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Can French Bulldogs Swim?

French bulldogs are a popular dog breed kept by many as a pet.

Despite their love of water, these dogs cannot swim primarily because of their build.

So no, French Bulldogs cannot swim, but you can still take them in the water!

Their flat face makes it impossible to keep their heads above the water to breathe.

The inability to swim creates a lot of complications for the dog, especially during summer when it is scorching.

This article explains why French bulldogs cannot swim and how you can keep your pet cool during hot days.

Why Can’t They Swim?

French bulldogs are brachycephalic dogs, which is why they cannot swim.

Dogs under this classification are flat-faced, and their snouts are short, making it impossible to lift their heads out of the water to encourage swimming.

If only they could keep their noses above the water level, maybe they would be better at swimming like other dog breeds.

If it tries tilting its head up for some air, its center of gravity lowers and makes them sink.

It is more challenging to stay afloat when your center of gravity is inconsistent and lower than the water level.

Their short legs and bulky torso are also indicators that the French bulldog was not meant for water.

Although our research claims that French bulldogs cannot swim, you may have seen some swimming videos online.

You can train your pet to swim, but you will have to invest your time in the training process.

Note that not all Frenchies can be taught to swim.

Other factors also affect your dog’s ability to float, including fatigue and humidity.

The muscles of the French bulldog weigh more than the fat composition in its body, which is another reason contributing to its inability to swim.

The short snout and legs make the pet’s top heavier, upsetting the general balance of the animal in water, causing it to sink.

Other indicators of ‘top heavy’ dogs include a big head or heavy chest, and they may limit their ability to hold their head out of the water.

french bulldog in stream

Do Frenchies Like Water?

Frenchies love water like any other dog breed.

Their love for the water is most visible in the summer when it needs to cool off.

Please pay close attention to your pet when close to large pools of water, as they are more likely to jump in.

Your French bulldog will not hesitate to get in the pool if given the opportunity.

You can avoid this by training your dog to avoid human-sized pools while still young.

You can also consider other approaches to allowing it to enjoy the water, like children’s pools or life vests.

Numerous life vests guarantee to keep your French bulldog afloat, and you will need to consider aspects like weight when picking out an option to purchase.

Do French Bulldogs Float?

No, French bulldogs cannot float.

Their muscle density and body shape make it impossible to keep their face out of the water.

They are top-heavy, which means their muscle content is more significant than fat, so they can’t float.

How To Take a Frenchie in The Water

There are numerous ways to get a Frenchie in the water without compromising its wellbeing.

However, paying close attention is necessary for your pet, as leaving it unattended is dangerous.

This section explains how your French bulldog can enjoy the water and cool off on those hot days.

Life Jackets

One approach you can use to take your Frenchie into the water is equipping it with a life jacket.

There are life jackets specific to French bulldogs, and they come in different sizes to fit different body types.

When entering the pool, wearing a life jacket will guarantee your dog keeps its head above water, floats, and enjoys having fun in the water.

This strategy provides you with the opportunity to water-train your dog while allowing it to cool off.

Picking the right life jacket size for your French bulldog is essential.

It better positions you to prevent the jacket from slipping off when in water or failing to keep your dog afloat.

Most of the jacket options available also serve as inflatable floating sleeves for children and still guarantee to keep them above the water level.

Ensure you closely observe their activities in the pool; although they have a life jacket on, you can never be too careful.

Even after equipping your French bulldog with a life jacket, keeping its nose above water may still be challenging.

Consistent supervision removes any possibility of your pet drowning.

Avoid waters with unpredictable tides and currents as it is not a good place for your pet to play in water.

Kiddie Pools

Another safe option you could consider allowing your French bulldog to enjoy the water in summer is Kiddie pools.

Kiddie pools have chest-deep water levels, allowing your dog to maneuver easier than in adult pools.

You will still need to equip it with a life jacket before getting into the pool for added safety.

Maintain supervision as your pet may experience some trouble like fatigue when trying to keep its head above water.

There are various units to consider; others have a collapsible design that allows you to carry the pool around.

Can French Bulldogs Swim in Life Vests?

French bulldogs can be trained to be good swimmers while wearing a well-fitting and approved life vest.

Ensure you closely watch your pet while in water, as there are many risks involved.

The slightest inconvenience can upset your dog’s balance, and the vests slip off, leaving your pet to drown.

One practical approach to avoiding the jacket slip is getting the ideal size for your animal.

PetMD recommends the ‘buddy system’ to train your French bulldog.

This technique involves praising and gifting your pet with treats before, during, and after a training session.

A ritual approach proves significant in water-training your dog; you can include additional commands like safely exiting the water to increase water safety.

A life jacket is not enough to save your dog in case of a water emergency; make an effort to water train it.

If you find the water training process tedious, you can always opt for professional trainers.

Focus on training sites with little to no water current to allow breathing since their snout is short.

Note that your pet’s head going under is still possible even with a life jacket, so remain alert.

Tips for Training Your French Bulldog to Swim with a Life Vest

Remove All Distractions

When training your French bulldog to swim, one key consideration is removing all distractions.

An ideal training location should be quiet and well lit.

You should consider near the river, lake or a swimming pool.

A distraction-free site will allow your pet to understand orders better and create the ideal environment to learn new skills.

Keep It on a Leash

It would help to keep your Frenchie on a leash during the training.

The leash prevents it from swimming too far from you while allowing you to control its movements in the pool.

It would help to wait until your pet can swim without its vest before detaching the leash during practice sessions.

Avoid Throwing it in the water

Throwing your French bulldog in the water is not good for swimming training.

It will create a negative relationship between your pet and the water, affecting its willingness to learn to swim.

Throwing your dog in the water frightens them, making them more cautious with future swimming and water-related activities.

Create a Training Schedule

The best way to teach your French bulldog how to swim is by being next to them during training.

You need to create a swimming training schedule that features activities you can both engage in.

One typical move would be joining your pet for a swim.

Ensure the Frenchies life jacket is fastened before introducing it to the water.

You can start with short walks in the pool, giving your pet some time to get the feel of the water on its paws.

A simple procedure of getting your pet in and out of water will let your Frenchie understand how to access a pool safely.

Other commands require involving training techniques, and you can consult with dog professionals for a more informed take on these techniques.

French bulldogs cannot swim since their body composition makes it difficult to float and breathe in water.

Their inability to swim limits their cooling opportunities in the summer.

However, there are other approaches to guarantee your pet is safe in the water, as discussed in this article.

Ensure you adhere to the information shared to improve water safety for your French bulldog.

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National Canine Research Association of America