When you’ve got a dog at home, one of the most important things you can learn is to understand what your dog wants and is feeling. However, sometimes, your Frenchie might look scared, maybe of you or something else happening.
Dogs, like people, have complex emotions, and no matter how hard you try to keep your pup happy, you will probably notice unhappiness sometimes. Your dog may be fearful because you are punishing them. After all, there is a past lack of trust or trauma.
Why is My French Bulldog Scared?
Frenchies are quite small for dogs. As a result, they may get scared easily, especially when the whole world is designed for people-sized animals. We tower over dogs.
If your dog is scared of you or otherwise, there may be some common reasons for this. We walk around and sometimes accidentally step on dogs. We may not know how to communicate with our dogs if we don’t take the time to learn.
You Punished Your French Bulldog
One thing that will almost instantly instill fear in any dog is using physical punishments when training. Punishments are not necessary for dogs, even when training them. If you caught your pup chewing on something they shouldn’t have been, or if they nipped while playing and you reacted with a quick swat, you are setting your dog up for failure.
You Can’t Read Your French Bulldog’s Body Language.
Suppose you can’t read when your pup’s body language says they are uncomfortable in a situation. In that case, you may end up unintentionally scaring them because you don’t see when you’re already violating boundaries that your dog may have.
You can prevent them from being scared of you by taking the time to slow down and read your dog’s body language.
You Haven’t Bonded with Your French Bulldog.
If your Frenchie avoids you, it could be a problem with bonding. If you haven’t gotten to know and bond with your pup, especially if you’ve only recently welcomed them into your home, your dog may be afraid of you when you approach.
Your French Bulldog Has Experienced Trauma
Dogs are quite impressionable, and all it takes is one or two bad moments to teach your dog that humans can’t be trusted. If you adopted a pup or dog from a shelter, rescue, or bought from a puppy mill, you may have a dog on your hands that has experienced horrible conditions. This can lead to fearful behaviors around people, whether you or others.
Your French Bulldog isn’t Well-Socialized
Puppies of all breeds need to be socialized early to be comfortable, well-adjusted dogs. One of the most common causes of extensive fear in dogs is that they were not socialized and introduced to situations that may be a bit intimidating.
Why Does My French Bulldog Have Anxiety?
Anxiety is not quite the same as being afraid. While they are quite similar, they may have different causes. Anxiety in Frenchies can be a common issue, and once you start to understand its reasons, you can start treating it.
You Didn’t Socialize Your Dog During Crucial Puppy Weeks.
The most common cause of anxiety in dogs of all breeds is that they weren’t socialized well. The world is a big, scary place, and when you don’t teach your dog to tolerate these ideas early on, they may think that everything around them is scary or bad.
As a result, you can wind up with permanently anxious dogs. Rather than allowing that, you need to capitalize on the socialization period in puppies, which lasts between 3 and 16 weeks.
Your French Bulldog Doesn’t Separate from You Well.
Your pup may also be anxious because they struggle with separation anxiety. This specific type of anxiety occurs only when your pup is forcibly separated from you, at which point, they may become distraught and work hard to get back to you at all costs.
This can be quite dangerous and even destructive. It would be best to teach your dog to tolerate being absent. This means leaving your pup alone in a crate while you leave home for periods to teach them that your leaving isn’t the end of the world.
Your French Bulldog May be Anxious
Some dogs are anxious, even when they are well-socialized. This can be genetically determined. Anxious parents are more likely to have anxious pups. Pups from puppy mills or backyard breeders tend to have more anxious tendencies than reputable breeders.
How Do You Tell if Your French Bulldog Loves You?
If you recognize some of the behaviors mentioned previously, you may find yourself worried that your Frenchie doesn’t love you. However, keep in mind that there are many ways that dogs communicate that they love us.
By learning to see those signs of affection from your furry friend, you can rest assured that your pup is happy with you, even if there are periods of fear.
Your French Bulldog Wants Pats from You.
If your pup willingly comes up to you, begging for attention and affection, he probably genuinely enjoys being around you. Look for happy cues, such as tail wagging, a relaxed face, and ears pulling back while he stretches his head out toward you, begging for pets.
Your French Bulldog Brings You Broken Things
Though it may seem frustrating to have your pup return to you with broken toys or even dead animals and plop them at your feet while whining, this is a sign that your Frenchie trusts you. By bringing you something broken, your pup shows that he trusts that you can fix the problem.
Your French Bulldog Makes and Maintains Calm Eye Contact
Dogs generally avoid making eye contact in most situations. This is because it can be deemed threatening to stare down another dog or person. However, calm, soft, gentle eye contact with someone is a sign of trust. Your pup shows that he trusts you and won’t hurt or betray you by gazing back at you. This is usually paired with calm, happy body language as well.
Your French Bulldog Comforts You When You’re Upset
Another common sign of affection from dogs is attempting to comfort you when upset. The next time the world has you down, pay attention to see if your pup comes up to cuddle you. If so, that attempt to comfort you shows that your Frenchie cares about your feelings.
How Do You Get a French Bulldog to Like You?
Thankfully, getting dogs, Frenchies included, to like you isn’t rocket science. With a few simple changes to your behavior, you can be sure that your furry friend will quickly grow to enjoy you.
Respect Your French Bulldog’s Body Language
One of the most important things you can do is respect your Frenchie’s body language. Please get to know it and recognize the signs that your pup may be getting uncomfortable with a situation. By respecting what your pup says, you will develop trust and affection.
Focus on Positive Training
When it’s time to train your dog, the best thing you can do is use positive reinforcement. Rather than punishing the wrong behavior, you should reward the right ones. Instead, by training in this way, you teach your pup that training is positive and enjoyable.
Feed and Care for Your French Bulldog Regularly. You establish yourself as a pillar of trust by feeding and caring for your dog. You show your pup that you are someone who will take care of them and that they can trust you, no matter what. This creates positive associations and helps create a bond between you.
How Do You Relax a French Bulldog?
If you’re doing everything you can and you realize that your Frenchie still seems anxious or scared, there are other methods that you can use to relax your dog. From exercise to using anti-anxiety tools, you can start showing your pup that life is to be enjoyed.
Exercise Your French Bulldog Regularly
A tired dog is a happy, well-behaved dog. When you exercise your pup regularly, you can prevent anxious energy from becoming overwhelming. You can also cut down on negative behaviors, such as anxious chewing, whining, or other misbehavior. Make sure your dog gets a walk each day to help keep these anxious feelings at bay.
french bulldog anxiety attack
Use Gentle Physical Touch
It would help to ensure that all touches between you and your Frenchie are gentle. Show your dog that you are to be trusted and that you are there to protect them. Gentle pets on the chest are preferred, especially for lessening anxiety.
You can use calming diffusers that spray pheromones in the air when all else fails. You won’t smell them, but your dog will, and the pheromones will help relax your dog and show that there is no danger there.
You can also try anti-anxiety shirts, which wrap around your pup’s body like a blanket and help them stay calm, even during potentially scary situations. Use these before fireworks or car rides to help alleviate anxiety.
french bulldog body language
Having a scared dog can be no fun, especially when fear or anxiety is directed at you! But, with a few simple changes to your routine and how you interact with your pup, you can help them feel much more comfortable and confident in their lives.
Marshall Newton stands as an authoritative figure in the world of dog care and training, enriched by over 40 years of hands-on experience. His lifelong journey with dogs has seen him own over 20 canines from a diverse range of breeds, making him a versatile expert in the field.
Marshall's expertise doesn't stop at general dog care; he's also a specialist when it comes to French Bulldogs. As the founder of "Little French Dog," Marshall provides invaluable advice and resources for both new and seasoned Frenchie owners. Whether it's understanding breed-specific traits or discovering new care tips, Marshall is the go-to resource in the Frenchie community.
Interested in learning more? Feel free to connect with Marshall on LinkedIn for a deeper dive into his professional background and a wealth of canine insights.
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