One of the more social dog breeds, alone time isn’t exactly their favorite thing. French Bulldogs are no doubt one of the sweetest breeds of dogs and make wonderful companions and pets. They can be very charming, are highly adaptable to new situations, and will never pass up the opportunity to sit quietly in your lap for hours on end.
Frenchies can be more than a bit stubborn, however, and do tend to exhibit more separation anxiety than other dog breeds. That’s mostly due to how strongly they bond with their humans, which is great, but it can make leaving them alone problematic.
While some dogs can easily be left alone for hours on end, French bulldogs are more of a pack type dog and need to be around the rest of their pack, whether that’s other dogs or humans. For that reason, most experts recommend not leaving a French bulldog alone for more than 5 or 6 hours at a time.
In the article, How Long Can French Bulldogs Be Left Alone, we’ll take a closer look at what it takes to be able to leave your French bulldog at home safely. Also, we’ll give you tips and advice on how to to keep them busy while you’re away. That way, you don’t come home every day to massive doggie destruction. Enjoy.
How Long Can French Bulldogs Be Left Alone, Hours-Wise?
French bulldogs are extremely sociable animals, to be sure. Once they have bonded with their humans there’s very little that will ever break that bond.
For many people that would be a problem. For example, if you work a 9-to-5 job and have a half-hour commute, you’ll be away from home for nine hours at least. If you travel a lot for work it could also be a problem as French bulldogs have quite a bit of separation anxiety. That’s why we recommend that, if you’re thinking about adopting a French bulldog, you think long and hard about the responsibility that you’re taking upon yourself.
Frenchies will need you almost as much as a child and will take up nearly as much of your time. It’s a big investment, no doubt, but in our opinion, the pay off is worth it. French bulldogs are one of the most loving and loyal dog breeds there are and make wonderful pets. Just realize going in that they are going to need a lot of attention, care, and love.
Should They Be Left Alone Inside or Outside?
You should never leave your French bulldog outside, especially during extreme weather. That includes both very hot and very cold days where their small bodies could easily overheat or freeze. French bulldogs are most definitely inside dogs and not outside dogs. Yes, of course, you can play with them outside and go for walks and things like that, but the majority of the time they should be inside.
That’s not to say that French bulldogs are “weak” dogs or that they are fragile, far from it. Your average Frenchie loves to romp around in the snow for a little while or splash around in a puddle. They’re curious, courageous and can be a playful bundle of energy. But outside dogs they are not, and if you’re considering adopting one you should be aware that they need to live inside.
You can certainly leave them alone for a few hours in, say, a screened-in porch if the weather isn’t too hot or cold. But again, just to reiterate, this is not the type of dog where you get a dog house outside and they live out there full-time. Leaving them inside when you leave, for that reason, is your best option.
Should They Be Left Alone in a Crate, a Pen, or Unsupervised in the House?
The answer to this question all depends on how your French bulldog was trained from a pup. For some, being unsupervised is not a problem at all while, for others, it might lead to disaster. In those cases a crate or pen would be recommended, but only if they have been trained beforehand.
The thing is, one of the best qualities of a French bulldog is that they can adapt to practically any living situation. From a large farmhouse to a small apartment in the city and any size space in between, they usually have no problem at all adapting. One thing that they do tend to have, however, is separation anxiety, and for that reason, a crate or pen can sometimes be very good to have.
One thing you need to realize, though, is that you can’t simply go out one day and buy a crate or pen and then expect your fully grown Frenchie to go right in and be 100% fine with either one. (Hint: they won’t be.) What that means is that you will need to crate train them right from the beginning when they are puppies. The good news is that, because of the type of dog they are, most French bulldogs that are crate or pen trained well use them as a place of comfort when you leave.
Some Tips on Using a Crate or Pen Train Your Frenchie
- The best thing for your Frenchie when you leave is to know that their pen or crate is a comfortable and safe place. For that reason, never use it to punish them for misbehaving.
- If your bulldog but he is house trained, don’t confine them to their pen or crate.
- You can let them use their crate as their “safe spot” for when you leave the house
- If your Frenchie is young and still a bit destructive, leaving them in a crate for two or three hours if you have to leave is OK, but not much longer than that
- Make sure that, whatever crate you use, it has plenty of room for them to move around without having to contort their bodies into ridiculous positions.
How To Help French Bulldogs Expend Energy While They’re Alone
There are a few things that you can do to help your Frenchie expend energy when you’re not home. Before we get into them, however, you should know a few things to do so that they don’t have a ton of energy.
For example, taking them out for a walk and/or some playtime before you leave is a great way to use up some of their extra energy (and keep them from using it to be destructive when you’re gone). If their energy is because they are anxious and suffering from separation anxiety, there are products you can give them to help them stay calmer. (More on those in just a sec.)
But, the truth is, most dogs when left alone will look for something to do, and usually something to chew on. For that reason, they should always have plenty of chew toys around when you leave. You should probably buy new ones regularly because Frenchies are whip-smart and get bored easily. Also, leaving them treats is a great idea but making it a little difficult to get the treat is even better. Below are some suggestions for toys, treat-dispensing products, and those anxiety products we talked about above.
- Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball
- EETOYS IQ Treat Ball
- colapets Dog Chew Toys
Boredom Reducing Toys
- Pet Qwerks Blinky Babble Ball
- Hyper Pet Doggie Tail
Anxiety Reducing Products
- Mellow Shirt Dog Anxiety Calming Wrap
- PremiumCare Calming Treats
- Valerio Pet Hemp Oil
How To Make Your French Bulldog Comfortable While They’re Alone?
As we’ve already discussed, a crate or pen is a great way to keep your French bulldog comfortable when they’re home alone. If you train them correctly, they will see this as their “safe spot” and feel very comfortable inside it.
While they are not particularly prone to problems with heat or cold when inside, you should make sure to leave them in a comfortable house or apartment. Too hot is especially problematic because French bulldogs tend to overheat easily. A good way to look at this is that, if you are comfortable, your French bulldog will likely be comfortable as well. If you’re too hot or too cold, they will be also.
We already talked about toys and treats dispensers, above, which can help to keep them occupied and less distractive when you’re away. Also, hiring a dog walker to take them out is a good idea if you’re gone for more than five or six hours. Not only will they get some much-needed attention but also a chance to go to the bathroom.
How To Monitor Your French Bulldog While You’re Away From Home?
One newfangled way that French bulldog owners are interacting with their fur babies is to purchase monitoring systems. These are video systems with cameras that they can use to see their Frenchie on mobile devices when they’re away from home. (They are very similar to a baby monitoring system.) Some of these monitoring systems even allow you to remotely give your Frenchy a treat and talk to them!
Frankly, we love these devices because it allows a bit more interaction, helps your fur baby to know that they aren’t alone, and gives you the chance to make sure that they aren’t getting destructive while you’re away. (Of course, there won’t be much you can do about it!) Here are three of our favorites.
- Is pretty amazing. There’s a barking sensor that alerts you, it dispenses treats and lets you see your Frenchie and even talk to them!
- is just as amazing and, like the Furbo, connects to any mobile device.
- doesn’t dispense treats but it does allow you to play with your furry buddy remotely. Very cool!
French bulldogs are definitely inside dogs and need a lot of attention. If you train them well and give them plenty of TLC, leaving them alone for a few hours during the day shouldn’t be a problem. Get them some treats, toys, and possibly a video monitoring system and you should be all set!
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