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How To Potty Train A French Bulldog

How To Potty Train A French Bulldog

Potty training a French Bulldog may seem like a daunting task. However, with a bit of patience and the right techniques, you can get your puppy to do its business in the correct place in no time.

French Bulldogs are known for being stubborn and strong-willed, so you’ll need to be consistent and maintain a regular schedule when teaching your dog the rules. This will NOT be a quick journey…

In this blog post, we will provide some tips on how to potty train a French Bulldog puppy quickly and efficiently, including the importance of a chosen area for them to do their business, reading the signs of when they need to go, common mistakes, and how to have an effective reward system.

At Barks In The Park, we have a comprehensive guide to everything Frenchie. If you want to know the cause of cherry eye in French Bulldogs, their favorite food, or if they’re good swimmers, pay us a visit!


Why Potty Train?

There are many reasons why you should potty train your Frenchie.

For one, you may be moving into a new home and don’t want to deal with cleaning up accidents.

Maybe you’re going on vacation and don’t want your furry friend taking a little poop on your friend’s couch, AKA the dog sitter.

Or maybe you think it’s time for your pet to learn how to use the toilet like the rest of the family!

Whatever your reason, potty training can be a challenging but rewarding process for both you and your dog. With a little patience and consistency, most dogs can learn to use the toilet like a pro in no time.


When To Start Puppy Potty Training

The ideal time to start potty lessons is when French Bulldog puppies are between 12 and 16 weeks old. Puppies this age are more receptive to new commands and learning.

However, every Frenchie puppy is different, and some may not be ready to start potty training until they’re a bit older. If you’re not sure if your pup is ready, consult with your veterinarian or a professional dog trainer.

If you adopt an older dog who needs potty training, don’t stress – they can still be trained. It just might require a little more work. A dog trainer will help guide you in the right direction if your new French has selective hearing (as we like to politely call it).


French Bulldog Potty Training

The potty training process will vary depending on the dog’s age, breed (Frenchies, in this case), and personality. However, there are some basic steps that all owners should take when potty training their French Bulldog.

Choose a potty area

The first step is to choose a designated potty area for your dog. This could be in your backyard, or indoors if you have a small space with no garden. If your home does not have access to an outside area, then provide pee pads/potty pads. It’s important to pick an area that is easily accessible and where your dog feels comfortable.

Establish a potty schedule

Once you’ve chosen a potty area, it’s time to establish a regular potty schedule for your dog. A French Bulldog puppy is typically able to hold their bladder for a maximum of four hours at a time, so you’ll need to adjust the schedule accordingly.

An adult Frenchie can hold its bladder for between eight and ten hours. Of course, this won’t be the case for a dog with health issues such as a bladder problem.

Use the magic words

Using “go toilet,” “wee time,” or “go potty,” can help your dog associate words with the action. Say the “magic word” (or words) while your French Bulldog is doing its business. Soon you’ll be able to say the command, and they will know what is expected of them.

Be consistent

Take your dog out to their potty spot frequently. Take them out first thing in the morning, after meals, after naps, after drinking water, and just before bed.  Eventually, they’ll learn that this is where they should go when they need to relieve themselves.

Read the signs

Once you and your Frenchie have gotten to know one another, you should be able to see when they need the toilet. Maybe they will wait by the front or back door, give you a serious look/serious eye contact, bark at you, or pace back and forth around the room or house.

Reward the correct behavior

Whenever your French Bulldog successfully goes potty in the designated area, be sure to praise and reward them with treats or verbal praise. This will help reinforce good behavior and make potty training more enjoyable for both of you!

The treat or reward should be given straight after they have done their “business.”

Don’t punish accidents

If accidents do happen (and they likely will), simply clean up the mess and move on. Yelling or punishing your dog for accidents can actually make potty training more difficult. Here’s a truth bomb… there WILL BE ACCIDENTS INSIDE!


Common Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

One of the most common mistakes people make when they teach their Frenchie this new boundary is not being consistent with their commands and expectations.

It is important to BE FIRM and consistent with your dog from the very beginning, or else they will get confused, and the process will take much longer. You should try not to change your magic words or word, or change the designated potty place.

The second mistake is not having enough patience. Toilet training a puppy can be frustrating, but it’s important to remain calm and positive throughout the process.

If you get angry or frustrated, your dog will sense this, and it will only make the process more difficult. House training can take six months or longer to get right. If only we could speak their language, life would be so much easier!

The third mistake is not providing enough opportunities for your dog to relieve itself. If you don’t take them outside often enough, they will not have enough chances to practice going potty in the correct place. Make sure to take them out regularly, especially after meals or when your puppy wakes, and praise them lavishly when they go in the right spot!

If your dog has made an accident inside the house, they will most likely think it’s okay to go to that same place again and again. Frenchie owners will need to wash the area well and get rid of the smell. This would be mistake number four: not cleaning the area properly in order to get rid of the odor.

How should you clean the area? An enzymatic cleaner will be better than ammonia-based cleaners in order to get rid of or minimize odors. Dog urine contains ammonia; therefore, this ingredient should be avoided if you don’t want your dog to mess in the same spot.

Don’t rub your dog’s nose in their wee, as this can make them more nervous, resulting in more messy situations. This could also ruin the bond you two have formed.

Lastly, you have to SUPERVISE. Just like a young child, your new Frenchie needs to be watched. A French Bulldog puppy should be watched so you know if they have done their business outside or not.


Health Problems That May Cause Toilet Accidents

French Bulldog potty training will be a little more difficult if your Frenchie pup (or adult dog) has a health problem. Here is the list of health conditions that could cause your Frenchie to suddenly start spoiling in the house:

  • Urinary tract infection
  • Cystitis
  • Bladder stones
  • Age related incontinence
  • Diarrhea
  • Kidney disease
  • Arthritis

Even a dog that is fully trained could be affected by the above illnesses. The warning signs French Bulldog owners should look out for include lethargy, dehydration, weight loss, urine leakage, and reduced appetite.



Are French Bulldogs easy to potty train?

The French Bulldog is a stubborn breed, but they like to please, so training them isn’t an impossible task. When toilet training, try the crate training method to help make the process easier.

Must I keep doing the potty training process if my dog messes inside?

Yes, it would be best if you kept going, as potty training can take up to six months to finally work. Accidents will happen from time to time, so just be patient and remember to praise your French Bulldog for good behavior. If your French Bulldog hates going outside when it’s raining, consider getting pee pads inside.

Will staying outside longer prevent an accident inside?

Yes, if you stay outside longer during their potty breaks, this will help prevent your new pup from going to the bathroom inside. Your French Bulldog might need a little extra time exploring the garden before doing the deed.

At what age is it too late to potty train a dog?

It is never too late for French Bulldog potty training, but it does get harder when they’re not a puppy. It will take some time to establish new boundaries and rules with your Frenchie, so have patience with the process.


Final Thoughts on French Bulldog Potty Training

Potty training stubborn French Bulldog puppies can be challenging, but with some patience, consistency, positive reinforcement, and the magic word, this process can be successful.

By establishing a routine, using rewards (dog treats), and praising your Frenchie for doing the right thing, you will be able to potty train them in no time. With dedication and focus, you’ll have a well-trained Frenchie who knows how to go potty when they need to!

If none of the above techniques work, then you should seek a pet behavior therapist.

Want to know more about this breed? Visit to learn all about your canine companion and how to keep them happy and healthy.