As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you for supporting my small business!
I have heard it asked time and time again: Why does my frenchie puppy keep going inside? Why is he or she so hard to potty train? Well, the answer to those questions is simply that they are not in as much of a hurry to get potty trained as you are.
Potty training a french bulldog puppy is much the same as potty training any other breed in that it takes consistency, patience, and sticking to a routine. However, with frenchie puppies, it takes MORE consistency, MORE patience, and sticking to a VERY STRICT routine.
With that being said, not all frenchies are made the same. Dozer, for example, took a good seven months to fully potty train while Molly only took a week to potty train.
If you recall from my original blog post, Dozer was my first frenchie puppy. I had potty trained many puppies and several different breeds before Dozer came along and they all took about a week (or two weeks tops) to fully potty train. So, of course, I thought the same would be true for this sweet little frenchie puppy of mine. I thought I could take him outside every half hour and give him a treat whenever he went potty outside and that was that. Well, of course, that was a great start. However, as I previously stated, frenchie puppies are in no hurry. Therefore, you have to ramp things up with frenchie puppies.
The first step is consistency. Take them out at the same times EVERY DAY and do not deviate from this schedule. Since you definitely have to take them out first thing in the morning, and say you wake up at 6 a.m., take them out at 6 a.m. followed by a feeding at 6:30 a.m. Take them out immediately after the feeding which, depending on your frenchie puppy, should be around 7 a.m. Proceed to take them out at 7:30 a.m., 8 a.m, 8:30 a.m…… You get the gist! Keep going at this until dinner time which we will say is 6 p.m. Take them out immediately after dinner at 6:30 p.m. Take them out at 7 p.m. and every half hour until bed time. It is very important to take them out immediately before bed time.
Speaking of bed time, DO NOT give them water within 2 hours of bed time. You are just asking for an accident to happen. Since you will be “cutting them off” from water before bed time, you need to make sure they are hydrated throughout the day. I do not suggest giving them free range to water as puppies though. This will just increase the frequency with which you will need to take them outside to potty.
You may be saying, “Becki, seriously, every half hour?” and I say “Absolutely!” In the beginning any way. As they get older, you can decrease the frequency to every hour or so. Slowly decrease the frequency as your puppy starts to get it. I still take mine out every hour just for good measure (and the exercise doesn’t hurt me either).
The second step is patience. You must remain patient with these little guys and gals. I see new frenchie owners getting frustrated and your frenchie puppies can sense that. They want nothing more than to please you so don’t get frustrated. Instead, when you bring them out, give them the “go potty” command and wait a minute. Give them the “go potty” command again if they haven’t gone yet. Continue with this until they do go and then give them a treat right away and make a big deal out of it by giving lots of praise. Do not get frustrated, give up, and go back inside because you have been outside 15 minutes already and they still have not gone potty. Once they get the routine down, they will know what they are supposed to do. Sometimes they will even fake potty to get the treat and praise.
Speaking of routine: Sticking to a routine is the third step in potty training your frenchie puppy. As I mentioned before, you must stick to your schedule of taking them outside frequently, but also stick to taking them to the same location every time. Take them to the same exact spot every time to potty. This will ensure they know that is where they are supposed to go.
If you’re wondering what type of training treats to use, find out what your frenchie puppy loves the best. I have found that using a different protein than their normal food is best. For example, the main protein in my dog food is lamb so I use duck or salmon treats. I also use small soft chews that I can break in half to give as the reward, Remember, you will be rewarding with treats often so the smaller the pieces are, the better. I will cover food and treats in more detail in my next blog post.
It is also good practice to crate train them for the times you can not be there with your puppy. Dogs will typically not “go” where they sleep. Make sure the crate is small, but not too small. There should be just enough room for them to move around. The biggest mistake I see many puppy parents make is buying a crate that is too big. Buying a larger crate is done with the best intentions wanting your puppy to be as comfortable as possible. However, this also gives them room to have a sleeping spot and a potty spot. This is not what you want. Remember, puppies can not hold it for too long so don’t keep them crated for long periods of time. The younger they are, the less they can hold it.
You also need to learn to recognize the clues to the behaviors your dog displays when he or she needs to go. Two of my frenchies start sniffing around while the other one will walk up to me and stare me down as to say “Look woman, I have to go pee!” Some other clues may include circling, scratching at the floor, or sometimes even whining.
One last note is you should always take your puppy out on a leash and harness to go potty. Harnesses are much better for your frenchie puppy so they do not pull and choke themselves. I personally use the adjustable no pull harnesses. You can find many versions of this harness such as Bolux Dog Harness, No-Pull Reflective Breathable Adjustable Pet Vest with Handle for Outdoor Walking – No More Pulling, Tugging or Choking on Amazon. Amazon also has these Max and Neo Small Dog Reflective Nylon Dog Leash – We Donate a Leash to a Dog Rescue for Every Leash Sold (Purple, 6×5/8) to go along with your no pull harnesses. I love these leashes!
If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to send me a message on my contact page. Also, be sure to like this post if you found it helpful.
Good luck on your potty training journey and remember patience pays off!