Can a French Bulldog Swim? – Let’s Find Out

You might have seen plenty of videos and photos on the internet of French bulldogs swimming. But is this true? Can French bulldogs swim? These pets are a smaller breed of the dog family and very popular in Europe and the United States. They make an excellent companion as they are always calm. The dogs have an average lifespan of 10 years and tend to weigh approximately 20lbs when they are fully grown. Some owners have bulldogs that love water and enjoy being cold from time to time, especially during the summer days. If this defines your little friend, you will find the answer you are looking for in this article. Take a look!

Can a french bulldog swim

Are French Bulldogs Good Swimmers?

We have often been led to believe that all dogs can swim. Do not let all this information fool you since this conclusion is not valid. Not all dog breeds can swim, and French bulldogs are one of these. No matter what method you will employ, or how hard you try, the answer to “Can French Bulldog Swim?” is still a NO! If you love chilling and relaxing around pools with your pet, you should be careful lest it slips in the water when your eyes are off it. When they get into the water, they encounter difficulty to swim back to the land or dry surface, like other dogs would do. In summary, your Frenchie cannot swim, and you should always look after it when it is near water.

What is the Worst that Will Happen when they are in Water?

French Bulldogs Swimming

Many owners who have had such a negative experience say that once the dog begins to sink, it will go all the way. If your little friend gets into a pool of water and it gets 15 seconds of slurping water, it may encounter health difficulties. The dog may not show signs immediately, but after some days, it may suffer vomiting, dehydration, or diarrhea.

Why Can’t they swim?

The following are some of the reasons why French bulldogs cannot swim

  • They have flat snouts which cannot be kept above the waterline thus making it difficult for them to breath in water
  • They are heavy on their tops making them sink easily
  • They have thick neck structures that make them have trouble to turn when they want to exit the water surface. Additionally, their neck structures make their heads heavy, and they tend to tilt and go below the surface of the water. If they begin sinking with their heads, they cannot get themselves above the water surface. It, therefore, becomes very dangerous as they may drown if there is no one around to supervise them.
  • They have small bodies and compact sizes that make them sink in the water like massive rocks when they try to swim.
  • They have very short legs making them heavy at the back and light at the front. Because of their heavyweights at their fronts, they encounter difficulties to swim straight ahead.

Are there any Exceptions?

You will not miss finding exceptions anywhere, even in this case. French bulldogs have different body shapes, and it is in these differences that some few can swim while others cannot. The slim and young French bulldogs can swim in water but only for a few minutes.

How Can They Have Fun in Water?

french bulldog pool

Even though your Frenchie can never be able to swim, there are some ways that you can employ to help them have some little fun while in water. Some of these ways include:

  1. The use of life jackets – you can let your dog play around the family pool during the summer months.  There are tiny and well-fitting life jackets that you can use on your dogs. The jackets keep the dogs buoyant and help them keep their head above the surface of the water. They are also inflatable and have floating sleeves to offer extra floatation. Even with these life jackets, the nose of the bulldog will still not reach the waterline.  Here you can find the best life jacket for french bulldog.
  2. Teach the dog how to swim – you can teach your Frenchie how to swim and how it can exit from the water safely. This second way is essential as it helps the dog to exit the water when it accidentally falls in. The best way of training your dog to swim is by employing the buddy system. In this method, you are required to swim along with the pet and help it paddle while wearing its life vest. Buddy system teaches the dog to keep its head above the water surface.
  3. Kiddie Pools – the best and safest way to train your French bulldog and keep it fresh during the summers is to have a kiddie pool. Fill the pool with shallow water and supervise the dog while it swims here. These pools are very safe, and your pet will not collapse when swimming.

What is the Rule?

Here is the general rule that you should always follow; do not let your bulldog go around a pool or water body.  If you want to leave your bulldog unattended around water, let it have a life vest. But even with this life vest, the French bulldogs always have trouble staying in the water. If you must take your dog near water, for whatever reason, let it be near the shallow waters where it will not drown if it slides into the water. Also, ensure that it does not go out of the water. Therefore, NEVER allow your French bulldog to stay near water unsupervised.


Now you have an answer to “Can a French Bulldog Swim?” All you need to do is to have a careful watch of your dog. The goal of the article is not to raise the alarm but to help you keep your family pet safe and alive. Avoid the unnecessary stress that will be caused by the loss of your pet and always keep your French bulldog away from the waters.


1 thought on “Can a French Bulldog Swim? – Let’s Find Out”

  1. Hey, I love this article, my Frenchie loves the water I’m not sure whether to discourage him or not. I’ve been looking about and I’ve seen that frenchies cant swim . He seems ok in the water really and does come back when he’s had enough.

Leave a Comment Protection Status