In mid-December 2018 we got our French Bulldog and named the little man "Trüffel". In the first three months we have collected some tips for you, which will make your life easier for you and your puppy.
Quivering leads to ignorance
The most important thing right at the beginning: If our dog is nagging, it will be ignored.
Adhering to this rule later pays off in a lot of situations: Restaurant, car, staying alone etc.
The dog is angry because he wants something or because he has frustration and wants us to take the frustration away from him. When we fulfil his wishes, he connects that complaining leads to success. No matter if it is about treats, food from the table or attention; if the dog demands something, it will never lead to success, because he is strictly and consistently ignored. The dog never decides how we act. Only when the dog has been quiet for a longer period of time, we will possibly fulfill his wish with some time delay.
The only exception is when the dog wants to go out to relieve himself. In this situation we want the dog to draw our attention to himself and his need, see section "house-cleaning".
Getting used to everyday situations
No matter what belongs to your personal everyday life, let the dog participate in it from the beginning. You often go to a restaurant? Take the dog there as early as possible. You want your dog to be able to wait in the car without any problems when shopping? Then take him there with you from the beginning. Use the embossing phase of the first three months by getting your dog used to everything that is important to you. What the dog experiences and knows as a puppy does not frighten him later. It is fatal to protect the dog here for any reasons wrongly because he is "still so small".
So we took our dog into the car from the very beginning, left him alone in it, familiarized him with the motorhome, took him to the restaurant and (very important) socialized him with many other dogs.
Many dog schools offer so-called "puppy play" for the socialization. The dogs can play here on a fenced meadow or in a hall freely with other dogs of the same age. This leads to the fact that your dog knows other dogs of the same age and does not go crazy on walks and barks when he sees another dog. After all, he knows other four-legged friends and the picture is normal for him.
Dog toys and chewing bones
French bulldogs devour anything that somehow fits in their mouths. Even if the dog is so small, the toy would rather buy some (!!!) numbers bigger. We had to pull fragments of pig ears, chewing bones etc. out of the dog's neck several times at the last second so that our puppy didn't suffocate. Many representatives of the breed, and so also our dog, do not chew, but simply swallow everything that somehow fits into the mouth, but that does not have to fit through the neck. Danger threatens.
At some point we simply went over to buying artificially shaped chewing bones with beef pansies, which would rather fit to a full-grown shepherd dog due to their size (about 20cm length). The parts do not break so fast, but work themselves off bit by bit. Nevertheless, one has to take care that the bulldog does not swallow the rumen pieces that are too big.
Who looks for something more durable, which supports the dog besides with the tooth change, which should reach to a fallow deer chewing antler. Trüffel loves the thing and because of the hard material, dogs cannot just bite off a piece and swallow it. The puppy can also use this natural chewing toy completely unattended with a clear conscience.for us.
Eat, swallow, digest
We have a lot to report here. Our dog is like a mental patient and farts so often and violently that sometimes you will be completely different. We have talked to other Bully owners and many Frenchie owners confirm these problems.
First of all we have to prevent the slinging. We do that with a food ball. Fill the food into the ball, then let the dog shake the food out of the ball piece by piece: This is fun for the dog, challenges it and ensures that the food is transported to the dog's stomach for a longer period of time.
Now we have to take care of the farting: Our Trüffel gets dry food. We chose dry food because it is good for the teeth and easier to transport and store on holiday than wet food.
Since we got our Trüffel at the age of 10 weeks, we naturally feed junior food for dogs up to 12 months old. It was also important for us to feed the dog grain-free.
Although we now used supposedly high-quality food, we noticed that our Trüffel farts very often and that with extremely intensive, stinking flatulences.
That went so far that restaurant guests at the table next to us held their noses (no, really no exaggeration).
So we tried different kinds of food and have now found a solution that Trüffel like and no longer produces bad smells from the dog.
As junior food we use a soft dry food from Bosch "Bosch HPC Soft Junior Chicken and Sweet Potato". We don't know exactly why it is so digestible for our Bully-boy, it may be that it is due to the soft consistency or the stomach-friendly ingredients, but it works for us anyway. A great side effect is that he chews the soft food as well. He simply swallowed the classic dry food before, perhaps because it hurt him to chew on the hard chunks during the change of teeth.
The junior food is available in two pack sizes:
There is also a soft food from Bosch for dogs over the junior age. Of course we couldn't try this yet, because our Trüffel still needs junior food, but we will change to the following food as soon as the Trüffel is "grown up":
Our "Trüffel" awards 5 stars for chicken and sweet potato and we hope that you will have less problems with your farting bullys.
Travelling in the car
We have already said it, but it is in this discipline that the following sentence is very important: If our dog is chanting, it is ignored.
The dog may never (!!!) cause with his behavior that the journey ends. No matter how much he howls, screams, barks or pukes. The journeys only end when the dog is quiet and has calmed down.
Of course this is time-consuming and annoying at the beginning. You will drive some kilometres through the area, only so that the dog calms down. But it will pay off. Also here applies: Take the dog from the outset on long car journeys. Do not get the idea to spare the dog in the first weeks, because exactly these first weeks are so important for the later coinage.
In the limousine we leash our dog on his blanket with this belt in the back:
The Mini Clubman has Trüffel in the trunk. Inside lies his familiar cuddly cushion and a chewing bone. Trüffel is looking forward to driving in the trunk, because he knows that the chewing bone is waiting for him there.
To ensure that Trüffel sit securely in the trunk and are not catapulted into the interior via the rear seat backrest in the event of a sharp braking manoeuvre, we have installed a Roadmaster as a separating grid. This even works without tools and can be removed without leaving a trace:
A dog in the restaurant?
Here again the memory: If our dog is agonizing, he will be ignored. If the dog starts to get loud in the restaurant, it is isolated, which means that we take the dog, leave the restaurant with him and leave him alone in the car.
After fifteen to twenty minutes we go back to the dog and bring him back to the restaurant. If he stays quiet, everything is fine. If he starts to get loud, we have to repeat this procedure continuously. Sure, it looks stupid when we take the dog away, get it, get it away, get it. What do the other guests think? To be honest: I don't give a fuck what they think. Our dog sleeps in the restaurant for hours under the table and is quiet. That is important to me. Stay consistent - give in once, you lose and the dog learns to control you.
So that Trüffel also feel comfortable in the restaurant, we always have his cuddly cushion with us and a chewing bone. Trüffel silently work with this bone under the table. And Trüffel is looking forward to restaurant visits, because he knows he can play with his bone.
There is one thing you can do to ruin your restaurant stays with your dog: If you feed your dog from the table at home, you will also have a demanding and nagging companion with you in the restaurant.
What horror stories we've read on the Internet! The French bulldog is extremely hard to get house-trained, many owners despair in various forums about their dogs.
Fact is: Yes, the French bulldog has its own head, but you don't have to despair for a long time. With our tips we got our "Trüffel" house-trained faster than any other dog before. Westhighlandterrier, Dackel and Yorkshire-Terrier-Mischling were not so teachable for a long time and only much later house-trained.
It is said that a dog does not do his business where he sleeps. That's also true.
But even if you bring your dog to sleep in his basket in the evening, that doesn't mean that the little puppy doesn't get up on his own at night and then does his business unnoticed in the apartment. But how do you get that?
We have consciously decided that our puppy was allowed to sleep in bed for the first few months. This has the great advantage that he usually recognises the bed as a "pee-free zone", but cannot leave the high bed himself. So the puppy is forced to run around and whine to draw attention to himself. And now you are asked: Grab the dog, quickly go outside, praise the puppy for making it easier outside.
We already wrote that Bullys have their own head and that means in this context that they quickly get used to all kinds of circumstances and behavior: If the dog frequently enters the apartment right at the beginning and does not experience any sanctions because we don't notice it, then a bully will quickly regard this behaviour as normal. This means that we must try to prevent as many misfortunes as possible and bring about as often as possible the relief of the dog outside. The more often this works, the better. Especially at night there is a great danger here, which we can handle with the accommodation of the dog in bed.
The dog learns to "report" when he has to get out and notices that he is praised outside for his relief.
If a mishap happens in the apartment, then sanctions must also be imposed, but only if the mishap and sanction follow one another directly in time. If a few minutes were to pass between mishap and sanction, the dog would no longer know for which previous misconduct it is now being punished.
Even if the dog is already house-trained at some point, there can still be small mishaps, for example when the dog is raving, sleeping or otherwise distracted. Of course one could now say "Oh, such a small mistake out of the situation, that's not bad!", but exactly in this moment the "Sturrkopf of the French Bulldog" comes into play again. Keep sanctioning, don't get a soft knock, otherwise your dog will see the relief in the living room as normal even after weeks of house-training.
Our Trüffel was house-trained after 3 weeks. The last occasional mishap while playing happened after 5 weeks.
Sleeping in a dog basket
French bulldogs sleep a little, well, let's say "different" from other dogs. They lie on their backs, stretch their legs back and forth in the typical bully posture, fleece on almost any cuddly surface.
Trüffel loves his cuddly pillow and thanks to its practical dimensions his pillow is also an ideal companion in the car or in the restaurant. Trüffel knows that his cuddly cushion stands for peace, protection and rest. Even in exciting places like busy, noisy restaurants, Trüffel lies down in his pillow and rests as he is used to from home.
Staying alone wants to be practiced. We can only recommend to get the dog used slowly and steadily to the fact that he has to be alone from time to time.
In the first weeks Trüffel follow us every step of the way and as a rule you will also find that nice as an owner. But if we exaggerate the constant get-together, our dog will get used to it and take it for granted that we are always there for him. We had arranged our vacation so that we could spend the first 5 weeks alternately with the dog without having to leave him alone during working hours. But even during this time, we taught the dog to be alone by leaving him alone in the living room behind the locked door for several minutes. We then increased the periods of time for him to stay alone.
It is important that the dog is not rewarded by the return of his master when he is agonizing and crying. We have consistently returned to the dog only when the dog was quiet or was busy himself, because even in this subject, complaining should not bring success to the dog.
A big problem with Trüffel, however, was his curiosity. No matter if in our presence or in our absence, Trüffel always found something in the room that was interesting for him. So he once dismantled a slightly poisonous houseplant or ate natural moss from a decorative object. No matter how well we Trüffel could get used to being alone, for his own safety and to protect the furniture we had to use a dog box at the beginning.
We decided to use a box that was big enough for him to move around properly and that didn't seal him off too much from the rest of the room as a plastic box with closed walls would.
We got Trüffel used to staying in his box by having his morning food served in this box for several weeks. So Trüffel connected something positive with his box from the beginning.
Since we always left Trüffel baskets in the box, Trüffel also came to his box in the evening when he was tired. Of course the box was not locked then. So our dog learned to accept his box as a place of retreat and peace. Nevertheless, he cried for a few minutes each time during his first stays, but then he quickly got busy on his own or went to sleep quietly.
Eliminate fur soiling under eyes
Possibly small soiling forms under the eyes in the fur, which comes from the tear fluid. If you want to get rid of them, you can clean the face of the French bulldog with collodial silver. Simply treat with a cloth, makeup pad or Q-tip, taking care that no tincture gets into the eyes themselves.
Outside in the cold
Puppies of the French Bulldog freeze easily, especially in the very young age without undercoat. I never thought I'd put a coat on a dog, I always thought it was stupid, but with this breed there's no other way. The small dog freezes otherwise simply too strongly.
Learn more about our Trüffel
If you want to learn more about our Trüffel, you can subscribe to it here on Instagram:
Here you can find our Trüffel puppy diary as playlist on Youtube:
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