Tricks & Training: How to Train French Bulldogs

Are French Bulldogs really any different than the average dog? If they were the same as the next pup, they wouldn’t have such a great community of Frenchie enthusiasts. Along with the unique, stocky look of the French Bulldog comes a very unique and charming personality as well as their own training needs.  Here are some unique things you need to know about tricks and training, and how to train French Bulldogs.

Prevention Over Punishment

The Frenchie is very endearing and loves his humans, but when left to himself to figure things out he can get pushy. He may become demanding, guarding resources such as food, toys and even humans. This is called small dog syndrome, as it often comes from a small breed dog who was not give the same type of training foundation a larger breed may receive. Humans have the need to spoil small dogs instead of training them, creating the yapper most people despise today. You can stop prevent this entirely by providing early training the very day your Frenchie becomes yours.

Prevention starts early by making bad behaviors difficult to do and the correct behaviors easy to do. Add on positive reinforcement for the good behaviors, and soon enough you have your ideal canine companion. This method can be seen in using a crate for house training, teaching basic obedience and using his commands in daily events including meal times, and even in proper leash training. For example, use a crate to temporarily confine your puppy while you are doing a chore to prevent him from wondering off into another room to potty. Then, take him to his potty place first thing when he comes out of his crate. When he does his business, you can reward him with either a treat or play. You just used prevention to reinforce correct potty habits.

Now that you know what prevention is used for, you may be wondering what to do when your puppy does potty in the wrong place, chew the wrong item or jumps up on a house guest. For generations humans have passed down the belief that we must show our animals that we are boss and dominate. This is outdated and scientifically proven to be incorrect. Instead of punishing your dog in any way, you must evaluate the situation. Why did it happen in the first place? Nearly every puppy or dog behavioral problem that exists does so due to human error. Furthermore, dogs simply don’t learn from humans through punishment. If you rub your puppy’s nose in the mess that he made, he will not be able to make the association between his punishment and his action of going potty. You may think he looks like he feels guilty, but he’s just showing you his fear. Every time you punish, yell at or harm your dog or puppy, you are only breaking his trust in you and teaching him that pain comes from you. This is the complete opposite of what you want out of your French Bulldog.

Socialize as Training

Socialization may be a subject all on its own, but it is also a type of training tactic that your French Bulldog needs at an early age. Most of the time a Frenchie is happy to mingle with and share a space with other animals and people, but he can only really be comfortable if he was given socialization opportunities in a controlled and positive way from you.

Many believe that socialization is simply being exposed to different locations. That’s simply not true. A dog can be exposed to something, for example loud and active children, and be terrified. If he remains fearful and is not helped through his emotions through conditioning, he may always stay scared of small or loud children. It is not just the exposure that socializes a dog, but the entire experience.

Be Your Frenchie’s Best Friend

Using positive reinforcement and preventative techniques will help you train your dog and get to the end result of a happily motivated and obedient Frenchie. It is up to you, though, to use these safe, humane and fun training methods to build a bond with your dog. Training is more than just teaching tricks or commands, it opens the path to communication between the two of you. Once your French Bulldog knows what you are asking from him, you will also learn to watch his body language and hear what your dog is telling you. Training is the secret language and key to a happy and life long relationship with you and your Frenchie.  So learn the unique nuances of tricks and training, and how to train French Bulldogs.

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