Why Do French Bulldogs Cry So Much?

The French Bulldog is an immensely lovable furry friend.

With their bat-like ears and naturally affectionate nature they make the ideal human companions.

It’s no wonder The American Kennel Club rated them second most popular breed again this year.

There are a variety of reasons why your French bulldog may be crying. This article aims to cover the most likely causes.

Lets go through some of the common reasons:

Health Conditions That Can Cause French Bulldogs To Cry

As adorable as the french bulldog breed is they are prone to a few health issues, and occasionally some serious genetic problems that you should be aware of if you want to avoid frequent vet visits.

The main health problems that you should watch for are:

Breathing Issues

French bulldogs have a shortened nose and a skull formation that is known as brachycephalic.

All brachycephalic breeds can have breathing issues associated with small nostrils and a soft palate that is too long. In severe cases this can prove life threatening and require surgery.

There are several signs to watch out for that your dog may be suffering from Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS).

These are:

  • Tiring easily at exercise. A young dog should be able to comfortably exercise for at least 30 minutes per session
  • Excessive snoring. Some snoring is common with this breed, but if you find you’re turning up the TV the moment your pooch falls asleep then thats a sign something is wrong
  • Excessive noise when eating. As above, some noise is normal however if your dog sounds like they are slurping down a drink when they are eating this is reason to be concerned.
  • Overheating. Dogs pant to cool down, however dogs with BOAS are unable to do this effectively therefore they overheat quickly and then take a long time to cool down.
  • Excessive reverse sneezing. Again, some is normal for the breed, but if this is occurring daily then its time to seek advice.

Experienced french bulldog owners will be comfortable assessing what is normal breed variation and what is a health concern.

If you are new to the breed and unsure I would recommend scheduling a vet visit with your new addition so they can be examined and your concerns discussed.

All quality french bulldog breeders should be able to provide written proof that your puppy has been medically examined by a veterinarian and declared sound. This is usually done at the first vaccination appointment.

Eye Problems

French bulldogs have eyes that bulge out from the socket, known as exophthalmos. This puts them at a higher risk of an eye ulcer or eye infection.

If you notice that your French Bulldog suddenly has watery eyes, or is squinting it is essential you have them checked out by a veterinarian.

Eye ulcers in Frenchie’s can turn nasty very quickly so it’s important not to delay.

Sometimes French bulldogs have tear ducts which are too small. This causes excess tears to leak from the eyes (usually at the inner aspect) and as tears are acidic this will stain the fur a brown color.

This may look unsightly but is not usually painful and unlikely to be the cause of your French Bulldog Cries

French Bulldogs can also get Cherry Eye like the one in the photo above. This is where the 3rd eyelid has prolapsed. It may be a little uncomfortable but it is usually not painful and often requires surgical correction.

Skin Allergies

Allergies and allergic reactions are very common in French Bulldogs.

The main reason for skin irritation in French bulldogs can be hard to pin down, but food, fleas and the environment are common triggers.

Make sure you only feed your Frenchie high-quality foods and keep up to date with a monthly flea preventative.

Environmental triggers such as seasonal pollen are harder to control.

Rubbing your pup down with a damp sponge after walks can help remove any allergens that have stuck to the coat.

If constant itching is bothering your Frenchie the best thing you can do is schedule a vet visit to try and find the cause and relieve your pups symptoms.


It’s important to rule out pain as a cause of crying. Dogs of all ages will cry as a result of pain.

Older dogs may cry to due chronic pain, such as from arthritis. Frenchie’s who have recently had surgery may have postoperative pains.

I know vet bills can be expensive, but if you’re concerned your Frenchie is in pain its important to have them checked out.

Non Medical Reasons Your Frenchie Might Be Crying

French Bulldog Puppies

If you have just welcomed a new french bulldog puppy then you are likely to have a period of adjustment while they get used to their new home. Most adult french bulldogs don’t like to be left alone for long periods of time, and this is especially true for Frenchie puppies.

When welcoming your new family member home for the first time it’s a good idea to plan ahead.

They will need to get used to their new environment. This is likely to be the first time they have been away from their mother and littermates and they may feel anxious.

Night crying is often because your new baby is frightened about being alone in the dark. To combat this I would recommend:

  1. Leave a small night light on so your puppy is not in complete darkness. This should be a very weak light or it may disturb sleep
  2. Place a warm, covered snuggle safe with your puppy for them to cuddle up to. This mimics the feeling of snuggling up to mom’s warm body
  3. Soft music such as classical radio at low volumes can really help calm your puppy’s nerves and make the night time seem less scary

I highly recommend crate training for puppies who sleep separately to their owners. Even if you do not intend to use dog crates with your adult dog, they are ideal for keeping curious puppies safe while you sleep.


Due to their small size French Bulldogs will need a more frequent potty breaks than other breeds. If you are worried you might forget then its best to set an alarm that times every few hours.

If you wait for the sound of your Frenchie to prompt you for a potty break then you may inadvertently start a crying habit that could be hard to break.

Small dogs generally struggle to hold their bladder as long as larger breeds, so you should plan for frequent bathroom breaks even as an adult.

Male frenchies who have not been neutered like to mark areas with the scent of their urine, so you may find your little man likes to avoid fully emptying his bladder so he is still able to do this.

Behavioral Issues

Unfortunately any dog can develop a behavioral problem and the French Bulldog is no exception.

French Bulldogs were bred as companion dogs and therefore the most common behavioral issue I see is dog separation anxiety.

Frenchie’s can have a really hard time coping away from their owners, especially if they are alone. They are one of the most social dog breeds, so if you work long hours consider if this breed is right for you.

Sometimes a friend can be a good way to combat the lonlieness, but beware this does not always work. The two dogs may not get on, or may worsen each others separation anxiety.

Ideally you should only leave your French Bulldog alone for short periods of time.

If you do have to leave your pup for longer make sure they have plenty of interactive toys and chew toys to keep them occupied.

In conclusion there are many different reasons why your French Bulldog may be crying excessively. If you are concerned a health reason may be the cause please seek medical advice. I hope you found this article interesting to read and you took away some tips for helping with your Frenchie’s crying.

Daniel Johnson

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