Ultimate Guide to French Bulldogs Training

French Bulldog Training – The Basics

French Bulldogs Training is a little challenging despite all of their cuteness. Frenchies have big personalities paired with a stubborn streak. To have these people-pleasers as great companions requires specific training to get them to cooperate.

As one of the most popular small dog breeds, Frenchies are loving, gentle, funny, affectionate, and kindhearted. Their lively, loyal, and friendly personality paired with a cuteness overload comes with a stubborn streak.

Charming, affectionate, smart Frenchies love their families and are not heavy barkers, and neither do they require plenty of exercise. This is why they are excellent to keep in small homes or apartments. Take note that for all of its praises, a French bulldog doesn’t do well when left alone for prolonged periods.

Praise and treats are important tools to use in puppy training while keeping the training fun.

Dog owners have an obligation to their dog and to their community to ensure that their pet is happy, socialized, and well trained.”

The Kennel Club

How easy is puppy French bulldog training?

Many new puppy owners find training a puppy harder than imagined. It is often attributed to a deficiency in a puppy. “He refuses to listen…he is too stubborn…runs away outdoors…pees on the floor…chews everything…nips the kids…”

It is normal! Puppies will try out all of the above “bad” behavior to which you must respond properly and immediately. If you don’t do it, puppy training will become a problem and the pup will have bad habits.

Potty Essentials: French Bulldogs Training

  • Begin potty training very early
  • Introduce a crate
  • Limit training to shorter lessons
  • Use an abundance of physical and verbal praise as well as rewards

Potty Training

Number one when training a French bulldog puppy is starting potty training. Prepare your home with puppy pee pads that you can buy in washable or disposable pads.

Outside Potty Training

Training a puppy to go outside takes patience. The best method is to take your puppy outdoors every 30 minutes if possible. This way they will associate pooping and peeing with outside as they will not have accidents on your floors. Take your Frenchie to the same outdoor spot during potty training. Stand in the same spot every time and wait until he is done.

Puppies train faster when adding a cue like “go potty” as they will learn that it is time to do their business when you say the cue. Give the puppy a treat with praise like “good job” or “good potty”. Be excited for the puppy and praise the Frenchie while gradually dropping a treat for French Bulldogs but continue with praise.

french bulldogs training

Indoor Potty Training

Both adult and puppy indoor training is similar to outside. Instead of taking your puppy outdoors, take them to the pads. It is important to know that just like human children, every puppy learns at their own pace. Remain persistent and patient as time spent on potty training is worth the effort.

“Always be consistent to avoid confusing your dog. Set boundaries and stick to them and make sure everyone in your household agrees to this”

Kennel Club UK

Teaching your French Bulldog Pup to Ask to Go Out

If you’re a dog, it certainly can’t always be easy to live with humans. First, you must figure out that they dislike it when you defecate or urinate indoors. To top it all, you don’t speak the same language and you must figure out how to do your business outside.

Dog parents often find it difficult to tell when a pup wants to go outside. Some puppies aren’t as adept at letting humans know they need “to go” while others show obvious signs. If your pup doesn’t show, you can help him to tell you.

“You can expect that your puppy will need guidance and supervision, that you will have setbacks and a few sleepless nights and early mornings”

Canadian Kennel Club

Is your Frenchie asking already?

Your pup may already ask you and you may not understand what he tells you in his dog language. Hints that dogs drop include:

  • Sniffing
  • Circling
  • Pacing
  • Whining
  • Standing by the door
  • Scratching the door
  • Moving into a corner or distant part of a room
  • Approaching you and wagging, whining, or staring
  • Approaching vertical objects like furniture legs, standing close to them, or sniffing at them

The above is all dog language that says, “I need to go”. Take him outside quickly and when he does, give him a tasty treat and praise him calmly but enthusiastically. Check out our French Bulldogs Training Courses Review for more info!

If he doesn’t ask, what do you do?

If your Frenchie doesn’t ask or show clear signs, teach him something obvious. When you teach him to stand at a door, the downside is that you won’t know when you are in another room. The simplest and best method is to ring a bell by touching it with his nose. Once he knows how to ring a bell, you teach him to ring the bell to go outside. He will learn to associate ringing a bell with you opening the door.

Your next question is, “How do I teach a Frenchie to ring a bell?”

  1. Buy a dog doorbell with a sturdy string that you will later hang on a doorknob where your dog will exit. When you present the bells to your pup use a specific command like, “touch”. Keep it only an inch or two from his nose as he will lean forward to sniff it.
  2. The second that his nose touches the bell, praise him and give him a treat. Train this way a few times before hanging the bells on the door.
  3. Call your dog to the door and repeat the command to touch and as soon as he does, praise him plus give him a tasty treat. Continue to do it with the door closed for a few days.
  4. Now it’s time to open the door when he touches the bell. Approach the door with the bell, call your dog, and command him to touch it.
  5. When he does, praise him and open the door to take him out.
  6. Let him touch the bell each time before you open the door to take him out.
  7. You will soon experience what it feels like when your pup rings the bell to go potty outdoors!
how to train a french bulldog

Crate French Bulldogs Training

You get dog owners who have never trained their dogs to be comfortable with a crate and these are the people with more problems when it comes to obedient pets. Dogs that are crate-trained have the advantage of seeking out a safe, quiet, and comfortable place when their environment becomes overwhelming or too loud. Their own “space” is how we look at it and your pup will see it as such too.

“With jobs to be done and errands to be run, it is inevitable that any dog will be left alone for some time. Some dogs struggle with an idea of being alone and without intervention may begin to show behaviors associated with separation anxiety’”


Crating Advantages and Uses

  • Crate training is an important tool during potty training as pups do not like a wet or soiled den.
  • Crates also come in handy during obedience training when you are teaching him house rules.
  • It is also the only safe way of dog transportation.

Crating Caution

Pet parents cannot use a crate as a magical solution for disobedient canines. When you don’t use it correctly, your pup or adult French Bulldog can become frustrated and feel trapped.

  • Don’t crate a puppy for longer than 3 – 4 hours at a time. He cannot control his bowels or bladder for longer.
  • Don’t crate your dog for too long. Dogs that are crated too long like all day don’t get human interaction or adequate exercise making them anxious or depressed. Instead of keeping your dog in his crate all day when you are at work or going away, get a pet sitter, change your schedule, or take him to doggy daycare to reduce crate time.
  • Never allow the dog to see his crate as a place where he spends time when he is being punished. He will fear his crate and refuse to enter.
  • Only crate your dog until a time when you can leave him alone in your house without destructive habits or accidents. Graduate him from a crate to an area of your home like a kitchen or bathroom, or another enclosed area before giving them full access to your house when you are not at home.
  • Even though the crate may be your pet’s den, he shouldn’t spend most of his time there just as you wouldn’t spend most of your time in one room within your apartment or house.

Crate Selection

Crates come in different materials and types from collapsible, metal pens to fabric with rigid, collapsible frames or plastic. When you buy a crate for a growing dog, choose a size that will accommodate them as adults. It should be large enough to turn around and stand up.

“Pups that soil their crate, means the crate is too big. If his crate is too big, block it off on an end without giving him access until he is potty trained.”

Canadian Kennel Club
training a frenchie

French Bulldogs Training Process

Depending on your dog’s past experiences, temperament, and age, crate training can take from days to weeks. During training it is essential to keep two aspects in mind:

  • Don’t go too fast – it must be a series of small steps.
  • His crate must be associated with a pleasing experience or fun.

Step 1 – Introduce your Frenchie to a crate

Choose an area where you spend a lot of time with your family, like a family room. Make sure the crate is comfy and lined with a towel or soft blanket. Remove the crate door if it has one to allow your dog to explore it at his leisure. A Frenchie is naturally curious and might sleep in his cage straight away. If yours doesn’t:

  • In a happy, cheerful voice take him over to the crate but make sure the door is open and secured. If the door suddenly slams closed it can either hit the dog or frighten him.
  • Drop treats close to the crate, then inside the door, and then inside the crate. Don’t force the dog to enter though, he will do so in his own time.
  • If treats don’t interest him, toss his favorite toy. Continue as it can take from minutes to days, but he will see that the crate is safe

Step 2 – Feed him in the crate

Once your Frenchie is used to his crate start feeding him near the crate. This ensures that he has a pleasing association with his crate.

  • When you start step 2 and he readily enters the crate already, feed him with specifically selected food bowls for French Bulldogs at the back of the crate.
  • When he remains reluctant to enter the crate, \place his food as far inside as he is prepared to go without him becoming anxious or fearful. Every time you feed him, move the bowl a little deeper inside.
  • As soon as your dog is comfortably eating his meal inside the crate, close the door. When you are doing it for the first time, open the door immediately after he finishes his meal. With every successive feeding keep the door closed for a minute or two longer until you keep it closed for 10 minutes after eating.
  • If he starts whining, you might have increased the closed-door period too soon. With the next feed shorten the closed-door period and don’t let him out if he whines. Only let him out when he stops whining or he will learn that he will be let out when he whines, and he will continue with this “bad” behavior.

Step 3 – Lengthier crating periods

Once your Frenchie eats his regular meals inside his crate with no signs of anxiety or fear, you can start confining him for short periods while you are at home.

  • Call your pup or dog to their crate and give them a treat.
  • Start with a specific command like “crate”. Point to the crates inside and encourage him with a treat in your hand.
  • When he enters, give him the treat and continue to praise him before you close the door.
  • Remain close to the crate and sit quietly for 5 – 10 minutes so that he sees you. Leave the room for a few minutes and when you return sit quietly again for a couple of minutes before you let him out.
  • Do this several times every day and increase the crating period gradually as well as the period that you remain out of sight.
  • As soon as he remains quiet with no whining for around 30 minutes while you are out of sight, he is ready to stay crated when you are gone for short periods. This can take days or weeks depending on your pup.

Step 4 A – When you leave, crate your Frenchie

30 minutes inside the crate with no fear or anxiety means your pup can be crated when you leave your home for short periods.

  • Using treats or commands that you have been using, crate your dog. A good idea is to crate him for longer periods with his favorite toys.
  • You don’t want to crate him for long periods before you leave, however, the moment before you leave routine must vary. Crate him sometimes for 5 minutes before you leave or even 20 minutes before you leave, but training involves varying the “leaving” time.
  • Never prolong greeting him or make an emotional departure. Everything about your leaving must be a matter of fact. Give him a treat, praise him briefly, and leave quietly.
  • When you return, don’t react to his excitement by responding enthusiastically. Your arrival must remain low-key or you will increase his anxiety over time when you return.
  • Even when you don’t go out, crate him from time to time or he will associate crating as a time of being left alone.

Step 4 B – Crate your Frenchie at night

Puppies and older dogs that are new to crates should be created in your bedroom or a nearby hallway when you start crating at night. Crate the dog using a treat and your regular command. When you feel treats are unnecessary, leave the treat, but always refer to the same crate command. You want to hear when your dog needs to go outside, and you don’t want them to associate night crating with social isolation either. Only when your dog is comfortable with his crate at night, move the crate to where you are comfortable.

french bulldogs biting

French Bulldogs Training: Socializing your Frenchie

Frenchies are naturally sociable and friendly creatures but at the same time very protective of their owners. This is why it is important to get your Frenchie comfortable around other people and dogs. Puppies can be socialized from around 4 weeks and they will portray comfortable social behaviors around other people and pets by 4 months old.

Puppy socialization is simple and pleasant for puppies and pet owners. Take your pup for public walks with a short leash. Walk to places or parks where they can meet other dogs. Your fellow is a lively dog that will respond positively when you greet other dog walkers especially when you ask other walkers if your Frenchie can “introduce” himself. Allow the dogs a minute’s sniff before continuing on your walk.

Reward your Frenchie with praise and a treat when he is greeted in a friendly way. The thing about good French bulldogs positive social behaviors is to expose them to all types of animals and places, sounds, and people, and you will have a confident, friendly, and well-rounded pup.

Bonus Training Tips with Tools

With positive training, Frenchies are very cooperative. With their sweet demeanor, they climb deep into your heart, but they thrive on love and attention. You want your training to be a positive and happy experience for both of you to strengthen the bond between you. While they are not natural barkers, they can develop a barking habit due to their protective and loyal nature. If you Frenchies continue barking at passersby, consider a dog-training collar. Check out our French Bulldog Training Courses Review for more info!

Training mistakes you want to avoid

The French bulldog’s pudgy, flat face with folds of skin is what enhances their adorability. These same features can cause discomfort when breathing. This is what you should keep in mind when you do French Bulldogs training. Frenchie’s nostrils are almost closed at times, making it difficult to keep up with excessive exercise or long periods of training.

Keep your Frenchie healthy and happy during training by avoiding the following activities:

  • Extended training periods
  • Shouting at your puppy
  • Water activities
  • Training in cold weather
  • Getting overheated
  • Training in hot weather

Training sets for French Bulldogs and treats are important tools to use in puppy training while keeping the training fun.

Teaching Frenchies Self-Control and Bite Inhibition

With looks like a furry angel, your pup is the apple of your eye but when playing with you, he is more devil than angel. Your hands and arms are crisscrossed from scratches left by his needle-sharp teeth that put a damper on playtime pleasure. Swatting and shouting at him will leave him more excited and he will come back for more. Kids will become screechy when the cute puppy is near with only one answer, teaching him not to bite.

It is natural for puppies to explore with their mouth as you are well aware. He will require watching every waking minute lest he does himself or your belongings harm. Not biting is a crucial element of training as play in pups becomes a serious adult dog problem. Training him not to bite plugs into the principle of bite inhibition. This is how he learns to moderate how he comes into contact with human skin and what he does with his mouth.

how to train a french bulldog

Getting Started

It takes timing and knowledge rather than equipment to teach a French Bulldog pup to have a gentle mouth. You have to apply rules consistently for the pup to understand what is expected and family members must be on board too. Everyone in a household must react in the same fashion to teach a pup not to bite. Check out our French Bulldogs Training Courses Review for more info!

Bite Inhibition

What is bite inhibition?

Living in an ideal world, your pup stops himself through self-control from biting down on a hand or skin. Many puppies learn it through playing with littermates. They learn that other pups cry or squeal and stop playing. Therefore, when they want to continue playing, they learn to bite carefully, and this is what you want to mimic when they play with humans.

Speaking “Dog”

Just watch how puppies play and you will see they cry, squeak, or squeal when play gets too rough. Often an overenthusiastic pup backs off when this happens. You should mimic puppy behaviors like crying out as it is a signal that a pup can understand. He will learn how much care he must take with his skin.

When teaching your pup, it isn’t a time to be shy or introverted. Play act big time and squeal when he leaves the slightest scratch to such an extent that your pup thinks humans are delicate and he is really careful. Scrunch your face, let your hand go limp, and make whimpering noises to look out for concern from your puppy.

When you act as if you should have won an Oscar and he doesn’t stop, end the game immediately. Walk away from the pup, preferably leaving a room, and give him time to think and relax but don’t continue playing. He must learn that fun ends when he plays rough which will teach him to be gentler.

Self-Control Teaching

Self-control differs from bite inhibition and works for pups that lose self-control when excited and bite when they are exuberant. Here you play for 15 seconds, stop briefly only to start playing when your pup has calmed down. This is a preventative measure to stop pups from getting hyper and getting themselves into trouble simply because he is overexcited.

Plan Ahead

You must know what your intentions are ahead of the game. You must remain consistent throughout for your pup to understand the consequences when he refuses to calm down.

Engage in play with a toy

Sit on the floor with your pup’s favorite toys and start a tug game by waving a toy around until he shows interest which probably will be instant. Stop after 15 seconds, put the toy down, and even when he continues to play, ignore him. Only resume play when your pup is visibly calm. He might sit and look at you, wondering why you stopped playing. Praise him when he is calm and resume play for 15 seconds. Repeat the cycle and it will be sufficient to stop your pup from becoming over-excited and biting purely because he is hyper.

Crate training

Creating training is very effective irrespective of what you are trying to teach a pup. When you teach him not to bite and to become a calmer pup, the crate method is very effective. Instead of isolating yourself when your pup is overexcited, isolate him instead. It sounds cruel but not as bad as it sounds. Check out our crate training guidelines above.

When you should walk away

As we said, “in a perfect world” the pup might calm down, but he might continue mouthing, jumping, and mobbing you. Ignore him, get up, and walk away. Return only when he is calm as you teach him that calmness is rewarded with more fun. You can get some help with our selection.

Do’s and Don’ts when French Bulldogs Training for self-control and biting

Don’t smack your pup

Physical punishment or smacking is likely to excite him even more and he might bite more instead of less. On the other hand, your smacking might be painful, he may stop biting but for the wrong reasons. Not because he learned not to bite, but because he fears you.

Do seek professional help

When you can’t cope and your Frenchie is unusually mouthy, seek help from a behaviorist or certified dog trainer. Pups are at a crucial learning age and inappropriate actions or bad behaviors that are not corrected now become problems in adult French Bulldogs. Professionals will know how to nip this problem in the bud effectively.

Do keep an eye on children with a pup

Children’s squeals and squeaks over-excite a pup which can result in play biting. Kids run away, pull away and the pup gets his cue to chase. Children’s squeals and increased distress rev up the puppy and his bad behavior is reinforced. You can avoid this by supervising kids and pups and teaching children the correct reaction towards the pup. Check out our French Bulldogs Training Courses Review for more info!

“Teach children to avoid escalating a situation by hitting, running, yelling, or making sudden movements toward a dog. Teach kids never to tease dogs by taking their treats, food or toys”

American Veterinary Medical Association

Don’t use feet and hands as toys

Don’t tease a puppy with your hands or fingers or invite him to play and bite your hands and feet. It teaches him that these are toys too and fair game.

Do encourage him with toys

Direct contact with his mouth can be avoided when you opt for toys instead of your hands. Balls to chase, cuddly toys or tug toys are great for pups and adult French Bulldogs. Your dog will automatically look for toys instead of trying to bite your hands.

Do introduce calming music

music for dogs

Numerous pet owners have found success by playing soothing music like classical tunes for French Bulldogs when they leave pups alone when going out. Dogs feel less alone and will be less anxious.

French bulldog breed information

Frequently Asked Questions – French Bulldogs Training

Why does a French Bulldog bite?

Your Frenchie might look as if he belongs in Cuteville instead of your house as he is the cutest of cute dogs. Dog owners must keep in mind that it may sound as if French Bulldogs have a biting problem, which is the opposite as they are typically not aggressive. He is playful and very affectionate and loved for his big personality. However, he might still bite as he reacts to something. This includes:
 Stressed: he may feel at risk, perhaps his territory or himself,
– Scared: If he is literally backed into a corner or feels threatened, he may react to defend himself even though he isn’t actually threatened,
– Playing: When he wasn’t taught properly as a puppy that biting is bad, he thinks he is simply playing,
– Unwell: When he isn’t feeling well and takes himself off to a spot where he wants to chill, he may not want to play. He could feel vulnerable when unwell and not particularly tolerant which could also lead to him biting.

Is barking common in French Bulldogs?

When you compare French Bulldogs to other small breeds, this breed barks far less. Any dog barks and when a Frenchie barks, he has a reason as he has a quiet nature. This breed has plenty of ways to communicate with barking, but not a common one. When your little friend barks, he is trying to tell you something. Reasons why he barks include:
– Distress:
 When he is left alone, he could be distressed,
– Territorial:
 Frenchies are territorial about their toys and food dishes. If they see other animals or dogs invading “their space” they could bark as a warning for other animals to stay away,
– Alarm:
 Frenchies may bark when someone knocks at the door,
– Attention:
 Frenchies are attention-seekers and they may bark when they feel lonesome or neglected,
– Pain:
 if your Frenchie is normally quiet and starts barking suddenly, he could have some kind of physical pain,
– Anxiety:
 he may be anxious or nervous about an unfamiliar sound or person.

What is the best age to start training a Frenchie?

Frenchies are very intelligent but at the same time stubborn which makes it tricky to train them if you are not patient. Young pups have short attention spans but as young as 6 – 7 weeks of age, you can expect them to learn simple commands like stay, down, sit, and no. This is why the earlier you start potty training, the better. Formal training and difficult obedience commands should be delayed until they are about 6 months old.

Why is it unacceptable to hit a dog?

Dogs do not have a vindictive nature and loyal companions. Dogs do not upset you out of spite and they won’t stop as they do not understand rules or standards. You don’t hit a dog as it hurts, it induces fear, it damages the bond between pet and parent, and also causes behavior changes as the dog becomes insecure, as well as defensive aggression, develops.

What are the first words that you teach a puppy that they learn easily?

The first thing you teach a puppy aside from basic training is its name followed by come, sit, no, yes.


These four-legged friends of yours depend on your guidance and leadership to allow them to become their best. There is no such thing as a naughty dog, he was simply not trained right or at all! From a very young age teach them to become the best that they can be and keep in mind that like humans, there are no two pups the same. Each has their own personality and pace at which they will learn new things like accepting a crate or asking to go outside. Teach your dog to become the pleasant and adorable Frenchie that he can be using our guide. When you don’t have time or patience, check out our French Bulldogs Training Courses Review.

About the Author

Tomas Rubio, a co-creator of FrenchBulldogsClub.org has an outstanding passion for these charming companions. With his meticulous attention to detail and vast expertise in French Bulldogs, Tomas guarantees that each article is thoroughly researched and filled with informative content, making them essential reading for any devoted Frenchie's parent.

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frenchbulldogsclub.org does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
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