Training your French Bulldog is essential to ensuring that you have the best relationship with your dog possible.
Having a well-trained dog who listens is truly a joy. Having a dog who is not trained and is poorly behaved can be a burden, and is sadly why many people choose to re-home their dogs.
By starting out with training as soon as you get your French Bulldog, you are starting off on the right paw to a happy and fulfilling journey as a French Bulldog pet parent.
Training the sit command is the simplest command to train and is a great foundation to train dogs other commands.
With some delicious treats, patience, and consistency, your French Bulldog will know how to sit in no time at all!
Why train my French Bulldog to sit?
This command is useful for many occasions, such as:
- Redirecting the attention of a dog who is begging.
- Building the confidence of a nervous dog.
- Distracting a nervous dog from a scary situation.
- Training a dog to greet people politely.
To begins training your Frenchie you will need a few supplies:
A treat pouch is necessary to access treats easily and quickly.
Deliciously odiferous training treats are essential. Soft treats usually offer a stronger scent, ideal for getting a puppy or dog's attention.
However, they can dry out or mold quickly if not stored properly. Freeze-dried meat treats keep a little longer than soft treats, however, they may not have as strong of ascent. You can experiment to see what works best for your Frenchie.
Some recommended treats are:
- Cloud Star offers cheddar, liver and salmon flavors.
- Wellness Puppy Bites Grain-Free Lamb and Salmon recipe treats are great for Frenchies who have allergies.
- Pupford Freeze Dried Liver Treats.
- Baking a chicken breast and shredding it into small pieces is another option for healthy, natural training treats.
How to train the sit command
You can train your French Bulldog to sit using these 7 simple steps. With daily practice, your puppy or dog should have this command mastered in a week or less.
1. Begin by gathering a handful of treats and placing them in your training treat pouch.
2. Call your Frenchie to wherever you want to begin training the sit command.
3. Show your Frenchie that have the treat to get his attention if he has not noticed already. Hold the treat to your forehead and say "watch me". When he looks at you, give him the treat.
4. Hold another treat over your Frenchie's head while saying "sit" clearly, as displayed in this video by Action K9 Services.
5. When her bum hits the floor, give her a treat and communicate that she successfully completed the command saying your positive mark word. Your positive mark word tells your Frenchie that they did what you wanted. You could use "yep" or "right", or any other single word you like.
6. Praise your Frenchie by telling her that she is a good dog.
7. Repeat the aforementioned steps for the sit command for approximately 10 minutes or less.
Keep the following in mind when training your French Bulldog:
- Choose a place with a sturdy flat surface to avoid injuries.
- When choosing a training area, start with a quiet area. As your Frenchie learns, work up to less quiet places so he can learn to listen to you in busy situations.
- Do not expect too much too soon; every dog learns at a different pace.
- Always end training sessions on a good note, like your Frenchie successfully responding to your commands.
- Keep training sessions short and sweet; 10 minutes or less is ideal. According to Medical News Today, dogs are very similar to toddlers, who are notorious for their short attention spans. Observe your Frenchie as you work with her; if you notice she is struggling to focus, end the session and try again the next day.
- It is important that training sessions be positive; if it is negative, your Frenchie will not want to train with you. If you are frustrated, wait to train your Frenchie until you are ready to be patient.
The calorie conundrum
If your French Bulldog is struggling with maintaining a healthy weight, you might not like the idea of having to feed him lots of extra treats during training sessions. However, training is very important and should not be avoided strictly because of the extra calories.
By being mindful of how many training treats are fed, owners can adjust their French Bulldog's next meal according to how many treats they eat during training sessions to help them maintain a healthy weight.
Be sure to choose special treats and use them only for training. If a special treat is only used for training, it will be easier to get their attention with the odor, and it will be considered a high reward item, motivating your French Bulldog to work hard for their treat.
If you try to use their regularly fed dry food, canned food, or less exciting items like green beans, they will be less motivated to work for them.
According to the American Kennel Club, clicker training is a method of positive reinforcement training; "it tells the animal that whatever he is doing at the time he hears the click… is correct and will earn a reward".
If you are interested in clicker training, purchase a clicker to reinforce good behavior with clicks. For more information on clicker training your French Bulldog, watch this video of a French Bulldog being clicker trained.
The sit command is the most simple command to teach a dog or puppy; if your French Bulldog has no training experience, sit is the perfect place to start.
As a freelance pet writer and blogger, Shannon is passionate about crafting knowledge-based, science-supported articles that foster healthy bonds of love and respect between people and animals. But her first and very most important job is as a dog auntie and cockatiel, tortoise, and box turtle mama.