If you have a French Bulldog who loves to stick to your side like glue, you may be wondering just how long it is safe to leave them alone at home by themselves. So How Long Can a French Bulldog Be Left Alone?
The truth is that French Bulldogs are very clingy dogs, often referred to as “Velcro dogs.” They love to be with their owners at all times. So, how long can a French Bulldog be left alone? While it is safe for you to leave your Frenchie home alone for certain periods of time, it is best not to leave them for more than four to six hours.
The rest of this article will go into detail about how to leave your Frenchie at home safely, why you shouldn’t leave them for too long, and how to deal with separation anxiety if it arises.
How long can a French Bulldog be left alone?
While you can safely leave your French Bulldog home alone sometimes, it is not recommended to do so for more than four to six hours. This is because Frenchies are very loyal, very clingy dogs. If they have not gotten used to being alone, then sudden time by themselves can lead to them developing separation anxiety.
Especially if you have adopted your Frenchie during the COVID-19 pandemic, they may not be used to you being out of the house for long periods of time. In order to avoid issues with your dog developing anxiety, you should do your best not to leave them alone for too long.
What if I need to leave my Frenchie alone for longer than 4-6 hours?
If you absolutely must leave your French Bulldog home alone for more than four to six hours, it is possible to do so safely. However, you should make every effort to train your pup to find alone time to be a relaxing experience rather than a stressful one.
There are a couple of ways you can do this, but one of the easiest ways is to crate train your Frenchie. Most adult dogs can go about six to eight hours without using the bathroom, so if you need to be at work or another function, you don’t need to worry about your Frenchie having a potty accident.
If you crate train, your Frenchie will be able to happily snooze the day away inside their crate while you are off doing whatever it is you need to do.
Is crate training cruel?
No, crate training is absolutely not cruel! Many people are hesitant to crate train their dogs because they believe that keeping your dog locked up is a bad thing. This is somewhat true—if you were keeping your dog locked in their crate all day every single day, then that might be a problem!
However, crate training done right means that your dog will find their crate a comfort, and may even want to spend time in the crate of their own accord. Dogs like small spaces that they can consider their den, so your Frenchie will be sure to like a cozy, comfy crate space that they can retreat to when you are not home.
How can I crate train my French Bulldog?
Crate training your Frenchie will be a process, and it is important to do so properly. The first step to properly crate training a dog is selecting the right crate. You should make sure that the crate is large enough for your dog to stand up and turn around in. Any smaller, and your dog will be too cramped; any larger, and the crate will feel too roomy.
Once you have a properly sized crate, you can make it comfy for your dog by placing objects such as a cushy dog bed or blanket inside. Put a toy that your Frenchie loves inside. Then, you can start on getting your pup slowly acclimated to the crate.
Make sure that your dog will associate their crate with good things: treats and relaxation. You can leave the crate open even when you are home, so that if your dog wants to go there to relax anytime they want, they will be able to. Don’t force your dog into the crate, and never, ever use the crate as punishment.
How do I know if my Frenchie has separation anxiety?
If you leave your French Bulldog at home by themselves for too long or too suddenly, it is possible that your pup can develop separation anxiety. This is when they become very anxious and scared when you are not at home, and they do not know how to cope with being alone.
Some signs that might indicate separation anxiety are:
- Excessive barking, howling or whining
- Destructive behavior
- Potty accidents
- Scratching at the walls and doors
It is important, however, to pay attention to when your dog is engaging in these behaviors. If they are only doing so when you are gone or getting ready to leave, then chances are that the behaviors have to do with separation anxiety. If they are regularly occurring when you are home, however, then something else may be wrong, or your Frenchie may suffer from generalized anxiety.
What do I do if my Frenchie has separation anxiety?
If your Frenchie happens to develop separation anxiety, there are a few things you can do to attempt to reduce the anxiety. These include crate training your pup, which we have already mentioned, or you can work to desensitize your Frenchie to being home alone.
Desensitization will involve lots of patience, time, and training, but the end results will be worth it.
How can I desensitize my French Bulldog to being home alone?
Desensitization involves getting your dog used to the things that trigger their separation anxiety, until they are able to be left alone without being triggered into an anxious episode. This will take a lot of time and patience. To begin, you will want to get your dog used to being left alone for short periods of time, and then slowly increase the length.
For example, you can give your Frenchie a puzzle toy or another treat, such as a KONG filled with peanut butter or treat paste, that will require concentration. Then, leave them alone for just enough time to finish the treat before coming back. This will begin to develop a positive association with being left alone. Continue to do this while slowly increasing the time that you are gone.
You can also try teaching your Frenchie the “stay” command. Use this command, then leave the room. After a few minutes of them being alone in the room without any bad behavior, you can return to the room and reward them.
Make sure that you only use positive reinforcement—never punish your Frenchie for anxious behavior. This is likely to increase the bad behavior and develop poor associations with you leaving.
Lastly, you can also desensitize your Frenchie to the things that trigger their anxious episodes. For example, if your Frenchie begins to freak out every time you put your shoes on and get ready to leave the house, you can begin to teach them that putting your shoes on does not always mean that you are going to leave.
Put your shoes on and don’t leave the house. Then, reward your Frenchie when they are calm. Repeat this process until your pup is comfortable with you leaving.
So, how long can a French Bulldog be left alone? In general, the answer is no longer than about four to six hours. However, a well-trained adult dog can generally hold their bladder for six to eight hours, so it is possible for you to leave your Frenchie for longer.
You can crate train your Frenchie so that they have a safe space to retreat to when they are home alone. This way, they will be less likely to engage in destructive behavior and develop separation anxiety.