Note: This is a guest post written by Emily, the CEO, and Founder of Doggie Designer. Thanks Emily!
Frenchies are one of the cutest, most agreeable breeds around. That said, there are some unique challenges when raising a French Bulldog into a well-rounded canine.
Attitude starts in the home, so if you’re ready to learn then read on and we’ll help you address any problems that might crop up during your Frenchie’s journey.
1. Overcome Stubbornness Early
Frenchies are adorable. It seems like they know it too. They can be stubborn and even manipulative if you let them. Many people try to take advantage of training them with food, but often they end up with an overweight dog who only listens when they have a treat ready to go.
You don’t have to fall into this trap. Instead, you should begin training your Frenchie as soon as he or she comes home.
And make sure that you don’t always cave into those big Frenchie eyes. It takes practice on your part, but the sooner you can help your dog understand that you’re in charge… the better.
2. Crate Train to Avoid Housebreaking Problems
Frenchies are notoriously hard to housebreak. Crate training from an early age is the best way to help them learn not to go potty inside the house.
It’s a strategy that works well with many dog breeds. Far from being cruel, however, giving your dog a crate gives them a den that mimics how they live in the wild. More importantly, few dogs will want to use the bathroom in their home.
Introduce them to the crate slowly. There are two big rules to using a crate properly that many people neglect.
The first is using the crate as a punishment. You shouldn’t use the crate to punish your dog, at all, it’s supposed to be their cozy little home. A place for them to retreat from the household if they’d like.
Following that, you’ll also want to avoid letting other animals in the crate or messing with the things inside it too much. If you have children then let them know that the crate is off-limits. This helps reinforce the crate as a positive thing for your dog.
3. Make Vet Visits Regular
French Bulldogs have some specific health problems that crop up over time. That means registering your dog with a vet as soon as you get them, and it also means you’ll have to attend regular checkups to keep them healthy.
Some of the problems associated just come from the exceptionally short muzzle of French Bulldogs. Breathing problems can occur due to the shape of the dog’s nose. It’s unfortunate but it does happen over time.
Other problems also crop up frequently in the breed, such as allergies and food sensitivities, unfortunately. It’s just a fact of life, and our beloved Frenchies aren’t with us for as long as many small dogs.
If you can’t afford regular veterinarian visits, and the high likelihood of large bills in the future, then you may want to look into another breed.
4. Moderate Their Food Intake and Walks
French Bulldogs are prone to obesity, especially when their owners don’t take the time to make them less food-driven. Even worse, they can’t be exercised too heavily due to the breathing issues caused by the shape of their skull.
You should always watch your Frenchie for signs of becoming obese. They’re still Bulldogs and should appear stout and muscular, not chubby. Since heavy exercise isn’t really possible with the breed, you should be counting calories for your dog.
Keep them spry and you’ll have a companion dog with much more energy.
Likewise, you need to pick and choose your battles when it comes to walks. If it’s particularly hot and humid outside, for instance, it may be best to leave the dog indoors. Bad weather conditions can cause your Frenchie to have trouble breathing during your exercise session.
Consider them a “light exercise” dog. Food intake is more important than normal with your Frenchie since you won’t be able to just have them “work it off”.
Read more about the French Bulldog diet.
5. Prepare for Warm Weather
Since Frenchies are often assailed by weather, it’s doubly important that you ensure they’re comfortable when the season gets hot.
Things like dehumidifiers and air conditioners can help dogs who are home all day. Remember that high temperatures aren’t just uncomfortable for this breed of dog… they can be fatal.
Water should always be available as well. If you’re not in an area with great tap water, then consider using filtered water to help them stay healthy. Water is a non-negotiable requirement for any dog, just make sure they have ready access to it.
If you’re uncomfortable in your home… it’s worse for your French Bulldog. They’re already prone to overheating and you don’t want to exasperate the problem.
Keeping Frenchies Healthy and Happy
While French Bulldogs have some unique challenges to their husbandry, you can help to raise a healthy and happy dog without having to go to extreme lengths.
Give the above tips a shot and always do your research when you think something may be amiss. If you do that, then you and your dog are sure to have a wonderful life together!
About the author:
Emily Green, Doggie Designer CEO & Founder, and the proud owner of Chew Barka, Cooper, and Nelson.
Emily’s love and enthusiasm for dogs have been there ever since she got her first dog at 6 years old. She started this site as a hobby project to help dog owners find answers to the questions she had while owning her first dog.
She’s known as one of Chicago’s most dedicated dog people. You’ll also find her at multiple pet trade shows and conferences each year such as P3, Groom Expo, and Interzoo.
Her specialties and favorite topics are grooming, breed profiles, nutrition and helping others find the right gear for their canines’ needs.