Do French Bulldogs Have Bad Eyesight & How Far Can They See?


Do French Bulldogs Have Bad Eyesight

A huge concern people have before they get a Frenchie will be the range of health issues this breed can suffer with. I’ve blogged extensively about their health problems in the past, and that article includes notes on how prevalent eye problems are with French Bulldogs.

But today I wanted to get a little bit more detail down on whether French Bulldogs have good eyesight, what you can expect, and even how far they can see.

Do French Bulldogs have good eyesight?

Compared to other dog breeds, Frenchies have about average eyesight, not as good as Labradors, but certainly not as bad eyesight as some other breeds.

Overall though, no dog really has good eyesight when compared to human vision, apart from perhaps seeing the dark, but more about that in a moment.

In short, French Bulldogs have bad eyesight compared to humans, with research suggesting that they have 20/75 vision versus our typical 20/20 vision.

“A pattern that a dog can barely recognize at 20 feet is actually large enough for a person with normal vision to identify at a distance of 75 feet. To give you a feeling about how poor this vision is, you should know that if your visual acuity is worse than 20/40 you would fail the standard vision test given when you apply for a driver’s license in the United States and would be required to wear glasses. A dog’s vision is considerably worse than this.

In practical terms, this means French Bulldogs need to be 20 feet away from something in order to be able to see it as well as we can from 75 feet away. You could then assume that Frenchies have bad eyesight that is only 26% as good as ours.

But that’s not the full story.

Frenchie eyesight is good in the dark

Whilst humans can see things better that are far away, Frenchies do have one eyesight advantage over us, and that’s how well they see in the dark. Their night eyesight is said to be 5 times better than us to be precise and here’s a visual representation of that below.

frenchies good eyesight at night
Frenchies have bad eyesight compared to humans and cannot see as far, but they do beat us when seeing in the dark.

Frenchie eyesight is bad when it comes to colors

How French Bulldogs see color is another metric you could use to describe their eyesight as being bad, but this doesn’t actually set them apart from any other dog breed as all dogs have a degree of color blindness.

Dogs do not see colors the way we do. For example, they cannot see red the same way we do, instead seeing shades of blue and yellow. In the image below you can see another visual example of how a French Bulldog’s eyesight is bad when distinguishing red colors.

frenchies color blind
Frenchies have bad eyesight when it comes to color, as all dogs cannot see red like humans do.

How far can French Bulldogs see?

But what about distance? Well, I’ve already mentioned the 20/20 vision of humans versus the 20/75 vision of dogs. Given what we know, it’s fair to say that French Bulldogs can see something 20 foot away reasonably well, before it starts to get blurry past that point.

However, that doesn’t mean they can only see 20 foot away. I know this for a fact because I can wave to my Frenchie Claude from 50 meters away (164 feet) when on a walk in the forest and he will see me and start running.

So, based on my own experience, French Bulldogs can see as far as 164 feet away. I doubt he will recognize me from this far away, but is probably responding to my body language, given he knows he’s on a walk with me and has an idea of what direction I am in.

Common French Bulldog eye problems leading to bad eyesight

As your Frenchie gets older there’s a high chance that their eyesight could suffer. When I wrote my guide to French Bulldog health issues, a few statistics made for interesting reading relating to eye problems.

Below you can see some of the more common French Bulldog eye problems, and in brackets the percentage of Frenchies who suffered with the condition during a medical study.

Conjunctivitis (3.2%)

The most common French Bulldog eye problem is conjunctivitis. This is the main contributor to Frenchies having bad eyesight as they age.

Conjunctivitis is very common with brachycephalic breed dogs, and happens due to bacterial and viral diseases, foreign bodies in the eye, or allergic reactions to certain substances.

Cherry eye (2.6%)

An eye problem that is often reported with Frenchie is cherry eye, otherwise known as a prolapsed nictitans gland. It happens when the small gland of your Frenchie’s third eye lids falls out of position – with a red cherry looking eye bulge then showing.

For more details on Frenchie cherry eye, click here for what to look out for and how vets can help with it.

Eye ulcers (2.1%)

Corneal ulcers are a big contributor to poor eyesight in French Bulldogs and require swift treatment. Most eye ulcers do clear up quickly, providing treatment has been administered.

I’ve written a more extensive guide about this eye problems including what symptoms you need to check for.

Conclusion

To conclude, French Bulldogs have as good eyesight as most other breeds, as can see as far as most other dogs too. There’s nothing really that sets them apart in this way.

However, French Bulldog eye problems do start to develop as they get older, and this will make their eyesight bad.

To keep on top of this, please have regular check-ups at the vets so they can recognize any eyesight problems before they develop.

Marc Aaron

I am one of Claude the French Bulldog's human parents. I write about all the things we've learned about owning a Frenchie, the adventures we have, and any advice and tips I've picked up along the way. Read more about Marc Aaron.

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