Bulldog Puppy Training

bulldog training guide

Every bulldog puppy owner wants their dog to be obedient and well-behaved. Naturally, genetics play a role in determining how your bulldog behaves, but it is important to recognize the importance of environment and upbringing in shaping your dogs behavioral traits. This is where Bulldog puppy training comes in.

From the time it is born until it grows up to be an adult dog, your Bulldog passes through several important developmental stages. These stages are also known as critical periods, and what happens in these critical periods greatly contributes to shaping your dog's temperament, happiness, behavior, as well as how well your dog responds to your training efforts. It is therefore of utmost importance that bulldog puppy training begins as early as possible.

Young bulldogs are very enthusiastic in character, and make for extremely competent training partners. It is crucial that Bulldog puppies acquire an enjoyment of the training process right from the start. If you make the training process fun, your bulldog is sure to enjoy learning new things, and will progress faster as a result.

Bulldogs can be susceptible to various challenging behaviors that may occur if adequate training isn't started early enough. A common problem with bulldogs is territorial behavior, examples of which include biting, excessive barking, unnecessary whining, food guarding, chewing on furniture and clothes, separation anxiety and digging. These issues can make life in the home very difficult, so is it is vitally important to train a bulldog puppy when they are young. Early training will mean your Bulldog puppy will start off with good habits from the get-go, and it will really help to stamp out unwanted behaviors before they take root

Due to their extremely sociable and affectionate nature, young bulldogs are most receptive to positive, non-aggressive methods of training which focus on of providing rewards for good behavior. Rewards commonly consist of food treats and verbal praise, although anything your bulldog likes can be used to reinforce good behavior. I strongly suggest that Bulldog puppy owners do not use punishment-based bulldog training methods, particularly violent punishment methods. Punishments actually wind up causing a lot more issues than they solve, and can negatively impact your dog's happiness.

Successful Bulldog puppy training consists of several core elements that target the most common behavioral problems that young dogs develop, and lays the foundations for on-going obedience training. The core elements of bulldog puppy training are housebreaking, establishing yourself as pack leader, and socialization. Each of these core elements is discussed in the relevant sections below.

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Bulldog Puppy Training Element 1 Establishing yourself as "Pack leader"

From the time that your Bulldog puppy enters your home for the first time it is very important that they recognizes you as the pack's leader. In the wild, dogs generally live the entirety of their lives as part of a unique social structure known as a pack. Even as puppies, all dogs start to learn how the social system of a pack works and, as they mature, each dog establishes their place in the hierarchy of the pack. There is a leader for every pack, a senior animal who dominates all of the other pack members. In the wild, this particular dog is known as the 'alpha'. All decisions for the pack are made by the "alpha" and the rest of the dogs have to obey. If you want your Bulldog to be obedient to you, you need your dog to see you as the alpha of the pack.

Professional dog trainers know that they need to establish themselves quickly as the alpha-dog of the pack, or the training will just be a waste of time. If you aren't quick to assume the alpha role, you will find that your dog takes it for itself. This will make training very difficult, and greatly increases the chances of your dog's behavior becoming unacceptable. Do yourself a favor and demonstrate that you are the pack leader right from the beginning, when your Bulldog is still a young puppy. You Bulldog puppy training efforts will be far more successful if you do.

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Bulldog Puppy Training Element 2 - Housebreaking

Housebreaking also needs to start the minute you welcome your puppy to his new home. Puppies have to go to the bathroom about six times daily, and don't have the muscle control to stop it from happening until about the age of 12 weeks. Take your puppy out after every meal, as this is the time when they are most likely to need to relieve themselves.

During the 12-week time frame prior to the start of formal house training, you will need to put a proper housebreaking regimen in place. This will prevent your puppy from peeing and pooping all over your home everyday. To help prevent this happening, be sure to watch for signs like your dog turning in circles.

Be sure your Bulldog puppy is taken outside frequently. Two good tips for keeping your puppy from using the entire house for his toilet are to keep him in just one or two rooms, or to use a crate. For more information about using a crate, read through the information on the Bulldog Crate Training page of this website.

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Bulldog Puppy Training Element 3 - Socialization

Until the age of about 7 weeks, bulldog puppies needs to be around their mother and littermates. This ensures that they learn the basics of dog manners. The mom passes along several life lessons to her litter, including dog communication, and how to behave in canine interactions. While they are in a litter, puppies learn a number of lessons from one another, including what being bitten feels like. If a Bulldog puppy hasn't experienced these lessons, it may have a hard time accepting discipline as it grows up.

Puppies removed from their mother before they've had a chance to have these experiences are prone to identifying with humans more than other dogs. These dogs simply are unaware that they are dogs, and as a consequence there is a greater chance that difficulties will emerge, including:

Difficulty in housetraining

Biting and mouthing their owner

Excessive barking

Acting aggressively towards other dogs

Increased feelings of loneliness and a dislike of being left alone

An increased likelihood of developing a nervous disposition

An abnormal attachment to people

It is vital that you don't remove a Bulldog puppy from its mother and littermates prematurely. This practice robs the dog of critical learning opportunities and can harm their future health and ability to undertake Bulldog puppy training.

While it is vitally important for a Bulldog puppy to remain with its mother for a sufficient period of time, it is equally key that he or she not stay with its siblings for too long. In about the 7th week of life, a dog's brain development is advanced enough that they can start creating a proper bond with human owners. If the bulldog puppy stays for too long with its doggy family, it will find it more difficult to bond with people. Also it becomes harder to successfully implement Bulldog puppy training. Other issues associated with leaving a dog with its doggy family too long include:

Your puppy could be harder to housetrain

As it matures, your puppy might become too focused on dogs and not like people that much.

You might experience difficulty in teaching your dog to accept that it is responsible for its own behavior.

In order for your puppy to grow into a friendly mature dog, socialization is absolutely crucial. A Bulldog puppy must consistently mingle with its owner, the owner's family members, as well as other people and dogs from the age of 7 weeks old onwards. If denied these opportunities, your Bulldog's behavior around other people and/or other dogs may be unpredictable and troublesome. For example, your dog may exhibit signs of fear or maybe even aggression. Also, if a Bulldog is not around children early in its life, it might not feel comfortable or trust them.

Expose your growing Bulldog puppy to a number of different people of all ages. Allow your bulldog to become acquainted with other dogs as well. Such experiences in puppyhood will be worthwhile as your dog matures. Puppies need to have opportunities to interact with other dogs if they are to learn from them. Be sure to frequently introduce your puppy to adult dogs and puppies alike. Nowadays there are dog parks in most communities where your dog can meet and play with new friends. If your intentions are to have your puppy trained in a dog training school, entered into dog shows, or bred with other dogs when adult, it is important that your puppy must spend time with some other dogs early on. It is worth the effort to make time for this because your will be more confident and comfortable around other dogs, and it will be easier for you to train them.

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Taking Bulldog Puppy Training Further - Basic Dog Commands

As your dog starts to enter the adolescent phase, your training efforts should be directed more towards ensuring that your dog is obedient, and that he or she is likely to behave appropriately in everyday situations. The obedience training phase should begin when your Bulldog is around 3 or 4 months old, and should begin by focusing on the basic commands, such as lying down, sitting, staying, focusing on you, coming when called, not pulling on the leash, to name just a few.

Consistency and discipline are essential for successful Bulldog puppy training. In addition, you must remember to be very patient. Be prepared to invest the time needed to properly implement the advice in this article. As your Bulldog matures, you will definitely be thankful you did so.

Best of luck in your bulldog puppy training endeavors.