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9 Reasons French Bulldogs Are High Maintenance + 4 Tips

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French bulldogs are incredibly adorable with their cute face and wrinkly skin folds. But this cuteness comes with a price as they’re known for being a high maintenance breed.

Why Are French Bulldogs High Maintenance:

Even though french bulldogs aren’t very big, they’re still one of the higher maintenance dog breeds. While they don’t shed excessively, they’re prone to many health issues, have troubles breathing, require lots of attention, can be stubborn, and aren’t great at regulating their temperature.

In this post you’ll discover:

  • 9 reasons why french bulldogs are high maintenance
  • What health conditions they’re more prone to
  • 4 tips to help make a frenchie as low maintenance as possible (tip #2 is super important)
  • And much much more

Let’s jump right in.

9 Reasons Why French Bulldogs Are High Maintenance

1) Sensitive Stomachs

French bulldogs are known for having rather sensitive stomachs.

They tend to have more food sensitivities than other breeds which makes them more likely to have troubles digesting their food.

It also causes them to fart more than other breeds so if you consider having to put up with smelly farts high maintenance, you can surely add that to the list!

This means you may have to go through a period of testing different types of foods to find one that doesn’t negatively affect them.

Many other dogs can eat just about anything and be perfectly healthy their entire lives.

But unfortunately that’s not the case for french bulldogs.

Their sensitive stomachs need to be handled with care and can take additional time to find a food that agrees with them.

Common ingredients in dog food that can cause an allergic reaction are:

  • Beef
  • Dairy
  • Wheat
  • Chicken
  • Egg
  • Lamb

2) Several Common Health Issues

Unfortunately, health issues aren’t uncommon with french bulldogs.

And when health complications show up, not only does that mean your heart aches more often because your poor pup isn’t healthy, but it can become quite costly in vet bills.

A study done in the UK in 2018 found that 1612 french bulldogs out of 2228 had at least one health issue.

That’s a staggering 72.4% of french bulldogs under veterinary care.

The most common conditions were skin problems (17.9%), ear infections (14%), diarrhea (7.5%), and conjunctivitis (3.2%).

Outside of the conditions found in this study french bulldogs are also more prone to:

  • Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (breathing troubles)
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Thyroid issues

So when it comes to the maintenance of a french bulldog, on average, it certainly requires more effort to help them stay healthy.

3) More Hygienic Help Needed

When it comes to daily or weekly maintenance of a dog, french bulldogs aren’t the highest maintenance, but certainly up there.

While they don’t have a thick double coat that needs daily brushing to ensure your home doesn’t turn into a fur ball, they still need skin & coat maintenance.

Unfortunately, a french bulldog’s adorable skin folds come at a price.

And the price is that they need to be cleaned often otherwise they’ll get skin fold dermatitis or an infection.

The reason the largest percentage of french bulldogs in that UK study had skin problems was because of their skin folds.

Moisture gets trapped in their folds which creates an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.

And if their skin folds rub together too much it can create an open wound that turns into an infection.

The only way to prevent this from happening is to give their skin folds extra care and clean them regularly.

Related Reading: 8 Reasons Why French Bulldogs Smell + 7 Ways To Stop It

4) Can Be Stubborn

French bulldogs can be one of the more hard-headed breeds out there.

If they don’t think something will be fun and enjoyable, for the most part, they’ll be uninterested in doing it.

This means if your training isn’t exciting them, they might simply ignore you.

Which can make training them rather difficult.

And if you don’t have the time to make your training interesting to them, or aren’t even sure exactly how to even do that.

It can make training basic commands to your french bulldog a little more difficult than other breeds.

Which of course makes them higher maintenance than a dog who’s willing to listen to you no matter what.

5) Not The Brightest Breed

A study done in 1994 by Stephen Coren looked at the intelligence levels of various popular breeds and ranked them out of 131.

French bulldogs ranked 58. Which doesn’t make them an unintelligent breed, but does put them somewhere in the middle.

Stephen categorized them with a ‘fair working and obedience intelligence’.

Which means it can take them anywhere between 40-80 repetitions to learn a new command.

And this can take weeks depending on how much time you have to train them.

So based on how many repetitions it takes french bulldogs to learn new tricks/commands, it makes them more high maintenance than those who can learn things in 5-15 repetitions.

6) Require Lots Of Attention

There’s no question, french bulldogs can be rather demanding when it comes to getting attention.

They were bred to be human companions which means over many years they’ve gotten used to being picked up and held by humans.

Which has naturally made them become more needy for attention.

Without getting plenty of attention on a daily basis, your frenchie might throw a temper tantrum here and there.

A perfect display of a higher maintenance pup.

Related Reading: 12 Reasons Why Frenchies Are So Clingy & Needy + Tips

7) Overheat More Easily

Because french bulldogs are a brachycephalic breed and have trouble breathing, they tend to overheat more easily.

After exercise it will take them longer to catch their breath and calm down.

If they’ve been outside in the heat for a while or if it’s hot inside your home, they will get uncomfortable quicker because they struggle to cool themselves down.

Panting is one of the more important ways for dogs to cool themselves down and regulate their temperature.

And french bulldogs aren’t efficient with their panting because of their narrow and potentially deformed airways.

So they become a little more high maintenance when the weather gets warmer.

You have to ensure they have shade to relax in, plenty of cool water to drink and maybe even a shallow kiddie pool for them to walk in.

8) Get Cold Easily

On the flip side, french bulldogs are also not great at retaining their body heat during the winter months.

They don’t have a thick double coat like a husky does.

They have a thin, single layer coat that doesn’t do a great job at keeping them warm during the winter.

This means they may not want to go for walks when it’s super cold out and may need a jacket/sweater during winter.

You’ll likely also find them snuggling up under a blanket if it gets cold inside.

Requiring a little extra care to help french bulldogs regulate their temperature during both warm and cold times of the year certainly contributes to their high maintenance.

9) Not Great Swimmers

If you have a pool in your backyard, a cottage, or plan on going to a cottage with a french bulldog, you’ll have to keep a close eye on them when near the water.

French bulldogs are not notoriously good swimmers.

Which means if they’re going to be by water, they should have a life jacket of some sort on them to ensure they keep their head above water.

Pairing their lack of swimming skills with their genetically poor ability to breathe, letting them swim on their own can be a recipe for disaster.

Since many other dog breeds can learn to swim pretty quick, the fact that french bulldogs aren’t great swimmers adds to their higher maintenance.

4 Tips To Help You Handle Your High Maintenance French Bulldog

1) Experiment With Different Foods

While having to do this in the first place would definitely be considered high maintenance, in the long run it’ll help make your french bulldog less high maintenance.

This is because their stomach won’t have nearly as many problems when you can identify what ingredient they’re sensitive to and eliminate it from their diet.

Once you’re finished testing different foods to see what doesn’t cause your pup excessive gas, diarrhea, or vomiting they’ll be much less work in that department.

2) Keep Them At a Healthy Weight

Because of french bulldogs’ innate breathing problems, keeping them at a healthy weight is even more important.

When a french bulldog gets overweight not only does breathing become more difficult but they’re much more likely to get other health related issues.

Ensuring they get daily physical activity and not overeating is a great way to keep your frenchie lower maintenance.

3) Build a Hygiene Routine

While this may seem like a high maintenance activity, once it becomes a habit you’ll be able to do it on autopilot and it won’t be bothersome to do anymore.

It will also ensure their skin folds never get in too bad of shape, their teeth are cleaned so no dental hygiene issues, and their skin & coat stays healthy and strong.

This slightly more tedious habit can ensure they don’t get injured or ill nearly as often which would in turn make them more less high maintenance.

Little bits of effort over a long period of time can help ensure your frenchie stays clean and healthy.

4) Regular Vet Check Ins

Ensuring your french bulldog sees the vet at least twice a year can help keep their health in check.

Being proactive with vet visits is the best way to keep a french bulldog from being high maintenance in terms of extra care from health issues.

Other posts you might find interesting:

12 Best Beds For French Bulldogs: Beds That Last

11 Reasons Why French Bulldogs Are So Hyper + 4 Tips

Why Do French Bulldogs Snort & Grunt? The Truth + 4 Tips

Top 4 Reasons French Bulldogs Army Crawl + Helpful Tips


French Bulldog

Demography and disorders of the French Bulldog population under primary veterinary care in the UK in 2013

Stanley Coren’s dog intelligence ranking