How to Train a French Bulldog

French bulldog

French Bulldogs are not the easy dogs to train, they are known to be free thinkers and stubborn. These cute pups with their bat-like ears and funny faces might deceive you. But they need as much obedience training as any other dog breed. However, training sessions in a puppy class or by a private trainer might hit your wallet. Alternatively, you have the only option to house train your dog. 


Do not worry at all! French bulldog training is no science. You can train him with absolute ease by following the simple tips and tricks mentioned in this article. It can be tempting to teach your bulldog cool tricks to impress your friends. However, you should train him to respond to some basic commands first. 


French Bulldog Temperament

French Bulldogs make excellent companions and family dogs due to their mellow nature.  Like all other bulldog breeds, they have a playful demeanor, adaptability, and high socializing skills. They love nothing more than human attention. At times, they tend to stick to your side like glue. As such, Frenchie is always eager to please and responds well to rewards and treats. You can get them to do anything with positive reinforcement and affection.


Most Bulldogs are not high-energy dogs. They tire easily. Thanks to their flat faces, they can have trouble breathing too. Keep it in mind during the French bulldog training sessions. They have a sweet disposition but can exhibit aggressive behaviors like growling.  If your dog becomes fearful, possessive, jealous, or bossy; behavior modification and socialization are needed at an early age. 


French Bulldog Training and Basic Commands


1. Walk On Leash

While Frenchies are not active dogs, they need regular walks. As such, you have to train your dog to walk on a leash. It is also the first step towards French bulldog training. The trick of leash training is to practice at home and then take your dog outside.

  • Start by allowing your dog to explore the harness.
  • Once he’s comfortable with it, put the harness on.
  • Engage your dog to occupy the leash and get used to it.
  • Once, he does not mind the harness; grab the leash, and hold it loosely.
  • Use treats to keep your Frenchie close to you. Then introduce the “Heel!” command.
  • Practice regularly at home and then take him outside.


2. Potty Training

French Bulldogs are not that hard to housebreak. The secret is to start potty training from day one. Start this French bulldog training by finding an appropriate place for urination and defecation.  It can be inside or outside your house. Take your dog to that spot frequently especially, after meals and play sessions. Let them do their business there. After they’re done with it, reward them with treats and praises. Stick to your routine and follow it regularly. 


3. “Sit!” Command 

Most basic commands rely on your bulldog knowing how to sit. French bulldog training is incomplete without this command.  The “Sit!” command is easy, and most owners quickly understand how to train French bulldogs to sit. All you have to lure your dog to follow the command. 


  • Hold a treat over his head.
  • Let him jump to get the treat.
  • Keep the treat in his reach but do not give it.
  • Repeat “Sit!” until he sits down. 
  • Say “Yes!” when he sits down.
  • Mark the behavior with a clicker and praise him. 


4. “Do Not Bite”

Biting and chewing is normal behavior in dogs. It is a way for them to explore the world. By doing so, they learn what to eat and what to not.  However, it can turn into a problem when your pet grows up.  To avoid that, discourage biting or chewing at once.


Do not use your hand to play with your French bulldog. Instead, have suitable dog toys, and chews to direct your dog’s attention. If he bites you, stop paying them attention. Go out of the room for a while. It teaches your dog that the fun ends once they use their teeth.


5. Teaching The Dog His Name 

Even the best dog trainer in the world cannot teach any dog its name. It is because dogs have no comprehension and understanding that they have a name. We need to understand that a name to a dog is nothing more than an additional obedience command. It simply means “Just stop what you are doing. Pay attention to me! Look up to me for guidance and direction.” But it is an excellent opportunity to start effective communication and a better relationship with your dog. 


  • Start by getting your dog’s attention with food. 
  • Hold the food on top of their nose.
  • Slowly bring that food up to your forehead. 
  • As they look up for the food, make eye contact with them.
  • Mark this behavior by saying their name.
  • Then, give them the treat.
  • Again, call their name.
  • If they look up to you again, say their name, then “yes!” and reward him.


6. Crate Training

The first step in crate training your friend is making the crate a comfortable place. To desensitize your puppy to the crate, let him first walk into it by himself. Do not close the door while he is inside it.  Throw the treat into the crate and let him run back out.  Repeat it a few times. 


  • The next step is to play around with the door a little bit.
  • Then ask for a “Sit!” command inside the crate.
  • Say the word “Crate!” whenever you throw the treat inside it.
  • After he gets comfortable with the crate, close the door while he is inside.
  • Give him a lot of praises and treats.
  • Use the word “Free!” while releasing him.
  • Encourage these French bulldog training tips every day.


7. Eliminate Frenchie’s Aggression

Dog aggression may be a result of trauma, careless breeding, or lack of socialization. Fear also plays a huge factor in behavioral issues during the early age of a puppy. In such a case, it is helpful to introduce the puppy to different people and locations.  French bulldog training sessions with positive reinforcement prove beneficial in this regard. Early socialization helps the Frenchie get rid of shy and timid behavior.


  • Always discourage their dominant and aggressive behavior.
  • Make sure they socialize with strangers and other pets.
  • Remove the underlying potential cause of aggression.
  • Avoid punishment and use a positive approach for discouraging destructive behaviors.


Bonus Tips and Tricks

  • Before training your dog, get to know him well. You should be aware of his temperament and personality traits. Learn if he’s energetic or just a couch potato, and train accordingly.
  • Make sure you reward them if they do well in training. Praises and attention work best as long as your dog understands why they’re getting rewarded.
  • Start with the leash training and potty training.  
  • French Bulldogs have breathing problems. They might not get along well with the collars. It is, therefore, recommended to use collars only during training hours.
  • Reward and reprimand your French bulldog on the spot. Doing so after hours will only confuse them and make you seem unpredictable. If you do not catch him in the act, yelling or ignoring him for a longer period will only make him shy.
  • Keep the training sessions short. French Bulldogs are intelligent. They will hate to repeat the same thing over. That is why you might overtire them by accident.
  • Make the training a daily part of their life. 
  • French Bulldogs need socialization to grow into mellow dogs. Therefore, take them on outdoor visits frequently.
  • Repeat each command regularly, for several times.


Practice is the key to successful French bulldog training!

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