Take a glance at a French Bulldog and you will see a walking ball of muscle.
Their solid, compressed physique holds tight to their powerful skeleton while their large, pointed ears highlight a broad muzzle and black eyes.
All this is atop a thick neck, barrel chest and four stout, sturdy legs.
Adorable, of course, “Frenchies,” as we know them, they are dogs ready to love, play and protect, but in need of education on how to live with a human family.
Even in their wild wolf’s heart, dogs understand indoor living. Yet houses are not wolf dens, so canine companions need to learn the ropes of human habitations.
One way you can help is with crate training.
Should You Crate Train Your French Bulldog?
The great thing about the Frenchie temperament is that, while fun-loving and affectionate, they can adapt to big-city apartments, suburban single-family residences, and farmhouses with equal amenity. A crate, in any of these settings, can serve as a protective place of comfort – a den, so to speak – within a loving home.
So, despite some concern from dog lovers about the confinement of a crate, they actually provide a sense of security for your Frenchie.
Crate training is also greatly beneficial to you as the owner. Crates can prevent your pup from getting up to mischief when you are not around, teach excitable puppies to enjoy downtime, and help a pup control their bladder and bowel when the time is right.
A few caveats you should consider when crate training:
- Don’t use the crate as a penalty box for misbehavior or accidents. You want your Frenchie to see the crate as a place of comfort and peace, never associating it with punishment.
- Don’t treat the crate as a default pet-sitter. Too many hours inside will dull the dog’s natural exuberance and social nature.
- Frenchies being housebroken should not be confined for more than a few hours at a time. Whether puppies (6 months old) or fully-grown, they are not yet able to discipline their bodily functions.
- The energetic Frenchie might, without a crate, do some damage to the house. Hence, the crate is only necessary until the dog adapts to its surroundings. At this point, the crate stays open for the dog’s peace of mind.
The Best Crate for a French Bulldog
French Bulldogs are most often on the smaller side, normally maxing out at 11 inches in height and 28 pounds in weight. So consider this when choosing a crate.
The three most important questions when picking a crate are:
- Can your dog recline comfortably, rolling over at will?
- Will your Frenchie be able to stand up with sufficient clearance from the crate ceiling?
- Can your pup turn around easily, and without uncomfortably contorting itself?
The size of the crate is just one criterion. Durability and portability are also important indicators. Metal wire dog crates serve these purposes well but there are other options that might suit your situation. A soft, fabric dog crate – with a metallic frame – is easier for families that like road trips or make short treks with your Frenchie in tow.
For frequent flying French Bulldogs, plastic crates more often conform to airline guidelines. If the dog is to be home-based – and you want consistency with the furniture and decor – there are attractive wooden crates that complement the surroundings.
Here is a look at some of Amazon’s Best-Selling crates for French Bulldogs:
How to Crate Train a French Bulldog
Getting acquainted with a crate should not be traumatic for your Frenchie, as long as the process is free of stress. Maintain a pleasant voice, place a few dog treats in the crate and invite your pup to retrieve them. If he or she is apprehensive, let it be for the moment, encouraging entry later. Eventually, your Frenchie will want the treats more than fearing the crate. Follow with a toy, making going in and out second nature to the pup.
Next, serve your Frenchie their meals in the crate, the first time placing the bowl close to the door. Upon each feeding, locate the bowl slightly deeper into the interior. Shut the door while the dog eats, opening it when it is finished.
As the days and weeks pass, keep the door shut for a few minutes afterward, increasing this amount incrementally. Entry and exit should be rewarded with a treat.
Once the Frenchie can quietly remain crated with you out of the room, you should be home free and the crate will be a place of comfort, security, and peace of mind for you and your pup.
Will is the proud co-owner of Frankie, a Female Brindle French Bulldog, with his wife Michelle. We share our Frenchie experiences with the world to help health-conscious French Bulldog owners who want a happy, healthy, and long-living dog.