Let me guess you landed here because you have a sweet, adorable French Bulldog with puppy eyes that can melt the hardest heart, but you want him to stop leash pulling. How to train your french bulldog to walk on a loose leash might require exploring a couple options to find out what works best for you and your puppy.
If there’s one thing you learn quickly as a French Bulldog owner is just how stubborn your pup can be! You’re warned of it and think oh, not my puppy! If you’re a first-time French Bulldog owner it takes longer to learn if you wait too long to train your frenchie on anything, the harder it will be.
How to Stop Leash Pulling
Whether it’s wearing a collar or harness, walking on a leash, getting nails clipped, brushing teeth, cleaning ears or tear stains – all the things you have to do to keep a frenchie healthy, you have to start when they’re little. Training your French Bulldog to stop leash pulling is something you need to consider early and continue as you train your pup.
Collar and Leash
As a puppy inside, Vince wore a collar with tags because he was a busy guy and was either ready to dart for the door or hide under the sofa, so the jingle of his tags helped me keep track of him. Also, there was a time when he was very little that he was tethered to me by his leash and that was so I could keep an eye on him, but also watch for signs of needing to eliminate. How to House Train a French Bulldog is my outline and schedule to how I trained Vince and he’s been accident free since.
In the yard, he wore a harness and he would drag his leash when I wasn’t holding it for a walk or working with him on recall. I just wanted him to be used to having it. He has no trouble wearing a collar, harness or leash. He visits my parents weekly and has no probably wearing his harness all day, which makes it easy for them to clip his leash and take him out.
Incentive and Praise
Your puppy needs to be connected to the person on the other end of the leash so whether it’s giving treats or using a squeaky toy, figure out what your pup responds to when you give the walk command.
I am are fortunate to have a fenced back yard where I can work with Vince, but we started inside in the living room. Vince is very food motivated so I would hold the leash, say walk and give him a treat. He would follow along at my leg and get praise and treats for staying focused on me. As a puppy, this wouldn’t last more than 10 or 15 minutes and then he was distracted.
What is really important is that whichever incentive you choose, all parties who have contact with your puppy need to be on the same page with training to reinforce the training. If you have someone who lets him pull or grows frustrated and carries that puppy and that’s not what you want long term for your frenchie, that person will be setting your training back and teaching the puppy he is in charge.
Front Clip Harness for Leash Pulling
As a puppy, Vince mostly trained in our yard, my parents yard, and the streets of both house and he did a great job. Where things went a little sideways for us was when we traveled by car to someplace new and I was not as focused on his leash walking and training. He saw a weakness and went for it, pulling to his heart’s content because whatever was new was far more exciting than me or the treats in my pocket.
So many people love cute French Bulldogs, everyone will be working against you when they’re gushing over your pup and you’re trying to keep your pup’s attention on you. I had to start telling people, “he’s in training please ignore us” not that anyone listened to me!
Also, I ended up using a front clip harness with a dual clip leash because he couldn’t get as far away from me, but also it made a weird looking set-up that I think once people saw it plus me saying ignore us, it made it a little easier for them to comprehend my request. If you still want your French Bulldog to look stylish, you can get a dual clip harness and leash from Frenchiestore.
Training Classes to Stop Leash Pulling
Like any of the training topics, I share here, if you’re overwhelmed at the thought of doing this on your own and reading books or watching YouTube videos doesn’t work for you, sign up for classes specific to your training needs.
Unfortunately, my experience has been most trainers in this area are immediately infatuated with Vince and become a push over, do not have a track record of training French Bulldogs, or rely on the e-collar for training.
One training class I took recommended constantly popping treats into your dog’s mouth. It works perfectly with a labradoodle who is hip high but Vince is below my knee so it’s a lot of stooped over walking. Vince will stop, sit, receive his treat and then start walking again, but it is hard to keep a nice pace doing this method.
This also requires going to new places, like the walking trail or the outdoor shopping area, and testing Vince to see if he stays focused me and the high-value treats in my pocket instead of all the new people and scents.
I resigned myself to the idea that I will also need to have a pocket full of treats and there are times I reach into my pocket at work and end up pulling out a poop bag and treat!
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