They’re adorable, charming, and they aim to please… but Are French Bulldogs easy to potty train?
French Bulldogs are not the easiest dogs to potty train, but they aren’t the most difficult either. The trick is giving them structure with a clockwork potty-training schedule and reinforcing good behavior with treats. They’ll learn fairly quickly if you do!
Today we’ll discuss this subject and give you some useful information to help in potty training your Frenchie. We’ll tell you what schedule they need as pups, as well as how to deal with accidents, and how options such as crate training can help to speed things along. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need to know!
Are French Bulldogs Easy To Potty Train?
During potty training your Frenchie is going to make mistakes, so you’ll need to be patient and you need to resist the urge to punish them. Punishment is not going to work, as your dog won’t know why you are angry and might even trust you less for it. Instead, reward them when they potty outside and they’ll quickly learn.
When a ‘potty incident’ occurs, you’ll want to clean it up as soon as possible and thoroughly. White vinegar mixed equally with water can be used for this, or you can use commercial enzymatic cleaners to good effect. You want to make sure that the scents are removed, otherwise, your dog might be tempted to ‘go’ there again.
Watch for signs that your pup is about to make a potty, as well. If your dog is sniffing at a certain area and circling around it, then the odds are that they need to go outside. Take them out right away just in case. If you catch your puppy in the act, then interrupt them and take them quickly outside to finish.
Give your dog a treat after this and while it seems like you aren’t making progress, that won’t be the case. Your Frenchie will eventually make the connection between treats and going potty outside and once you get there, then it’s going to be much easier for the both of you! Be patient—your dog will learn!
Potty Training – Set a realistic schedule
Another important part of potty training is going to be setting a schedule and following it like clockwork. As a general rule, your French Bulldog puppy can wait for about 1 hour every month that they have been alive. For instance:
- At 8 weeks, your pup needs to potty every two hours.
- At 16 weeks, your puppy can wait for about 4 hours.
- By 6 months, your pup can wait 6 hours and possibly sleep through the night!
This framework will help you build a realistic potty schedule for your puppy, but you also need to factor in their meals. Your dog will need to go outside within 15 to 20 minutes of eating their meals.
Your French Bulldog has a fast and efficient digestive system, and will likely need to urinate or poo right after that meal, so don’t forget to take them out. The best thing to do is to build your schedule and set yourself some alarms on your phone so that you are taking them out like clockwork.
Give your dog a treat every time that they potty outside and stick closely to your schedule. As long as you are consistent, then things will go much faster, so this is very important. Once your Frenchie trusts that you will always take them outside, they’ll be more inclined to wait, and you’ll be closer to the ‘finish line’!
Tips for cleaning up ‘accidents’
Getting the scent out of ‘potty accidents’ in some areas can be a bit frustrating. Thankfully, there are a few ways to go about it, aside from the ‘vinegar and water’ method which we mentioned earlier. For instance, you can use color-safe bleach if you do it right.
Mix it with water, so that the bleach is only about 10% of the mixed solution, which you should pour into a spray bottle. Spray any affected area thoroughly with this solution and let it sit and soak for about 10 minutes.
After that, clean it again with regular soap and water – the intent is to get rid of the bleach so that your dog doesn’t lick it. Sanitizing wipes can also help, although commercial enzymatic cleaners such as ‘Arm and Hammer Pet Stain’ really are much better.
For carpet, a little baking soda sprinkled throughout and vacuumed up can also make a big difference. While this is going to be a very frustrating phase, closing doors and keeping a close eye on your dog can help to reduce potty incidents. Keep them insight as much as possible and stick to the potty schedule – they’ll get there!
Crate training can really help
Crate training is a very good idea. It involves building or purchasing a crate, which your dog can go into when you can’t keep an eye on them. This prevents potty incidents, but try to only use it when you HAVE to. Too much use can get your dog to dislike the crate and you definitely don’t want that.
Put some comfortable bedding inside and a toy, but no food or water. Your dog will only be in here for small periods of time, after all. Also, unless it’s absolutely necessary, don’t close the door. We want your dog to start viewing the crate as their own, personal space.
This will make it easier when you need to travel with them and it gives you an ‘emergency space’ where you can enclose them if you need to run a quick errand.
Crate training can definitely make a big difference, so be sure to consider this as an option – it’s practical and it will speed up potty training if you keep to their schedule.
How to potty train a French Bulldog
Potty training is always going to be about consistency and rewards – never punishment. First, sit down and write up a schedule for taking your dog outside. Mirror this schedule in the form of alarms set on your phone – this is very important.
Take your dog out on this set schedule like clockwork and also take them outside within 15 to 20 minutes of every meal. What you need to do when potty training a French Bulldog is to teach the dog to trust you.
If they know you’ll take them out, and that a treat might even be involved, then they’ll be more inclined to wait. Clean up any potty incidents as soon as possible and the rest is just a matter of time.
As your dog gets older, they can wait longer, and they’ll know that you will always take them out when they need to go! It’s all about patience, consistency, and treats as a form of positive reinforcement. If you stay calm and keep a consistent schedule, you’ll be surprised how quickly your dog learns!
When your Frenchie keeps using the floor
If your Frenchie keeps using the floor, then there is likely a reason for this. Another dog in the house, for instance, could mean that it’s a territorial issue. Some French Bulldogs are very shy, as well, and your dog could be afraid of going outside.
If it’s a puppy, then you might need a tighter schedule, so make sure they aren’t waiting more than 1 hour for every month of age. If they are going out regularly and it doesn’t seem to be territorial or fear-related, then you might be dealing with a health issue and a vet checkup can help to rule this out.
Separation anxiety can also cause this type of behavior, so this is also something to consider. If you have been leaving the dog alone for long periods of time, such as when your work requires you to stay longer than usual, then getting a pet sitter or a family member involved is a very good idea.
Potty training is one of the most frustrating phases of raising your dog but hang in there. If they keep insisting on making a potty inside, with patience and a watchful eye you should be able to determine the ‘why’ of it and this will help to get things properly back on track!
How long does potty training take?
Potty training time is going to depend on the consistency of the schedule and on the individual dog. Some dogs can pick it up in a matter of weeks, while it could take up to 8 months before your dog stops having the occasional ‘potty incident’ in the house.
The key is consistency, patience, and rewards for your dog to reinforce good behaviors. Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for this, but as long as you are consistent then the pace will go as quickly as possible. Be patient and never punish your dog during this process – the punishment will make you lose progress.
Your French Bulldog will learn at their own pace, but once they have, then it’s going to be smooth sailing. Be patient and help your dog along with a proper schedule and lots of treats and they will quickly learn to only potty outside.
In conclusion – Stick with the schedule!
As you can see, consistency is really going to be important with potty training your French Bulldog. Especially as pups, these dogs are friendly to the point of distraction, so it’s up to you to give them a structured schedule and the benefit of your patience.
Consider crate training to speed things along and always reward good behavior with treats – but never punish your dog – as that will only slow your progress. If you are consistent, your dog will learn to trust you to take them out on time, and they’ll be properly potty trained before you know it!