Potty training your bulldog puppy won't be an overwhelming task as long as you start from the day you bring him home and maintain a consistent method. Depending on your lifestyle, you might choose to paper train or crate train your dog. Both methods can be effective as long as you are consistent. Among dog trainers, crate training is now the preferred method, but that may not be possible for someone who has a full-time job.
About Crate Training
Crate training involves leaving your puppy in her crate when you are not able to actively supervise her. The crate should be big enough only for your bulldog to stand up and turn around. If it’s any larger, she may find a place to relieve herself. If your crate is too large, use a partition to make it smaller.
Often, puppies will need to go 20 minutes after they eat and often at half hour intervals, which increase in length as they get older. If it has been 20 minutes, take your bulldog to do his business. If he does, he can come inside and play with you for 30 minutes. If not, he must go in his crate and try again later. When you are gone or sleeping, you would also leave the puppy in her crate.
Considerations for Crate Training
Puppies can usually hold it for as long as one hour for every month old they are plus one. Thus, a three-month old puppy can hold it for four hours. You can’t leave a puppy in her crate for longer than 4 to 6 hours, except at night.
If you are going to be gone longer than 6 hours and can’t afford a dog walker, crate training is not for you. Otherwise, this is the most effective method because your dog learns to immediately go outside when he has to go and never gets the chance to relieve himself in the house.
About Paper Training
Paper training consists of an X-pen or small room partitioned off with baby gates and newspaper or potty pads in one corner. Unless the room is carpeted, your dog will naturally gravitate toward the paper for relieving herself. Since many breeders use newspapers in their nesting boxes, puppies have a natural affinity for it.
For the first couple of days, keep an eye on your puppy when he is in his area. If you see him sniffing or know it is time for him to go, lead him to the newspaper and praise him for going.
Considerations for Paper Training
If you are gone for long periods of time, this may be the method for you. It's considered easier because it is so natural for puppies.
However, puppies imprint early experiences very strongly, so your dog may be uncomfortable going on anything other than newspaper in the future. This can pose a problem as the puppy gets older. To solve this, you may need to take newspaper outside to teach your dog to eventually relieve herself outside or you can use grass or sod boxes in place of newspaper in the puppy’s area.
Considerations for Potty Training
No matter which method you choose, be consistent. Punishing for accidents in the house is completely ineffective because your bulldog puppy cannot understand for what reason he is being punished unless the punishment happens within 1 second after the accident. He also might be afraid to relieve himself in front of you rather than be afraid to go in the house and will be reluctant to go when you are watching, which will hamper the process. Preventing accidents through crate training or paper training is more effective.