Archive for the “World According to English Bulldogs” Category
World According to English Bulldogs.
If English Bulldogs could choose their owners instead of the other way around, they would probably choose someone who enjoyed life as much as English Bulldogs do. The ability to laugh at silly things would definitely be high on the Bulldog’s list of owner requirements.
Bulldogs can be couch potatoes, and an owner who enjoys this too would make a Bulldog happy. But it’s important for the Bulldog’s health that he goes for walks, so the owner should be willing to walk the dog every day.
The Bulldog’s owner must also have creative and innovative dog training skills, as well as lots of patience. Training is important, but not all Bulldogs agree. The owner also has to take the time to socialize his English Bulldog and make sure his Bulldog is well behaved in public.
Most important, the very best owner for any English Bulldog is an owner who loves his dog.
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Unfortunately, as with other breeds, there are some English Bulldogs with problems. Every breed can produce the dog who may never be an enjoyable companion. But English Bulldogs can be strong and powerful, so a problem dog could harm someone.
Beware of extremes – dogs who are too bold and aggressive or dogs who are very fearful and timid. Bulldogs who are too bold are not good examples of the breed and may be dangerous to people. English Bulldogs who are fearful and timid are poor representatives of the breed, too, and may bite when they are very afraid.
Good breeders are careful to choose dogs for breeding stock who are of good character and personality. Unfortunately, even careful breeders can sometimes still have a problem dog. Just don’t feel sorry for that dog and take him on as a personal challenge. The risks are too great.
Although poor breeding practices create some of the bad dogs we see, people can also turn a good dog into a bad one. A dog who is neglected, unsocialized, teased, tormented, or treated unfairly for too long can turn into a dangerous dog.
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Bulldogs are usually delighted to share your bed or sleep on their own in your bedroom. But beware – most English Bulldogs snore. They do not have a quiet, soft snore, either. It is a loud, regular snore. To the experienced Bulldog owner, this snore is music – an indication that all is right in the household. But if you are someone who must have absolute silence in your bedroom, your English Bulldog must sleep at the other side of the house.
If, for some reason, it is impossible for your dog to share your bedroom, select a permanent spot for him to sleep. A laundry or utility room, if it is cool in the summer and warm in the winter, is ideal. A wire crate with a blanket or rug (not indoor-outdoor carpeting) for a bed is the next best thing to sharing your bed. This setup also gives the Bulldog a place of his own during the day. He can go there as he wishes, or you can put him there and close the door if things are happening in your home that a dog should not be part of.
Unpleasant Noises and Smells
Unfortunately, Bulldogs are prone to flatulence. This flatulence is not just a mild whiff of an odor, but can be a room-clearing, eye-watering, sneezing type of flatulence.
When my husband and I were still caring for Chesty, we were all (my husband and I, the two German Shepherd Dogs, and Chesty) in the living room one evening with all the dogs asleep on the floor. Suddenly Watachie, our older German Shepherd, got up and left the room. This was odd, because the German Shepherds liked to be close to us, but I figured maybe he had a bad dream.
A few seconds later, though, Michi, our younger German Shepherd, left the room – quickly! Just as I was ready to get up and check on both those dogs, a foul odor wafted over. I began to choke, my eyes watered, and my nose began to run! My husband soon smelled it too, and we left the room. Chesty, unaware that he had cleared the room, slept on.
Luckily, as we soon learned, when Bulldogs are fed a good-quality diet, the flatulence will decrease. It rarely disappears, but it will be less.
English Bulldogs Need Exercise
English Bulldogs are not high-energy dogs. Unlike the Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, or Labrador Retrievers, Bulldogs will be happy with a walk, a play session, and then a nap.
Although the English Bulldog doesn’t exactly crave exercise, he does need some. Exercise is necessary for maintaining his good health, just as it is for keeping his human friends in their prime. A walk at a brisk pace will be good for both you and your dog. Having your Bulldog chase and retrieve a ball gets him running about, as well. In addition, Bulldogs are prone to obesity, and exercise can help prevent that.
English Bulldogs Can’t Stand the Heat
Bulldogs are bracycephalic (short-muzzled), and they tend to overheat easily. Dogs do not perspire over their entire body and are only cooled by panting and sweating through the pads of their feet, so extra precautions must be taken in hot weather. Walk your dog in the early morning or after sundown. Never leave your dog in the car, even if the windows are down. Stationary cars become very hot in just a few minutes and are virtual death traps.
Don’t take your English Bulldog for a walk in hot, humid weather or ask him to play ball then, either. Training classes should be in the morning or evening, and if you’re going to a ball game, picnic, or family reunion in the heat, leave the Bulldog at home.
English Bulldogs Like Other Pets
In addition to people, English Bulldogs also like other dogs and cats if they grow up together or if they are introduced correctly. English Bulldogs are not inherently aggressive (although they are creatures of habit), and if introduced in a positive man-ner, they will accept just about anything.
However, if another dog (or other animal) challenges a Bulldog, the Bulldog will not back down. This can cause problems, so make sure introductions are handled on leash and with praise, treats, games, and just enough obedience training to enforce good behavior. If you need help, call a dog trainer to give you a hand.
English Bulldogs Love Life
Bulldogs have a definite joy about life. That smile is not just because the breed has a wide jaw; it’s also representative of the Bulldog’s attitude toward every-thing. English Bulldogs feel there are fun and laughter everywhere. What a wonderful attitude!
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English Bulldogs are people dogs. Unlike other breeds, which might be happy outside sniffing out rodents or flushing birds in the backyard, Bulldogs need to be inside with their people. A English Bulldog left outside for many hours a day will be very unhappy. This could cause barking that will annoy your neighbors or destructive chewing that could destroy your wooden deck, the lawn furniture, or anything else in the backyard. Unhappy Bulldogs have also been known to be self-destructive, chewing or licking on a paw until they create a sore that will not heal.
English Bulldog Characteristics:
- Good with kids
- Dislikes rain
- Likes routine
- Thrives on attention
A happy English Bulldog, however, is unmistakable. His smile, wiggling body, and twitching tail will tell you exactly how much he loves you!
Kids and English Bulldogs
Bulldogs seem to understand that babies and little children are special and need special treatment. He will tolerate their poking and prodding, and if a child gets too rough, the dog will simply leave. However, in all fairness to the dog and for the safety of children, they should not be left alone together. Small children and puppies are not a good combination, simply because Bulldog puppies are big, clumsy, and often have little self-control.
Some people believe a puppy and a baby must grow up together if the puppy is to accept the child. This is not necessarily true. Some toddlers think puppies are toys. They like to poke at the puppy’s eyes or pull at his ears or maybe use the puppy to sit on. The puppy might think the toddler is something to chew. When the pup tries to defend himself by biting, he is reprimanded, although he has really only protected himself from the curious toddler.
English Bulldogs Like Routine
If you take your English Bulldog for a daily morning walk, he will come to expect it and may even bring his leash to you. (Unless it’s raining; most Bulldogs do not like to walk in the rain or through puddles after a rain.) Your Bulldog will also learn when to expect his meals, when to go to bed, and even when to expect you home from work.
Bulldogs are very much creatures of habit. Although this can help in some respects – housetraining is much easier on a schedule – it can have some unexpected consequences. If the schedule changes, your Bulldog may be unhappy. Say, for example, you are due home from work at 5:30 but decide to stop off to visit a friend. Your Bulldog will be waiting for you to come home, and when you don’t show up on time, he may begin to bark, or he may have a housetraining accident.
Introducing New Things
Sometimes a English Bulldog’s need for routine can cause problems beyond a time schedule. New furniture may be chewed on simply because it’s new and different. New dogs in the household may not be allowed inside or a new cat may be chased.
Anything new needs to be introduced to the Bulldog. With the dog on a leash, walk him up to the new item (or pet) and in a happy tone of voice, introduce them, “Bugsy, see the new chair? Yeah, sniff it!” and then let Bugsy investigate the chair.
New dogs and cats should be introduced in neutral territory, with both on a leash, and then supervise activities at home for several weeks until you’re sure there won’t be any problems.
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Adding a English Bulldog to your household should be a well-thought-out decision. You will be taking on the responsibility of a living, thinking, caring animal who will give you his heart. That’s a big responsibility.
A dog should never be acquired as an impulse. It’s always best to think through what is involved in owning a dog and be honest with yourself. So let’s take a look at dog ownership and see if you can do what is needed for any dog, and then we’ll look specifically at English Bulldogs.
- Do you have time for a dog? Dogs need your time for companionship, affection, play, and training. You cannot dash in the door, toss down some dog food, and leave again. That’s not fair, and the dog will react badly to it.
- Do you live in a place where dogs are allowed and welcome? If you rent your home, do you have permission from your landlord to have a dog? Not all neighborhoods are dog friendly, so make sure a dog will be wel¬come before you bring one home.
- Who, besides yourself, will be living with the dog? Is everyone in agreement to get a dog? If you want the dog but someone else in the household is afraid or doesn’t like the dog, the situation could become very difficult.
- Is there someone in the family who could have a hard time with the dog? Is there a baby in the house, someone who is very frail, or a senior citizen with poor balance? Dogs can be unaware of their strength and size, especially when they’re puppies.
- Do you have other pets in the household? Will your cat enjoy having a dog in the house? You may have to protect your rabbit, ferret, or gerbil from a rambunctious puppy.
- Have you lived with a dog before? Do you know what to expect? Really? Dogs can shed, drag in dirt and leaves from outside, catch and kill a rodent and then throw up the remains on the living room sofa.
- Do you have the money to care for a dog? Dogs need to be spayed or neutered, need vaccinations, and may hurt themselves, requiring emergency veterinary care. They’ll need regular vet checkups, too. Plus, you will need a dog crate, leash and collar, toys, and dog food.
English Bulldog ownership is wonderful. Dogs are the ultimate confidant and never reveal your secrets. They are security in a scary world and the best friend a person could have – but only if you are really ready for the responsibilities of caring for one.
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Today’s English Bulldogs make wonderful pets. After many years of careful breeding, all of the English Bulldog’s excellent qualities have been retained and the fighting temperament has been bred out.
While we were in the U.S. Marine Corps, my husband, Paul, and I cared for and trained one of the Marine Corps’ mascots named Chesty. We were assigned to Marine Barracks “8th & I” in Washington, D.C., and Chesty went to work with us every day and came home with us at night. He played with our two German Shepherd Dogs and had no idea his legs weren’t as long as theirs; he sure tried hard enough to keep up! Chesty played hard, trained hard, slept hard, and ate, well, you know.
Every English Bulldog is unique, but they all share many of the same characteristics. First and foremost is a courageous personality. Second is a distinctive appearance. And third is a devotion to their people.
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