I could not recommend this breed of dog more highly if you are looking for a family pet!!! Our Bulldog Suggs is now 6 years old, and after having us to himself for his first 4 and a half years he has adapted to the family life better than we could of ever imagined since having our daughter 18 months ago. Now they are the best of friends! However, there are some down sides to this breed, I will say now...do NOT buy a Bulldog if you are looking for an energetic dog that you can take for long walks on a daily basis, they are the laziest creature ever! Maximum exercise they need is about 10 minutes a day. Suggs can't even be bothered with this amount!! Other downsides to the Bulldog are their snoring and they're dribble. Not good if you're a light sleeper and houseproud!! I can only speak for Suggs, but have heard it is very common in the breed that Bulldogs are renound for crying/whining. Unfortunatley for us this is true, but only when he wants a bit of attention. It is such a shame that people assume the Bulldog is a dangerous/boisterous breed and that people feel the need to cross the road when they see him, this really couldn't be further from the truth and really is not in a Bulldogs characteristics at all. A very loyal and protective family dog.
As a family we have been looking for a dog as a family pet for a while now. I had been researching different breeds on the internet and after a few weeks looking my husband suggested a ride out to the rescue centres in our area, just to see how the children reacted to the dogs.
After a long day driving round at the final rescue home we saw him, a sad looking bulldog with no home, i instantly knew he was right for us. I was concerned about buying a rescue dog, but the staff assured me he was well trained and to their knowledge was a well behaved dog.
Well this is him, Spike is three years old and a complete softy! All he wants to do is have cuddles and attention, then chill out in bed. He is very good with our two children and is fine around the home.
I would not recommend a bulldog to a family who is very house proud, unless you are prepared to constantly clean drool! Spike does tend to snore a lot and this is a breed trait - so if you are a light sleeper i would also take this into accout. Bulldogs also can have difficulties with breathing so you have to consider this and the possibility of vets fees if your dog becomes ill.
Overall we love Spike, he has a calm, chilled temprament and has fitted in with our family fantastically. I would do plenty research to ensure a bulldog is the right dog for you, and locate your nearest vets for reference and advice.
It all began 10 merry years ago when we decided that we wanted a Bulldog.
I dont remember much of the initial puppy search because I was only 10 years old at the time. Anyway, pretty soon we found an appropriate advert with two male Bulldog puppies, and so we went to see them.
It is absolutely key to find a decent breeder, as Bulldogs are prone to quite a lot of illnesses, and its incredibly stressful having them put under anaesthetic due to their flat nose giving them breathing difficulties. In fact, although unrelated to his breeding, our guy did once cost around £1000 in vets bills, luckily the insurance company paid up.
I cant describe how utterly adorable Bulldog puppies are. They are the most beautiful, fabulous piles of flab, cowardly, but perfectly divine. So when the two little guys came running in, I think I died and went to Heaven.
They were SO friendly and playful, very happy little guys, of course when they heard something bang they went sprinting out of the room like theyd been shot - but they soon came back. Unfortunately our guy remained a coward with fireworks, and would spend all evening panting, although I did discover that violins seemed to calm him down. Hes not so bad now, though.
I believe here is the appropriate time to mention how disgustingly expensive they are. Ten years ago our boy cost £800, now they are more in the region of £2000 and up. This is because they need to be born by caesarean as their heads are so large, and various other complications, so really the breeders need to pay vet bills rather then make a profit.
Anyway, after meeting the boys fabulous mum, who was an absolute gem, if a little on the clumsy side, we made the agonising choice of choosing which puppy. We decided on the brindle chap, paid the deposit and then had to wait a lifetime (a week) before we could bring him home.
At the time we had our dearest, Chihuahua (I say Chihuahua, he was built like a tank and was actually mistaken for a tiny Sheltie), who was a bit on the grumpy side, to say the least. However he would always tolerate any new dog we bought, and would keep them in line, so introducing the puppy wasnt a problem.
Within a few minutes of arriving in his new home, young Bryn was happily chasing a ball around the garden and galloping up and down, before going to sleep all day long, (the long sleep is quite possibly the worst part of buying a puppy - wake up and be fun!).
The young sir loved his company (still does), and like most puppies the night was an absolute nightmare, thankfully my older brother was able to sleep in the front room, not with the dog, but Bryn knew he was there and so he kept quiet.
That went on for about a week until he settled down and normality was restored, somewhat.
Then all the fun began when he was able to be walked, hes never really pulled that badly, so I was able to walk him on my own.
He was fabulous protection, because although he would never, ever hurt anyone, he looks pretty mean if you dont know him, and dont look at those beautiful big eyes properly. He did once reduce a small girl to tears when she looked at him, and he actually seemed pretty upset by it. He does sulk if people ignore him, he seems to take it personally, I should mention here that Im not crazy.
Walking him hasnt always been easy. In his younger days he liked to stop suddenly and have a little break, perhaps a little lay down in a nice patch of sun, just for a few minutes, however, Id rather he did that instead of stopping in the middle of road, as he did a few weeks ago.
When out in public with a Bulldog you have to appreciate that some people find them terrifying and/or disgusting looking and dont want them near. I tend to take it to heart, because hes my beautiful, sweetheart and I dont see what gives these people the right to look at him like muck, after all, I dont glare at ugly children.
Weve been very fortunate with our guy that he isnt a typically squat, fat and flabby Bulldog and he doesnt dribble, he is pure muscle with quite an athletic build; this seems to have cut down drastically on joint and breathing problems.
Bulldogs sleep an awful lot, making them ideal for the not so active household as they will take or leave a walk; however, the snoring is REALLY loud.
Bryn worships the sun, and will happily spend all day outside in a nice patch of sun, however Bulldogs do not cope well in the heat, and so he does have to be forced inside for his own good, as well as having sun cream applied to the white part of his muzzle, as he tends to get a bit pink there.
Of course, as Im sure most people are aware, Bulldogs do break wind, quite a lot, its the silent and deadly ones you need to be aware of, if you hear a noise, then its probably safe to stay in the room.
Of course, being a true gentleman, Bryn will hurry out of the room looking pretty embarrassed.
My advice is to invest in a nice big box of charcoal dog biscuits, weve also found that its certain types of food that seem to trigger it more often, so luckily were pretty safe from his flatulence.
They have a nice flabby chin, which is lovely, but it does hang in the water bowl, so you have to be ready and waiting with a cloth to dry them, otherwise it can get a little bit sore and red, and they will drip water everywhere.
Bulldogs are an awful lot of hard work. Yeah, yeah, all dogs are hard work, I hear you say, but Bulldogs require more work, they are like children.
The way the breed is they cannot clean their self properly, they can just about manage their front paws, so you have to wipe them over with a cloth, grooming wipes are much more hygienic as you can throw them out.
It is boring, but its necessary if you want your dog to be comfortable and to not stink.
Bryn used to be a nightmare to have his claws cut, and after much blood, sweat and tears, my brother was sort of able to cut them, unfortunately one day Bryn struggled too much and so his quick was caught. This was it for Bryn and it was thereafter impossible for my brother to cut his claws.
Funnily enough I dont have a problem cutting them or bathing him. I think Ive established with Bryn that he will not win, and so now he stands there quite patiently while I cut his claws. Ive found the best way to cut his claws is much like cleaning a horses hooves, bend his leg and away you go.
He used to hate having a bath, especially after he grew up, at around 55 pounds hes no lightweight and had to be bathed in the garden.
Luckily hes a sucker for warmth and a belly scratch, so just as hes about to try and run away, on goes the nice warm water and straight to his chest for a tickle.
Unfortunately Bryn has had ear troubles throughout his life that simply will not go away so its case of maintaining it, and he absolutely DESPISES eardrops, which is lucky as he has twice daily medicated ear drops to look forward to.
Also, they can get a lot of skin problems, such as eczema.
Bryn currently has a skin complaint which, to be honest, is making him absolutely stink, so he has to be bathed with medicated shampoo, from the vets, twice a week until it clears up. Fortunately after only one bath the smell has pretty much gone.
Regarding training I think the key fact here is that Bulldogs are NOT stupid, they are just incredibly stubborn often with selective hearing. This can be incredibly irritating, however, you just have to stick to it and be aware that you wont have a champion obedience dog. Bryn will sometimes go to his bed after being told a few times, he will sit, and give his paw. Fortunately as hes asleep 22hours of the day his obedience isnt really a problem.
Exercise is minimal requirement, although Bryn has enjoyed going to Cornwall and running, (when I say running I mean walking quickly), around the moors and the woods, he is more than happy to stay at home. Although, despite his age, he runs around with our Jack Russell and often has to be separated from him so that he doesnt get overtired.
Of course just because theyre quite slow normally, believe me when I say that they can also run really, really fast - when they want to.
They have a beautiful personality and temperament, Bryn has put up with my young niece sitting on his back and riding him indoors.
All he really wants in life is someone to give him a cuddle and to scratch his belly, (and a big bowl of food).
Hes an absolute rock, he doesnt mind that our Jack Russell keeps jumping in his bed to cuddle up to him, he trots away when our tiny Chihuahua X Yorkie is guarding a biscuit and growls at him.
He really is an absolute darling.
The general age of a Bulldog is around 7 or 8, however Bryn has reached the ripe old age of 10, and although hes getting that worrying sleepy look about him and we do have to keep checking that hes breathing, (although I think its mainly paranoia after losing our dear Robbie just a few years ago), hes still going strong, with a good heart and vision.
Lazy Mans Dog
The great Bulldog must be one of my favourite dogs of all time!
For all they can be smelly with all their creases in the face, and are prone to drooling all the time, but if you can overlook this you will have a dog that its natural instincts are to obey you and do anything to please you!
When we first went to pick our Bulldog from the breeder, there were 5 of them in a basket and they were not much bigger than the palm of your hand. I instantly fell in love with all of them! As pups they are the cutest dogs you can find and they are just like a round bundle of fur, that you sit at the bottom of your bed as a pyjamas case!
After getting all the facts from the breeder and meeting the parents of these pups, we chose Murf as he was so playful and mischievous, and looked up at us, with pleading huge eyes, begging us to take him!
Oh, it was hard not choosing the other ones too, but if I had had a huge house and plenty time on my hands I would have bought up the whole litter!
We already had a Boxer called Penny, who at 2 years old, was as hyper as they come, but we were a little worried at how she would get on with her new 'brother'! She had had all the attention up till now, so we were a little apprehensive!
After about another 4 weeks, we returned to collect Murf as he was ready to leave his 'Mum' by this time. We took Penny in the car with us, so she wouldn't feel left out! We got all the necessary paperwork, and the breeder asked if she could visit us in about 6 weeks time, just to see how he was getting on! The breeder explained to us that she loved her dogs so much (she had 12 adult bulldogs herself), she liked to check that the pups were being looked after alright by the new owners. Great, it is always nice to know that some breeders really do care, and this lady was obsessed with her dogs, which was reassuring in my eyes! She, (on our initial visit) had asked about what sort of house we had, did we work etc.....so, we were checked out before she was happy to let one of her beloved pups come to us!
I cradled Murf in his blanket that the breeder had given us, her explaining that Murf had had this blanket with him since he was born and that that would make the break easier for him, having a little bit of comfort beside him when entering his new life!
When we walked out to the car, Penny was standing there watching us approach with this little bundle and as soon as we reached her, she was up on me, licking Murf all over! So far so good!
The journey back in the car consisted of me holding Murf and him urinating all over my lap, and Penny slobbering kisses all over him!
Once we get home, Murf seemed to take to his new environment straight away, running in and out the rooms to investigate this new world he had been brought to! It was hysterical watching Penny try to gently paw him, and Murf running through Penny legs making Pennys head turn all angles, trying to keep an eye on this little bundle of mischief!
First night, well, it was to be expected! We settled Murf and Penny down in their own beds (though Murfs bed was a wired play pen initially) and we went up to our own bed, me feeling nervous about how he would get on! Then it started! The crying and the whimpering!
Oh it's so hard to listen to that, and you really do want to go back down and cuddle them, and bring them up to your bed with you! No, I didn't succumb, and after that first night, no problems whatsoever!
After getting him weaned off his 4 meals a day, and got him into a routine he was so easily house trained, and was always very keen to make you happy! Bulldogs can be very stubborn too, but in a funny sort of way! You always end up the winner though, as they give up, when they think they have upset you!
Bulldogs are a medium sized dog, with a height averaging 12-14 inches, but the are stocky and weigh about 50-55 pounds, and trying to tell a dog that stocky,that no, he's not a lap dog, is difficult!
Murf just loved sitting on your knee, but it was getting more and more difficult, the bigger he got!
Then when he was in his basket he would snore so loudly you couldn't hear the television for him! (Bulldogs tend to have breathing problems as their flat face restricts air!)
The temperament of the Bulldog is so gentle, friendly and adoring! They can be a bit Stubborn at times, especially when we took Penny out for her daily exercise! Murf would back away from you and sit down stubbornly, and many times we had to literally lift him outside before he would walk along beside you! They are not dogs who like exercise, and really are the lazy mans dog!Murf would be quite happy staying in the house all the time, and only going into the garden to do his business!
Contrary to classic cartoons etc that depicted the bulldog as ferocious and wearing a spiked dog collar, the bulldog is not a vicious dog breed and gets along well with everyone ncluding children, and other dog breeds. I have seen children pull Murf all over the place and he just took it like it was expected of him, and he would just look up with these soulful eyes as though to say......how long do I have to put up with this!
I would go as far to say they are the opposite of vicious and are actually big cowards! If the doorbell went in the house Murf would run away, at the same time barking (so maybe his bark would scare people off before they actually entered! Penny on the other hand would be right up to the door to protect you should it be someone of ill intent! I am sure though, that if it ever came to it, Murph would be fiercely protective of his owners and surroundings!
These dogs are so lovable and I would trust Murf with anyone including children as they do not have a bad bone in their bodies, and in fact can be so amusing to have about the house, as even their gait when they waddle, is hilarious!
HIS HEALTH PROBLEMS & CARING FOR HIM
Bulldogs suffer breathing difficulties as a result of their palate which can collapse into their airway. It can be fixed easily with surgery, but if left untreated, it can leave the trademark breathing and snoring difficulties characteristic of the breed. We never had serious problems on this score with Murf (although he did snore loudly!) but what we did have a problem with was a small sty which had developed on his eyelid.
After sometime attending the vet with this, the vet referred us to a specialist, who immediately booked Murf in for an op to remove it! Now, we had both our dogs insured, but unfortunately, this private specialist was not covered on the insurance policy, so we had to fork out £450 for this op, but it was something that had to be done as this was affecting Murf's sight, and his eye was watering all the time! He was only about 6 months when he had this op, and we had to leave him for two nights, and that was so difficult!
When he eventually came home, he was almost in the huff with us, I am sure, for leaving him to someone who he never knew!
As Murf started getting older, he also started getting eczema, so we had to wash him with a special shampoo, which, if you can imagine trying to bath a dog with soap suds and him not truly enjoying the experience and trying to scramble out of the bath, you can appreciate it was not the easiest thing to do every day!
Other common health problems include cherry eye, allergies, and (among older bulldogs) hip problems and cataracts (which Murf had in later life).
Apart from these condition, every Bulldog needs a lot of attention, especially it's face and its curly tight tail. You have to clean in the creases every day ( sometimes more than that through the summer) and apply Powder to the wrinkles and under its tail. Murf needed a lot grooming too, because of their weight they tend to sweat a lot!
They drool a lot too, so they are best kept on tiles or hard floors,as carpets can get in a mess with them!
It was mostly like looking after a baby, looking after Murf! It was all worth it for the joy he gave us, but a lot of hard work, compared to Penny, who herself needed a lot of exercise, but not as much medical care as Murf!
HIS CARING ATTITUDE
As time went on with Murf, he and Penny had become real soulmates even though Penny would run for miles in the country and Murf would just stand still, and actually look exhausted just watching her! They were two completely different dogs but they followed each other everywhere!
Penny started acting strangely, and within just a few weeks, she no longer knew her name, she started dirtying the floor & walking into walls!
Yes, the bad news hit us hard when the vet told us it was a brain tumour, and nothing could be done! We brought Penny home and it was sad and amazing how Murf sensed that he was losing his best friend.
Penny by now was just sleeping most of the time and Murf used to sleep across her, and lay his head on Pennys neck. He would lick her face, and try to get her to lift her head, but to no avail!
The day came when we had to take Penny for her last trip and we took Murf with us. Murf stood there, whimpering when the vet put the fatal injection into Penny. Penny was only 6 years old.
Murf sat down and refused to move, not wanting to leave his best friend! We eventually had to bodily lift him out of the vets surgery!
It took some weeks for Murf to get back to being his old self again, and he would just sit at my feet with his head rested on them, or sit up and put his head on my knee, sometimes whimpering. He would worry us for quite a few months after the death of Penny, but through time he came round!
He suffered more eczema during these weeks after the death of Penny, so I can only assume it was stress related!
Six years later, Murf died in his sleep, aged 10. We came downstairs and couldn't wake him. No warning signs, nothing, apart from we were aware he had out lived the average age of the Bulldog which is around 8 years old. His back end was starting to go a bit, and he was looking more tired, but nothing to tell us his end was so near.
I am glad though, that he went peacefully without the need for us to go through the same thing we did with Penny!
I will never stop missing Murf and Penny!
Ironic that the 6 years we had Penny, she was never at the vets for anything rather than innoculations, and she ended up going in a horrible way and so young, yet Murf had a lot of problems throughout his life, but still lived to the ripe old age of 10!
Murf was my soul mate! I loved him and I could never really replace him, but if I should, he will always remain in my thoughts as the first Bulldog who ever touched my life!!
Bulldogs are expensive to buy, sometimes paying well over £1000, but they are very affectionate and docile! Great as a family pet, or for the individual who loves dogs but can't be bothered with the exercise regime that other dogs need!
They can even be housed in a flat as they really do not like exercise, and indeed too much exercise is not good for them because of their breathing problems! They will only need to get out for a short walk to do its business! They are house dogs mainly!
They are a lot of work, health wise, and expensive, so get them insured! You will also find you pay a more expensive premium for a Bulldog!]
You have to be 100% dedicated if you want a Bulldog, but once you own one, they will repay you in love, obedience, partnership and eveything else you look for in an affectionate pet!
Considering how these dogs came to be, being interbred for bull baiting, you cannot find such a docile, loving dog as this breed!!
Once I am in a position to dedicate all my time to one again, I will certainly go for a Bulldog as my first choice every time!
Read up on the many Bulldog sites and learn everything you can before contemplating buying one, but you will be rewarded with a good loyal family dog!
I can say I have had many dogs in my life, but Murf has to stand out as being my best choice in dog breeds!