French Bulldog Potty Training – House training French Bulldog Puppies Is not hard to do!

French Bulldog puppies are a bundle of joy.  They are friendly, playful – in short, a great addition to your family.  When we got Augie we were so excited to bring him home from the Breeder and get him situated in his new forever home.  

However, the arrival of your newborn Frenchie demands some French Bulldog potty training, and fast!  Otherwise, you risk turning your home into an obstacle course of “piles and puddles”.

House training your bulldog puppy does not have to be a stressful exercise, especially if you follow a few time-tested tactics.  Here are a few essential tips for helping your young Frenchie (and yourself!):

A French Bulldog Puppy Has A Small Bladder And Will Need To Pee Every 2-3 Hours

Frenchie puppy’s bladder is not very big and has not yet mastered control of his bladder.  Expecting him to hold back from peeing while you are away at work for 8 hours is a tall order.  In an ideal world you or someone you love and trust would be able to let your puppy out ever 2-3 hours.  If you don’t have that option, you should set up your Frenchie with access to an inside location to go to the bathroom.  We had an exercise pen set up for out little guy lined with puppy pee pads.  

French Bulldog Potty Training – Puppy Pee Pads Can Be Useful 

french bulldog on pee pad
The best indoor dog potty training pee pad we used had a plastic bottom lining so no leaking would be an issue.  We used these puppy pee pads more than anything else.  

They are completely disposable and easy to use and throw away after using them.  

How To Potty Train A French Bulldog – Here Are 5 Tips For French Bulldog Puppy Potty Training With Puppy Pee Pads

  • Be sure to take your Frenchie to the puppy potty pad often. How often you take your little Frenchie out really depends on his age and how in control of his bladder he is.  For very young puppies, it could be as often as every 15 minutes. Have a steady supply of those puppy pads nearby and err on the side of safety.  Better a wasted trip than an a pee accident.
  • Use a timer to help stay on top of puppy potty breaks.  One of the things we did was use our Alexa to set a countdown timer to remind us to put our little guy on his potty pads.  Setting a timer if you’re having trouble remembering can be a helpful trick on when to take your puppy to his pee pad.
  • When Your Puppy Wakes Up, Chance Are He Will Have To Pee – When puppies first wake up they more than often need to go pee right away.  
  • Become a Student Of Puppy Body Language – One of the most important tips I can give you is to watch your Frenchie for signs he has to go to the bathroom.  Some activities to watch out for are; sniffing the ground, pacing, circling, or even whining. When you see any of those signs, take him straight to the pee pad.
  • Leash training in the house is a good idea for a puppy.  Puppies are often curious little creatures and will wander and sniff around without supervision.  Using a long leash will help you keep your puppy in sight and out of trouble. Hook the leash to your belt loop on your pants or hook it to a piece of heavy furniture to limit your puppy’s movements.
  • Put them in a crate When You Can’t Watch Them Directly – Put your Frenchie in a crate or exercise pen whenever you can’t supervise them directly.

the Potty Training Puppy Apartment – How to Potty Train a Puppy

So this is another great way to start potty training your Frenchie.  It involves an adjustable wire crate and and this can be useful if you are having to leave your puppy alone for a long period of time.  

Potty Training In The Winter and Artificial Grass Bathroom Mats

We did also get a couple artificial grass bathroom mats because we got our puppy in the dead of Winter and wanted to start getting him acclimated to peeing on grass.  When we got him there was a couple feet of snow outside in New Hampshire so there was no chance our little Frenchie was seeing real grass anytime soon.   These worked well during potty training during the Winter months.  

Coordinating a plan for puppy pet care takes a team  

If you have a family and possibly some friends that can chip in and help you during the puppy potty training process that will be ideal.  It definitely takes patience and consistent effort during the puppy potty training process for it to be effective.  Part of success in puppy potty training involves knowing that it will take some time and effort for it to be successful.  You should understand that it may take months to get it right.  Another option to be aware of is that you could hire a local dog trainer or dog walker to come let your puppy out during the day if you are stuck at work.  

French Bulldog puppies can be trained at three weeks of age at the earliest. 

Keep in mind that potty breaks will be very frequent at the start.  A Frenchie puppy won’t be able to fully control his bladder until he is 16 weeks old so start early, be consistent, and reward your puppy immediately after he does his business.

VERY IMPORTANT: Do not punish your puppy when he “accidentally” relieves himself in the house. 

Similarly, always reward your dog immediately after he has completed his job in the proper location.  Training is a learned activity, so your bulldog must know why he is being rewarded to associate it with positive action.  

House breaking a puppy is a behavioral activity that demands rigor on the owner’s part.  Dogs must be directed towards the desired end, and incentives should be triggered in their brain as motivation.  Fortunately, you will have a lot of practice daily with an active puppy, so going outside should become automatic in no time!

When your Frenchie does have a pee accident and you see it don’t punish him, just do your best to clean it up using a quality carpet cleaner for old pet urine.  After clean up, get back to positive training.  

Here are a few more ideas for your house training efforts:

  • Scout your puppy’s routine and “relieving” sequence.  Normally, he will have to go after meals and at specific hours of the day.  Watch carefully and try to catch him just before he takes off.  When your bulldog starts squatting, circling or sniffing around, that’s the time to lead him to the designated area.
  • Use verbal cues to direct your puppy outside when he is ready to relieve himself.  Ideally, one unique keyword should be used at all times in a loud, firm voice.  ie, “Go Potty.” This should distract your puppy and allow you to pick him up and carry him out before it is too late…
  • In the designated “release” area, use a special word (e.g. “dumper”) that triggers your puppy’s to act.
  • In the end, praise your bulldog with a treat or reward that signals your approval.

During puppy house training, there will be several occasions when your timing is off, and you’ll have no choice but to clean up the mess and try again next time.  Remember that your bulldog is only acting naturally, so do not punish him after the fact.

Switch From Pee Pads to the Peeing Outdoors

The day will come when its time to start having your dog pee outside.  When it’s time to transition your puppy from potty pee pads to the outdoors, many of the strategies I shared can be also be applied here. Simply take your Frenchie outside rather than to his pee pad.

These 3 Tips Will Help You In That Process:  

  • Use Cue Words – Teach your Frenchie a potty cue phrase like “Go Potty.” Start by using the cue whenever your little Frenchie is about to go to the bathroom.  Be sure to reward him as soon as he finishes doing his business. By continuing to enforce this you will be able to ask your Frenchie to go where and when it’s convenient for you, including in the outdoor toilet area.
  • Transition The Pee Pad Outside – Now it is time to move the potty pee pad outside. I would recommend only moving it a small distances each day so you don’t confuse your puppy and make too abrupt of a transition. Start by working toward the door to the outside of your house, then to just outside that door, then slowly to the final outdoor location potentially in your backyard.
  • Start Decreasing The Pee Pad Size – Finally it is time to start decreasing the size of the potty pad once it’s outside. Some Frenchie puppies will catch on faster than others.  If your puppy is having a challenging time try cutting the potty pad smaller and smaller until he’s using the ground rather than the pee pad.

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French Bulldog owners who persevere with their French Bulldog puppies are quickly rewarded with obedient, well-behaved dogs.  It’s a “win-win” situation for all, and you will once again be able to enjoy a relatively clean, odor-free residence.

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