Before you bring a English Bulldog Puppy into your home and family, there are several things you should consider:
English Bulldog Dogs and Puppies
- Bulldogs are eternal puppies – they really never grow up. They’re playful and they’re clowns. Are you ready and willing to make the commitment of time, attention, caring and love that a bullie needs?
- Bulldogs are not vicious or even necessarily aggressive, although they can be very protective of their humans. They are intelligent, good-natured, courageous, fiercely loyal, and can be trained, as long as they think it’s their idea. Stubborn, you say?? Oh yes, these little angels can be very stubborn.
- Bulldogs are loving and gentle, especially with children and usually very accepting of other pets in the family, more so if brought into your family as a pup. However, they may drive your older dogs or cats crazy with their curiosity!
- Do you have sensitive hearing? Bulldogs are a veritable symphony of sound effects: snoring, snorting, grunting, and other … um, gastric emanations. Oh, speaking of gastric emanations: Do you have a highly developed sense of smell?
- Are you looking for a dog to chase a ball, join you in your morning jog or catch a Frisbee? Then more than likely a bullie isn’t the dog for you. However, if you’re looking for a dog to love you unconditionally, curl up beside you (or park their behind on your feet) waiting for you to pat them on the head, only to have them flop on their back for a tummy-rub, then a bullie is probably right up your alley.
- Bulldogs are prone to a number of health problems. That is not to say that these health problems are imminent or that your bullie will experience any of the following:
- Heat Stroke – Bullies are very heat-sensitive. Heatstroke occurs because of the shape of their throats, their soft palates are almost always too long and their only method of reducing their body temperature (panting) cannot compensate for the rise in their body temperature. Signs of heat stroke are: excessive panting and salivating, vomiting, respiratory distress. Always make sure that your bullie has shade and lots of fresh water. You can also get a kiddie pool. For an adult dog, fill it halfway and change the water every other day. Most bullies love to get in and play, cooling off and getting a drink as they do. Do not overfill the pool &; Bullies are generally not good swimmers and could easily drown
- Facial Fold Dermatitis – This is an inflammation in the folds (wrinkles) around the bullie’s face and/or tail. You need to keep your bullie’s folds clean and dry (I use wet wipes and hydrogen peroxide).
- Cherry Eye – Protrusion of the tear gland associated with the third eyelid membrane in the corner of the eye. This can be treated with antibiotic and steroidal ointments in the eye or removed surgically, which is the most recommended.
- Entropion – This occurs when the eyelids roll inwards, causing the eyelashes to rub against the eye. Surgical correction is needed when this occurs – left untreated, Entropion will cause permanent damage to the eye.
- Ectropion – This occurs when the eyelids roll outwards, so that even when the dog blinks, it leaves the eye exposed to irritants. Surgical correction is needed.
- Hip Dysplasia – This is an abnormality of the hip joint, which can cause arthritis in later years. Besides genetics, the cause is suspected to be rapid growth and weight gain. This is another reason to keep your bullie at a healthy weight, as bullies can easily become obese. Treatment for hip Dysplasia can range from steroids and anti-inflammatory medications, to aspirin, to surgery. Always work with your vet on a treatment plan.
- Elongated Soft Palate & Small Trachea – This is common in short-muzzled dog breeds. If the bullie becomes excited, over-exerted or over-heated, it can cause the palate to swell and block the air passages. The harder the dog pants, the more it swells. The bullie gag in an attempt to clear the airway (you may use a squirt of lemon juice down your bullie’s throat to help clear the airway. No, he won’t like it, but it will help).
- Allergies – There are four major categories of allergy: flea allergy, food allergy, airborne allergy, and contact allergy, all of which can cause horrendous scratching and itching. Depending on the cause, treatment may be anything from medication, allergy shots, ensuring that your bullie protected from parasites (fleas, ticks, chiggers, etc.), or a change in diet (consult your vet).
- Heart Problems – Yet another reason for a healthy diet. Extra weight can put added stress on their heart.