Leash Training Your French Bulldog
Although the petite but stocky French bulldog requires less exercise in comparison with other dog breeds, it still needs at least 20 minutes of exercise per day. Leash training is thus very important in keeping your little pet at a healthy weight, especially if the place you call home is perhaps a shoebox apartment in the middle of the urban jungle. Below are very practical pieces of advice on leash training your French bulldog.
Choosing a Leash and Collar
For starters, pick a leash that’s sturdy yet light and comfortable enough for your Frenchie’s size and weight. As he gets older and heavier, you can shift to a heavier and sturdier leash. Never use choke chains. (Click here to see our great range of the best leashes designed for French Bulldogs)
French Bulldogs have smaller tracheas and shorter noses and are thus prone to respiratory problems. Choke chains can potentially aggravate the issue and also pose a risk to accidental strangulation. This is why French Bulldog harnesses are a great alternative. (Click here to see our range of the best adjustable ergonomic dog comfort harnesses designed for French Bulldogs)
Veterinarians prescribe that you use a harness for your Frenchie instead of a collar. It would be more comfortable and effective to use a front-attaching harness instead of one that hooks on the back.
Introducing the Leash/Harness
Perfect timing is key to introducing a leash or harness to your dog. Here are some tips:
- Try putting a leash or harness on him when he is in a comfortable mood, such as playing or resting.
- Never attempt to put a leash or harness on your dog if he is scared or anxious as this will agitate him even more. For instance, if you’ve just disciplined your dog with a firm “No,” it’s probably not the right time to try and put a leash on him. He might misunderstand and associate discipline with being leashed and may feel anxious every time he sees you reaching out for it.
Put the leash on your pet even while inside your home, to make him feel accustomed to wearing one. This will prep him up before you finally do take him outside for a decent walk. Make sure to adjust the harness tight enough for your dog not to be able to take it off, but not too tight to make him feel uncomfortable and anxious.
Test Driving the Leash/Harness
Assure your Frenchie that being on a leash is not synonymous with being a slave.
- It’s only natural for your pet to show some discomfort or irritation from wearing an alien accessory. If you notice this, assure your dog that everything’s okay by playing or cuddling with him. With a little distraction, your pet will forget he’s wearing a leash in no time.
- Allow your dog to drag it around inside your home. Call your dog every now and then, and try taking the leash and leading him. Don’t force him though. Otherwise, you may end up traumatizing your pet and triggering leash phobia. When he does obey, however, reward him with a small treat or, a toy or a hug.
Take him out for a nice afternoon walk as soon as you see that your Frenchie is accustomed to wearing a leash. When leading him, keep in mind not to pull and tug too hard.
Make sure to check out the adjustable ergonomic dog comfort harness designed for French Bulldogs (as seen above).
Leash training your French Bulldog follows basically the same principles with housebreaking, stacking or potty training. You must possess a considerable amount of patience and determination since the Frenchie is known for its stubbornness. Similar to responsible childrearing, you must remain calm, yet confident and assertive when training your dog.