French Bulldog Puppy Training Tips

A French bulldog puppy can make a great family pet, because they don't require a huge amount of exercise and can exist well as a house pet. However, they can be difficult to potty train and have a stubborn streak, so training is important.

Proper Socialization

French bulldogs can be very lovable, but they can also be standoffish to new people and are prone to aggression toward other dogs. Thus, it's important to socialize your French bulldog puppy early to anyone you want him to get along with as he gets older. Make sure to introduce him to all types of people and dogs as well as skateboarders, veterinarians, mailmen, gardeners, etc.

It's important to do this correctly by the time your puppy is 14 weeks old or he might have lasting fear. When introducing him to new people, don't force him to meet them. Take him near new people and see what he does. If he walks up to them with confidence, reward him with treats and allow the new person to give him treats.

If he seems cautious, however, wait for him to calm down. If he looks at you or tries to sniff the person, reward him yourself. Don't allow the person to pet him or give him a treat until he seems more relaxed.

Potty Training

Like many smaller dogs, French bulldogs can be difficult to potty train. Purchase an appropriately sized crate for your  puppy and put him in it when you can't supervise him. Otherwise, have him in the same room as you, tethered to your belt loop if necessary.

Feed him at regular times so you can anticipate when he has to go and lead him (don't carry him) out the door you want him to use later. Reward him with treats and praise for going outside. Repeat every hour or whatever duration your dog needs. If he doesn't go, put him back in the crate for a longer time.

Be Positive

A French bulldog puppy can learn quickly, but they tend to be stubborn and may not do everything you ask. However, this is not cause for punishment. French bulldogs can be sensitive, and this can undo a lot of great training.

Instead, be patient and don't give in. Make sure you teach new behaviors on the leash, even if you're inside, so he can't wander off when bored. Wait for him to offer the behavior. Once he does, give him a big reward and end the training session. Smart dogs can get easily bored, so break training up into several small sessions of only a minute or two, rather than only one or two long sessions.

Reliable Recall

All stubborn dogs need a reliable recall that they don't know to ignore. To teach this, start with a 6-foot leash and progress slowly. Toss a treat away from your dog. Once he eats it, run backward a few steps, happily calling his name. When he gets to you, say "Come" and reward with lots of treats and praise.

Practice this until your dog can be called off any type of distraction on a walk. Then, move to the 30-foot leash. Don't allow your dog off leash until you can call him off a distraction from 30 feet.

With a lot of positive training, a French bulldog puppy will put aside his stubborn ways and realize that working with you is much better than working against you.