Owning a Bulldog
Frequently Asked Questions on The Bulldog, ‘Britain’s National Breed’.
What is the correct Breed Name?
The UK Kennel Club describe this breed of dog purely as “ BULLDOG”, nothing before or after its title, but in foreign countries it is commonly known as the English Bulldog or referred to in the press as the ‘British Bulldog’ or the Churchill Dog.
What is the average life expectancy?
The average life expectancy is between 8 and 10 years, some live much longer past 14 others unfortunately like any living creature can develop illness and reduce its life expectancy.
What is the ideal living environment for a Bulldog?
Bulldogs are ideal family pets they love to live indoors and be part of the family, they are really companionable creatures and that is why they are in the Kennel Club’s Utility Group. They love to live like any other family dog, go for walks, hate the rain and the cold, adore the sunshine and are adept at finding a patch of sun to sleep in. They should not be left unsupervised in a garden or yard visible to passers by as they are a target for thieves who have been known to dognap them and hold out for a ransom!
How much daily care is needed?
Bulldogs need a quality diet especially whilst growing, care should be taken that they are not allowed to become too obese to the detriment of their lifestyle, most muscular bulldogs are agile and fit dogs, but obesity plays a big part in the bad health that bulldogs are erroneously blamed for. Two meals a day are adequate and titbits should only be given as training rewards. In hot weather walking in the early morning and late evening is recommended, the same as for most breeds, although care must be taken to avoid stress and heat together. It is a fact, however, that bulldogs also thrive well in much hotter countries than here, America, Australia, Greece, Spain all have active bulldog clubs and shows and the breed is very popular. Basic Bulldog Care would be, a short daily walk on hard surfaces [to keep the nails short] clean any face folds with an unscented baby wipe when necessary and use a Nappy rash type cream if any soreness is detected, wipe under the tail if it’s a tight fitting one, dry noses can have a spot of Vaseline or Coconut oil on to keep them black and moist, a rub down with a hound glove to remove any loose hair, check ears for any infections weekly. Bathing a bulldog, unless shown, is unnecessary and may remove the protective oils from their coats, 3 baths a year and regular brushing would be normal, any frequent bathing could cause skin irritation as nature creates its own balance.
Do They Shed?
In today’s centrally heated homes shedding can be all year round in most breeds, bulldog hair is short and spiky and does cling to clothes.
How much exercise do they need?
Short walks up to 7 months old and there after building up to a walk that suits the owner, they enjoy playing with a ball in the garden and will exercise themselves in that way too.
Should I get a Male or Female?
Male Bulldogs are more impressive displaying more of the characteristics of the breed but both are equally loyal and loving, of course if you have a female you will have her seasons to cope with every six months, in carpeted houses this may cause a problem but special pants and pads are sold in pet shops or you can make the decision to have her spayed, preferably after 18 months of age.
Are Bulldogs Good with Children?
Generally speaking very good, however normal young bulldogs because of sheer weight and excitement may be unsuitable for toddlers as they would easily knock them over, never leave any dog alone with children under any circumstances, but the bulldog can be very protective of its family an very loving, many pictures of bulldogs with children form adverts and art collections worldwide.
How well do they get along with other animals?
Most bulldogs will happily join a household with another pet or animals, if you have another dog or cat its recommended you introduce a young puppy who will take its place in the hierarchy, introducing another older dog or the same age later on may not be so easy as they are very possessive of their owners.
Are they Noisy?
Bulldogs generally are not big on barking, they make a lot of talking, purring, groaning noises which sometimes get mistaken for growls but they are not a noisy dog.
Do They Drool?
Bulldogs generally are dry mouthed except when just having had a drink, but watching you eat yours and their favourite food may get them drooling in anticipation of a tit bit!
Are they docked?
NO NEVER!!! Bulldogs tails are a constant source of questions, tails can be straight and to a point but often they are screwed or curly, this gives the impression they are docked. Breeders are trying hard to breed for straight tails but the mode of inheritance is not a simple one. Ideally all Bulldogs should have a mobile or movable tail and this is what most breeders are now trying to achieve consistently. Some litters have good tails and the odd tighter one does occur.
How intelligent are they?
Commonly thought not to be, we would say bulldogs are creatures of habit, do something a couple of times and it’s the rule… move an item of furniture and your bulldog will freeze and tell you there is something amiss…. They usually hate change! Bulldogs in other countries are trained in obedience and a look up on the www. at Diesel the service dog will show you just how clever a bulldog can be!! there are several sites showing bulldog’s who have learnt to skateboard! Not bad for a dog the media would have us believe can’t move, breathe and run freely! Why do bulldogs look the way they do? Bulldogs are descended from dogs that were used for Bull Baiting, Bear Baiting, and fighting, these dogs were not what one would want today as a companion dog. When these barbaric practices were abolished in 1835, [there are paintings around of these dogs often quoted as the real bulldog,] the dogs we know today were developed from those original dogs by clever breeding. Only the ones with a good temperament were selected for breeding. By 1860 the appearance of those early dogs was very similar to the dog of today. Critics claim our dogs have changed in appearance over the last century but documentary evidence show this is not to be the case and from the mid 1800’s, there are large numbers of photographs and drawings to confirm this. [The Bulldog A Monograph by Edgar Farman.]
Are Bulldogs Healthy? The Breed Council with its responsible Breed Clubs and their members have developed a basic voluntary health examination prior to breeding. It should be noted that despite all the negative publicity given to this breed with regard to health, the bulldog does not normally suffer from any one of the general canine diseases that the BVA and the KC routinely require or recommend screening.
Can Bulldogs mate naturally?
Of course they can!! Breeders prefer to handle them during mating, as is the case when most pedigree dogs are mated, to ensure there is total control of the situation avoiding any accidental damage occurring to either of the valuable animals involved. There is a great deal of nonsense being printed about this procedure however no artificial means are necessary.
Are Bulldogs Healthy?
The Breed Council with its responsible Breed Clubs and their members have developed a basic voluntary health examination prior to breeding. It should be noted that despite all the negative publicity given to this breed with regard to health, the bulldog does not normally suffer from any one of the general canine diseases that the BVA and the KC routinely require or recommend screening.
Can Bulldogs give Birth Naturally?
Many bulldogs can self whelp, many do, however conditions such as primary inertia and small litters can cause the need for veterinary intervention, some breeders also prefer to trust in today’s skilled veterinarians and modern advances in surgery to avoid any possible whelping problems and request that bulldog puppies are delivered by Caesarean Section. If you have bred puppies before in any other breed it is quite possible to try to safely self whelp a bulldog bitch as your past experience would identify if you needed to seek help. Whelping a Bulldog as your first breeding experience without experienced help is not recommended for novice.
If you are looking for additional training classes then why not utilise the Kennel Club's 'Find a Dog Club' search facility!
The clubs listed there are all associated with the Kennel Club and as such must abide by strict rules and regulations, must be well managed and in line with Kennel Club principles of fairness and integrity. Above all, each of these clubs supports the Kennel Club’s commitment to the health and welfare of dogs.