Top Ten Ways to Exercise a French Bulldog

Making sure they get out and play should be a joy, not a chore

Like all dog breeds your French Bulldog needs regular exercise to stay in shape and live a long, healthy life. As easy as that might sound, sometimes it can be difficult to continuously try and get your Frenchie to exercise, especially as they get older or if you’ve allowed them to become, dare we say it, chunky.

Nevertheless, as a proud French Bulldog owner who wants their beloved fur-baby to stay happy and healthy all of their days, regular exercise is vital. We’ll take a look at some of the best methods, techniques, and toys you can use to keep your bulldog buddy in great shape their entire life.

Top 10 Exercises for a French Bulldog

There are really no special or specific exercises that are better or worse for your Frenchie as long as they can breathe OK, don’t overheat and have access to plenty of water when they’re finished. Below is a list of the Top 10 Exercises that will keep them healthy and active, in no particular order.

  1. Fetching toys – Fetching anything will allow your Frenchie to run a little bit, but not too much that they overheat or have difficulty breathing.
  2. Tug-of-War – Tugging on a toy with you or another family member is good because they don’t have to breathe too heavily and you can do it indoors or out.
  3. Hide-and-seek with a Treat – Hiding a treat somewhere in your home, preferably in a specific room, is a lot of fun for French Bulldogs because they’re so smart and inquisitive. It keeps them active but not overly so.
  4. Walking at the local dog park – This is a great way to get them some good exercise and also strengthen their social skills. Look for a dog park that allows smaller dogs to play with smaller dogs, for obvious reasons.
  5. Multiple short walks – Longer walks, especially if it’s cold or hot outside, can be bothersome for your Bullie. Taking shorter walks 2 or 3 times a day is a better idea because they won’t get over-tired or have difficulty breathing.
  6. Build an obstacle course – stack cushions and other soft objects in front of your french bulldog. Go to the other side and call him. He will run over to you maneuvering through the obstacles you set up. providing a playful challenge.
  7. Treadmill – Getting a dog treadmill provides indoor exercise opportunities at any time of day and rain or shine.
  8. Gentle play wrestling – You can gently wrestle around with your French Bulldog on the carpet. Just make sure to keep it under control some dogs get too hyperactive when play wrestling.
  9. Free play with their favorite toys – The best thing about free playing with toys is that it can be done inside or out and, as their owner, you can relax while your Frenchie gets the exercise they need. (Just make sure they have a toy that they can chew on without it making a mess.)
  10. Running around in a closed yard – If you have a yard that’s fenced off or closed so that they can’t run into traffic, letting your French Bulldog out to play in the morning or late afternoon is a wonderful way for them to get exercise, fresh air and stimulation from the birds, bees, smells, sounds and so forth.

How Does the Amount of Exercise a French Bulldog Need Differ from Other Breeds?

Here’s a fact that, as the owner of a French Bulldog, you likely know already; they have a bit of difficulty breathing due to their unusually flat faces. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to make sure you don’t over-exercise your Frenchie because, since they can’t breathe as easily, they can overheat very easily. The truth is, French Bulldogs simply don’t need as much exercise as other dogs. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being ‘very low amount of exercise’, they would be a 1.

Due to their problems breathing correctly, French Bulldogs also tire easily, but they still need regular exercise nevertheless to keep their bones, organs, muscles and the rest of their body in good shape.

How To Properly Exercise Your French Bulldog- How Many Times a Day and for How Long?

As we’ve talked about, French Bulldogs don’t really require a lot of daily exercise and they’re not exactly built for it either, what with their flattened faces and muzzles. Most dog experts recommend 1 time per day for 15 to 20 minutes, although if they are having a good time and breathing fine you can certainly go longer. The one thing you need to avoid is over-exercising them because it can put too much strain on their lungs and heart.

Take your French Bulldog for Walks in the Morning or Late Afternoon

Keeping in mind their breathing problems it’s best to take your Frenchie for walks in the earlier part of the day or towards the end of the day. The reason is that during the height of the day when the sun is the most intensely hot, French Bulldogs can easily overheat and even have a heat stroke, which we think you’ll agree would be awful.

In the morning or late afternoon, it’s cooler, the air is fresher and they will be able to breathe easier since there is usually less humidity as well.

Hot and Humid? Stay Inside to Exercise your French Bulldog

Depending on where you live the days can be very hot and humid from start to finish. If that’s the case, staying inside while you exercise your bulldog bestie is a better idea. They will be able to breathe easier and concentrate better because they won’t be trying desperately to get a breath of air into their silly but loveable flat face.

A fun dog toy would be a fantastic idea if you’re exercising your Frenchie indoors. One that will keep them occupied and that you can throw around the house without damaging anything would be the best choice.

Let Your French Bulldog Play with Other Dogs

Teaching your French Bulldog social skills while they exercise is a great combination, no doubt, which is why letting them play with other, neighbor dogs is a fantastic idea. They can make friends, learn how to get along with other dogs (and their owners) and get the exercise they need to stay fit and healthy.

What Types Of Exercises are Good for Indoors vs Outdoors for a French Bulldog?

French Bulldogs are small dogs, it’s true, so there are a lot more options for playing inside the house without them destroying something (although they can get rambunctious). Exercises where they are tugging at toys, finding toys that have been hidden, and learning new skills like staying, sitting and so forth, are wonderful for indoors, especially if the weather outside is frightful.

Outdoor exercises can involve everything most dogs love to do, including fetch, catching a frisbee (if you’re good at throwing one low to the ground), socializing with other dogs and walking. Again, keep an eye on the weather and, more importantly, the heat, so that your Frenchie doesn’t overheat and/or start breathing too heavily

What Products Can Help a French Bulldog Get Enough Exercise?

There are plenty of toys that you can purchase for your French Bulldog to help them get the exercise they need. Most are relatively small because bulldogs are relatively small, although it also depends on your particular bulldog’s personality and likes. Here are a few that we recommend.

Chuckit Indoor Ball

Durable and safe for indoor use, this ball is a doggie fave and will keep them active without destroying anything. You can even get a ball launcher to pick it up without touching the slob-covered ball!

SMART DOG Suction Cup Dog Toy

This is a wonderfully-designed dog toy that you can attach to almost any wall so that your Frenchie can play by themself and have a great time doing it! It also helps clean and maintains their teeth!

AWOOF Dog Puzzle

A wonderful way to play, this toy allows you to hide some food or treats inside it and let your Bullie find them and get a treat! So much fun, you’ll wish you had one for yourself!

Bark Box

Not a dog toy per se but instead a subscription service that sends new toys and treats to you and your fave Frenchie every month. Definitely worth looking into if you’re a busy doggie parent. We’ve used them for our bulldog Ollie and he loves them.


Like any dog, your French Bulldog needs love, attention, and exercise, although not nearly as much as other breeds. We hope this article, Top Techniques on How To Exercise a French Bulldog, has given you the answers you seek to keep your precious pet active, healthy and happy. If you have questions or would like to leave a comment please do so in the space provided, and best of luck keeping your Frenchie fit!


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