The Ultimate Guide to Puppy Training

You can use this for a guide to train your new puppy or you may also use it for an older dog, they really can learn new tricks!!

The Basics

Buying a puppy should be one of the best experiences you will ever have.  With these tips and tricks, you should be able to rest easy knowing how to train your puppy effectively and efficiently.  Once you have picked the right puppy for you and your family you should first puppy-proof your home, find a good veterinarian in your area, and you should start your training immediately.  Patience is going to make all the difference in the success or failure of your training techniques.  You should never punish your pup by hitting or yelling at them, as it will only make them fear you and make the pup very nervous.  The best way to train a dog is with positive reinforcement, lots of love and praise, and of course, treats or toys.  Bulldogs are the sweetest, most affectionate dogs however don’t let that sweet little scrunched up face fool you as they are a little bit on the stubborn side.

Potty Training

You should begin with Potty training your pooch as this is a vital step in the whole process of good dog behavior.  You should choose whether you want to have your puppy go outside or in a crate on newspaper or puppy pads.  I have always trained my dogs to go outdoors.

Be very patient with your new puppy as they can’t hold their bladders for very long.  This increases as they get older but it’s important to take your pooch out every couple hours while they are young, especially after a meal or drinking water.  With time you will learn what behaviors to look for when they need to go outside.  If you find that your puppy is sniffing the carpet, going off alone, spinning around in circles, or goes to the door you should take it out immediately.  Remain outside until your dog uses the bathroom in the area you have designated.  You should have treats handy and always praise them if they do anything that you want them to do, that includes using the bathroom outside.  If possible only let your dog use the bathroom outside as puppy pads will just lengthen the entire process for you and your dog.

Your puppy is going to have accidents and that’s completely normal and should be completely expected.  Potty training takes work and a lot of patience.  You have to be willing to work with the dog in order to see the results you are looking to achieve.  Only use positive reinforcement when it comes to your dog having accidents and never scold or punish the dog, it could confuse them and in return, they won’t trust you.  Scolding and punishment of your puppy will only make them nervous, the last thing you want is for your dog to be scared of you.

If you decide that you want or need to crate train your pup I recommend a crate big enough for an adult French Bulldog.  Or big enough for your specific dog breed full grown, and it should give the dog enough room to stand comfortably without being crunched in.  You should give your dog a crate pad at the bottom and place it in a quiet area, keep in mind that a crate should not be used for punishment.  Your dog should associate the crate with a place of comfort and feel safe and secure inside.  I recommend leaving the door open at all times unless you absolutely must close it when you leave or need to have them inside for another reason. After your dog gets familiar with their crate with the door open then you can start closing the gate and increasing the amount of time your dog spends each time you put him inside.  Never leave your dog alone in a crate for an extended period of time, as you should plan on getting a pet sitter if need be.

I recommend training your puppy to go exclusively outside to potty, however, this may not be the most realistic option for everyone so whichever method you choose you should note that a dog is going to make mistakes and you should expect this at first.  As you progress in your training and your puppy grows there will be major improvements for the both of you. In the end, you will produce a well-behaved, lovely addition to your family.

Commands

You should designate simple words for the commands you are going to teach your dog like sit, stay, lay down, etc.  French Bulldogs are smart but they simply cannot understand everything we say that is why you should stick to basic commands when teaching your fur baby at first.  Once your puppy or dog has mastered the basic commands then you can move on to ones that are more advanced.  Avoid distractions at first as your dog needs to focus solely on your command sessions.  You should designate times to do this with your new puppy each day in small sessions.  Also, a leash can be a helpful tool to get your puppy to obey your command training.

You should first teach your dog to sit.  Your dog will sit if you use a treat to your advantage in the beginning and show the dog bottom down means to “sit”  Once your dog sits on his own for you should give him the treat and practice a few more times until he gets the hang of it.  With time you should aim to say commands and not have to give treats for your dog to obey your commands.

Next, you can teach your puppy to lay down by placing your hand in a flat position, pointing to the ground and showing him what you mean by helping him down the first time.  Once your pup is flat on the ground you should give him a treat and praise him for laying down.

You should next teach your dog to stay.  You can command “stay” and when he stays in either a sit or down position you should praise and give treats.  You can extend the periods you make your dog stay and practice many times each session until he gets the hang of it and can do it on command.  It helps to put your hand out straight in a stay position, I find that all of my dogs have responded well to hand commands on top of the voice commands.  I can use either one and my dog understands after enough practice.

Your dog should also learn to obey you when you give the command to come.  It is very important your puppy learns this command as you will want to call your dog in various situations in life.  And you should practice accordingly.  Once you teach your pooch the meaning of come you should incorporate it into various situations, gradually adding distance and distractions in.  You should aim to be able to get your dog to stop ANYTHING it’s doing and come to you on command.  You can practice this as you socialize your dog with other people and other pets as it’s a good way to test their loyalty to you and can mean they really have the command down pat.

 

Move on to more complex commands with time…

 

Your dog is what you make it

You should use positive reinforcement with EVERY aspect of your training and commands. You should teach your puppy all of the appropriate behavior you think it’s important for them to learn.   What you teach your dog is up to you however I encourage you to teach everything I have talked about in this article for a well-behaved dog.  Once you have mastered the basic dog training you can start to incorporate some more advanced training into your sessions and your routine.  It is really important that your puppy has mastered all of the basics before you proceed with more advanced learning though, and that’s something you should consider moving forward.  Depending on your situation there may be a lot more things you want your dog to learn, and dogs have the potential to learn a lot more than most people think they are capable of.  You should teach your puppy to only bite his toys as teaching them to chew on your hand as a puppy can lead to negative consequences when your dog is full grown.  You should teach your puppy the word “No” for anytime they are doing something they shouldn’t be.  This works with just about anything you don’t want them to do once they understand that no means no, and you should be saying it with confidence and in a firm tone.

Your dog shouldn’t ever be allowed to jump up on children, guests or anyone, you can teach the command down or a simple no will work as well. You shouldn’t let your puppy chew on furniture, cords, or anything that might harm them as you want to catch this early on and give a toy in place of anything they aren’t supposed to have.  Puppies can be really mischievous so you will need to be responsible when looking out for their well being, it’s like having a child and then you mold it into what you want it to be. Things that might look cute now while they are young can get really annoying when it becomes a bad habit later down the road.  Your dog is going to be what you make it so you should really catch all the negative behaviors and correct them sooner than later.

However, if you get a rescue or an older dog they can be taught these same steps with a little more time and effort. If you follow this guide you should have a good idea of the basic training that’s is required for you to have a happy and healthy obedient dog later on.

You shouldn’t expect your dog to know much without your effort in the teaching of it.  It just doesn’t happen like that.  Dogs are a big responsibility so you should consider all of this when deciding on whether a Frenchie or any dog is going to be a good fit for you and your family. The responsibility equates to having another child in a sense.

I hope this helps in your puppy training journey and I wish you all the best luck! 🙂