French Bulldog Crate Training – Tips and Tricks

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French Bulldogs are friendly buddies, and crate training them helps build their behavior.

Frenchies are irresistible fellows and love a cool environment. Training them to live in an enclosed area may require patience, but once they are used to it, they love their new habitat.

I love that they are excellent watchdogs. Although they don’t bark much, their alertness is top-notch. Don’t worry about your family; this dog adapts to live with any family, and you won’t spend too much time taking them for exercise.

Keep reading as we learn tricks of crate training a Frenchie Bulldog and the steps to follow.

Benefits of Crate Training a French Bulldog

French Bulldog puppy resting inside a metal crate
  • Crates provide a safe place for your French bulldog to relax and feel the confinement. It also satisfies their natural instinct since most of them live indoors.
  • Helps prevent destructive behavior when you can’t supervise the dogs.
  • It’s easier to travel with your dog in a crate.
  • Safe evacuation is easy in case of emergencies.
  • It helps in potty training the dog.
  • Helps in dealing with separation anxiety common in French bulldogs and the cage; they feel more relaxed.

Training Caution

Training your French bulldog is not an easy task, and it could be worse if the dog starts resisting the crate.

Here are some cautions to prevent the canine friend from feeling trapped:

French bulldogs love company, and you should never leave them in the crate for too long. When denied interaction, they become anxious and depressed. The longest the dog should stay in the crate is at night, and the best part is it spends this time sleeping.

Never keep puppies aged six months and below in the crate for longer hours, they will feel lonely, plus they can’t hold their small bladders for long and may end up messing up the crate blankets.

9 Basic Crate Training Steps for the French Bulldog

Here are the steps on how to perform French bulldog crate training:

1. Find the Perfect Crate Size

A good cage plays a significant role in excellent crate training for a french bulldog. Get the right style crate, and the size should be reasonable too.

Here are the best features of a training crate:

  • Your buddy should be able to turn around and get out of the crate without touching the side borders.
  • The dog should stand in the crate without touching the top.
  • Ensure that when your dog lays down, his paws don’t touch the cage.
  • The crate should be taller by a few inches.

Additional space helps keep your dog comfortable, easing the training process. If the crate is too big, the dog might wee at the corner, bringing another problem when potty training.

If the cage is well-sized, the dog rarely messes up with the sleeping area unless he can’t hold it. When dealing with puppies, they may wee in the crate at times. You need to be extra patient with their small bladder.

You will find different crates on the market, and your choice depends on the breed size and temperament. Crates that come with dividers are the best since you can resize the space your dog occupies when the dog grows bigger. Plastic crates work perfectly for smaller breeds.

Besides plastic crates working well for smaller breeds, I recommend a wired crate when training your French bulldog. It lets your dog view the environment, and you will also have an easy time supervising him.

Another feature to consider with the wired crate is double doors, as it makes the early training phase easier where your dog can enter the crate from both sides. See our post on the best dog crates for French Bulldogs.

2. Introduce the Crate Training Process

Start with introducing your dog to the crate and let him understand that you aren’t trying to trap him and provide a safe space of your own. The introduction saves your dog from the shock of being locked in the cage, especially at night.

Introducing your dog to the crate keeps him secure, especially when you rush out for a few minutes. Plus, it’s easier to carry him along to new places without worrying about him getting lost.

Crate training is a kickoff for the potty-training process. Once your dog learns to stay in the enclosure, he will learn to hold his bowel and bladder for longer, making potty training effortless.

Place the crate in the desired area early in the morning, and the dog will spend time surveying it before he gets inside. Never force your dog into the crate because he will feel trapped and start rejecting it.

Let him survey the crate from outside. Consider securing the door to avoid incidences that will make your dog fear the crate, do this after every 5 minutes. The time interval also depends on his reaction when in the enclosure.

3. Define Tasks

French Bulldog puppy playing with toy

Take advantage of the French bulldogs’ natural curiosity and intelligence to outset the training. Begin luring your dog into the crate using a couple of toys and treats. Also, adding a fleece blanket and bed to the enclosure will help immensely.

Puppies are easier to teach than adult dogs. However, some older dogs will also give you an easy time in training. Let the puppy keep the instinct of having a den, and he will want to spend more time there.

Purchase the crate early enough to start training your puppy. As soon as you bring him home, he will adapt easily.

French bulldogs are intelligent, and when you are consistent in your training, they will understand.

4. Place the Crate in the Right Position

The right positioning for your dog’s crate is an important step that helps your Frenchie feel at home. I would recommend placing it in a central location where there’s a flow of traffic or where the family spends most of its time.

In the common room, your dog won’t feel isolated. Instead, he’ll enjoy the sight of people moving around, and this spot can be her permanent dwelling place. If you have kids, please introduce a house rule that no one should disturb the sleeping dog.

Leave the door open once you set up the crate and add blankets and a bed (you can include a puppy pad when dealing with one), and your pet will come closer to it.

Ensure that the door remains open to prevent it from accidentally hitting your pup; you can even tie the door.

5. Introduce a Play Session

Three French Bulldogs playing

A good way of ensuring that your little friend relaxes in the crate is introducing playtime a couple of minutes before the dog enters the cage. French bulldogs can’t handle long walks and short walks of about 30 minutes are okay.

Using interactive toys is another way to engage him before he enters his cage. Most dog owners miss out on the toys’ mental and physical stimulation impact. When playtime is over, it’s best to take away the toys, so your dog doesn’t use them without supervision.

Some play toys, such as tugs, help teach your dog desirable behavior like soft mouthing. It also helps the dog take in a verbal command, such as “drop it!” or “take it!” After the session, your tired dog will look forward to resting in the cage.

6. Introduce His Favorite Treats

Tossing a treat in the crate is a great idea. The dog will get into the crate trying to retrieve it. Ensure you put the treat far into the cage to ensure he gets in with her entire body.

It would help if you were cautious about the diet. According to experts, training treats should have only 10% calories. Get low-calorie treats to avoid interfering with the dogs’ dietary needs. And remember, a French bulldog shouldn’t over-exercise due to breathing problems.

Showering your little friend with praises is an excellent supplement to treats. Use phrases such as ‘good boy,’ and your buddy will get excited. 

Since Frenchies are playful,  placing some chew toys in the crate will easily lure them into getting inside. Remember to purchase nontoxic toys, plus supervise your buddy during playtime.

Important: Overfeeding your Frenchie with treats can cause vomiting and other health problems. Never use treats as a replacement for food.

7. Take Meals in the Crate

dog eating from a bowl inside his crate

Dogs love food, and introducing it to the crate will be an effective way to make them feel happy while in there. You can start by introducing 2-3 meals in the crate using a clean pet bowl.

Taking meals in the crate is also a good way of making him stay in there for longer; after putting the food bowl in the cage, close and open the door at an interval. And when the dog isn’t noticing, you can stay longer with the door closed. Don’t close the door during the first training day.

Sit next to the cage and watch your little friend feed, and after he’s done, let him free. It creates a good impression. Repeat the process after every meal. Don’t forget to shower him with praises when he is feeding.

After a few days of training, you can gradually increase your buddy’s time in the cage after feeding and give him a chew toy to keep him busy and away from isolation distress.

8. Leave Him Alone

After days of consistent training, it’s time to teach your dog to stay alone, even if it’s not for long hours. After feeding, start by leaving the room for a couple of minutes.

Use this time to complete simple activities and leave the crate closed. If your buddy doesn’t complain by barking or whining, peep in and shower some praises, then leave him again. Keep increasing the stay-away duration gradually.

To avoid raising the alarm, leave without saying goodbye or something that will make her feel that you are leaving.

Adding a playpen to the mix is an excellent way to create a larger play space that will help him adapt to the new environment.

9. Night Train the Dog

French bulldog sleeping

Night training shouldn’t be very tough for pet parents with a proper introduction to the crate, especially with younger puppies that are inactive at night. Don’t give water to your dog 1-2 hours before sleep time.

If you give water to your dog at night, they will wake up for the potty break; their bladders can’t hold it for long. Potty breaks before sleeping will help reduce waking up. Move the crate to your room, and you can hear your little one waking up for the potty breaks.

A crate cover saves the night by minimizing distractions from outside, and your French bulldog will sleep longer.

French Bulldog Crate Training Tips

Consider the following tips for an effective session.

1. Be Patient

French bulldogs can be fearful, and patience is vital in this case. Take it slow with your Frenchie puppy, and don’t over expect. Never think of punishing your dog. It won’t work, and you will only instill fear.

2. Keep the Buddy Comfortable

sleepy French bulldog

With the dog battling separation anxiety, keeping him comfortable is vital. If you just picked a puppy from your breeder, ensure he sleeps in a warm and cozy area. Remember, he’s used to sleeping close to the siblings.

During the cold season, add some blankets on the sides of the crate for warmth, being careful with ventilation. A puppy heat pad will help immensely. Put the pad in the microwave, then tuck it in the dog’s blankets.

Types of Crates for Your French Bulldog

Wire Crate

It’s the most popular crate when it comes to training dogs. It works well for almost all dogs, and I love the maximum ventilation that comes with it. 

Most wired crates are foldable and portable, making traveling with your dog easier or moving it to another room. Most of them include a divider that helps adjust the space for your growing pet. A double-door wired crate is the best for training.

Not forgetting that when your buddy is in there, he sees the environment and is less likely to experience anxiety.

Plastic Crate

Types of Dog Crates

If you’re a doggy parent who loves plastic crates for training, choose one that is well-ventilated and easy to move. Ensure it’s sturdy enough to carry the weight of your pet. Plastic crates also work well for small breeds, especially when traveling.

These cages work perfectly during car travels, plus they are den-like and minimize light from outside that distracts the sleeping puppy at night. You don’t require a cover for it.

Wooden Crate

If you find matching your dog’s crate with the interior décor is vital, then a wooden crate will work for you. However, I wouldn’t recommend the wooden crate for training, as it quickly gets dumpy.

If you are convinced, go for a crate that matches well with your décor, is easy to clean, and has an open view where you will keep checking your pooch. The best part is your wooden crates come in many designs.

Note that: I wouldn’t recommend a fabric crate. Its sides aren’t sturdy enough for crate training unless you want to purchase it for short-distance travels.

What Action Should I Take Before Leaving the House?

two French bulldogs on the floor

Before leaving your pup, you need to stay around the cage for a couple of minutes before leaving. If you introduce a command per session like “get in,” it’ll be easier for you when the dog obeys the command.

It’s never too late to introduce a command. When leaving the house, direct the dog to the crate and utter the command, and when he obeys, leave him with a yummy treat.

Lastly, if you have been practicing leaving him alone, rushing out for a few minutes won’t be a problem, don’t create an emotional scene by hugging or saying goodbye to the dog.

Introduce a consistent departure routine, and the dog will soon adapt to not seeing you around for a couple of hours.

Which Toys Should I Use for Crate Training My Dog?

Toys are essential when crate training because they improve the dog’s intellectual stimulation. Chew toys will work well for younger dogs by helping them with teeth issues. You can also introduce dental toys to older dogs to help remove tartar and plaque.

Interactive toys also work well during exercising and playtime before getting into the crate. Once you are done playing, the dog will be yearning to relax in the crate.

Remember that you should supervise your dog when he’s using toys.

What Are the Potential Problems to Expect During the Training Process?

With French bulldogs, smooth training isn’t guaranteed. Remember, most dogs suffer from separation anxiety and may have difficulty adapting to crates. However, the earlier you start training your dog, the better. In the training process, you are likely to encounter:


French Bulldog inside crate

You may experience it during the first few days when the clingy friend feels uneasy when left in the crate. With time, this bad behavior should subside. But if the whining and barking continue, attend to him; he might be having a health problem.

Destructive chewing

When your little friend is overwhelmed with separation anxiety, they will likely get into destructive chewing. They tend to chew fabrics and anything that comes their way; toys aren’t safer either. Sometimes it could be a sign that the buddy is hungry.

Are French Bulldogs Hard to Train?

The task is not easy, but you will love the whole process with consistency. However, don’t expect him to stay in the crate both day and night, these friends love attention, and they may get stubborn when it’s locked in for long.

Adult Frenchies may prove stubborn, but with consistency, they will adapt. The earlier you start the training, the better. Appreciate and reward your dog’s baby steps.

Do French Bulldogs Require Exercise?

Your dog needs exercise. It helps her keep the right weight. However, don’t overexercise them; 30 minutes of daily exercise is enough.

Wrap Up

French bulldogs are friendly, and crate training them is the best thing. Staying in the cage will help you handle other businesses, provided you don’t leave them there for long hours. Remember that these dogs love cuddling, and you need to set aside some minutes for it.

Feel free to drop a question on crate training a French bulldog or ask for clarification in the comments.

Don’t give up on training your dog even if he acts stubborn; persistence is key, and with time, he’ll catch up and enjoy spending time in the crate. All the best in your crating journey.

Meet our writer

Jen Clifford is an animal behaviorist and veterinary technician with more than a decade of hands-on experience working in small animal and specialty veterinary clinics.

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