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How to Pick Up a French Bulldog Properly: 5 Vet-Approved Tips

Written by: Jessica Kim

Last Updated on April 6, 2024 by Dogster Team

woman with her French bulldog

How to Pick Up a French Bulldog Properly: 5 Vet-Approved Tips


Dr. Amanda Charles Photo


Dr. Amanda Charles

BVSc MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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The French Bulldog is a purebred dog that has risen in popularity over the years. This breed is known for its friendly and playful personality, and they often become very affectionate companion pets. As with any purebred dog, French Bulldogs are predisposed to certain health issues, including intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). IVDD affects the spinal cord, especially as dogs age, so it’s especially important to hold and carry French Bulldogs properly to provide adequate back support.

So, whether you’re a French Bulldog owner or a fan, it’s important to know how to hold French Bulldogs to prevent back straining and potential pain. Here are five easy steps to remember when you’re holding a French Bulldog.


The 5 Tips to Pick Up a French Bulldog

1. Establish a Verbal Cue

Establishing a verbal cue with your French Bulldog can be a great way to help your French Bulldog understand and anticipate being held. You can teach your French Bulldog to learn and remember a verbal cue by saying something like “up” or “hold” right before you plan to carry them.

Having a verbal cue doesn’t just create communicative understanding between you and your French Bulldog. It can also be used for safety. Some French Bulldogs shouldn’t jump from tall heights but may proceed to do so anyway. By establishing a cue, you can prevent your French Bulldog from jumping off a tall bed or sofa and have them wait for you to carry them instead.

White and brown french bulldog
Image By: May Gauthier, Unsplash

2. Use One Hand to Support the Chest

Use your dominant hand to support the chest area. Slip your hand beneath your French Bulldog’s chest and in between their front legs. Their front legs can hang comfortably as you cradle their chest.

3. Use One Hand to Support the Rear

Next, place your other free hand between your French Bulldog’s hind legs. Your hand should be supporting their rear, not their feet. Their feet and legs can hang freely. Make sure to hold your French Bulldog with both hands rather than only supporting their chest and tucking them under your arm. Tucking your French Bulldog under your arm can cause strain on their back and feel very uncomfortable for them.

Adorable blue French bulldog puppy
Image Credit: Jantanee Boonkhaw, Shutterstock

4. Lift Your French Bulldog Slowly and Gently

Slowly lift your French Bulldog in a calm manner. As you lift them, hold them closer to your chest so that they can lean into you for further support. Make sure to walk slowly when carrying your French Bulldog and refrain from making any abrupt movements. Running or jogging while carrying your French Bulldog should also be avoided because the impact can be stressful on their backs and cause discomfort.

5. Be Mindful of Your French Bulldog’s Body Language

Some French Bulldogs like being carried for longer periods of time, while others just want to be held long enough to get from one place to another. Never force your French Bulldog into being held for longer than they want. They can try to wiggle their way out of your grip, which puts them at risk of an injury.

Along with showing resistance with their body language, most French Bulldogs will also be vocal about not wanting to be held. They may whine or will even yelp if they feel any pain or discomfort while being held.

man and woman holding a black french bulldog
Image Credit: Jonathan Borba, Unsplash

divider-dog paw


Any French Bulldog will appreciate being held with the proper support. Always make sure you can support your French Bulldog with both hands and remain calm and slow with your movements. This will make being held a more pleasant experience for your French Bulldog and will most likely cause them to return again and again to be held and cuddle with you.

Featured Image Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

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