For those who are considering adopting a French bulldog, or who have just adopted their own furry friend, this is an exciting time. You’re likely wondering what your Frenchie will be like. As you picture life with your Frenchie, you may wonder: Do French bulldogs have webbed feet? The answer is more complicated than you might expect.
The webbing between dogs’ toes is less of a binary characteristic and more of a spectrum. While French Bulldogs do have webbing between their toes, this webbing differs from those of other dog breeds.
In this article, we’ll explore the science behind whether French bulldogs have webbed feet, along with how to see whether your Frenchie has webbed feet. Then, we’ll discuss what the answer to this question means for your Frenchie.
Do French Bulldogs Have Webbed Feet?
All dogs are born with webbed feet. As they grow and develop, the amount of webbing between their toes decreases as they grow out of it. Different breeds of dog retain different amounts of webbing between their toes. Some breeds, like the Labrador retriever and Irish water spaniel, retain high amounts of webbing between their toes. What about the French bulldog?
During development, French bulldogs lose most of the webbing between their toes. At the end of development, French bulldogs are left with not nearly as much webbing between their toes as other breeds, such as the Labrador retriever and the Irish water spaniel. French bulldogs do not retain quite enough webbing for this webbing to be functional, as discussed later.
French bulldogs do, however, retain some of the webbing between their toes. Dependent upon variations between individual dogs, they have a medium to small amount of skin connecting their toes. Though small, this is considered webbing, since it is the remnants of the toe webbing that was present earlier in development.
The question of whether French bulldogs have webbed paws is complicated by the compact size of the French bulldog’s paw. The minimal webbing that French bulldogs’ paws do have is not as functional as that of larger dog breeds, because the compact size of the French bulldog’s paws mean that its toes do not spread as wide, therefore not exposing the webbing as much.
Given this information, the answer to the question of whether French bulldogs have webbed feet is mixed; French bulldogs do have some webbing between their toes, but the amount of webbing is quite minimal compared to the webbing of other breeds of dog. On the spectrum of toe webbing, French bulldogs fall somewhere on the middle to lower end.
Some French bulldogs may have a high degree of webbing between their toes, or their toes may appear to be fused together. This is not typical of French bulldogs, and it may indicate a health issue. If a French bulldog’s toes are connected too tightly or fused together, this may cause physical health issues because it impacts the way in which the dog walks and runs.
How do I see my Frenchie’s webbing?
If you have a French bulldog of your own, you may be interested to see how your furry friend’s toe webbing compares. To examine your French bulldog’s toe webbing, gently pull its toes apart. Look for a flap of skin that connects the toes to each other, much like the foot of a duck. The webbing may be more difficult to expose on a French bulldog due to its small size.
When checking the degree of webbing between your French bulldog’s toes, you should also ensure that none of its toes appear to be fused together or appear to have lots of webbing. As discussed earlier, this may be indicative of a health issue. If this is the case, we recommend reaching out to your local veterinarian for guidance.
Does webbing vary between Frenchies?
After the preceding discussion, you may wonder: Do individual French bulldogs vary in the level of webbing in their paws?
Individual dogs within the French bulldog breed may vary a bit in the amount of webbing that they have in their paws. This variation is the result of differing development. A French bulldog’s individual characteristics such as their genes and the physical environment in which they developed may result in one French bulldog having a little more webbing than another.
Given this information, French bulldogs that come from the same litter are more likely to have similar amounts of webbing, as they come from the same genes. Therefore, you will be more likely to see French bulldogs with similar amounts of webbing within facilities that house related dogs, such as breeding facilities.
However, even though variation exists within the French bulldog breed, the breed of a dog is a much better predictor of the level of webbing in a dog’s paws. The differences between individual French bulldogs’ degree of webbing are much less than the difference in webbing between breeds.
How will foot webbing affect my French bulldog?
Now, you may be wondering: How will the amount of webbing in my French bulldog’s paws affect my dog’s activities and health?
The degree of webbing between a French bulldog’s toes has the following important effects:
- It makes French bulldogs relatively poor swimmers.
- It makes French bulldogs relatively poor diggers.
- It impacts French bulldogs’ ratings at dog shows.
- It makes French bulldogs a relatively clean breed.
- It makes French bulldogs less likely to get fleas and ticks.
- It makes French bulldogs less susceptible to injury.
- It makes French bulldogs less susceptible to rashes and skin irritation.
We will discuss each of these subjects in the following sections.
Effects on activities
Webbing between French bulldogs’ toes is linked with their swimming abilities. While not a hard and fast rule, dogs with lots of webbing tend to be better swimmers, whereas dogs with little webbing between their toes tend to be poor swimmers. For that reason, French bulldogs usually struggle to swim, like this furry friend. We recommend putting your Frenchie in a life jacket.
The amount of webbing between your French bulldog’s toes also affects its ability to dig. Since Frenchies have little webbing between their toes, they are not great at digging. This is beneficial for most people, as French bulldogs tend to be companion pets, and owners do not want them to dig in the yard. However, this is a negative for people who seek a working dog to dig up pests.
The amount of webbing between a French bulldog’s toes is also important for dog shows. During dog shows, the judges examine a dog’s feet and determine whether the dog’s feet are up to par in terms of appearance and functionality. In this case, it is advised for the dog to have an amount of webbing that is complementary to their breed, so Frenchies with average webbing fare best here.
Effects on health
The webbing between your French bulldog’s toes contributes to its hygiene and the mess the dog will create. Webbed toes more easily grip dirt, snow, and water. Therefore, compared to other dog breeds, French bulldogs’ paws tend to be less of a hassle to clean up after, and they will be less likely to bring dirt, snow and mud into the house.
The webbing between your French bulldog’s toes also contributes to how prone your furry friend will be to fleas and ticks. Since the webbing creates a small flap in the French bulldog’s paw that can trap debris, this flap will also trap small bugs such as fleas and ticks. Therefore, the minimal webbing on the French bulldog is ideal for keeping fleas and ticks at bay.
The webbing between dogs’ toes consists of fragile skin. Therefore, the webbing is prone to being torn when the dog runs through rough terrain. For this reason, French bulldogs’ minimal webbing is beneficial; dogs with a greater degree of webbing are more prone to tears, whereas French bulldogs are less likely to encounter this injury.
The skin that makes up the webbing in a dog’s toes also makes the dog more susceptible to rashes and skin irritation. Since the webbing clings to moisture and dirt, dogs with lots of webbing between their toes are more likely to grow bacteria and experience irritation in the area. Therefore, French bulldogs’ minimal toe webbing is beneficial for avoiding rashes and irritation.
If you still have questions about the webbing between French bulldogs’ toes, we recommend chatting with your local veterinarian. If you are considering adopting a French bulldog, your veterinarian will be able to help you make an educated decision. If you already have your own Frenchie, your local veterinarian will help you stay informed about your furry friend’s health.
In conclusion, French bulldogs do have webbed feet, but the webbing is much less prominent than that of other breeds, and even less noticeable after their adolescent years.
If you still have questions regarding French bulldogs’ webbed feet, you should reach out to your local veterinarian for guidance.