Can French Bulldogs Swim?

Should You Take Your Frenchie Swimming?

You might think taking your furry companion out for a dip in the pool with you is a great idea, but with a French Bulldog, think twice!

French Bulldogs cannot swim. This is due to their unique size and body structure that everyone finds so adorable. They are top-heavy, meaning they carry more weight on their upper body than their lower. So, when they get into the water, their top half and head sink into the water. They usually start out swimming straight, and when they turn or tilt their body, they go headfirst into the water. Due to their top-heavy body, they often cannot pull their head back up and will need their owner to rescue them!

They also have flat snouts that can barely stay above the waterline when they enter any waterbody. Their snout tends to go underwater, and they have to muster up a lot of strength to keep their head above it. This, combined with their thick and short necks, spells a recipe for disaster when your furry friend hits the water.

Their short, stubby legs may be very cute when they’re running around on land, but they are not long or strong enough to tread through the water.

Looking at all of the above, it is obvious French bulldogs were not built for swimming, or even just paddling around in the pool. You should never leave your Frenchie alone near a pool or in one because they will most likely start sinking immediately! Constant supervision of your dog is required when near any body of water.

Do French Bulldogs Like Water?

Even though they cannot swim instinctively as many other dogs do, they love water! Frenchies love to cool down and splash around in the water as they hate being hot.

This is a dangerous mix because a French bulldog will take any chance to get into a body of water like a pool or the ocean if given a chance. This is why you must closely supervise them when near any of these and not let them loose.

You should also train your Frenchie from when they’re young to stay clear of water bodies and show them their boundaries.

If you are at the beach, you can allow your furry friend to splash around in the shallow waters if they are properly leashed.

Do French Bulldogs Float?

No, your Frenchie cannot float! If you leave them in a pool, they will probably sink like a rock. This is due to their aforementioned body structure and muscle density.

How To Safely Take Your French Bulldog Swimming

Just because they are not natural-born swimmers doesn’t mean they can’t have some fun in the water! Here are some safe ways to get your Frenchie to cool off.


You and your pooch can enjoy the water if you put them in a secure lifejacket. There are special lifejackets created for small dogs. A lifejacket will allow your Frenchie to float and feel safe in the water. You can then take your Frenchie into shallow areas of pools and float around with you. There is usually a strap at the top of the jacket that can help you lift your doggo out of the water easily when they’re done.

Kiddie Pools

A safe and fun way to let your dog enjoy splashing around is to invest in a kiddie pool. Fill up the kiddie pool to about chest level for your Frenchie. This will allow them to keep their head above water and also cool off.

Swim With Your French Bulldog

The best way to let your dog be in the water is to be in there with them! Instead of letting them float around on their own, get in and swim alongside them. Slowly paddling with them will encourage them to also try and paddle. This can be a great bonding activity with your furry friend! Being with them also allows you to keep an eye on them.

Teach Your Frenchie How To Swim

Even while teaching your Frenchie to swim, they must always be strapped into a floatation device.

The best way to teach your pooch how to swim is to be inside the water with them. Make sure they are wearing their lifejacket and their leash.

When entering the pool, your pooch might be a little hesitant. It is important to be calm and not force them into the water very quickly. When you get in, let them get comfortable with the water and temperature for a while.

Always stay in the shallow end of the pool. Once comfortable, you can gently move them along the water, and they should start kicking and paddling their legs instinctively.

You can then gently support their belly with your leg to help them remain afloat. Make sure they are paddling both their front and back legs. Keep paying attention to their head and snout, and make sure it stays above the water.

Keep the swimming session brief, as your small friend may get tired out easily. Treats can also be great as an incentive for getting your Frenchie excited. You can give your Frenchie a treat after the session once they have successfully exited the pool.

The most important point is to always supervise your French Bulldog and always put them in a floatation device.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I pick out the right lifejacket for my French Bulldog?

Choosing the correct lifejacket is of utmost importance because your Frenchie’s comfort and safety come first. You must measure your dog’s weight, length, and size before picking a jacket.

A tight jacket might irritate your dog and cause them to stress in the water. On the other hand, a lifejacket that is too loose may slip off your dog or not let them keep their head up above the water. Both these incidents can be very dangerous for your Frenchie’s health.

When trying on a lifejacket, make sure it fits well around their chest, back and armpits.

Always pick out a lifejacket with bright colors. This is so that you will be able to spot your furry companion and keep an eye on them easily! Some jackets can also come with reflective straps and panels that are great for early mornings or night time. It is wise to choose a jacket with a handle on the top to lift your Frenchie out of the water when necessary!

How to get your French Bulldog to get used to a lifejacket

Dogs usually do not like being restricted and are not used to wearing things like lifejackets. They might feel uncomfortable at first, and they may even resist getting into one. Do not force your Frenchie into getting into the lifejacket. This will create a negative association with this item, and they may have a permanent aversion to it. Gently get them into the jacket and let them feel comfortable. Then you can slowly start tightening the straps.

You can also use treats to get your Frenchie to get into the jacket and to reward them for doing so. Make sure to try and take off the jacket many times before actually venturing into the water.

Do French Bulldogs like playing and roughhousing in the water?

It is not advisable to play or roughhouse with your Frenchie in the water. Do not ever throw your French Bulldog into the water and expect them to swim. They will not be able to and will start to drown! You must be gentle with your Frenchie and play with them, keeping their physical limitations in mind.

Summing Up

Although your delightful pooch may not be able to swim on their own, you can always use the above-mentioned tips to help them get into the water! French bulldogs love the water, so you and your dog can take a dip a fun together if you pay attention to their safety first.



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