We love Frenchies and they love us! French Bulldogs are a smaller dog, bred to enjoy being by their owners side. They are lovable, loyal, playful and happy! They’re such a joy, but how do they do without their owners around?
Do French Bulldogs Do Well at Home Alone? French Bulldogs do not do well when they are home alone for extended periods. They love their owners more than anything else! They tend to be “Velcro” dogs and want to be with their owners so much that they’ll even follow them throughout the house. While they may be ok if left alone for short periods, Frenchies might need more attention if you spend hours away from home. French Bulldogs often develop separation anxiety when they’re left to their own devices. Signs of separation anxiety include:
- Continuous whining, barking or howling
- Destruction of things when alone
- Intense restlessness and pacing
- Scratching at window or doors
How Long Can I Leave A French Bulldog Home Alone?
As always, it depends on the situation. Generally speaking, you need to be sure you allow your dog time to accommodate any major changes. Over time your Frenchie can get used to some alone time. There are things to make this progression easier but each dog has his own personality.
My dog Chachi is a Puggle/Frenchie mix. He doesn’t prefer to be alone, but he’s very good at it now. Mostly because we’ve made him comfortable and he feels like he’s “Home”.
In my mind, the keys to this are the time to adjust to his new home and the stuff that makes him feel comfortable. The early stages after we brought him home someone was always with him. After those few days, he adjusted quickly and we would go out more and more often. Usually, he is fine!
At this point, we’ve left him alone for hours and he’s completely ok.
Make Sure They’re Comfortable!
You need to make sure they have some things that give them comfort. He has the ones he always goes back to…his bed, his various chew toys, and his crate.
More about his comfort items:
- Bed — The dog chews on EVERYTHING lol. Including the bed, and anything that could be ripped open he’d do it. We had no less than 4 different beds for Mr Chachi. He found a seam on them all but one. This bed on Amazon is the one we ended up with. The Standard size is perfect for Chachi who is 6 months old and maybe 18 pounds right now. He’s had it for months now, chewing on it often, and it’s still really solid. Very happy with it. I’d say this is the biggest comfort item for him.
- Chew Toys — He loves the stuff in this bundle, especially Mr. Duck. And LOVES these antler things. I’ve only tried this brand because he loves them so much I’ve never had to try others. Just find some toys from wherever and see what your pup likes.
- Crate — For this, reach out to friends or check facebook groups maybe to see if they have a used one. We got the one Jamie recommended in the crate section here. It’s this crate here (on Amazon). We’re very happy with it. I love that it folds down easily when we need to take it to my Dads.
If it was up to most French Bulldogs, they would never be left alone. That’s how dependent they can be on their owners. But, there may be times when it can’t be avoided, and you have to leave the dog alone. You may have to work or go someplace and leave the dog. The length of time you can leave the dog alone depends on a couple of factors.
The dog’s age will make a difference in how long the dog can be alone. Puppies can only hold it in so long. There is an old saying that a dog will never “soil” a place where it eats and sleeps. In most cases, that is true, but when the dog has to go, he’ll eventually go. Puppies shouldn’t be left alone in or out of a crate for more than a couple of hours. Large dogs can be left alone for a longer amount of time.
Most owner’s work an 8-hour day, so their dogs are left alone from 8 to 9 hours when you add in commuting time. This is generally the longest time any dog should be left home alone. Although it’s not ideal, it can be done. Eight hours is a long time even with an adult dog, but if the dog has had some training, he will generally get better with time.
The severity of the dog’s separation anxiety should also play a part in determining how long your French Bulldog should be left alone. If your dog suffers from severe separation anxiety, you may want to hire someone to come in and assist you with the dog when you’re gone. Another option is to speak with your veterinarian. He may want to prescribe some sedatives to calm your dog when you’re gone.
How Many Hours Is Too Many?
If you speak with dog professionals about leaving your French Bulldog home alone, they’ll generally tell you that 4 to 6 hours is the most time they should be left home alone. That’s about the amount of time a dog goes before relieving himself. However, when their owners work 8-hour days, they can usually hold it that long.
For this breed especially, if you need to be away a long time, you might look into other avenues to give your dog some company. Among them: Friends, neighbors, and family to look in on your dog, dog walking services, stopping home on a lunch break, or doggy daycare services. We’ll talk about these more in the next section on services.
French Bulldogs that are fully housebroken won’t relieve themselves in the house unless they really can’t hold it any longer, which is usually after 8 hours. Anything after 8 hours is considered a long time for a dog, but dogs tend to adjust almost as though they have their own internal clock.
When they’re used to their owner being gone a certain amount of time every day, they seem to adapt almost as though they’re able to tell time. One thing worth keeping in mind is that every dog is different. Whether the dog has separation anxiety, has a weak bladder, or is just in need of exercise, the amount of hours that’s too many depends on the dog and how he reacts to being alone.
What Services Can You Use To Help Out If You Are Working During the Day?
If you can’t avoid being gone from home for many hours, you may find it beneficial to hire pet-sitting or pet-walking agencies to assist you in taking care of your French Bulldog. There may also be people in your neighborhood who can go to your home and take the dog out for walks or spend time with him when you’re gone. You can also hire local pet sitters to come to stay with your dog the entire time you’re gone from home. If you live in a larger city, you can use the services of professionals.
- Rover – The professionals working for this company will sit with your dog at their establishment or at your home. They offer pet sitting, pet walking, and pet boarding, among many other services.
- Wag! – This dog walking service can come whenever you need them to walk your dog. You can also schedule walks ahead of time.
- Pet Sitters International – You call this company and they will connect you with professional pet sitters available in your area.
- Doggy Daycare – A quick Google search of Doggy Day Care near me will give you a starting point. We also like to check facebook community groups and ask for a reference there.
Things To Make Alone Time Easier For Your French Bulldog
Although this is not always the case, most pet owners get their French Bulldog when it’s a puppy. After the initial excitement of having a new puppy wears off, one of the first thing dog owners do is begin training the puppy simple commands like sit, down, stay, come. Once they’ve accomplished those commands, they move onto more fun commands like fetch, sit pretty or shake hands.
What we seldom teach our puppies is how to deal with separation. The biggest reason is that, since we’re gone when our dog is having trouble, we don’t often realize what they’re going through until it gets bad. When we leave our dogs home alone and hear them crying as soon as we return home, we just assume it’s something they’ll outgrow.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Getting used to being alone is often something the dog needs to be taught, and it’s usually more successful when it’s taught at a young age. Here are some tips on how to help your French Bulldog puppy adapt better at being alone.
- Teach him to be alone even when you’re home. Put him in his crate with a treat or toy so he’ll look at this time as pleasant.
- Don’t make a big deal out of hellos and good-byes. Make them as low-key as possible. If you make it a big deal, the dog will think it’s a big deal.
- Provide your dog with plenty of exercise, especially prior to your leaving. A tired dog is more likely to sleep and less likely to have the energy to make noise or be destructive.
- Give the dog a treat before you leave and when you return so he associates your leaving with good things.
- Do not reward bad behavior. Regardless of how bad you may feel about being gone, don’t let your guilt get in the way of training. When bad behavior is rewarded, it’s repeated.
Personally, when I am leaving for a while to do some work I’ll make sure I carve out some time to play fetch with Chachi. We’ll go out, he can do his business if he needs to and we’ll play a bit. Once he’s had some time doing that, inside, and I’ll give him a few treats and his favorite chew toy. (He loves Elk Antlers!)
Unfortunately, some dogs never completely get over separation anxiety. When you’re dealing with a dog like the French Bulldog that wants to be by your side at all times, they’ll probably never enjoy being left alone. However, with training, patience, and consistency, you may be able to get the dog to where he’ll accept being alone.
What is Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety is exactly what the name implies. It describes how your dog becomes anxious when he’s separated from you. Depending on the dog, the separation anxiety may be mild where he only cries a little, or it can be serious separation anxiety that causes the dog to pace restlessly, bark constantly and even destroy furniture, doors or other property.
Can I put toys in my dog’s crate when I am gone?
You not only can put toys in your dog’s crate when you’re gone, but you should put toys in his crate, at least if you want to take his mind off of being alone. The more the dog has to occupy his mind, the less chance of him becoming loud and/or destructive.
However, make sure you put safe toys in the crate. Puzzle feeders, puzzle toys, and similar interactive toys are great because they are not only time-consuming for the dog, but French Bulldogs also find these very mentally stimulating. Most of these have treats or food inside, which makes the dog even more eager to play with them.
And On That Note…
The French Bulldog is a loving, intelligent and very affectionate dog and companion. Despite the fact that separation anxiety is often common with these dogs, proper training and consistency can go a long ways towards making your dog’s time away from you more bearable. As wonderful pets and companions as French Bulldogs can be, if your lifestyle is such that you can’t avoid being gone for long stretches of time, you may want to reconsider getting a French Bulldog at this time or hiring professionals for assistance.