Teaching your French Bulldog to come when you call him is one of the most important commands. Since dogs are curios by nature and not to smart when it comes to evaluating possible danger, this command could potentially save his life in certain situations. On the other hand, most dogs have a tendency to follow their joy and that often means they can be stubborn about where they want to be and what they want to do. Unless you plan to spend hours convincing your furry companion to come to you in situations when he would rather be doing something else, you must teach him to come at command and let him know that you are the boss. For this you will need your love for your dog, lots of patience and some treats.
1) Take baby steps
Until you teach your frenchie to come when called, I suggest you keep him on the leash when you take him for a walk. For start, try teaching him recall in your backyard, in a park or some place in nature that is not too crowded or full of distracting sounds. For this you will need a very long leash. First you shall let your dog walk away from you or you will take a few steps back, crouch down and call him in excited, but pleasant tone of voice. It is best if you always use the same word such as “come” or “here” and avoid calling your dog by his name. Also, make sure that all the people in your family use the same word for calling him, during the training and latter on. After he obeys, reward your dog with some dog treats. You can also praise him, pet him on the head and say things in pleasant tones such as “good boy” or “good girl!”. While you are calling him, you might want to put your hand in the pocket and produce some sound with the treat, so that he knows what to expect when he obeys. Once he has come to you, tell him to sit, and than give him the treat. In order to establish this as a routine, you must repeat it for a period of time, day after day.Your tone of voice and body language are very important. Your dog should trust you and the best reason for him to come to you every time you call him is because he knows he is loved and he feels good in your presence. Also, never scold your dog if he disobeys. This will only put him off.
2) The best way to learn is through fun and games
It is recommendable that you include other people in the training process, such as your family members. That way the dog learns to respond to a request and command, rather than one particular person. If you include another person or more of them, ask them to stand apart from you and call the dog to come to them. Try this in many different places and with different people. The point is that your dog understands he must come when ever and where ever you call him to come to you. After you have established this routine, you can try it in places with distractions and various sounds, such as public places, parks and on the street.
3) Use treats
Off course your frenchie is better of playing with his friends than obeying you all the time, but you must convince him it is the other way around. Give him the attention he needs, play with him and what is the most important thing in this process- you must always have very tasty treats in your pocket. Regular dog food will not be enough. You have to give your dog an offer he absolutely can’t refuse, so the treats you give him must be more rewarding than playing outside with other dogs or whatever else is the reason hi might refuse to return when you call him. I would also recommend you don’t let him of the leash until his recall is completely established and you are sure he will return when you call him.Now, these things should be enough to train most dogs. If for some reason your dog turns out to be especially stubborn and occasionally refuses to recall, there are a few more tactics you can use. Some dog trainers say you should pull the leash towards yourself if he refuses to come at command, but you should do it slowly and gently. You don’t want to frighten him, but rather to let him know what is expected of him. Another tactic if your dog doesn’t seem interested in coming to you is that you turn your back on him, put your hands in the air and pretend to run away from him. Since on a deeper level he is most probably afraid you are going to abandon him, he will most likely chase after you. One more thing you can do is crouch on the ground and pretend you have found something interesting. You can even make excited sounds and “admire” the imaginary object you have found. Since French Bulldogs are naturally curious, he will probably come to you and once he does, praise him and let him know that he has been a good boy and you appreciate his obedience.Never yell at your dog, because that way he will certainly refuse to return to you next time you call him. Once you have successfully finished the training your walks with your dog will be nothing but peaceful and joyful events, you will both look forward to!