A top task that a pet owner is responsible for when getting a new Frenchie is potty training. While French Bulldog potty training takes time and effort, the process should run smoothly if certain steps are taken.
Usually, dogs want their claimed space to be clean. The basics for French Bulldog potty training start in the nest or whelping den with their mother because, usually, the mother dog keeps the nest environment clean for the first few weeks of a puppy’s life. As soon as puppies become more independent, they get their business done outside the nest.
When Should French Bulldog Potty Training Begin?
Since potty training aims to ensure that your dog doesn’t use the bathroom in your home, you likely want to do this right away. You should start potty training from the very first day you bring your cute little Frenchie puppy home.
The sooner your dog learns the proper place to use the bathroom, the better chance of quick success for French Bulldog potty training.
Steps to Take for French Bulldog Potty Training
- Newspapers: The newspaper or training pad trick is an old, trusted method to use at the beginning of French Bulldog potty training. This teaches your dog to go in the same spot and prevents them from going in very inconvenient places (like a nice rug or their bed). Place newspapers on the floor or training pee pads around your house on the floors, especially close to the doors that lead outside.
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- Pay attention: Pay close attention to when your puppy is going to pee or poop. Try to notice it coming in advance by being aware of your Frenchie sniffing around, turning in circles in one spot, or leaving your eyesight, especially after a meal or rest time.
- Be quick: When it appears that your pup needs to go to the bathroom, lure it outside and accompany it. You can walk it to a place where you later want him to pee or poop regularly. Always give treats immediately (carry treats with you) when your dog goes to the bathroom outside.
- Use a command: You can further the training on using a specific bathroom location but saying a command (such as ‘go potty’) when they do use the bathroom outside. Use treats and praise to train your dog to respond to the command.
- Be regular: From the start of having your puppy, regularly take it outside even if it doesn’t appear to need to use the bathroom. For a young puppy, every one to two hours is appropriate. Give it time to use the bathroom and reward it as soon as it happens. This will encourage your dog to recognize that using the bathroom outside is a desired behavior.
- Don’t encourage playtime: Your Frenchie will likely be excited to play outside when they go. In the beginning, when you are trying to teach them to potty here, leave it at a bathroom break only at least several times a day. Once they go to the bathroom and you use the command word or phrase, reward it and go inside immediately. Once they can go on command often, then playing while on a potty break is perfectly okay.
- Change up location: While you want to train your dog to use the bathroom outside close to home, you want it to be okay to go in several places. Over time, walk your dog further or to different areas outside to teach it that it can go in more than one place as long it’s outside on the grass. This will make life easier when visiting new places.
Is Potty Training a French Bulldog Easy?
Yes, French Bulldogs are usually easy to potty train, especially if you start early. They are gentle and friendly dogs that want to please their owner. Some puppies may be a bit more stubborn than others, but Frenchies are generally quite easy to potty train.
French Bulldog Potty Training Schedule
The following schedule can be used as a guideline for the number of times you have to go outside with your French Bulldog puppy. An 8-week-old puppy pees when he is awake approximately every two hours and poops three to six times a day. As the puppy ages, the time he can hold his poop and pee increases. While this schedule can be very useful to follow, it’s important to take notice of your puppy and act on his behavior. All dogs are different.
|Dog’s Age||Can Hold Pee For:||Minimum Times Going Outside Per 24 Hours|
|8 Weeks||2 Hours||12 times|
|12 Weeks||3-4 Hours||6-8 times|
|16 Weeks||4-5 Hours||5-6 times|
|20 Weeks||5-6 Hours||4- 5 times|
|6 Months||6-8 Hours||3-4 times|
|7 Months||12 Hours||3 times|
Other Answers, Tips, and Tricks
The potty schedule given a dog’s age is a very good rule of thumb, but keep in mind all dogs are different. For successful potty training of your dog, there are other things to be aware of.
Using a Crate for French Bulldog Potty Training
At night or when you are at work, there are times when you cannot give your undivided attention to your Frenchie. This is where crate training comes in handy. Using a crate can be a saving grace in many aspects and especially when you are trying to potty train your dog but make sure you follow the steps for proper crate training before simply forcing your dog to be in a crate.
The crate should only be big enough for your dog to stand, turn around, and stretch out. If the crate is too large, it is advisable to reduce the size of the crate. Most metal crates like this one include a divider to adjust the space your dog has in the crate.
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The limited space in the crate is meant to discourage your dog from using the bathroom in there. Dogs are hygienic by nature and do not like to soil their own nest; therefore, they will hold it for as long as possible.
Keep in mind that if your dog is in the crate too long and can’t hold it anymore, this may force them to go in their crate. Holding their bladder for too long can also result in issues such as bladder infections, just like it does for humans. So, do not force your dog to stay in a crate without the chance to use the bathroom for longer than you should (using the potty schedule above for proper timing).
Night-time Bathroom Trips
French Bulldog potty training can be the most tiresome at night when you want to sleep until morning. But following these steps will get you back to normal sleep as soon as possible.
As unpleasant as it may seem, it’s important to get up during the night a few times, especially for the first few nights, to let your pup go outside for a bathroom break.
During the first nights at your home, your new Frenchie should absolutely not be expected to hold their bladder all night. When your new dog initially comes home with you, make night-time bathroom breaks easier by having your dog sleep in a room with you, or you can relocate to sleep near it to make sure you can keep an eye on when it needs to be taken out. Read more on bedtime tips and tricks.
Set an alarm in the middle of the night to check on your dog. If it is calm and/or sleeping and doesn’t appear to need to go outside, set the alarm for a little bit later to recheck. It may be a good idea to do this for several nights to see how long your dog can sleep before needing a bathroom break. Getting a solid idea of this will help you get back to a normal sleep schedule and ensure that your dog is taken out at appropriate times during the night to avoid using the bathroom inside.
During your French Bulldog potty training, accidents are bound to happen. It’s definitely in the name of the game, so patience is a virtue.
If you see that your Frenchie is about to do his business indoors, immediately pick it up or lure it outside. Even if your dog starts to go inside but finishes outside, reward it. If you are too late and your dog has an accident inside, clean the area with hot water and neutralize the smell with, for example, vinegar or a pet stain and odor eliminator. This removes residual odors and prevents the puppy from using the bathroom in that location again. Removing the scent so that your dog doesn’t remark their territory is very important.
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This can be the most difficult to do during French Bulldog puppy training, but pay little attention to the accident. Simply clean the area and don’t give further attention to it. Never punish your puppy for peeing inside. Many people believe an effective response to teaching your dog not to do this is to sweep through the puddle or poop with your dog’s nose. This is counterproductive and, truthfully, it’s not your dog’s fault that they had had an accident inside. This happens because your dog needs further training on where they should be using the bathroom or because it wasn’t physically able to hold it anymore.
Do not punish your dog for accidents, which comes from reprimanding or leaving them in their soiled space. These actions can cause behavior problems in your dog or will teach your dog that it’s okay to sleep in a soiled area. Instead, show it the preferred place to use the bathroom and provide rewards when you get a wanted behavior. This is the surest way you achieve desired results as quickly as possible.
Potty Training When You Live in an Apartment
Since French Bulldogs are perfect pets for it, you may live in an apartment. This can mean that French Bulldog potty training requires a little more work, but overall, it’s the same.
You will follow the same tips and tricks above by using newspaper or pee pads, regular trips outside, and sleeping near your dog in the first few nights.
Using newspaper or pee pads on the floor may be extra necessary when living in an apartment while potty training your dog. Even though you don’t want them to do this for too long and learn to always go inside, it can save the floors of a space you may be renting and allow you to see how often you need to take your new pup outside.
When greeting people or other dogs, many dogs will naturally pee some. This is called a submissive pee and has nothing to do with uncleanness or not being well-trained.
Ignore your dog when this happens. Don’t give it much attention, and certainly don’t punish it. Paying attention to it may make it worse, and punishing it is pointless because it’s not an intended or even known behavior.
If your dog submissively pees every time you return home, you can prevent this by ignoring your puppy completely when you return home. Ask your visitors to ignore your puppy on arrival, too. If he stays calm, they can greet him briefly after a few minutes without making eye contact. Most French Bulldogs grow out of this behavior as they age.
How Long Does It Take to Potty Train a French Bulldog?
All dogs vary, but proper and complete potty training usually takes some time.
To become potty trained, your French Bulldog must gain control of the circulatory muscles that close the bladder and anus. Gaining conscious control over these circular muscles is a growth process that occurs slowly.
Some French Bulldog puppies are house-trained a few days after they arrive home, but these are exceptions. Most French Bulldog puppies are completely house-trained at the age of 7-8 months.
You also have an important influence on the time required to potty train your puppy. The more time you spend training your puppy, the faster he will be potty trained. If you encounter difficulties during potty training, consult your veterinarian to see if it might be caused by a physical problem.
Two key points to remember during French Bulldog potty training:
Patience is a virtue.
Practice makes perfect.