Why do french bulldogs sit funny?


Wondering why your French bulldog is sitting in a funny position like the one on this video?

While it is cute and entertaining to see your puppy doing the seemingly lazy sit, behind that could be something that you should be really concerned about.

More so if he assumes that position quite a bit. It is very much possible that he has a health condition that is preventing him from sitting like he is supposed to.

Is it a sign of hip problems? Arthritis, maybe? Or spinal problems? For sure, you have lots of questions in your mind. But no worries, we are going to explore more about this issue, including a few solutions.

Photos of French Bulldogs sitting

There are lots of weird sitting positions that you might catch your Frenchie in and here are the four main ones.

The first one is the classic canine sitting position- what every French Bulldog should aspire to. The back legs are neatly tucked under them and it is these that are taking the weight, not their bottom.

This is how a French Bulldog should sit ¹

The second position is where a French sits at a diagonal angle, with the back feet out to the side and their weight is on their hip.

Could sloppy sitting be bone related? ²

The third position is where a French Bulldog sits upright with their legs directly out in front of them. In this position (which they find hard to hold because of the balance) they are sitting on their tail pocket.

A French Bulldog sitting upright ³

And the fourth and final position is not a funny sitting position it is a lying position. Some people call in the frog position but to me they just look as if they have dropped from a great height.

The best way to describe it is, that it looks like they are stretched out on tiptoe but lying down!

Is this a Frenchie or a frog? ⁴

Why Do French Bulldogs Sit Funny?

It is common for Frenchie owners to see their young puppies sit sloppily. That’s because their bones are still soft and their joints are not yet tightly connected. You can also expect to see those awkward positions if your pooch is too tired from his physical activities.

Adult French bulldogs may also display such behaviors once in a while. However, if you notice that your pet is assuming that weird position a lot, and it looks like he is in pain, that’s the time when you need to do something about it.

Here are the possible reasons (medical conditions) why your Frenchie sits funny:

1. Hip Dysplasia

Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) is a condition wherein there is an abnormal formation of the hip socket. It is prevalent in large breeds, but it can also affect the smaller ones, like French bulldogs.  While this predisposition usually begins with genetics and it is hereditary, factors such as improper weight and nutrition, strenuous exercise, and abnormal growth rate can also lead to CHD.

Could it be a problem with the hips?  ⁵

Aside from bad posture, which makes your French bulldog sit in an awkward position, shaking and weakness of the back leg, difficulty in running, jumping, climbing the stairs, stiffness, and a narrow stance are just some of the things that can tell you that your dog has bad hips.

If left untreated, this health condition can certainly limit your pet’s activities. The pain will get worse over time as well and hip arthritis is most likely to develop.

To treat hip dysplasia, lifestyle modifications may be required. If the condition is not that bad, your vet will come up with a nonsurgical approach, which may include some medications as well as therapy. However, if the hip problem is severe, then the best solution would be surgery.

2. Patellar Luxation

In layman’s terms, patellar luxation is the dislocation of one or both knee caps. If the groove along the femur of your dog is too shallow, that will impede the joint’s flexibility and allow the knee to move freely. It will then move out of place.

Unfortunately, French bulldogs are one of the canine families that are prone to this particular ailment. A huge factor that contributes to this is their genetics or how they were bred. Or even if your pet was born healthy, if he was exposed to trauma, such as getting hit by a hard object in that specific region, he could still suffer from luxating patellas.

A Frenchie that has this health condition is expected to hold up the affected rear leg while walking. Or, he will also try to bear weight on it while it is bent on a certain position, and this is probably why your pet is sitting in a very unusual position.

Other signs of patellar luxation include limping, licking on the knee, and not using the affected leg. Your pet may also whine or cry if he is in real pain.

For grade 1 patellar luxation or if the episode of lameness is mild, then a conservative management will be done, which includes the administration of anti-inflammatory drugs as well as analgesics. Physical rehabilitation exercises are advisable too.

On the other hand, if the condition is already at the latter stage, your dog will have to undergo surgery.

3. Anal Gland Impaction

Dogs have anal sacs, which are very small glands on the opening of their anus. They produce a thick, oily, foul-smelling liquid secretion, which canines commonly use to ‘mark’ their territories. These glands, though, can cause problems when they get impacted. They may get infected too if they are not emptied properly.

This condition can cause so much pain and discomfort to your dog, especially if bacteria have already infested the area. One sign that your Frenchie has anal gland impaction is his unnatural sitting position. You may also see him trying to lick his anal region, chasing his tail, or licking his paws.

To address this problem, the anal glands will be emptied manually by a specialist. This would be a painful procedure and the use of sedative or anesthetics is needed.

4. Spinal Problems

French bulldogs are also known to be quite susceptible to spinal problems, particularly hemivertebrae. This is a congenital condition wherein one or more of the vertebrae are deformed.

While this issue doesn’t seem to be alarming in some cases and the canines are not showing any clinical signs of deformity, there are also some Frenchies who are really having a hard time coping up with the problem. It could also hinder their ability to function well.

You would know that there is something wrong with your dog’s spine if he is experiencing urinary or fecal incontinence, weak hind limbs, and constant pain. He may also adapt to an uncomfortable sitting position.

The treatment for this health condition varies, depending on the severity as well as the symptoms. Dogs with mild signs are usually given oral anti-inflammatory medications plus cage rest. However, if the problem has gotten worse, then a surgical procedure should be performed.

What to Do If Your Frenchie Usually Sits in a Weird Way

Every dog is supposed to sit straight. But like what we have said earlier, the younger ones usually slouch and assume that lazy, puppy sit, which is normal. As a dog matures, though, he or she should outgrow that weird-looking sitting position. You might still see your adult dog do it once in a blue moon, especially when he is really tired.  But if it seems like that has already become his habit and he assumes that behavior all the time, then that is a completely different story.

Here are the things that you can do:

1. Get to the Root of the Problem

The first step that you need to take is to find out why your dog is sitting funny most of the time. And as a concerned Frenchie owner, you should have your pet checked by a veterinarian. This is the best way to know whether or not he is suffering from a certain medical condition that is making it hard for him to assume an upright position when sitting.

If your dog will be diagnosed with any of the health issues that we have highlighted above, the doctor will come up with a treatment plan. Medications will be given and you have to administer those as prescribed. Depending on the diagnosis and its severity, your puppy may also undergo surgery. This will all be discussed to you by your vet.

2. Do Not Procrastinate

Yes, seeing those funny and cute sitting positions may be amusing, but you have to ensure that those are not actually signs of an underlying medical issue. Again, if you observe that your dog does it almost all the time, then you should not procrastinate. Take him to the vet as soon as possible.

3. Try to Discourage the Behavior

Although the funny sitting position that your Frenchie does is making you laugh, try not to show that you are amused by it. You should not praise him either because doing so may only encourage him to do it more often. Instead, you should try to correct the behavior by training him how to sit upright like what a dog with sound conformation would do.

4. Engage Your Dog in Exercises

Exercising can do wonders not only to human beings but also to dogs. It is a great way to help your Frenchie adapt a good posture. And also, if you engage him in proper exercises and other physical activities, he will be able to work on his muscles.

Almost all of a dog’s daily tasks, like sitting, bending, standing, and walking, involve core muscles, and exercises will definitely make them stronger. This will then allow your French bulldog to be more comfortable when moving as well as relaxing.

Core strength is quite beneficial to dogs as this helps avoid muscular and skeletal injuries, enhances flexibility, maintains balance, and also supports a dog’s whole body.

5. Provide a Comfortable Bed

Just like you, your Frenchie would also enjoy having a comfortable bed. It is then highly recommended that you get an orthopedic bed instead of the regular one, especially if you know for a fact that your puppy has hip or spine problems. This would help a lot in alleviating his health condition.

Final Thoughts

Your French bulldog surely looks adorable while he is lazy sitting. However, if he does it all the time, you should investigate what is causing that, and the best way to do so is to consult a veterinarian. Do this as soon as you can so that if your dog is suffering from something, it will be treated immediately.

Photo Credits

 ¹ Photo by Nikita Kachanovsky on Unsplash

² Photo by Brina Blum on Unsplash

⁴ Photo by Oskar Kadaksoo on Unsplash

⁵ Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash