A trained dog is a happy dog
There’re countless reasons as to why you should train your dog. Not only will it make day-to-day life easier for you and your family, your Frenchie will live a much happier, purposeful life.
Luckily for us, Frenchies will do nearly anything for a treat. Your Frenchie will have more than enough motivation to train; that is if he’s hungry. While you may be eager to get started on the training process, it’s important that you don’t go overboard with the treats.
In this article, we’re going to cover some tips for training your Frenchie while keeping their weight in check.
Are French Bulldogs Hard to Train?
Training a dog is no easy feat. French Bulldogs are no exception and are notorious for their stubborn nature, so you’re going to need some patience. With the right techniques and just a few minutes of your time each day, your Frenchie can learn anything!
Despite their stubbornness, Frenchies are actually quite intelligent dogs, making them the smartest of all the bully breeds!
In my experience, my Frenchie has been able to learn new tricks within one or two training sessions! Of course, it’ll take longer for them to master something, but they’re surprisingly smart when they’re motivated enough.
Sometimes my Frenchie has selective listening. She doesn’t listen for seemingly no reason at all and could care less about performing any commands. It’s a completely different story when I grab the bag of treats and goes from “deaf” to sitting in a split-second! This has been improving the more obedience training I do.
First things first
If you’re just starting training with your Frenchie, we recommend reading over this checklist for any items that might help make training easier.
- A treat bag so you always have treats on you
- A high-quality harness. I prefer a non-choke harness as it’s likely your Frenchie will be pulling on the leash a lot as you are in the early stages of training.
- A leash that is 6ft (no shorter, no longer) and at least 3/8″ thick. I prefer a leash that has shock absorbing technology as I’ve heard too many horror stories of Frenchies with neck and spinal injuries from pulling on their leashes.
- Treats and other rewards
- You’re going to want a low calorie, healthy treat for your Frenchie that is also easy for them to chew.
- Food isn’t the only way to reward good behavior; use their favorite toy and lots of praise to mix up the rewards. You don’t want them to only perform tricks when you have a treat!
It all starts with the treat
We’re going to need to start off with a healthy, low calorie treat that your Frenchie loves. Every dog is different and it might take a little bit of trial and error. If you don’t know your Frenchie’s favorite flavor, you’ll want to start sampling different flavors. Once you figure out what really gets your Frenchie going, buying in bulk will surely save you lots of cash in the long run.
There’s a few things to take into account when shopping for training treats. Just keep in mind what we have found to work well for our Frenchies might not necessarily work for yours.
Hard or soft?
Everybody’s dog has their own preferences but I’ve found that soft treats work best for ours. In my experience, soft treats are much easier for my Frenchie to chew which is especially important when rewarding them on a walk.
I just felt my Frenchie was stopping to chew the harder treats which defeated the purpose of rewarding her for walking alongside me. I’ve also found softer treats are easier to break into smaller pieces and don’t fall apart
What’s the right size?
There’s a sweet spot for training treat size. Not too big or not too small. The treat has to be substantive enough so that your Frenchie will really want it but small enough that you can train for long periods of time without overfeeding.
I tend to stay away from the bigger biscuit treats and stick to ones that were designed with training in mind.
Flavor is one of those things that’s pretty subjective. Unless your Frenchie is a picky eater, you probably can get away with most flavors. I recommend starting with the typical flavors such as chicken, beef, and salmon and seeing if those work for you.
You may also find that certain types of meat or flavors can cause digestive issues so you might have to do some experimenting to find what works best for you! There’s plenty of treats out there! One is sure to work for your Frenchie!
Just like we wouldn’t put anything harmful into our bodies, the same goes for our Frenchies! I stick to all-natural treats made with the best ingredients. Stay far away from those made with artificial preservatives, artificial coloring, and chemical humectants.
High Value Treats
If you’re like me, you just can’t resist spoiling your Frenchie from time to time. High value treats should be saved for enforcing new, desirable behavior. For example, if your Frenchie is having trouble with the “down” command, when he finally goes down for the first time, reward him with your high value treat.
High value treats can be anything from your Frenchie’s favorite toy, biscuits, or chew sticks.
Save yourself the headache of shopping at your local pet store. They’re full of treats that simply aren’t suitable for your Frenchie. Here’s a list of the best training treats that we’ve discovered through months of searching. Hopefully we can save you a bit of time and money wasted on the trial and error of finding that perfect treat.
Zuke’s is a dog food treat company based in New Zealand and is slowly becoming one of our favorite treat brands! What I love about Zuke’s and other treats from New Zealand is that I know they must meet higher standards than those of other countries. The Ministry for Primary Industries in New Zealand has very strict requirements that pet foods must meet. They really do have the animals’ health in their best interest.
These are my personal favorites! They’re all natural and made from ingredients such as oatmeal, flaxseed, fruits, and vegetables! They’re soft and easy to break into smaller pieces which is a huge plus for me! There’s nothing worse than a treat that just splinters into a thousand pieces when you’re trying to break it into smaller pieces.
These BLUE training treats are my go-to training treats when out for a walk. I find that they’re soft enough that my Frenchie can eat them while walking which is nice while teaching her how to walk alongside me. They’re only 5 calories each and I usually break them into halves or fourths. These are probably one of my Frenchie’s favorite treats… she loves the beef flavoredones!
Alright, I’ve got my treats!
The best time to train your Frenchie is when they’re hungry! They’ll be super motivated to do whatever it takes for a bite! I prefer to break my treats into halves or fourths before a training session; I suggest finding the smallest size treat that will keep your Frenchie motivated!
Your training schedule may differ from ours, but here’s some guidelines I like to follow.
I like to keep my training sessions short and sweet. I believe more is less when it comes to dog training; 5-15 minute sessions once or twice a day is the sweet spot in my opinion. I also like to have a few “rest” days and generally train my French Bulldog 3 to 5 days per week.
If your training sessions are too long, your Frenchie is likely to lose motivation and not retain as much knowledge. I like spacing my training sessions out throughout the day to the times where my Frenchie is the most hungry; they’ll be much more motivated this way.
Cut down on those portions!
Breaking the treats into smaller pieces. Try to use the smallest piece of a treat that you can while still having your Frenchie’s attention. Unfortunately, it’s not hard to overfeed your French Bulldog and before you know it, you’ll have to be cutting their food intake to help them lose weight! By using some of these methods, you’ll be able to keep them a healthy weight even during training!
Using mealtimes as training sessions. These are the times you’ll find your Frenchie will be the most motivated to do whatever it takes to get a bite! Instead of using my typical treats, I’ll just use my Frenchie’s food as a reward.
The scientific approach
Before your training session, measure out a specific amount of treats and calculate how many calories they are. When it comes time for your Frenchie to eat, simply take this into account and reduce portion sizes appropriately.
Did we miss anything? Suggestions? Leave a comment down below and we’ll get back to you!