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National Make a Dog’s Day 2021

French Bulldogs playing

This Friday, October 22, 2021, marks the 3rd Annual National Make a Dog’s Day. National Make a Dog’s Day is not only a day to celebrate your dog, but also a day to bring awareness to the “less adoptable” shelter dogs. Subaru started this tradition in 2019 in hopes to help “The Underdogs” as they call them. It is an unfortunate reality that when people look to adopt, they are looking for the youngest and healthiest pups to adopt. While it is certainly a good deed to adopt any shelter pup, the older and disabled pups often get overlooked. If you are currently considering adopting a dog, I would like to follow Subaru’s lead and encourage you to consider adopting an “Underdog.’ An “Underdog” is a dog that requires just a little more care and maybe even a little more love. They may be blind, deaf, incontinent, have behavioral issues, have neurological issues, or may have a physical impairment requiring wheels. Whatever the case may be, these underdogs are assuredly looking for love and companionship. You may believe that you are ill-equipped to take on a special needs companion. However, special needs dogs are very adaptable and may do better at your home than you think. You can always speak to the rescue or the shelter and ask for detailed care instructions.

How to Celebrate Your Dog on National Make a Dog’s Day

As I mentioned, National Make a Dog’s Day is also a day to celebrate your dog so get out and do that special thing your dog enjoys. If they enjoy walks, take them on an extra long walk. If they enjoy car rides, take them on an extra long car ride. If they enjoy the park, take them there. If you are interested in finding some of the best dog parks in the United States, click here:

If they love the beach, plan a beach day. For information about some of the best dog beaches in the United States, click here:

Finally, be sure to shower them with plenty of treats and toys. You can find all-natural organic dog treats that are sure to please your pups tummy here:

And be sure to check out my “Must Have Amazon Products” to provide the utmost in puppy spoiling on National Make a Dog’s Day:

Some other ideas to celebrate your dog are planning a doggie play date, organizing a doggie barbeque, buying your dog a pup cup and/or baking them a doggie friendly cake.

Whether you decide to adopt an underdog or to celebrate your dog or both, be sure to share the celebration on social media with the hashtag #MakeADogsDay.

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.”

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Healthy Treats for Your Dog

Organic dog treats

Just as it is important to choose quality ingredients in your dog food, it is important to choose quality ingredients in dog treats so I am dedicating this post to reviewing my favorite dog treats. Every treat I carry in my online shop contains all natural ingredients and each of these ingredients are purposeful, meaning they are chosen for a reason. I will list each treat, list all the ingredients in order of predominance, and describe the purpose of each ingredient. Towards the end of this post, I will let you know some of my favorite human foods that are beneficial to feed your dog as treats. Some of these foods are already added to the ingredients of the dog treats I will review now.

Dog Mamma’s Berry Banana Coco Chunk

Organic Brown Rice Four: Brown Rice Flour is a great source of fiber and aids in digestion. Best of all, it contains no corn, gluten, dairy, or soy.

Organic Blueberries: Blueberries are full of antioxidants, fiber, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. They are great for the immune system and overall health.

Organic Bananas: Bananas are high in potassium, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin C. Bananas have many benefits for dogs such as muscle maintenance, strengthening bones, and improving brain function.

Organic Coconut and Coconut Oil: Coconut contains anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties and aids in healthy skin and coats.

Organic Honey: Honey contains many vitamins and minerals and has anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties.

Organic Cinnamon: Cinnamon is packed with antioxidants and contains anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Organic Chia Seed: Chia Seeds are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids which aid in brain function and heart health.

Dog Mamma’s Pumpkin Snaps

Organic Brown Rice Four: Brown Rice Flour is a great source of fiber and aids in digestion. Best of all, it contains no corn, gluten, dairy, or soy.

Organic Pumpkin: Pumpkin is often touted as a superfood and is great for digestion.

Organic Carrots: Carrots are rich in Vitamin A and beta-carotene and help with healthy eyes, skin, and coat.

Organic Coconut Oil: Coconut contains anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties and aids in healthy skin and coats.

Organic Honey: Honey contains many vitamins and minerals and has anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties.

Organic Chia Seed: Chia Seeds are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids which aid in brain function and heart health.

Organic Ginger: Ginger contains anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties. It aids in gut health and boosts the immune system.

Organic Cinnamon: Cinnamon is packed with antioxidants and contains anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Dog Mamma’s Peanut Butter Banana

Organic Oat Flour: Oat flour is full of antioxidants and fiber and does not contain wheat, corn, or gluten.

Organic Peanut Flour: Peanut flour is packed with protein with the only ingredient being peanuts and let’s face it, dogs love the taste of peanut butter.

Organic Honey: Honey contains many vitamins and minerals and has anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties.

Organic Coconut Oil: Coconut contains anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties and aids in healthy skin and coats.

Organic Peanut Oil: Peanut oil is packed with essential fats and aids in skin and joint health. It is also said to be good for the heart.

Organic Chia Seed: Chia Seeds are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids which aid in brain function and heart health.

Winnie Lou’s Minty Breath Bones

Organic Garbanzo Bean Flour: Garbanzo Bean Flour is full of fiber and protein and is a much healthier alternative to wheat flour.

Organic Unsweetened Applesauce: Unsweetened applesauce contains antioxidants, Vitamin A, and fiber and is great for digestion.

Organic Rolled Oats: Rolled Oats are full of antioxidants and fiber and do not contain wheat, corn, or gluten.

Organic Coconut Flour and Coconut Oil: Coconut contains anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties and aids in healthy skin and coats.

Organic Flax Seeds: Flax seeds are full of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and aid in digestion as well as healthy skin and coats.

Carob: Carob is high in B vitamins, Vitamin A, and is also a great source of fiber.

Organic Spirulina: Spirulina is great for the immune system and contains many health benefits. To learn more about the health benefits of Spirulina, read this post:

Organic Parsley: Parsley helps freshen breath and is rich in antioxidants.

Organic Spearmint: Spearmint helps freshen breath and is good for digestion.

Another favorite treat of mine not listed here are these Tylee Salmon Treats from Chewy. The only ingredient is Salmon which is great for the immune system, skin, and coat.

Now let’s go over some human foods that are good for your dog.

What Human Foods are Beneficial to Feed as Treats?

Strawberries: Strawberries are full of fiber and Vitamin C and are great for the immune system.

Bananas: Bananas are high in potassium, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin C. Bananas have many benefits for dogs such as muscle maintenance, strengthening bones, and improving brain function.

Apples: Apples contain Vitamin A and fiber and are great for gut health.

Blueberries: Blueberries are full of antioxidants, fiber, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. They are great for the immune system and overall health.

Carrots: Carrots are rich in Vitamin A and beta-carotene and help with healthy eyes, skin, and coat.

Pumpkin: Pumpkin is classified as a superfood. It has many health benefits including aiding in digestion.

These are just some of my favorite human foods to give as treats because of their health benefits. There are many other fruits and veggies that are OK to give your dog. If you have questions, feel free to send me a message or post a reply.

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Canine Food Aggression

Food aggression in our pets can be frustrating. However, it is important to remember that it is normal canine behavior. Food aggression is also called food guarding. Guarding resources comes naturally to dogs since, in the wild, they have a higher chance of survival if they guard their resources such as food. Although food guarding is not abnormal, it is also not a desirable behavior and definitely not a behavior we want to encourage or worsen since a person or another pet could get harmed.

Most of the discussions about food aggression I have seen focus on aggression towards humans. However, your pet could only be guarding food from the other dogs in the house which was what was happening in my case. Dozer and Molly always ate together simply fine. When Harley came into the household, feeding time changed a bit. If you recall from earlier posts, I raised both Dozer and Molly since they were ten weeks old. Harley did not come into our household until she was six months old. Therefore, I am not sure where the behavior of food guarding started with her. The first sign of food aggression I noticed in Harley was her blocking Molly from eating. She would run over to the bowl and stand between Molly and the food bowl. In the beginning, there were a couple of small altercations between Molly and Harley over the food, so I started feeding them separately. I will get more into this later. First, let us talk about the signs of food aggression.

What are the signs of food aggression?

The signs of food aggression can be mild or severe. Harley shows mild signs of food aggression. For example, when she is guarding her food from Dozer and Molly, she will stiffen her body and walk in front of the food to block Dozer and Molly from eating. Food aggression can cause dogs to lunge, growl, or even bite. Biting, of course, is the most severe form of food aggression. Thank goodness I caught the early signs from Harley, and we didn’t get to that point. Some of the less severe warning signs are stiffening of the body, holding the ears back, and hovering over the food bowl. Since I immediately noticed these less severe signs early on in Harley, we never really had an incident and I have been able to work to reduce her mild guarding behaviors.

What causes food aggression?

Food aggression can be caused by a dog being territorial, showing dominance, or resource guarding. In dog packs, the alpha always eats first so if a dog is dominant, they will guard the food so the others do not get to eat first. As I mentioned earlier, it benefits dogs in the wild to guard their resources. Food aggression can also be caused by anxiety, so it is important to watch your dog’s body language to see if they seem anxious. If they do, you need to figure out what is causing the anxiety and work to turn whatever is causing their anxiety into a pleasant experience.

It is believed that food aggression may start as puppies when they all eat out of one bowl and compete for the food. Some puppies may eat more than others and the puppies that are left with less food may grow up to feel they need to guard their food if they are going to get their fair share. From what I’ve seen, it seems that most breeders do feed their litters out of one bowl. I am sure this is done out of convenience. However, I would love to see a shift in this practice to feeding all the puppies from separate bowls. So, what can you do when your dog is showing signs of food aggression or food guarding?

What can I do about food aggression?

It is always important to secure your position as the pack leader. This does not mean that you take food away or punish them in any way. As a matter of a fact, it is quite the opposite. You want to make the dinner time experience a better, more enjoyable, and welcoming experience. When I say you need to secure your position as pack leader, this means that you eat first. In the wild, the alpha always eats first.

Your next steps are going to include behavioral modifications. Be sure to read my blog post on behavioral modifications using operant conditioning for more information on the subject. For the purposes of this post, we are only discussing modifying the behaviors associated with food guarding.

If you have a mild case of food aggression and it is easy to feed your dogs separately, that is your answer. I did have a mild case myself. However, I have four dogs and to feed them all in separate rooms, while not impossible, would make things a bit difficult. So, I decided to take the behavioral modification route.

Before modifying a behavior, it is important to figure out the reason for the behavior. Are they defending their territory, are they attempting to assert dominance, are they fearful that they may not get to eat? Do they run over to the bowl when another dog goes near it like my girl does? Or are they more aggressive, growling, lunging, or maybe even biting? If they are guarding the food from humans, you need to create a positive association with humans being near their food. If they are guarding the food from other dogs like Harley is, you will need to begin creating a positive association with the other dogs nearing the bowl.

I started by feeding Harley in a separate room but where she could still see the other dogs. I sat next to her while giving her positive affirmations. After about a week of this, I started feeding Molly in the same room as Harley since Molly was who she was guarding the food from the most. I would hand feed them at the same time while continuing positive affirmations (telling them they were good girls). Placing their favorite treats in the bowl is a good positive reinforcement method helping them to relate feeding time as a positive experience. You may want to place several treats in the bowl a few seconds apart while the dogs are eating calmly together and not displaying any of the guarding behaviors. If your dog is aggressive towards other dogs, make sure to reward when the other dogs are near the bowl and your dog is remaining calm. It is important to only provide that positive reinforcement when she is calm. Don’t reward her if her body language is stiff or guarding in any way. If you do, you will be reinforcing the guarding behavior.

Just like consistency is important in training, consistency is also important in feeding. If the reasoning for the food aggression is anxiety over when the next meal is coming, then feeding the meals at the same times every day is of the utmost importance.

Another tip in addressing the food guarding issue is having your dog perform a certain behavior to earn the food. For example, have them sit and stay until you say it is okay to eat the food. If you must leash her to sit and stay at first, that is okay. Just make sure they understand that they have to sit and stay before they can eat their meal. This helps them to view the meal as more of a reward.

Be sure to provide plenty of food so your dog feels less of a need to guard it. However, do not free feed. Free feeding is not good for dogs with food aggression. Take it slow when using any of these methods and do not punish your dog or take her food away. If the reason for the guarding is fear of not being fed, you will only be reinforcing the guarding behavior. Remember frenchies are very smart and it is up to us to teach them what we expect from them.

Modifying the behaviors associated with food aggression is just like modifying other behaviors. You will get the most productive results from using positive reinforcement methods.

Lastly, if the food guarding behaviors are extremely aggressive, it is a good idea to consult with a dog behaviorist.

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Potty Training Your Frenchie Puppy

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!

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My Crazy Wonderful Life as a Frenchie Mama

Why I started this blog

Hello Fellow French Bulldog Fanatics! My name is Becki Leggett and while I have always been passionate about dogs, there is something particularly special about French Bulldogs. If you have owned them , you already know what I am talking about. If you have not yet had the pleasure, I hope to give you plenty of insight. I created this blog to be about all things frenchie, for other seasoned Frenchie mamas, for brand new Frenchie mamas, and for those of you who are not yet Frenchies mamas (but want to be). We also can not forget the Frenchie Daddy’s out there. Frenchie dads love these little bulldogs just as much as their Frenchie Mamas (well……almost!). New Frenchie parents are rarely prepared for the crazy wonderful life that comes along with owning a French Bulldog (or two or three). Why two or three you ask? Well, quite frankly French Bulldog ownership can be addictive. I currently have three myself: one boy and two girls. They are huge cuddlers, but can be very independent at times. They love you with all they have, but can be extremely stubborn. They are very smart and easily trained, but their stubborn streak can make training seem hard at times. They can be going 100 miles per hour one second and passed out and snoring the next second. You will hear people say they are lazy, and while they definitely can be lazy, in my experience they can go, go and go some more. This is especially true of french bulldog puppies. There is a term endearingly named “The Zoomies” that you will learn about in later blog posts. Seasoned French Bulldog owners know this term well. French bulldogs are more than dogs to their owners, they are their kids, their babies, and they require very special care and have varying special needs. Because of this, new (and even seasoned) Frenchie parents have many questions about French Bulldog ownership. I will dedicate all my early posts to answering as many of the frequently asked questions by new Frenchies owners that I can. This includes questions about puppy training, quality food, quality treats, frenchie care, toys, biting, chewing, gender differences, breeding, rescue groups, frenchie colors, litter mate syndrome, and so much more!

A little about my frenchie babies

How did it all start, you ask? Well, I came home from work one day and the first words out of my husband’s mouth were “I want a French Bulldog and his name WILL BE Dozer.” I wasn’t even sure what a French Bulldog was. Even when I researched the breed (because that’s the type of person I am, I research the heck out of everything), I was not 100 percent sold. But, he wanted one, so I started on the search for our new french bulldog puppy. I made several appointments in the closest big city (At the time, I couldn’t find any close to me) to meet some of our potential future “children”. Dozer was the very first frenchie puppy we met and I was in love! To this day, my husband will tell you he (Dozer) is the love of my life and…. I can’t disagree. One thing about male frenchies is they fall in love with you and you can not help falling in love with them. I loved him so much, I wanted a girl so I went on my search for the perfect little girl frenchie. Boy did I find the perfect girl. She is Blue fawn, has beautiful green eyes and she is a perfect mix of doll baby and evilness! I named her Molly. Molly had a merle sister that my husband preferred. Well, fast forward a few months later and we are the proud owners of sisters and as I’ll discuss in another blog, sibling rivalry definitely exists in dogs too! All my babies have many quirky frenchie traits in common, but just like human babies, they all have their own distinct personalities. Dozer is a mommy’s boy for sure, but loves everyone (furry and not). He is a big lover and loves to play with his toys. Molly is my little diva. She is gorgeous and she knows it! Harley (Molly’s sister) loves belly rubs and whenever you place your hand near her to pet her, she rolls on her back to get belly rubs. She is a daddy’s girl, but also loves her mama and she is weary of other people. I will talk more about my babies in future blogs. For now, just know they are very loved and very spoiled!

Topics to be covered in upcoming blogs

One of the most common questions I hear about french bulldogs puppies is: Why are they so hard to potty train? This will be answered along with potty training do’s and dont’s in an upcoming post.

The second most common question I see new Frenchie owners asking is what food they should feed their Frenchie. It can be daunting finding the right food for these sensitive dogs so I will discuss this extensively in another upcoming post. I will also include information on how to choose quality treats.

French bulldogs require a little more care than other breeds of dogs, but it is so worth it. I will write another blog post about proper frenchie care including cleaning their folds, bathing, ear health, teeth cleaning, and more.

Frenchies are ferocious chewers which can frustrate owners when, for example, they chew up their mama’s baseboards so I will dedicate a blog post to toys: do’s and don’t and longest lasting toys.

People often ask whether they should get a boy or girl frenchie so I will dedicate an entire blog post to this subject, including litter mate syndrome and why you should be careful choosing litter mates.

Another hot topic is breeding. I will delve into breeding, differing breeders, and rescue groups in a future blog post.

Ever wonder about all the frenchie colors? My Dozer is Red Fawn, Molly is Blue Fawn, and Harley’s coloring is called Merle. I will explain all the colors, what is standard, and the genetics behind all the differing color patterns produced in french bulldogs.

If you haven’t already figured it out, I am beyond passionate about Frenchies and I hope you find my blog posts helpful whether you are a seasoned Frenchie owner or a new Frenchie owner.