Teaching a High Energy French Bulldog Puppy to Calm Down and Listen

Gracie is a ten-month-old French Bulldog puppy who lives in West Omaha. Her guardian called us to schedule a puppy behavior training session to stop her from getting over excited, barking, biting and pulling on the leash.

To say that Gracie was excited would be a bit of an understatement, lol. She jumped up, barked, and ran about as she had real difficulty controlling herself.

I sat down with Gracie and her guardian to discuss the problems she wanted to work on. The priority was to teach a puppy to calm down, stop barking, stop biting and some leash training.

I was hoping that Gracie would calm down enough to work with but after about ten minutes it became clear that we needed to drain excess energy before we could effectively do any puppy training.

I strapped on a pair of roller blades and spent 20 minutes dog skiing with Gracie to burn excess puppy energy. Once she stopped pulling on the harness, we finished our last lap and headed back to her home. Once inside, Gracie’s behavior was much better.

I made a number of suggestions to help the puppy start to see and identify as being in a follower position. Its not unusual for puppies to push the boundaries to test the resolve of their guardians and learn where the rules, boundaries and limits lie.

I stressed that its important for her guardian to correct or reward the puppy within 3 seconds for her to understand what her guardian is saying. I also showed her how to pet Gracie with a purpose and use passive training to reward her for desired actions and behaviors.

Gracie responded really well to the positive puppy training techniques and exercises. This is why I only use positive dog training. I want the puppy to know what it is the humans do and don’t want while rewarding it for desired actions and behaviors. This way, the human and dog are all on the same page.

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