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Training a French bulldog can be a little challenging. That’s because Frenchies have a stubborn streak. French bulldogs have big personalities and can require a fair amount of training to make them good companions. But basically Frenchies are people pleasers, making them fairly easy to train if you give them the proper motivation (like treats), and make a game of the process. Then you will get their cooperation.
Overview of French Bulldogs and Their Characteristics
The French bulldog or “Frenchie” has large bat ears and an even disposition. This is one of the world’s most popular small dog breeds.
The French bulldog is a small, gentle, loving dog. Owning a French bulldog can be a great joy because this breed is kindhearted, affectionate and funny. With a friendly, loyal and lively personality and cute appearance, the French bulldog has remained among the most popular dogs in the nation ranking fourth in the AKC rankings.
This is a smart, affectionate and charming breed. Frenchies don’t bark much, they don’t require a lot of exercise and they love their families. They usually get along well with children and other animals. This is a great dog for an apartment or small home. But be aware that Frenchies don’t do well when left home alone for long periods of time.
Frenchies are known to be stubborn, so training can be tricky. But you’ll do fine as long as you make the training fun and give lots of treats and praise.
Best Practices for Training a French Bulldog
A French bulldog puppy can make a great family pet because they don’t need a lot of exercise and they do very well as a house pet. But Frenchies can be difficult to train and they have a stubborn streak, which means that training is very important. But with the right approach and plenty of patience, you can successfully train your French bulldog so that you can both enjoy a happy, peaceful, loving life together.
One of the first things you want to do when bringing your new Frenchie home is to introduce him to his crate. Crate training is a very effective way to establish positive behaviors in your dog. Some people think that dogs don’t like being in their crates, but this is not true. Dogs actually enjoy spending time in their crates and it often becomes a favorite resting place for them. Crating can be useful when you cannot directly supervise your dog. Keeping your French bulldog in a crate when you are out will prevent him from getting into trouble or making a mess in your home.
There are basically two types of training your French bulldog will need – socialization training and potty training. In most cases, socialization training is more difficult.
The French bulldog can be standoffish towards people they don’t know. Frenchies are also known to sometimes be aggressive toward other dogs. But these characteristics can be controlled when you begin training a French bulldog as a puppy. Start by introducing your French bulldog puppy to different types of people and other dogs. For the socialization to be effective, you should socialize your puppy by the time he is 14 weeks old. If not, the training may never work.
French bulldogs are intelligent and training them is easy as long as you make it seem like a game and keep it fun. The French bulldog does well with training when it is done in a positive manner with lots of food rewards, praise, and play.
Be positive. A French bulldog puppy can be a quick learner but they tend to be stubborn and not do everything you ask. Do not punish the dog as this will undo any progress you have made. Just be patient and stand your ground. Don’t give in. Try to teach new behaviors on a leash, even when you are inside, so your puppy cannot wander off when he gets bored. Smart dogs can get bored easily so break up the training into several smaller sessions of only a minute or two in duration. Wait for your puppy to comply and when he does, give him a big reward and end the training session.
Here are some essential tips for training a French bulldog:
- Start potty training as early as possible
- Use plenty of praise and rewards
- Introduce a crate
- Limit command training to short sessions
Training Tips for a French Bulldog
Here are a few tips for training a French bulldog.
Socializing Your Dog
Frenchies can be very loveable, but they can be very standoffish to new people and are sometimes prone to aggression toward other dogs. So it is important that you introduce your French bulldog to all types of people and pets. Do this by the time your puppy is 14 weeks old to help counteract feelings of fear and anxiety in your dog.
When you introduce your French bulldog to someone new, don’t force it. Just take him near new people and see what he does. It is best to take your cues from the dog. Just wait and what the dog does. If your Frenchie confidently walks up to the new person, give the dog a treat and then let the new person give the dog a treat. On the other hand, if your Frenchie seems fearful of the new person, give your dog a chance to calm down. Then, when he approaches the new person, reward him with a treat or praise. Don’t let the new person touch or pet your dog until he becomes more relaxed.
French bulldogs can be somewhat destructive because they get bored easily. Also, they use chewing to explore their world. It is a natural behavior. So if you own a French bulldog, make sure to keep all of your valuables and personal belongings out of your dog’s reach. If you notice that your Frenchie is chewing on items that he shouldn’t, interrupt the behavior by offering an item that the dog is allowed to chew, like a bone or a chew toy.
Do not scold your dog for chewing. Instead, provide plenty of interesting toys that your dog will not destroy. Avoid giving plush toys and squeaker toys to a Frenchie as he will destroy them.
Many small dogs can be difficult to potty train and the French bulldog is no exception. Frenchies are smart dogs who form habits very quickly. So potty training should begin the minute you bring your new dog home.
Frenchies have a small bladder, so they need to relieve themselves more frequently than other breeds. So as an owner, you need to be very attentive and aware of when your dog needs to go potty. Allowing accidents to happen will only extend the time it takes to complete your dog’s training.
It is best to buy a crate for your puppy and to put him in it when you can’t be there to supervise him. Like other breeds, Frenchies like to have a safe confined space to retreat to. Put some treats inside the crate and let your puppy go in and explore it on his own before closing him inside. Don’t leave immediately – spend a little time sitting with your dog while he is inside the crate. If your puppy whines or cries, ignore it. Your Frenchie will instinctively avoid peeing in his sleeping area while in the crate. After taking your French bulldog out of his crate immediately put on his leash and say “Let’s go potty!” Take him outside and reward him with positive praise for doing his business. Soon your puppy will develop a system of cues to tell you when he needs to go potty, like standing up in his crate or whimpering. When your puppy is out of the crate and needs to go potty, he may learn to stand by the door and whimper.
Feed your puppy at regular times so you will be able to judge when he has to go potty. Lead him out of the door, don’t carry him. Bring your Frenchie to the spot where you want him to go potty and let him explore until he goes. When he goes potty, reward him with treats and praise for going outside. If he doesn’t go potty, put him back in the crate for a longer period of time. If there is an indoor accident, clean it up immediately so that your puppy doesn’t begin to associate a specific spot in your home like the bathroom.
To learn more about owning a French bulldog, read our article Owning a French Bulldog: What You Should Know.
Here’s another great article about the French bulldog. Go to Choosing a French Bulldog.