Ah! The French Bulldog! Just because this breed reveals the word “French” doesn’t mean this breeds ancestral bloodline originated from France. Confused? I was. The French Bulldogs history originally began in England. Making them, well English right? Well not entirely. Here’s a little background we can all remember easily…
English miniature bulldogs were introduced in Northern France when English textile workers migrated from Britain’s fallout during the Industrial Revolution around 1850-1860. It was during this time that miniature bulldogs popularity among the French soared! It was the French however who later developed this type of dog to have a more compact body, straighter legs and erect “bat ears.’’ Voila! The Bouledogues Français. Near the turn of the century American tourists discovered the French Bulldog and brought them over at the turn of the century where they achieved immense popularity in the United States. In fact this breed owes its existence to England, France, Germany and the United States.
Don’t let their glum faces fool you. This breed is highly comical, intelligent and frisky. Just like another favorite of mine, the Pug! The French Bulldogs gentil demeanour makes them calmer and thus easier to socialize than most other breeds. No mean-spirited genes here despite their muscular bodies and somewhat combative stance. This breed is dependably amiable! I find them quite loveable and adorable. In fact, this is what this breed craves the most, your love and adoration.
Although French Bulldogs are most content lounging around the home, some exercise will keep their stocky frames strong and they’ll be less susceptible to weight gain or prone to developing problems with their hips from too much inactivity. Of course with any breed, there will always be pros and cons towards the breeds character and health. The best you can do is inform yourself of all the particularities towards that breed in order for you to make a well-informed decision when you are ready for a French Bulldog. For myself, I’ve always been fond of the snub-nosed dog breeds and despite their lists of common health problems, I end up taking the risk and doing my best in caring for my animal no matter what health issues arise.
Raising dogs aren’t always easy, especially when their still puppies. But when taking the time for learning training techniques, you’ll learn how to deal with certain behavioural traits that will help you care for your dog as they develop.
Having raised a pup before, I’ve carried with me some basic know-hows on what I need to do to successfully keep my puppy happy, safe and potty-trianed so that he’ll grow into a satisfied, content and well-behaved fur child. I’ve listed a few of my personal tips below that may help anyone whose considering adopting a French bulldog.
TIP #1 The Doggy Space
Designate a little area for your pup where he/she can sleep and eat. As you know dogs don’t like to soil where they eat or sleep, and this way you reinforce the importance of maintaining this habit for when they gradually get the free reign to the rest of your home. Puppies explore, get into things they shouldn’t, and chew things that can harm them. By designating a place just for them you can keep them safe when your unable to watch their every move. I’ve partitioned out a corner of our bedroom and equipped our little guy with one large pillow for his bed and two smaller cushions to surround him. On one side I’ve placed a few toys and at the other I’ve left space for a small water bowl. I feel its important to remove all access to water around 7pm. This will help eliminate the need to relieve themselves during the night.
Never use this space as punishment when your pet misbehaves. They won’t associate this space with their tranquil, safe, sleep and eating den area. When needing to place them in this area, I suggest placing a small treat and/or reassuring them with a “good doggy.” If they have misbehaved, a reinforced “NO” will work and then distracting them with a toy. When it’s time for bed, say “bedtime” or when it’s time to eat say, “eat time.” Whatever time it is, use your words to describe the type of activity. This breed is highly intelligent and so it won’t be long before they come to understand you. Their propensity for stubbornness? Well as the saying goes… “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.”
Tip #2 Potty Training
Keep in mind that usually every time after playing, about 1/2 hour after eating, when waking up from a nap and in the middle of the night, you can expect the little pup to feel the need to relieve themselves. Take them to their designated spot every time and say a word associated with going to the bathroom. I like using the word “make.” Now that we are living in France I expect our dog to be bilingual and so I also include the french word, “faire” which also means “to make.” Because our puppy doesn’t know how to walk on a leash yet, I’ve laid puppy pads on one corner of our terrace and blocked off the area. I think it’s a good idea to pad train your French bulldogs for when he experiences an emergency or when the weathers bad and he’s unable to relieve himself outdoors. Remember, this breed doesn’t do well in hot weather or on long durations of walks. Thus pad training is a must! Most importantly, if your pup happens to have an accident indoors, and only if you catch him in the middle of the act, say, “no,” while picking him up immediately and taking him to his designated spot. From there, you’ll reinforce the potty training word.
Tip #3 Play Time
Toys are always a good idea for a young pup. I like plush squeaky toys that offer different textures such as twisted rope that doubles as a dental cleaning tool or hard jelly material surfaces that help massage gums. Because French Bulldogs’ teeth are very strong, the tougher the toy the better. I’ve learned to stay away from rawhide bones because these can be chewed through easily and can become a choke hazard for them. I like eco-friendly and toxic free bones or flavoured bio-safe toys. These are all sure to keep your pup busy. Try the Beco Bone from Beco Pets and hide special treats inside! I also recommend Biosafe toys from Rosewood Pet Products. Ours loves his scented and bouncy Rasberry toy.
(click on the red for more information about these products)
Another important rule of thumb for me when training my pet is when playing fetch. Never play tug of war with your puppy if it doesn’t willingly release the toy from their mouth. By not promoting this tug-of-war action, this may help discourage aggressiveness or dominance issues later into adult hood. Instead, teach your pup to release the toy before you’ll partake in another game of fetch. I like saying “drop it.” Remember repetition is imperative. You’re caring for a puppy who doesn’t know any better.
When training a French Bulldog, take into account that although they are intelligent and usually eager to please their owners, French Bulldogs also have a reputation for being free thinkers. That means they can be very stubborn.Trying different training techniques are successful with this breed, so don’t give up if a certain method doesn’t work. Just remember consistency is key! I’ve provided just a few basic examples. Do your due diligence and research, research, research or consult a professional.
Thanks for reading and meeting the newest addition in our life…Lafayette!