Yes, crate training your French Bulldog really is harder than other breeds. Here’s how to fix it.

Every dog is an individual but breed traits do exist and make certain behaviors more likely in certain breeds. Collies like to herd, Jack Russels like to grab and shake toys and Frenchies like to…well… be Frenchies ­čÖé

French Bulldogs have a few challenges to overcome in terms of their inbuilt personalities and behaviors, but also because of their shape (!) when it comes to crate training. Let’s take a look at the things you need to watch out for when crate training your French Bulldog and how to fix them.

frenchie with a fan6

Sensitivity to temperature

This is one that every French Bulldog owner will be familiar with but what has it got to do with crate training?

French Bulldogs are brachycephalic, meaning they have flat faces. This leads to breathing difficulties (Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS)) that can worsen in hot, humid, or stressful conditions, such as being confined in a crate.

What’s the solution? Firstly, choose a well-ventilated crate with ample airflow. Try and steer away from those enclosed plastic or fabric crates that will reduce airflow and move towards choosing a metal mesh type.

Secondly, monitor your Frenchie closely during training sessions, providing breaks if they show signs of breathing distress. (You can make sure you know all the signs of distress in our other article here)

And lastly, keep the crate in a cool space. Keep in mind that the cool spot they’re in now might warm up as the sun moves during the day. Click here to find the best place for your crate

Separation Anxiety

Frenchies are companion dogs that thrive on human interaction. Therefore they can be more prone to separation anxiety, which can make crate training more stressful.

Crate training helps separation anxiety in the long run by providing a safe and secure space for your dog. But initially, they need to learn that it is a safe space and not a punishment.

The solution? Start with short crate sessions and gradually increase the duration. Make the crate a positive space with treats, toys, and comfortable bedding. Practice leaving your Frenchie alone in the crate for short periods, rewarding them for calm behavior. Basically, do everything in our free crate training guide, but slower and for shorter sessions.

Tenacity!

French Bulldogs are often mistakenly labeled as stubborn, and when we label their inability to learn quickly as stubborn we, as owners, can get frustrated and turn to other methods of training which confuses the dog and just makes the training take longer.

Frenchies just need a little longer to learn the same things as other dogs so stick to your method, slow the training down and repeat the training more often for the best results.

French Bulldogs generally respond well to positive reinforcement techniques, rewarding them when they get it right with the right reward (have you tried chopped up hotdog sausages yet? hint hint…). Harsh training methods or punishment might not be as effective and can lead to resistance making them appear even more stubborn.

Housetraining

Crate training helps housetraining (which can take longer with a Frenchie) but if crate training is taking longer then housetraining will take longer and you’ll get stuck in a loop of everything taking longer!

Have a look at our other article offering crate alternatives to puppy problems so that you can manage your dog whilst you train them in both where to pee and also how to love their crates.

In the meantime, be extra diligent with a strict housetraining schedule, taking your Frenchie outside for potty breaks frequently.

Attention seekers

Like most companion breeds, Frenchies often enjoy being the center of attention. Crate training may be challenging if the dog prefers being around people all the time.

To combat this you may need to compromise the location of their crate. I always advise that it be put in a quiet corner with very few passing people so that the dog can relax and sleep. With a Frenchie, you may need to find a spot that although it’s still quiet, still allows your dog to see everyone and feel ‘part of the action’.

a frenchie puppy wearing headphones

Noise Sensitivity

Some French Bulldogs can be more sensitive to loud noises so it’s prudent to pay attention to how loud the crate door might sound to your dog, and to gradually expose your dog to the various sounds that the crate makes when the door is opened, closed and rattled, to prevent fear or anxiety associated with the crate.

Attention Span

Like many other small breeds, Fenchies might have a shorter attention span. So training sessions should be kept short and engaging to maintain their interest. (we mentioned chopped up hotdog sausages right? lol)

Important Note: If your French Bulldog shows severe signs of distress inside the crate, consult a professional trainer or your veterinarian for guidance. Check this guide to see what distress looks like.

Ready to start crate training your dog?

Grab our free guide here