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How to Help your French Bulldog with Stress and Anxiety
They're brilliant and always eager to please their owners. However, this is not the case for all Frenchies! For instance, a French bulldog may struggle with stress or anxiety because of their upbringing or something in their environment.
This blog post will help you identify signs that your dog may have an issue, what to do when it happens, and how to cope with it so your dog can feel better sooner.
What Causes Separation Anxiety in a French Bulldog?
A French bulldog is known to be very attached to its owner, mainly if it's left alone.
It's at this point when separation anxiety may develop in the young French bulldog. It causes them to become anxious whenever their owners are about to leave and will usually lead to destructive behaviors as soon as they're gone. It can be frustrating for both the dog's owners and the French bulldog.
Of course, the problem often lies with the owner, who was a bit too careless about their responsibilities. They bought a French bulldog as a pet for themselves despite not knowing how much care they require and then ended up having to leave them alone because it's "too much." In cases like these, separation anxiety is inevitable. However, the owner can avoid this by preparing for their new pet beforehand, learning more about their needs and everything involved.
Unfortunately, separation anxiety occurs not only because of a lack of care or responsibility of owners. There are also plenty of cases where the French bulldog gets separation anxiety due to severe trauma. This kind of situation is widespread in French bulldogs used as working dogs, for example. The use of these dogs might have stopped once they got too old to be able to work anymore and then keep living the rest of their lives inside a kennel. Even if they were kept indoors in a way, the trauma of having been abandoned could still cause them to develop separation anxiety later on.
If you want to treat your French bulldog from separation anxiety, you must consider all the possible underlying problems that can cause it. You also need to know that this is a complex issue, and it usually takes time to find a proper solution.
What Shows Your French Bulldog Is Stressed Out?
They can become tired and destructive if you don't give them the attention, exercise, and entertainment they crave.
Frenchies are a very vocal breed that you will tell when something is wrong. However, their complaints may not always be immediately recognizable as stress. Look for these four signs to determine if your French bulldog is stressed out:
Aggression towards people or dogs. It may include barking, growling, snarling, or even biting if you approach them while eating or sleeping. It might also be accompanied by whining, howling, and attention-seeking behavior. Dogs who feel threatened tend to become protective of their food, toys, and bedding as a way to guard themselves.
Separation anxiety. A French bulldog may whine and cry when left alone, while others become destructive out of frustration and boredom. If your French bulldog usually is well-behaved but suddenly begins toileting or chewing things in your absence, it may be its way of dealing with stress.
Destructive behavior when you're home. Suppose your normally well-behaved French bulldog begins chewing the furniture or other objects while you are home and awake. In that case, he may be suffering from separation anxiety and destroying these items to relieve his frustration and boredom. He may also be trying to avoid something unpleasant, such as a bath or nail-trimming session.
Attention-seeking behavior. If your French bulldog regularly demands attention from you by barking and whining, it's telling you that it wants more interaction than you currently provide. Boredom is one of the causes of attention-seeking behavior, and you should provide your French bulldog with more exercise and playtime to help get rid of its pent-up energy.
How Do You Calm Your Anxious French Bulldog?
They often experience anxiety walking up and downstairs (or getting on and off furniture), walking across medium-to-large-sized flat surfaces, especially during car rides. Here are a few tips to calm your anxious dachshund dog:
For this tip to be practical, you must know what triggers your dog's anxiety.
Does it happen at certain times of the day? Is there a specific sound that causes your dog to panic? Is it only when you leave the house that causes this anxiety? Does your dog never get anxious but instead gets scared of certain things (i.e., loud noises, sudden movements, etc.)? Knowing what sets off your dog is crucial for you to prevent any negative behavior from occurring.
For example, if you know your French bulldog gets worked up when the vacuum is on, turn it off before they go out to potty. If you know, it becomes anxious at 8 pm every night, put it in its crate or another room with calm music playing so it can relax as bedtime approaches.
For dogs that experience anxiety during car rides, planning can help to make the ride less stressful. If your dog typically gets anxious during car rides, try feeding them or giving them water right before leaving for your destination. It provides your dog with a full bladder and an empty stomach (for the most part), which should make them more comfortable in their crates. Then, once you are about to arrive at your destination, try giving them a small treat so they associate good things with being in the car.
Distractions are not always easy to find, but they can help offer your dog different distractions when they feel anxious.
For example, sometimes offering your French bulldog a bully stick or other high-value treat can distract them from whatever is causing their anxiety. Other times, you may have to play with your dog or take them for a walk. You can request a friend if they would be willing to help out by taking your dog for a walk, maybe what they need to calm down during anxious times.
This tip is excellent for any dog, but especially for your French bulldog who experiences anxious behavior.
It is essential to exercise your dog mentally and physically to reduce that nervous energy. It doesn't mean taking them for a walk around the block. Instead, focus on running with them, playing games outside (fetch), or even going for a walk in a new/different location. For dogs with a lot of anxiety, it may be a good idea to take them to a doggy daycare where they can run around and play with other dogs or go on long walks throughout the day.
How Do You Help Your French Bulldog from Stress and Anxiety?
Stress is a common affliction among Frenchies.
These dogs are prone to stress for many reasons, including being fearful of strangers or traveling in cars, separation anxiety, fearfulness during thunderstorms (which you can treat with relaxing supplements like Rescue Remedy), and more.
If you realize that your French bulldog has become anxious when it's in a specific situation, like around strange people or other dogs, it's probably stress. You can help alleviate this anxiety by training your dog to be more comfortable and confident in these situations by:
Providing a Safe Space
Some french bulldogs are so sensitive to stress that you'll have to help them avoid the situations that cause them anxiety.
You can provide an area of your house for your dog in a room when company comes over. If he doesn't like strangers, for example, give him a safe space where he can go to get away from them.
Limit your french bulldog exposure to situations that cause him anxiety. If he starts panicking in the car, for example, you might want to avoid driving with him if possible. Of course, it will be impossible to separate your dog from stress. You'll still want to take him for walks and make sure he gets exercise.
Give the French Bulldog a Lot of Exercises
French bulldogs require a lot of exercises is a great way to let off steam and decompress.
It's also a perfect idea to take your French bulldog out for a walk right before bedtime, as it will wear him out so he can sleep better. These dogs are primarily active during the night.
Use calming chews and supplements like DAP to reduce anxiety
Many over-the-counter calming products can help your French bulldog relax when it's stressed or anxious.
It would be perfect if you started with things like DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone). You can also give your dog calming supplements, like Rescue Remedy.
Train Your French Bulldog to Be Calm and Less Anxious in Different Situations
Fearful Frenchies should receive training to learn how to deal with their fears.
You can use positive reinforcement, like clicker training. Clicker training is a great way to help your dog understand that the tough time will pass even though he's feeling uncomfortable in a particular situation. These dogs are also very treat-motivated, so you should use that to your advantage.
Training can sometimes take weeks or months, but it will be worth it in the end when you have a calm, confident Frenchy.
Consider Medication for Your Dog's Anxiety
If all fails and your French bulldog continues to suffer from extreme bouts of stress or anxiety, you might need to consider treating him.
Talk to your vet and see what s/he recommends. Keep in mind that this will not cure the root cause of your Frenchies' anxiety; you'll still need to train him, or else he'll be stressed out all the time.
Keep a Consistent Schedule for Feeding, Walking, and Playing With Your Dog
Your French bulldog thrives on a daily routine, so it's essential to keep that in mind.
You should feed your dog at roughly the same time every day and walk him around the same time as well. It will help your dog understand what to expect each day and reduce his anxiety levels.
Use Calming Techniques Like Petting, Grooming
You can also use your time with your French bulldog to soothe him and calm his stress levels.
Pet him often, for example, as some Frenchies need a lot of physical affection. It would help if you brushed or clipped their nails more often during high-anxiety times as it will alleviate some of the anxiety since they won't be able to focus on it.
Play Games That Encourage Bonding Such As Tug-of-War or Hide-and-Seek
Dachshunds are very loyal, so they enjoy playing games that encourage camaraderie.
Tug-of-war is a great game because your dog will bond with you during the game. Hide-and-seek is also a good idea, as it will make your French bulldog feel safe while it's hiding, and it'll associate that feeling with you.
Why Are French Bulldogs So Stubborn?
The answer lies in the existing genes and predispositions of this breed.
Stubbornness in dogs refers to the ability of an animal to follow one command or set of commands with consistency, even in the face of distractions. Furthermore, stubbornness can refer to how easily an animal is distracted or influenced by competing stimuli. A stubborn dog will have difficulty in training, especially if the trainer does not use positive reinforcement. Stubborn dogs are predominantly resistive to training methods based around punishment, so most trainers recommend using rewards rather than penalties for training sessions with these animals.
It is something that you have to consider if you have the intention of buying a French bulldog. They are known for being stubborn, and it can be challenging for a person with no experience.
A French bulldog has a strong sense of independence. A French bulldog is stubborn, and it is difficult to discipline them. A French bulldog tends not to be influenced by the necessity of the moment and human comments.
In some cases, many French bulldogs respond pretty well to positive and reward-based training practices.
Most dogs respond very well to these types of training, and Frenchies are no exception. If you use the correct training techniques, it is not difficult to train this breed of dog. You must understand why your dog may be behaving in a certain way and correct this behavior as soon as possible. French bulldogs tend to bark and nip at people if they feel threatened.
What Are a French Bulldogs Personality?
Bulldogs come in a variety of personalities, depending on their breed.
You can, however, think of them possessing the following features:
Bulldogs are known for their stubbornness, yet they also have a kind and sensitive nature.
In addition, these dogs are dependable and utterly predictable in their behavior.
What makes bulldogs unique is that they make excellent family pets. The reason for this is that they become emotionally attracted to youngsters and build deep ties with them.
Furthermore, these dogs are people-oriented, meaning they actively seek out attention.
Aside from these characteristics, they retain the boldness with which they were born.
As a result, they make good watchdogs, but they don't help to alert because they don't bark.
They can also be aggressive with unfamiliar dogs, mainly if it is their first encounter with one.
As a result, a French bulldog may attack, albeit this is quite rare.
Why Would a French Bulldog Attack?
Bulldogs are a superior breed in general. Mingling with other dogs, they are highly dominant.
When your French bulldog attacks humans or other dogs, they most likely feel threatened in their dominance.
Some bulldogs have an aggressive streak in addition to their dominance.
Most bulldogs were young and had no other dogs or pets around; they grew aggressive. They feel threatened when they see another dog or pet for the first time.
It can also happen when they encounter strangers.
As a result, if you have a French bulldog, attempt to socialize it with other dogs and humans to train it.
French bulldog owners need to understand that there are many ways to help their dogs with stress and anxiety.
The more you know about your French Bulldog, the better equipped you will meet their needs. For example, if your dog is anxious when left alone during the day but not at night, it may mean he sleeps all day while everyone else is gone, so now he associates being home alone with boredom. A doggy door might be a good solution because then she could go outside whenever she wants (or even poop!) without having to wait for someone to come home - which would decrease any frustration felt by both of you!