Your Frenchie shedding can understandably be a bit frustrating at times. The thing is not all Frenchies shed as much as others and I’ve often wondered why. Then when I looked closer on my genetic reports, I noticed there was a section for coat type and the shedding gene. The SD Locus or shedding gene is one that can impact how much your Frenchie will shed. This is one piece of the puzzle and other genes can impact shedding as well. Most of what we know about your Frenchie’s shedding is from the SD and IC locus (furnishings). Furnishings typically refer to wire haired dogs that have longer mustaches and eyebrows.
A lesson on Frenchie Shedding Genetics
The MC5R gene (SD) is expressed in the hair follicle glands that produce the oily, waxy substance sebum that helps with lubrication, water repellency, and thermo-regulation of the coat and skin. The SD variant disrupts the structure of the sebum and results in increased shedding with those that carry the higher shedding allele. The SD locus determines the scale of the shedding.
With genetics you inherit one allele from mom and one from dad. If your Frenchies carries two copies of the SD allele (higher shedding), then he will likely be a heavier shedder. If he has one copy of the SD allele and one copy of the sd allele (low shedding allele), your Frenchie will likely be a moderate shedder. Finally, if he carries two copies of the sd alleles then he will be a low shedder. Again there are other factors at play as well that can affect shedding but a big component is the combination of alleles on the SD locus.
- High shedder: SD/SD alleles
- Moderate shedder SD/sd alleles
- Low shedder sd/sd alleles
When F/F for the furnishing gene the dog will be less likely to shed. If negative for the gene f/f, they will be more prone to shed. Now, I need to check to find out if many Frenchies tend to be F/F as all of mine are f/f. Remember, furnishings tend to be found in wire haired dogs. I will be calling to find out more about this.
How to choose a Frenchie that sheds less.
If you are looking for a pup and the breeder has genetic tested the SD locus you can likely determine if the pup will be a high shedder or not. Ex. Male is a low shedder sd/sd. Mom is a high shedder SD/SD. Pups will be moderate shedders as they will inherit one allele from mom and dad and be SD/sd.
We have bred French Bulldogs for 20 years and have found certain colors tend to shed more than others. See The French Bulldog of Colorado for our upcoming pups. This is an observation. Not scientific data. I’m sure there are exceptions to the rules. Cream seems to shed the most. Lilac seams to shed the least. I’ve also noticed creams tend to have a slightly thicker and longer hair coat where lilacs tend to be slightly thinner and shorter hair. And no, I have never had issues with alopecia (hair loss) in my lilac or blue Frenchies.
Other reasons why Frenchies shed:
- Time of year. They will blow their winter coat in the spring and their summer coat in the fall. Expect extra hair during these times.
- Age. Puppies tend to shed a puppy coat at around 4-6 months.
- Diet. Just like us, a proper diet provides nutrients and vitamins needed to maintain strong, healthy hair follicles that don’t break off and cause shedding. Omega-3 fatty acids can help promote healthy hair growth and keeping your Frenchie hydrated can help as dehydrated skin can cause hair loss. Keep water available for your little one. Add Omega-3’s to his diet. You can give some salmon, salt-free sardines, dried sardines, or a supplement. I prefer real food sources if possible but here is the omega-3 rich oil that I recommend.
Now you understand what causes the shedding, here’s how you can keep shedding under control*
Brush your Frenchie with a furminator brush (Amazon affiliate link) to get rid of loose hairs. Brushing helps remove first from their fur, disturbs natural oils, and gets rid of dead skin. Plus, usually most pups love it. If your doesn’t, give him treats like omega-3 rich dried sardines to help him enjoy the experience.
Give your Frenchie a bath. Overbathing is not good for your Frenchie. Typically 4 times a year is enough baths to keep your Frenchie clean and maintain skin health. Overbathing can cause itchiness. I only bathe my Frenchies a few times per year. I would say once a month is the most you should bathe your fur baby. A good rule of them would be to bathe him at the beginning of each season. Keep in mind your Frenchies skin is 3 times thinner than yours and will absorb all of the toxins from chemically filled shampoos. We recommend using a safe, botanical shampoo like this one in our store.
Feed an appropriate, balanced diet. This is a whole topic that we will discuss in the future. I feed all my Frenchies a balanced raw diet and none of them shed much. We will discuss different options in the future.
Feed your Frenchie Omega-3’s with wild caught Alaskan salmon you buy for yourself, sardines without salt, dried sardines, or a supplement. Real food is always best but we realize it’s not always convenient. Here’s the safe sea option we love in our store.
Provide plenty of water for your Frenchie to keep his skin moist and prevent shedding.
Now how to control the Frenchie shedding in your home.*
Have your pup sleep in it’s own doggie bed or blanket to keep the hair in their own area. I prefer blankets as they are easy to wash.
Cover their favorite spots with these waterproof, fur blankets. Romeo has his favorite spots he enjoys relaxing. They look great, feel comfy, and keep the fur glitter away. These are in our store.
Use a pet hair removal broom. (Amazon affiliate link) I first saw this at my kids salon and thought it was brilliant. These brooms can be used on almost any floor surface including carpet to remove hair. Plus, it has a squeegee end for cleaning sliding glass door windows covered in Frenchie nose and paw prints.
Now if your Frenchie has excessive shedding it might be an underlying condition.
- Allergies. If your Frenchie is allergic to something it may shed in response. You will have to use a process of elimination or consider allergy testing.
- Fungal or bacterial infections like ringworm can them to shed their hair. Please see your vet and give the appropraite medications.
- Stress. Just like humans, Frenchies can loose hair under stressful situations. Give your Frenchie love and time to adjust to new situations. If they experience separation anxiety, you may need help from a behavioral specialist to help place him at ease.
We realize fur glitter can be frustrating but we also realize your little French fry is worth it. I’ve found every problem has a solution you just have to start somewhere and keep going until you find the solution you are looking for. I’d love to hear what works for you.
Did you find your perfect Frenchie pup?
Start planning for your new French Bulldog puppy to join you!
Need help planning? This is include for free when choosing a pup from The French Bulldog of Colorado. No worries if you don’t. You can still get the same training our puppy parents receive.
Still Looking for the Perfect Frenchie to add to your family?
Check out our available Frenchie pups at our sister company, The French Bulldog fo Colorado.