French Bulldogs, also known as Frenchies, are great pets, but can they adapt to apartment living? Do they bark? Will they get enough exercise? Can they cope with stairs?
The bottom line is, a French Bulldog is a good choice for your apartment pet, but it takes some work to make your home Bulldog-ready.
In this article, we will give you five reasons that French Bulldogs are a good choice for apartment dwellers, and seven ways to make your apartment a happier home for them.
Five Reasons French Bulldogs Are a Great Choice for Apartment Living
French Bulldogs are a great choice for apartment dwellers, and they also do well in condos, townhouses, and homes without yards. French Bulldogs love to stay in close quarters with their people.
They don’t bark a lot, and don’t need long walks.
French Bulldogs don’t sleep as much as cats, but your French Bulldog will slumber contentedly for up to 14 hours a day.
They make you feel loved by wanting to be with you all the time.
Let’s take a closer look at the positive aspects of keeping a French Bulldog in your apartment.
French Bulldogs are small dogs
Most apartment complexes and coops have rules and regulations regarding the maximum size of pets.
In the United States, many complexes won’t allow dogs that weigh more than 50 pounds,or about 23 kg.
Your French Bulldog will easily come in under the weight limit. They weigh between 16 and 28 pounds (7 to 13 kg) when they are fully grown.
They won’t stand more than 12 inches (30 cm) tall.
French Bulldogs are small dogs, but they are well-muscled. They have strong bones, and a full coat. They aren’t fragile.
French Bulldogs are wonderful companions
French Bulldogs are one of the spunkiest, lovable breeds of dogs on the planet. They are full of personality.
They are lovable. They are loyal. These qualities make French Bulldogs extremely popular dogs.
The American Kennel Club ranks them as the #15 most popular dog in the USA, and they are equally popular in many other countries.
You will never feel lonely when you have a French Bulldog. They love to feel the warmth of your body.
They will stretch out in your arms and snooze while you watch TV, and they will enjoy sleeping on top of the covers with you at night,
But we should be clear about one lovability factor in French Bulldogs:
French Bulldogs are great companions for people, but they tend to compete with other French Bulldogs for affection.
Tensions are greatest when you get two French Bulldogs of the same sex. If you already have a male French Bulldog, his companion dog should be a female.
If you already have a female French Bulldog, her companion dog should be a male.
Most, but not all, French Bulldogs get along well with cats, although you should be careful how you introduce your canine and feline pets to each other.
Introduce the scent of a new pet to your French Bulldog before you allow them to meet face to face.
This approach also works for adding a second French Bulldog or any other species of dog to your family.
Frenchies don’t need a lot of space to explore
French Bulldogs aren’t the kind of dog that loves to romp through the woods.
They won’t tug at the leash for you to take them a block farther so they can get a whiff of the scent of another dog or a squirrel.
French Bulldogs do need about 15 minutes of exercise twice a day, between naps. You will be taking them outside for potty breaks, anyway.
They won’t be making demands on your time to play with a Frisbee or romp around the dog park.
They will get a lot of their daily quota of exercise by playing with you indoors.
French Bulldogs aren’t big barkers
Many people who keep French Bulldogs in apartments report that the only time they bark is when the doorbell rings.
For apartment dwellers, that’s an important quality. Few things generate more complaints from the neighbors than dogs that bark all the time.
French Bulldogs won’t disturb the neighbors, but this isn’t to say that they don’t make any noise at all.
Like all brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds, French Bulldogs snore and have issues with gas.
They are also prone to separation anxiety, which we will discuss in more detail in the next section.
French Bulldogs are great with kids
French Bulldogs are rock stars with kids.
If you have children, or there are children around when you walk your Frenchie, your dog will become the favorite of the neighborhood.
Their hilarious, playful behavior makes them endlessly entertaining.
The main potential drawback to owning a French Bulldog is that the neighbor kids may want to come over to visit it.
Seven Ways You Will Have to Make Changes to Live with a French Bulldog in Your Apartment
French Bulldogs are a great choice for apartment living, but you will face some challenges when you live with them in close quarters.
Here are the top seven concerns for French Bulldog owners in apartments.
French Bulldog puppies like to chew a lot
For the first year of a French Bulldog’s life, especially around the age of twelve to eighteen weeks, chewing is one of the ways a French Bulldog explores her world. They will chew shoes.
They will chew furniture. They will chew dirty clothes you leave on the floor, electrical cords, and your children’s toys.
One way to deal with this issue is to install a baby gate to keep them out of areas of your apartment you want to protect.
Your children will need to get into the habit of putting up their toys when they aren’t playing. Everyone will have to avoid throwing clothes on the floor.
You will have to be consistent in dealing with chewing. If you play tug of war with your Frenchie when she chews on an old tennis shoe and then punish her when she chews on your grandmother’s antique tablecloth, she will be confused.
Teach your French Bulldog the “Drop it” command, and reward with a treat every time she obeys. This rule applies to adult French Bulldogs, not just puppies.
French Bulldogs should not be left alone for more than four hours at a time
French Bulldogs love their people.
French Bulldogs need to have their people around. If you leave a French Bulldog alone for more than four hours, he will suffer separation anxiety.
You might become aware of your French Bulldog’s separation anxiety by finding poop on the floor evidence of unusually destructive behavior.
Your neighbors may let you know about whining, howling, yelping, and barking while you are gone.
Separation anxiety is hard on your dog, and it’s the #1 cause of complaints by neighbors to management.
There are ways of preventing separation anxiety. One method is giving your Frenchie her favorite toy just before you leave home for a few hours.
If your Frenchie gets nervous when you pick up your keys to go out, sit down on the couch for a few minutes and then leave. Or pick up your keys without leaving the house.
Between desensitizing your French Bulldog to departures and providing special toys and treats for your Bulldog to enjoy only when you are gone, you can reduce the severity of separation anxiety.
Extreme cases may need intervention from a veterinarian.
French Bulldogs can’t handle extremes of temperature
Because they have short snouts, French Bulldogs don’t handle heat very well.
They suffer in overheated apartments during the winter, and they should not be kept in apartments that don’t have air conditioning in the summer.
They aren’t dogs you keep outside on your balcony or patio.
On the other hand, French Bulldogs don’t have a fur coat for the depths of winter, either.
These relatively small dogs don’t generate enough body heat to play in ice and snow.
Temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) are too cold for your French Bulldog without a sweater, and temperatures above 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius) are too warm for vigorous activity.
French Bulldogs shed constantly
French Bulldogs don’t shed a lot, but they shed all year round.
Twice a year, they shed their undercoat, leaving lots of hair around the apartment.
Combing your Frenchie’s coat every day redistributes skin oils that keep it shiny and smooth.
You can keep up with shedding by brushing your Frenchie’s coat every day and vacuuming every other day. French Bulldogs are not a good choice for people who have allergies to dog dander.
Snoring and farting are characteristics of Frenchies
Frenchies snore. Some French Bulldogs only snore occasionally, but others snore every time they fall asleep.
They also snort when they breathe hard, because they have short nasal passages.
They will snuffle when they are out for a walk, scurrying around to look for a treat, or playing with toys.
They may make a very distinctive sound when they sneeze in reverse due to allergies.
They have loose lips, so they make slurping sounds even when they aren’t eating or drinking.
There is not a lot you can do about snorting, slurping, and reverse sneezing. However, there are things you can do about snoring.
Give your Frenchie a bed that is small enough that she has to rest her head on a pillow.
Elevating the head on a pillow reduces snoring. Use an air purifier to make sure your Frenchie doesn’t get allergies. Use a humidifier to avoid drying out sinuses.
You can control canine flatulence with strict dietary control.
Give your Frenchie wet dog food that can be swallowed without swallowing air, and avoid overfeeding to prevent obesity.
French Bulldogs don’t do well on stairs
French Bulldogs, especially French Bulldog puppies, should not go up and down stairs.
Going up and down stairs can initiate changes in the cartilage around the hip joint that can lead to hip dysplasia.
Don’t take your French Bulldog to an apartment that is not on the ground floor unless your building has an elevator.
French Bulldogs need frequent toilet breaks
French Bulldogs are famous for not being able to “hold it in.”
When they let you know that they need to go for a potty break, they usually mean that they need to go outside right now.
If you live at a distance from the nearest suitable location for toileting for your dog, you need to make a habit of taking your dog on a potty break before it becomes urgent, especially after eating, sleeping, or playing.
Some apartment dwellers deal with this problem by keeping disposable or cleanable pee pads or puppy sod on their balconies and patios.
Cleanup should never be delayed because your French Bulldog will tend to use any area with the scent of feces or urine as a toilet next time.
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