Archive for the “Bringing Your English Bulldog Home” Category
Bringing Your English Bulldog Home.
With a small puppy, it is best to confine him to specific areas until he is completely housetrained. The ideal plan is to have a place where he can be confined in the kitchen or family room – someplace where he is still part of the family. He can have freedom to roam around for a short time and under constant supervision, right after he has eliminated outside. As he grows and matures, he will be allowed more freedom.
The easiest and most effective way to confine a English Bulldog puppy is to get a metal wire crate (he will chew on plastic or soft sided crates) that’s at least twenty-four inches wide, thirty-six inches long, and twenty-six inches high. Place it where the puppy is to sleep; make sure this area is warm and free of drafts. Confine the puppy except for those times when he’s supervised. Leave the crate door open when the puppy is out so that he can return at will. But bear in mind that a puppy, or an adult dog, cannot be crated all day.
Is a Crate a Canine Jail?
Crates serve many functions. Many people use a crate to housetrain their English Bulldog puppy or adult dog. This is an excellent idea because it enables you to train your pet faster and with less trauma, mental and physical. The crate can also be a safe haven for pets who are destructive while the owner is away. It makes travel with your pet much safer for you and the animal, as well.
Most dogs do not resent a crate, but rather find it to be a safe and secure retreat. Many people who use a crate for housetraining will see their dog lying in the crate with the door open when he is tired and wants someplace quiet to sleep. Other times, when the hustle and bustle of the home is reaching a high point, the dog may voluntarily retire to his crate with a toy to chew on. I believe crates are one of the very best training tools. Don’t feel guilty about using one.
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Finally, before you bring your puppy home, select a few pet professionals to help you care for your English Bulldog. You will need a veterinarian, a dog trainer, and a pet sitter or boarding kennel.
You can find these professionals by asking dog-owning friends about whom they have done business with and whom they recommend. Is there someone they suggest you should avoid? Once you have a few names, call and make an appointment. In most cases, it’s wiser to have an established relationship with a professional before you need their help.
Your English Bulldog will need a veterinarian to care for his health. Select the veterinarian as you would your own private physician or pediatrician. Ask if they are comfortable treating Bulldogs; not all veterinarians are. The vet should be aware of the health problems faced by Bulldogs and how to treat them.
Ask the veterinarian what their payment policies are and what credit cards they accept. Are they available after hours and on weekends? If not, do they recommend a local emergency clinic? What else is important to you? This is the time to ask.
Puppy-Proofing Your Home
You can prevent much of the destruction puppies can cause and keep your new dog safe by looking at your home and yard from a dog’s point of view. Get down on all fours and look around. Do you see loose electri¬cal wires, cords dangling from the blinds, or chewable shoes on the floor? Your pup will see them too!
In the kitchen:
- Put all knives and other utensils away in drawers.
- Get a trash can with a tight-fitting lid.
- Put all household cleaners in cupboards that close securely; consider using childproof latches on the cabinet doors.
In the bathroom:
- Keep all household cleaners, medicines, vitamins, shampoos, bath products, perfumes, makeup, nail polish remover, and other personal products in cupboards that close securely; consider using childproof latches on the cabinet doors.
- Get a trash can with a tight-fitting lid.
- Don’t use toilet bowl cleaners that release chemicals into the bowl every time you flush.
- Keep the toilet bowl lid down.
- Throw away potpourri and any solid air fresheners.
In the bedroom:
- Securely put away all potentially dangerous items, including medicines and medicine containers, vitamins and supplements, per¬fumes, and makeup.
- Put all your jewelry, barrettes, and hairpins in secure boxes.
- Pick up all socks, shoes, and other chewables.
A dog trainer will teach you how to train your English Bulldog and will help you as you progress with your training. The trainer can also assist you as you socialize your Bulldog and introduce him to the world around him. The trainer will also be available to help you if you encounter any problems along the way.
In the rest of the house:
- Tape up or cover electrical cords; consider childproof covers for unused outlets.
- Knot or tie up any dangling cords from curtains, blinds, and the telephone.
- Securely put away all potentially dangerous items, including medicines and medicine containers, vitamins and supplements, cigarettes, cigars, pipes and pipe tobacco, pens, pencils, felt-tip markers, craft and sewing supplies, and laundry products.
- Put all houseplants out of reach.
- Move breakable items off low tables and shelves.
- Pick up all chewable items, including television and electronics remote controls, cell phones, MP3 players, shoes, socks, slippers and sandals, food, dishes, cups and utensils, toys, books and magazines, and anything else that can be chewed on.
In the garage:
- Store all gardening supplies and pool chemicals out of reach of the dog.
- Store all antifreeze, oil, and other car fluids securely, and clean up any spills by hosing them down for at least ten minutes.
- Put all dangerous substances on high shelves or in cupboards that close securely; consider using childproof latches on the cabinet doors.
- Pick up and put away all tools.
- Sweep the floor for nails and other small, sharp items.
In the yard:
- Put the gardening tools away after each use.
- Make sure the kids put away their toys when they’re finished playing.
- Keep the pool covered or otherwise restrict your pup’s access to it when you’re not there to supervise.
- Secure the cords on backyard lights and other appliances.
- Inspect your fence thoroughly. If there are any gaps or holes in the fence, fix them.
- Make sure you have no toxic plants in the garden.
The trainer you choose needs to like Bulldogs and be aware of their training challenges. You can ask other English Bulldog owners whom they recommend, or ask if your veterinarian knows a good trainer. Once you find a trainer, ask if you can watch a couple of classes. Make sure you will be comfortable in the class and with that person’s training techniques.
Pet Sitter or Boarding Kennel
You will need someone to watch your English Bulldog when you won’t be home. You may need to make a business trip or go on a vacation when your Bulldog can’t go with you. Although many people ask a friend or neighbor to watch their dog, far too many catastrophes have happened in these situations.
A professional pet sitter will come out to your house a couple of times each day to feed, water, and play with your Bulldog. They can even take him for walks, too. The English Bulldog sitter will also pick up the newspapers and the mail. The positive aspect of this service is that your dog remains in the comfortable surroundings of his home. The negative is that for most of the day and night your dog is alone. What will happen if there is an emergency?
If you decide to use a boarding kennel, your dog will stay at the kennel. He will not be at home, but he will be closely supervised.
Obviously there are pros and cons to both situations. You will need to find out which will work better for you and your dog.
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Pick a time when you will be at home for several days. Your English Bulldog puppy needs to get to know you, to become acclimated to his new home, and to get comfortable with his daily schedule of walks, playtime, and perhaps his new food (don’t change food, unless it’s absolutely necessary, for several days, and then change it gradually).
English Bulldog Puppy Essentials
You’ll need to go shopping before you bring your English Bulldog puppy home. There are many, many adorable and tempting items at pet supply stores, but these are the basics.
- Food and water dishes. Look for bowls that are wide and low or weighted in the bottom so that they will be harder to tip over. Stainless steel bowls are a good choice because they are easy to clean (plastic never gets completely clean) and almost impossible to break. Avoid bowls that place the food and water side by side in one unit – it’s too easy for your dog to get his water dirty that way.
- Leash. A six-foot leather leash will be easy on your hands and very strong.
- Collar. Start with a nylon buckle collar. For a perfect fit, you should be able to insert two fingers between the collar and your pup’s neck. Your English Bulldog will need larger collars as he grows up.
– Crate. Choose a sturdy crate that is easy to clean and large enough for your puppy to stand up, turn around, and lie down in.
- Nail cutters. Get a good, sharp pair that are the appropriate size for the nails you will be cutting. Your dog’s breeder or veterinarian can give you some guidance here.
- Grooming tools. Different kinds of dogs need different kinds of grooming tools.
– Chew toys. Dogs must chew, especially puppies. Make sure you get things that won’t break or crumble off in little bits, which the dog can choke on. Very hard plastic bones are a good choice. Dogs love rawhide bones, too, but pieces of the rawhide can get caught in your dog’s throat, so they should only be allowed when you are there to supervise.
- Toys. Watch for sharp edges and unsafe items such as plastic eyes that can be swallowed. Many toys come with squeakers, which dogs can also tear out and swallow. All dogs will eventually destroy their toys; as each toy is torn apart, replace it with a new one.
He needs some free time to explore. He needs to be held and loved. Just imagine yourself in his place: He has no idea where he is and who you are. Your English Bulldog puppy can’t talk, and he can’t really understand what you are saying. Everything is new and different. It takes time, but the time you spend with him now will help him learn to trust you and be a happy, confident animal living a wonderful life.
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When your new English Bulldog comes home, he’s not going to know where he is, who everyone in your family is, and why he’s there. He may settle in with no problems at all, or he may be a little stressed. If your Bulldog is a baby puppy, he may be curious and may want to explore the house, yard, and garage. If your new Bulldog is an adult, he may be worried and may try to escape from the yard. In any case, it’s very important that you make sure everything – house, yard, and garage – are safe and secure before you bring home your new English Bulldog.
A Secure Yard
Your Bulldog will be happiest spending time in the house with you. However, he will also enjoy some time outside basking in the sun or snoozing in the shade. Your yard needs to be safe and the fence secure.
The yard should be free of any-thing your Bulldog might decide to turn into a toy, including gardening tools, kids’ toys, and pool tools, toys, and supplies. English Bulldogs have powerful jaws, and if your dog decides to chew on anything, it will be destroyed. Besides causing damage, your dog may also hurt himself.
Make sure there are no chemicals around that might tempt your dog. Put away all insecticides, fertilizers, herbicides, and anything else you use in the yard or pool. When stored away, put them behind a good latch or better yet, a lock.
The fence also needs to be strong and secure. Although English Bulldogs are not known for their jumping abilities, they can climb. If the firewood is piled up against the fence, your Bulldog may decide to climb up and over. In addition, Bulldogs are strong. When faced with a weak fence and something interesting outside the fence, your Bulldog may decide to go right on through it.
Once you have made your yard as safe and secure as it can be, walk around and take another look at it from your English Bulldog’s point of view. Bend down or get down on your knees. Do you see that cord dangling from the spa motor? A Bulldog puppy will chew that. See the potted plants on the porch with leaves dangling from the pots? Those will be great fun to chew up. How about the ties that hold the cushions on the lawn chairs? Those are fun to pull on. Double-check to make sure your English Bulldog will be safe and can cause as few problems as possible.
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A new English Bulldog – how exciting! If you’ve had a Bulldog before, you know how much your life is going to change. But if this is your first Bulldog, you have no idea yet. English Bulldogs are unique among dogs. They’re silly and yet dignified, affectionate and loyal. They snort and snore and pass gas, but at the same time they will love you with all their being.
Before you bring home your new best friend, you need to make sure you’re ready for him. Your house, yard, and garage need to be puppy-proofed for safety, and the fence should be checked for any gaps or loose boards. You may also need to go shopping.
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