French Bulldog Won’t Potty Train

Photo by Jake Nackos on Unsplash

We got our dog when he was only 3 months old, and we already expected to see some ‘accidents’ here and there. Sure enough, we had a bit of a hard time during his first few weeks with us. Although he NEVER pooped in the house, it took us quite some time to teach him not to pee inside.

Every time we see him acting weird in the living room, we simply have to open the door so he can go out and do his business. Or, if he starts letting go of his pee while indoors, we say NOOOOO!

It was not really easy at first ‘coz it seems like he keeps on doing it over and over. But during one of our visits to the vet, we asked the doctor about it. We were advised to give him a little time since he was still too young back then. So that’s exactly what we did. We also started giving him treats whenever he pees at the right place. And now, Jut is fully-potty trained!

Are you having the same issue with your Frenchie? Let us explore the reasons why a French bulldog won’t potty train and what are the things that you can do about it.

Why a French Bulldog Won’t Potty Train

While it is true that cleaning mess after mess could be really tiring and annoying, you have to understand that your dog is also like a human child. Each puppy is unique, and his development and learning capabilities may not be as fast as that of the other dogs. But believe me when I say, ALL dogs can be potty trained.

If you think that your puppy’s potty training is not working at all, it could be due to one or two of the following reasons:

Negative Reinforcement

In some cases, yes, a negative reinforcement may help. However, the stress that you are putting on your puppy could also be traumatizing enough for him not to listen to you anymore. It could affect his behavior as he grows up, and that could cause more problems for you to deal with later on.

Furthermore, when you force your dog to do something that he is not yet ready to do by yelling at him, smacking him, or rubbing his face against his pee or poop, you are not actually helping him. He still doesn’t understand what you want him to do, and punishing him won’t really do any good.

What to do: In this case, the best thing that you can do as a parent is to be really patient. Do not punish your dog simply because you think that he is being stubborn. It doesn’t work that way. And besides, negative reinforcement might only scare your puppy away, but he still can’t have a grasp of what you are trying to do.

Potty train your Frenchie one step at a time. Reward him if you see any improvement, and you will see a huge difference sooner or later.

No Schedule

Another reason why your French Bulldog fails in house training is probably because you are not following a schedule. Maybe you are too busy with work or household chores that you tend to forget taking your dog outside to let him do his thing. As a result, he gets used to doing his business inside your home, and this is something that would be hard to address if you let it go for quite some time.

What to do: In order to be successful in training your French bulldog, it is crucial that you set a schedule and stick with it. Ideally, you need to take him outside and allow him to relieve himself when he wakes up in the morning, after each meal, after a nap, and before bedtime at night. If you do this religiously, then your Frenchie will start to realize that it is outside where he needs to pee or poop at.

No matter how busy you are, you have to be on top of the schedule that you have set with your puppy so there will be no room for failure.

Too Young

Just like my experience with my dog, maybe you are in a hurry to see great results from the training that you are giving your Frenchie. Setting high expectations when your puppy is still too young could only cause frustrations.

What to do: Imagine yourself potty training a 2-year-old kid. You can’t expect the child to master what you are trying to teach him right away. The same is true with your puppy. You need to consider his age, and give him some time to get accustomed to the place where he needs to do his business.

In general, you should start teaching your dog when he is about 12 weeks or 3 months old as this is the time when he starts to gain more control of his bladder. To estimate the time interval of taking him outside, simply add 1 to his age (in months). So if your Frenchie is 4 months old, he should be able to hold his bladder up to 5 hrs.

Taking “baby steps” will surely yield amazing results. That’s why you have to be patient. If you see any progress, praise your dog and reward him. This will also encourage him to remember his potty training.

Used to Being in the Same Place

Keeping your pooch in the same place most of the time will most likely cause issues when you are potty training him. For instance, if he is used to being left outdoors and you suddenly decided to take him indoors, he might think that urinating on your carpet is the same as relieving himself by squatting on the grass. He wouldn’t know the difference.

What to do: To be effective in potty training your French bulldog, it is essential that you familiarize him with the different areas of your home, and point out where he needs to do his thing at. This way, he will be able to identify the difference between inside and outside.

Make him feel that he is welcome indoors, but this is not the area for him to pee or poop. Furthermore, you should always be on the lookout for the signs that your Frenchie needs to relieve himself. This may include sniffing, whining, or circling. Once you see any of these, take him outside immediately to avoid accidents.

Medical Condition

Having a certain health condition may also cause your puppy to urinate or defecate more often than he is supposed to, and this might make you think that he just doesn’t want to be potty trained.

What to do: If you have already done almost every strategy that you can think of to effectively house train your pooch and he doesn’t seem to be responding, then maybe it’s about time to make a trip to the vet and have him checked. It is possible that he is suffering from something that is making him pee or poop more than what is expected. This is true too if you are giving him some medications.

How to Deal With an Adult Frenchie That Was Not House-Trained

Have you gotten an adult Frenchie home and it seems like he is reluctant to go potty outside? This could be because his previous training was not effective enough. Or, it is possible that he was not house-trained at all. It could also be because he hasn’t adapted yet to his new environment. If that is the case, then you have to potty train him.

In some instances, adult dogs are a lot easier to train than puppies. For one, older canines can very well hold their bladders, unless, of course, if they are suffering from a certain medical condition.

The bottom line is, you need to start potty training the moment you get an adult French bulldog home. To start with, you can train him for a week or so in a crate, but make sure that you also take him outside to get some exercise. If accidents occur, do not punish your Frenchie. And if you see that he is doing his business at the right “elimination station”, do not distract him. Praise him afterwards and maybe give a treat.

Furthermore, come up with a schedule like what we have mentioned earlier and ensure that it is being followed every single day. The key is, you need to give your new Frenchie enough opportunities to relieve himself outside so he will learn.

Final Thoughts

French bulldogs are a clean breed and they are very loyal to their owners. They are not the hardest to potty train, but they are not the easiest either. Take note that this family has the tendency to be stubborn, and so, it is important that you potty train correctly the minute you bring one home.

This stage could be very frustrating for you and the dog as well, but in time and with patience, there is no doubt that you will be able to successfully train your Frenchie, regardless if you have gotten him as a puppy or an adult.