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6 things to consider before buying an English Bulldog.
Health and Background.
Bulldogs are one of my favorite breeds. (I own two.) Many people I know ask about their health. Before we get into that, let me tell you about my two. Lillian is a 6 year old English Bulldog. We got her when she was 3. That being said, bulldogs are mainly a one person dog. She clung to my Mother so fast I didn't get a chance!
A few months ago, Lillian died. She was out in the yard doing her business when it happened. Since my mother is a nurse, she revived Lillian and rushed her to the doggie emergency room. Turns out, she had an elongated soft palate that flipped causing her to suffocate. They did surgery and now she is fat and happy.
The first thing to consider is that there will be unexpected vet costs, as it is with any animals.
Lillian's vet bill went over $3000 dollars. They have a variety of health problems such as the soft palate. They have hip problems and a weight problem if you are not careful. Some of them also have skin issues which can be cleared up by an antibiotic from the vet.
Allison is my second bulldog. She is a little taller than Lillian and just as stubborn. When we got her from the pound she was almost 35 pounds over weight, her hair was falling off and her toenails were horrible. The poor dog looked like she lost a fight with a grizzly bear! After some good food, good baths and a few months, she started looking like a normal dog!
If you are looking for a new member of the family, please do your homework! Some dogs have many different health problems as well as behavioral issues.
Behavior and Training.
Their behavior is unlike any other dog. One second they will be laying on the couch or sleeping in bed then, Pop! They want to play. Some bulldogs love other dogs, some don't. The two I own hate, and I really mean hate, each other. A week ago they got into a fight and Allison knocked a lamp over getting to Lillian. Tonight as I type, they are sleeping together. I am not sure what causes it, but sometimes with other dogs you can figure it out. They are pushy if not trained right and they LOVE attention. Any dog loves attention, but they might be the worse attention grabbing animal I have encountered.
Now training is fairly simple. They are smart dogs. Really, really smart. Training them takes patience though, they can be stubborn. My dog, Allison has been with me for a year now and still doesn't sit unless her food bowl is being sat down. They can be trained to walk without a leash, but depending on where in the world you live, you may have to be leash trained. I live on a farm, so they don't need a leash unless we are in town.
Food and Exercise.
Food! It's a dogs best friend. They always worry about food. 'Oh you have food on your plate.. You haven't touched it in two seconds so it's free game right?' Wrong! Do not fall into that pitiful stare. Table scraps can be really bad for at bulldog's figure. They can gain weight easy, but they can't loose it easy. I feed my two a little under a cup in the morning and the same at night. If they were 85 pound labs it might be different, but it isn't and they aren't. My herd gets Taste of the Wild. Of course it is the owners choice, but I prefer not to feed mine any kind of fishy flavor food.(They tend to smell of fish afterwards.)
Exercise can be tricky. They do have hip problems when they get older so keeping an ideal weight is extremely important. If you have an older dog who needs to lose some weight, make a plan with your veterinarian for a weight loss food. I worked at a clinic that specialized in weight loss and some of the results were amazing! They can be ran but not long or too hard. Mine like to run around the house and chase birds, but just a loop around can throw Lillian's legs out of wack. Just be careful when you are exercising them.
What are your favorite things about bulldogs?
The worst trait of all and the one thing you have to watch for and consider is they are loud! They snore whenever, wherever and however they are sleeping! Don't be excited to sleep with your bulldog. They will keep you up all night! They have short stubby noses so they don't breath so good. It is very cute though when they snore. Some people think it is annoying, but I consider it loving. It just means they trust you enough to be sound asleep with you around. They also have a deep bark and growl which for the UPS man who drops a package off can be pretty scary!
All in all, they are the best dogs to have. They are loyal, they love to protect people and they are the warmest dogs, other than the fuzzy ones, to sleep with. (If you can stand the snoring!!) I won't say they are all kid friendly, because that would be wrong. Some of them are, some of them are not. You just have to teach them right from wrong and make sure they listen. Bulldogs are very stubborn and hardheaded!
A couple articles that helped this blog insert can be found below for more information.