If you’re a French Bulldog owner, chances are you’ve recognized there’s more to French Bulldog ownership than just feeding and playing with your adorable and personable furchild. By nature, French Bulldogs are pack animals and every pack needs a leader. There are two outcomes that can come from this conclusion. Either you, the owner, is their pack leader or they, your French Bulldog, is the pack leader. In order to form a successful relationship: YOU must be the pack leader. Channel your inner alpha and follow along for my tips!
A Little About Me
I am Peter K, aka the Frenchie King ( just kidding ) before you just blindly put your faith in me and continue reading my tips and tricks. I’m a Canadian French Bulldog breeder & educator, specifically located in Etobicoke, Ontario. I am passionate about ethical and human French Bulldog breeding and educating people on the amazing, intricate and lovable French Bulldog breed. Both my French Bulldog breeding and vetting process are very thorough and that’s because it isn’t just transactional for me, it’s quite personal. I am bound and determined to change the “norm” of French Bulldog breeding! My family is originally from Hungary and my two personal dogs, Kifli and Fuli, are named to pay heritage to my culture and share my Hungarian lineage. (Fun fact- Fuli was a travel souvenir! LOL read that story here) and you can get to know us better.
So without further ado, here we go!
A Pack Leader
Most new French Bulldog owners (as well as some that have owned dogs their entire life) don’t understand the full extent of what it means to be alpha of the pack. For French Bulldogs, this dynamic is instinctual. From the very first time your French Bulldog enters a new home, the family in the household has the obligation to be their pack leader. Without an established house structure, your French Bulldog has the potential to create that structure. They often do this by electing themselves as the pack leader. Obviously, this needs to be avoided.
As numerous Hollywood movies and television commercials will tell you, bringing home a French Bulldog puppy during the holidays can be a joyous experience. But it’s important to remember that this time of celebration and excitement can really stress and confuse your puppy with random and excessive activity. So be mindful that: A passive and calm introduction to your puppy’s new home is best. Remember that being the alpha between you and your French bulldog is a balance between pack leadership and affection.
Basic Obedience Training
For new French Bulldog owners, consider taking your pet to Basic Obedience Training. In this training, you will learn the 5 basic commands that your new pet will learn. These are sit, come, down, stay, and leave it. Hidden in plain sight, these 5 essential commands might as well be called Establishing Yourself as a Pack Leader. Let’s break this down.
Sit – This teaches your French Bulldog to “sit down.” More importantly, this command creates a much calmer state of mind and prepares them for the next command.
Come – Taught to be used as a safety net for any dog that comes loose from the leash (if your puppy is being trained on-leash,) this command will teach your dog to always keep an ear out for your voice.
Down – By encouraging your Frenchie to stay down at a submissive posture, you’re almost suggesting a submissive state of mind at the time. It’s a good way to relax a dog that is overly excited or anxious.
Stay – Usually used as a second command after “Sit.” This command will give a cue to your pup to stay in their position and wait until the next command.
Leave it – Mainly used as a safety command to keep dogs out of unwanted places, this command will also train your dog to stop whatever it is they want to do and wait for their pack leader to tell them that it’s ok to proceed.
It Won’t Work
None of the above Basic Obedience Training will work if your dog is excited or energetic. It is encouraged to take a nice walk with your dog before you start training. Walking is one of the best bonding moments that all dogs enjoy. It is also the best time to establish yourself as the alpha of the pack. After all, it is YOU, the alpha, as their pack leader, who is walking your dog and not the other way around. It’s a common sight to see a dog that’s in fact walking the pet owner. Preventing this will take patience and assertiveness on the part of the pack leader.
The best way to establish yourself as the alpha or pack leader is to drain them of pent-up energy. We’ve all heard the stories of dogs that were left at home and ended up destroying the house. This is because of unused energy. I’d encourage you to walk your dog in the morning and one more time in the evening if your dog has a lot of energy. A tired dog is an obedient one. Walking is also a good time to practice your pet’s basic obedience training.
Dogs are great with numbers. Let’s take for example if you ever catch your dog stealing food from the table. Going back to basic obedience training, you can tell your dog to leave it and then sit or come. If your dog does something like this 20 times and you correct it 20 times, congratulations. This is what it means to be consistent. If your dog does an unwanted behavior 19 times and the 20th time you allowed it, they will think that you sometimes allow this behavior so they might as well keep doing it. You’re now back to square one.
Their Not Complicated
French Bulldogs aren’t complicated but they do need to have a way of releasing their built up energy. Aside from food, shelter, and affection, what they also really need is YOU, the alpha, the pack leader! This will create respect and a truly amazing, bonded relationship.
I pride myself on my relationship with the French Bulldogs I produce. To learn more about French Bulldogs or My Pawesome Frenchie you can check out the YouTube videos I post.
See you guy’s in another blog.