Training a dog is important, regardless of breed; with a French Bulldog, for example, the training will be very diverse, as the dogs of the breed are very intelligent (which makes it easier), but a little stubborn. Fortunately, all it takes is a little patience, care, and practice, and you'll have a well-trained canine companion.
Part 1 of 4: Taming the French Bulldog
Step 1. Decide where the needs are to be done
It is not a good idea to let it do it indoors, as the animal can get used to it. If there is a place in the backyard where you want him to “take care of business”, take him there immediately (before you even let him into the house). Let him sniff the area until he does number one or two.
Once he's lighter or his bladder less full, shower him with praise and attention; thus, he will associate these rewards with the action he has just performed
Step 2. Start training immediately
For a French Bulldog to be a polite member of the family, start training him as soon as he gets home; if you leave it for later and in the meantime the dog needs to be cleaned on the toilet mat, he will be confused. "Where does the human want me to drop the charges?"
In the beginning of taming, you will need to be very consistent and encouraging
Step 3. Look for signs that it is tight
Many dogs give clear specific signals; see what your French Bulldog's are and give them opportunities to go outside when you need them. Canines give these signals in the following ways:
- Walking around and smelling the furniture and other parts of the house;
- Going to a distant, quiet area.
Step 4. Clean up dirt immediately
If you don't notice the above signs and the dog messes up indoors, clean it up as best you can, using an odor neutralizer or an enzymatic detergent to completely remove the urine smell; thus, the dog will not return to stake out territory there.
Don't fight or hit the dog because of the accident: he won't associate the punishment with the action (needing indoors), and will trust you less
Part 2 of 4: Using a Cage to Tame It
Step 1. Buy a cage
It needs to be big enough for the French Bulldog (he should be able to stand on all fours without flinching). If you are not yet an adult, buy one that has plenty of room for the animal to grow normally. Also, there should be room to turn around comfortably.
Using a cage is one of the best ways to domesticate a French bulldog: it's a place he goes when he wants refuge, or when you need to leave him alone
Step 2. Assemble the cage
Place a soft rug or blanket inside. To encourage its use, leave a few snacks inside, but no other food or water. The dog will feel safe and comfortable within that space.
Place the cage in a quiet place, but also where Toto can interact with people; he shouldn't feel isolated or being punished with the cage
Step 3. Introduce him to the cage
Open the door and let him in on his own. When this has happened several times, close the door and leave it there for 10 minutes (but don't go away). Let him go when he stops crying.
Don't let go while there's crying and kicking at the door
Step 4. Increase cage time
Do it gradually until you get there in half an hour; then leave it inside for short periods of time. Older dogs can be trapped for up to four hours (their bladders can't take any longer than that).
Never hold the French Bulldog any longer than this, and never use the cage as punishment, or he won't want to enter it again
Step 5. Train him to use the cage overnight
It must be in a place where there will be no flow of people. To leave it there during the night, play until Totó gets tired and put a snack in the cage; wait for him to enter, close the door and leave. Don't come back while there's crying.
You'll need to get up at night to let him do his chores outside; with a puppy less than four months old, this will happen every two or three hours; when he is older, every four hours is enough
Part 3 of 4: Socializing the French Bulldog
Step 1. Expose it to the members of the house
Treat him like the family member he is, and introduce him to everyone who lives with you (as soon as he arrives, after taking him to the backyard to clean up). Don't worry about energetic children and noisy activities, as long as the dog doesn't feel threatened.
For example, don't chase it with a broom or vacuum cleaner; he will be afraid of that noise and of you
Step 2. Take it to pass by car
It's good that the French Bulldog feels comfortable in vehicles; so if you need to take him to the vet, the process won't be as traumatic. Walking in a car will allow the dog to discover the sounds and sights of the street. For added safety, he should wear a harness or stay in a carrying case during the journey.
Do not take him with you in the car if it is a very hot or humid day: if you leave him locked up alone (even for a few minutes), he could die
Step 3. Take him to the park
There are parks for dogs where yours can play with others, as well as interact with humans (not to mention the fat burning that exercise will bring). Remember that they need to have taken at least the first two polyvalent vaccines (v8 and v10) before going to the park (to avoid getting distemper, for example); in Brazil, anti-rabies is also mandatory.
Keep him on a leash so he doesn't run away or pick fights with other dogs
Step 4. Let him have new experiences
Expose the French Bulldog to as many dogs, people and situations as you can; and if, even after all that, you still think he needs more interaction, consider enrolling him in a socialization or obedience class. These are important trainings, and he will be interacting with other humans and dogs.
Such classes exist at community centers and pet shops; you can also ask the veterinarian for recommendations
Part 4 of 4: Teaching Basic Commands
Step 1. Do short, effective workouts
For the French Bulldog puppy, each session should be five minutes (increasing as the little one grows), done between three and five times a day. When the dog is tired or hungry, don't train him as he won't pay as much attention. Be consistent and patient with Toto.
Lessons should be cumulative: start with simple commands and then move on to more complicated ones (those that only dogs who know the basics can perform)
Step 2. Teach the “no” or “stop” command
This will be useful to teach you not to bite or gnaw certain things (which will happen as a puppy). If the dog bites you (lightly or not) or gnaws at something he shouldn't, tap him on the nose and say "Don't bite" or "Don't gnaw." Take out whatever he's biting or gnawing at (your arm, for example), and replace it with a toy.
By giving a suitable chew toy, the animal will be distracted, but will learn what it can bite and what it can't
Step 3. Teach him to sit:
with the French Bulldog in front of you, put a treat in your hand and show it to him; say (firmly but amiably) “sit,” and push the chubby lower back until it feels; give the treat right away and say "good job!" or "good boy!" Move away from Toto and repeat the process: turn to him and tell him to sit down.
Always push the lower back, and praise him before this time: he will probably sit down of his own accord
Step 4. Teach him to lie down:
with the dog sitting, get a treat and show it to him; being clear that you have a treat in your hand, place it near his nose; move it slowly to the ground, saying “down” or “ground”; he will follow the hand and lie down slowly; when you do, praise him and give him the treat. Practice until you get consistency.
If the dog jumps on you while playing (to get attention), correct this behavior with a collar: when he starts to jump, give the command “sit” and reward him for obedience. He will learn not to jump on others
Step 5. Teach him to stay
Command him to sit down and praise him for obedience; put your hand in front of his face as a stop sign; say (firmly) “stay” and go back slowly. If the dog runs towards you, start all over again with the commands “sit” and “stay”; walk away again. Repeat until the animal understands and obeys.
Don't go out with him off a leash until you've taught him the “stay” command
Step 6. Teach him to come
Start when Toto is playing in a fenced area: squat down and tap his thigh, saying “come” in a friendly way; he will think you want to play and will come running; reward him with a snack and lots of praise.
- Use this command when the dog is doing something dangerous; he will forget about the situation and run quickly towards you.
- Practice the command at random times when the animal is distracted. This is a good way to test obedience and response to command.
Step 7. Teach him to be quiet
If the French Bulldog starts barking and you need silence, it's good to have a bag of snacks: when he barks, say “quiet” with a snack in your hand; when he pays attention to the food and stops barking, reward him immediately by throwing the treat.
Thus, the animal will associate the command “quiet” with stop barking. The process may take a while, but he'll soon understand that he needs silence (when you give the command)
Step 8. Train him with a clicker
Teach Toto to associate the “click” sound as a reward for obeying a command: press the button and give the dog a treat. During training, follow this same process when obeying a command. Over time, it will associate correct behavior with sound.
When the French Bulldog is familiar with the clicker, stop giving snacks; the idea is that the dog obeys the command and waits for the sound as a reward
- Have plenty of snacks with you, whether in a bag in your pocket or in a fanny pack, to reinforce good behavior when it occurs.
- Never yell, hit, or be impatient with the dog. For example, if he doesn't obey or understand you during training, it's no use getting angry and scolding him: he'll never learn that way! End the session and try again later after you calm down.
- Finish training if the dog gets impatient or frustrated (and starts to growl or whimper), and try playing a little to calm him down.
- Don't train the French Bulldog (or any other short-nosed dog) outside in hot and humid weather: its health can be damaged by difficulty breathing.