English bulldogs like their ancestors, instinctively want to have shelter, even in the house. If not provided, your English bulldog will crate himself under a table, chair, or bed. A crate serves as a den for dogs of all breeds. We recommend covering wire crates to give your English bulldog puppy the privacy he needs to feel secure.
Crates are the quickest and easiest way to house train your new English bulldog. Your puppy’ mother has already trained him not to eliminate in the den. Most dogs by nature will do anything to avoid eliminating in their dens. Therefore confining him in his crate encourages him to “hold it” until he can release at the designated area.
When traveling by car, crates also provide safety for you, your passengers, and your bulldog.
Our English bulldog puppies usually arrive at their new homes right after 8 weeks of age. Just like babies they can not control their bladders until they mature. This is usually between 3 and 6 months. Be patient and expect accidents. Reward good behavior and ignore bad behavior.
Introduce your English bulldog puppy to his crate the first day he arrives home. The best time is when he is tired. You can put toys inside the crate in order to entice him to go in on his own. When he enters the crate give him a lot of praise. You can use a special word or phrase such as “go to crate” or “go to bed” and he will soon understand.
Always keep a close watch on your English bulldog puppy until he is house-trained. It is helpful to keep him on a leash when he is not crated. This way he can not snack off and have an accident when you are not looking.
Do not put housebreaking pads or newspaper inside the crate. It is important to take advantage of your English bulldog natural instinct not to soil his den.
REMEMBER CRATES ARE NOT JUST FOR TRAINING
Your English bulldog crate is his “special place” and should not be put away when training is complete.
Crates give your bulldog puppy an increased sense of security and builds his confidence.
HOW TO CRATE TRAIN
The size of the crate you want to use for your English bulldog is very important. Your English bulldog’ crate should have only enough space for his to stand, turn around and lay down comfortably. We do recommend to purchase one that you can use to accommodate him full grown. However, you will probably have to use one with a divider to provide just enough space as your bulldog develops or else he will make one side of the crate his potty, defeating the purpose.
English bulldog are very social, so the ideal location for a crate is in a room full of activity. By making the crate comfortable your new bulldog will enjoy his new room while still being part of the family.
Before training begins start a schedule and keep a written log of his feeding, drinking and elimination times. This will help you predict when he will need to go. An English bulldog puppy normally needs to eliminate after eating, playing, and waking from a nap. As a general guideline puppies can “hold it” one hour for every month of age up to 8 hours.
Confine him for 5 minutes as first to acclimate him to his crate. Gradually increase the time as he becomes more comfortable. Do not show excitement when release him or he will think of leaving his crate as a reward. Crate him several times a day, not just when you leave. Do not leave your English bulldog unsupervised for long.
Just as a baby cries in his crib it is common to expect some distress at first; your bulldog puppy may whine but do not let him out until he stops or you will be rewarding negative behavior. Crate covers help reduce the amount of distractions your dogs sees, so he will relax more comfortable in the crate.
Crate your English bulldog for the appropriate time and immediately take him where you want him to eliminate. As your bulldog puppy is eliminating, price him lavishly and give it a name such as “go potty” I reward with a play session. The puppy learns that as soon as I release myself I get to play with my owner “Only reward him when he eliminates” If he doesn’t put him in his crate for 15 min and try again.
Do not abuse the crate by confining him for too long. If you can not be home, arranging for a pet sitter to help you is your best option because paper trained pups are much more difficult to house train.
You may feed your English bulldog in his crate, but remember to take him out shortly afterwards and remove his water 3 hours before bedtime. If it is hot or your English bulldog has exercised, leave a small amount of water or a few ice cubes to prevent dehydration. Avoid feeding him in his crate all the time, or he may become dependent on the crate and have difficulty eating in other environments.
If your bulldog soils his crate, most than likely your crate is too big, you left him in too long, or you did not follow a feeding schedule. If you feel your bulldog is suffering from separation anxiety and showing clinical signs, please avoid crating him until speaking to your veterinarian.
For any questions about crate training your English bulldog puppy feel free to contact us. We at WB English bulldogs will be happy to assist you.