Crate Training Your French Bulldog: Best Practices


French Bulldog puppy chewing on its crate.

The Process Of Crate Training Your French Bulldog

If you’re a new dog owner, you might be wondering what crate training is and why people bother with it. Don’t you just stick your dog in the crate and then walk away? Well, DON’T! 

There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to crate training a dog, much less an affectionate, loving dog like a French Bulldog that might protest vocally about being kept apart from its owners. 

Crate training is simply the process of getting your dog accustomed to spending time in a crate. There are a number of reasons why you might want to crate train your dog. For one thing, it can be useful for potty training. 

French Bulldogs are clean animals that don’t like soiling their living space. If your dog has a designated space to sleep and spend time, they are unlikely to soil their space unless they have no choice and have to go potty. 

In addition, crate training can also help your dog feel more comfortable when traveling or staying in unfamiliar places. And if you have a particularly rambunctious Frenchie, crates can give them a safe space to calm down when they get too excited. 

Benefits of Crate Training Your French Bulldog

Crate training has had mixed reactions from different dog owners. Some are hesitant because it seems that they are confining their dog in a cage but some see beyond the cage and see it as a way to regulate the behavior of their dog. 

When done right, crate training is an invaluable part of your dog’s lifestyle and will benefit him in more ways than one. 

Provides A Safe Space For Your Frenchie

Dogs are naturally denning animals that want their own space to be left alone to rest, sleep, and where they can feel completely safe. 

They may even use their crate to “get away from it all” and spend some “me time”. Contrary to improper crate training that may cause anxiety, a properly crate-trained dog will in fact, be less anxious than one that isn’t trained. 

In addition, when you have constant visitors or new faces in your home, your French Bulldog might get a little stressed out, even with friendly dogs like French Bulldogs. Their crate will allow them to retreat safely into their space where they will not be threatened by any newcomers. 

Valuable Potty Training Tool

Most untrained dogs will go potty in any place in the house, including their crate. When properly trained, you’re French Bulldog will see their crate as their beds and home, a haven that needs to be kept clean. They wouldn’t soil their space and would wait until they are let out to go potty.

That’s when you take them to the appropriate spot in the yard, or outdoors, and when they do their thing, you praise them like it’s the best thing they have ever done! 

Travel and Transportability

Having a crate keeps your French Bulldog safe and happy in a car for the traveling dog parent who wants to bring their pooches along.

Try putting an untrained Frenchie in a crate in a car and you’re likely to get one stressed-out canine! 

In addition, if you travel with your dog, he or she is likely to be adaptable and feel fine as long as they have their crate to retreat to. It is also invaluable for confining your dog if you cannot be around to supervise them 24/7. 

How to Properly Crate Train Your French Bulldog

Crate training is a lengthy process that can take weeks, if not months to do. The ultimate goal is to have your Frenchie associate the crate with his happy, safe place, and readily go into it when it is time to rest, sleep, or simply have some quiet time. 

Many potty-trained dogs still choose to sleep in their crates even when the door is left open. 

Step 1: The Introduction

Just place the crate nearby and have your Bulldog check it out, rewarding and praising as they do. You only get one chance to make the first impression!

Your Bully will probably be curious and try to explore the new addition to the home, but might not go in.

Stay close, and shower loads of attention and praise when your Bully shows interest in his new home. 

Step 2: Bribe Him

Begin chucking some treats into the crate, allowing your Frenchie to go in and out freely. Don’t close the door yet, that step is farrrrr away! 

Once your Bully is accustomed to going in and out of the crate, try feeding him in the crate, or near it. What you are trying to do is get him to associate the crate only with all things good. 

Never ever force, and be as patient as you need to be. If your Bully doesn’t want to go all the way in, you can leave a treat by the side of the door or opening, allowing him to grab it without going fully inside. 

Once your Frenchie is confidently going in and out of the crate and eating near it or even in it, now you can start to close the door.

Step 3: Get Your French Bulldog Sitting Or Lying Relaxed In The Crate 

Before trying to close the door, see if you can get your Bully to sit or lie down and relax in the crate. If he does, treat and praise him like crazy! Shower him with lots of attention and pets when he’s resting in the crate.

Step 4: Close The Door

Watch your dog with an eagle eye and change the situation the moment your dog starts showing signs of discomfort or anxiety. Once he is comfortably lying down, you can now try closing the door.

Only do it for very short periods, seconds even, and always praise and reward when your Bulldog remains calm.

You never want him to feel uncomfortable enough to jump up and run out of the crate. Never use punishment to address an undesired behavior like jumping up or running out. 

Step 4: Leaving

After a couple of weeks of making sure your Bully is happy staying in a closed crate, now you have to be able to leave the room without your dog feeling stressed or anxious.

Leave the room for short periods at a time, or get up and start walking around. Always start very small, a few seconds at a time, very slowly increasing the duration you spent out of sight.

Be really patient, and don’t rush the results or the training will take massive steps back. Once your pooch is comfortable with being in his crate with you out of sight, now you can try crating them when you are out. 

Some Potential Reactions From Your French Bulldog

The important thing about crate training is that you don’t want to wait for a decisive reaction, but rather, nip the problem in the bud before it escalates to that stage. 

Some common reactions include: 

Whining And Barking 

Not all dogs take to their crates easily. Some may take a long time before they get used to their routine and crate. Your dog may constantly whine during the night because of their anxiety and stress. Be patient with your dog, some dogs learn quickly and some don’t. 

 

Ignore all the whining, barking, or howling, and don’t let your dog out of the crate or show any attention, even negative attention like a correction. Only show attention and let your dog out of the crate when the behavior stops. 

Also Read: Do French Bulldogs Bark A lot?

Your pooch will quickly learn that whining gets him nowhere, and being quiet gets him let out, attention, and treats.

Separation Anxiety

This is a common condition with dogs and is one of the leading causes of dogs being given up for adoption. 

Dogs are social animals, and many of them thrive on companionship. Unfortunately, this means that some dogs may suffer from separation anxiety when left alone. If your dog is crate trained, it can provide them with a sense of security and safety when you’re away. 

The majority of dogs have some form of separation anxiety or another, and this needs proper handling before it escalates into more severe anxiety which needs medication or professional help. 

First, place the crate in a quiet, secluded area of your home. Introduce your dog to the crate gradually. Start by feeding them meals in the crate, then put a favorite toy or bone in the crate, and finally have them spend short periods of time in the crate while you’re home.

When you leave the house, don’t make a big deal out of it. Simply put your dog in the crate with a chew toy or bone, and give them plenty of praise when you return. With patience and consistent training, you can help your dog overcome separation anxiety and enjoy their time in their crate.

Tips and Tricks On Crate Training Your French Bulldog

Crate training when done right is a boon for dog parents and their pooches. However, if done incorrectly, confining a dog in a small space can lead to a traumatic experience for the dog and a howling, digging, panicky pooch that is likely to drive the owner nuts. 

Here are some tips on successful crate training.                        

The Crate Is A Den, Never A Punishment 

A crate should provide shelter and comfort to your Bully and not a prison to go to when he or she did something naughty. 

A crate with chew toys or comfortable bedding will help your pooch feel right at home. Treats, toys, and attention when he or she is in the crate will make your dog feel safe and loved in the crate. Never EVER use the crate as a punishment. The moment your dog dislikes being in the crate, your training will take huge steps backward. 

Start With Short Periods 

Dogs are generally active animals and social animals that want to be with their humans. Always start with short periods before gradually lengthening the time that your dog will stay in the crate.

Though the crate serves as their comfort zone, dogs need constant exercise and human interaction. Prolonged stay in the crate may cause stress and anxiety for the dog which defeats the purpose of crate training in the first place. 

Age-Appropriate Time 

The maximum length of time a dog can stay in its crate depends on the age. Young puppies of about three months will have trouble holding their pee for anything more than two to three hours and will have to be let out constantly.

Puppies about six months old can hold their pee for about 4-6 hours, while most adult dogs can last through the night without being let out or waking you up. 

Senior dogs might also not have enough bladder control and might have to be let out frequently.

Regardless of age, don’t crate your dog for long periods. A crate should be used for some quiet time, to get your pup to be alone, and to confine your pup when you can’t watch him. When puppies get older, they can also sleep in their crates through the night but they must be let out the moment they wake up to go potty. 

A dog should never be crated all day while you are at work.

Consistency

Consistency is key. You should be able to regulate and implement the crate training consistently so that the dogs can follow a routine religiously.

Once your dog gets used to the routine of the crate time, sleep, playtime, food, and outdoor time, you might be able to give your dog greater freedom and access around the house. 

Crate Size

A crate is a small area that allows your dog to stand up, turn around, lie down, and stretch comfortably. It should not be big enough for your dog to soil one side of the crate and sleep on the other, away from the mess.

It also shouldn’t be too small that your dog feels cramped. Also leave some space for chews, toys, and bedding so your dog has something to do while still enjoying his quiet time. 

Final Thoughts 

Short periods spent in a crate gives both dog and owner some beneficial alone time. Your pooch can enjoy resting in his happy place, and you can go about your day without worrying about your puppy chewing up something that would cost a pretty penny, or worse, be dangerous.

However, it’s important not to leave your dog in the crate for too long. If you do, your dog may start to feel anxious, trapped, and stressed. So if you’re going to use a crate, make sure to give your dog plenty of time to exercise and play before putting him in the crate, and never leave your dog in for more than two to four hours at a time. 

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