Why Do French Bulldogs Rub Themselves

French Bulldogs are Brachycephalic animals which means they have a shorter skull and a flattened nose than the common breeds of dogs. Despite being one of the most adorable for its looks and popular kind for its companionship among pets, the French Bulldogs itself faces a few issues. Due to the presence of a flat face, they generally suffer from breathing problems. Snoring while being asleep and snorting when awake are other results of this. Another common visual seen among the French Bulldogs is they often rubbing themselves against any rough surface. 

What causes the French Bulldog to rub its body against objects? Because of their short head, the French Bulldogs cannot reach to the distant parts of its body for licking and scratching. They rub their body against quite a few things to feel good as well as for some underlying reasons. It is essential to look out for infections and other health-related issues rather than extreme damages to the body.

The cause of the behavior

A typical behavior among French Bulldogs is rubbing their face and body against various objects. Sometimes on the grass and furniture. They rub their face on another human being, mostly a stranger. They also tend to rub their face against pet parents to find their affection and warmth. The various causes of rubbing themselves are as below:

  • Dry skin: French Bulldogs do not possess a thick coat of fur. They have very less hair over their body. Their skin almost exposes to the outer atmosphere. Due to which they often tend to lose its moisture and become dry. Dry skin irritates and they rub it against furniture to comfort themselves. 
  • Wet fur: Dogs also need to maintain sufficient hygiene. They find their comfort in dirt, mud, and other dirty places. However, they do not want a bath regularly after certain intervals; it’s a necessity. After bathing, it becomes quite uncomfortable for them until the skin dries off completely. To reduce the wetness, rolling over the carpet other furniture which has cushions attached to it, sometimes even a bed, helps the cause. However, in those cases, when the canines bathe often, they lose the natural oils secreted from the skin. Use of products not suitable for their skin like a healthy shampoo and conditioner also extracts the moisture. Rashes occur in such conditions, which gravitate itching. Those areas where the French Bulldogs cannot reach through their legs and mouth, they rub it on the grasses of the lawn.
  • Allergies: Although French Bulldogs do not fall sick usually, they might have some genetic conditions. They also suffer from a few skin disorders which cause allergies. The itching and scratching on the skin soothe when they rub their body on some objects.
  • Parasitic infections: Tapeworms are internal parasites which cause severe itching on the hind area of the canine. External parasites like fleas also cause similar conditions. Rubbing their back on the ground or grass gives them a sense of relief. 
  • First meetings: French Bulldogs are scared of strangers. They like to confide in their surroundings. On meeting with strangers, they hide. But after a while, when they get accustomed, they rub their face on the person to get familiar with him and show his love and affection. Rubbing and sniffing also help in retaining the smell of the body, and it gets easier to recognize the person when met again.  
  • Smell: The canines often rub their face on the objects that smell of his pet parent. It mostly happens when the pet is left alone for a long time. French Bulldogs do not prefer loneliness. Picking up smells that are similar to his parents provides them with a company while alone. When left alone for a long time, they get petrified and result in sadness and then depression. 
  • Territory: It is like most canines, including the French Bulldogs, to mark their territory. They rub their body against objects like carpets, cushions, couches etc. to deposit their body odor. Later they can easily find their place by sniffing. They have a strong sense of smell which is different than that of humans. 
  • Hidden Pain: Rubbing their face or any other body parts can also signal towards hidden pain. Since canines cannot express in words like humans, the expressions are through their activities and actions. Pain can be due to oral issues or fall of teeth because of decay. Although brain tumors are not common among French Bulldogs, at times rubbing their head in the wall can signify discomfort in the brain. 
  • Eye Infections: The canines urge to rub their face against carpets or furniture when there are eye infections. Eyes get infections when a minute objects enter or due to some internal eye issues like an ulcer. The irritation in the eye can also make them cover their eye with their paw. 
  • Genital cleaning: Dogs generally clean their genital area using their mouths. But this is not possible in case of French Bulldogs because they have a flat face, unlike others. The brachycephalic breeds rub their body against objects to clean their private parts. 
  • Sexual stimulation: Rubbing their genital parts other than cleaning can also relate to masturbation or when a male canine is not allowed to approach a female counterpart. Thus, rubbing is a sort of self-satisfaction.
  • Nerve issues: Apart from any infections or diseases, rubbing the body can also be a simple behavioral problem or other nerve-related problems. Aggression and anxiety can lead to restlessness, and they tend to massage the body against various furniture or may roll around the space.
  • Relaxation: Rubbing may not be for any serious causes. It may just be a form of recreation in French Bulldogs. Occasionally, they may also like to rub their body over some smooth and soft fabrics. The goodness of the materials may be a form of relaxation and calms their mind and body by giving it a feel-good sensation. 

Easing the behavior

Rubbing is most frequent in all breeds of dogs. As per the points mentioned above, the causes can range from a simple infection to serious health concerns. As a parent of a French Bulldog, it is essential to follow a few necessary steps:

  • It is vital to keep a check on the daily activities.
  • Any anomaly in their behavior needs intervention.
  • In case of extreme rubbing, consult a veterinary clinic and seek help. A proper diagnosis of any underlying health issues is a must. 
  • Avoid those food and food products that can cause allergies. 
  • Regular cleaning and bathing are very much necessary, but the time interval must be as per doctor’s advice.
  • In case of genital issues and infections at the back, simple cleaning exercises and procedures can be of great help. 
  • Regular health check-ups can help in early finding of any kind of hereditary issues. 
  • It is necessary to accompany a French Bulldog at any point in time and should never be left alone.
  • As these are terrified dogs, it is crucial to provide them with early training and socialization. It will help them to ease while encountering a stranger.
  • Using a medicated shampoo and body wash will retain the skin moisture and help to prevent skin dryness and infections. 

The reasons for rubbing may not necessarily mean to be due to severe issues. It can be just for fun and relaxation. If the French Bulldog is happy, cheerful, and active, it is also essential to ignore a few habits, like rubbing its body.

When the pattern goes extreme, one must seek professional help. French Bulldogs are one of the most sought-after pets all over. They require constant attention and accompaniment. They get scared and terrified even with the slightest of noise.

It is essential to be sure about their behavior and nature and provide them with the primary and necessary care for their overall well-being.

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