Anyone who owns a French bulldog (or two) will be glad to extol their virtues. They will give you a million reasons why you should of course get yourself a Frenchie – your life isn’t complete without one. They will talk endlessly about the breeds great intelligence, their loyalty, what great companions and watchdogs they are, how good they are with kids etc.
However, a Frenchie is first and foremost a Bulldog and as such needs a firm hand and a clear indication of what you expect from them as regards behavior and obedience. Your approach to French bulldog training is all-important. You may find the following tips useful before you start:
French Bulldog Training Tips
French Bulldogs are a highly intelligent breed but they have a short attention span. In saying that they are very much food-driven – they will do almost anything for a treat. Frenchies are also eager to please you so you will need to plan your training schedule around short, sharp sessions with lots of treats and even more praise for a job well done.
Use a strong clear voice at all times, don’t shout and scream – it confuses the dog and leaves you frustrated.
Keep in mind that Frenchies are very independent thinking dogs, if the exercises seem boring or pointless to your dog their stubborn streak will raise its ugly head and they will do nothing you ask. Keep it fun – keep it interesting – keep it exciting.
Be consistent in the commands you use when training your Frenchie, find one word that conveys praise and another that leaves him in no doubt that you are displeased – make sure you carry plenty of treats when training as a reward for good work.
Make sure your French bulldog training sessions are kept short, not only to take account of their short attention span but also to reduce the possibility of overheating – French Bulldogs cannot dispel body heat quickly and are prone to over-heating if over-exercised or over-stimulated.
Frenchies are also known for their need for human attention and contact. They are very tactile little dogs and love nothing more than being close to you even if it is just sitting on your foot. Use this need for attention and love to enforce the behavior rules you set in your home.
Although they are incredibly cute, Frenchies are heavy, solid little dogs and often play more roughly than other dogs both with their litter- mates and their owners. You should be sure that your dog knows the basic “NO” and “LEAVE” commands before being allowed to play with younger members of the family.
Obviously, young children should never be left unattended with a dog of any breed- better safe than sorry.
French Bulldogs are generally playful and will be demanding of your time and attention not only as a puppy but as an adult dog. Be prepared for the possibility of some bad behavior if your Frenchie feels they’re not getting enough attention.
Some owners find a set play-time each day is the way to control their dogs’ behavior i.e. if they know playtime is coming, they’re better behaved.
Last but probably most important, be very patient with your Frenchie. They are very intelligent and eager to please but they are still dogs. It may take a few sessions before they fully understand what you expect from them.