Crate training a french bulldog is a great idea if you’ve just adopted a Frenchie puppy or rescued one. I bet you’re already having a great time as they are cute dogs.
French bulldogs are joyful and great dogs and awesome companions but very fragile and not so easy to train if you don’t have the motivational tools and proper knowledge of their condition.
In this article, we will be providing you with a detailed profile of the French bulldog that will allow you to understand the steps that you have to follow to crate train your french bulldog puppy with no incidents.
Without further introductions let us explore together the personality and characteristics that make the french bulldog what it is.
French bulldog behavior and profile
French bulldogs are really good at sitting around and being cute (and no one can argue with that).
They are considered a small breed dog as they usually stand between 11 and 13 inches tall and should not weight over 28 to 30 lbs.
Their head area is heavy in proportion to the rest of their body and because of that, they can not swim. One should really make sure he is not around pools or deep water. I wouldn’t recommend having a french bulldog if you have a pool.
Their short flat face causes a lot of health issues as they are fragile and prone to poor breathing; hence the adorable snorting all the time.
These breathing difficulties make it really hard for them to tolerate hot or humid weather. The short coat is great when it comes to grooming as it does not require much effort but makes them also vulnerable to very cold weather.
Are french bulldogs aggressive?
French bulldogs are not known for being aggressive but like all dog breeds, there could be exceptions.
They are perfect companions as they crave affection and human attention. However, they can develop possessive and protective behavior.
All in all, they are easy-going dogs, if you give your Frenchie a good belly rub he’ll love you.
French bulldog with kids
All toy-sized dogs like the french bulldog are usually adored by kids. And due to their happy nature, they can keep the kids entertained for a while.
They should not be left unsupervised with kids but they are no threat to them. On the contrary, they like kids and crave human contact.
Frenchies are truly the perfect family dogs and no wonder they are the fourth most popular breed in America.
Are french bulldogs active dogs?
Frenchies aren’t exactly the energetic type of dogs, that’s why crate training a french bulldog is a good idea.
Their breathing difficulties make it hard for them to be part of stressful activities and they should never be allowed to exert themselves in hot or humid weather.
French bulldogs are not keen on playing catch or long walks. short walks are sufficient for them.
They do like to sit around and relax snore a bit and be cute.
Can a french bulldog be left alone all day?
This is the hardest part of having a french bulldog, as they do not like being left alone at all.
It is strongly recommended for people who work full time and live alone to avoid getting a Frenchie.
Crate training a french bulldog is not really hard but if you are planning on leaving for extended periods of time it might cause problems.
Potential french bulldog behavior problems
Frenchies are known to being stubborn dogs and need great motivation and early training at a young age to get better results.
Crate training a french bulldog without treats or toys is really going to be a hard and time-consuming mission.
They can also get too excited when motivated and make too much effort while it is not advised for them due to their breathing issues. Constant supervision is needed especially at a young age.
The hardest thing about french bulldogs is that they do not like being left alone. They are one of the dog breeds that registers the most cases of separation anxieties.
So you should not expect to leave a Frenchie for too long in his crate especially during the day.
Crate training a french bulldog puppy
Due to their stubborn nature, french bulldogs are better crate trained at a young age.
Like any other dog, the basic crate training steps for a french bulldog are almost the same; what changes is the way you deal with the dog and how much treats and playtime you need to make sure the dog feels safe in there.
And the first step in any crate training program is choosing the perfect crate for your dog. When we say the perfect crate we are talking about the size and type of crate.
Best crate size for french bulldog
When choosing the best crate size for your dog you need to know what makes it perfect.
- The dog should be able to stand in the crate without touching the top of it.
- The dog should be able to turn around inside the crate to get out.
- When he lays down the dog’s front should not be touching the crate.
- The crate should not be too big for the dog just a few inches larger than him.
The crate being larger than the dog is easy to understand as the dog needs to feel comfortable enough. However, the fact that it needs to be not too big is related to potty training.
Dog trainers noticed that whenever the crate is too big for the dog he turns a corner into a potty corner and lives in the other. Dogs are fairly clean animals and would not do their business where they sleep unless they can’t hold it.
This is why you need to be patient when crate training a french bulldog since they are small dogs with a smaller bladder; which also means they can’t hold it for too long especially as puppies.
So based on the French bulldog’s size the perfect crate size for him is :
DIMENSIONS: 30 length x 19 width x 21 height inches.
It is better if you get a crate with a divider so you can make it larger as the dog gets older and bigger.
I suggest you check out this article about the best crate for a french bulldog it will help you make an informed decision about which crate you should get your Frenchie.
Best crate for french bulldog
They are plenty of crate types for dogs and the best one depends on every breed size and temperament.
Some dogs will need a heavy-duty crate while smaller breeds could do fine in a plastic crate.
The best crate for french bulldogs though they are small-sized dogs is the wire crate. Choosing a wire crate has nothing to do with robustness, it is more the huge need of the french bulldog to feel close to his family.
The wire crate provides a better view for the dog allowing the owner to walk around freely while the Frenchie is able to keep an eye on them.
I would personally suggest you get a wire crate with double doors as it will really be helpful in the early phase of crate training.
The one I recommend and personally use for most of my dogs is the MidWest double door wire crate (you can check the current price on Amazon)
Introducing your french bulldog to his crate
This is the number one and most important step of crate training any dog, not just a Frenchie.
As we always preach never introduce your dog to something when it’s time to do it.
You don’t want your puppy to be shocked when you lock him up in a crate for the night.
Before going in he needs to feel good and safe about it that’s why it is better if you start in the morning.
You can keep your Frenchie on the leash and just walk around the crate let him explore it. Never force your dog into the crate you don’t want him to feel trapped.
You want to secure the door of the crate to avoid any incidents that may make the dog fear the crate. you can keep doing this for five minutes two or three times.
Exploring the crate
It is for this purpose that I actually suggested the midwest double door wire crate. The wire crate provides plenty of open space so the dog does not feel trapped in the crate. The double door feature also makes it easy for the dog to enter and exit the crate.
You want to lure your dog into the crate without actually forcing him. You can use training treats to get him in the crate just toss one in and he’ll get in on his own.
Be careful how many treats you want to use and which ones are safe. You can check out my article about training treats for more details and suggestions. If you are in a hurry these are the ones I recommend as they are safe and low on carbs.
French bulldogs should not get too fat or else they will be at risk to get health issues.
Use the treats to get the dog in the crate and once inside reward with another treat and verbal praise.
You want to repeat this process a few times then go back fo some playtime or chilling.
You don’t have to force it, dogs are smart enough to catch on and your Frenchie will eventually understand that whenever he gets there he gets a treat and praise so after a moment he will start to offer to get in to get the treat and that’s your signal for the next step.
Making the crate great
This is the most important phase of the crate training process; your french bulldog needs to feel good about the crate and happy to be in it. What a better way to achieve that than food.
dogs love food and anything you associate with food is going to be great, that is why you need to start feeding your dog his meals in the crate.
By now your dog already offers to get in the crate to get treats so you want to take it to the next step and serve the meals in there. It allows you to get him in there for a longer time and for him to feel safe inside the crate.
Now gradually start to close the door while he is feeding do not close it the first time. You also want to sit down next to the crate while he is eating and when he finishes you can let him out freely.
When you are able to close the door without your dog actually freaking out you can keep the door closed after the meal for a few minutes while you are still next to the crate playing with him and praising him.
Slowly increase the time your dog spends in the crate after the meal and start introducing a chewing toy to keep him distracted in there.
You can read this article about dog toys that will help you know about each kind of toy and what it is best for. If you are in a hurry this is the chew toy I recommend for keeping a dog distracted in the crate.
Making the crate a home
By now your french bulldog is making good progress eating his meals in the crate spending time with the door close and playing with his chew toy.
You can now use that time while he is distracted to move around the room while the crate is closed. If your Frenchie shows any complaints just praise him and move around again.
When he is getting used to the crate you can once a while get out of his sight for a couple of minutes and go back. Just keep gradually increasing the time you spend away from him while in the crate.
The best way for your dog to be relaxed in the crate is to do a play session just before he goes in. This way the dog is low on energy and more likely to relax.
You can also do it after short walks until you can go for about 30 minutes and he is ok with being in the crate.
Then you can go ahead and leave the house for a short period for shopping or quick errands.
When you are leaving you don’t want to make a scene just leave and don’t say goodbye or anything so the dog doesn’t associate the crate with being left alone.
At any point, the French bulldog should not be left alone in the crate for over 2 hours.
I strongly suggest that you use a playpen to make things easier for the puppy. Being in a more open space will help your dog get used to his new home and allows you to control his environment.
Crate training a french bulldog at night
If you introduce your dog to his crate correctly crate training a french bulldog at night should not be very hard.
At a young age, puppies spend more than half their day sleeping and half of their awake time inactive.
Stop giving water to your dog two hours before sleep time and take him for a potty walk just before going to bed.
The walk will make the puppy low on energy and more likely to sleep. The hard part about crate training a french bulldog at night is the fact that they need to wake up for a potty break at night as they a small bladder.
You want to place the crate in your room especially in the first few weeks. This way you can hear your puppy when he wakes up for a potty break at night.
Using a crate cover is also a good idea as it reduces outside distractions and helps the puppy sleep longer.
How hard is it to crate train a french bulldog?
French bulldogs are not hard to crate train as they are not very active dogs. But you can not expect to leave one in a crate for a day and go to work.
french bulldogs crave human attention and are very stubborn dogs that is why it is best to start crate training them at a young age.
Even adult Frenchies are not that hard to crate train it will just take more time and energy to do it.
All in all, crate training a french bulldog is relatively easy as long as you don’t leave them alone for too long.
How long does it take to crate train a french bulldog?
Crate training a french bulldog is not a calculated process; however, it does take a little more time compared to other dog breeds.
No need to be alarmed every dog is different; it will depend on the age of the puppy and the way you do it.
In my experience based on the few french bulldogs, I personally crate trained it takes about 6 to 8 weeks for them to feel comfortable in their crates.
For an inexperienced dog owner, it might take longer. This is why I am sharing this guide with you so that you know what to expect.
I also prepared a list of products that would make things easier for you and help do it.
Suggested products for better results
This is a list of products that will help your French bulldog feel comfortable in his new home and make the crate training process easier for both the puppy and his parent.
- The midwest bed that fits the crate I suggested earlier perfectly.
- The midwest crate cover that also fits the suggest crate for easier nights.
- Plush toys that will keep your Frenchie distracted in the crate or in the playpen.
- The midwest playpen that connects to the crate for easier control of the puppy area.
For more detailed information about the french bulldogs you can check out these two sources :
A respiratory and digestive study in French Bulldogs.
The french bulldog profile on Your Dog Advisor.