French Bulldog Training Guide

Firstly, you may notice that training a French Bulldog can be a bag of mixed emotions. Secondly, the process is pretty smooth and easy, but, at the same time, these dogs can get pretty stubborn. Frenchie potty training, crate training, basic commands, socialization etc., will be explained in this article.

On the flip side, when the stubborn nature gets on its better side, French Bulldog training can become really tiresome. It can cause immense stress and agitation to the dogs as well as their human owners. We’re stressing on their stubbornness so much because, in comparison to other dogs, it’s greater by multiple times. Due to such reasons, a lot of French Bulldog owners have a hard time training them.

Are French Bulldogs Hard to Train?

We already touched upon the stubborn nature of the French Bulldog briefly. So if you’re planning to adopt one into your home, that shouldn’t come as a surprise at all. Besides that, these dogs are notorious for being people pleasers. But, considering all that, French Bulldog training isn’t too difficult.

Here, the most important factor is the approach you adopt for the training sessions. One cannot train a Frenchie following the same methods used for training, say a Labrador. Reward systems work really well for these dogs. Also, training that looks more like a game or plays session is the way to go.

Besides, as mentioned earlier, they want nothing more than to please their owners. At the same time, it’s good to remember that French Bulldogs are dogs with a great personality and heavy opinion. Plus, as long as you’re patient with your dog and provide enough stimulation, French Bulldog training can become easy.

Thus, without further ado, let’s quickly go through our guide on how to train French Bulldogs.

French Bulldog Behavior Training

1. Potty Training

​1.1. Create a routine schedule with regular diets and potty hours. It is recommended to take your dog outside right away after waking up, after playing or after eating and drinking. French Bulldogs are much easier to housebreak than any other breed of dog. When you first get your puppy, start a house-training routine as well. Take them outside every day at the same time.  Remember to get rid of any food between the meals so that it knows to eat when food is given. You can also take away your dog’s water bowl at least two hours before bedtime.

French bulldog potty training

1.2. Confine it to a particular area if you can’t be available for constant supervision. Limit your dog to a big crate or small blocked-off area in a room or yard. Frenchies are a mostly clean breed and will stay away from pooping in their sleeping area. Puppies less than 12 weeks old have yet not developed complete bladder control and can hold their potty only for the same number of hours as his age in months plus 1, so keep that in mind.

1.3. Look out for warning signs that your bulldog gives when it needs to go. These warning signs maybe like pacing from room to room, circling the room, sniffing, whining, barking or simply staring and fidgeting. If you see these warning signs, immediately take them outside because it is their potty time. You can also take your pup on a brisk walk, approximately 5 minutes after meal. Walk your dog until he/she is ready to eliminate. As soon as it’s done, praise them. One of the keys to potty training is constant positive encouragement. Lots of hugs, pats, treats and rubs will result in good behavior. This will allow your pup to get some exercise and training at the same time. Make sure to take a poop bag because you will need it.

1.4. Teach your French Bulldog a specific command for potty. As soon as it starts pooping, say “go potty” and once he is finished, praise him with a treat while still outside. Wait until they are finished, or he may finish in the house. Before long, you’ll say, “go potty,” and your dog will know what’s expected before he starts eliminating.

1.5. Clean your house or room completely after any accident to eliminate urine and feces odors. If your Frenchie smells feces in your house, he is likely to use that spot to go potty. If your dog poops in the home, then place the feces in an appropriate area of the yard so that they can smell it next time he goes outside.

1.6. Take your dog outside on a leash and bring him to the same spot every time. This helps your companion aware of approved potty areas. When they eliminate outside, immediately praise them. Let them run and play for some time and take advantage of this time, so they get their exercise and house-training at the same time.

2. Crate Training

Crate training and potty training go hand in hand. As you bring your Frenchie puppy home, introduce them to a crate. This initiation to a dedicated space is vital as it lets the puppy know that it’s their space. Also, crate training is crucial to impart positive manners and behavior in your dog.

Many people equate a crate to a cage, which really isn’t true. A crate is a place that provides safety and comfort to the dogs. In contrast to the misconceptions, dogs prefer to spend a lot of time in their crates to rest and relax.

French bulldog crate training

Besides, in cases where the owners cannot fully pay attention to their pups, a crate becomes very useful. It helps them supervise better and prevents the pups from hurting themselves. That’s because puppies don’t really know what’s what and can get into trouble if left on their own. Plus, crates help owners, especially when they need to go out and leave the puppy in the house alone.

3. Stimulation Through Rewards

These dogs thrive in an environment filled with positive feedback and energy. In contrast, with regard to any stern scolding or negative feedback, it really runs them down. They will lose all the happy energy and become sad and depressed. So if you’re serious about your French Bulldog training, choose motivation and praise instead of scolding. Make sure that you’re rewarding your Frenchie with treats and belly rubs to complement it.

Doing so will save you the trouble of dealing with a sulky Frenchie who also happened to be very stubborn.

Also, rewards must not stop if your Frenchie is trying to please you by doing things on its own. Refrain from scolding by way of shouting at your puppy if things aren’t going your way. Be patient and give your puppy time to adjust to the training methods. That is because training isn’t only about teaching your dog how to potty or manners. It’s a great way for you to build a positive relationship with your French bulldog based on trust and love.

4. Socialization Training

It’s crucial that you let your Frenchie pup get used to the presence of all the family members asap. We advise you do that from the day you bring the puppy into your home. Let it get used to the touch of the whole family and allow your pup the freedom to move about the house. These dogs love to explore and play around the house as they’re high-energy dogs. They thrive in situations with a lot of activities to stimulate and noise that hype them up.

In the same way, it is also important that your pup gets used to other dogs as well. For your puppy’s full development, it’s vital that your Frenchie is able to be around other dogs without being aggressive. There are many dog owners who find it hard to take their dogs for walks or to the dog park. That is because their dogs don’t know how to be and behave in a setting like a dog park. And it wouldn’t be wrong at all to say that it’s all due to late socialization or none at all.

Training French Bulldog Basic Commands

1. Short and Effective

It’s important that you don’t drag on the training. For a Frenchie puppy, the maximum duration it can stay focused is around 5 minutes. Start there and raise it as the dog gets older. In a day, the optimal number of sessions should be up to 5 while maintaining a minimum of 3.

Besides, to avoid a demotivated dog, carry out the training sessions when your Frenchie isn’t hungry. It will ensure that your puppy is high on energy and focused throughout the session. Again, do not fixate on daily training goals. That usually leads to owners getting anxious and stressed when things don’t go their way. Instead, be patient and do it consistently, making sure you reward your puppy for every success.

Also, make sure that there is a buildup in the lessons. That is, the current lesson should naturally lead to the next one and so on. In that regard, begin by selecting lessons that are easy and pick up the pace from there.

2. “No” and “Stop” Commands

It’s natural for any dog to bite on each and everything, especially when they are teething. Thus, it becomes crucial that owners teach their French Bulldogs to stop or not bite when commanded. Besides, if not addressed, the Frenchie can even start biting or nipping you or other household members. So if your dog is already starting to do that, instead of simply saying “No,” tap its nose lightly. Use a toy to distract and remove your hand from its mouth.

Using the toy makes it clear to the dog that it can chew on that but not your hand.

3. Commands for Body Movements

The first movement that you would need to teach your dog is perhaps the “sit” command. In order to do this, make use of your French Bulldog’s favorite treat. Bring the treat to its nose and step back and gently say “sit.” At the same time, you’ll need to push its bottom down when you give the “sit” command. When your dog sits, quickly reward the Frenchie with the treat.

Repeat the same thing over and over again, mixing a few things here and there. Like increase the distance, step away, and give the command. What you shouldn’t stop doing is to keep hyping it up and praise your Frenchie. Also, continue to push its bottom down until your dog does it on its own.

In the same way, you can teach your dog the commands “lie down”, “stay” and “don’t move”. For training your Frenchie to lie down, follow the same process of bringing the treat to its nose. Step back a little and bring your hand to the ground while ensuring your dog is aware of the treat. As you do that, say the command “lie down” or simply “down,” and reward your Frenchie as it does that.

4. Commands to “Stay” and “Follow”

To teach your Frenchie how to stay, follow the same process for the “sit” command. As your Frenchie sits, praise it a lot and give treats and start to back away slowly. While you step away, place your palm towards the dog and say, “stay.” You don’t have to step far way from Frenchie. Stay relatively close. When you start this training, your Frenchie is surely going to run to you. Even if it does that, don’t get agitated and remain patient; pet your dog and start again.

Visual example:

Teaching dog to sit – simple steps

Another thing to remember is that keep your dog on a leash throughout. Do not let it off until your dog learns the command.

Teaching your dog to follow or come to you can be easier than any other form of training. When you notice that your Frenchie is a little away from you, get on your knees and tap your thighs. As you do that, shout its name and give the “come” command while continuing to slap your thighs. It’ll make your dog run to you. In most cases, he will think that you want to play together. And just like that, when it comes to you, show love and pet your Frenchie. Don’t forget to reward it with treats.

Right Tools For French Bulldog Training

The tools owners use for their French Bulldog training is as vital as the methods, if not more. Your Frenchie can develop various respiratory disorders if you don’t make use of the right tools and equipment. It’s due to the fact that French Bulldogs belong to the category of Brachycephalic dogs. Thus, using a collar during training can be really harmful to your Frenchie. A dog collar can obstruct the airflow, damage the trachea, among many other things.

Training French bulldog with harness

That is why, to restrain your dog during training, make use of a harness instead of a collar. Studies reveal that the safest way to restrain a French Bulldog is by means of a harness. First, using a dog harness would mean no collar around their neck. That would by itself prevent a lot of issues mentioned earlier. Also, your Frenchie can now breathe easily since there’s nothing blocking or squeezing its airway.

Besides, training your dog becomes a much more enjoyable experience with a harness. Teaching a dog how to walk requires its human partner to have control of the dog’s core. And if your dog decides to be extra stubborn that day, it’ll become a power struggle. A collar can choke your dog, and in extreme cases, there’s a chance of its eyes popping out. But, with a harness, you’ll have control of your Frenchie’s core with minimal pulling and no chances of choking.

Things to Look Out For When Training French Bulldog

In general, French Bulldogs are a breed that is famous for thriving immensely under a lot of attention and love. But what the owners need to be careful is how and where they use the attention. If your dog is being whiny and being uselessly stubborn, paying heed to that will only add to the issue. Worst case scenario, the dog will continue to do that to have its wishes fulfilled. Thus, refrain from paying extra attention if your Frenchie is naughty to prevent it from happening again.

Also, remember that French Bulldogs are prone to respiratory issues. Intensive training sessions can take a massive toll on them. Besides, avoid high-intensity activities directly under the sun since their bodies heat up pretty easily. Plus, any activity related to water isn’t feasible.

In general, treats seem to be a big part of the French Bulldog training process. There’s a risk that your dog might end up doing everything just to get treats. Even though it gets the work done, it’s not an ideal way. Thus, to prevent that, it’s better if owners focus on doing the training more like a game. In that way, instead of treats, your Frenchie will seek your praise and company more than anything.

Why French Bulldog are Different To Train?

Shrouded in a rich history, French Bulldogs are famous for being companion dogs. It was in France where they first became famously known as French Bulldogs or simply Frenchie. Initially, their makers in Britain meant to create a mini version of regular Bulldogs. But somehow, they found their way into France by tagging along with the English lacemakers where the French Bulldogs thrived.

They are now more famous as show dogs or great family dogs, rather than staying only as companion dogs. You would find it interesting to know that, before all this, they even fulfilled the position of great ratters. These dogs are excellent for pet owners who live in apartments. Also, for those who want to adopt a pet for the first time, Frenchies are a safe choice. Although stubborn, French Bulldog training can become easy with a little practice, kindness, and patience.


It is evident that French Bulldogs, even though stubborn sometimes, are not that hard to train. Being people-pleasers, they want nothing more than fulfilling their owner’s desires. Besides, they are always ready to play, loving, and very intelligent. Like we mentioned, ensure that you’re using a harness and not a collar. We say that for your dog’s best interest in mind.

Also, when it comes to the training of your Frenchie, keep them brief and consistent. Don’t choose plans that have long-drawn-out and intense sessions. That is because their bodies cannot take such physical workouts. Finally, training is all about building a relationship of trust and loyalty with your Frenchie. Thus, we hope our guide on how to train a French Bulldog helps you in taking that extra step.

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