Do French Bulldogs Have Webbed Feet?


If someone said to you that French Bulldogs have webbed feet, you’d probably dismiss them as being mad. However, don’t be so quick to judge, because there is an element of truth here when you place the question into context.

Just like you and I have that loose piece of skin in between our own fingers and thumbs, dogs have the same thing too. They have a thin layer of skin between their toes, and it’s called webbing… but don’t confuse it with the type of webbing you might see on a frog or duck.

Do French Bulldogs have webbed feet? All French Bulldogs have webbed toes or paws, but it it’s not as pronounced as certain other breeds. All canines have webbed feet to a small extent; it’s the thin layer of skin the connects their toes. This skin membrane is designed to give dogs more stability and move better through water.

How much webbing dogs have between their toes is dependent on the breed. Some breeds are renowned as good swimming dogs; they will have more pronounced webbing and a larger expanse of skin membrane between their toes letting them move through water better.

Why do Frenchies have webbed toes? 

If you’re still unsure about what I am talking about, go look at your Frenchie’s paws now. If he lets you, pick up his leg and stretch the toes out on his paws.

You should see a thin layer of skin connecting each toe. This is the skin membrane, and this is what qualifies as webbing. Frenchie’s don’t have much admittedly, but there’s still enough there to have webbed paws.

What is the skin webbing between your Frenchie’s toes?

When we look at our own fingers and hands, we see that thin layer of skin that connects our fingers. You can see what I mean in the photo below.

webbing
Frenchies have this same layer of skin between their toes which is why we can say they have webbed feet.

French Bulldogs have exactly the same thing in between their own toes. For both humans and dogs, this is an evolutionary trait that probably dates back from when we were all living in water.

When you look at a frog or duck, it’s much more pronounced on them, but essentially, it’s the same thing. It’s designed to help living creatures propel themselves through water with more efficiency and speed.

If you can imagine using a paddle to move yourself along in a canoe; it’s kind of similar. The webbing in between toes creates a flatter surface to move water with more force.

It’s not just about being in water though. By having webbed toes, your French Bulldogs has a much better grip and traction on wet and muddy surfaces. The layer of skin make walking on wet mud easier, as the dog won’t have to work as hard, or sink as much

It’s clever stuff and seen in all mammals, not just dogs.

But how much webbing there is does depend on the breed of dogs. Some dogs are designed to be hunters where they have to fetch prey from water. These types of dogs have more webbing, and therefore tend to be better swimmers.

Here are some examples:

  • Newfoundland
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • German Wirehaired Pointer
  • Dachshund
  • Weirmaraner
  • Otterhound
  • Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  • Redbone Coonhound
  • Novi Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Does this mean Frenchies are good at swimming?

So, surely this means Frenchies are good swimmers, right? I mean, why else would they have webbed feet?

As I said, it’s all down to breeding. Frenchies were never bred to be swimmers, and in fact, they aren’t good in the water at all (you can find out why here).

Perhaps if they had been bred to have better webbing between their toes, Frenchies would be better in the water. As it stands, you’re best off buying them a life jacket.

Conclusion 

And that’s the surprising answer to whether Frenchies have webbed feet. Yes, they do – I couldn’t quite believe it either. But don’t expect them to be great swimmers… they just aren’t cut out for water living.

Tonight, go take a look at your Frenchie’s paws and see the webbed toes for yourself.

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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