frenchie’s coat, and it keeps them soft, and I find that they shed less when they have it on.”
“Moses is dark brindle, and he does not shed much, only a few days when he changes from a winter coat. I also use a furminator and finish with a small hand-held dust vacuum cleaner. “
Frenchies are hypoallergenic, and with 10% of people suffering from allergies, all this hair could present you with a problem.
If you are allergic, you might want to re-consider having a French Bulldog as a pet. You will have a lot of shedding, lots of hair, and lots of sneezing and runny eyes.
If you feel you can cope with the hair, then Frenchies make for amazing companions. However, be prepared to deal with it – I hope these notes have given you an idea of what to expect and how you can handle things well.
You might find your Frenchie shedding a little all year, but most of the time, hair will end up on the furniture in the spring and warmer weather. To prevent too much of a mess, keep up with his grooming and take steps to create a healthier coat.
While these steps should cut down on shedding, there will always be a little. Invest in a good vacuum cleaner and follow the usual tips and tricks for picking up dog hair.