Is your French Bulldog pulling your arm off whenever you go for a walk? You aren’t alone! Though they’re very sweet dogs in general, a curious or spirited Frenchie can be quite the handful on the end of a leash. You might need some help to train this behavior out of them.
Do French Bulldogs pull?
Pulling on the leash is a common behavior in French Bulldogs. It isn’t innately harmful, but it can quickly become that way, especially if your pup is tugging hard enough to cause wheezing, coughing or choking. It can also cause accidents if your French Bulldog is lunging at things like cars or other animals along the road.
Another bad thing about pulling is that it undermines your authority. Poor leash discipline can lead to poor discipline overall as your Frenchie realizes that they can bark, growl, pull, and ignore your commands without consequence.
A final thing to keep in mind about Frenchies is that they’re a very smart and stubborn breed! Training in general can be difficult for them, and this includes leash training.
Why do French Bulldogs pull on the leash?
There are many reasons why your French Bulldog might be tugging on the leash:
- They’re curious or easily distracted. This is the most common reason for leash pulling, especially in young puppies. They aren’t misbehaving on purpose. They’re just thinking, “Ooh, squirrel!“
- They have lots of pent-up energy. Despite what you might have heard about the breed, French Bulldogs can be quite energetic, and they need regular exercise to keep them healthy. If they’re cooped up a lot, they’re more likely to go a little nuts when they finally go on a walk.
- They aren’t properly socialized. Does the pulling get worse when they see other dogs? Is it accompanied by barking, growling, lunging, or just excessively forceful attempts to sniff at the other pooch? In this case, the pulling might be a symptom of a bigger aggression or socialization problem.
- They haven’t been taught not to pull. This might sound like a no-brainer, but if you’ve been inconsistent with your efforts to leash-train them, they might not even realize that you want them to stop.
If you want to cure your Frenchie’s pulling, you’ll need to figure out the exact reasons for it. What triggers it? How do you respond to it? Is your Frenchie in any particular mood when it happens? Only by getting to the bottom of the problem can you figure out a proper solution for it.
How do I stop my French Bulldog from pulling?
To stop your French Bulldog from pulling, you might have to experiment with different methods. There’s no “one size fits all” training. Each dog has their own unique personality, so it’ll respond to various training techniques in different ways.
Generally speaking, however, here are some of the recommended methods to stop leash pulling:
- Take more walks. Your Frenchie will appreciate the exercise, and they might be calmer and easier to train if they’re regularly expending their energy rather than blowing through it all at once.
- Invest in a no-pull harness. These harnesses usually have the leash attached to the chest or back area, giving you more control over your dog’s movements than if you’d just clipped the leash to a collar.
- Stop walking whenever they pull. This can require a lot of patience on your part, but if you halt the walk, in response to every single tug, they’ll eventually get the message that “tugging” equals “stopping.”
- Go for “practice walks” in your house or yard. This can be helpful for dogs with aggression problems or those who are easily distracted by outside stimuli. Teach them the right way to walk on a leash in a safe, comfortable environment; then, when they’ve got it down, transition back into the real world.
- Offer treats as positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement can work wonders for a French Bulldog since they’re highly food- and praise-motivated. Give them a treat whenever they don’t pull, and they might correct their behavior all on their own.
If you’ve tried all of these techniques to no avail, it might be time for professional assistance. These days, you don’t even have to call a dog whisperer to your home; online companies like the Pupford Academy have digital training modules that you can access anywhere and anytime.
Putting an End to French Bulldog Pulling
Leash discipline can be taught to all dogs, Frenchies included. It might take a little extra time and patience since they’re such a smart, stubborn breed, but if you’re consistent with your efforts, you’ll eventually be able to train them into taking peaceful walks. Good luck!