There are few things better than a snuggly French Bulldog tucked under your arm as you browse Netflix. Between the perky ears and the warmth of their cute, compact body, they’re just too adorable to resist!
It can become an issue, however, when your Frenchie never wants to leave your side. Their love of companionship can easily morph into separation anxiety when they’re forced to part with you. It can also lead to destructive behaviors around the house as they try to express or soothe themselves in the only way that they know how.
How can you stop French Bulldog anxiety? What should you know about settling their nerves and preventing any harmful behavior to you or your poor furniture? Let’s dive right into it.
Do French Bulldogs have anxiety?
Anxiety is a common problem with French Bulldogs. Here are a few symptoms to watch out for:
- Whining or whimpering
- Destructive chewing
- Excessive licking
- Accidents inside the house
Another important thing to know about dog anxiety is that it can take several forms:
Separation anxiety. This is a well-known behavioral issue among Frenchies. They’re such a sweet, affectionate breed that they always want to be around their favorite humans, and they might not know how to cope with solitude when you’re out or at work.
Social anxiety. If your pup hasn’t spent a lot of time around others, they might not know how to react to friendly pets from humans or curious sniffs from other dogs. They might get aggressive, or they might become nervous and fearful.
Stress-induced anxiety. Changes in routine can be upsetting for a Frenchie, so if you’ve recently started a new job, moved to a new house, or brought home a new baby, they might be struggling to adjust.
Post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD can affect dogs just as much as humans, so if your pup came from a shelter or rescue organization, their anxiety might be stemming from abuse, neglect, or general trauma from a bad life.
One last thing to consider is whether your Frenchie’s anxiety is coming from a place of physical or mental distress. As you’re probably aware, French Bulldogs can inherit a number of health problems, and signs of illness can be mistaken for emotional issues. You might want to take your pup to the vet to eliminate any medical reasons for their behavior.
How can I help my French Bulldog with anxiety?
We’ve talked a lot about the causes of French Bulldog anxiety, but let’s switch gears and look at solutions.
Crate training. A crate or kennel can give your dog a soft, quiet, and comfortable place to retreat to when they’re feeling anxious. It can also prevent them from gnawing at your furniture while you’re gone. Stuff it with blankets and other things that have your scent to settle them even further.
Exercise and interaction. Some Frenchies display anxious behaviors when they’re bored, lonely, or stressed. By spending time with them, you’ll reassure them of your love, and you’ll also help them expend some of that nervous energy rather than keeping it bottled up inside. Consider taking them for walks right before you have to leave for work.
Time-delayed treats and toys. There are toys that will require your dog to open flaps or solve puzzles to get the treats inside. These will keep them busy while also improving their motor function and providing mental enrichment. They’ll be so intent on the peanut butter inside of the kong that they won’t have the presence of mind to be anxious.
Routine. French Bulldogs love routine, and it can also help with calming their anxiety when they always know exactly what their day is going to be like. Don’t underestimate your Frenchie here; they have excellent internal clocks, and they’ll quickly adapt to rituals where you go for walks or have kennel training at certain times of the day.
Professional training. Sometimes, you just can’t do it on your own. Look for places like the Pupford Academy that offer online training modules covering a wide variety of issues and behaviors. You can learn about body language, impulse control, crate training, potty training, leash walking, and more.
Medication. Some dogs are just sensitive. Some also have generalized anxiety without any specific traumas or triggers that you can avoid. Talk to your vet about anti-anxiety medication for your Frenchie. It won’t be a quick fix, but meds combined with other rituals and training practices can have positive results. For a non-prescription alternative, you may like to try Zesty Paw’s Calming Bites, turkey flavored chewables with natural ingredients that help dogs with nervous, anxious, or aggressive behaviors.
A Happy, Healthy Frenchie: It’s Possible
You don’t have to give up those couch snuggles. By recognizing the signs of French Bulldog anxiety and taking action to soothe and settle your pup, you can fix all of the behavioral problems that you’re having at home. You can also strengthen the bond between you and your Frenchie for an even better life together. Good luck!