How To Discipline A French Bulldog

If you have or are thinking about getting a French Bulldog, there is a lot you need to know! These adorable dogs are playful, affectionate, and sociable, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need some discipline in order to be well-behaved. In fact, French Bulldogs thrive with consistent discipline! And you may be wondering: How To Discipline a French Bulldog?

To discipline a French Bulldog, you will need to follow these guidelines: 

  • Be consistent.
  • Use firm language and body language.
  • Be present at the time of bad behavior.
  • Use positive reinforcements. 
  • Take breaks during discipline. 
  • Use distraction methods. 

In this article, we are going to break down how to discipline your French Bulldog, as well as what tactics do not work with these pups! So keep reading! You are going to be a disciplinary expert in just a few minutes! 

How To Discipline A French Bulldog

What are the Characteristics of a French Bulldog?

Before we go ahead and discuss the many disciplinary tools you can and should use with a French Bulldog, it’s important to understand these precious animals! 

French Bulldogs are wonderful family pets, they are known for their friendly disposition and thrive with human contact. They are a great option for new dog owners and do well in apartments, with children, and with other dogs! 

They are not big barkers and will not disturb the peace of your home. However, they will absolutely need to be socialized, but with their affectionate nature, they will get along with almost everyone. 

Now, it may seem like a French Bulldog would be the perfect pet, and while it’s true that they are a great asset to any family, it’s important to note that they do need a firm disciplinarian to ensure they understand their place in the hierarchy and know how you want them to behave. 

How to Discipline a French Bulldog

It’s essential to understand that discipline is not the same as punishment. Discipline is showing consistent examples of how you want your dog to behave because they truly want to make you happy! 

Here are the many ways in which you can successfully discipline your French Bulldog: 

  • Be consistent.
  • Use firm language and body language.
  • Be present at the time of bad behavior.
  • Use positive reinforcements. 
  • Take breaks while disciplining. 
  • Use distraction methods. 

Now, let’s break them down so you can become the best disciplinarian you can be!

Be Consistent

This is arguably the most important aspect when it comes to properly disciplining your French Bulldog: be consistent! 

Frenchies are not necessarily known for their intelligence, and creating a simple and consistent discipline regiment will ensure they understand what you are asking of them. 

A perfect example of a mistake many Frenchie owners make is allowing them to nip while they play as puppies while then trying to train them not to bite or nip! This can be extremely confusing for your dog and they will most likely take much longer to learn the “no nipping” rule if you allow them to during playtime. 

Use Firm Language and Body Language

Your dog is looking for a leader, and you can help them understand your alpha status with your voice and body language. 

Remember, discipline is not punishment, so a firm voice does not mean yelling or shouting, but instead a low and firm tone will do the trick. 

When saying “no” to your Frenchie, you should couple the word with a simple hand gesture and a negative facial expression. They can sense your change in attitude and tone of voice more than you know! 

Making your voice louder does not make your commandment clearer, in fact, it may scare your dog and make them feel threatened and they are less likely to hear the instruction. 

Be Present at the Time of Bad Behavior

To help your Frenchie understand what they have done wrong, you really have to catch them in the act. They have a fairly short attention span, so if you return home after work and they have gone through the trash, disciplining them will essentially fall to deaf, albeit cute, ears as they have most likely already forgotten that they did this naughty deed. 

It is essentially pointless to try to discipline your French Bulldog after they have done something wrong, so it’s important that you stay present during the training process to ensure they understand what is and is not allowed in the home. 

Use Positive Reinforcements

Your French Bulldog wants desperately to make you happy. By using only “no’s” and negative disciplinary actions, your dog is far less likely to behave well. 

One of the most popular positive reinforcements is giving your dog a small treat when they do something right. For example, if you are potty training, and you take your Frenchie outside to urinate, if they choose the right spot, reward them with a treat! 

If you are trying to keep your Frenchie off the bed, give them a treat if they go straight to lying on the floor at bedtime. 

You can also use a kind voice, extravagant petting, and even smiling at your pup when they behave well to show them you are proud of their actions!

Take Breaks While Disciplining 

Excessive disciplining is not known to work well with any dog. As you now know, a simple “no” with a hand gesture and frown can go a long way. But it’s also proven to be very effective to walk away from your dog when they are being bad. 

Frenchies want your attention, and if you are playing and they are nipping or playing too rough, it can be extremely effective to say “no” and then walk away. They will learn that if they want to keep playing with you, they will have to tone it down. 

When they have done something destructive, show them what they have done, say a firm “no” then leave them alone for a few minutes to feel that you are displeased with their actions. 

Use Distraction Methods

Often your dog will be so excited with their current actions that the basic means of discipline will not do the trick. 

If your pup is chasing a squirrel, for example, just saying “no” will not remove their attention from the eagerness to catch the animal. In this case, you can use the distraction method. Grab a ball or something else that is appropriate to chase and divert their attention away from the soon-to-be prey! 

This solution is also productive if you have a Frenchie who loves to chew on inappropriate household items; always make sure you have a doggie chew toy around so you can redirect their excitement to something you don’t mind being torn apart!

Final Thoughts

French Bulldogs are a wonderful breed! They are well known in the canine community for their cute features, amiable disposition, and their willingness to learn and obey! 

Hopefully, you now know that there are several proven tactics you can use to successfully discipline a French Bulldog and can start being the alpha they need! 

However, in order to have a well-behaved Frenchie, you need to play your part as the disciplinarian so they understand what you want from them!

Remember, stay in control of the situation, do not punish, but instead be informative and clear about your expectations and your French Bulldog will get the message loud and clear!

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Dan James

Dan James is the founder and editor of FrenchBulldogio, a canine enthusiast who writes about what he's learned on the way of being a French Bulldog owner and sharing his advice, tips, and research.

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