The French Bulldog is a scrappy little muscular dog with dense bones. This is no sport dog, but it is still something of a show dog. You can get your dog from French Bulldog Breeders, aim for a French Bulldog Adoption from a shelter or even opt for French Bulldog puppies adoption. If you opt for a rescue dog, be aware that there is a French Bulldog Rescue Network (FBRN) that you can use.
One such notable FBRN dog is Cherie the Surfdog, a French Bulldog with surfing and fundraising skills. Cherie has an Instagram account, a Facebook account, is a real dog with a blog and has been a guest on Good Morning America. One thing you want to do before your French Bulldog gets too old is train him or her. If you have a Frenchie, as they are often fondly called, they may wish to chase rats, as they were originally bred as ratters.
Dogtime.com suggests using the most kind strategies for effectively training this dog. As they detail it on this site, “Sit” is one of the easiest commands to teach this dog. If you start when the dog is about half a year old, you can teach this command and then move forward with more difficult commands.
The first two things you need to do in order to train this dog to sit are to get in a place where you and the dog will not be distracted and to have food treats available for reinforcement. From there you will need to do the following:
1. Say the dog’s given name and display the treat where they can see and smell it.
2. While keeping the treat near the dog’s nose, say “Sit” when it turns its head in your direction.
3. Gradually raise your hand, but not too far from the dog’s nose.
4. When the dog begins to raise his head upward to follow the treat, his rear will automatically move down. Although this is automatic, you still want to praise the dog when their bottom is solidly on the ground by saying, “Yes.”
5. Immediately after praising the dog, give him the food treat.
6. Repeat this, and give the treat each time his bottom is fully flush with the floor. Don’t do it prematurely, while the bottom is on the way down. Instead wait until the command is fully executed.
7. Over time you will wish to build in more features, such as making the dog perform the task when there are distractions – this teaches them to focus on you. Distractions that you can build into this training includes bouncing a ball up and down as you issue the command or turning and facing in a different direction while you make the command. You will also want to increase the distance between you and the Frenchie by stepping away from the pet each time you issue the command to “Sit.” Lastly, you will wish to pause longer before rewarding the dog for obediently sitting.
Sometimes if your dog jumps on people, this can frighten or offend them. It can also get their clothes dirty, rip their hose or something similar. If you take them out in public, you want them to be able to get down at your command so that they are not a nuisance to anyone. Also, if they like to hover near the dinner table, you probably want them to know the “Down” command. The French Bulldog can be taught the “Down” command. It is not the easiest command, but it comes in handy.
To teach this dog to follow the “Down” command, you will want to have a food treat and be in a place free of distractions. You want to make sure you are not doing anything else while you train the dog. Here’s what else you need to do in order to teach them to move down:
1. Make sure the dog is already in a sitting position.
2. Hold the treat close to the dog’s nose and issue the command “Down.”
3. Gradually lower the hand with the food down until it is situated on the ground between the paws of the dog.
4a. If the dog obeys, say “Yes” with great enthusiasm and give him all or part of the treat.
4b. If the dog does not follow the food at once, let your hand stay on the floor, but cover it up. This will give the puppy time to grasp what you are trying to do. When he obeys, say “Yes” and give him all or part of the treat.
5. Repeat this until it’s well cemented. Practice makes perfect.