Are English Bulldogs Easy To Potty Train? 12 Tips To Follow

english bulldog puppy potty train on grass

Few things in this world are cuter than English Bulldog puppies.I have experienced this adorable overload personally working as a dog walker. My job to visit a Bulldog puppy each day for a potty break was a dream client. I played a crucial role in the early days of this dog’s life, including their potty training. 

Are English Bulldogs easy to potty train? On average English Bulldogs can be easy to potty train when set up for success. Bulldogs are notoriously stubborn and can be hard to train at times. Teaching an English Bulldog to potty train will require consistency, patiences, and positive reinforcement.

Successful potty training of any dog requires a number of factors to put your puppy in the best position to succeed. English Bulldogs are no different. Though they can be a little harder to train, potty training can be much easier if you follow a few simple techniques.

In this post I have outlined some of the best tips for potty training an English Bulldog. I have used these techniques on both of my dogs and potty training was very easy. Using these same tips with your English Bulldog will ensure success and clean floors. Let’s dive in.

How Long Does It Take To Potty Train An English Bulldog?

English bulldog puppy

As a general rule it will take as long as 4-6 months to potty train an English Bulldog. Some dogs learn faster than others, but techniques in training will make all the difference. Being proactive, consistent, patient and positive you will shorten the time frame of your English Bulldogs potty training.

Generally when a dog is able to go several weeks in a row without an accident in the house I consider them to be potty trained. Though some English Bulldogs can be potty trained by the age of 4 months, a more common timeline is closer to 6 months. 

The success of your English Bulldogs potty training will depend primarily on you as the owner. Follow the tips in the sections below and your potty training will be over sooner rather than later.

How Long Can English Bulldogs Hold Their Bladder?

On average English Bulldogs puppies can hold their bladder between 2-4 hours depending on their age. The general rule is 1 hour per month of age. Adult English Bulldogs can hold their bladder for 5-8 hours or longer, but it is best to get them out to relieve themselves every 5 hours.

Variables such as activity level, amount of water consumed, and the age of the dog will all contribute to these timelines. Senior English Bulldogs may develop weaker bladders as they grow old. Adult Bulldogs may need more frequent potty breaks if they are well hydrated and very active.

Each dog will be different to varying degrees. Pay attention to some of the warning signs of an English Bulldog that needs to potty, and be aware of how much water they have consumed since their last potty break. After some time you will have a good understanding of your dog’s specific bathroom needs.

How Do I Potty Train My English Bulldog?

english bulldog puppy cute

There are several techniques used to successfully potty training an English Bulldog. Being proactive, consistent, positive, and patient are all important components to set your dog up for success. By controlling your puppies environment and setting them up for success potty training can be done easily.

Below are 12 of the best tips and techniques you can use to successfully, and hopefully easily, potty train your English Bulldog. By following each of these tips you will reduce accidents, create a positive learning environment, and increase your puppies chance of early success.

Be Proactive With Training

One of the most important tips for potty training your English Bulldog puppy is being proactive. There is a reason I put this up as the first tip. Being proactive will give your dog the best chances of potty training success.

Being proactive means getting ahead of your English Bulldog’s need to go potty. This means taking them out before they have a chance to go in the house. Take your English Bulldog puppy outside to potty when they:

  • Wake up in the morning
  • Finishing eating or drinking
  • Finishing playing and chewing
  • Wake up from a nap
  • Have not been out in 2 hours
  • Before they go to bed at night.

By following these simple guides you will reduce the amount of accidents in the house by a significant degree. Yes it will feel like you are going outside more than you are inside some days. That is part of the potty training deal. 

I know I felt this way only a few short weeks ago when I was potty training my Pocket American Bully Chester. Literally making 10 trips a day outside was the norm, and at times exhausting. But you know what happened? Chester is now 5 months old and hasn’t had an accident in the house in weeks.

Be proactive. It works!

Establish A Potty Routine

english bulldog puppy back turned potty on grass

Puppies know very little when it comes to basic commands and training in general. They are brand new beings in this world and don’t know that being on the rug is a bad thing. One thing puppies do understand very well is a routine.

Dogs are creatures of habit, and puppies are no exception. English Bulldog puppies will understand a routine far sooner than they will understand much of anything else. That is why it is important to set up a routine that your puppy can count on.

When your puppy knows that they will be going outside first thing in the morning, or right after dinner time, they are more likely to hold their bladder. When a puppy has no routine they will not know the next time a potty break is coming and relieve themselves whenever, and wherever they please.

Make routine a key component of your potty training and your puppy will learn to hold their bladder instead slightly longer in anticipation of an outside break.

Be Consistent When House Training

Much the same as routine, consistency is potty training your English Bulldog is important. Following a routine one week and not the next week can undo a lot of training progress. Stay consistent with routines, rewards, and places you take your dog to potty.

Control The Environment

Controlling your English Bulldog puppy’s environment is an important piece of the potty training puzzle. Limiting the area your puppy has access to in the home can reduce where accidents might happen and allow for you to keep a closer eye on their activities.

Allowing a puppy to have free roaming access to the entire home will lead to hidden accidents. You might not see your puppy pee behind the couch in the other room. This may create a new spot where your puppy will go to relieve themselves in the future without you having a chance to properly clean up.

Baby gates are a great way to limit access to rooms in the home. Attaching a leash to your waist to keep your puppy nearby at all times is also a good option. Controlling the space your puppy can access will make a big difference.

English bulldog puppy face

Another important part of controlling your environment is removing your English Bulldog’s water dish a few hours before bedtime. I will typically let my puppy have a drink 2-3 hours before bedtime and then remove it for the night.

This will ensure that your puppy has an empty bladder after their pre-bedtime potty break and can make it through most, if not all of the night. Not removing their access to water can lead to mid night accidents or very early morning potty runs.

Use A Crate For Potty Training

Crate training falls into the controlling your puppy’s environment category but deserves a section of its own. The crate is one of the most effective potty training tools you can use. Crate training has other amazing benefits for your dog, but potty training is definitely it’s best feature.

Dogs will avoid relieving themselves in places they sleep and eat. By providing your English Bulldog puppy with a small, yet comfortable place to sleep and relax, you are preventing accidents from happening when you are asleep or out of the home.

Crates should be large enough for your puppy to easily stand and turn around inside. Not too big that they can go to a corner and relieve themselves however. The crate will allow you to leave your puppy for short periods of time without worry of accidents. It also allows the puppy to learn to control their bladder.

Once you do return home or wake up in the morning, get your puppy straight outside from their crate for a potty break. This is very important and goes back to being proactive, routine based, and consistent.

I personally would recommend the iCrate from Midwest Homes. This is the exact crate I use for my puppy and it is amazing. The iCrate comes with an adjustable panel that has allowed me to gradually increase the space my puppy has access to as he has grown. Instead of buying a new crate every other month, I just adjust the size.

icrate for potty training

Show Them Wear To Potty

Picking a spot in your yard or nearby grassy area is another tip for potty training success. By showing your English Bulldog puppy where and what to do their business on you begin to create an association.

Grass areas are the preferred spots to do this sort of training. The smell and texture of the grass is much different than anything in your home. After some consistency in this practice your Bulldog puppy will automatically identify grass as the place where they can relieve themselves.

English bulldog in grass field

Use Potty Pad Alternatives

Potty pads can be a way to minimize clean up in the home as well as designate a spot where your puppy goes potty. There are however much better alternatives. Potty pads are not a natural surface that your dog will find outside. As mentioned above, associating a spot like grass will create a connection for your dog.

Potty pads can prolong potty training progress and be hard to wean off. Once you start removing potty pads your dog will just continue to go on the floor of the house. Alternatives like the Doggies Lawn are far better to create the association we are looking for. As well as a more natural way to train.

Doggie Lawn is a natural, real grass puppy pad you can set up for your dog for those times you can’t get them outside to potty. Naturally covers up the smells, earth friendly, and lasts for weeks, unlike one time use puppy pads. 

This product is such a brilliant idea. This will not only teach your puppy that grass is the spot to potty, but is just so much nicer to have in your home or on your balcony compared to those stinky, ugly, and sometimes messy potty pads. Check out Doggie Lawn as a great potty pad alternative.

Reward Successful Potty Breaks

Positive reinforcement with your English Bulldog is a must. Each and every time your puppy successfully goes potty outside you make them feel like a champion. Shower them in praise and some of their favorite treats. Show your dog that what they did is highly desired behavior.

English Bulldogs are eager to please their family members. This constant and consistent positive reinforcement will teach them quickly what you are trying to accomplish. My puppy is 5 months old and accident free for a couple weeks now. I still make a huge deal of his success. Never stop while they are in training.

Never Punish Accidents

english bulldog on floor

There are some old school opinions out there when it comes to punishing potty training failures. Things like rubbing your dog’s nose in their urine or feces or physically punishing them. These techniques do not work and should be avoided completely.

Not only does your dog not understand why they are being yelled at, hit, or man handled, you are creating a sense of fear. This can lead to behavioral problems down the road. Developing this fear based reaction can lead to stress, anxiety and even aggression issues.

Never punish your English Bulldog puppy when they have an accident. Simply ignore them for a bit when they do. Clean up the mess, and move on. You have a chance for success in just a few hours. The only party responsible for accidents in the home is you. Try again and remain calm.

Know The Potty Time Warning Signs

Even when your dog is on a great routine, you are being proactive, and consistent, they will need to potty out of the blue. Knowing the warning signs of an incoming accident are important to spot and interrupt as soon as possible.

One of the major signs your dog is about to relieve themselves is sniffing around an area and turning in circles. This means they are looking for a spot to potty. Immediately interrupt this behavior by distracting them or even picking them up and getting them outside.

Establish Ways For Your Bulldog To Communicate

english bulldog with toy

Communicating between you and your Bulldog puppy can be very helpful in potty training. Establishing ways for your English Bulldog to alert you they need to go outside is not only a neat trick, but an effective potty training method.

Things like bells at the door where you go out for breaks are great. You can teach your dog that anytime they touch and ring the bell you will get them outside. This may take a few days to teach, but once you have that line of communication open it is amazing.

When potty training my Staffy she would alert me by sitting at the door and staring at the door knob. This was before I had considered bells, but it was just as effective in letting me know she needs outside. Sure your dog might abuse this just to go for a trot outside, but I would rather that than an accident inside.

Remain Patient With Potty Training

Patiences is going to be your greatest asset in the potty training months. It can be so easy to get frustrated and tired. Puppies are a lot of work and sometimes it seems like they never stop pooping and peeing. But remain calm, and stay patient.

Losing your cool will not help your training. It can in fact hurt your progress and create a distrust or fear in your dog when you lash out. 

I have had to take several deep breaths many times over the past couple months potty training my puppy. Just when you think things are getting close to complete, an accident occurs. I get more upset with myself about not preventing the accident, but I have to remember this is a process and takes time.

Go easy on yourself and your dog. With time and all of the tips I have listed above you will have success. These are some of the most grueling days of training, but they will pass.

Resources & ReviewsThe Best Dog Training Courses, Books, & Tools

Why Does My Bulldog Keep Peeing In The House?

English bulldog high maintenance

There are several reasons why your Bulldog keeps peeing in the house. A lack of routine, consistency and proactive approaches to your Bulldog’s potty training will lead to more accidents. Another factor could be health related. Things like urinary tract infections can cause frequent urination problems.

If your Bulldog is peeing in the house and you are following all of the tips I have gone over in this post it may be time to visit a professional. A vet can rule out any potential infections or diseases that may be leading to constant accidents in the home.

A professional dog trainer may be another option if your Bulldog is perfectly healthy. Getting the expertise and personalized assessment of your dog’s behavior will help in correcting the problem. Find a highly reputable trainer in your area that has a positive reinforcement approach and plenty of positive reviews.

Final Thoughts

English bulldog puppy sleeping

Potty training an English Bulldog can be as hard or as easy as you make it. The responsibility of successful potty training lies with you, the owner. Making the effort to set your English Bulldog puppy up for success and remaining patient with the process will lead to quicker training.

Follow these tips I have outlined and see for yourself how well they can work. Even the most stubborn of English Bulldogs can pick up and follow these techniques. I have used these very tips for both of my dogs and potty training was remarkably easy.

Bookmark this article. Share it to your social media. Print it out and keep it on the fridge. I promise by following what I have shared you are that much closer to potty training victory with your English Bulldog puppy.

Related ArticleAre Bulldogs High Maintenance? – 10 English Bulldog Facts

Recent Posts