Bulldogs have a reputation for being a fairly stubborn breed. In fact, the phrase “stubborn as a Bulldog” is still used in today’s popular culture. However, the Bulldog is actually quite a misunderstood dog. Due to the Bulldog’s “tough” appearance, many people believe them to be aggressive, ill-tempered dogs. In reality, most Bulldogs are quite docile, eager to please, and generally relaxed. When understanding how to train a Bulldog, it’s best if you are familiar with some of the Bulldog’s special behaviors and traits that affect how it learns new concepts. Here are a few Bulldog training tips.
How to Train a Bulldog Puppy
Bulldog puppies are very playful, and are often cited as being one of the most adorable puppies. Indeed, many Bulldog puppies seem to be lost in folds of wrinkled skin, falling over their own feet while attempting to explore new environments. To train a Bulldog puppy, it’s best if you start right away, as soon as it becomes a member of your household.
When your Bulldog puppy first enters your home, they will be naturally curious about this new environment. Allow them time to investigate your home, though it’s best if you closely monitor their behavior. Avoid saying “Bad Dog!” when they jump on furniture, sniff at the garbage or try to chew on household objects. A Bulldog will respond best to positive reinforcement training, which focuses on rewarding desired behavior, while ignoring bad behavior.
After your Bulldog puppy is done exploring, you can begin with initial training. Help your puppy to become familiar with their food/water dishes, crate, toys and the areas of the house in which they are allowed. If you plan to keep your Bulldog puppy out of certain rooms, be sure to gate off these rooms with a “doggie gate”. This type of gate usually fits easily in between the doorframe of a specific room.
Establish your role as your Bulldog puppy’s teacher by providing them right away with treats when they exhibit good behavior (such as paying attention to your voice). You can also combine treats with your Bulldog’s training program, which has proven in many cases to be very effective. Positive reinforcement training is best accomplished if you provide a food-based reward for good behavior, at least in the early stages of training.
How to Crate Train a Bulldog
When crate training a Bulldog, it’s important that you are very patient. Bulldogs are relatively slow learners, and have a relatively short attention span. In addition to this, some Bulldogs are prone to appearing to develop short term memory loss. However, this is only because a Bulldog requires a command to be repeated from 80 to 100 times (or more) before they are able to fully understand it. Be patient, and your Bulldog will learn the command eventually.
Bulldog training requires that you purchase the right type of crate for your dog. When your Bulldog is still a puppy, choose a small crate that will allow your dog just enough room to lie down comfortably. Since your Bulldog will grow, you can choose to purchase a crate with adjustable sides, in order to avoid having to purchase a larger crate when your dog reaches adulthood.
Allow your Bulldog to investigate the crate, watching them closely. It’s best if you put a bowl of food or a handful of treats inside the crate that can’t be easily carried out. Your Bulldog should eventually become used to staying in the crate, especially during mealtimes.
How to House Train a Bulldog
If done properly, you should be able to establish a house training routine with your Bulldog in as little as two weeks. However, this does not mean that your Bulldog will be house trained after this time. Establishing a set routine is very important, especially for Bulldogs. Begin by getting in the habit of feeding your Bulldog while they are inside their crate. Leave them in the crate for about 15 minutes after they are finished eating, and then attach a leash to their collar. Immediately lead your Bulldog outdoors, bringing them to their designated “potty area”. If they go to the bathroom, reward them with treats and a good amount of praise. If this process is repeated at every mealtime, it is much more effective.
Bulldog Training Tips
For proper Bulldog training, it’s best if you keep your training sessions fairly short. Due to a Bulldog’s short attention span, they will not respond well to training sessions that last more than about 45 minutes. Choose one command to cover at a time, and focus on that command until your Bulldog has mastered it. Though training may take a bit of time, it’s still important that you remain patient. Your dog seeks to please you, and will make every effort to participate in behavior that will make you happy.