Can French Bulldogs Swim? Here’s how to keep them safe.

can french bulldogs swim

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Can French Bulldogs swim?

It’s easy to understand why someone could believe French bulldogs can swim. They overheat quickly, especially in summer, and water is a fantastic way to cool down.

While it may be enticing to allow your Frenchie to take a swim, French Bulldog owners must remember that they cannot.

Why can’t French Bulldogs swim?

These dogs were never intended to swim because of their small size, short legs, lack of snout, and flat face.

Most will sink like a stone if left alone. Even if your French Bulldog can swim for a short amount of time, they won’t be able to keep it up for long. Unlike other dog breeds that include Labradors, Frenchies cannot reach the surface after diving underwater.

Can french bulldogs swim
Levi At The Pool!

The Root of the Behavior

Those breeds with a flattened face known as brachycephalic, which implies they have a short and wide skull, include the English Bulldog, French Bulldogs, and Pug. Dog breeders have long prized brachycephaly for purely aesthetic reasons.

Many dogs with brachycephalic faces suffer from various other ailments due to their flattened noses and wrinkled faces. A dog with Brachycephalic is prone to health issues linked to their short nasal passages and creased faces.

The French Bulldog Breathing Disorders

Snoring and snorting are two examples of sleep-related breathing disorders in the French Bulldog. Snoring and snorting may indicate a dog’s airway is partially obstructed, which might become more severe over time and lead to breathing problems. The Brachycephalic nature of Bulldogs and similar breeds is why they cannot swim.

can french bulldogs swim
Levi Not Happy With His New Tie

Because of their short snouts, they need to tilt their faces up higher to keep them out of the water. Dogs with faces tilted upward have more trouble staying afloat. Their short stature and hefty torsos, in particular, make it difficult for them to float.

You’ve probably seen the French Bulldog swimming videos before, or perhaps you have one that can swim well. But don’t take this as proof that every Bulldog can swim or should do so without caution.

Excessive heat and humidity can severely hinder a dog’s ability to stay above water. It only takes one little blunder for your dog to suffer unpleasant and sometimes deadly outcomes. Brachycephaly isn’t the only cause of the Bulldogs’ inability to swim.

Other Dog Breeds That Should Avoid Swimming

Some breeds that should avoid swimming include Basset Hounds, Dachshunds, Pugs, Corgis, and Maltese. Short dogs tend to have problems swimming, and the Maltese are highly vulnerable to chills, arthritis, and rheumatism.

Because muscle is heavier than fat, Pit Bulls and Boxers may have problems swimming since their short snouts might be challenging to keep out of the water. Any “top-heavy” dog with a solid torso or a big head may have difficulties or be unable to keep its head out of the water. Always get expert advice before having your Frenchie dive in!

Do French Bulldogs like water?

The unfortunate truth is that they undoubtedly adore the water. So, despite being unable to swim unaided, Frenchies will try to enter a swimming pool (Levi, our French Bulldog has fallen in five times without a life vest, very scary!.

That is why it’s so important to teach your puppy early that a human-sized pool is off-limits. You may satisfy your Frenchie’s love of the water with frequent beach visits or a children’s pool Like the one Levi is enjoying below.

can french bulldogs swim
Levi Enjoying The Kiddie Pool

Do French Bulldogs float?

The short answer is that it is not possible. French bulldogs’ bodies and muscularity make it impossible for them to float without a dog life jacket.

Essentially, they have more muscle than fat and are usually top-heavy, making it physically impossible for them to float.

They also have a prominent underbite and a short muzzle, making keeping their noses above the surface challenging. Their broad chest and large trachea only add to the problems they face in staying afloat without a life jacket.

These issues, combined with their small size, make it nearly impossible for French bulldogs to float on water.

Can Our French Bulldog Still Enjoy The Water?

With that in mind, while you should never let your French Bulldog swim alone, there are some ways to let them enjoy the water and cool off while having fun!

Life Jacket For Your Frenchie

If you want to let your Frenchie splash about in the pool with the family during the summer months, you’ve come to the right place! Dog life jackets have been designed particularly for small dogs and provide them with adequate buoyancy so they can keep their heads above water.

If you’re buying life jackets for your Frenchie, make sure it’s tight-fitting to avoid it slipping off or not keeping your dog afloat. These life jackets act like inflatable flotation sleeves for children in many ways. The extra buoyancy might assist keep them above the water, but it’s critical to remain in both situations.

can french bulldogs swim
Levi Lounging around The pool

A French bulldogs nose is barely above the waterline, even with a life vest, owing to their tiny faces. It’s critical to keep an eye on your dog while they’re in the water and avoid taking them into any water with a current. A Frenchie would not enjoy being in the ocean, which has a variety of waves and

It would be best to be very strict about ensuring that your Frenchie only goes into the water with their life jacket. This is crucial.

Teach Your Frenchie to Swim

Even with flotation devices, teaching your dog to swim and especially how to get out of the water is crucial.

If you don’t want to be responsible for their death if they fall into water over their heads when you’re not there to assist them, this is a good idea.

The “buddy system” should be utilized by PetMD, which entails swimming next to your dog and assisting them in getting used to paddling with a life vest on while keeping their head above the water.

Treats are always a fantastic training tool, and they’re especially beneficial when it comes to following the after-swimming regimen. You should rinse and dry your dog off right away to teach them how to get out of the pool on their own in this case.

can french bulldogs swim
Levi Lounging

Other Solutions and Considerations

Most dogs enjoy the water. However, not all dogs are born knowing how to swim. Those who don’t know how maybe trained with time and effort. For suggestions on getting your dog used to the water, consult your veterinarian or a specialist trainer.

It’s also important to be cautious when taking your dog out during the summer months, as many breeds are vulnerable to heat-related illnesses. As much as possible, keep cool and remain in the shade.

Bring several liters of fresh water for your dog to drink, as well as a life jacket for everyone in your family, especially the four-legged ones.


Swimming is an excellent exercise and a fantastic method to keep cool for both you and your four-legged best friend. However, not every dog should be allowed in deep water. Play it safe by bringing a dog life vest and maintaining constant supervision of your Frenchie around water.