Despite their seemingly grumpy facial expressions, the English Bulldog is actually a very friendly and laid-back breed of dog. They are generally couch potatoes and don’t require much activity to be happy. But while this breed is generally sweet, you might not be surprised to learn that a hefty dose of stubbornness can sometimes come along with those grumpy faces. This can sometimes make bulldog training a bit of a chore. However, they generally should take well to basic training and learn basic commands quickly enough.
This post will go over a few training tips for dogs to help you mold your pup into a great family pet.
How to Train an English Bulldog
Start English Bulldog Training Immediately
You can start training your English Bulldog puppy as soon as you bring him home. It’s often thought that the first 20 weeks of a dog’s life is his most important time to learn basic commands. Training a puppy will take some patience, and accidents and mistakes will certainly happen, but with a consistent training regimen, he will learn.
It’s also important to socialize your English Bulldog early with other animals and people. He is typically very loving and affectionate with people, but may be aggressive toward other animals if he isn’t given the time to socialize with them while he is young.
As soon as your puppy is vaccinated, you can bring him to the dog park to socialize with other animals and people.
You may even consider going to obedience training to help your dog learn how to behave around other animals in a controlled setting. It is especially important to socialize in multi-pet households where both a cat and dog are present.
Keep Bulldog Training Sessions Short
To hold your puppy’s attention, it’s best to keep your training sessions short, as in just five to 10 minutes per day. Because he is generally a fairly lazy dog, they may not be the most thrilled to endure lengthy training sessions. Keep things short and fun to hold his interest, and make sure to motivate him with a good dose of healthy treats that he enjoys. And despite your session’s results, try to end things on a positive note so he’ll want to come back for more the next day.
Use Positive Reinforcement
When your dog responds to a command or performs a behavior for you properly, give him a treat and verbal/physical praise. He is very motivated by food, so you’ll definitely need treats on hand at all training sessions as well. Using negative training methods will only make your English Bulldog even more stubborn and resistant to further training.
“Drop It” & “Leave It”
Because an English Bulldog can be possessive about food, you’ll need to train him the “leave it” and “drop it” commands. While “drop it” comes in handy if your dog gets a hold of something that may be potentially dangerous to himself, “leave it” may also help in situations of aggression towards another dog.
You will teach him these behaviors by utilizing his favorite toy. For “drop it,” you will give the dog the toy, then give the command while holding a treat in front of him. If he drops it, give him the treat and some praise.
With “leave it,” put your dog on a leash and tell him to sit, then put the same toy in front of him and say “leave it.” You will prevent him from getting the toy with the leash, and once he sits without trying to get the toy on his own, it means he is starting to learn, and you should praise him accordingly.
Crate Training an English Bulldog
Using a crate will be a big part of your dog’s training. You’ll want to create a safe and comfortable space for him that he will view as a cozy den, rather than a prison. Put blankets and toys inside, and consider even feeding your dog in the crate so he associates the location with the thing that makes him the happiest — food!
You should make sure the crate is large enough that he can move around inside comfortably, and have enough room to stretch out. Your dog should naturally not want to go to the bathroom in his crate, which makes it a useful tool when house training.
Crate training your dog to go to his spot by using a command of your choice, and reward the dog for entering the crate on his own.
It’s a good idea to have your English Bulldog sleep in the crate as well, to reinforce that it is his peaceful place, and also for your own sake, because bulldogs are notorious for being loud snorers. Whenever you release your dog from the crate, take him outside immediately to go to the bathroom.
Your English Bulldog puppy will need to go outside every couple hours to go to the bathroom, so be ready, otherwise you may have an accident inside. This is especially true after he eats or takes a nap. Take him to the same spot outside every time so he will associate it with going to the bathroom, and praise them with each successful elimination. Use the crate or monitor your dog between bathroom sessions.