When you take your Frenchie baby home for the first time, you become their whole world. They will trust you and feel attached to you very soon and they will basically never want to leave your side. As they get bigger and more independent, you will need to work a bit harder to have a close and meaningful relationship with your dog. No matter how long you’ve been a Frenchie parent, our 10 essential tips will definitely help you build an even stronger bond with your puppy. We’ll even share two amazing bonding exercises so make sure to read until the end!
1. Know your Frenchie’s personality
Every good relationship starts with taking the time to get to know each other properly. When you welcome a Frenchie into your life, you both embark on a beautiful journey of figuring each other out, learning the other’s preferences and also what they dislike. You can be sure that your puppy will do anything to make you happy, but it’s also up to you to be open and understand their needs and personality more deeply in order to develop a close bond. Once you get to know your fur baby, make sure to consider their needs at all times and not force them into things they dislike. They may not enjoy being hugged or dressed up and that is completely fine!
2. Set up a consistent daily routine for your Frenchie
Dogs are creatures of habit, which means they only feel safe and comfortable if they are in an environment that is predictable and consistent. By determining regular feeding, walking, playing, training and potty times, your Frenchie will know what to expect during the day and will feel relaxed, which builds their trust. It’s important to stick to the routine you set up, but in order to form a strong relationship with every member of the family, make sure that you switch roles rather than have one person do a certain activity all the time.
3. Spend enough quality time together with your Frenchie
Strong relationships are based on giving each other plenty of attention and spending enough quality time together. Why would it be different with your four-legged family members? By doing some fun activities with your Frenchie on a daily basis you’ll not only enrich their life and you’ll also make sure they develop a strong affection for you. Every day your puppy will be the most excited creature on the planet when you get home from work as they’ll know you’ll finally do something fun together!
4. Play with your Frenchie
If you’re wondering what the best way is to spend quality time together with your puppy, we’ll tell you the “secret”: playtime, playtime and playtime! We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to take some time every day to play with your Frenchie! We even wrote a separate article in which we explain why (and how) you should do it, and building a stronger bond is definitely the main reason. It’s quite simple: if you play with your puppy regularly, they’ll associate you with having fun and who doesn’t want more of that?!
At this point you might think that throwing a ball a couple of times will do the job, but we need to disillusion you: you have to make some real effort to entertain your Frenchie so that at the end of the day they are worn out both physically and mentally. The good news is that your possibilities are basically endless! Read our articles in which we collected some fun games to train your Frenchie as well as some great outdoor activities that will develop your puppy’s skills.
Subscribe to our weekly blog newsletter:
5. Train your Frenchie
Training is another excellent form of quality time, which means that it will also largely improve your relationship with your Frenchie. By that we don’t mean teaching them some cool tricks, although those are certainly fun but not enough! You need to train your puppy to be obedient and listen to your commands. Don’t worry about appearing too strict as Frenchies are really smart and are actually eager to learn.
By taking the time to properly train them, you will create a sense of teamwork between the two of you resulting in a strong bond. You’ll also be able to allow your Frenchie more freedom as you’ll know for sure that they’ll do what you ask them to every time, and won’t run away when you let them off the leash for example. Check out this tutorial in which we collected everything you should know from basic to pro training!
6. Set up clear rules for your Frenchie and stick to them
Dogs love rules and they really enjoy following them. They need someone in their life who sets the boundaries and tells them what to do. Why? Because that takes the burden off them of making their own decisions, they’ll know exactly what they need to focus on so they’ll be more relaxed.
By establishing yourself as the pack leader you’ll make sure that your Frenchie respects you and looks up to you, and will gladly follow wherever you go and whatever you ask them to do. What’s really important is that you always stick to those rules and not make any exceptions, otherwise you can easily confuse your puppy, and confusion may lead to losing trust.
7. Learn how to communicate with your Frenchie
Dogs and humans communicate in totally different ways. As a Frenchie parent it’s essential that you are aware of these differences and are consistent in your communication, especially when it comes to praising and punishing. Your puppy will have a really hard time understanding you if you cannot express properly what you expect from them!
Confusion brings frustration to any relationship, and that’s also true when it comes to your furry friend. On the other hand, greater understanding will bring you two a lot closer and will largely strengthen your bond! We recommend that you read this article about verbal and nonverbal communication with dogs to learn everything about the topic.
8. Touch and pet your Frenchie often
Physical touch is known to increase happiness and lower stress not only in humans but dogs too! It goes without saying that it also enhances the bond between you and your puppy, so we probably don’t need to convince you to pet your fur baby whenever you can. And by that we mean that you really invest yourself and give your full attention to your Frenchie! You can do regular grooming sessions, or cuddle up on the sofa while stroking them, whatever your pup likes most. At the end of the day, this will not only strengthen your bond but will also make you both feel happy and relaxed.
9. Feed your Frenchie from your hand
An excellent way of building a special bond with your Frenchie is feeding them from your hand, especially at the first few months when they join you. At the beginning, you can give your pup their regular food from your hands, but even after they eat from their bowl you can give them treats to reward when they behave well. This will bring their trust towards you to a whole new level!
10. Leave your Frenchie enough space
You should definitely aim to spend as much time with your puppy as you can, but going overboard is far from healthy. Neither excessive attachment nor the lack of a strong bond can be maintained in the long run, so try to keep things nice and balanced.
This also means that sometimes you need to give your Frenchie some space to themselves, a couple of hours during the day when they can retreat to their safe place and take a relaxing nap away from everyone. It’s important to get them used to being home alone from an early age in order to reduce the chance of developing separation anxiety.
Check out our
Bonus: Bonding exercises with your Frenchie
In addition to the tips above we wanted to share two amazing bonding exercises too that can largely enhance your relationship with your Frenchie!
Running to you when called
This exercise should be done outside in a safe area like a garden or fenced dog park. Ask a friend or family member to hold your Frenchie by their collar or harness, and then you should quicky run away while calling your dog loudly and using nice words. Once you’re relatively far away, stop and then the other person should let your puppy go.
If your bond is strong enough, your Frenchie will run to you immediately, but don’t lost heart if they don’t. If you practice this exercise regularly, you can be sure that at some point your baby will be excited to run to you and shower you with puppy kisses! What’s important is that you show how happy you are when they do it, even if not on the first try: praise them, pet them, or give them a treat!
This is another fun and easy exercise which should also be done in a safe closed area, ideally outside. While you’re with your Frenchie, hide away somewhere while they’re not paying attention. If your bond is strong, they’ll get scared that they lost you and will immediately go searching for you!
Again, don’t get disappointed if they don’t seem to even notice that you’re gone. You can then call them by their name to follow your voice, and with regular practice your puppy’s reaction will definitely be different when you disappear.
The article is based on the expert knowledge of the TomKings Puppies team who have been breeding French Bulldogs for 10 years on their farm. All the pictures in the post belong to them and their customers, and show puppies from their breed. Check their available French Bulldog puppies, or if you have any questions or comments let us know below the article.