Do French Bulldogs Shed: the Short, Hairy Truth About Frenchies

The French Bulldog is one of the most popular purebred dog breeds in the world today. How could they not be?

These sweet-tempered, loving, loyal, and adorable dogs seem like they are born to be pampered, spoiled, and loved.

But there is one thing about French Bulldogs that is often quite a shock to new first-time Frenchie owners. This is especially true when a new owner has chosen the French Bulldog because of their short hair coat that looks like it wouldn’t shed much if any.

Read on to learn about the unique French Bulldog coat and what to expect as far as grooming and shedding.

Do French Bulldogs Shed

The short answer to the question do French Bulldogs shed is yes. They sure do shed.

Read on to find out how often, how much and why French Bulldogs shed despite their neat and dapper appearance.

See How Much a French Bulldogs Can Shed

In this charming YouTube video, you can watch two French Bulldogs getting groomed….and groomed….and groomed.

The end result may surprise you even if you are familiar with French Bulldogs!

How Much Do French Bulldogs Shed

According to Vetstreet, French Bulldogs don’t shed much outside of the twice-annual undercoat shedding process.

However, as you now know from watching the YouTube video in the previous section here, the term “much” can be a matter of personal opinion.

Do French Bulldogs shed as much or as often as a truly hairy large dog like the Great Pyrenees or the Labrador Retriever? All other things being equal, the fairest answer is probably “no.”

But do French Bulldogs shed a lot more than most people think they shed? Here, the answer is clearly a resounding “yes.”

Understanding the French Bulldog Coat Type

French Bulldogs have a double layer coat. The top layer is slightly longer and coarser and has water-resistant properties. The purpose of the outer coat layer is to protect the dog’s skin from cold, wind, wet, insects and other perils.

The French Bulldog’s inner coat layer is much softer, finer, and more insulating. This layer is designed to function much like your own winter coat to keep the dog warm.

French Bulldogs, like all dogs that have a double layer coat, shed all year long and also seasonally. This seasonal shed is called a coat blow by owners in the know.

The reason this shed is called a coat blow is that the fine, thick, insulating undercoat will come out in big patches, so much so that at times it can seem like the hair is covering everything you own.

At the same time, the outer layer of fur is continually replenishing itself so it can do its job well. So all year long you will have falling fur and twice per year, you will have a LOT of falling fur.

How Often Do French Bulldogs Shed

The American Kennel Club (AKC) states that the French Bulldog sheds minimally.

But don’t be fooled. If you read just a little more on that same page, you will see a chart labeled from “infrequent shedding” to “frequent shedding” and notice that these dogs shed quite frequently.

The reason the AKC uses the word minimally is that the French Bulldog is a small dog with short, straight hair. So the overall amount of shed dog hair you will have to deal with won’t ever be what you would get if the Frenchie was a large or giant dog breed.

What to Expect During the Seasonal Shedding

So now you know that the French Bulldog sheds all year long. And you know that this means your French Bulldog will shed a bit of hair every single day.

Then, twice per year as the season’s change, your dog’s undercoat will fall out.

Undercoat shed #1 (cold to warm season)

During the transition to the warm season, the majority of the undercoat will fall out to keep the dog cooler during summer.

Undercoat shed #2 (warm to cold season)

During the transition back to the cold season, the rest of the undercoat will fall out and then the whole undercoat will grow back in to keep the dog warm all winter long.

Can You Shave Your French Bulldog to Stop the Shedding

In recent years, news articles about so-called hypoallergenic dogs have created quite a demand for dogs that do not shed, especially among people who have allergies to pet dander.

However, as the esteemed Mayo Clinic explains, there is no such animal as a hypoallergenic dog.

In fact, the whole concept of a dog being hypoallergenic points to a basic misunderstanding about what causes pet allergies in the first place!

The American Lung Association explains that what triggers allergy symptoms is actually a duo of proteins, Can f 1 and Can f 2.

These two proteins are present in a dog’s saliva and urine and on their skin. The proteins will detach along with shed dead hair and skin flakes. The extremely lightweight particles can become airborne so you breathe them in.

You can also come into contact with the allergens when you pet your dog or clean your home to remove the shed dead hair.

Even so-called hairless dog breeds will still shed out the aggravating proteins but in smaller quantities.

And some dog breeds, such as the Poodle and the Bichon Frise, have such curly fur that the shed hair gets trapped in the coat and doesn’t fall out visibly.

This is where the myth of the hypoallergenic dog got started. But all dogs secrete the protein allergens and so all dogs can trigger pet allergies in those who are prone to the symptoms.

Can French Bulldogs Shedding Be Prevented

As Dream Valley Frenchies breeder explains, dogs need to periodically shed their fur so the coat stays healthy and functions as it should.

It is not possible to stop this process, nor is it safe to try to do so.

However, there are some things you can do to keep the amount of shed dog hair you have to clean up under control.

  1. Brush your dog daily to remove hair that is about to shed.
  2. Use a vacuum that has a HEPA filtration system.
  3. Add a HEPA filter to your home HVAC system.
  4. Use a de-shedding tool during the seasonal coat blow periods.
  5. Use the right dog shampoo and conditioner to keep the coat healthy.

When Do Health Issues Cause French Bulldogs to Shed

While all French Bulldogs will shed as a part of healthy coat maintenance, there can be times when shedding is a symptom of an underlying health condition.

As Central Texas Veterinary points out, French Bulldogs can be prone to skin issues that may prompt excess shedding.

Allergies can cause French Bulldog shedding

Actually, French Bulldogs are quite prone to allergies just like people are. But where most people experience allergies through respiratory discomfort, the most common health symptom of allergies in canines is skin itching, or atopy (atopic dermatitis).

Frenchies can start to show signs as early as one year of age. Itching, repetitive licking or biting at the paws or legs, rubbing the skin, and chronic ear infections are commonly reported. This in turn can cause excessive shedding due to skin irritation.

Mange can cause French Bulldog shedding

Mange is caused by a microscopic parasite invader that likes to make its home inside the French Bulldog’s skin follicles.

Mange can cause itching, dry skin, hair loss, and dry lesions.

Parasites can cause French Bulldog shedding

French Bulldogs can also attract a number of other parasites, both internal and topical, that may trigger skin irritation, itching and even systemic irritation that can lead to hair loss.

Autoimmune thyroiditis can cause French Bulldog shedding

As the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) database highlights, French Bulldogs are also prone to a heritable health issue called autoimmune thyroiditis.

This condition can cause reduced thyroid function and lead to widespread health symptoms, including excessive shedding, dry skin, and skin irritation.

The North California French Bulldog Club explains that skin thickening, skin pigment changes, and hair loss are also common side effects of thyroid imbalance.

Toxin exposure can cause French Bulldog shedding

Yet another possible reason that your French Bulldog might start shedding more than usual is if the dog has come into contact with a toxin or poison.

Many house and garden plants and insects produce irritating or toxic secretions as a form of self-defense. In the same way, many commercial pesticides and fertilizers can be irritating to the Frenchie’s sensitive skin.

What to Do If Your French Bulldog Sheds a Lot

It is always smart to take your Frenchie to your canine veterinarian for a thorough checkup. This can rule out any underlying health conditions and help you manage the shedding