The Importance of Socializing Your French Bulldog Puppy

Getting a new French Bulldog puppy is a fun an exciting time.  It is also a very important time in their development that can affect their behavior in the future.  In this article I will cover the importance of socializing your Frenchie puppy.  I’ll cover the benefits of socializing your French Bulldog, how to go about socializing your Frenchie, noise conditioning, proper behavior at and outside of home, and bite inhibition. All of these will help better prepare your Frenchie to make positive interactions in the outside world. 

Why Socializing Your French Bulldog Is Important

Socializing your Frenchie is important because it will teach them how to react to the world around them in a healthy way. The process of socialization is better for both you and your Frenchie if it’s started early because it will cause less problems. You won’t have to be stressed out about taking your dog to the vet or for a walk because of the possibility they might bark or bite at someone or another dog. Having a socialized frenchie not only benefits them but it benefits you. Knowing your dog will be able to respond to unfamiliar things appropriately will make you feel happier and confident and will just make things as a French Bulldog owner better, easier and more enjoyable.

Things to Include in Socialization

Did you know the greatest window of learning in your French Bulldog’s life starts at about 3 weeks old and ends at 16 and 20 weeks? This is an important time period to expose your Frenchie puppy to a wide range of sights, smells, sounds, places, sensations, without attaching an unnecessary fear to them. If your puppy has never been exposed to early socialization it will be a lot harder for them to feel comfortable with normal things and may cause problems such as anxiety and aggression as they get older. You definitely want to avoid this becoming an issue.  It’s important to know certain things to expose your frenchie to early on so to cover all those bases here’s a list for you:

Expose Your Frenchie Puppy To Different Types of People

  • Tall/short
  • Thin/Fat
  • Different attire 
  • People of all ages (especially seniors)
  • Long hair/short hair
  • Handicapped 
  • Dancers 
  • Runners, etc…

Expose Your French Bulldog To Different Types of Animals

  • Other dogs/breeds
  • Cats
  • Squirrels
  • Birds
  • Rodents
  • Rabbits
  • Chickens, etc…

Expose Your French Bulldog To Different Forms of Travel

  • Car
  • Bus/subway
  • Motorcycle 
  • Airplane
  • Train
  • Bike
  • Scooter 
  • Hoverboards/Segways

Introduce Your French Bulldog Puppy To Different Places

  • Dog park
  • School
  • Main road 
  • Dirt road/Gravel road 
  • Small shops (ice cream/coffee shops)
  • Events (sporting, music)
  • Downtown areas
cute french bulldog puppy
Small lilac fawn colored French Bulldog dog puppy with large funny blue eyes sitting in front of gray wall with copy space

The Importance of Noise Conditioning For Your French Bulldog Puppy

This is another important thing you want to introduce your French Bulldog to.  You should aim to slowly introduce your Frenchie to an assortment of sounds whether it’s a thunderstorm or the honk of a car as it will help prevent an inserted fear of these sounds and rather create positive associations. This will allow you to take your frenchie to new things and new places.

Proper Behavior Both at and Outside of Home

Frenchies aren’t able to talk with their words which is why it’s hard for them to clearly communicate their needs. This is why it’s important to teach them proper behavior so they are able to abide by the rules and communicate well and in turn you are able to better understand them and give them what they need. Playing the “It’s Your Choice” game is a great training exercise.   In order for your Frenchie to achieve good house manners you need to train them so here are some strategies for success:

Training is essential

The basic commands to teach your dog are to sit, come, or lie down. Proper potty training is essential too.  This may not seem related to barking, jumping, or chewing problems, but it is actually very helpful in those situations as you can use those commands to prevent your frenchie from learning bad behaviors. 

Consistency definitely makes a difference

For example: If you don’t want your frenchie on the couch make sure you let them know that. Make sure you constantly and consistently enforce that rule because if you catch your dog on the couch and you don’t enforce the rule, they’re going to think it’s ok and repeat the behavior again.

Reward desired behaviors

One way to get your dog to want to listen to what you are teaching is to reward good behavior. Frenchies tend to be ‘food motivated’ little creatures and respond well to treats.  Whether that’s with verbal praise, petting them, or a treat. For example: If your dog is lying quietly when someone arrives instead of barking or jumping, make sure you praise that behavior. 

Exercise helps release energy

It’s important to recognize when your frenchie is high energy and is in need of some exercise. For example; If you notice your frenchie looking for ways to get attention like doing something naughty or is running around, also known as the “zoomies”, that’s a clear indication that your dog needs to get their energy out.  Your dog will repeat these behaviors when they need to get their energy out so it’s good to be able to recognize these and be able to help. You can do that by playing with them, taking them for a walk, or taking them to a dog park. Speaking of dog parks, this helps segway into the next section on proper behavior outside of your home, and a dog park happens to be a prime example for that.

Proper Behavior at the Dog Park

Bringing your frenchie to a dog park is a great way for your frenchie to socialize with other dogs and get exercise. However, before you bring your frenchie you need to make sure they have all the appropriate vaccinations and have the basic knowledge of obedience- being able to come to you at command, sit, and stay. In order for your Frenchie and the other dog’s safety you must also teach your dog certain things.

For example: Teach you frenchie that’s not okay to go running up to a random dog because it can pose a threat and could become dangerous if the other dog is startled by the sudden appearance and becomes hostile. To help prevent that from happening, work with your frenchie by teaching them to ask permission before greeting another dog. If another dog comes into view you can ask your puppy to sit and wait until the other dog approaches within a few feet. Then say “go” or “okay” to your frenchie so they can greet the dog. At the dog park, your puppy’s socialization will definitely show and if they are taught well they will love running and playing with the other dogs. 

French Bulldog Bite Inhibition

Bite Inhibition is a result of proper behavior and goes hand in hand. Training your dog bite inhibition and the “rules of play” is very important because it will help teach your frenchie to get along with other dogs and people. Dogs are naturally curious about their surroundings and because they don’t have arms they use their teeth to explore.

While this may seem like a normal thing for them it’s important to teach them the consequences so they aren’t unaware and keep others safe.

One way to teach your puppy bite inhibition is when you’re playing with them. If they bite your hand or a nearby surface you don’t want them biting on, say “Ouch” or “No”, in a loud voice. Make sure you’re clear with them and let them know what they did wasn’t okay, continue this and make sure to be consistent. 

French Bulldog Socialization Final Thoughts

Owning a French Bulldog should come with a lot of fun but it also holds many responsibilities. Preparing and socializing your frenchie for the outside world and all the challenges is essential. By learning things to incorporate in socialization, noise conditions, bite inhibition and proper behaviors you are able to improve yourself as a frenchie owner and help give your frenchie the kind of life and love they deserve. I hope by learning all the tips and tricks to socializing your frenchie you will take what you learned to help better you as a proud French Bulldog owner!  

Other articles of interest:

Socializing a lockdown puppy

When do French Bulldog puppies start walking


The Complete Guide To French Bulldogs by David Anderson

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