So we brought the home the adorable 11 week old Louis Francois last week on June 29th, 2014. (my birthday) His name is French and pronounced like Louie, Louis Vuitton, Louis the 14th. He is a “Frenchton” which is a French bulldog mixed with a Boston Terrier. How Louis Francois came to be…….
The Hubs and I have been interested in a bulldog for a couple of years now. We’ve owned a dog in the past, Zeus the Doberman, who passed away 3 years ago. And though it was nice to have a doggy break and focus on our growing cat family, we always knew there would be a time when we would we want a dog again. After our trip last fall to Paris we absolutely fell in love with the French Bulldog. We would look a bit but they are very expensive, have a short lifespan, and well the timing was just never right. Well two weeks ago I saw a girl walking the most adorable little 9 week old puppy that I thought was a Frenchie. I approached her and asked about the dog, she told me about the Frenchton and the town he came from. She mentioned that because the Frenchie is mixed with the Boston Terrier it has a bit better breathing canal, longer life span, and overall less health issues. Later after telling the Hubs about this adorable dog I could not remember the name of the town, nor find anything on a google search. Well, what do you know a few days later the Hubs runs into the same girl with the dog! He remembers the town info and we are able to find the breeder info online. Was it meant to be? So he called her up and made an appointment to visit. On the long 2 hour drive to meet the puppies I was still in a bit of disbelief thinking are we really going to do this? Well yes we did….. Louis is full of bursts of wild energy followed by sound naps. He is loving, adorable and so silly with a bit of a stubborn streak. We are absolutely in love with him!
Louis has also completely taken over my life. We are in full house training mode and working on some basic commands. Though he still has a long way to go in his training it’s amazing to see how much he learns each and everyday. I am also learning more each and everyday on what I can teach him, what his cry’s mean, and signs of needing to potty. (though I’ve gotten a few of those wrong) It’s hard for me to believe we’ve only had him a week! I also have to remind myself he is only an 11 week old puppy and is just a baby. My mantra is “calm, patience, love” which I say to myself in some of his more trying times. And in his more stubborn moments I work on channeling my more calm yet assertive aura like Cesar Milan suggests.
Okay so here is how how puppy training and living went week 1….
CRATE TRAINING: I’d say this is going very very well for us. I think the best thing we did was bring the crate when we picked Louis up. He did have some whines in the car on the good 2 hour drive home, but relaxed pretty quickly and would only start up when we made some stops. He was pretty exhausted that night so went right to sleep in the crate when we got him home. The only time I really have trouble is in the morning. I think he’s a bit over it after his long night sleep that he doesn’t want to go back in. And well sometimes I’m trying to get a few things done before we go for play time. But we are working through it. We also use the crate for all car transportation. It’s super tempting to just have him sit on our lap, but nice to have the crate to know he won’t get into anything if we have to leave him in the car for a short bit. All this continues to reassure him that his crate is a safe and secure place.
HOUSE TRAINING: This is going pretty well but not yet where it needs to be. We still have about 1 accident a day. I’m shooting to make it to the 2 day mark! Mostly pee accidents and only 3 poop accidents since we’ve been home. Currently he does not get to roam the house. He is pretty much in his crate whenever in the house. We also, have a fenced off area with rubber mats that his crate sits in. We call this the crated area though we haven’t been able to give him much free range in this area because it is the root of most of his accidents. When talking with the vet she suggested that he first needs to master the crate then, crated area, then one room of the house, and so on. I also think we need to get on a more consistent bathroom schedule. As of now he is in a range of 30 min-2 hours. He has made it to 3 hours on occasion when I am not home. He also does great at night with 1 walk in the middle of the night. We go with the motto no punishments when there is an accident and praise when he does his business outside. When we are outside I try and give him a treat and command whenever he “goes pee pee” or “poo poo.” But you have to be careful to not startle him and distract him from the act. I’ve read that puppies should be able to hold it for the amount of hours in correlation to how old they are. So at 2 months = 2 hours and 3 months = 3 hours. Well he is coming up on his 3 month birthday at the end of this week. So this upcoming week I am going to work on consistency of 2 hour intervals with hopes to grow that to 3 hours soon after. Again, I have to remind myself he is just a puppy and he just learned about holding his pee and poop last week!
What we are working on for week 2
*Consistent Potty Training – no accidents and holding it for 2 hours throughout the day
*Commands Sit and Come– we’ve already started the sit a little bit before food etc. He seemed to know this command already. We just now need to work on more consistency and the same with come, especially when he is in the yard eating a rock or something.
*Walking on leash – we usually walk him off leash in our yard and have discovered when taking him in public that he does not walk. He just lays there and bites his leash. So going to start using the harness and truly walking him a couple times a day.
*Socialization – They say 3-4 months is prime time for building socialization skills. Funny because he doesn’t get final shots till 4 months so cannot associate with dogs till then. So we just need to keep taking him to public places where he interacts with people and also practice his leash walking.
Our week 11 moments:
*Survived our first vet visit – They absolutely love him at the vet! He did fairly well, was a bit scared and was shaking at first and then calmed down. We did discover his ears are a bit dirty so she showed us a cleaning and instructed us to get some ear cleaner. He’ll be back in 4 weeks for his last round of shots.
*First bath – He did so great on his first bath. I thought he might go a little crazy in the bathroom since it was his first room to be free in a room in the house. But not so much, though he attacked the shower curtain. He didn’t love the bath and tried to escape a few times, but settled down and let me bathe him. After I wrapped him in his towel and he just sat in my lap to dry off. We cleaned his ears and pretend to clip his nails and brush his teeth so he gets used to the routine and he seemed to thoroughly enjoy it.
*Survived 4th of July – This was a big one! The 2 neighbors across the street set off fireworks for over and hour. Louis slept soundly snoring through it all! He finally needed his end of night walk and the Hubs took him to the backyard. He was a bit scared but did his business and back to bed he went. Below our a few more pics from our first week at home. Though I will say getting pictures is not that easy. He either doesn’t sit still or I’m too busy pulling rocks, bark, and grass out of his mouth to capture a photo!
Well here is to a fierce and fabulous week 2 with Louis!