Training for puppy for your first 8 weeks home
Olde English bulldogs are affectionate, friendly, courageous and intelligent. These traits, combined with a bulldog’s distinctively lovable face, make the bulldog a wonderful addition to any household.
However, there is one trait that bulldogs also tend to exhibit — bullheadedness. They can be incredibly stubborn, which makes training them somewhat difficult.
Purchase a crate. A crate is recommended for your bulldog’s peace of mind. Some people think a crate represents incarceration, but a responsible dog owner knows that a comfy crate is a haven for his or her bulldog. If there is a lot of activity in your home, your bulldog will appreciate having a place to get away from it all. Because dogs of all breeds dislike soiling the areas they sleep in, a crate can be an invaluable tool when it comes to house-training. Buy a crate the just fits the puppy as he grows. If the crate is too big the puppy will soil an area at the opposite end of the crate from his sleeping spot. Your bulldog won’t want to urinate or defecate in his sleeping area, so he’ll wait until you come to let him out if the crate is the correct size and he is comfortable in it.
Crate Olde English bulldog puppies when you must leave them on their own. Crating keeps the puppies confined to a small space, reducing the chance that they will ransack the house while you’re away and keeps them safe from chewing say an electrical cord or a possible poisonous plant.
No dog should be left in a crate indefinitely. Remember this is a tool, not a prison. When training your bulldog, it’s important to let him know you’re the boss. Bulldogs are smart and, again, stubborn. This makes them want to be the leader, so now “you have to assume the role of leader and communicate appropriate behavior in terms that his canine mind will understand.
Schedule meal times to prevent accidents. English bulldogs love food and will eat until they get sick if not carefully watched. Fill a bowl with high-quality puppy food using the feeding chart on the puppy food bag to measure the correct amount by weight (I recommend Canida) and allow the puppies to eat for 10 minutes twice daily. If there is any food left in the bowl, save it for the next feeding.
Take your English bulldog puppies outside for plenty of potty breaks. English bulldogs have small bladders and should go out every hour initially, working up to every few hours. Generally speaking, a pup should be able to hold it for one hour longer than its age in months. Take your English bulldog baby outside after naps and meals, as well, to prevent accidents in the house. Carry the puppies to the designated “potty spot” and let them sniff and explore until they potty. Praise each puppy heartily after it has gone potty and offer a small treat as a reward.
Bathe puppies at least biweekly using a mild antibacterial antifungal shampoo to cut down on dirt and grime in their skin folds, and dry thoroughly, including spaces in between wrinkles. You can bathe them less frequently when they’re older, but you’ll still need to care for the wrinkles regularly. Wrinkle cleaning is recommended twice a week for Olde English Bulldog puppies.
Teach your puppies to walk calmly on a leash. English bulldog puppies can be stubborn, but a leash will help guide the puppies and keep them under control. Buckle a collar around puppy’s neck and attach a 6-foot leash to the ring on the collar. Let the puppies drag the leashes around to get used to the feeling of something behind them. Once they stop paying attention to the leash, pick it up and follow the puppy. Hold a treat in your hand and show it to the puppy, giving the “Come” command. Walk backwards a few steps, tempting the puppy with the treat. As soon as the puppy steps your way, tell him “good dog” in a happy voice and give him the treat.
Train each puppy in basic obedience commands once it is acclimated to the leash.
When you interact with your puppy, you want to:
- Use a firm — but not angry — tone of voice.
- Reward with praise, toys or treats.
- Be consistent. Inconsistent training is poor training.
Plan to start your bulldog’s training as soon as you bring him home — in puppyhood if possible. The first 20 weeks of any dog’s life are the most valuable learning time a period when his mind is best able to soak up every lesson.” Take advantage of this time and start that training early.
Expect accidents and mistakes at first. Your puppy is like a toddler just learning how to walk. He’ll have to take a few tumbles before he “gets it.” Have patience. Most vet clinics and pet supply stores offer puppy training classes for the whole family. I strongly encourage all new puppy owners to attend. Its great socialization and gets the whole family on board with the training.