Chewing is a habit that is common in most dog breeds, but it is a particular problem with French Bulldogs, especially puppies in the teething phase. Puppies are the worst, but a Frenchie of any age can destroy parts of your home with their chewing habits.
With puppies you will have to play an elaborate game of hide-and-seek to stop your shoes and belongings getting chewed up, as well as invest time in training and chew toys. With older Frenchies there are also some training tips you can adopt to stop them from chewing your home and furniture to pieces.
In this guide I am going to take you through some tried and tested methods to stop your French Bulldog chewing problems. It will also explain at what age the chewing should stop, and how you can also remedy the other common problem of paw and foot chewing.
What age do French Bulldogs stop chewing?
If you’re wondering “when will my French Bulldog stop chewing” (which is a very common question!), then I have some good news. It is typically at around 8 months old. In the majority of cases, the chewing problems should stop by the time they have stopped teething.
I’ve put together a guide on how to help your Frenchie during the teething phases, but with most puppies teething takes between 20 and 24 weeks from the point it starts.
If you still have French Bulldog chewing problems in an adult dog, continue to read as all of the following tips for puppies and adults can equally apply.
Why do French Bulldogs chew?
Aside from teething in puppies, chewing problems can also occur in adult dogs. It can be due to nutritional problems, worms, boredom, lack of exercise, stress, and separation anxiety.
I will explain more about this further down, but first let’s focus on stopping the chewing when it’s related to teething in younger puppies.
How to stop a French Bulldog from chewing
There are many tactics that can stop – or at least reduce the impact of – your French Bulldog chewing. You can chew-proof your home, exercise them more, provide chew toys and distractions or gently discipline and train them to keep them away from your furniture.
If you’re French Bulldog won’t stop chewing furniture, you will need to “chew-proof” your home.
With our own puppy Claude, we had to move a shoe rack off the floor to stop him getting at our shoes stop him from going into certain rooms where he liked to chew on furniture.
Here’s what we did in full.
1. Remove potentially tempting or dangerous items
If there is a delicious-looking shoe left out in the open that your French Bulldog knows he can’t chew, this may lead to some frustration and anger which, in turn, could develop into destructive and poor behaviour habits.
To make your life and their life easier, if there are certain items in the house that your dog is prone to chewing, it makes sense to keep them out the way.
Make sure you and everyone you live with picks up all their possessions as they go to ensure your items are safe, and to not put your French Bulldog under undue stress by constantly leaving tempting items within their reach.
Another reason to remove items from your bulldog’s view is for their own wellbeing, as they might end up chewing things that could potentially harm them, like electronic wires or a toxic substance like chocolate (see how dangerous this can be).
Below you can see a photo of what I had to do with some electric cords in our house.
To stop your French Bulldog from chewing, the best quick-fix method is to remove opportunity for them to do so.
2. Restrict their access to areas
Sometimes it isn’t possible or practical to remove every chew-able item in your home. In these circumstances, removable gates are your friend. (Life hack: baby/toddler gates work just as well!).
You can put them in doorways or stairwells in order to stop your French Bulldog from munching your home in oblivion; restricting their access only to areas of the house you’re confident they won’t chew.
The fact they are removable is also good because once you have trained your French Bulldog to stop chewing your possessions, you will able to slowly integrate them into other areas of your home until you are ready and confident that they have, at least in part, curbed the habit.
Also, if you are going out for a small while, you could also place your dog in a crate or pen to ensure that they don’t ransack the house and chew furniture whilst you’re gone.
However, ensure you have walked your French Bulldog and given them the chance to go to the toilet before you crate them, and ensure that food, water, toys, a soft bed and a puppy pad (if necessary) is provided. Read these tips on Frenchie potty training.
3. Provide them with chew toys to help and distract them
There are a number of chew toys I recommend for Frenchies, all of which Claude has used (and continues to do so to this day).
These kinds of toys withstand hours of chewing, meaning that you don’t have to worry about getting bored and then starting to chew your stuff. It is the perfect distraction that allows them to get all those chewing urges out.
Teething chew toys
The main type are teething toys which are ideal for puppies that love to chew furniture and shoes. If your French Bulldog is in the adolescent/puppy stage and you suspect that they might be teething, you can buy chew-toys that have qualities such as silicone tips, which are designed to relieve the pain of teething.
When we have to leave Claude home alone for an hour, we’ll fill his Kong with little treats or peanut butter (without xylitol). This will keep him entertained until he can get all the snacks out. You can buy a pair of them on Amazon (view prices).
For more recommended chew toys, check out my Frenchie teething toy page.
Dogs, especially French Bulldogs, are intelligent animals. If they have nothing to do and no way for them to exercise their brain, they may get bored and frustrated and, in turn, feel more inclined to chew.
This is why toys designed with brain-stimulation in mind are a productive way to stop your French Bulldog from chewing. Here’s a great one on Amazon.
Interactive feeding toys help dogs develop problem-solving skills through positive reinforcement, where they can complete tasks and get a treat as a reward.
Although they aren’t as hard-wearing as conventional chew-toys, plush toys do provide a sense of comfort and companionship for your dog, which may help to occupy them and stop them from engaging in toxic behaviours.
Train them to focus on chew-toys and not your possessions
Avoid rawhide-based chew toys
Toys that contain compressed rawhide can give your dog something to get their teeth into. But, whilst extremely popular I don’t recommend that at all.
Rawhide can be dangerous for dogs to chew on and there’s a wealth of information online about this. Go Google it if you need confirmation or read my guide to Frenchies and rawhide bones.
4. Supervise them as much as possible
If it isn’t practical to leave them alone or gate off areas in your home, another simple yet overlooked option is to just keep a close eye on them.
This has the benefit of not only teaching your French Bulldog independence, but also giving you the opportunity to keep your possessions strictly unchewed.
How to stop an adult Frenchie from chewing
The tips above can help to stop a French Bulldog puppy to stop chewing during teething. But what happens when you get past the teething stage or it’s a more behavioural problem that continues into adulthood?
Here are some more tips.
5. Use physical repellents
Another way to chew-proof your home is through something called ‘impersonal correction’, which involves something apart from training indirectly stopping your dog from unpleasant habits.
A spray we used on the corner of our table was this bitter spray on Amazon. It worked very well (but not before we caught Claude in the act, see the photo further up), so go check out the prices and reviews to see if it’s something you would like to try.
6. Gently discipline and redirect focus
If you find your French Bulldog chewing your possessions, sternly say ‘no’ and replace the item they’re chewing with one of their toys.
By replacing whatever they’re chewing with a chew-toy, you are redirecting the focus of your French Bulldog as well as giving them the clear message that when they want to chew, they need to chew the toy rather than your possessions.
7. Reward good behaviour
Following on from teaching them to chew toys rather than possessions, it is good to make a fuss of your French Bulldog when they chew their toy rather than your possessions: give them treats, stroke them and tell them what a good dog they are.
This leads to them to have positive associations with chewing toys rather than your things, meaning you get to keep your stuff safe as well as a happy dog.
8. Exercise your French Bulldog regularly
If you take your French Bulldog on walks or let them have a play in the dog-park, this will leave them too tired to wreak havoc on your possessions, as well ensuring that they remain a healthy, fulfilling and fun lifestyle!
If you’re having a busy day, even a brisk half-hour walks or a play in the garden would make all the difference.
Handy Hint: Just like us humans, dogs can get bored of the same walk. Read this post to see what I discovered!
Why does my French Bulldog chew the furniture?
In case you’re wondering, there are several reasons why your French Bulldog might be chewing. I touched on the reasons earlier, but let’s look a little closer at why the problem happens.
- Teething: As I’ve mentioned before, if your French Bulldog is an adolescent/puppy, it is likely that teething is a key reason for their chewing. Luckily, if this is the case, they will grow out of it – although in the meantime, try and relieve their pain and make them feel comfortable.
- Boredom: Some French Bulldogs may start chewing your possessions because they simply have nothing else to do. This is why frequent walks, activities and stimulating toys are a good way to stop chewing, as this will help relieve their boredom.
- Natural instinct: As with all dogs, French Bulldogs are derived from wolves, which means that they have natural predatory instincts, where they would catch and eat their prey. Unfortunately, your dog’s prey may well be your slippers!
- Stress:Frenchies that chew can be stressed. The stress can manifest itself with an upheaval (such as a new pet), a house move, or them reacting to your own behaviour. They are sensitive creatures and here’s how to check your Frenchie is happy.
- Health problems: This only really applies if it seems like your French Bulldog is obsessively chewing their own body. The reason they may do this is because issues like allergies and parasites irritate their skin, and they’re trying to stop it. If you suspect your dog has an allergy or parasites, take them to your vet immediately. For more health issues your Frenchie could suffer from, click here.
Resist the urge to punish
If your French Bulldog won’t stop chewing the furniture, don’t react by shouting, punishment, or physical means. This can only make the chewing problem worse as they will become anxious.
Reinforce in a positive manner when your Frenchie stops chewing the thing you don’t want it to and moves onto a toy instead.
What age do French Bulldogs stop chewing?
It depends on the reason behind they’re chewing. If they’re teething and they’re chewing to relieve the pain, once their teeth come through, they will have no need to chew anymore.
Your training of your French Bulldog to stop them from chewing is also likely to be more successful the younger they are. If they’re older, expecting them to un-learn habits may be more difficult.
Also, due to chewing mostly being a natural instinct, it is likely that it will be difficult for them to stop at any age.
French Bulldog paw chewing
This is an entirely different matter altogether. The reason your French Bulldog chews his paws or feet will typically be related to health issues. This can include problems such as:
- Allergies: this is the number 1 reason for French Bulldog feet chewing. Contact your vet if you suspect your four-legged friend has a dermatological problem.
- Dry skin: this can occur in warm weather and can be treated by having more fatty acids in their diet. It’s your dog trying to soothe the dry paw pads.
- Anxiety or depression: when Frenchies feel down they can chew their paws compulsively. Give your dog some TLC and keep him active and entertained.
- Pain: the first check you should make is to see if there’s a cut on the paw. Dogs will instinctively lick a wound, so it could be as simple as a splinter or cut.
- Parasites: ticks, fleas, and other parasites can get into the paws. It could be your Frenchie trying to get rid of the critter by chewing.
Although French Bulldog chewing problems are very common, especially in teething puppies, it can be stopped. Please do try all the methods I’ve listed above to stop your Frenchie from chewing, but honestly, in most cases it will stop by the time they stop teething.
If it does continue to be problematic into adulthood, and a mix of exercise, stimulation, and play doesn’t cure it, you might have to talk to your vet.
Handy Hint: Once you have solved the chewing problem it’s time to train your puppy to stop biting. Read my 13 tips on how to solve the biting problem.