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5 Tips to Train Your Stubborn French Bulldog

Are you a French bulldog owner who’s frustrated with your furry friend’s stubbornness? You’re not alone. Frenchies are known for their charming personalities, but they can also be quite headstrong and difficult to train.

Whether you’re dealing with a new puppy who won’t listen or an older dog who has developed bad habits, it’s essential to understand why French Bulldogs can be so stubborn and what you can do to overcome it.

In this article, we’ll delve into the reasons behind your Frenchie’s stubborn behavior and offer practical tips to help you train your furry friend and improve your relationship.

So, if you’re ready to tackle your French bulldog’s stubbornness once and for all, read on!

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5 Reasons Your French Bulldog Is Stubborn

Your Frenchie doesn’t like how you’re treating him

It’s easy to blame Frenchies for their stubbornness. While there are certainly other reasons for their stubbornness, the way you approach them can create this negative reaction.

This is especially common when you’re still building trust with a French Bulldog you’ve recently brought into your home.

It takes consistency to build trust with your Frenchie. If you’re loud, angry, or violent, you undo months of progress you’ve made in building that bond. Frenchies need firm, calm, and consistent discipline.

Although they don’t respond well to punishment, positive reinforcement is a valuable tool for training your French Bulldog.

Rewarding them creates a positive association in their minds. They learn that doing what you say results in praise, treats, and other rewards.

Your Frenchie has too much pent-up energy

Frenchies can be exceptionally stubborn when they aren’t getting enough exercise. They have a lot of energy they need to burn every single day.

bleu french bulldog running

If you haven’t had time to take your French Bulldog for a walk, they might be stir crazy from all that excess energy.

Without it, they are likely to become restless. As a result, their stubbornness may become more pronounced.

If you notice your Frenchie is being more stubborn than usual, consider whether too little exercise is the cause.

If you haven’t had the chance to take your dog for a walk, their pent-up energy is likely to blame.

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They haven’t been properly or consistently trained

Training is important for any dog breed, but especially for brachycephalic dogs like French Bulldogs.

If your French Bulldog wasn’t trained as a puppy, they’re more likely to have behavioral issues later in life. Early training is essential for Frenchies.

train french bulldog

Even as your Frenchie gets older, training is still important. You need to consistently reinforce their training.

Start with easy commands like “stop” or “sit,” then move on to more complicated commands. Since they’re smart dogs, they can be trained to do incredible things.

Remember: they respond better to positive reinforcement than punishment. Ignore them if they’re showing behavior that you don’t like.

When they learn that negative behaviors get them the attention they want, they’re more likely to use those behaviors to get what they want from you.

They’re dealing with some illness

Like humans, French Bulldogs can have behavior changes when they’re feeling sick. Sometimes, your Frenchie is being stubborn because they’re sick, not because they feel like disobeying you.

sick merle frenchie puppy

It’s important to monitor their other symptoms to make sure that their stubbornness isn’t caused by illness.

If your Frenchie shows signs of an infection, consult your dog’s veterinarian. In some cases, all your dog needs is a little extra rest.

However, symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea are signs that your dog needs immediate medical attention.

They aren’t eating the right food for them

Your Frenchie’s stubbornness might be caused by the food you feed them. When they don’t have the right nutrition, they’re more likely to have behavioral issues.

cute French Bulldog eating from bowl

A nutritionally balanced and healthy diet isn’t just good for their physical well-being, but their behavior.

Cheap, mass-produced kibble often lacks important nutrients. While your French Bulldog may still be stubborn for other reasons, feeding them the right food is often a good place to start.

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Tips for Dealing with a Stubborn French Bulldog

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to deal with a stubborn French Bulldog.

While these tips can help reduce stubborn behaviors, it’s important to remember that some amount of stubbornness should be expected.

Change your approach

Positive reinforcement works better than punishment, especially for intelligent and playful dogs like Frenchies. Sometimes, they act stubbornly because they don’t like the way you’re talking to them.

They also learn that stubbornness gets a big reaction from you, so they’ll repeat those behaviors to get the same reaction again.

If your Frenchie’s stubborn behavior is a problem, ignore them when they’re not behaving (as long as they pose no immediate threat to themselves or others). When they behave well, give them a big, positive reaction.

Every time they do what you want, praise them excessively and provide them with some sort of reward.

This will teach them that doing what you ask is better than being stubborn. Once they associate behavior with rewards, they’ll want to behave.

Make sure they’re getting enough exercise

Frenchies need at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. If your French Bulldog does have behavioral problems, it might be because they aren’t burning off enough energy during the day.

French bulldog running on snow

Whether you take your Frenchie for a walk or throw a frisbee in the backyard, make sure they have plenty of time to run around and use up their energy.

Getting outside for exercise can be difficult during bad weather, such as when it’s super hot or extremely cold.

If you aren’t able to take your French Bulldog outside (for more than a quick bathroom break), enjoy activities in an open space in your home.

Tug-of-war and other games can be played in relatively small spaces, allowing your Frenchie to get the exercise it needs.

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Use consistency when training

Training will significantly help reduce stubborn behavior in Frenchies. If you’re getting a French Bulldog as a puppy, make sure to start training as young as possible.

dog owner trains her French Bulldog

Many French Bulldog owners benefit from professional training services since these smart dogs require a lot of time and energy in training.

If you have an adult Frenchie, make sure to reinforce their training consistently. When you aren’t consistent, they learn they can get away with not doing as they’re told.

Consistency and patience are key to reducing negative behaviors from your French Bulldog.

Treat any illnesses, injuries, or physical problems

Since Frenchies can be more stubborn when they aren’t feeling well, it’s important to stay on top of their physical health. If you see any signs of injury or illness, call or visit your dog’s veterinarian for a consultation.

French Bulldog at the vet

While some illnesses may pass without any lasting damage, untreated illnesses and injuries can lead to worsening complications. When this happens, your Frenchie’s stubbornness may be the least of your concerns.

Regularly monitor your Frenchie’s activity level and food intake. Any changes in diet or activity level may be early warning signs that your dog is sick.

Avoid situations that bring out their stubbornness

When possible, avoid situations that encourage your French Bulldog to be stubborn. For example, they might be stubborn after they’ve been left alone for long periods of time.

If possible, adjust your schedule to avoid leaving them alone for such long periods of time.

Some situations are unavoidable. You can’t keep your dog inside if going outside triggers their stubbornness. However, you can build routines that help shortcut their stubbornness.

For example, you can give your French Bulldog a treat when they come in when called. This teaches them that listening to you involves treats, which can override their desire to stubbornly ignore your calls.

Adjust your expectations

No pet will listen to you 100% of the time. Since stubbornness is just a part of their personality, you may need to adjust your expectations and learn to work with your dog’s stubbornness instead of against it.

If you’ve tried the five tips above and your Frenchie is still stubborn, you might need to learn to adjust to your dog’s stubborn personality.

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Final Thoughts on Stubborn French Bulldogs

Why are French Bulldogs so stubborn?

It’s because they’re not as attached to pleasing people as other dog breeds. They don’t feel obliged to please.

By using positive reinforcement and patience, you can make it worthwhile for your French Bulldog to please you.

If you have any feedback or questions, then please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

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Lisemaine is a dog lover. She currently owns two Frenchies and enjoys working with and training them. She'll share her best tips with you to keep your Frenchie happy, healthy, and active.

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