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French Bulldogs certainly seem to spend a lot of time on the couch. This, of course, begs a question: Are French Bulldogs lazy?
While they do seem to like their leisure time, most French Bulldogs are going to have a low-to-moderate activity level. They do need a lot of sleep, though, so naps during the day are completely normal and shouldn’t be a cause for alarm. Your dog isn’t lazy, they just need to rest a little more than some other breeds.
In this article, we’re going to talk a little more about sleepy Frenchies, as well as French Bulldogs on the opposite side of this spectrum, and what you can do to help. Let’s explore your French Bulldog’s energy levels so that you can see why they aren’t actually lazy!
Are French Bulldogs Lazy? How much sleep do they need?
How much sleep your French Bully needs is going to depend a lot on their age. Adult Frenchies, for instance, need the least amount of sleep, but it certainly seems like a lot at 12 to 14 hours daily. Keep in mind that you are also factoring in night-sleep with this total, your dog just likes a few daily naps.
Puppies and older Frenchies, by contrast, sleep quite a bit more. Every day, they are going to sleep a total of 18 to even 20 hours. This is perfectly normal for them, as pups are still developing and older dogs have just slowed down a bit with the passage of time. It happens to the best of us, after all!
What are ‘normal’ Frenchie energy levels?
French Bulldogs could be considered ‘mild to moderate’ as far as their energy levels go. This doesn’t mean that they are lazy – it’s more accurate to say that their energy seems to come in quick bursts from time to time.
One of the reasons for this is that they are a Brachycephalic breed. This is just a fancy way of saying that your Frenchie has a ‘flat face’, but it’s important to note that this comes with its caveats – mostly in that thee dogs need to moderate their physical activity.
Too much exercise, for instance, can leaving them breathing heavily or even with alarming difficulty. They also aren’t really geared for swimming either, as they can’t really keep their noses above water. So, how much exercise is really for them?
Your best target for this will be about 60 minutes a day – and not all at once. Break it up into walking and playing sessions, such as 3 20-minute sessions or 4 15-minute sessions and that should keep your dog from getting ‘overworked’.
What do I do if my Frenchie is hyper?
It’s hard to say that any French Bulldog is going to be ‘one way’, as these little characters are definitely unique. From time to time, some owners will end up with the most energetic French Bulldog that they’ve ever encountered and it can be very frustrating when your dog never seems to calm down!
The first thing that you should do if your dog seems to be hyper is to bring them in for some tests at the vet. When a dog is truly hyper, it’s a condition known as ‘hyperkinesis’ and if identified, your vet can prescribe some medication to help your little one to slow down to a normal pace.
The thing is… true hyperkinesis is really quite rare and if your dog always seems hyper when you get home from work, there’s another reason that this might be happening. Your dog might simply be doing all of their napping while you’re out and saving up their energy for when you get home!
Try taking your dog out a few minutes longer during the ‘just got home’ walk and note the difference. Some dogs just have a little more energy than others, and even an extra 5 minutes can help to tire down your dog. Remember, Frenchies are Brachycephalic, so a little extra exercise goes a long way and can calm them down.
Do hyper French Bulldogs ever calm down?
Some Frenchies can be a handful, but you should know that they do calm down over time. Typically, within 2 to 3 years your dog is going to mellow out, but some dogs can take up to 4 or 5 years to do so. That said, no two Frenchies are alike, so there aren’t any guarantees of how long it will take.
The best thing that you can in the meantime is to make sure that your French Bulldog has both a comfortable bed and a good toy cache to keep them occupied. Teaching your dog tricks, such as the classic ‘fetch’, can also make things a little easier.
With fetch, you can often strike a good compromise, by playing fetch with them for a few minutes and then calling them up to the couch to sit next to you. French Bulldog energy comes in bursts, so after a little fetching, the odds are that your little one might settle down and decide to stay still for awhile.
Just remember that these dogs need a lot of sleep, so a little attention will go a long way towards calming your bouncy little Frenchy. Better yet, if you ‘schedule’ those sessions, you’ll find your dog napping on their own schedule in the spaces between. It’s a win-win situation for the both of you!
How can I get my Frenchie to play more?
If your French Bulldog seems to want to lay around all the time, there are certainly ways to pep them up. First, you want to rule out that your dog is sleeping so much out of boredom. An easy way to do this is to take your dog for a trip to the local dog park.
Frenchies love playing and they can make some new friends at the dog park, also bringing home that excited attitude that they build up there. You can also try swapping out there toys with a little more regularity – like human, dogs can get bored of the ‘same old thing’, so new toys can really help to stimulate their minds and attitudes.
If new toys don’t help and you are spending a lot of time away from home, you might even consider getting your dog a playmate. As a general rule, If you bring home another Frenchie, then choosing one of the opposite genders will help them to get along more quickly and avoid any territorial behavior.
If you choose another breed, there are a few that are known to be quite compatible with French Bulldogs. Greyhounds, Boston Terriers, and English Spring Spaniels are just a few good options for your best friend’s new buddy. If you can’t be home as much as you’d like, this might be an excellent option for both you and your dog.
Expect more sleep in winter
When the winter comes, your dog is going to nap noticeably more than they do in the warmer months. That’s because your short-haired French Bulldog get chilly rather easily. During this time, you can help out by leaving out some extra blankets that they can burrow under and you might even consider a heating pad.
For outside walks, you can also help by getting your Frenchie a winter doggy coat and if shoes seem a bit weird, you can get paw balm and this will help to keep their feet from getting dry and cracking. Finally, shorten the walking time in the winter.
Less time outside will mean a quicker recovery, and this will help to improve your dog’s energy levels as well. Just don’t be too surprised if these little efforts only make a small difference. Your Frenchie will perk up when it gets warmer, they just really dislike the winter months and try their best to sleep through them.
Sleeping as a symptom of depression
If you’ve been home enough to directly observe your dog’s sleeping schedule and it’s well over the expected norm, then it’s possible that your dog is feeling a little depressed. Depressed dogs will also seem a little less interested in their food and much less enthusiastic about activities.
If this is the case, bring your dog in for a checkup with your vet. There are medications that can help, but your vet will want to run some tests first and they will likely have a few things for you to try at home.
With a little patience and a lot of love, your Frenchie will be back to their chipper self in no time, but make that vet visit as soon as you notice the changes in your dog’s behavior!
Some closing words
As you can see, French Bulldogs aren’t lazy and some are even downright hyper! It all depends on the individual dog, however, you can certainly help them to be more or less active, depending on what they need.
If your dog is too ‘mopey’, be sure that they’ve got plenty of toys and consider some dog park visits to pep them up. For hyper dogs, a few extra minutes of walking can often calm them down considerably. Finally, remember that your dog will calm down on their own, generally within 2 to 3 years.
Just make sure that they have plenty to do and as long as they are happy, their energy levels shouldn’t be anything to worry about!