"Hi there, I read your entire post and found it very informative so thank you for posting that.
My girlfriend and I have looked into getting a French Bulldog and love the breed. But we both have jobs where we will be gone from 8-4 mostly every day, Monday thru Friday. We are going to do our best with having people stop by during the day but will still be an issue.
We are going to walk him before and after work an obviously be with him
4:00 to bedtime.
From your experiences do you see this as being a big issue. Thank you so much for your help!!!"
Reply: "That's not an issue*, just follow these steps:
1. Get a dog walker to walk your pup twice a day for the first 3 months. Your rule of thumb should be for every month the dog is old, they can hold their bladder for 2 hours. 2 months old = 4 hours until a pee & poop is needed.
2. Once you hit the third or fourth month you should be able to tell how long your dog can 'hold it' until they need to go. Around month three four, you can start trying the dog walker once a day. I used to do Monday-Wednesday-Friday were dog walk days and Tues-Thurs was 'doggie daycare'. I'm sure they have that in your area, where dogs can get dropped off and play with other dogs all day.
3. If you follow my rules that I wrote on philly2hoboken.com about housebreaking frenchies, you won't have any problems."
"I loved reading your post on your experience with your Frenchie so far..
I was curious more in detail about his crate training and how it went? Did he cry alot if ever? I'm going nuts because I want to get him when he starts crying but the dog trainer said no! Eventually he will get it."
The only time when I crated him and I was in the house was when I was taking a shower. Otherwise, I would crate him when I would leave. He didn't cry.
My suggestion is to listen to the dog trainer. Women are hardwired to respond to crying - so don't feel bad. But I will tell you a story. I used to walk Rocco and he would come to a complete stop on me, to a point where he would pull on the leash and wouldn't budge. I would turn around and he would give me a "look" as if to say "I don't want to walk in THAT direction."
So I gave in. I let him change our course. It was fun at first because I felt like I was being nice to Rocco and letting him go where he wanted to go. Eventually I had to get back to the house, so I led him back towards home and he stopped. I tried to explain to him "No, no - come on boy, lets go."
And he would walk a block and stop. Walk another block and stop. Soon this became our walks with him stopping all the time. See, what I thought I was doing was "being nice" when in reality he was "training me" to stop and do what he wanted to do.
You aren't a dog owner. You aren't his mother. You are his leader. You. Need. To. Lead.
It's not fun because in a way you just want that dog to be happy and wiggly and give you millions of kisses. But being a dog owner - or a leader - means making the hard decisions that you know are best. Crate training is a hard decision that absolutely will pay off in the future. There will be a day, probably by this time next year, that you will NOT need to crate your dog. So if you think about it, you just have to put up with your hurting heart for 1 year before your dog will be good enough that they won't need a crate to "hold it".
I haven't put Rocco in a crate in 2 years now.
*A note on leaving dogs at home - the reason I chose a French Bulldog is that I wanted a breed that wouldn't have separation anxiety. Upon doing my research, I found that Frenchies, and bulldogs in general, are good at being at home alone during the day. Now i'm sure there's going to be some readers out there who will immediately want to email me and tell me about their Frenchie who is neurotic and can't be left alone, but I would say the majority of Frenchies are good to go alone - not every single one of them.
With that being said, I often tell people please do your research before buying a dog. This isn't a toy or something to compliment your home. Its an animal with feelings. I made sure that very early on that Rocco had a dog walker seeing him every 4 hours when he was a puppy when I was at work. I would give him daily walks until he was about 18 months old, and then cut back to a twice weekly doggie day care. I cut that back, as he got older, to once a week doggie day care (on Wednesdays). In a perfect world, he wouldn't be alone - but there's no perfect situation for most dog owner.
Some dog owners are vehement about dogs never being left alone. In this regard I would agree - depending on the breed. Unfortunately this isn't a science and you simply will have people who are going to have to agree to disagree on dogs being left alone. I think, and this is just my opinion, that it's OK to leave a dog alone in your home, once they get "old enough" for this. You wouldn't want to leave a 5 year old toddler home alone, would you? I think the same is true for French Bulldogs. Early on, they need contact with people and other dogs. But, I think as they get older and more comfortable - they are OK home alone as long as if they are raised properly.