House Training Your French Bulldog Puppy

Kennel training is the best place to start when it comes to teaching your puppy how to hold its bladder.  Your kennel should never be too big. You may need to buy two kennels unless you can borrow a small one temporarily. If a puppy has too much room, they will use part of the kennel to sleep in and the other part to relieve themselves. This is not what we want. Keep the kennel small enough that the puppy only has room to turn around and lay down. The puppy will be able to hold its bladder for a few hours at a time. Expect to get up at least once through the night when you first take your puppy home.  A good rule of thumb is a puppy can hold its bladder for one hour longer than its age in months. So if your puppy is three months old, four hours may be as long as it can go without going outside for a break.  Four months old, five hours and so on. Right up to 8-9 hours or longer.  Don’t push it. If you are having accidents, take a step back.

As soon as morning comes, make sure to take your puppy outside right away for a poo and a pee. They always need to relieve themselves as soon as they wake up. During the day, while they are loose in the house with you watch for signs they need to go outside.  Look for circling. When your puppy needs to eliminate, they look for the perfect spot by turning around once or twice. 

If you see your puppy wandering off to be alone, there is a good possibility that they’re looking for a spot to go poo or pee. You must be diligent with this and keep a very close eye on your puppy at all times if you want to win the battle. 
Another time that they always need to eliminate is right after they eat. Anytime they have a meal, immediately afterwards, take them outside. You can use the words “go potty”, “empty”, “go pee”, “go poo” or whatever you choose. Regardless of what words you use, say them consistently.

Don’t forget to praise your puppy. We want to reward them with the utmost excitement for the thing that they did. How wonderful it was that they went poo and pee outside. We only want to reward the good behavior and ignore the bad. It just confuses them when you find a “present” and scold them. It may look like they feel guilty but they are cowering from your body language and you’re only teaching them to be afraid of you when you’re angry. If you catch them in the act just grab them, pick them up, and take them outside. Tell them, “This is where you go potty.” If you repeatedly take them to the same area you shouldn’t have any problems with house training. 

If you take your puppy outside to go poo or pee and after it has done its job you immediately turn around and bring it back inside, your puppy will quickly learn to hold its urine or bowel movements and not go right away. This is because it learns as soon as we’re done, we’re going back inside. Stay longer afterwards. It’s way more interesting outside for your puppy with all the smells in the air and birds chirping and bugs flying around than it is inside.  This way they won’t associate “going to the washroom” with having to go right back in. They are smart!