If your dog behaves well, it’s not only pleasant for you, but for him as well. If you can call him because he listens to his name, if you can walk with him freely, because he has no bad habits, if you can get in the car with him because he follows your rules, it means that he can stay your companion stress-free in any kind of situation. As ideal does it sound though, you have to work hard for it, which won’t be an easy ride. It is strongly recommended to go to a dog school. However, the upbringing of the French bulldog does not begin there, from the point he enters your home for the very first time. Let’s see then what the secrets of stress-free dog keeping are:
Your dog has… legs!
Sounds obvious, right? Unfortunately, in the case of French bulldogs, we often forget about these important parts. Since it’s a small breed, it’s tempting to carry them, put them away, or simply pick them up. Unfortunately, this is not the best method.
Allow him to use his own two feet and expect him to get from a to b without your help. This is not only important because an adult bulldog of up to 15 pounds is no longer so easy to carry over many, many meters. But because it is important for your puppy to learn to:
- Fulfill your requests without having to physically intervene, so for example, carrying them anywhere
- Solve their problems on their own, not by climbing into your lap and asking for help
Let the puppy explore his surroundings on his own feet! Call them back, tie them on a leash, or, if it’s necessary, rebuke them, if they do something wrong! But you shouldn’t want to curb them or get obedience by getting them in your lap! If you don’t involve him in every situation you will only cause damage, as he will not learn to handle the different events that will possibly occur in life.
Know your dog’s signals!
Bat ears, a turbulent nose, button eyes and a tail can also tell. You can deduce a lot of things from your dog’s body language. If you pay attention to it, you can avoid the most difficult situations. For example, if someone is stroking him, you can see if he is enjoying it or turning away from the situation and trying to reduce stress by licking his mouth. If you see that your dog doesn’t like the situation, you can distract him or get him out of it before he would bark at or bite someone who is kind to him.
If you know your reactions well enough, it’s much easier to avoid unnecessary tension. There are unwanted reactions, such as sneezing, biting, barking, growling, that your puppy shows when he doesn’t like something. When this might happen, we tend to tell them off or possibly tap them on the nose – even though it may just be a reaction of fear. In these cases, instead of eliminating the cause of the problems, we only create additional tension in the animal, and this rarely leads to solution.
Take some time to learn what you can do in situations like this! There are dogs who can be easily calmed down by caressing, scratching, or maybe even the owner’s voice is enough already— for example, when they are surrounded by children. Other puppies feel better when being distracted, for example, played with, especially ball games. Less stress, calmer dog!
Naturally though, just paying attention to your dog and letting them move around as they wish doesn’t mean they don’t have to follow certain rules. It is important that you have expectations of your dog and demand discipline from him. This gives him freedom.
If you expect him to obey at the first word, if you call them, that means you can let them run around in the dog runner, call them back, and signal if it’s time to go or in case of danger. If they are only allowed to start their meal when they get permission, it means you can walk around the city in peace, as they don’t need to be standing at your feet all the time to avoid eating something from the ground that they shouldn’t.
Be positive and consistent!
If your dog shows the expected behavior, praise him! But don’t pet them it if they’re doing something you don’t want to! Also, because it’s a small dog, we tend to babble and caress the dog if he grumbles in fear or freaks out by someone. Many also make the mistake of not taking the dog’s threat seriously, laughing, or taking snarling as a game, for example.
If your dog shows any signs off fear, talk to him or call him away, and if he is frowning or snarling, say a definite NO and divert his attention! Never try to take the edge of a situation by stroking or laughing, as this will prevent your dog from learning to deal with his temper and fears – even though he would be able to do these things.
The 3 second rule
Unfortunately, dogs are not children to talk to them about what happened at school in the morning. If they did something wrong, they should be told immediately that they made a mistake. For example, if your dog pulled the toilet paper roll out of its place, it is not effective to scold them at the end of the day in another the room – he won’t figure it out why he got scolded.
If your bulldog does something wrong, try to let them know right away. According to experts you have 3 seconds to react – meaning it’s good to take action as soon as possible. You don’t have to fight or punish, a confident, strong voice will do, the point is to tell them quickly.
The French Bulldog is a receptive and very social dog. If you are consistent with him and pay attention, he will be able to read from your signal just as effectively as you can from his. If you communicate with each other, you will know, for example, that a poodle barking on the other side of the street is not a danger to you, so he will not want to protect you from it with a loud growl. He can see from your body language that your children belong to the “herd” so they are patient with them even in case of a louder behavior.
If you can learn to speak each other’s language, the French bulldog may be able to do his thing even without commands. This is how a barking, growling, frightened puppy will turn into a loyal, reliable companion in everyday life for a long time – despite its quirky appearance and slightly perhaps awkward appearance. Mutual respect, patience and consistency – these are the ingredients of a happy and well-bred French bulldog.
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