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If you have just welcomed an 8 week old French bulldog puppy into your home, congratulations!
This is a very exciting time, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. It’s important to provide your puppy with the right care and training in order to ensure that he or she grows up to be a happy and healthy dog.
In this post, we discuss everything you need to know about caring for an 8 week old French bulldog puppy. We cover topics such as feeding, exercise, training, and more!
Let’s jump right in.
Table of Contents
What To Expect From Your New French Bulldog Puppy
You should expect your 8 week old french bulldog to be a little scared, hesitant or even stressed at first.
Hearing them wine and cry a lot is completely normal.
Think about it from their perspective.
They’ve just been separated from their mother and siblings and are in a completely new environment.
It’s going to take a little time for them to warm up to you and their new home.
There’s going to be many house-training accidents, lost sleep and likely a few items nibbled on that you’d wish they stay away from.
Many new owners can feel overwhelmed and frustrated, but this is completely normal as well.
The most important thing to do is give your french bulldog structure and routine.
This not only helps with making them feel more safe/comfortable but it’s also the beginning of building a loving relationship with them.
The more predictability they have in their day the better.
8 Week Old French Bulldog Puppy Size (Weight & Height)
8 Week old french bulldogs will weigh anywhere between 6 and a half pounds to 7 and a half pounds.
Of course some will be larger or smaller but the average frenchie will weigh 6.5-7.5 lbs when they’re 8 weeks old.
Also, when a french bulldog is this age they’ll be between 3-6 inches tall when measured from their paws to their shoulders.
A lot of their size has to do with whether they’re a male or female as well as the size of their parents.
They definitely don’t stay this small for long so be sure to enjoy it while it lasts!
Introducing Your French Bulldog Puppy To a Crate
One of the best ways to help reduce the amount of time it takes for your french bulldog puppy to be house trained is by using a crate.
Some people think crating a dog is cruel or unnecessary but it’s best to simply look at crates as a tool.
The individual who uses the tool has the ability to make them cruel or a completely safe and wonderful experience for their puppy.
Which means the most important thing for crate training is understanding how to make it a lovely experience for your frenchie.
When first introducing your 8 week old french bulldog puppy to a crate you want to do it slowly.
You want to help them have as many positive experiences as possible in their crate and never use it as punishment.
Doing things like leaving the crate door open and feeding them inside their crate.
Giving them lots of toys in their crate.
Not leaving the room while they’re in their crate.
Each of these helps your puppy learn to enjoy spending time in their crate.
When a crate is used properly it can help give them structure and routine, teach them how to settle, give them a home inside your home and as already mentioned, really help speed up potty training.
An 8 Week Old French Bulldog Puppy Schedule
Again, going back to structure, the sooner you can get your french bulldog on a schedule the quicker they’ll settle into their new environment.
The more predictable their daily routine is, the easier it will be for you to know what they need at certain points throughout the day (more food, to go potty, etc.).
If you don’t work from home this is a little more challenging but you’ll still want to do your best to follow a schedule similar to this:
First Thing In The Morning
First things first, take your pup outside for their first potty break. This might be earlier than you’re used to getting up or if you’re lucky your puppy was able to hold it and wait until you get up.
A little play time after they’ve done their business is never a bad idea.
Shortly after your frenchie has come back inside (15-20 min) you’ll want to prepare and serve them their first meal of the day.
Some pups may not be hungry quite yet for this meal and that’s totally fine.
Whether they eat or not, be sure to pick up their bowl after 15 minutes. This helps keep their bowel movements more predictable.
If your pup did eat their breakfast they’ll need to go outside again for another chance to go number 1 or 2.
This is another good opportunity to give them some quick physical activity.
Whether it’s playing or taking them out for a quick walk.
This will help them burn off the energy they got from their food and make them ready for a nap.
Mid-morning is a time when many frenchies will take their first nap of the day.
If your pup is ready for a nap it’s important to put them in their crate or pen when they’re sleeping.
This helps them get used to being alone which is best they learn sooner rather than later considering you (likely) won’t always be able to be home with them.
If you have to be away for a few hours it’s best to set up a pen area with enough space for them to go to the bathroom.
Or have a friend, family member or sitter come over to let them out.
Essentially from this point on you’re repeating your morning routine but in the afternoon.
Regardless of if they took a nap or not, you’ll want to take them outside so they can go potty.
Once they’re back inside you’ll want to feed them their 2nd meal of the day.
Which of course needs to be followed up with another potty break to make sure no accidents happen inside.
After this potty break you’ll want to give them some more physical activity, whether it’s playing, some simple training or a quick walk outside.
Pre-Evening (Late Afternoon)
After they get some exercise they’ll likely be ready for another nap.
If you decide to do play time and/or training instead of a walk, make sure they have the chance to go potty before settling down for a nap.
Once they wake up from their nap it’s okay to let them roam around while you wait for dinner time to come.
It’s up to you whether you want to have them eat at the same time as the rest of your family or while you’re preparing dinner.
Be sure to keep an eye on when they’re finished eating so you can take them outside for, you guessed it, another potty break!
Between later in the evening and bedtime is typically when 8 week old french bulldog puppies have the most energy.
It’s best to initiate play time with them so you can have better control of what they’re doing to burn off their energy.
Always be sure to give your pup a quick walk or at the very least let them outside again before bedtime.
Your frenchies bedtime is completely up to you.
Whether it’s 9PM or 12AM isn’t too important.
The important thing is that it’s as close to the same time every night as possible.
This helps keep their sleep schedule, eating schedule, and exercise schedule all on track.
If their bedtime is different every night it’ll only make the next day more challenging.
If they’re getting sleepy too early, do your best to keep them awake until you’re going to bed as well.
Once they’re tired and you’re ready for bed as well (this helps make sure they aren’t waking you up too early) take them to their crate for a good night’s rest.
If your frenchie isn’t able to last the entire night without an accident, set an alarm midway through the night to take them out.
It’s better if you know generally when they need to go to the bathroom during the night.
This way you won’t be responding to whining and teaching them that whining gets them out of the crate.
Make this potty break as boring as possible.
You don’t want them to get excited right now as it’ll only make falling asleep again that much harder.
Then you’re both off to bed to do the whole thing over again!
Potty Training An 8 Week Old French Bulldog Puppy
Now that you know the general schedule for an 8 week old frenchie, it’s time to start thinking about potty training.
The sooner you start potty training the better.
The key to potty training is consistency.
You need to be consistent with taking your puppy out, using the same words and commands, and rewarding them when they do their business outside.
In the beginning it’s normal for them to have a few accidents inside.
Of course, the better you are at sticking to a schedule the less likely they’ll be to have accidents inside.
The more consistent you can be with your frenchies daily schedule the quicker they’ll become potty trained.
Which means less stress for both you and your pup.
Always remember to have someone keeping an eye on your french bulldog when they’re inside to be able to pick up on signs that they need to go outside before accidents happen.
Behaviors To Start Teaching Your 8 Week Old French Bulldog
In addition to potty training, there are a few other things you can start teaching your french bulldog puppy at this age.
Basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and down are all great things to work on.
How to sit still when having more sensitive areas touched like their paws, tail/tail pocket, ears, mouth and face (when washing).
As well as when you’re putting on their harness or attaching their leash to a collar or harness.
You’ll also want to start training them to have positive experiences walking nicely by your side when out for a stroll.
And, this is a great time to start socializing your frenchie as well.
Take them to different places, around different people, and expose them to as many new experiences as possible.
All of these things will help make your french bulldog a well rounded adult doggo!
How Much Sleep Do 8 Week Old French Bulldogs Need?
It’s normal to see an 8 week old french bulldog sleeping as much as 18 hours per day.
They need this much sleep because their body is growing at such a rapid pace during this phase of their life.
It’s important to make sure they’re getting enough rest so their bodies can develop properly.
Which is another reason why having and following a puppy schedule is so important.
It makes time for naps and ensures they’re getting the rest they need to recharge.
The First Night With Your French Bulldog Puppy
The first night can be both exciting and nerve wracking.
You’ll want to make sure you have everything set up before they come home so there’s no last minute scrambling.
This includes having their crate set up in a quiet area of the house, food and water bowls ready, and all of their toys within reach.
You’ll also want to have some potty pads on hand just in case.
The first few nights will be the hardest as they’ll likely cry at night because they’re away from their littermates and mother.
It’s important to not give in and let them sleep in your bed as this will only make it harder for them to adjust to sleeping in their crate.
Stick to the schedule as closely as possible and they’ll be sleeping through the night in no time.
How Much Exercise Do 8 Week Old French Bulldogs Need?
At this age, you’ll want to let your french bulldog’s body tell you how much exercise they can handle.
In general, quick 10-minute walks 2-3 times per day should be more than enough exercise.
If they seem to have a lot of energy, go for a slightly longer walk.
If they get tired easily, stick to shorter walks or some indoor playtime.
When your french bulldog is just 8 weeks old you’ll want to avoid any seriously long periods of exercise.
You’ll have to be the voice of reason if they seemingly want to keep going regardless of how much they’ve done so far.
Feeding An 8 Week Old French Bulldog
When your french bulldog is 8 weeks old you’ll want to divide their daily food intake into 3-4 meals.
This helps make sure they don’t overeat and give themselves an upset stomach.
Also, another way to avoid giving your frenchie an upset stomach or diarrhea is to continue feeding them the food they ate at their birth home.
If you feel they should be eating a better quality food you’ll want to transition them to this new food slowly.
Over the course of 7-10 days gradually add more new food to their bowl and less of the old food.
Here’s an example of how you’d do this:
Day 1: 10% new food 90% old food
Day 2: 15% new food 85% old food
Day 3: 20% new food 80% old food
Day 4: 30% new food 70% old food
Day 5: 50% new food 50% old food
Day 6: 60% new food 40% old food
Day 7: 70% new food 30% old food
Day 8: 85% new food 15% old food
Day 9: 100% new food
Something also to consider, since french bulldogs have flat faces, they can sometimes have trouble eating dry food as young puppies.
To help with this, you can add a little bit of water or broth to their kibble to help soften it up.
What Should An 8 Week Old French Bulldog Eat?
There’s good reason that dog foods are formulated for small breeds, medium sized breeds and large breeds.
Small dog and puppy formulas are designed to give your french bulldog the right amount of calories, proteins, and nutrients they need to grow big and strong.
You’ll want to continue feeding them puppy food until they’re around 12 months old.
At that point you can switch them to adult dog food.
Purina is a food brand that many veterinarians (including my brother) are happy to recommend.
This small breed puppy Purina pro plan dog food would give your frenchie all the nutrients they need to grow into a healthy teen and adult.
What To Do If Your 8 Week Old French Bulldog Has Diarrhea
Considering moving to a completely new home is a very stressful time for your 8 week old frenchie, it’s not uncommon for them to have diarrhea.
Which means their diarrhea could simply be caused by them feeling uneasy in their new environment.
The best way to help them feel more comfortable is to keep them on a predictable schedule.
The more often they eat at the same times, go to the bathroom at the same times and sleep at the same times, the quicker their new life will become normal to them.
Of course, diarrhea can also be a sign that something is going on with their health or their stomach.
So if you notice other symptoms like nothing seems to excite them, they’re vomiting, there’s blood in their poop, or they’re refusing to eat/drink it’s important to take them to a vet.
How To Deal With 8 Week Old French Bulldog Biting & Nipping
It’s normal behavior for puppies to want to bite and nip at everything.
They’re exploring the world with their mouths and trying to figure out what everything is.
They’re also trying to learn boundaries.
When they nip too hard they’ll learn by your reaction (it’s best for you to yelp like their sibling would) that they got too rough and will learn to be nicer to continue playing.
Which is what they want.
And the earlier they learn these boundaries and how to have a ‘soft-mouth’ the better as they don’t have much jaw strength to do serious harm at 8 weeks.
The best way to deal with this biting and nipping is to redirect their attention elsewhere.
If they’re biting your hand, give them a toy or bone to chew on instead.
If you keep redirecting their attention they’ll eventually get the message that biting and nipping isn’t something you do with people or else playtime ends.
Must Have Items To Care For Your 8 Week Old French Bulldog
- Right sized collar. XS
- Right sized harness. XS
- Poop bags.
- Slow feeder bowl.
- High quality puppy food.
- Indestructible toys.
- Teething toys. Getting a few different types of dog toys is helpful to find out what types of toys your frenchie likes.
- Plush toys.
- Puzzle toys.
- Bed. Not necessarily a must, but something worth considering.
- High value treats.
- Pee/poop cleaner.
- Nail clippers.
- Dog Shampoo. 12 Best Shampoos For French Bulldogs | Full Bathing Guide
- Baby gate. When leaving your frenchie alone and you don’t want to keep them in their crate, sectioning off a certain area in your home with a baby gate is a great option to have.
Additional Support For You & Your Puppy
Is this your first time owning a french bulldog or a puppy in general?
If so you’ll want to get some help from a professional dog trainer.
Your puppies’ first weeks and months are incredibly important in shaping your frenchies behavior for the rest of their life.
If you’re unaware of the things you should be paying attention to and the best practices for raising the obedient, well behaved dog you’ve always dreamed of, it’s not going to happen by chance.
My good friend Steffi has what’s called the Ultimate Puppy Program where she gives breed specific advice that thousands of happy dog owners follow.
It also includes a stop jumping mini course, a masterclass on potty training, separation anxiety solutions, a hyperactivity helper mini course, an attention booster and much more.
If you’re interested in having an easy to follow, step by step program to help you raise your 8 week old french bulldog puppy I encourage taking a look at Steffi’s Ultimate Puppy Program.
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