Why does my French Bulldog not listen to me?

Why does my French Bulldog not listen to me? (Answered)

by Deborah Audas

Picture this: you’re standing in your living room, calling out to your adorable French Bulldog, hoping for a moment of connection. But all you get is a nonchalant glance and a swift trot in the opposite direction. If you’ve ever experienced this mix of perplexity and exasperation, fret not – you’re in good company.

Many fellow dog owners have found themselves in the same boat, wondering, “Why does my French Bulldog not listen to me?” In this journey through the land of floppy ears and boundless energy, we’ll unravel the secrets behind their occasional deaf ear. Get ready to dive into the world of canine communication and uncover the keys to forging an unbreakable bond with your four-legged friend.

You might also read: Why is My French Bulldog Restless? Understanding the Possible Causes

Understanding the French Bulldog Breed

Understanding the French Bulldog Breed
Why does my French Bulldog not listen to me?

French Bulldogs, those little bundles of charm and quirks, are a breed that captivates the hearts of many. Let’s take a closer look at what makes these pups so special:

  • History: Hailing from a mix of English Bulldogs and local ratters in France, French Bulldogs found their way into the hearts of lace workers in Nottingham during the Industrial Revolution. They later gained popularity among artists and writers, eventually earning the status of a beloved companion breed.
  • Size: French Bulldogs fall into the “small but mighty” category, with an average weight of 16-28 pounds and a height of 11-12 inches. Their compact size makes them perfect for apartment living and snuggling on your lap.
  • Temperament: Beneath their adorable exterior lies a personality that’s as endearing as it is unique. Frenchies are known for their playful and affectionate nature. They thrive on human companionship and are often referred to as “people dogs.”
  • Intelligence: Don’t let their cute faces fool you – French Bulldogs are more than just a pretty package. Behind those big, expressive eyes lies a sharp and clever mind. They’re quick learners and can pick up commands and tricks with relative ease.
  • Affectionate Nature: If you’re in need of a furry friend who’ll provide endless cuddles and companionship, a Frenchie might just be your perfect match. They thrive on human interaction and adore being by your side. Their affectionate nature makes them wonderful lap dogs and loyal companions.

Common Reasons why my french bulldog not listen to me?

Why does my French Bulldog not listen to me - common reasons
Why does my French Bulldog not listen to me?

Lack of Proper Training

Inadequate training or inconsistent methods can turn your well-intentioned Frenchie into the embodiment of stubbornness. Here’s how:

  • Confusion: Mixing up commands or changing the rules can confuse your Frenchie, leading to non-compliance.
  • Lack of Structure: Without a clear training plan, your pup might not understand what’s expected of them.
  • Mixed Signals: If different family members use different cues for the same command, your Frenchie might just throw in the towel.
  • Skipping Basics: Skipping foundational training commands like “sit” and “stay” can lead to a lack of discipline.
  • Ignoring Positive Reinforcement: Not rewarding desired behaviors can make your Frenchie wonder why they should bother obeying.
  • Neglecting Socialization: Insufficient exposure to different situations and people can result in fear-based reactions and disobedience.

Starting training early is like building a strong foundation for a skyscraper. And positive reinforcement? It’s the magical glue that keeps your Frenchie’s attention locked onto you.


Clear communication is the key to any successful relationship – even the one you have with your Frenchie. Here’s why it matters:

  • Trust Building: Clear cues and commands build trust between you and your pup.
  • Reduced Anxiety: Knowing what’s expected reduces your Frenchie’s anxiety and uncertainty.
  • Predictability: Dogs thrive on routine; clear communication establishes a predictable environment.
  • Faster Learning: Clarity speeds up the learning process for new commands.
  • Stronger Bond: Effective communication strengthens the bond, making your Frenchie more likely to obey.
  • Confidence Boost: When your Frenchie understands you, they feel confident in their actions.

Now, about those doggie interpreters – French Bulldogs are fluent in the language of body cues, tone shifts, and even gestures.

How Dogs Interpret Body Language

  1. Body Posture: Dogs pick up on your posture and stance, whether you’re relaxed or assertive.
  2. Eye Contact: Direct eye contact can signal authority or a command, while avoiding it shows submission.
  3. Hand Gestures: Hand signals like palms up for “sit” or pointing can reinforce spoken commands.
  4. Facial Expressions: Smiles or frowns can convey approval or disapproval.
  5. Physical Touch: Petting, patting, or a gentle nudge are ways dogs understand your intentions.
  6. Stance and Movement: Approaching slowly can signal a friendly demeanor, while quick movements might cause alarm.

Tone of voice also plays a pivotal role:

How Dogs Interpret Tone of Voice

  1. Excitement: A high-pitched, enthusiastic tone signals playfulness and rewards.
  2. Command: A firm, authoritative tone signifies a command that requires immediate attention.
  3. Reassurance: A soothing, calm tone can provide comfort during stressful situations.
  4. Displeasure: A low, stern tone indicates disapproval or disappointment.
  5. Praise: A warm, cheerful tone during praise makes your Frenchie feel appreciated.
  6. Confusion: An inconsistent tone might confuse your Frenchie about the desired response.

Lack of Motivation

Picture this: your Frenchie lounging while you beckon like an overenthusiastic traffic cop. The issue might be motivation:

  1. “No Reason, No Response”: French Bulldogs are discerning. If there’s no motivation (like treats, toys, or praise), they might not see the point.
  2. Incompatible Rewards: Offering a reward they don’t care about won’t get you far.
  3. Boredom: Monotonous training routines bore them. Spice it up to keep them engaged.
  4. Attention Span: Short attention spans mean they lose interest quickly.
  5. Focus on Fun: Make training sessions a blend of fun and learning.

Minimizing Distractions during Training

  1. Choose the Right Environment: A quiet, familiar space minimizes external stimuli.
  2. Short Sessions: Keep sessions brief to prevent mental fatigue.
  3. Remove Temptations: Clear the area of toys or objects that could distract your Frenchie.
  4. Stay Engaging: Keep their attention with high-value treats and enthusiastic commands.
  5. Close Doors and Windows: Block visual distractions like passing cars or squirrels.

Health Issues

Even the best-trained Frenchie might struggle to listen if health issues are at play. Consider:

  • Hearing or Vision Impairments: If your Frenchie isn’t responding as they should, check for potential hearing or vision problems. They might not be ignoring you deliberately; they simply might not hear or see you.
  • Regular Vet Check-ups: Just like humans, dogs need regular check-ups. Ensuring your Frenchie’s health is in top shape can prevent any underlying issues that might impact their responsiveness.

Remember, understanding these factors can turn your Frenchie’s selective hearing into attentive listening. It’s all about finding the right frequency to connect with your four-legged friend.

You might also read: French Bulldog Behavior Problems: A Guide for Pet Owners

Effective training strategies for make french bulldogs obedient

how to train your frenchie to listen
Why does my French Bulldog not listen to me?

Training your French Bulldog is like a dance – a delicate balance of guidance, patience, and a sprinkle of fun. Let’s dive into some strategies that can turn your Frenchie into an obedient superstar.

Positive Reinforcement: The Magic Wand of Training

Positive reinforcement is your secret weapon. It’s like saying, “You did great, and here’s a treat to prove it!” This method has a boatload of benefits:

  • Encourages Desired Behaviors: Your Frenchie learns that good behavior equals rewards.
  • Builds Trust: Positive reinforcement creates a trusting, positive bond between you and your pup.
  • Boosts Confidence: Each reward boosts your Frenchie’s self-assurance and willingness to learn.
  • Reduces Anxiety: Instead of fearing punishment, your pup looks forward to training time.
  • Fosters a Happy Environment: Rewards bring happiness, creating a training environment that’s joyful for both of you.

Examples of rewards include:

  • Treats: Tasty treats like small dog biscuits or bits of cooked meat.
  • Affection: Cuddles, belly rubs, and pats on the head.
  • Playtime: A round of fetch, a tug-of-war session, or a game of catch.

Consistency: Everyone’s on the Same Page

Imagine a football team where players follow different rulebooks – chaos, right? The same applies to training your Frenchie:

  • Unified Front: Consistency in commands and expectations across all family members is essential. If one person says “sit” and another says “park it,” your Frenchie’s bound to get a little puzzled.
  • Clear Communication: Make sure everyone’s on the same wavelength. Decide on commands and rewards, and stick to them.

Short, Engaging Sessions: Keeping the Spark Alive

Attention spans, even in the dog world, are limited. Here’s why shorter training sessions work wonders:

  • Maintains Focus: Short sessions prevent your Frenchie from zoning out or getting bored.
  • Prevents Burnout: Prolonged sessions can lead to mental fatigue.
  • Keeps Enthusiasm High: By ending on a high note, your Frenchie remains excited for the next session.

Aim for sessions lasting around 10-15 minutes each. Keep them snappy, engaging, and something your Frenchie looks forward to.

Essential Commands: Building the Basics

Imagine a Frenchie who responds promptly to your commands – pure bliss. Here are some fundamental commands every French Bulldog should master:

  • Sit: Begin by holding a treat close to their nose and then raising it slowly. Their bottom will naturally lower as they follow the treat’s path.
  • Stay: Have your Frenchie sit, then show your palm and say “stay.” Take a step back and reward them for staying put.
  • Come: With a treat in hand, crouch down and use a friendly voice to call your Frenchie. Reward them heartily when they come to you.
  • Leave It: Hold a treat in your closed hand and let your Frenchie sniff. When they stop trying to get the treat, say “leave it” and reward them with a different treat.

Note: Repetition and patience are your allies. Consistently use the same command and reward every time.

Professional Training: Calling in the Calvary

For the times when your Frenchie’s stubbornness reaches legendary levels, don’t hesitate to seek professional help:

  • Expert Insights: Professional dog trainers bring expertise and fresh perspectives to the table.
  • Tailored Approach: They’ll customize training plans to suit your Frenchie’s unique personality and challenges.
  • Tackling Tough Cases: If you’re dealing with stubbornness or specific behavioral issues, professionals have the know-how to tackle them.
  • Structured Learning: Obedience classes offer structured guidance in a controlled environment.
  • Socialization Benefits: Obedience classes help your Frenchie socialize with other dogs, improving their overall behavior.
  • Boosted Confidence: As your Frenchie masters commands, their confidence soars.
  • Stronger Bond: Training together strengthens your bond, creating a harmonious owner-pet relationship.

How to get your French Bulldog to listen to you

Remember, whether you’re going solo or with expert guidance, training is a journey. With consistency, patience, and a touch of playfulness, you and your Frenchie can conquer the world of obedience together.

Potential Challenges in French Bulldog Training

Now, here’s where things get interesting. While French Bulldogs are certainly intelligent, their independent streak can sometimes lead to a bit of resistance during training sessions. This stubbornness isn’t a lack of understanding; it’s more like a determination to do things their own way.

  • Selective Listening: You might find yourself wondering if your Frenchie has developed a sudden case of “selective hearing.” They might appear to tune out your commands when they’re more interested in exploring or playing.
  • Short Attention Spans: Like a kid with a short attention span, French Bulldogs can lose focus quickly. Long training sessions can lead to boredom, making them less likely to cooperate.
  • Need for Positive Reinforcement: Frenchies respond best to positive reinforcement techniques. They’re motivated by treats, praise, and playtime. Harsh discipline or scolding can backfire, leading to a Frenchie who’s even less inclined to listen.
  • Consistency is Key: Their intelligent minds are quick to notice inconsistencies. If different family members use different commands or expectations, your Frenchie might become confused and less responsive.
  • Patience, Patience, Patience: Training a French Bulldog requires patience and perseverance. It’s a gradual process that involves building trust and understanding.

In a nutshell, French Bulldogs are a delightful blend of charm, loyalty, and intelligence. While they might test your training skills with their stubbornness, the rewards of their affection and unique personality make every effort worthwhile. So, as you embark on the journey of training your Frenchie, remember that their quirks are part of what makes them so lovable.

Building a Strong Bond

The journey of training your French Bulldog isn’t just about commands and tricks – it’s a voyage that strengthens the unbreakable bond between you and your furry friend. Let’s explore how consistent training becomes the glue that holds your relationship together.

Consistent Training: The Glue of Friendship

Imagine this: each time your French Bulldog follows your command, a tiny thread of trust weaves itself into your bond. With every successful training session, you’re not just teaching them tricks; you’re teaching them to understand you, your cues, and your expectations. Consistency in training deepens this understanding, fostering a level of companionship that goes beyond words.

Personal Anecdote: Depeche Toi’s Transformation

Let me introduce you to Depeche Toi, a spirited French Bulldog with a personality as unique as his name. When Depeche Toi came into my life, he was a bundle of energy and curiosity. But when it came to listening, he seemed to have selective hearing.

One day, as I called out to him to come inside from the backyard, he simply glanced at me and continued frolicking in the grass. Frustration kicked in – was he ignoring me? But I decided to dig deeper. I realized that his energy was off the charts, and he needed an outlet. After consulting with a professional trainer, I learned the importance of channeling his energy through training.

With consistent, short training sessions, Depeche Toi’s transformation was astounding. It wasn’t about teaching him commands; it was about building a bridge of communication. As he began to respond to my cues, our bond grew stronger. He wasn’t just my pet; he was a partner in this delightful dance of obedience.


In the world of French Bulldogs and training, there’s more than meets the eye. It’s not just about why your Frenchie isn’t listening; it’s about the journey you embark on together. Remember these key takeaways:

  • Consistency Counts: Training is an ongoing process that solidifies your bond over time.
  • Personalized Approach: Your Frenchie is unique – tailor your training methods to their personality.
  • Rewards and Patience: Positive reinforcement and patience are your best friends in training.
  • Unite as a Family: Consistency in commands and expectations across all family members is vital.

So, to all the fellow dog lovers out there, be patient, persistent, and understanding on this adventure. Your Frenchie’s selective hearing isn’t a roadblock; it’s a stepping stone towards an unbreakable relationship built on trust, effective communication, and a whole lot of love.

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