Why Do French Bulldogs Rub Their Private Parts? 

By Britt Kascjak

There are several reasons that a French Bulldog may feel the need to rub themselves. He could be going through puberty, meaning that he’s experiencing sexual maturity. Or, it could be a sign of a  health problem like a urinary tract infection causing discomfort. Contact your veterinarian to rule out any health issues.

Why do French Bulldogs Rub Themselves?

Sexual Maturity

When your French Bulldog first reaches puberty, he or she will be experiencing a whole new set of sensations.

Unlike humans, no one is explaining to your French Bulldog what is happening. So, he chooses to act in a way that feels right and natural.

This can lead to your French Bulldog rubbing himself around the time that he is ready to mate.

The easiest way to stop this is to spay or neuter your French Bulldog at the appropriate time.


As you may already know, dogs use scent as a way to communicate with one another. This is why dogs urinate on trees and lamp posts, marking their territory.

But urination isn’t the only way that your French Bulldog transfers his scent to his surroundings.

The rubbing that you notice may be your dog’s way of making sure that other dogs know this is his territory. He’s staking a claim to your home.

Hygiene Issues

Due to how your French Bulldog is built, he may have trouble keeping up with his hygiene needs.

This is due to the combination of short, stocky bodies and their flat faces. It can prevent them from reaching to clean some areas.

Your French Bulldog may be rubbing to try to address some hygiene needs in his private areas.

He may be trying to loosen or remove something that is stuck to him, such as a piece of fecal matter.

You can help to prevent this problem by helping your French Bulldog to the areas he can’t reach. This includes his hindquarters, belly, ears, and the folds in his face.

Insect Bite or Abrasion

If your French Bulldog has been playing outdoors and starts rubbing when he comes in, you may want to check the area.

There’s a possibility that your French Bulldog suffered a bug bite in that area that’s causing him discomfort. Or, he may have suffered a scratch or abrasion from rocks, sticks, and other rough surfaces.

Not only do injuries like these itch when they first happen, but they can continue to itch as they heal.

If you are worried that your French Bulldog’s injury may be infected, contact your veterinarian.

Health-Related Problems

The irritation or discomfort causing your Frenchie to rub could be a bigger problem than a minor abrasion.

This can be caused by more serious health problems like a urinary tract infection or impacted anal glands. As these conditions get worse, they cause pain and discomfort that your French Bulldog can’t escape.

Your French Bulldog can’t tell you what is happening and not all health conditions can be seen by just looking at your dog. This is why it is so important to bring your dog to the veterinarian.

Your vet can run the tests necessary to identify the problem or rule out health problems.

If it is health-related, your vet can provide you with the best next steps to give your French Bulldog.

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Britt Kascjak
Britt Kascjak has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering, and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. Her ‘pack’ includes her husband John, their 3 dogs – Daviana, Indiana, and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx.