Note: This is a guest post written by Steffi from SpiritDog Training. Thanks Steffi!
French Bulldogs are capable of learning a command or two, but they require a significant amount of patience while training. They’re a highly intelligent breed, but sometimes can have a mind of their own!
In this article, we’ll review six basic French Bulldog commands that are a great starting point to teach your dog. We recommend short, frequent training sessions when teaching all of these commands. Practice only one new command at a time, though your dog doesn’t have to have it mastered before you introduce another.
The sit command is essential. It is necessary for dogs to learn many other commands. They can’t learn the stay command if your dog doesn’t know how to sit. Therefore, it is best to teach it first. This command is also extremely easy to teach with a basic lure method.
With your dog in a standing position, you should hold the treat to their nose and then slowly push it to their rear. They should follow the treat, which will also cause their butt to drop to the ground. When your dog reaches the sitting position, tell them “sit” and give them the reward. Continue this until your dog sits on command.
Next, you’ll want to make sure that your canine can sit in a variety of situations and lengths. Try telling them to sit while on a walk or with visitors over. This makes it more difficult, but your dog isn’t learning anything new.
Paw is an easy, fun trick that most dogs can learn without any problem. Start with holding a small treat tightly in your hand. Your dog should know it’s there, so you may need to show it to them and then close your hand. Most dogs will attempt to get the treat, which usually involves pawing at your hand.
When their paw touches your hand, open it and tell them “paw.” Let them have the treat and praise them. It should only take another time or two for them to figure it out. Of course, you will have to continue to repeat the command so that they can master it.
This command doesn’t have much practical use, but it is a simple French Bulldog trick to keep your dog’s mind busy.
Speak is an easy command to teach your dog. However, it does need to be taught differently from other commands. Instead of leading your dog into something, your only option is to catch your dog in action. When your dog starts barking, tell them “speak” and then give them a treat. It will take quite a while for your canine to catch on.
But it doesn’t take any extra time out of your day. You will have to carry treats around or have them available in areas that your dog normally barks.
Speak isn’t terribly practical. There are few times where you’ll want your dog to bark. But your dog does need to know this command to learn “quiet.” This command is tougher, as it is more difficult for dogs to catch on.
This is an extremely practical command that every dog should learn. The “bed” command tells your dog that they need to go lay on their bed. This can be used when visitors are over or when you simply need your dog to leave an area for a bit.
Teaching bed is quite simple. Simply say “bed” and then throw the treat onto your dog’s bed. They should run over and pick it up, therefore going to their bed just like they’re supposed to. You’ll eventually want to stop throwing the treat onto the bed and have the dog go there on command. Many dogs will pick up on this quickly.
Fetching involves a lot more than simply retrieving the ball. The dog must also drop it when they bring it back so that you can throw it again. This command works best if your dog already knows the “drop it” command. However, it can be taught in other ways as well.
First, say “fetch” and throw the ball. When your dog runs and brings it back, offer them a treat in exchange for the ball. They should drop it and take the treat. Do this a few times, and the dog will begin to drop the ball in anticipation of the treat. After this stage has been reached, you’ve successfully taught this command to your Frenchie!
Touch is a versatile command that is used to teach a lot of tricks. The main goal is to teach your dog to touch your hand. You can begin training this by basically doing it for the dog. Hold your hand out right next to the dog’s face and say “touch.” When they don’t do it, touch your hand to their nose for them. Continue this, giving your dog a short pause to touch your hand. Eventually, your dog will figure it out and begin to do it themselves.
You can use this command for all sorts of things. If you attach a sticky note to your hand, you can then teach your dog to touch the sticky note. After this, your dog can be taught to touch just about anything. Many people use this method for boundary training as well.
There are countless commands out there you can teach your French Bulldog. Starting with some easy ones is best, as this gives you and your canine time to figure training out. French Bulldogs may not be the easiest, but they are absolutely capable of accomplishing many different tasks and learning countless commands. It may just take a bit of patience to get there.
About the author:
Steffi Trott is the owner and founder of SpiritDog Training. Originally training dogs in-person, she added online training in 2018 to her business. Steffi strives to provide game-based, positive training solutions for owners and their dogs.
When she is not training other owners’ dogs she competes in dog agility or hikes in the New Mexico and Colorado wilderness with her own 4 dogs.