How to Potty Train Your French Bulldog

How to Potty Train Your French Bulldog

So you have a new Frenchie coming to join you! Congrats! It’s an exciting time in your life and you will want to start to potty train your French Bulldog puppy the moment he arrives. You want to start the potty training process early in their life but realize just like human babies every Frenchie pup will potty train at different rates. I really want for you to be successful at this as training issues are one of the most common reasons a dog is turned into a shelter. I do not want that for my Frenchie pups or any Frenchie for that matter. It’s important that from the get go you are consistent and you housetrain them correctly from the beginning.

Keep your Frenchies space small & clean

In the wild, puppies naturally learn to not go the bathroom where they sleep or eat. When the pups are small the Frenchie momma immediately cleans up after her little ones when they pee or poo. Without the scent of pee/poo around the puppies do no associate the area with relieving themselves. How can we take advantage of this? 

  1. Crate train your pup. A pup doesn’t usually want to dirty his own space. Keep the space small and increase it as your pup grows and/or shows he’s trustworthy. 
  2. Utilize a playpen. If you let your pup roam the whole house, he can easily go to a corner of the house that far away from where he eats and sleeps to relieve himself. Instead of letting your pup roam, place him in his playpen when you’re eyeballs are not directly on him. As he becomes trustworthy in that space increase the size of the space he’s allowed to be in unattended. 
  3. If your pup pees or poos in the house, clean it up and deodorize it immediately

Keep Your Frenchie on a Schedule

Your Frenchie pup not only needs to associate not to pee in the house but also that the outdoors is for going to the bathroom. How do you do this? By implementing a schedule

  1. A young pup may need to be taken out once every hour. As he grows, the time between bathroom breaks will increase. Take the cues from your own Frenchie pup. If he pees before the house at the 45 minute mark, then you may need to take him out every 45 minutes. Your Frenchie will likely be able to hold it twice as long during the night time. I have found a 10 week old Frenchie when sleeping with me, can hold it most of the night. If I crate train, then it’s a shorter amount of time. 
  2. Take him outside after every feeding, waking up, and after playing. 
  3. If you catch your pup in the act, swoop him up, take him outside, and show him where he should go. It’s not suggested to discipline him for making a mistake. 

Use Verbal Cues & Praise your Frenchie

When taking your Frenchie outside, cue that it’s time to go potty. Say go potty or go pee. Choose one phrase and stick with it. This is not the time to play or pet him. You ignore him until he does his business and/or continue to cue him to potty. I usually wait until they are about half way through going and then begin praising by saying good boy or girl repeatedly and when they are complete I pet them while continuing the praise. If you choose to use treats, this is the time to give him one. I always say my love and attention should be all they need so I don’t personally give treats but I understand why you would choose to do so. 

Why does my Frenchie target the carpet? 

You will find your Frenchie pup will target the carpet that they find far away from where he sleeps and eats. Why is this? Because the carpet is soft under their paws and makes them think they are standing on grass. If you can, block of any carpeted area while potty training. 

What about puppy pads? 

I am not a huge fan of puppy pads. One, they are terrible for the environment. Two, you want to begin training your pup the way you want them to be potty trained as an adult. It’s confusing to change methods. Three, they tend to play with them and tear them apart which is a choking hazard.  I understand you may be using them until your pup gets its full series of shots, especially if you live in an apartment complex. My suggestions is to place  the potty pad as close to the door as you can or even on the balcony if you have one. This way they associate the door with going to the bathroom and it’s just a few more steps outside to go in the great outdoors. You may even consider a grass pad made for pups. 

Again there’s nothing more fun than brining home a new Frenchie pup. Your pup relies on you to be consistent so he can learn  good manners so he can become a proper canine citizen and seamlessly mesh into your families life. 

Looking for a Frenchie pup? Make sure to get The Ultimate Guide in Adopting a French Bulldog.

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