How to Train a French Bulldog to Poop Outside

Medium
2-12 Weeks
General

Introduction

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. 

Defining Tasks

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. 

Getting Started

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.

  • Crate – For training and when you can't be there
  • Leash – To take him outside on
  • Treats – For rewards

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.

The Crate Training Method

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Step
1
One pup, one crate
Set your pup's crate in a spot where you can keep an eye him. Add toys, a bed, and a water bowl and, of course, your pup.
Step
2
Cue and out
Set your timer for 30 minutes and then open the crate, take your dog out, put him on his leash, and take him to the area you wish for him to use as his potty.
Step
3
To go or not to go
That may be the question, but the answer lies in your pup's paws. He may go and if he does praise him and give him a treat. If he doesn't, take him back inside and put him back in his crate.
Step
4
Set the timer
Reset the timer back to 30 minutes and start all over again. If at any time, your pup starts to fuss and whine like he needs to go potty, take him outside using a verbal cue, such as "potty time" and be sure to give him a treat and praise when he goes.
Step
5
More time
Start slowly and add time in five-minute increments to the timer until your pup can go for two hours without needing to go potty. You will need to wait until his bladder has fully developed for him to be able to hold for longer.
Step
6
No door
Start leaving the crate door open and keeping an eye on your pup. Stick to your schedule and if your pooch looks like he needs to go, be sure to take him out. In time, he will figure it all out and the number of messes you have to clean up will dwindle to none.
Recommend training method?

The Hawkeye Method

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Step
1
You need a treat
Or at least your pup will when he goes potty outside where you want him to. Stock up on them and keep some in your pocket.
Step
2
Hawkeye
This is the point at which you need to be able to keep your eyes glued to your pup. If he starts whining, circling, sniffing/scratching at the floor, these are all indicators that he needs to go potty. When you see this, say "NO!" in a firm voice. Be loud enough to startle him, but do not use an angry voice.
Step
3
Hey, ho, let's go
Pick your pup up and take him straight outside so he can go potty. When he does, be sure to praise him and give him a treat.
Step
4
Give him some time
Startling him may slow down his ability to go potty right away. Be sure to give him some time before you take him back inside.
Step
5
And ever on
Now that your pup understands the basics, it's all about timing. Keep an eye on him for signs of needed to go, but be sure to take him out at regular intervals as well. Most puppies can last up to an hour per month of their age between potty breaks. Gradually extend the time between trips outside. The more you practice, the easier it will be for him to wait longer to go potty. Keep working at it until he masters this skill.
Recommend training method?

The Pee on Schedule Method

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Step
1
Clear your schedule
If you are going to successfully potty train your pup, you need to make sure you have enough time to do so. The one thing that will make the job go faster is consistency. The more you repeat the training, the easier it will be for your pup to figure it out.
Step
2
By the 20s
Set a timer for 20 minutes. When it goes off, hook your pup up to his leash and take him out to his "private potty", better known as the one spot you want him to use in your yard.
Step
3
Ah, sweet relief
When your pup goes potty, be sure to give him lots of praise and a treat or two.
Step
4
Heck no, I won't go
If he doesn't go, take him back inside, reset the timer and wait.
Step
5
The next 20 minutes
During the next 20 minutes, keep a close eye on your pup. If he looks like he might be getting ready to go potty, take him straight outside. When he goes, give him a treat and lots of praise.
Step
6
Repeat after me
The rest is all about repeating the training and extending the time between potty breaks. The more you work with your pup, the faster he will learn. Keep up the good work.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
O
French Bulldog
7 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
O
French Bulldog
7 Months

My boss' dog is having trouble with holding it overnight. My boss now wants to keep him outside in a dog house. I read this is bad for the breed can you explain why so I can share the knowledge with him?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
113 Dog owners recommended

Hello Natalie, French Bulldogs have a hard time regulating temperature because of how short their noses are. If you live in a hot or a cold climate currently, then he will be more prone to overheating or being cold. When a dog's nose is long, the air passes through it like a climate controlled passageway and the air is cooled or warmed by the dog's body to the appropriate temperature before it reaches his lungs. Short nosed breeds have a harder time doing this. If your boss lives somewhere that is in the 60s and 70s at night, then his dog should be fine sleeping outside at night. Also, many breeds need close human interaction, so being kept outside, away from humans during the day deprives them of human interaction. Being outside just during sleeping times should not be an issue though, as long as he is receives human interaction during the day. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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