How To Potty Train an English Bulldog Puppy

BulldogPros How To Potty Train an English Bulldog Puppy

English Bulldogs are one of the most popular dog breeds and for a good reason. They are intelligent and loyal creatures that are great with children. However, like any young puppy, an English Bulldog puppy needs to be trained from a young age to avoid accidents in the future. In this article, How To Potty Train An English Bulldog Puppy, we’ll show you exactly how to be successful in potty training, step by step. We’ll help you understand your pup’s toileting needs and how to meet them so that training is a success from the start.

Video: How To Potty Train an English Bulldog Puppy

Puppy Potty Training

Even though house training is possible with an adult dog, the best time to train your bulldog is when they are young. Let’s go over our tips to help with house training a puppy.

The first thing to keep in mind when house training your English bulldog is that there will be a need for constant repetition and consistency.

  • If you have been using newspapers or puppy pads, puppy potty training might be a bit more difficult. They’ll consider that as the norm; instead, have them potty outdoors, so it becomes the new norm for them.
  • To start, have them go potty outside every 1-2 hours. You could do this after a nap, eating, playtime, or right before bedtime. You’ll be able to time it better once he does the deed.
  • When taking them outside for potty time, make sure you pick a spot where they feel protected and comfortable.
  • After they finish outside, rewarding them can be helpful. Bulldogs love verbal praise, belly rubs, or treats. Be sure he is completely finished, or you run the chance of him going potty indoors.
  • As the puppy grows, you can extend the time because they have more control over their bladder muscle with age. Usually, after six months, they can go longer hours without going potty.
  • If you don’t want to consider having them go outdoor often, you can get a grass patch for your home. I have used this with excellent results.
    • I confined the puppy to a small area that I partitioned off from the rest of the house using a baby gate.
      • In the confined area, I had his dog pillow and grass patch.
    • In the beginning, I would place his feces on the turf to let him know that’s where he should go to eliminate himself.
    • In no time, he was using the indoor grass patch.
    • Tip: I bought two mats, so while I was washing one, I had another one to use.

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How To Potty Train an English Bulldog Puppy - Potty Grass Mat

  • If you have access to a backyard, pick out an area where you can take them. after taking them there a few times, they will eventually learn this is their spot to potty at.
  • Always encourage them and support them when you house train; using passive-aggressive tactics on a dog can create fear and insecurities.
    • Please don’t rub your puppy’s nose in his messes; not only is it cruel, but it may also damage the special connection you share with him.
  • Also, remember the younger your bulldog is, the more they’ll need to use the bathroom.

Watch Your Puppy For Potty Cues

While house training, it’s critical to keep an eye on your dog and detect when he has to go potty.

What cues will puppies give that they have to go potty?

How To Potty Train an English Bulldog Puppy

A puppy’s signaling that it needs to go potty is typical. If you’re vigilant in watching, most puppies will give you clues that it’s time for a potty break. Some begin to sniff the floor. A few spin around in a circle. Some whine, fidget or head for the corner or door in the room.

Once you discover the signs or cues your puppy gives, the easier it will be to get him outside at the right time for a potty break.

Crate Training

I’ve found it easiest when potty training a puppy to use a dog crate. The crate should be large enough for the puppy to turn around in and lay comfortably but not large enough that they can eliminate. If your pup does eliminate itself in the crate, it may be too large. If you start with a larger dog crate, section it off. 

While potty training, I would simultaneously be crate training. If I were in the immediate vicinity of the puppy and able to be vigilant in watching him, he would be outside the crate.

I would put him in his crate if I couldn’t constantly watch him. I would also crate train a puppy to sleep in the crate.

It didn’t take long before the pup loved his crate and a space to call his own. As they grew and matured, they would go in and out of their crate at their will.

Because dogs do not like to relieve themselves in their sleeping area, this made potty training very easy. Now don’t go away thinking you can just leave your puppy in a crate all day for hours on end. For one, puppies have small bladders and cannot hold their urine for long, and two; it would be cruel to do so as puppies need socialization.

When you bring the puppy out of his crate, take him immediately outside to relieve himself. Once he does, be sure to pour on the praise and positive reinforcement.

Take the puppy outside for potty breaks every 2 hours. This has been the method I have used over the years and has been very effective.

Start with picking out an area where you want your pup to relieve themselves. Make it a habit to take them to that area to potty every 2 – 3 hours to normalize this.

It’ll take time, persistence, and patience initially, but eventually, they’ll be well trained.

My English Bulldog Soiled His Bed – Now What?

How To Potty Train an English Bulldog Puppy

If your English bulldog constantly pees in their bed before getting to the solution, we need to find out the reason behind it.

For the most part, your bulldog will try not to pee in their bed. This comes from their instinct to keep their area clean, but if they’re going against their instinct, it might be from a behavioral, emotional, or medical reason.

In a situation like this, you’ll want to consult with your vet to cross out any medical issues. A few more common reasons are urinary tract infection, hormones, emotional issues, and marking territory, which is different from potty training.

Bulldog Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

A UTI is common in bulldogs and can be caused by fungi, bacteria, or parasites within this urinary tract. A UTI in an English bulldog will lead to constant urination, urgency, blood within the urine, and improper urination. Bulldogs are more vulnerable to a UTI than most other dog breeds.

The female bulldog is even more at risk than its male counterpart, even though the male can still get them. Your bulldog might be fully house trained, but having a UTI makes it hard for your dog not to urinate when the urge is there, and potty accidents can occur.

Hormone Responsive Urinary Incontinence

Your bulldog might pee the bed while asleep or just relaxing. This happens more with middle-aged spayed female bulldogs. They might not be able to hold their urine in, and it’ll leak without them being able to control it.

Getting your female bulldog spayed means her ovaries are removed, bringing down her estrogen production levels. Low estrogen levels make it difficult for your bulldog to control the muscle that allows them to hold its urine. Over time this becomes more prevalent with age.

Emotional Issues

If you notice your bulldog acting out of the ordinary, they could be experiencing stress, worry, or even anxiety. Even fear, if they are afraid of something or someone at home, they might decide to stay in their bed and not leave to go potty.

Some things can make your bulldog insecure; this could be a new family member or another pet. Make sure you help your bulldog feel loved, and also, don’t stop reinforcing where they should potty and where they shouldn’t.

Separation anxiety is another emotion they might be experiencing. If left at home alone for long periods of time, they can become distressed and begin to urinate and leave feces within your home.

If they’re wetting their bed because of insecurities, most of the time, simple changes can fix the issues. But if not, a vet visit to rule out medical problems or a consultation with a certified dog trainer might be in order.

Marking Their Territory – A Different Issue

Most dogs pick their spot out of instinct. English bulldogs mark their spot around the house to keep outsiders away. You’ll notice your dog might start doing this indoors, letting out small amounts of urine in specific places. They could also be doing this because they don’t want anyone messing with their belongings and want others to be aware that this is theirs.

Usually, they start doing this when someone other than the dog owner is brought into the home, maybe a new roommate or guest. This can also happen when a new puppy or adult dog is brought into the home. But be aware that this is not the same as your bulldog wetting the bed.

Cleaning Up Your English Bulldog’s Mistakes

Accidents can always happen; this could leave your home smelling awful. Don’t worry; we will cover different things you can do to get rid of the stains and smells.

How To Potty Train an English Bulldog Puppy

Hardwood Floors and Tile

  • If you have hard floors or tiles, use a strong absorbent cloth, paper towels, or a mop to absorb the urine. You can then clean the surface to remove any lingering smell.

Carpet and Furniture

  • Carpet and furniture can absorb the urine once it hits the surface. Once you notice this happening, get some paper towels to absorb what you can from the surface, then spray some water and a few drops of soap over the urine spot. Then get another set of paper towels or napkins to get the rest of the urine you can out.
  • For carpets or sofas, use any product that’ll break down the protein-based molecules from the urine. Be sure to spot-check first.


  • After cleaning up after your bulldog, you might still have the smell lingering. You want to remove the odor, or your bulldog will think the area is appropriate to potty again.
    • Baking soda is a helpful product; just spread the baking soda over the area where the urine was located. Let it rest overnight, and then use a vacuum to get the baking soda out.
    • A final tactic you can try is vinegar. If you mix vinegar with some baking soda and put it over where the urine was located, the mixture can neutralize the smell without fading the surface of the carpet or sofa. This is helpful in cleaning and maintaining your furniture. Again, remember to spot-check.
    • You can also find products for this in pet stores or online.

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Take Away

Remember, consistency, patience, and positive encouragement are essential for potty training your bulldog. They can be a little stubborn, but reinforcing, praising, and offering them a reward immediately after correctly using the bathroom in the appropriate potty area will take you a long way! Before you know it, you’ll have a potty trained dog.

Potty training a puppy is one of the most important steps you can take to make your puppy’s relationship pleasant. In reading How To Potty Train An English Bulldog Puppy, I hope you’ve found a method of house training that will work for you and your puppy. Before you know it, you’ll have a potty trained dog.

What methods of potty training have you found to be the easiest? Please comment below.