Dun-na-na-na-na-na, Batman! With trademark bat-like ears and emotive eyes, French bulldogs are striking. The adorable French bulldog is the 4th most popular dog in the US, and it’s easy to see why. Frenchies are spunky and deserve a grooming experience that captures their vibrant personality.
In the early 1800s, toy bulldogs captured the hearts of English lacemakers. During the industrial revolution, lace makers and their toy bulldogs moved to France. Over the decades, toy bulldogs were crossbred with terriers and pugs which eventually developed their famous bat ears. This iconic pup became a part of Paris life. Frenchies were a natural in cafe culture, sitting outside with their owners and watching the world go by.
Here’s what you need to know about grooming the world-famous breed, the French bulldog:
The French bulldog fur is smooth and short. Frenchies shed, but because their hair is so fine, it usually isn’t an issue to manage. Their fur comes in a wide variety of colors. You’ll see anything from a solid black, facially spotted, to solid white versions. The most common colors of a French bulldog is a brindle or black.
Though their hair is fine, French bulldogs benefit from occasional brushing. Experts recommend using a rubber grooming mitt or hound glove to help remove hair gently. It may seem counterintuitive, but brushing helps promote new hair growth. Weekly brushings of your Frenchie removes dead hair and circulates their skin oil to keep the coat healthy and shiny.
French Bulldog Grooming
Lucky for all Frenchie owners, these bulldogs are generally a clean breed. They don’t need weekly baths, and usually only need a scrub when they get visibly dirty. When you give your Frenchie a bath, not any shampoo will do. French bulldogs are prone to allergies that can show up as skin problems, so purchasing a vet-recommended shampoo may help manage them.
When you bathe your French bulldog, it’s not a simple rinse. Because Frenchies have folds in their faces, while you’re bathing, be sure to avoid getting their face wet. When moisture gets trapped in between the folds, it can create infections. After you’re done drying your Frenchie, lift the folds and check to make sure of any signs of irritation. Consider using dog-friendly baby wipes to clean the folds.
In humid climates, face folds can be a major problem. Experts suggest using talcum powder or cornstarch as an aid to keep their folds dry. This will help avoid irritation and infection from moisture build-up.
Since French bulldogs are prone to skin issues, keep an eye out for redness or hotspots that may show they’re experiencing a reaction to something in their environment. If you notice something, talk to your vet—there are lots of options available for pet allergies.
Beyond The Coat
Beyond brushing out the excess fur and occasional baths, you also should regularly trim your French bulldog’s nails. Overgrown nails can cause pain, so checking nails regularly is an important part of grooming. Experts suggest starting in puppyhood so dogs get used to the nail cutting process without feeling nervous.
Another thing to look for is tear stains under the eyes. In lighter-colored Frenchies it can be particularly noticeable. Tear stains are not harmful and are from overproduction in their tear ducts. However, sometimes having tear duct issues could lead to infection. If you notice redness around the eyes or your Frenchie is rubbing their faces on the furniture, consult your vet.
Unlike other bulldogs, Frenchies have fewer issues with their ears. Their ears are fragile though, so when cleaning, do so gently with a damp washcloth and keep on the lookout for any signs of redness or irritation.
Lastly, many bulldog varieties have a tail pocket. Like their facial folds, the little divot in their tails should be checked regularly for signs of irritation and cleaned gently multiple times a week.
Should You Give French Bulldog a Haircut?
The answer is no! From corgis to Shiba Inus, there are some breeds of dogs that simply don’t need haircuts as others do. Not only because their hair doesn’t grow past a certain length, but because cutting or shaving their hair is unhealthy for the dog.
French bulldogs shouldn’t have their hair removed mostly because they have so little! Their hair is very fine and keeps their skin protected. It also regulates their body temperature.
The only time you should shave or trim a French bulldog is at your vet’s recommendation, usually due to a health issue. As mentioned, this breed is prone to allergies. If they scratch enough to wound themselves, it may be in their best interest to shave parts or all of their hair to apply topical medication or to regrow hair from scratch.
Simply put, with a weekly brushing and a monthly shampoo, your French bulldog’s coat is ready to shine!
Learn more about the French Bulldog personality in this video: