ARE FRENCH BULLDOGS GOOD APARTMENT DOGS?
Many people believe that living in an apartment means not being able to have a dog. Or maybe only being able to have a small dog. But why is this? Is it justified? And what about the French Bulldog, who is a small breed dog after all? See our answers below.
Can a French Bulldog Live in an Apartment?
First of all, let’s do away with the misconception that dogs can’t live in apartments! Contrary to popular belief, almost all dog breeds can adapt to apartment living. Yes, even large doggies! In fact, some smaller, more athletic breeds, like the Jack Russell, will have a harder time adapting to apartment life than giant breed dogs, like the Bernese Mountain Dog, known for being homebodies and therefore much better suited to a smaller space. For the most part, it’s not the available surface area that determines our pets’ wellbeing, but rather the time that we can devote to them. A French Bulldog who lives in an apartment with a very present owner, and gets to go out for a leisurely stroll each day to stretch its legs and sniff new smells, will be much happier and more fulfilled than a French Bulldog left to its own devices down at the end of a big garden for hours on end.
Nonetheless, the French Bulldog's small stature and fairly calm nature make it the ideal candidate, on paper, for apartment living. A very energetic dog, like the Australian Shepherd, needs to spend lots of time in the great outdoors and would therefore need taking out for several hours a day if living in an apartment. The French Bulldog, on the other hand, does not have this kind of requirement. This is a small breed dog, the quintessential companion dog, who doesn’t need much exercise. This places it among the best dog breeds for apartment living.
Raising a French Bulldog in an Apartment
Just because the French Bulldog is perfectly suited to apartment living on paper doesn't mean there aren’t factors to consider. Training a dog to live in an apartment is a little different from living in a house and garden; it will take some fine-tuning and a little patience. First and foremost, you need to ask yourself the right questions:
Are you out of the house a lot?
Can you come home during your breaks?
How much time can you spend with your French Bulldog each day?
These questions are important, whether you live in an apartment or a house. The French Bulldog is a dog who gets very close to its owner and doesn’t like to be alone. If you don’t work from home and are regularly out of the house for more than six hours at a time, adopting a dog is probably not a good idea at this time. Try to come home on your lunch breaks to see your French Bulldog or ask a friend or neighbour to pop in on your dog. If your budget allows, you could even hire a dog sitter!
When you get home, be sure to spend some time with your pooch and take them out for a walk. It doesn’t need to be a long walk—the French Bulldog is no athlete!—but your Frenchie does need to stretch their legs and meet new people. Play with your dog a little at home, brush their coat, and give them lots of attention.
Don’t forget to buy your dog some toys! It’s essential that you provide your French Bulldog with enough games and toys to keep them occupied while you’re gone. Left alone for too long, your French Bulldog will quickly become bored which could lead to them developing problematic behaviours, such as chewing the furniture or barking incessantly. Unfortunately, this could cause issues with your neighbours. Choose appropriate toys and games for your pooch, perfectly adapted to their small size. Also, buy suitable accessories for your Frenchie such as dog bowls and a comfy dog bed.
Finally, you need to teach your French Bulldog how to be alone. This is an essential step in your dog’s training, without which they would feel abandoned and lonely. Start this training as soon as you welcome your new puppy home, at the age of two months old. Begin with short absences of five minutes at a time: leaving the room, for example. Don’t act any differently towards your French Bulldog when you return; you want your pup to see you coming and going as a normal part of life, not a special occasion. Gradually increase the duration of your absences, until your French Bulldog can be left alone for a few hours at a time.
How to Potty Train a French Bulldog in an Apartment
To avoid accidents, it’s important to potty train your French Bulldog. Potty training is a little more complicated in an apartment and often takes longer when you don’t have a garden at your disposal. After all, you can't simply open a door and let your dog outside to relieve themselves. But anything is possible with a little patience! Start by taking your puppy out after meals, naps, playtime, and when they first wake up in the morning. Congratulate your Frenchie every time they go to the toilet outside. You can even offer them a healthy dog treat! Unfortunately, there will always be accidents (c’est la vie!), but try not to get angry with your French Bulldog if they poop in the house, especially if the accident happened while you were out. Your pup won’t understand what they did wrong. But don’t despair! French Bulldogs are intelligent and fast learners, so they’ll understand what you want from them before too long.
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