Have you ever tried wondering why the bulldog breed is one of the most recommended dog breeds as a family pet yet very difficult to take care of? If so, you should know that it is because the bulldog is one of those breeds that are very difficult to breed and it takes a lot of dedication and love to produce healthy bulldog puppies.
So, bulldog puppies are people-oriented as a breed and they actively solicit human attention.
So what do you do if you are considering buying a bulldog?
Many people have found love and affection in the sweet, gentle and friendly nature of this breed despite the large amount of attention it needs from us.
However, there are a few (most importantly) 15 things you should know about the bulldog breed before making a buying decision so as to ensure you are well-versed about the specifics of this breed.
This post will tell you the 15 most important things you need to know, to ensure you determine which bulldog breed will be best for your current household condition.
Ready? Let’s dive in!!!
15 Things you didn’t know about the bulldog breed.
- There are a variety of bulldog breeds: There are a whopping 14 different bulldog breeds that have 10 color variations with six different markings; although, they do share similar characteristics and health conditions:
- Alapaha Blue Blood bulldog
- American bulldog
- Aussie bulldog
- Banter Bulldogge
- Buldoque Campeiro
- Ca de Bou
- Catahoula bulldog
- Dorset Olde Tyme bulldog
- English bulldog
- French bulldog
- Olde English Bulldogge
- Olde Boston Bulldogge
- Victorian bulldog
- Valley bulldog
- Breeding process of the bulldog breed: As for the breeding process of a bulldog, I would not want to elaborate on the anatomy and science of how to breed a bulldog. Instead, I want to focus on the point that the bulldog breed has a large head, and it is common for a puppy’s head not to fit through the mother’s birth canal thus gets stuck. This accounts for over 90% of bulldogs puppies to be delivered by Caesarian section ( C – Section ).
- Pedigree: So you’ve decided you want a bulldog – and a particular bulldog breed has taken your fancy. The ‘pedigree’ of a bulldog breed refers to the veracity of its ancestry, going back five or more generations. In the US and Canada, The AKC and CKC respectively manage the registration of purebred puppies and their breeding line, and for a bulldog to be considered a ‘true’ pedigree, they must be registered as such. The ‘quality’ of a bulldog in terms of it’s conformity to the breed standards can vary greatly in pedigree puppies, and even between puppies from the same litter. You will need to decide what is important to you, and exactly what you want from your bulldog. If you have set your sights on owning a potential future Crufts champion, you may spend years on the hunt for just the right puppy and lineage. If you just want a healthy, happy dog with all of the traits and good looks of this particular breed, your task should be somewhat easier.
- Temperaments of the bulldog breed: The bulldog breed is known to be confident, self-assured dogs and ones that are always very alert to what is going on around them. The very social dogs that form strong bonds with their families. If you were considering getting any of the bulldog breeds as your first dog, I recommend you go in for either the French bulldog, because they are always so amenable and eager to please or the Olde English Bulldog because they are loyal, laid-back and affectionate by nature. The English bulldog will be better suited to people who are familiar with their needs. Talking about English bulldogs, I recommend you read through this comprehensive guide peculiar to this breed before deciding on buying an English bulldog. The other bulldog breeds in this list are not very ideal as your first dog because they were principally bred to serve as watchdogs hence they need to be socialized, trained, and handled by people who are familiar with their powerful, protective and intelligent nature.
- Grooming of bulldog breeds: The Bulldog breed can boast of having a smooth, close-lying, short coat and therefore they are low maintenance on the grooming front. A weekly or twice weekly brush and wipe over with a chamois leather is all it takes to remove any loose hair and to keep a nice sheen on their coats. For Frenchies, they have what is known as “deep tail pockets” which need to be kept clean of any dead hair, skin and other debris to avoid the area becoming sore and irritated. Bulldogs don’t need to be bathed more than 3 times a year. Over-bathing a dog could result in an imbalance of the naturals oils found in their coat and skin which could lead to irritation and skin allergies.
- Timing is key for house training: The Bulldog is an intelligent dog and one that’s a fast learner with the downside to this being they are just as quick to pick a lot of bad behaviors and habits as they are with the good ones. As such, their training must begin early and it must be very consistent and always fair throughout a dog’s life so that dogs understand what their owners expect of them. Bulldog puppies should be taught the ground rules from an early age, even though it is very easy to spoil them thanks to their cuteness. With this said, the bulldog puppy needs to know the limits and boundaries of acceptable behavior and the first commands they should be taught are as follow:
- Leave it
- Exercising the bulldog breed: Bulldogs are generally not high energy dogs, but they still need the right amount of exercise every day combined with as much mental stimulation as possible to prevent them from getting bored. They need anything from 20 to 60-minutes exercise a day with as much of the lead time as possible, but only in areas that are extremely safe and secure. If Bulldogs are not given the right amount of mental stimulation and exercise every day, they would quickly get bored and could even begin to show some destructive behaviors around the home which is their way of relieving any stress they are feeling and not necessarily because they are being naughty. English and French bulldogs being a brachycephalic breed, should not be over-exercised during very hot weather because not only would they have trouble breathing, but they could quickly overheat and this could lead to the dog suffering from hypothermia, a serious condition that should never be taken too lightly. It’s important to note that most metropolitan areas have imposed fines up to $750 if you do not pick up your puppy’s poop while in exercise at a public place. A normal puppy poops up to 5 times a day! If you are bringing home a bulldog be sure to start saving up for those poop pickup bags.
- Unable to regulate its temperature: The bulldog breed has a very short snout, they also have very narrow and constricted nasal passages. Normally, dogs pant (breath heavily) as a way of regulating their body temperature. Bulldogs simply cannot do this to the same extent that other breeds do. So just be aware your favorite pup will require some special attention. Bulldog owners would agree that they are more than worth it.
- Feeding the bulldog breed: Bulldogs do a lot better when a fed a good quality varied diet per the breeder’s recommendation (they buying contract usually includes food for a week or two) because they quickly get bored with their food if they are fed the same food day in and day out. It is better to feed them two smaller meals a day rather than a single large one. They are not known to be fussy eaters, but again their diet needs to be monitored, paying careful attention to what a dog is given to eat should they start to gain weight. They need to be fed 3 or 4 times a day following a breeder’s guidelines.
- The Health of bulldog breeds: There are certain specific hereditary and congenital health issues the breed is known to suffer from, and these include the following:
- Cleft palate and hare lips
- Degenerative Myelopathy – DNA test available.
- There are other commonly seen health issues including hip dysplasia, cherry eye et cetera. Bulldogs should be given their initial vaccinations before being sold, but it is up to their new owners to make sure they have their follow-up shots in a timely manner with the vaccination schedule for puppies being as follows:
- 10 -12 weeks old, bearing in mind that a puppy would not have full protection straight away, but would be fully protected 2 weeks after they have had their second vaccination. Bulldogs also suffer from allergies from certain foods and other causes. It is important to follow the breeder’s guidelines to avoid any potential health issues. However, an annual physical vet checkup is usually recommended if your puppy is healthy.
- Appearance: Bulldogs are extremely muscular and strong looking dogs. Heavy in bone with a smooth coat and compactly built, they are powerful little dogs. The head should be large and square with a slightly rounded skull with skin folds and wrinkles typically found around it. Their average height at the withers: Males 30cm – 40cm, Females 30 – 40cm. Their average weight: Males 12.5kg – 25kg, Females 11kg – 23kg
- Bulldog breed Socialization: Socialization — or, more specifically, the LACK of socialization — is probably the single biggest cause of aggressive behavior in dogs. Lack of socialization causes fear responses in older puppies and dogs, leading to shyness, and downright aggressive behavior. With bulldogs, socialization is fairly easy… just take your bulldog with you, everywhere you go. Anywhere you’re allowed to take him… take him. Introduce him to everybody. Make special trips to the park, or the pet store, or walk him in the grocery store parking lot. Show him off. Make sure he understands that ALL people, animals, places, are GOOD people, animals, and places. If you notice that certain types of people, animals, or places cause even the slightest fearful reaction, take him more often to be introduced into those situations — and reward him for appropriate behavior.
- Puppy care for bulldog breeds: Setting everything up for the arrival of a new bulldog means making the home and garden safe for them to be in. Puppy proofing takes a bit of time and organization but is something that needs to be done well in advance of a bulldog’s arrival. The reason being that bulldogs are boisterous, inquisitive, and will chew on things that could harm them. This includes electric cables and other things that if they swallow, could end up seriously damaging their digestive systems.
- Water and food bowls should not be too deep because Bulldog puppies have short muzzles. It is also best to invest in ceramic dishes rather than metal or plastic
- Good quality toys as well as chews for the puppy to gnaw on which helps stop them from chewing on shoes and other things around the home. A Bulldog puppy would start teething at around 3 to 8 months of age which is when they really benefit from having high quality chews to gnaw on
- A grooming glove
- A slicker brush or soft bristle brush
- Dog specific toothpaste and a toothbrush
- Scissors with rounded ends
- Dog shampoo and conditioner, never use baby or people shampoo on a Bulldog puppy which could end up triggering a nasty skin allergy
- A well-made dog harness and/or collar
- A strong lead
- A well-made dog bed that’s not too small or too big and one that puppy would not chew and destroy
- A good-sized dog crate that’s not too small or too big
- Baby blankets, which are ideal for putting in a Bulldog puppy’s bed for them to sleep on
- A grooming mat
- Life Span for the bulldog breed: The average life span of a Bulldog is between 10 and 14 years when properly cared for and fed a good quality diet that’s appropriate for their age and any health issues the dog may be suffering from.
- Costs: You should have been itching to find out. I intentionally left the cost as the last point so you should better understand why on average, a healthy bulldog breed costs between 2000$ and 4000$. You would find it as well for 10,000$ or more but most of those are sold in pet shops which I do not recommend buying from there. Always buy your bulldog from a reputable bulldog breeder. And for sticking around till the end, you have a bonus
- Bonus (Are you up for it)?: So as you have learned throughout this post, a puppy is a huge commitment that you have to be absolutely ready before you get in for it. It is as important as every other member of the family, therefore be SURE you are up for it. Now that you know the most important things about the bulldog breed you are now ready to buy a bulldog without any worries. If you have any other questions or contributions, steer up the comments section and we will be right there with you.