French Bulldog Dog Training: MUST KNOW FACTS

Aaron Rice Expert Dog Trainer
Written: December 6, 2022

As of 2022 the French Bulldog was the number 7 most popular dog breed in the world. They are known for their squished faces, bat-like ears, and their short stubby legs. While today we think of these dogs as sweet and loyal, they were originally bred in the UK for blood sports until those were outlawed in 1835. French Bulldogs are a result of a cross breed in Paris, France in the 1800s between local ratter dogs and toy bulldogs imported from England. As time has progressed, we view French Bulldogs as wonderful companion dogs in today’s day and age. While they make great companion dogs, there are things that need to be pointed out and things you need to know about training your pup!

French Bulldog Dog Training: (Step By Step)

They have separation anxiety

The number one thing to know about your Frenchie is that they do in fact suffer from separation anxiety. Most people know that French Bulldogs are very sociable, but they do need constant care. If left alone for too long, they will try getting your attention by making a mess of your house. Keep in mind, Frenchie’s have a ridiculously small bladder which is another reason they cannot be left alone for too long. To decrease their anxiety, make sure you have a lot of toys to help keep them stimulated and entertained.

They do not need lots of exercise

French Bulldogs are one of the laziest dog breeds. They need less than 20 minutes of physical activity a day. This does not mean that your pup does not want to play. In fact, Frenchie’s are very playful! They love running around, playing catch, and even rolling around in the grass or the mud. Just make sure their playtime is spread out, so they do not overexert themselves. Do not forget to take your precious pup for a walk each day.

They cannot swim

Since the French Bulldog has a squished face and short nose, they have a harder time getting oxygen and cold air into their lungs. They use up a substantial portion of their air just by treading water, so if they started getting shortness of breath and are left unsupervised, they might drown!

They are intelligent

French Bulldogs are highly intelligent dogs. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) they rate a 4/5 on their trainability! This means that because they have a higher intelligence, they are easier dogs to train! They are eager to learn but will not pester you for it.

They are an expensive breed

On average a pure-bred French Bulldog costs $5,000 dollars; however, this number can skyrocket due to starter kits, vet appointments, and shots. Cute and cuddly is not free but can you really put a price on puppy love? French Bulldogs are in such high demand, and on top of that they are hard to breed. These dogs cannot mate in the normal way, so breeders must use artificial insemination. Both the female and male Frenchie need to be tested before insemination which costs the breeder money. This entire process is what makes the French Bulldog such an expensive breed.

They do have severe health problems

While these dogs are dangerously cute, they are prone to many health problems. These problems range from hip dysplasia, allergies, and gastric torsion. While Frenchies are prone to these extra health risks, they are also prone to more common risks like poor vision and hearing loss.

They shed

Make sure you double check everyone’s allergies because French Bulldogs are in fact non-hypoallergenic. They shed quite frequently and require frequent grooming. So, if you or anyone in your house has allergies, take extra precautions!

They are extremely sensitive to criticism

Due to their separation anxiety, French Bulldogs are overly sensitive when it comes to how they are being treated. Frenchies cannot take criticism well. When they feel like they are being treated poorly, they will withdraw from human interaction and mope around the house.

They constantly release gas

One of the things a French Bulldog is known for is its flatulence. There are many reasons why they fart as much as they do. It could be due to a change in their diet, swallowing too much air, a weak stomach, or even just lack of exercise. Make sure to keep your Frenchie away from beans!

They make great pets for families with kids

Frenchies make wonderful pets for children! They are sweet, compassionate, loyal, and playful, making them the perfect companion for the little ones. It is also perfect because Frenchies cannot be left alone! Kids will pay loads of attention to their dog and the dog will be content and feel a part of the family.

They are short and light

On average a Frenchie weighs about 27.5 pounds! This might be a little heavy for the young ones, but when compared to a 90-pound Pitbull, your Frenchie is super light! French Bulldogs also average a height of 12 inches (one foot.) While they are not technically lap dogs, like a yorkie, they do still in fact jump in your lap.

They have a semi-long lifespan

On average a French Bulldog lives 10-12 years but that does not mean they cannot live longer. Some Frenchies live to the age of 16! If you feed them properly, give them the right amount of exercise, and treat their health issues when they appear, they can live on the longer side of the scale.

They hardly bark

Even though Frenchies are an energetic and small breed of dog, they do not usually bark. They do, however, make a lot of noises to let you know that they are present. They gargle, growl, cry, whine, and wail to make themselves known. There are a few instances where they will bark. These times are when they are alerting you, when they are in distress, and when they are feeling anxious from being left alone for too long. When comparing them to a Chihuahua or a Yorkie, they are quiet dogs.

Training Tips and Tricks

The best time to start training is when you first get your French Bulldog puppy! There are three times when major milestones should be met. These times are the 12-week mark, the 4-6-month mark, and the 6–8-month mark. Let’s start talking about the milestones that come with the first 12 weeks (about 3 months) of training.

The 12 week milestones

When a newborn baby is brought home, a parent’s first thought is to babyproof the house, so their child does not get hurt. It should be the same way with your newborn puppy! Puppy proof everything! Get puppy gates, crates, and sharp objects out of reach. This should all be done before you take your precious pup home for the first time.

Check their immunization records! By the time your puppy leaves the breeder, they should have a minimum of two shots! Then make sure you call a veterinarian to schedule your Frenchie’s first vaccination appointment.

Since French Bulldogs have many wrinkles, they need to be taken care of extra special! Wrinkles allow infections to grow and prosper. Make sure you brush and clean your puppy every day! Get the grime and dirt out as soon as you can! Teach them that personal hygiene is important from an early age, so they are not scared later in life.

Now we get into the real training! Closer to the end of the 12 weeks, you should be teaching your puppy to sit, walk (comfortably with a leash), and fetch with the reward of treats. Want a tip for better training? Make sure you do not teach them something when they are a puppy and change it up when they are a dog! Make sure you know 100% that what you are teaching them now is what you are going to continue to teach them into their later years otherwise they will be confused, and they might unlearn what you already taught them.

The 4–6-month milestones

Teething, every parent’s nightmare! Your puppy will chew on everything, and I seriously mean everything. Shoes, toys, blankets, and even clothes. During this time there is a huge possibility your puppy will eat something they are not supposed to. This will cause an upset stomach so be prepared for nausea and some diarrhea. In order to keep them busy, use this time to train them to bite and play with things that they are supposed to play with. Say no when they bite shoes and instead, give them a toy! This is the easiest way to train through teething!

The 6-8-month milestones

This is the time and age when your puppy’s hormones will start to kick in! Hormones affect your Frenchie’s temperament and activity levels. Female pups will start acting more attached and clingier while a male will most liking start establishing his dominance, also known as humping. During this time, your Frenchie’s brain will be more developed which makes puppy obedience training a lot easier.

Potty Training

Start potty training extremely early! Make sure you prepare your home with puppy pee pads! This way you can wash and reuse the pads as needed. This is to ensure that if your puppy does go to the bathroom in the house, they have an easy access point! This is just to start them off because we do not want them going to the bathroom in the house forever! Let’s move to potty training outside! Training your pup to go to the bathroom outside takes a lot of work and it is not easy! To start, take your Frenchie outside every 30 minutes. This way your adorable puppy will know he can and should go to the bathroom outside. On top of that, make sure you let your bulldog out in the same spot each time so they get used to where they should go to the bathroom! Frenchie’s also respond well to a simple phrase, something like “go potty!” Since your Frenchie needs constant praise and approval, make sure you add something like “excellent job!” or “good girl/boy!” The French Bulldog responds well to praise so by saying good job, they will learn that going to the bathroom outside is the right way to do it!

Crate training

Some dogs love crates while others absolutely hate them. Since you cannot be home with your dog every second of the day, you need to teach them to behave in the crate. Dogs hate soiled cages, so by getting them used to the crate, they will learn to not go to the bathroom in it. Second, never leave your dog crated for more than three hours at a time. No dog, especially a Frenchie, can control their bladder for that long of a time. Never use the crate as punishment for something they did wrong! This will make your pup afraid of their crate and they will fear it for an awfully long time. Finally, remember not to put your dog in their crate just to rest or for an extended period of time. Think of it like this, you would not spend the entire day in your bedroom because it is not healthy! Always prioritize your puppy’s mental health.

Training mistakes you need to avoid

– Do not overextend your training sessions

– Do not shout at your Frenchie

– Avoid water activates

– Avoid training in too cold of weather

– Avoid activities that will overheat your dog

– Avoid training in hot weather

Do’s and Don’ts

– Do not smack your dog

– Do encourage your puppy

– Do not use your hands and feet as toys

– Do keep many doggie toys on hand

– Do not tease your Frenchie

– Do use calming music

– Do not leave your Frenchie unattended for an extended period

– Do keep your eyes on kids when they are with your dog

If you already own a French Bulldog or are in the market looking for one, know that you are not alone! There are trainers and other bulldog owners that would be happy to answer your questions or guide you through the process. Although French Bulldogs have some difficulties, they will still make the pawfect pet for you or your family.