French Bulldogs or Frenchies have it all going their way. They are cute, gentle, friendly, and loving fur babies. They adapt effortlessly, love to hang out with people and other animals, have pleasant personalities, don’t require too much grooming or exercise, and don’t bark much. It is no wonder French bulldogs are one of the most popular small dog breeds in the world. The AKC ranks Frenchies fourth, out of a possible 200 in terms of popularity, and describes them as “completely irresistible.”
But Frenchies have strong personalities and are often stereotyped as stubborn and hard to train. We think otherwise. French bulldogs might not be so eager to please or have high energy levels like other dog breeds. But with patience and consistency, you can train and discipline your Frenchie to sculpt a wonderful personality. Here are seven tips to help you do that.
Tip #1 Puppy proof your home
Puppy proof your home whether you are a novice or veteran. Having Frenchie pups at your home is just like living with the average 2-year-old toddler. They should be supervised, and stuff kept out of reach.
Put your stuff or items that could hurt the pups out of reach or lock them away, and barricade danger spots. You can use these pointers to puppy proof your home:
- Don’t leave electrical cords in the open.
- Keep human food out of reach.
- Keep trash bins behind locked doors.
- Barricade stairs and other no-go zones.
- Keep toilet lids closed.
- Put medications out of reach.
- Keep cleaning supplies handy but secured.
Puppy proofing your home protects your pups from themselves.
Tip #2 Start potty training as soon as you get home
Frenchies are old enough to leave their mother’s care at 12 weeks old. At this age, they are youthful and energetic. They can also master their surroundings and know where to toilet.
Maximize this learning opportunity by potty training the Frenchie as soon as they get home.
Avoid using puppy poop pads. The pup will be confused about where to toilet. Instead, learn the tell-tell signs that your pup wants to go, and take it to the right spot. Every time they toilet at the correct place, praise the dog and be excited about it. You may have to do a few clean-ups. But, the pup will quickly learn where to go when it is time.
Tip #3 Give the dog sufficient exercise
You have probably heard that a tired dog is a happy dog. Although Frenchies don’t require much exercise, they still respond better when they do a bit of working out every day.
Don’t let him lie on the couch all day. Take the dog for a brisk walk around the neighborhood. If you don’t want to go outdoors, think of indoor engagement activities like dancing or an indoor obstacle course.
Physical activity stimulates the mind and body of dogs. You can use exercise sessions to teach the dog new tricks and enhance discipline. But remember to keep the training sessions short, intriguing, and punchy.
Tip #4 Start socializing early
Don’t hide the Frenchie pups behind closed doors. They could develop behavior problems. Instead, let them interact with people and activities in the house. If you have energetic family members, like kids, let them play together. Just make sure someone is keeping an eye on them.
When the pups are about 14 weeks, they are old enough to interact with the outside world. Frenchies can at times be protective and aggressive towards other pets. Take them to the park or introduce them to other pets. Let them learn how to counteract fear and anxiety. It is okay to be around other pets.
Tip #5 Use a crate. It can work wonders
Use a crate when you are not available to supervise your Frenchie. It is not a cage, and you can help your Frenchie feel comfortable and safe by doing the following:
- Get the right size crate – ensure it is large enough so that the dog can stand without a hunched back. The enclosure should also have room for growth.
- Place a crate pad or a soft blanket on the floor of the crate.
- Put a few healthy treats in the crate.
- Place the crate in a quiet area, but at a place where they can still interact with people. Don’t let the dog feel isolated.
- Never use the crate as a form of punishment.
Tip #6 Get interactive toys
Frenchies are smart. They also get bored quickly and could turn to destructive behavior. Frenchie pups like to explore their world by chewing, and it could get to you.
Don’t scold the dog for being curious. Instead, give it an alternative and exciting interactive toy, like a chew-toy, or provide a calming dog bed. The dog will calm its curiosity, and your valuables will be intact.
Tip #7 Be consistent and positive
Our final tip has more to do with you than the dog. Frenchies, as well as all other dog breeds, respond best to consistency and positive affirmation. Consistency is the language that dogs understand – not English. If it is crate time, and Frenchie wants to continue playing with his toys, use the same cue to alert him. Let everyone at home use the same signals and avoid confusing the dog.
Also, create a predictable routine. Have consistent meal times, toileting time and place, and all other activities.
Reinforce positive behavior with affirmation. It works better than scolding or punishment. Your Frenchie will be disciplined, cute, and have a great personality.
All Frenchies have stunning looks and pleasing personalities. But not all are disciplined; some have behavior problems. You can nurture a disciplined, friendly, and cute Frenchie pup. Just use these tips, be patient and ask for help whenever you need it.