Do French Bulldogs Shed? A Comprehensive Guide

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Reviewed by Alexandre Beaumont
Do French Bulldogs Shed
Who, me?! My Steven knows a thing or two about shedding!

I remember when I started seriously looking into buying a Frenchie, “Do French Bulldogs shed?” was one of my first Google searches. 

At first glance, these adorable balls of muscle with their shiny short course coats appear to be shed-free, and for the most part, they are. 

Officially, Frenchies are categorized as ‘normal shedders.’ I admit that I breathed a small sigh of relief when I saw that!

In my search for a new pup, I kept having flashbacks to when we owned a gorgeous Golden Retriever called Bart. His long dark golden fur was to die for, and it made for the best real-life blanket while I lived in the snow in a small town in New Zealand, but it was also one of our greatest hassles.

I’m almost sure more fur came out of that dog than he held on his body! Talk about high maintenance! It coated our house and clothes, and the lint roller was always by the front door.

So getting back to Frenchies, no, you won’t fill up a vacuum of fur a day with these little guys. Still, speaking from my experience with my French Bulldog Steven, their coat comes with a few quirks and minor hassles. 

In fact, as I write this, I’m sitting in a hoodie covered with little dark red barbs of fur! But let me shed more light on the issue. 

Long Haired Dog being Brushed
A common sight for any long-haired dog owner! Credit 📸: Pexels

Do French Bulldogs Shed? 

Yes. Frenchies do shed, but not much! As I mentioned, the American Kennel Club categorizes French Bulldogs as ‘normal shedders.’ What that means as an owner is you can expect their fur to fall out regularly, but it shouldn’t fall out in excessive, large chunks.  

A Frenchie’s coat is typically smooth and shiny with thick but short, barb-like strands of fur. Think of it like super long grains of rice but obviously a lot thinner! And they slowly fall out as individual strands without clumping together.

How often do French Bulldogs Shed? 

Generally, Frenchies shed slowly but regularly all year round. 

It’s common for many dog breeds to shed seasonally, losing and gaining more fur when transitioning between seasons, especially around summer and winter. 

My Frenchie Steven seems to go through quick and sudden phases heading into fall and spring, where sometimes a lot of fur needs to fall out at once. He can look a bit like a porcupine, with many barbs sticking up in funny directions as it detaches from his skin.

The additional shedding seems to happen all at once for Steven. I don’t notice a sustained period of time where he’s shedding a lot for weeks on end, and a decent brush will usually clean him up nice and quick.

What is Shedding? And Why Does it Happen?

Unless you own a Poodle – which by the way, is one of the main reasons why so many dogs are crossed with a Poodle! Shedding is a very normal process for a lot of dog breeds. 

Like the hair that grows on us humans, dog fur is a shield for a dog’s skin and aims to protect the pup from its natural environment. Hence why Huskies have super dense, thick, wool-like fur to protect them from their original harsh extreme-cold temperatures. 

Also, like our hair, dog fur has a lifespan that includes growth before eventually dying and detaching from the skin – a.k.a shedding. Oftentimes this is enhanced with the winter-to-summer cycle, reacting to the weather as it gets colder in preparation to grow again before the heat of summer. 

Our Frenchies mostly have a single-layer coat, except for some brindle pups with a double-layer coat. Because they were bred to be lap-dog indoor pets, their coat doesn’t seem as reactive to their external environment compared to some other dogs. However, it still goes through a natural growth cycle.

What is Considered Normal or Excessive Shedding?

French Bulldog Shedding
Shedding after a brushing session!

Because Frenchies shed regularly, it can be hard to know if your pup is shedding excessively or more often than they should be. 

Ongoing excessive shedding can give you a valid reason to be concerned, as it may relate to potential allergies or the health of your dog’s skin. Here are some other signs to look out for: 

  • Skin irritation 
  • Constant scratching or licking 
  • Bald spots 
  • Open sores or crusty scabs
  • Dull or dry fur

If you see any of these signs, booking in with your veterinarian and getting advice is best.

Are French Bulldogs Hypoallergenic? 

This is a common and important question if you’re one of those poor people suffering around some of our furry friends. 

Unfortunately, the common consensus is no. Frenchies are not hypoallergenic due to the fact they do shed a normal amount. Our little guys are even prone to allergies themselves!

But in saying that, they are definitely at the more favorable end of the scale compared to some other dog breeds.

Allergy sufferers tend to be sensitive around dogs because dog fur easily harbors dander and allergens from the environment. The thicker and more dense the coat is, the worse it seems to be.

So you would think that Frenchies, having a short, smooth coat, could be a suitable solution. It’s certainly a better choice! But they’re not entirely free of blame either. 

I would just like to preface the point by saying I’m not highly sensitive around animals, and thankfully, hypoallergenic status has never had to be a significant consideration when buying a new pet, but… I do personally suffer from pollen and grass-induced hay fever, so I do have a slight understanding. 

Sometimes Steven can set me off, especially if he brushes up against my face, and I was surprised by that.

After doing a little bit of digging, it makes sense that a Frenchie’s coat can also harbor dander, which carries allergens. Because it is so coarse, the dander gets stuck, and they end up carrying it with them. 

While I don’t recommend over-bathing your Frenchie – as you’ll wash away all their important oils! The occasional weekly bath, combined with regular brushing outside and vacuuming surfaces, goes a long way to reducing the dander they may carry with them. 

What Color French Bulldog Sheds the least? 

There’s no actual science to definitively answer this question! The general consensus among Frenchie owners and on forums is that the lighter colors, like cream and light fawn, shed more than the darker colors – black, dark brindle, and brown. 

This is based on personal experiences and their discussion with each other. Which is common because Frenchie breeders and owners do have a strong community.

I personally believe, based on the science behind shedding that I have read, how thin or thick your Frenchie’s coat is, combined with their natural environment, will likely play a bigger part in how much your doggo sheds compared to other Frenchies.

How Can I Stop My French Bulldog from Shedding? 

Firstly, you can’t completely stop your doggo from shedding, but here are a few methods I’ve tried in Steven’s lifetime to try and reduce his shedding. 

  • Regular brushing with a fine-toothed brush is my favorite method – it’s not perfect. It won’t ‘stop’ shedding, but it certainly reduces it. I use a brush like this one

(I’m not endorsing that particular product – any brush like that one will work, and I personally like the easy self-cleaning function!)

TIP: It helps if you brush backward and sideways against the grain of their fur! 

French Bulldog being brushed
Brushing Session for Lola
  • Regular bathing – but not too often! You have to be really careful with this one. The oils in a Frenchies’ fur are vital to keeping their coat and skin healthy, and if you over bathe them, you could make their shedding worse. But a bath every so often with a high-quality, sensitive shampoo goes a long way.
  • Professional deshedding with a groomer was a costly exercise I’ve paid for once. It was one of those situations where I went to get his nails trimmed, and they sold it to me, and I thought, ‘Yeah, okay then!’ It was amazing and the best thing I ever did – for all of two days.
  • De-shedding brushes – If you ‘google’ how to reduce shedding in a Frenchie, this is what Google recommends. I personally just don’t find this works the same on Steven. It seems to work better on long-coated breeds where their fur clumps together in a ball. I did see there is a tool called the FURminator. It sounds great, doesn’t it? But I can’t say I’ve tried it.

The Bottom Line

French Bulldog Clinggy
Steven – never far from my side!

Overall, if you buy a Frenchie, yes, you will be living with some normal shedding. 

At the time of writing this, the World Canine Organisation recognized 339 dog breeds, and a quick Google search showed approximately 25 dog breeds considered to be hypoallergenic and non-shedding. 

So, considering a Frenchie is on the ‘normal’ scale with their short fur, they are on the better end of a 300-strong list! 

With good care and proper management, it can be managed and reduced. Still, it’s highly likely you’ll end up a bit like me, used to sitting around in a hoodie covered in a couple of barbs while my adorable little pup chills alongside me. He’s so worth it!

Photo of author

AUTHOR

Kristina is a freelance writer for French Bulldog Lovers, and if she's not writing about them, she's out on adventures with her little boy Steven! Becoming a Frenchie mum to her little ball of sass, she likes to call 'Sir', has certainly been a dream come true!

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