French bulldogs are often listed as one of the most apartment-friendly breeds of dogs. You might live in an apartment and want to adopt a french bulldog; you also might already own a Frenchie and want to get an apartment. Either way, you need to know if this kind of dog thrives in an apartment setting.
So, are french bulldogs good apartment dogs?
Yes, french bulldogs are great apartment dogs. French bulldogs are small, playful dogs that do well in a small amount of space.
They also don't tend to bark or cause a lot of noise. However, Frenchies can't be left unattended for very long; someone needs to be home to take care of them.
French Bulldogs Meet Apartment Weight Limits
If you live in an apartment that allows dogs, you may only be able to adopt a dog that meets a certain weight limit. Most apartments expect dogs to weigh less than either 35 or 55 pounds.
Luckily, french bulldogs easily meet this requirement. The American Kennel Club says that the average french bulldog weighs less than 28 pounds.
Even if your Frenchie ends up a little overweight, they will still be small enough to be accepted in any dog-friendly apartment community.
Remember, owning a small dog comes with a unique set of challenges. You'll need to take them out more frequently, and they might get serious separation anxiety. Still, if you're looking for a fun and apartment-friendly dog, Frenchies are an excellent choice.
How Much Space Do French Bulldogs Need?
According to Tom King, French bulldogs don't require a lot of space. French bulldogs were originally bred to hang out with lacemakers in their very small workspaces; the breed is used to having fun in small and potentially cramped environments.
Of course, any dog needs time to run and play in the sunshine. Some french bulldogs have huge backyards that they love to romp through. Other Frenchies make do with a small apartment balcony and plenty of walks with their owner.
When designing your home, make sure that there is a good path for your dog to run back and forth across the house.
Frenchies are small, but they can still bump into furniture items and trip on loose rugs. Leave a wide area open for playing, bouncing, and being an excitable dog.
No matter what size apartment you live in, your Frenchie will be happy with as much space as you can provide them. Just make sure that you also give them lots of attention and playtime every day.
Do French Bulldogs Need a Lot of Exercises?
Jordan from All About Frenchies notes that while french bulldogs do need exercise, they don't need nearly as much as other dog breeds.
French bulldogs are naturally very excitable. They will run around the house, play with other pets, and chase their tails in circles. This counts for some of their daily exercise needs, but it doesn't cover all of them.
If you're living in an apartment, your Frenchie might not have as much space to run around as they would like. This means that you need to take them for daily walks.
Time your french bulldog's walks based on their age and stamina. A young Frenchie might be able to walk for an entire hour. Many french bulldogs are satisfied with 20-30 minute walks around the neighborhood.
Whenever possible, find a grassy area to let your Frenchie off-leash. A game of fetch or tag is good for both their health and their psychology.
Try to schedule a monthly trip to the dog park so that your french bulldog can run as long as they want to.
You should also play with your Frenchie at least once a day. Tug of war, fetch with a soft object, or even just chasing them around the room will help both of you get more exercise.
Playing is also a great way to bond with your pet, and it makes sure that your bulldog is getting the direct attention they want and need.
French bulldogs are susceptible to over-exercise. If you notice that your dog is tired, take a break. Frenchies can get hip dysplasia and spinal problems; if they exercise too much, it could exacerbate the condition.
Take your french bulldog to the vet regularly, and ask about the amount of exercise they're getting. The vet will let you know if your dog needs more time outside, and they'll also tell you when to shorter walks for the sake of your pup's hips.
How Often Do Frenchies Need to Go to the Bathroom?
According to the owners of Porkypaws, an adult french bulldog needs to go to the bathroom once every four to six hours.
Some French bulldogs can hold it for as long as eight to ten hours, but they may be uncomfortable for the latter end of this duration.
As a dog owner in an apartment, you won't have a backyard where your dog can freely go to the bathroom. Expect to take them for on-leash bathroom breaks around three to four times a day.
French bulldogs love to do things at regular times. If you train your dog to expect a certain bathroom schedule, they are likely to adhere to it.
Because of their increased bathroom needs, you might not want to leave your Frenchie in the apartment all day while you go to work. French bulldogs do better when someone is always home with them.
Consider arranging for a neighbor to come by and take your dog out for a bathroom break in the middle of the day. Otherwise, don't stay away for more than eight hours, and take your dog out as soon as you get home.
You should also note that french bulldog puppies may need to go outside once every two hours. This is just part of raising a puppy; as they get older, they'll be able to hold it for much longer.
Do French Bulldogs Bark a Lot?
French bulldogs do not bark nearly as much as other types of a small dog. In fact, your Frenchie might stay silent throughout most of the day. When french bulldogs do bark, it's usually because something is wrong.
The amount that a dog barks depend on their training and personality. French bulldogs are not "yappers;" if they have something to say, they usually say it with a few pointed barks and some disgruntled huffing sounds.
Frenchies are known for being "talkers." They'll grunt, huff, snort, and sniff at their owners. When they do bark, it's not as loud as a big dog, but it could still definitely get the neighbors' attention.
All dogs are prone to barking excessively if they experience separation anxiety. This barking is done to relieve boredom or in an attempt to communicate with the non-present owner.
Rich from Trending Breeds notes that french bulldogs are likely to bark because of pain, anxiety, or a sense of alarm. They also might bark to get your attention; this behavior usually requires training before it goes away.
In general, you can assume that your french bulldog will not bark enough to disturb your neighbors. As long as you play with them, take care of their problems, and don't leave them alone all day, your french bulldog should be happy and talkative in their own delightful way.
Can French Bulldogs Be Kenneled?
All dogs need to be crate trained in case an emergency situation happens. Crate training is especially important if you live in an apartment; your dog will need to be put away when the landlord or the maintenance crew comes over.
This video by Beyond the Dog gives a short explanation of how to crate train a puppy. The french bulldog in this video is very cooperative, but any Frenchie will accept crating if the situation is handled correctly.
With that in mind, you should not kennel your french bulldog for extended periods of time. Extended crating can leave a dog upset and anxious.
Frenchies are particularly social and energetic; they will not enjoy staying in the crate for the entire time you are out at work.
Most french bulldogs can be trusted to free-roam your apartment for short periods. This is especially true if you have made sure that nothing dangerous is available at floor level.
If you need to confine your Frenchie while you're at work, consider closing the door to the bedroom. This will leave them space to jump on the bed and roam the room.
Make sure to purchase the correct size crate for your french bulldog. Some Frenchies are much larger than others; measure your dog to find out the size of the crate they will need.
Your dog should be able to stand up and move around the crate; if they can't turn around or stretch their legs out while lying down, the crate is too small.
How Long Can You Leave a French Bulldog Unattended?
Every dog is different. The amount of time that your french bulldog can be left alone depends on how often they need to go to the bathroom, how prone they are to separation anxiety, and whether they tend to get into trouble when unsupervised.
Issac Adusei from Puppy FAQ recommends only leaving your Frenchie alone for four to five hours; he seldom leaves his for more than two hours at a time.
The most obvious reason for this is that french bulldogs need to go to the bathroom once every four to six hours. Frenchies are small dogs, and asking them to wait eight hours to go outside is often asking too much.
French bulldogs are also extremely prone to separation anxiety. Your Frenchie will want a massive amount of your attention. Even if you're not playing with them directly, they will still want to sit on your lap or by your feet.
A french bulldog who is left alone all day will probably get sad; they might even bark or cry, disturbing the neighbors.
Solutions to this might include having someone check on the dog halfway through the day or getting a companion dog to keep them company.
Luckily, because french bulldogs are so small, they can usually come with you whenever you need to leave the house.
French bulldogs are popular at offices that allow dogs, and they love to accompany their owners for small errands and chores.
Do French Bulldogs Get Lonely?
French bulldogs definitely get lonely. If you leave your french bulldog alone in your apartment all day, they will probably experience separation anxiety. This has less to do with the apartment living and a lot more to do with the fact that you're gone.
According to Marc from French Bulldog Owner, french bulldogs are social pack animals. They look for other dogs or people when they want someone to comfort them, play with them, or simply share in an exciting bulldog experience.
A french bulldog who is living alone in an apartment will spend most of the day bored and possibly anxious.
Bored dogs get into trouble; if your Frenchie has nothing to do, they're much more likely to chew on your possessions or to get into the trash.
Getting a second companion dog is a great way to reduce your french bulldog's boredom. Another dog will help them play and exercise throughout the day. They'll also be there when you go to work, which means your Frenchie won't spend the entire day alone.
Your companion dog doesn't necessarily need to be a french bulldog; any small or medium dog will probably be happy to keep your pup company.
Many french bulldog owners opt to get a second Frenchie because they're the same size, have the same health needs, and want the same amount of exercise every day.
Whether or not you need a companion dog depends on the personality of your current french bulldog. If they are happy and well-entertained, there's no reason to disrupt their current life. Some Frenchies are quite prone to jealousy and love being the only dog.
However, if your french bulldog is having a hard time adjusting to your apartment, you might consider getting them a friend. Having someone to play with can be a great solution for a dog who needs more stimulation and fun in their life.
How to Make a Great Environment for a French Bulldog
If you're going to move a french bulldog into an apartment, you need to make sure they have a comfortable environment to live and play in. Any dog without a yard is going to be more bored than a dog who has their own space to run around.
Start by clearing a large play space somewhere in your home. If you leave the center of your living room empty, this is probably enough space for your Frenchie.
Next, see how many running pathways are available throughout the house. A bored french bulldog wants to zoom as fast as they can; make sure they can romp safely without bumping into tables or other furniture items.
French bulldogs are small enough to get under many furniture items. Although it might be cute to see them sitting under the coffee table, don't let them get into tight spaces like under the couch. Consider blocking off areas where they might get themselves stuck.
Every french bulldog needs a space of their own. Set up a comfortable dog bed somewhere warm. Frenchies likes to stay near their owners, so you might want a dog bed in both the bedroom and the living room.
French bulldogs are very inquisitive. Anything that you don't want them getting into should not be kept at floor level.
Make sure that dangerous items like electronics or medications are always kept put away where your dog can't reach them.
Frenchies are at floor level. When you're creating their environment, try getting down on the floor to see things from their perspective.
You might notice cords stretched across the carpet, messes under the sofa, or stray shoes tucked in a corner. Clean these items up so that your Frenchie has room to play.
If your apartment has stairs, teach your french bulldog how to climb up and down them. Don't let your dog run on a steep set of stairs; you don't want them to slip and fall.
When possible, choose an apartment with a balcony for your french bulldog to stand on. All dogs love access to sunlight and fresh air.
If you can't find an apartment with a balcony, look for something with large windows that will let in plenty of sunlight. Natural light is good for both you and your french bulldog.
If your windows are up high, try moving a couch or a chair underneath one of them. This will let your Frenchie look out of the window without your assistance. Everyone needs a view of something other than apartment walls.
French bulldogs are an excellent choice for apartment living. To a little dog, even a small apartment is a fairly big place.
Your french bulldog will love looking out of windows, running through your living room, and distracting you while you try to work or study.
Remember to take them out for plenty of walks, and your Frenchie will acclimate to the apartment just fine.
As a freelance pet writer and blogger, Shannon is passionate about crafting knowledge-based, science-supported articles that foster healthy bonds of love and respect between people and animals. But her first and very most important job is as a dog auntie and cockatiel, tortoise, and box turtle mama.