Crate Training a French Bulldog Puppy: Things You Should Know and Do for your Frenchie

It is a common notion that if you want to have a trained pet, then you should have that pet early on. Taking care of a dog from his puppy years is more effective in establishing a connection between you and your pet which helps in easing out the process of training for you and your dog. 

French Bulldogs are highly trainable dogs. 

The reason behind the fondness that has developed among pet enthusiasts towards French bulldogs is that they are fit for city life. Given their size and the amount of exercise they require, they are simply made to fit in tiny apartments and still be a bundle full of joy for the whole family. 

With their pointy ears and big round eyes, French bulldogs, or Frenchies are more than just adorable. They are also highly intelligent and can recognize the call for training. With patience and a close connection with your pet Frenchie, you are sure to have a rewarding training experience. 

Let’s try to know more about French Bulldogs and understand a little bit better about the lives and background of these modern-day apartment pets.  

The Modern-Day French Bulldogs

French Bulldogs are extremely popular today not just because of their small and lightweight bodies along with their adorable faces but they are also extremely popular because of their loyalty and human-oriented behavior. 

Ever since the first French Bulldog was bred, it has been observed that this breed of dog is very human-oriented meaning they get attached to their owners quickly and are trained very easily as well. Major studies have concluded that French Bulldogs rely very much on their human companions. Because of this, French Bulldogs experience heavy separation anxiety when they are left by their owners even for just a few hours. 

This connection between humans and animals can be significantly rare at times even with dogs, but when it comes to French Bulldogs, they tend to get attached to their owners at quite an early age. This bond that French Bulldogs create with their human companions is very special and cannot be easily broken. 

A Bit of History Background on Your Pet Frenchie 

Back in the 1800s when the French Bulldogs were first bred, they were used mainly for sport, specifically, “Bull-Baiting”. Bull Baiting is a blood sport that endangered the life of French Bulldogs. Thankfully, this sport was later banned and it is no longer legal. Thanks to this, the French Bulldogs no longer had to fight other fellow bulldogs just for the entertainment of paying customers. Since then, French Bulldogs have been bred to become a companion breed for people and this has led to the relationship we have now with our beloved pets. 

As of last year, French Bulldogs have been recognized as the second most popular registered dog breed in the United Kingdom and the second most popular registered dog as well in the United States according to the AKC or American Kennel Club. It’s not just the numbers that prove this but also observations by satisfied French Bulldog owners who have said many positive things about the breed. 

Frenchies and Human Connections 

As mentioned, French Bulldogs are very human-oriented and require close contact with their human owners. This is significantly present in their early childhood years but the trait is also present in their adult years. This human-oriented behavior makes French Bulldogs quite easy to train due to their obedience and loyalty to their owners. French Bulldogs are also commonly referred to as “Frog Dogs” or “Clown Dogs” because of the wide and round faces they have and the way they sit with their hind legs spread out just like a frog. Because of this quirky reputation, French Bulldogs have been commonly described as the “clowns of the dog world”. Even though they seem to have funny names, French Bulldogs are extremely loving and affectionate when it comes to their human companions. 

Health Problems and Growth Issues 

Sadly, all French Bulldogs alike have many common illnesses and diseases that can lead to their death. An example of this is a “Brachycephalic Airway Obstructive Syndrome” that a great amount of French Bulldogs have due to a skull malformation brought on by side effects because of their origins via cross-breeding. A side effect that this causes include difficulty in breathing which causes most French Bulldogs to snore and breathe loudly. This is because of the irregularity these dogs have with their narrow nostrils. This however can be corrected with a medical operation that will smoothen the dog’s airway to its lungs, it works by taking a portion of its soft palate. According to common results of the procedure, it makes the breathing of most French Bulldogs better by about 60%. 

Unfortunately, a lot of French Bulldogs lose their lives because of this particular irregularity. This syndrome is not the most common health issue of these dogs though, according to a UK medical study, about 72.4% of French Bulldogs have at least one or two health issues. Thankfully, the United Kingdom Government has been informed of the situation of French Bulldogs in their country, so now they can make reforms and assist with providing health and welfare to this breed of dogs.

Thanks to much progress when it comes to research regarding the health and lifespan of French Bulldogs, significant changes have been made when it comes to their breeding. 

Now, many Frenchies’ lives have been extended and made better! So make sure to keep this in mind while taking care of your Bulldog or if you’re planning to get one yourself!

So, why would you crate train a French Bulldog?

As small as they are, French bulldogs love being in confined places where they feel comfortable and secured. 

This is especially true when they are expected to survive in an apartment environment where they are also often left now and then while their owner is outside. 

Compared to a soft dog bed, it has been observed through time and experiences that Frenchies are more comfortable in crates. May they be wooden or plastic in make, the solid built of a crate seems to keep the French Bulldog more secured and less stressed especially when they are still in the process of adapting to their new life of being a pet. 

Baby French Bulldogs are also known to be kept better by their mommy Frenchie in crates better. The new mothers are much less stressed and sleep better than when they are placed in soft beds. 

Other benefits of introducing your French Bulldog to crate training include having better downtime with your puppies and an easier way to control the mischief of these cute dogs as they try to settle in your place and be the best pet you could ever have. 

French Bulldog puppies are excitable. They are energetic and almost always hyper. However, when they are crate trained early on, it is easier to introduce them to downtimes, pushing them to settle down and be prepared for their meals or for nap times throughout the day. 

Another benefit that French Bulldog Trainers point out is that when these little bundles of joy are properly crate trained, it is easier for them to control their bladder and bower until the designated time when they are supposed to go. 

Things You Should Know About Crate-Training a French Bulldog 

ONE: The crate symbolizes comfort and adjustment from the active hours to downtime rests. 

It is important to keep this perception of the crate throughout the lifetime of your French bulldog pet. Sure, your pet knows that he is at home when he is staying inside the house. But the way he sees the crate should be completely related to ‘comfort’ and ‘rest”. This should always be his “comfort zone”. This idea will help your Frenchie settle down especially in stressful situations. 

TWO: Never use the crate as a form of punishment 

As part of keeping the crate’s symbol as a form of comfort and security, using the crate as a punishment is a complete negation to the thought.

When your Frenchie starts acting out, it is better to send him to a corner, but never with a high-shouting voice. Hurting your Frenchie as a form of punishment also does not work. Like any other pets, French bulldogs respond better to low-toned instruction with a mix of hand signals of directions to understand what they should be doing and what they should avoid in the house or even when they are outside. 

Remember that when it comes to establishing disciplinary measures to control the behavior of your Frenchie, love and not anger should be the basis of your actions. French Bulldogs are intelligent and they can read through their owner’s body language. Simply looking the little dog straight into the eyes and making him realize that you are serious about the situation will affect the way he sees the condition of what he has done and will remind him not to do his mistakes again. 

THREE: The crate is not a pet-sitter

When you are too busy to care for your French bulldog, it is often easier to use the crate as a pet-sitter. However, leaving the French bulldog in the crate for many hours will certainly make a negative impact on the way the dog sees the role of the crate in his life. Instead of seeing it as s comfortable place to rest, it will be perceived as more of a prison than a home. 

French bulldogs are highly sociable creatures. They are notably easy to get comfortable with. They require attention and love the fact that they are played with or that at least their fur-parents would stop and share with them their time. 

If you opt to rescue or buy a French bulldog to become your pet, remember to keep in mind that you need to invest your time and your effort to make sure that your pet is comfortable and cared for. The way your pet feels the connection with you will have a great impact on his behavior as he grows older. 

Often, fur parents who give their pets enough time and care and play with their pets end up caring for well-behaved pets. The logic is simple, you will get as much as you give in terms of caring for and disciplining your pet French bulldog in the right way. 

FOUR: French Bulldogs Should not be contained for More than Two Hours 

French Bulldog Puppies, even at six months old, cannot contain themselves. Leaving your puppies in a crate without giving them the time to go out and either pee or poo would cause so much disaster that you might not want to handle it. 

It has been observed through experience that crate-less French bulldogs are often mischievous and because of their energy, they can cause a lot of mess along the way. Without a sense of physical control, the first days of your French Bulldog pet at home may cause you to lose your mind. 

Crate training is your best friend in keeping your French Bulldog’s behavior a balance even at the earliest moments you begin to tend to this lively house pet. To avoid any further commotions at home, better take your French bulldog pet into the next level of connection with you through handling an effective and regular crate training strategy. 

Picking the Best Crate for Your French Bulldog 

To make sure that your Frenchie would be comfortable in his crate, you need to pick the right size that will serve as your pet’s comfort zone at home. 

French bulldogs are small, but are at least 11 inches in height and weigh up to 28 pounds. When choosing a crate, be sure to pick one that can handle this weight and size with enough space for the dog to maneuver inside. 

You might want to consider these questions when picking the right crate to give to your French Bulldog: 

FIRST: Is the dog able to recline comfortably in the crate? 

Since the crate will be the comfort space for your Frenchie, it must be able to house the doc completely and allow him to move around in the space without necessarily feeling confined. 

Make sure that he can roll over and play around in the available space. Maybe not too much, but enough to let him stretch his legs and be moved around a bit. 

SECOND: Will your French bulldog be able to stand easily and not hit the ceiling of the crate? 

Although the dog is fairly small, he also needs to have enough space for him to stand up now and then. This will make him less bored even when he is inside the crate. 

THIRD: Is the crate durable and portable enough to keep and carry your pet French bulldog around? 

Even though the crate is supposed to be more of your Frenchie’s room within the house, it is supposed to be movable enough for you to have that option to bring it around when you find it necessary. 

A movable crate for your French bulldog will allow you to bring the comfort of your home and keep your French bulldog relaxed even when you bring him along as you travel around. If you go on family trips and camping adventures, having a crate that is ready and mobile gives you a better option of bringing your French bulldog around without necessarily stressing him out. 

Crates with soft fabrics that fit the space perfectly make the travels more comfortable. 

Frequent travel by plane may require a plastic-made travel crate because these are the ones accepted to go through the airport. 

On the other hand, if your French Bulldog is going to stay at home most of the time, and you want the crate to be in sync with the overall feel of the house, you might opt to pick wooden crates that are designed to fit certain home designs. This way, your Frenchie’s crate would go alongside your overall home interior design. 

Essential Steps to Crate Training a French Bulldog

Crate training a French Bulldog need not be stressful. To make sure that no unnecessary stresses occur, you need to have the right mindset before you start with the procedure. 

FIRST STEP:  Remember that your motive is to soften the transition period that your dog is going through. If your pet has been born in your house as a puppy, then training would be much easier because he is already used to the environment and does not need any more time settling in the space. 

If during the first try the dog is apprehensive, try to give it a few moments to help the dog settle within the environment. Give him a few treats. If he responds well, drop a few treats going towards the crate. Allow him to follow the treats towards the crate- not forcing him into it, but guiding him carefully. 

At first, expect that the dog will be afraid of the crate which will mean he will likely steer away from it. Be patient. Just encourage the dog to come into the crate by putting a toy. Take note though that you do not put in too many treats or too many toys in the pathway towards the crate as this may only increase confusion on the part of your Frenchie.

SECOND STEP: Bring your Frenchie’s meal to the crate. At first, it would be best to put the food close to the door of the crate. If the dog does not respond, then you may put it a few inches away from the door but still close enough that he would be eating right beside the crate. This will ease out any kind of reservation and fear that your pet may have towards the crate. 

In later meal times, bring the food bowl closer to the door of the crate until the time when he is already willing to get into the crate on his own to eat his meal right inside his new own share of space at home. 

THIRD STEP: Allow your French bulldog to come in and out of the crate on his own. Giving your pet a sense of independence especially when it comes to going in and out of their space of comfort at home. Perhaps motivating them to go into the crate will help during the first few days within the first week. However, in the coming weeks, your Frenchie ought to be guided to decide to go in and out of the crate on their own. 

Making sure that your Frenchie comes into the crate after peeing and pooing or gets out when he feels that he needs to go do his job. This, however, will require that you go through another pattern of training, which is to potty-train your Frenchie. 

Keep going through this process for at least three more weeks for a better and more effective result that will help you and your French bulldog live together in peace while enjoying each other’s company. 

Remember these three important factors that you need to avoid when you start crate training a French Bulldog: 

  1.  Never shout at your dog as you give directions. It is never good to shout at your dog whenever you intend to put strong discipline in place. 
  2. Never hit your French bulldog out of frustration. While it is hoped that the first training days would be easy, there are times when it could be more frustrating than rewarding. Keep in mind that the dog is trying to adjust and settle and hitting the dog will only raise a culture of hostility in which the dog might react with fear or anger. 
  3. Do not over-reward the positive reaction you get from your little Frenchie. Remember that your dog is learning from your behavior. Over rewarding will only result in your dog being spoiled which is not good behavior either. Instead of following you to get your approval, your Frenchie might perceive that you are supposed to be the one to follow and not the one to lead. 

As a fur-parent of a French bulldog, you would of course want to spend the best days of your life with your pet in a peaceful and happy environment. Giving your little bundle of joy the training that he needs to learn how a crate would be a comfortable place for him to retreat to will surely help in making your connection with your French bulldog stronger and more peaceful in the long run. 

Key Takeaway

Your capacity to crate training a French bulldog depends on your capacity to understand the dog, its behavior, and its attitude towards comfort and security. Like in any pet, giving your pet a sense of comfort is critical to making sure that he will respond positively to the kind of training you are giving him. 

In the process of crate training a French bulldog, you need to take note of the fact that your attitude has so much to do with how your pet responds to the training. So, in the whole process, it is important to keep your cool and be reasonable when it comes to imposing disciplinary actions not only during the training period but in instances when your pet might seem to misbehave. 

Treating your pet as part of the family is critical to the well-being of your Frenchie. The more loved he feels, the more positively he will respond to whatever command or training that you may give him. Hence, at the very beginning of the time when you are setting up to train your Frenchie, remember to have that proper mindset needed for you to keep your focus on the main goal of this activity giving you a chance to build a better and stronger relationship with your pet.