Bulldogs are extremely popular as family pets. They rank in the top four breeds according to the American Kennel Club. It is a medium-sized dog, with a wide head and a small rear. Their strong legs hold up their large heads.
Whenever a bulldog is excited, you will see a beautiful smile on its face. Some people might find them intimidating at first, but bulldog owners can tell you that these dogs have a gentle and friendly nature.
Should You Get an English Bulldog?
Many people make a hasty decision to buy an English bulldog without understanding its needs. This breed has many special requirements, which the owners should be aware of before they decide to adopt or buy one. Many bulldogs suffer due to poor care from their owners, and they often end up in dog shelters due to numerous health problems that the owners were not prepared to deal with.
Bulldogs are great with kids, and they adjust very well with other dogs around the house if they are socialized as puppies. However, they have a strong prey instinct, due to which you might want to keep an eye on them if you have cats at home. Correct and resolve any such behavioral problems in their early stages to avoid problems later on.
These dogs are highly independent; they have a stubborn nature, which often makes it challenging to train them, especially when they aren’t in the mood. Their primary motivation is food, so food-based training is an excellent choice when you want your dog to listen to you and follow commands.
Make sure to provide a comfortable and relaxing environment at home for your dog. These dogs are known to be escape artists whenever they get bored or anxious. They can also easily escape if the fencing of your home is not secure enough.
If you are exercising your dog regularly, it will be happy to just laze around the house afterward. They are loyal and protective by nature, which makes them an excellent choice for families with kids. Their imposing demeanor is sure to scare away rodents or other animals that may threaten your kids or scare them.
A full-sized male English bulldog can weigh up to 60 pounds. In contrast, their female counterparts can weigh up to 40 pounds. Both sexes reach a height of about 15 inches tall. However, if you are looking for a smaller-sized dog, a better choice would be the French bulldog. Remember that the bulldog will have a lot of energy packed in a small frame. Be prepared for that before you bring it home.
These dogs have relatively flat faces. They are commonly known as the Brachycephalic dog breed, so they are susceptible to many health problems if they are not monitored closely. They can suffer from an underbite where the lower jaw and teeth stick out more than the top of the jawline.
English bulldogs are single coated, and they do not shed a lot. Unlike other breeds, which require a lot of consistent grooming, a bulldog doesn’t require you to comb their bodies. It is a low-maintenance dog and brushing it a few times a week is sufficient. They also do not require frequent bathing.
What the bulldog requires the most in terms of its grooming is proper face care. You will need to use a soft damp towel and clean your bulldog’s wrinkles daily. Make sure to properly pat dry its face to prevent any harmful bacterial or skin infections in the long run.
In general, bulldogs do not require a lot of exercise to remain active and healthy. They may enjoy a gentle game in your garden or a brief stroll through the park, but that’s about it. They aren’t built for speed, so they don’t need high-intensity games to expend all their energy.
Bulldogs are incredibly intolerant of warm weather. They need to be kept inside the house to prevent them from overheating or suffering from heat stroke. If you live in a warmer area, you will need to keep your air conditioning active around the clock to maintain a consistently moderate temperature for your dog.
They are known to be poor swimmers, so keep them away from water and ponds in your garden. Owing to their huge heads combined with short legs, their frames just aren’t built to float in the water. That’s why you need to be vigilant about your dog when it’s around water bodies.
Brachycephalic dogs are known to have breathing difficulties, especially in hot temperatures and while exercising. You will also hear your bulldog snoring and snuffling from time to time. They are also at an increased risk of suffering from arthritis, joint injuries, skin infection, dry eye, and bladder stones.
Many bulldogs also suffer from food allergies that can lead to gas, diarrhea, itching skin, and several other problems. They do not digest grains, poultry, and potatoes well. The average pet food found in your grocery store may not sit well with your dog either. You will need to do a trial and error of different kibbles to find one that does not cause an allergic reaction in your dog. It’s best to visit your vet and ask for a few recommendations
Bulldogs also have a tail pocket. This means the bulldog tail will have a pocket right underneath the tail and just above their bum. These tail pockets can collect filth and, if not cleaned regularly, can get infected.
Many bulldog owners are not able to identify these infections until the dog begins to show discomfort. Tail pockets can appear at any age, so ensure regular checking underneath your bulldog tail. If you feel an indentation beneath it, it is an indication that you need to clean the pocket.
You need to provide your dog with good quality pet food with appropriate nutrition. These dogs can eat up to 2.5 to 3.5 cups of dog food per day. They are known to be notorious overeaters, so monitor their eating habits and prevent them from overeating. If you let your dog eat freely throughout the day, it might become obese, which aggravates its health problems.
A good starting point for a well-bred puppy bulldog would be the American Kennel Club. You can also check the Bulldog Club of America to find reputable dog breeders. Ask the breeder for the dog’s history and information and if you can see the siblings and parents of the puppy.
This will provide you an insight into the temperament of the puppy when it grows up. It would help if you also asked for health screening certificates of the puppy to ensure it does not suffer from any congenital disabilities.
If you want a great companion dog that does not require lots of exercise and will not shed a lot, then a bulldog could be the ideal choice for your home.