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French Bulldog Potty Training: How To Potty Train Like A Pro

French Bulldog Potty Training: How To Potty Train Like A Pro

No matter how much we love our dogs, they can surely test our patience from time to time. Especially when it comes to potty training. Think of it as potty training a baby. It’s not much different.

It takes time, and it’s difficult, but it’ll pay off big time. Don’t worry – we’ve got training tips!

French Bulldog potty training is a process you’ll hate, but you’ll love the end result: a puppy that has mastered potty skills like a boss.

How To Potty Train French Bulldogs

french bulldog dog being punished for urinating

Start potty training by taking a Frenchie puppy outside or to its mat as soon as you notice the first warning signs of peeing or pooping.

Always monitor your dog’s body language. As you do this, use a potty command like “go potty.” Once the dog has finished, reward him with a treat.

Easy, isn’t it?

Wrong. It’s not easy, and here’s what else you need to know about French Bulldog potty training.

When Should A French Bulldog Be Potty Trained

french bulldog peeing outdoors during the day

The goal of potty training is to make sure your dog doesn’t make a number 1 and 2 in your home. Potty training lessons should start from the first day you bring your little Frenchie puppy home.

Many Frenchie puppies purchased from a breeder are already potty trained; however, adopted and rescue dogs often aren’t.

The sooner your dog learns where the bathroom is, the better chance you have of successful French Bulldog potty training.

Potty Training Techniques For A French Bulldog Puppy

french bulldog licking its mouth while sitting on the toilet bowl

Potty training involves teaching Frenchie puppies a routine of knowing when they need to use the bathroom and when not.

Puppies have a feeding schedule that must be respected, so, naturally, the potty schedule has to be respected equally. It’s pretty much the same as potty training a child, but only naughtier and more difficult.

The approach won’t be any different whether your doggie goes tinkle outdoors or if it uses a potty mat. It’s all about location, routine, and reward.

Have these French bulldog puppy training techniques on repeat, and the puppy will soon catch on and figure out what to do when they need the toilet. They will use everything you’ve taught them to let you know they’re ready to relieve themselves.

When teaching your dog the right way to potty train, several different methods will safely bring you to the finish line without any troubles.

What’s so great about Frenchies is that they’re a clean breed that doesn’t have many accidents. Housebreaking is tough, but Frenchies are intelligent pups that can master this training within a few short weeks.

The 5 Steps: French Bulldog Potty Train Schedule

French bulldog walking in park in autumn peeing in a tree

Before we dig deeper into the five steps of potty training, the first thing you need to do is set up a regular schedule for your French bulldog puppy. It will help them figure out when to expect their time to go out.

Step 1. Schedule regular and consistent potty breaks

The first thing in the morning when you and your puppy wake up isn’t coffee or breakfast – it’s potty time.

When you think it through, it’s been some time since their last outing. Your puppy has played, eaten dinner, and drank water in the meanwhile. He needs to relieve himself.

Repeat this for several days in a row, and your dog’s mind will figure out what’s going on and expect this from you on a daily basis.

If you’re living in a home with a secured yard and a flap dog door out in the back, then you’re lucky. Eventually, your dog will learn to go out all by himself.

Step 2. Watch for the signs that they need the toilet

Once you become familiar with your Frenchie, you’ll be able to see the oncoming signs of them having to go to the bathroom.

Some signs are pretty obvious, like pacing around the room in a circle, pacing back and forth from the same rooms, whining, barking loudly, sniffing around you, and staring at you directly.

Step 3. Take them to their potty-training pads or outside

When you notice any of these signs, you should immediately assume they need to go, so take them to their potty pads or outside.

If you don’t have outdoor access, you should have an area in your home where they’re supposed to go. This is where those potty pads come in handy.

French Bulldog outside

Photo from @hazel.thefrenchie__

Step 4. Use a phrase they will learn to identify

The most important thing you can probably teach your dog is the command “go toilet” or “go potty.”

You should state this command as soon as your Frenchie starts peeing or defecating on his puppy pee mat or outside.

They should find a connection between this phrase and peeing pretty fast.

Step 5. Reward them for success

Rewards always work well. Once your puppy’s done with the toilet, you should reward him with a treat or light petting. It will positively reinforce good behavior and lead to fast results.

Practicing these methods for a while will ensure your puppy will go potty in the right place as soon as they hear the command “go potty.”

Tips and Tricks For House Training

french bulldog dog being punished for urinating on the floor

Scout your puppy’s routine and “relieving” sequence. Dogs normally have to go after meals and at specific times of the day.

You need to monitor your puppy carefully and try to catch him just before he’s about to take off. The moment you see your Frenchie squatting, circling, or sniffing around, it’s go time.

Use verbal cues to direct your puppy to go potty outside. The best-case scenario would be one keyword that should be used at all times using a loud and firm voice. “Go potty” is the most commonly used one.

It’s supposed to distract your puppy and give you some time to pick him up and carry him to the designated potty place before it’s too late.

In the potty area, use a special word, i.e., “dumper,” that will trigger your puppy’s actions.

In the end, praise your puppy, and reward it with a treat that signals a job well done.

What you need to understand in time is that during puppy house training, there will be some accidents. Your timing might be off.

The only thing you can do about it is clean up the mess and try again next time. Never punish your puppy for these accidents. The dog is only acting naturally; he’s not doing it on purpose.

What You Need For Potty Training A French Bulldog

Hipster boy with hat chatting with his french Bulldog dog

When potty training French bulldogs, some items will make the whole process go smoothly and correctly. Here’s what you should get:

• Pet training puppy pads

Puppy pads can be used in a crate. They have two major benefits. First, they’re scented, and secondly, you can use them as a potty area in the house. If you live in an apartment and don’t have easy access to the outdoors, we suggest stacking up on these pads.

• A good dog leash

A leash is mandatory to walk the dog to the park where he can relieve himself. It’s an unsecured area, and you should walk your dog on a leash to avoid him running away.

• Dog treats for rewards

Positive reinforcement is the way to go for many training lessons, including potty training. You should positively reinforce your puppy for going potty when you tell them to.

Besides snacks and treats, toys also help with this approach. Use anything you believe is rewarding, so your puppy knows he’s doing just fine.

• Puppy crate

The crate is good overnight for many puppies that find peeing on the floor is the right thing to do. There should be a dog bed in one half of the crate and some training pads in the other.

What you should also get, but no one ever speaks about it, are some cleaning rags and an enzymatic cleaner to get rid of the unpleasant odor.

Further French Bulldog Potty Training Tips

tan french bulldog sitting outdoors near the grasses

You should know your dog on a personal level when you start potty training.

Take the following situation for an example: If your puppy loves being outside, you shouldn’t rush them back inside just after they’re done with going to the bathroom. It may have the opposite effect.

Your puppy may begin holding it in for a long time just to get some more outdoor time with you.

If you bring them inside, in this case, they’ll go potty in your bathroom, which is a bad habit you don’t want your French bulldog puppy to pick up.

We understand it’s sometimes impossible to stay at home with your puppy all the time. Someone’s got to work! In that case, it would be best to keep your Frenchie puppy in a restricted area. It should be something comfortable and spacious.

If you’re not a fan of a crate or cage, just put them in a blocked-off area where they can’t escape. Since Frenchies are such a clean breed, they won’t go potty all over the place; they only have certain areas in the house.

You won’t see a Frenchie going potty where he sleeps. Truth be told, they don’t want to stain the place any more than you want them to.

However, accidents do happen, and it’s important to clean the area thoroughly to get rid of the smell.

If by any chance, your Frenchie accidentally drops a number 2 inside your house, you should gather the poop in a small bag and deposit it in the part of the yard you want your dog to go potty.

Their nose will become accustomed to the smell in that area, and they’ll develop an instinct to go to the bathroom in that spot.

To make your puppy learn which areas are acceptable for potty time, you should take the puppy to the same place for a significant period of time. Once they learn that area is acceptable, you can move on to a different one.

It does take some time, but eventually, your Frenchie will figure out where to poop and where not to.

What You Should Never Do During French Bulldog Potty Training

cute french bulldog smelling the carpet with a laptop and eyeglass near

What we’re about to list here is something that should never be done while potty training a Frenchie puppy.

First of all, never rub your puppy’s nose in their own waste as a form of punishment. Anyone with common sense will be shocked that this method of punishment exists.

Don’t shout at them when they’ve made a mistake. You’ll only make them more nervous, and it can lead to more mess.

These methods can scare your dog and ruin their relationship with you. It will also hinder the potty training process and make the dog act aggressively.

Never use cleaners with the scent of ammonia. Urine contains a highly acidic amount of ammonia. Once your puppy smells this, they’ll think it’s alright to pee anywhere in the house.

How Long To Potty Train A French Bulldog

French bulldog standing on toilet at home

You’ll have to be realistic here. No puppy is potty trained overnight. Some dog owners really have unrealistic expectations. As if any dog training is easy!

It can last for as long as six months, but it can also take less time.

This purely depends on your dedication and training methods, as well as on the dog’s readiness to be potty trained.

All in all, it’s an individual thing.

Are French Bulldogs Easy To Potty Train?

stubborn French bulldog puppy on the floor at home

Are French Bulldogs hard to potty train? Yes. French Bulldog potty training isn’t an easy job. It’s hard, and it takes time. We all love these dogs, but we also know that they might be considered a lazy dog breed.

However, perseverance and commitment will help you on the journey called potty training. Sooner or later, you’ll have a fully toilet-trained Frenchie.

Check out dog breeds that are considered easiest to potty train.

How long Can A French Bulldog Hold Its Pee?

Brindle French bulldog with watermelon shirt standing and pissing pee at the balcony

Bladder control depends on the dog’s age. Adult and puppy Frenchies have different bladder control. For example, an adult Frenchie can hold its pee for 8 to 10 hours. On the other hand, puppies can hold it in for a maximum of 4 hours.

There will be lots of peeing in the house until the doggie becomes toilet trained.

Using A Crate For French Bulldog Potty Training

As we mentioned earlier, there are times in the day and the night too, when you just can’t give your dog undivided attention. This is why many French Bulldog owners decide on crate training their dog.

Using the crate can be lifesaving sometimes, especially if you’re potty training your dog, and you want to make sure you follow the steps of proper crate training.

The crate should be big enough for the dog to stand, turn around, and stretch out. Don’t use too large a crate. If you have a big crate for a small puppy, use metal dividers to adjust the space in the crate. You’ll find some excellent crates on Amazon.

But why is it so important to keep the crate small?

The limited space in the crate is there to discourage your dog from going to the bathroom in it. Remember how Frenchies won’t go potty where they sleep? Exactly!

The only time the dog will go potty in the crate is if it can’t hold it any longer and if it’s been in the crate for too long.

Bear in mind that holding their bladder for too long can result in issues like bladder infections.

Never force your dog to stay in the crate without a chance to relieve themselves every now and then.

Night-Time Bathroom Trips

french bulldog waiting at the door looking back

French Bulldog potty training can be the most troubling at night. Of course, you want to sleep, but a puppy’s gotta go when a puppy’s gotta go.

If you follow the right steps, you’ll be back in your warm bed sooner than later.

Even though it’s unpleasant, you must get up a few times during the night, especially for the first few nights. You need to let your puppy go outside for a bathroom break.

It’s absolutely wrong to expect your Frenchie to hold it in during the first nights at its new home. Also, no French bulldog puppy can hold it in all night.

Bathroom breaks might be a bit easier if you let the dog sleep in your room or anywhere close to you, so you can monitor them and wait for the signs when nature calls.

There’s nothing wrong with setting your alarm for the middle of the night to check on your puppy. If the puppy is calm or asleep, he probably doesn’t have to go, so be sure to check again later.

Make this a habit for the next couple of days until you figure out how long your puppy can sleep before needing to go outside.

Using the bathroom inside just because you’re too sleepy to let the dog out is wrong and negatively affects potty training.

How To React To Accidents

man bending down and cleaning the pug's pee on the pavement

Patience is a virtue with these puppies. Accidents will happen while potty training, and there’s nothing you can do other than clean.

If you see your Frenchie preparing itself to do a number 1 or 2 inside the house, stop what you’re doing, pick up the dog, and rush outside.

Even if the dog started doing its business inside but finished outside, you should reward such behavior. He’ll know better next time.

Accidents should be cleaned with hot water and vinegar to neutralize the smell. It will remove residual odors and stop the puppy from making the same mistake in the same spot.

Removing the scent so that your dog doesn’t mark their territory there again is very important.

This is probably the hardest task of all potty training lessons. Stay cool-headed, clean the area, and don’t pay any attention to what happened.

Punishing a puppy for peeing inside is wrong and can cause behavioral problems.

The only way to eliminate unwanted behavior is to use positive reinforcement when potty training and to keep your mind on the end result.

Potty Training A French Bulldog In An Apartment

puppy pad for potty training inside the apartment

French Bulldogs are great for living both in a house and in an apartment. It does mean potty training will be a bit harder, but overall, it’s the same approach.

Using newspaper or pee pads on the floor may be a lot more necessary when living in an apartment while potty training your puppy. Newspaper or pee pads will save your floors from damage, especially If you’re renting the place.

What Is Submissive Peeing?

Some dogs pee a little naturally when they meet a new pup or person. It’s called submissive pee and has nothing to do with being unclean or not being trained.

Just ignore it when this happens. Don’t pay attention to it and don’t punish it. Punishing them is pointless because it’s not an intended action.

If your puppy submissively pees every time you come home, you can stop it by ignoring your puppy when you return home.

Your visitors should do the same. If the puppy stays calm, you can greet him briefly after a while, but don’t make eye contact or engage in any playtime.

Most Frenchies grow out of this behavior.


french bulldog at home lying down on its bed

Frenchie potty training is complex, but if you and your puppy have a strong level of respect and trust, it can be easy and quicker than you ever imagined.

French Bulldog potty training can be mastered by reinforcing good behavior and setting up routines and rewards to minimize accidents.

If you follow these techniques, you’ll be able to figure out your puppy’s bathroom signs. Stay patient and don’t stray from proper puppy potty training guidelines.

When you do everything right, you can only expect your good old puppy will be a potty training master.

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