Dealing With Separation Anxiety in French Bulldogs

Separation anxiety in French Bulldogs is a common issue as they don’t do well alone. These tiny dogs are clingy, so if you’re considering leaving them alone, expect to get an unhappy pup. Some Frenchies can’t handle being separated from their owners, even for a short period. So if this sounds like your dog, then it’s an issue that you can look to solve.

In this article, I will discuss all you need to know about separation anxiety in Frenchies. From symptoms to tips, here’s how you deal with separation anxiety in a French Bulldog.

Remember, It’s a Behavioral Problem

Keep in mind that separation anxiety in French Bulldogs is a behavioral issue. But it’s different from other problems you may experience as it usually only occurs when you aren’t at home. 

For instance, you may have an untrained pup that might poop in front of you. This is just down to how you’ve not toilet-trained your dog correctly. However, the symptoms of separation anxiety mean your Frenchie might become destructive. Whether it’s pooping or howling non-stop – French Bulldogs might do disruptive things when they’re alone. 

When this happens, punishing or scolding your pup won’t work. 

It’s natural to get flustered with your French Bulldog’s behavior, but, remember, patience is a virtue. With a bit of positive reinforcement and dedication, you should see improvements in behavior in no time. 

Before I give you some tips on dealing with separation anxiety in Frenchies, you should know the symptoms first. Doing so helps you get a better grasp of the situation, making it easier to handle. 

Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in French Bulldogs

Many owners mistake the behaviors associated with separation anxiety as destructive personalities. After all, we’ve all met rambunctious dogs like this. 

But if you notice your dog acting normal when you’re around and tears your favorite couch apart the second you’re not – your pup might have separation anxiety. 

To help you distinguish separation anxiety in French Bulldogs, here are symptoms to watch out for:

💩 Defecating and urinating

If your French Bulldog is toilet-trained yet has accidents whenever you’re away, they may have separation anxiety. This issue can happen to Frenchies of all ages. And worst-case scenario, you may even find your Frenchie eat their poop. 

📣 Constant barking and howling 

French Bulldogs aren’t loud dogs, so if you notice them barking or howling non-stop when you’re away, this might be another indicator. 

🤫 Hiding

When a French Bulldog feels excessively stressed, most would hide. These tiny dogs like to confine themselves in small spaces in the house or their owner’s clothes that have their scents. In short, to solace themselves, your pup might spend hours staying curled up in unusual places. 

😰 Unusual pacing, panting and drooling

Although French Bulldogs are naturally energetic dogs that might run around and drool a lot, in excess, this may mean something else. You might notice this kind of behavior whenever you’re preparing to leave your home. Sometimes, this may be accompanied by quaking or shivering. 

When this happens, it may mean that your Frenchie has severe separation anxiety. And they’ve learned the signals for you leaving your home.

💥 Destructive behavior

Whether it’s scratching the doors or knocking over your house plants, generally destructive behavior is a strong indicator of separation anxiety. And this is usually your dog’s attempt in trying to get out of the house. 

Usually, you’ll find that their destruction is aimed at blinds, walls, doorways. Anything that your Frenchie may perceive as an exit is not safe. However, don’t confuse this with teething. So if you notice your pup chewing on your favorite couch, you might be dealing with a different issue here. 

Overall, if your usually calm dog starts becoming destructive when you’re away, they may have separation anxiety. 

🏃 Escape attempts 

When stressed, your French Bulldog might take extreme measures and attempt to escape your home to find you. Not only will this might lead to them getting lost, but this also can result in them hurting themselves. 

❌ Loss of appetite

If your Frenchie begins to show disinterest in food or lose weight seemingly out of nowhere, they might have anxiety. And if you leave this untreated, this can damage your Frenchie’s vital functions long-term. Additionally, if this is the case for your dog, it’s best to bring them to the vet immediately. 

Separation Anxiety in French Bulldogs – Tips to Consider

If you think you’re dealing with a clingy French Bulldog, there are several things you can do to calm them down. The process will be long and complicated, but your dog will improve in no time with patience and dedication.

Below are tips to follow to help you deal with separation anxiety in French Bulldogs easier. Each of these will help you deal with dogs who can’t remain alone for either short or long periods.

Follow a ‘calm’ routine

Excess excitement when you leave home and return can worsen your dog’s anxiety. Even though it’s not always realistic, following a calm routine before leaving can help ease your dog’s anxiousness. During the process, remember to be calm when leaving your dog. After all, your Frenchie will likely sense your feelings as well!

Additionally, avoid giving your pup too much attention when leaving or returning home. If your Frenchie greets you back when you get home, you can return the gesture. However, please don’t overdo it and wait until they’ve calmed down. 

When leaving the house, don’t make a fuss

Photo Courtesy of Any Bulldog

Besides your behavior when coming home, the way you act when leaving the house is also crucial. And this is one major trigger point for separation anxiety in French Bulldogs you must face. 

Luckily, with a few minor changes to your behavior, you should be able to leave your Frenchie alone without any issue. However, this will likely take time to get used to. After all, who can resist their Frenchies?

French Bulldogs are intelligent dogs, so they’ll likely pick up on visual or behavioral cues you do when you leave home. So whether it’s putting on your shoes or picking up your bag, they’ll likely associate it with you leaving. 

What you can do instead is getting your things ready the night before. For instance, you can put your jacket on and pack up your keys in your bag before eating dinner.

Another way to deal with this is by associating these triggers with something positive. For example, if your dog starts acting nervous whenever you pick your car keys, you can play with them for a bit. 

Start with short absences

Starting with short absences is an efficient way to help ease your Frenchie’s anxiety, and here’s how you can do it:

  1. Put on your jacket, get your car keys, and leave for a couple of seconds.
  2. Don’t return if you notice your Frenchie beginning to bark and howl. Wait until they’ve calmed down. 
  3. Return acting normally before your dog can act up again.

Doing this for a while can help your French Bulldog get used to being left alone. 

The point of short absences is to help your dog understand that leaving home is normal. It helps your pup get used to you leaving without overreacting and lets them know that you won’t be coming back even if they do act up. 

Provide them with a safe place

Creating a comfortable and safe area for your pup can do wonders for their anxiety. Find a room or place where your Frenchie feels at ease whenever you leave home. Whether it’s placing them in a specific bedroom filled with their favorite toys or with the TV on, this should be enough to distract them while you’re gone. 

Photo Courtesy of Family Puppies

Practice positive reinforcement

One of the best ways to ease your dog’s anxiety whenever leaving home is using positive reinforcement. For instance, you can give your dog their favorite treats or toys whenever you leave. And these distractions should be able to distract your pup for a couple of minutes.

With that, it should be able to keep your dog’s mind off your absence.

Whatever you do, the aim here is to help your Frenchie associate your absences with something fun or tasty! So, don’t hesitate to experiment.

Bring them to doggy daycare 

If you’re leaving for nearly the whole day, bring your Frenchie to doggy daycare. Although this might be expensive in the long run, it helps prevent separation anxiety in French Bulldogs. Not only will this keep your dog’s mind off of your absence, but it may also give them a chance to meet new friends!

This method is the best option, especially when you feel like you’re getting overwhelmed or frustrated in dealing with your dog’s behavior. 

Burn off their excess energy

Photo Courtesy of Neil Cooper

Although French Bulldogs only need minimal exercise than other breeds, you still need to take them on walks or play with them to burn off any excess energy they may have.

Not only will this keep them happy and satisfied, but this will also leave them to take longer naps when left alone. 

So by keeping your Frenchie entertained and exercised while at home, leaving them alone will be easier. 

Buy a remote camera to see and talk to your dog on the go

An excellent long-term investment you can make to help with your Frenchie’s anxiousness is a remote camera. This device lets you monitor and talk to your dog even when you’re not at home. Not only will this give you peace of mind, but it will also keep your dog at ease. 

Leave your scent behind

A simple yet foolproof way of easing your Frenchie’s separation anxiety is by leaving some things with your scent behind. Doing so can comfort your dog even if you’re gone for long hours in a day. For example, you can leave a used shirt or scarf you’ve worn recently in your dog’s favorite place in the house.

Get professional help 

If nothing seems to work or if your Frenchie’s behavior worsens, seek professional help. Whether it’s the vet or trainer, these professionals can help your dog improve in no time.

Moreover, since separation anxiety can result from some medical problems, having your pup checked to rule this out is a good idea. If this is the case, your vet might also prescribe medication for your Frenchie, especially if their anxiety is severe. 

However, medications should only be short-term. And only consider this option when your Frenchie’s behavior is out of control. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: At what age can I leave my French Bulldog alone?

A: Although it differs for each Frenchie, generally, when they reach around ten months to a year old, it should be safe enough to leave them alone for long periods. That’s because, by this point, your pup will likely begin to mature and go past their puppy-like tendencies, making it easier to leave them for extended periods. Plus, never leave a French Bulldog pup younger than six months below since, at this age, they still can’t control their bladder well. 

Q: Can I leave my French Bulldog alone all day?

A: Although you can leave Frenchies alone the whole day, It’s not recommended. After all, this breed is known to be clingy, and leaving them for the entire day, especially if they’re not used to it, can lead to behavioral changes. Remember, Frenchies are a naturally social breed, so if you’re gone most of the time, it’s time to change your routine. 

Q: Can French Bulldogs do well alone?

A: Since French Bulldogs are a social breed, it’s best to get a companion for them. Whether it’s another Frenchie or a cat, these friendly dogs would likely do well in the presence of other animals. So if you think you’re going to be gone most of the time, adopt another pet to keep your Frenchie satisfied. 

Final Thoughts

Dealing with separation anxiety in French Bulldogs can be a challenging process, but for you and your dog’s happiness, it’s worth the struggle. Knowing whether your Frenchie suffers from separation anxiety can help you discover better ways to handle the situation over time.

However, there will be cases when your dogs can’t simply cope with their owners being gone. So, it’s you who will need to adapt and change.