Dog Health

Do French Bulldogs Shed? – 5 Reasons For a Shedding French Bulldog

Frenchie shedding under the sheets.
Written by Tracey

French Bulldogs have quietly amassed a huge following in recent years. And as the most popular small dog in America, Frenchies have become a top-choice for many families. But for sensitive owners, dog shedding can be a real concern.

So, do French Bulldogs shed a lot? Most French Bulldogs do not shed much, though it depends on genetics. Some Frenchies, depending on coat color, may shed more than others. But thanks to the thin single coats of French Bulldogs, most owners can enjoy a relatively low-shedding coat.

French Bulldogs aren’t the heaviest shedding dogs – not even close. However, the basics of grooming should still be applied. Read on to learn why Frenchies shed less than other dogs and how to properly care for their coats.

RECOMMENDED: 55 Best Hypoallergenic Dogs

Why Frenchies Shed Less

Blue Frenchies are beautiful dogs, but there are a lot of health problems that may arise with these dogs.

There are a number of reasons why French Bulldogs shed so much less than others. While they may not be hypoallergenic, they’re close enough.

Frenchie’s Single Coat

French Bulldogs are fortunate enough to have been developed with a single coat. And like it sounds, a single coat is, well, 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 topcoat. This type of coat is typically seen in either working dogs or breeds developed to withstand cold temperatures, or both.

The undercoat is a dense coat that’s meant to keep the dog warm in harsh cold climate. It has a wool-like feel, which is probably why it’s so effective for insulation.

Recently we noticed some of our Frenchie’s fur feels very coarse and rough. Its mainly on his back, down his spine, everywhere else is still really soft.

– Momof3 (French Bulldog News)

However, the topcoat has a different purpose. The second layer is meant to protect the dog from water, snow, shrubs, grass or any other environmental hazards. Perhaps it’s why the hairs of the topcoat is 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 1800’s. As such, Frenchies didn’t need double coats.

Needless to say, dogs that have two layers of fur have double the opportunities to shed. So, owners are lucky that French Bulldogs are single-coated dogs.

The Small Frenchie

French Bulldogs are not big dogs. In fact, they were purposely bred to be small-sized dogs to conveniently fit in the laps of their owners. They weigh no more than 16 to 28 pounds, and grow no taller than 12 inches in most cases.

What this means is 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 dogs 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

Fawn is a popular and attractive color for French Bulldogs.

French Bulldogs won’t usually shed up a storm in the home. However, there may be times when they’ll shed heavier than usual. These reasons for excessive shedding can range anywhere 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 a fawn-colored Pug. 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 9 standard colors with a total of 11 recognized coat colors. Depending on the coat color, the feel of the coat may be different.

We have three light fawns and constantly sweep up blonde hair. Our dark fawn and dark brindle don’t seem to shed that much, even when you run you hands down their backs.

– David H. (French Bulldog News)

After searching through forums, the overall 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 that his black & brindle colored French Bulldog has a more silky and smooth coat, whereas his parent-in-laws’ 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 will 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 dogs breeds simply because they have more fur. Though it doesn’t mean single coated dogs like your Frenchie won’t experience this as well.

Jax usually sheds pretty a lot twice a year (winter coat and summer coat) but it’s never been that bad. 

– Cbrugs (French Bulldog News)

In the summer, dogs need a lighter coat to stay cool in warmer temperatures. But by winter time, they’ll need a different coat. That is, their thicker and denser winter coats. In order to switch coats, dogs will need to shed in the spring and fall.

French Bulldogs only really shed “a lot” twice a year – spring and fall. During the spring, the dog is shedding the winter coat in preparation for the summer coat. Likewise, fall is the time 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 of course, fats (fatty acids). But unfortunately, not all dogs are getting this.

Even though the dog food meets the minimum requirements, it may not have enough protein or nutrients for your pet.

– Roy Cruzen DVM

It’s far too common that owners go into discount stores to buy a huge bag of the cheapest dog food. And more often than not, they see an increase of shedding in their dogs. While it isn’t necessary to buy premium, you should be buying 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.

Dealing With Frenchie Shedding

Creamed color Frenchies are probably the rarest colors for this breed.

Dealing with French Bulldog shedding doesn’t have to be a pain, but it is still necessary for a healthy coat and clean home. If you don’t want to deal with grooming, then the Frenchie is not for you. Instead, check out these hairless dogs.

With that said, here are some French Bulldog grooming tips to handle the shedding. You’ll need to spend time brushing and bathing your dog. Plus, we make a few recommendations on supplements for a healthy coat!

Brushing French Bulldogs

Brushing is essential for all dogs with hair, hypoallergenic or not. The good news is that the French Bulldog has a short and thin coat, meaning matting won’t be a big problem. Still, it’s best to use the proper tools for a Frenchie’s coat.

These dogs don’t have thick double coats, so I wouldn’t recommend something as heavy-duty. Though, many owners have had success with the Furminator. It’s cheap, simple and effective for French Bulldogs.

Veterinarians recommend that you brush your French Bulldog once a week because of the thin coats of the dog. As such, you shouldn’t brush over the same area too frequently while brushing from the top of head down the back.

You’ll need to be careful as to not scratch or injure the skin of the dog with this brush. That said, more frequent brushing may increase the chances of injury. However, you may want to consider brushing twice a week during shedding season.

Bathing French Bulldogs

Another great method of managing the your French Bulldog’s shedding is through frequent bathing. According to Canine Journal, you should bathe your Frenchie at least once every three months. However, it may depend on how dirty your dog gets.

Frenchies that frequently play outdoors may need more baths than others. However, it can be a balancing act. At the same time, you don’t want to give your Frenchie too many baths. That’s because a dog’s coat contains natural oils that protect the skin.

Too many baths will strip away the coat of these natural oils, which may leave the French Bulldog’s skin dry and the coat without its shine. Other dogs may need more frequent baths if the vet recommends it. So, consult with them!

Dog Shampoo for Frenchies

It’s important that you never use human shampoo on your Frenchie. The skin of a dog is much more sensitive than a human’s. While humans have 10-15 layers of skin cells, your dog only has 3-5 layers.

Not to mention all the other chemicals are simply too harsh for your dog. Instead, get dog shampoo that’s actually meant for your four-legged friend. It’s not expensive and it’s will be so much better for your Frenchie. These are our top picks:

  1. Pro Pet Works Oatmeal Dog Shampoo – This is our top choice. We’ve been using this for years and it’s worked great! They have so many happy customers and it’s made in the USA, which means high quality.
  2. Earthbath All Natural Dog Shampoo – Having been on the market for so long, Earthbath Dog Shampoo is truly time-tested. In the past, we were using this with our Corgi and even today, many of our friends use this.
  3. Paws and Pals Dog Shampoo – Paws and Pals is a reputable brand and we just started testing it out with our Miniature Aussie. We’ve heard a lot of good things about it and it smells great. Highly recommended!

When picking out dog shampoo for your Frenchie, it’s best to find an all-natural shampoo. The most popular types are oat-meal based. So if none of our recommendations look good, you know what to look for.

Fatty Acids For Frenchie Coats

Ever wondered how some Frenchie’s coats are so glossy and bright? According to Dawn Logas DVM, the key to a shiny dog coat is in getting enough fatty acids, namely omega-6 (and 3) in their diets. However, not all commercial dog foods have enough.

Omega-6 may be a good supplement if your French Bulldog’s coat is starting lack it’s shine, which is sometimes an indicator of coat health. But before you go out and buy supplements for your dog, it may not be necessary:

Pet stores sell omega-6 supplements, but honestly, sunflower oil or safflower oil works fine.

– Dawn Logas DVM

For a French Bulldog, you’ll only need one teaspoon of sunflower of safflower oil per meal according to the Florida veterinarian. Logas recommends that you make sure the oil is fresh, as it often spoils and becomes less effective.

Omega-6 oil can also be found in corn, evening primrose and borage oils as well. Plus, pork and poultry fat are known to have some too. Just make sure you always consult with your vet before introducing supplements to a dog’s diet.

How Much Do Frenchies Shed?

The Blue Brindle Frenchie is very similar to the Blue Fawn Frenchie, except it has the genes for brindling.

Individual dogs within the same breed will shed differently, so answering this question can be difficult. The best way to gauge how much French Bulldogs shed is by asking real dog owners themselves.

We surveyed the French Bulldog Subreddit and French Bulldog News (forum) to ask the owners this very question. Here’s what they had to say about their dog’s shedding:

Real Owner Answers

1. Weedex says Heavy:Dexter sheds all year – definitely worse when dumping his coat, but I’m not kidding this dogs hair gets everywhere! We eat, sleep and wear the stuff! Furminator definitely helps.”

2. Alice Kabel says Low: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.”

3. Simplysimbs says Low:Simba, our brindle frenchie, doesn’t really shed all that much, we rarely find hairs but maybe it’s because our furniture is also a dark color.”

4. Honey Owners says Heavy: “I also have a fawn french bulldog and she sheds a lot all the time too!”

5. Anns4boys says Heavy:All the dogs i have owned over the last 27 years have been non shedding dogs. Now with two Frenchies, i’m in hair hell!

6. Cryz4cookie says Low:Never had a problem with shedding. If someone told me that the Frenchie is a hypoallergenic dog, I probably would have believed it.

7. Blushy says Mixed:Titan sheds horribly. If I move his crate there will be piles of fur surrounding it. Isabelle sheds too. Not horrible. I can tell her fur is totally different than Titans. Isabelle’s is more like normal short hair dogs.

8. Chiana says Low:Moses is dark brindle and he does not shed much, only few days when he changes from winter coat. I also use furminator and then finish off with a small hand-held dust vacuum cleaner.

9. Baxterbishp says Moderate:I don’t know if my frenchie sheds more than any other dog. I think the amount of shedding is pretty normal, at least compared to the other dogs I’ve owned.”

10. Vagabullyone says Low: “Nothing unusual with shedding. Just the typical seasonal shedding and very little year round. We also brush him twice a week though.”


So does your French Bulldog shed? Let us know in the comments below. Also, feel free to leave some tips for the other Frenchie owners!

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About the author

Tracey

Tracey J is a licensed vet tech. With over 5 years of veterinary technician experience, she's dedicated her life and career to dogs. When she's not studying or working, she's taking care of her Mini Australian Shepherd - Olympus!

1 Comment

  • I have a white and fawn Frenchie. He sheds heavy all year round. It’s difficult to keep on top of. I would have to hoover every second day as I have black tiles and all I see is white hairs. I also would brush his with deshedding blade every few days

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