It’s so frustrating. You want to show off your little Frenchie to the world but you’re worried they might lash out and bite them. You know your French Bulldog isn’t vicious deep down but it’s obviously upsetting to see her act in this way. Is there anything you can do to change this behavior that won’t take years and years of work? After all, the little things aren’t around forever and you want to enjoy them (and let others enjoy them) now.
What are the best ways to stop your French Bulldog biting? The best way to stop your French Bulldog biting is to make a high-pitched squeal next time they do it. This will shock them and should, after only a short amount of time, convince them not to do it.
To find out why this works and find other ways to stop your French Bulldog biting today, read on.
Table of Contents
Why is the French Bulldog biting?
First, know this. Even the cutest of cutey dogs who live in the town of cuteville can bite. There are, of course, a few reasons why your dog bites but it will be because of a reaction to something.
Scared – if she feels threatened or has been (quite literally) backed into a corner, she may act in a way as if she had been threatened (even though she hasn’t been of course).
Stressed – she may feel something is at risk, perhaps herself or her territory.
Playing – if not taught at an early age dog will most likely not know that biting is bad, I mean why would it? For her, it’s just another form of play.
Unwell – when a dog becomes ill they may take themselves off to some corner of your house where they think they won’t be disturbed. We’ve been in this position before, especially those of us that have kids. We’ve all had days when we’ve been a bit rough and just want to curl up on the sofa or in the bed only to be jumped on by our children, wanting to play. Your dog will feel vulnerable and will be particularly intolerant.
The French Bulldog’s Personality
The French Bulldog is typically not an aggressive breed. They are the fourth most popular dog in the United States at the moment and are only becoming more popular. There is a
Another reason which makes them so popular is that they don’t require much exercise so make an excellent breed for those people who live in apartments or can’t get out much. That doesn’t mean they don’t want to run around though – not that you’ll have
The above is important. Why? Well, to make it clear that there is hope. The French Bulldog is not an aggressive breed by nature. Therefore, we should be able to get to the bottom of why
Socialize Them When Young
If they’re still young then things are going to be easier for you. But even if she’s not you can still do this although it might just take a little bit longer and a bit more control. From a young age and actually as soon as possible, introduce her to not only other people but other animals. You want her to realize that other people around her
Squeal When Bitten
The reason why most dogs don’t bite when they’re older is that they learned when younger it’s not a good thing. The puppy will play with other pups, chasing them around and occasionally giving them a little nip. If they bite too hard then the other dog will squeal. This will shock her and she’ll let go. Over time she’ll associate her action with the other dog’s reaction and just won’t do it any more. The rule won’t just apply to other dogs though but to everything, us humans included!
That’s all very well if she’s been able to play with other puppies when younger but because you’re reading this, the chances are this didn’t happen! No problem though, there is something you can do about it. It might make you look (and feel) a bit stupid when it happens but just bear with me here. What you want to do is mimic the reaction of the other dog the next time she gives you a nip.
What do I mean by this? Well, make a loud high-pitched squeal! This may sound crazy but it genuinely, really works. The noise you make will shock her and she will most likely let go. It will probably need a few goes but eventually she won’t want to hear that squealing noise you make (nor will anyone else in your house) so will think twice before biting.
Do give this one a go if you haven’t already, I’ve seen it work many times before and it’s so easy!
No More Playing Using Your Hands!
It’s actually the same advice that’s given to cat owners. If you use your hands to play with your dog they will use it the same way they use a toy. If you do this whilst incorporating the above ‘squeal’ technique, it will be mighty confusing for them. The simple rule is this, use your hands to pet the dog and that’s it. Some people even pretend their hand is a mouth, play-nipping the dog’s own mouth. It’s entirely understandable why she thinks it is then okay to see this as play and give that pretend hand a little nip back, right?
Encourage The Use of Toys
Instead of using your fingers as toys, replace them with a chewy toy! Okay, before you discount this one as stupid because of course you do this, just spend a moment to think about what toys she has (I don’t know why I always refer to Frenchie’s as a ‘she’ but I just do, it’s better than ‘it’). You don’t want to give her any reason to get bored. Now, if she’s like my son, it won’t matter how many toys he has in the playroom, he’ll still come and see us occasionally telling us how bored he is. Why is that? Well, as difficult as it is, the same stuff eventually gets boring after a while.
So, she’s going to need some new toys. You don’t necessarily need to go out and buy them, there’s loads of stuff you can make but just get some fresh ones in. I’m going somewhere with this so bear with me. Your French Bulldog will have a few that she really loves, don’t touch those but for all the rest, put them away somewhere. It’ll need to be somewhere that she won’t be able to get to (or smell). Replace these toys with the new ones and cycle between these and the other ones every couple of weeks.
If you have that many toys to do it, then cycle between several lots. The idea is that your Frenchie will get less bored with the toys and less likely to think about using your hand (or something else) as a toy to bite on. This, combined with the above ‘Squeal’ technique can fix the biting for good and it’s something you can start on (and make progress) today.
Finally, if you’d like to know what the best toys are for the French Bulldog then take a look here (opens in a new window).
Control The Excitement
The French Bulldog can be an odd breed. One second it’s curled up on you with not a care in the world. The next second it’s running around the house so fast she looks like a blur. They certainly can become quite excited quickly. Often owners report that it is during these moments of intense excitement where they will bite. This is great!
But we just need to take that excitement factor down a notch. You are the key to her excitement so it is you who has full control over the excitement-dial. Don’t let that dial reach 11, turn it down if it’s getting close. Or, set yourself a timer and after five minutes or so, you need to walk away to somewhere that she can’t get to. This is horrible I know and I for one am not great at this! However, your French Bulldog will calm down very quickly with no one to interact with and this means she will never reach that level of excitement where she usually bites.
You will, of course, need to repeat every time during play. How long you spend in ‘isolation’ will be something you need to figure out but can be as little as 30 seconds to a minute. Maybe keep a book in there or something so you can read whilst you wait 🙂
Time To Ignore Her?
Another option that has been shown to stop the French Bulldog from biting is to ignore her. This may seem to contradict the advice given to make a shriek whenever you’re bitten but that’s because like us, every dog is an individual. If something doesn’t work, then try something else. So, what does this mean exactly? Well, it may be that in the past whenever your French Bulldog has bitten you, you’ve reacted. Of course, you’ve reacted! But, from your dog’s perspective, this is a good thing. She’s done something that has triggered a response.
You might be jumping up and down shouting expletives but to your dog, all they can hear is, “Fantastic, thanks for biting me, I absolutely LOVE it when you do that!”. However, if you don’t react at all then this is different. If your Frenchie doesn’t get a reaction then they won’t like it and they’ll be less likely to do it again. It’s really as simple as that. However, it does mean trying to suppress a reaction when you’re bitten, which isn’t easy.
The idea behind this is that instead of you isolating yourself when your French Bulldog becomes excited, you isolate her instead. Now, putting a dog in a crate isn’t as bad as you may think! They will actually feel quite safe and secure when inside and is also believed to reduce anxiety levels in some situations. If you’re looking for crates, I’d recommend something like this (click on the link to check the latest price, opens in a new window). You should have it large enough so they can move around but not so big that it feels like a room!
The idea with this is when they become excitable and show signs of biting, they are removed from whatever environment they’re in and placed in the crate until they calm down. A couple of downsides to this, firstly – you’re not going to be carrying this crate around when you go outside 🙂 Secondly, you’ve got to have a big ugly crate in your house for however long. There’s nothing to stop you moving it when you believe the problem has been resolved, however you may find your Frenchie chooses to use it when they are feeling a bit anxious. It acts as a safe-zone for them and it’s somewhere that they will feel safe and secure, so they may not want you to take it away!
Pet Corrector Spray
This may be all you need to get those bad habits out of your French Bulldog. The Pet Corrector spray emits a quick burst of compressed air which will startle your dog and alongside this, makes a hissing sound that they really don’t like (I wasn’t too keen on it either). The great thing about this is it is completely safe and is a non-impact deterrent. It should be noted though that these types of sprays should not
If that’s not the case though, try and remember to carry this around with you (it won’t be effective if you can’t use it straight away). You should use it when you know for sure that your dog is about to bite you (you may recognize the signs) or immediately after it has happened. They will associate the noise and experience with their action. People have found that it only takes a few uses before your little French Bulldog would rather not hear that sound than the pleasure it would get out of biting.
The advantage of this is that it is small enough for you to take outside. Anyway, there are a few on the market but if you don’t have one and are looking, the one I’d recommend is this (opens in a new tab). This particular example has been around for ages, is made by ‘The Company of Animals’, is cheaper than most and has some great feedback from customers that have already used it!
Is Your French Bulldog in Pain?
Hopefully not, of course, but it’s something to consider if this is a problem that’s developed over time (and hasn’t just suddenly appeared). If she isn’t feeling well, for whatever reason, she won’t want to interact. She’ll most likely have taken herself off to a corner of the house or somewhere that she feels she won’t be disturbed. There could be many reasons why she’s not feeling great but
I know consistency is key when dealing with animals but your time would be better spent trying to get to the root cause. It will most likely just be a temporary problem and she’ll be back to her old self in no time but if it persists then contact your vet. These days, most people have a mobile phone so a great tip would be to take pictures (or even better take a video) and if possible, send this to your vet (more and more these days are allowing this). Not all vets are close by and just the act of getting her to their can make her feel worse, if you can get a remote diagnosis then it’s saving everyone stress (and potentially quite a bit of money!).
And finally, if you’d like to see my complete guide on the French Bulldog then please feel free to check it out (opens in a new tab).