If there is one thing French Bulldog owners can tell you about this popular breed, it is that these cute pups are highly intelligent, but can be a mixed bag when it comes to training them. The biggest problem most owners seem to have with potty training a Frenchie is that they don't seem to be in much of a hurry. You can expect to go the full 6 months or close to it before your pup can say he is fully potty trained and even then, you may still have a few accidents past the six-month point.
The task at hand is a simple as it gets, or at least it should be. Your job is to replace your pup's mom who would teach him to go potty outside the den and teach him to go potty in a specific area of the yard. While your Frenchie may be a bit on the stubborn side, as long as you are both patient and consistent when working together, he can figure this out. Repetition builds a routine that leads to the final result of your pup no longer leaving you those lovely little surprises.
You can begin training your pup as soon as you bring him home. Start by taking him from the car to the spot you have picked out for him in your yard. When he pees or poops, praise him and give him a treat. Beyond this, you need to be able to recognize your pup's signs that he is getting ready to pee or poop. These may include circling, sniffing around one spot, scratching at the floor or door, or whining. You will find a few supplies like these can come in handy.
With this, you need plenty of time working with your pup as often as you can. The more you work with him, the faster he will figure it out. Be patient with your pup and he will eventually get this down.
We purchased a French bulldog from a pet store one week ago. She had an illness and a kennel cough that caused the Petland Vet to keep her in the back away from selling her. She had to get cleared which was at about 3 months but they realized her cough hadn’t gone away. She was under medication and then cleared to be sold at about 5 months and 2 weeks of age. With her being at petland for 5 months, we feel she has gotten used to pottying in her kennel. Now we are trying to crate train her and she pees and poops in there. She gives us no signs of wanting to go outside.
When we do catch her, she doesn’t want to potty. Every little noise outside she focuses on. The air, car noise, dogs barking, wind chimes... anything! She will not focus on sniffing around at all. We took her outside after her being in her kennel for 2 hours and drinking lots of water. We waited 45 minutes and nothing. We put her back in her kennel and in 2 minutes she pees on her blanket! What do we do?? :(
Hello Cindy, This is a very common problem for Petstore puppies and some shelter dogs. To start, you will need to use the "Tethering" method from the article that I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Also, when you do need to leave the house, because you cannot crate her, you will need to set up an indoor toilet area. This can be done by setting up an exercise pen somewhere that she will not be allowed to go as an adult, like an unused basement bathroom, laundry room, heated garage, or a room with hardwoods that is normally closed off. Purchase a piece of grass sod or several disposable REAL grass pads and cover the ground of the exercise pen with the grass. You will want to put something waterproof like plastic storage bin lids underneath the pieces of grass. You can leave a small area uncovered with grass to give her one spot that's not toilet-ish if you wish, but knowing her history, she might choose that one spot to pee on - in which case you will need to cover it too. Whenever you cannot watch her, put her in the exercise pen with a food-stuffed chew toy to keep her busy. When you are home, keep her attached to yourself with the leash and follow the "Tethering" method from the article that I have linked above. Getting her used to the grass in the exercise pen should help her learn to pee on grass. Supervising her closely while she is on the leash should keep her from wandering off to pee and help you catch her when she starts sniffing or circling, and give you more opportunities to take her outside to go potty and reward her if she does go. If you don't see progress doing that, then you will have to do a modified version of crate training - using the grass exercise pen like a crate and follow the "Crate Training" method from the same article that I have linked above. Whenever the method says to put her into a crate, put her into the exercise pen instead. If she never gets used to peeing outside, but learns to only pee on the grass, then you can gradually move the exercise pen grass outside and take her to the grass outside to pee instead being inside. Real grass pad link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EQJ7I7Y/ref=psdc_3024225011_t3_B00761ZXQW Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Hi did you get your French house trained ?
I have a 3 year old Frenchie that does the same thing. I have tried various methods and nothing has worked.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Hi I was just wondering if you know anything I can do to help Bella do the toilet outside she only poo out side one time and she pee a couple of time but now she will not do the toilet out side out Shen will actually run home then do it I. The house not even on her pads just on my floor
Hello Stephanie, Check out the "Crate Training" method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside She needs to be in the crate unless you has gone potty outside recently, so that her only option is to go potty outside. When she does go potty outside, give her five small treats, like freeze dried liver, one treat at a time, every time she goes potty outside to help her learn to want to go potty outside every time. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hello. Our 5 months french bulldog denies to do toilet outside the house. We tried do to the Crate Training but he was preferring dirty the crate than do anything outside. Most times in the house he uses the diaper. How can we convince him to do his toilet outside the house? The difficult is that we are living in an apartment. Thanks!
Hello Andria, Does he seem nervous outside? Distracted? If he is afraid, then he is likely holding it while out there because going potty puts him in a vulnerable position. If that's the case, I suggest spending time outside with him simply hanging out and helping him overcome fears. Spend regular time outside rewarding him for doing tricks and obedience commands he knows, playing games he likes, hanging out with people or other dogs he likes, and simply relaxing outside. Bring a book and expect to stay outside for a long time when you do this. Practice this often. He needs time to get familiar with the outside world and do it gradually. The goal is to make outside pleasant and peaceful for him so that the strange novelty of it wears off and he becomes familiar enough with it to be comfortable enough to go potty. If he is too distracted and excited to go potty, then work on calming obedience commands outside. Work on commands like "Watch Me", Sit, Down, Stay, and Heel. Be patient since he is young. You are trying to build his focus and self-control but that will be a process. Finally, having addressed his fear or over-excitement also take an entire day to stay outside if weather allows it. The goal here is to stay outside long enough that he has to go potty so bad that he has no choice but to go potty there. Whenever he goes potty outside, give him ten small treats, one treat at a time, and praise him, to help him connect going potty outside with good things. Stay outside as long as you can that day (bring food and water, shade, and stuff to do like books). You want to have the chance to reward him as many times as you can. If you have two days off in a row, then do this two days back to back. Crate him at night without anything absorbent in the crate - including a bed or towel. If you need to give him a bed, check out www.primopads.com Also, make sure his crate is only big enough for him to stand up, turn around, and lay down, and not big enough that he can go potty in one end and stand in the other end away from the accident - a crate that is too big won't encourage him to hold it. Once he has gone potty successfully outside, use the Tethering method from the article linked below for potty training. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I can’t potty train this dog to SAVE MY LIFE. I’ve tried the treat method I’ve tried crating him (he just pees in his crate no matter how small I make it) I’ve tried the bell method I’ve tried puppy pads (now he just relieves himself on anything that slightly resembles a pee pad) he has an accident in the house DAILY It seems like he won’t hold his pee in the house and he runs away to poop so I don’t know when he’s doing it. I fear that the problem lies with the construction of our our downstairs. The whole place is in shambles and he can’t or won’t go down stairs to be by the door that would lead him outside. I don’t know what to do.
Hello Nicole, The first step is stopping the accidents - which I know you are trying so hard to do. I suggest using the Tethering method from the article linked below for this. It will keep him from sneaking away from you. Take him out frequently (give treats if he goes potty outside), and also watch carefully for signs that he needs to go potty. Take him before he has a chance to go, but if he starts to squat before you realize he needed to go, then clap loudly a couple of times to interrupt him (don't sound angry or punish him - but simply surprise him enough to interrupt him), then rush him outside (he will already be on the leash). Tethering method (leash): https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Use a pet safe cleaner that contains enzymes to clean where he has had accidents - you may even want to rent a carpet cleaner and use an enzymatic based cleaner to clean carpet if he soiled all over it. You need to remove as much of the pee and poop smell in your house as possible because the remaining smell will simply encourage him to go potty in those spots again - dog's noses are more sensitive than ours. Enzymes break down pee and poop to the point where a dog cannot still smell it. Other cleaners leave scent behind that many dogs can still smell. When you have to leave, confine him in a room he normally cannot access in an exercise pen covered with real grass pads (you want real grass so he doesn't confuse it with carpet even more) - he will learn to pee in this room by doing this so make sure it is an area where he will not be allowed later when you no longer need the pads. Real grass pads: https://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Patch-Disposable-Potty-Grass/dp/B005G7S6UI/ref=asc_df_B005G7S6UI/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=309763115430&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=4628430177348674255&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1015431&hvtargid=pla-568582223506&psc=1 Real grass pads: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K3WS97D/ref=sspa_dk_detail_1?psc=1 You can try having him wear a male belly band (like a dog diaper) in addition to doing the tethering. The feeling of it will encourage some dogs to hold their pee as long as they are not forced to go potty in it because they are not taken outside frequently enough - if they do pee in it they get used to going in it and that doesn't work anymore. Based on what you have told me he may have no issues peeing it in, but it may be worth a try to speed up the process if it does help. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hello! Rosie has all the potential in the world to be a great dog in the house. My problem is not that she won't go potty outside, is that she still also wants to potty inside instead of telling me she needs to potty so I can take her out. For instance, in the morning we'll wake up and go straight outside. She'll pee and poop (have to be careful here because the poo is usually in thirds) and then we'll go inside and have breakfast. Without fail 80% of the time she will poo AGAIN 15-30 minutes after breakfast inside on one of the potty pads. She won't do it if I confine her to the bed, but I think that's unfair to her, since she should get a chance to play before I have to leave her when I go to work.
She is taken out twice a day while I'm at the office, and to my knowledge will just go when she needs to go versus waiting to be taken outside. I know she can hold it, because she does it whenever she's sleeping and will sleep through the night without any issues. Any advice?
Hello Lindsey, The issue is your potty training method not her I believe. Most puppies will need to poop within 15-30 minutes of eating even if they just went potty before being fed. This is normal and you need to plan to always take her potty 15-30 minutes after feeding her even if that means waking up a bit earlier and starting your routine earlier, so that you can take her potty a second time. My own dog did this as well as a puppy. If she doesn't go potty when you take her after eating, then you need to crate her for 15 minutes, then try again - even if that means no play time. The accidents need to be prevented. As far as going potty while you are gone, it sounds like she hasn't really been fully potty trained yet. Taking her potty outside is only half the battle, a puppy also has to learn to want to keep inside clean. That happens by preventing accidents inside from happening - after keeping inside clean for a certain amount of time (months), a puppy begins to associate that area with their natural desire to keep a confined space clean and they stop pottying inside because of that cleanliness desire, and they potty outside instead because they are rewarded for going potty there. Since you are gone during the day and cannot prevent all accidents while away if she is free, she needs to be crate trained and crated between dog walker visits. A crate utilizes a dog's natural desire to keep a confined space clean so most dogs will naturally hold their bladder in a confined space such as a crate. This allows you to prevent accidents, and after several months of very few accidents she should start to associate the rest of the house with cleanliness too, but this will only happen if the accidents stop. I suggest removing pee pads for this reason. I don't recommend using pee pads for dogs that are learning to go potty outside. A pee pad resembles carpets and rugs so many dogs confuse them with other fabric and once the pee pads are removed, the dogs go potty on carpet instead. For the same reason, do not put anything absorbent in the crate with her. Check out www.primopads.com if you need a non-absorbent bed for the crate. The crate should also be the right size - big enough for her to turn around, lie down, and stand up, but not so big that she can pee on one end and stand in the other end to avoid it. If you buy a larger crate, many wire crates come with a divider that you can use to temporarily make the crate small enough until she grows into it or is potty trained. Check out the article linked below and follow the Crate Training method and have dog walkers follow it too. Since she is older she should be able to hold her bladder for up to 5 hours in the crate and will probably have a bit less free time after pottying than the method mentions before being put back in the crate since you are not home with her - which is fine. When you are home, you can take her out more often though. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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