Whether you are a new or prospective Frenchie parent or you want to help your French Bulldog play well with other dogs, keep reading for 5 simple but important steps on how to train dogs to get along with other dogs.
The fantastic news is that Frenchies typically get along well with other dogs. Training your French Bulldog to be a good furry friend should be a fairly simple task with a few training tricks.
Here are 7 steps for introducing potential furry friends to one another and details on how to train dogs to get along with other dogs so that they can be playful friends.
Step 1: Introduce the Dogs Leashed and on Neutral Territory
To ensure that both dogs are comfortable and don’t display territorial behaviors, it is important to introduce dogs on neutral territory. An outdoor space is likely best.
The following steps are a good way to carefully set up the first introduction.
Special Tip: Have treats on hand for each dog when they cooperate and follow directions. Praise is always key for our Frenchies to continue displaying wanted behaviors.
- If possible, introduce something of the other dogs to your Frenchie before the meeting. This could be a toy, towel, or anything that would have their scent. This will allow your French Bulldog to become comfortable with their smell. If this isn’t possible, not to worry. Carry on to the meeting.
- When meeting for the first time, have both dogs on a leash held by their owners.
- Owners can slowly have their pups walk toward one another.
- Take note of any signs of aggression (change in posture, growling, baring teeth) and calmly walk off immediately if aggression shows in either dog.
- If dogs are calm and not showing any aggression, provide praise and reward.
- If dogs do show aggression, it is okay to try the meeting again after a short break.
- Practice this several times while dogs remain on a leash.
- Gives treats and lots of praise when the dogs successfully come up to one another.
A key point to note is that dogs should meet one-on-one for the first time. When training your French Bulldog, more dogs means less chance of success. In the case that the meeting does not go well, controlling more dogs is more difficult. Several other dogs can also overwhelm your Frenchie. For these reasons, also make sure your meeting happens in an area where other dogs are not present.
Step 2: Have Dogs Meet Again Off-Leashed
Now that you have experienced your Frenchie successfully meeting another dog, it’s time to take it to the next step and give your dog a little more freedom off-leash.
Something many dog parents aren’t aware of is that when your dog is leashed and you pull at it, this can cause stress. Many dog owners do this naturally without noticing because they want to protect their pup. Because of possible stress when leashed, doggy play dates have a very good chance of going well off-leash if you feel good about your dog getting along well with the other dog. Your first meeting should provide this reassurance.
While the idea of an off-leash meeting can feel nervous, if you do it right, you are setting your Frenchie up for success to have fun playdates. When you properly train dogs to get along with other dogs, it allows them the freedom to succeed and learn necessary social skills.
These steps for the second meeting are good to follow for further doggy meet-up victory.
- Before the second meeting, make sure you and the other dog owner are in agreement to have both dogs meet leash-free. For this to truly be successful, both dogs should be off of their leash.
- Have your Frenchie sniff the object with the other dog’s scent from the pre-leash meeting, as mentioned above, to remind your Frenchie of their new friend and offer some comfort if you don’t have an object for this purpose, not a problem.
- Use the same meeting spot as you used in step 1 since it was successful, and dogs will be familiar with the area.
- Don’t hang over the new friends if they are getting along well. Dogs can sense your stress and react to it.
- Have treats and always use them coupled with praise when dogs are doing what you’d like to see from them. In this case, it’s meeting one another without aggression.
- If either owner is nervous, feel free to have the leash connected to your dog’s collar but have the leash lying on the ground. This way, you can quickly take hold of the leash if you need to.
- Keep the meeting fairly short. This will ensure that the dogs don’t get too overwhelmed and start to behave negatively as a result. Plus, it will keep them looking forward to their next hang-out!
Step 3: Repeat Short Off-Leash Meetings
When you want to train dogs to get along with other dogs, success is more likely the more times you do the process. As they say, practice makes perfect!
Yay! Your Frenchie now deserves some serious treats and love for successfully making a new friend and being a kind friend in return. You also deserve praise for being an excellent doggy parent and training your French Bulldog, an important skill.
For as long as the playdates go well, repeat step 2 and have short, off-leash meetings a couple more times. This will allow your dog to become at ease and confident about playing with new dogs.
At this point, you may be ready for your Frenchie to start meeting other dogs. Your pup may be doing wonderfully getting along with their new doggy friend, but they will likely do better with other dogs if they finish all steps with the same new dog friend.
Step 4: Allow Dogs to Meet at Home
Congratulations! You and your Frenchie have almost made it to the end of ‘how to train your dogs to get along with other dogs.’
Your Frenchie has done an excellent job up to this point, so let’s give it the boost of confidence that they deserve in that they will do just as well playing at home.
Like with children, dogs can behave differently in their own home, aka their territory. It’s important to complete this step carefully to ensure that it goes as you want it to. You want to make sure your Frenchie doesn’t become aggressive or dominant over the other dog in an effort to mark its territory.
In your home, repeat Step 2, an off-leash meeting. Step 1 at home isn’t necessary because, as mentioned, it can cause unnecessary stress when you hold them back. With that said, it could be a good idea to have their leash attached to their collar at first so that you can grab hold of it if needed.
If the meeting is going well, you can detach the leash and let the new buds play freely.
Step 5: Meet More New Friends!
Now that you have successfully taught your Frenchie to make new friends, it’s time to have a little more fun!
When you train dogs to get along with other dogs, it makes things more exciting when they can have many friends. Repeat steps 1-4 with new dogs for success because, like with people, your Frenchie may not get along with all dogs equally. This is okay because some friendships work and some don’t.
Your Frenchie will let you know through their interactions which dogs they feel comfortable playing with. And, when you and your Frenchie are comfortable and ready to venture out, you can use this nifty meetup platform to find specific doggy playdates in your area.
Have fun, and if you want more great ideas on playing with your dog, check out this guide for playing with your Frenchie!