Bulldog breeds were originally used to drive cattle to market and to compete in a blood sport called bullbaiting. Today, they are gentle companions who love children. A short walk and a nap on the couch is the lifestyle of this breed of dog.
Laughter, love and a face that everyone loves ensure the Bulldog’s enduring popularity. A gentle family companion, it is a dog breed admired for its qualities of loyalty and determination. Few breeds are as easily recognisable as the Bulldog, with its wrinkled mug, distinctive bite and Churchill dewlaps.
When it comes to personality and temperament, the Bulldog is almost perfect. He loves children and is very easy to train as a family pet. He is an endless source of fun, intelligence and affection. He is also an attention magnet wherever he goes.
The Bulldog may be perfect in spirit, but in body, it is a different story. These dogs are intolerant of hot weather and can die if overheated. Too much exercise or stress can make it difficult for them to breathe. Without exception, Bulldogs must live indoors and need constant air conditioning.
Most Bulldogs are born by caesarean section. Raising them is expensive, and breeding them begins of course from the moment they are born. Love is an expensive proposition when you have a Bulldog.
In general, the Bulldog is an easy breed to care for. His exercise needs are manageable for even the most dedicated bedding addict, and he does not tend to be a picky eater. In addition, his coat is short so he does not require any complicated grooming, but he does have some special needs when it comes to skin care.
The Bulldog personality and temperament
Bulldogs are friendly, calm and get along well with everyone, including children and other animals. They are characterised by the fact that they love spending time with their people. Their love for people, their tolerant attitude towards children, their gentle temperament and their great bulk make the Bulldog a great companion for families with children.
Bulldog breeds also do well with people at the other end of the age spectrum, namely older adults. Their calm nature makes them excellent for anyone who enjoys a relaxed lifestyle.
They may be gentle, but the Bulldog retains a hint of the tenacity and stubborn nature that characterised their ancestors. They are often considered difficult to train, but people who love them say that is a mistake.
The Bulldog probably doesn’t excel when it comes to obedience, but when it does learn something, it does it very well. This breed learns best through fun training sessions that involve repetition and positive reinforcement: treats and praise.
What is it like to live with a Bulldog?
Bulldogs are fine pets in flats, and do not require a yard. Normally, low-stamina dogs need only a moderate amount of exercise. They thrive in temperate climates; they overheat easily and have difficulty breathing in hot climates, and chill easily in cold temperatures.
In general, Bulldogs are known to be noisy breathers as they tend to snore and pant; many drool as well. Advantageously, their coats are short and require little grooming and maintenance. However, wrinkles on the face should be cleaned regularly to prevent skin infections.
The coat and grooming of the Bulldog breed
Your Bulldog’s coat should be straight, short, fine-textured, soft and glossy. Bulldog breeds have soft, loose skin, especially on the head, neck and shoulders.
Their head is covered with coarse wrinkles and has two loose folds at the throat (from the jaw to the chest) to form what is called a dewlap.
Bulldogs come in a variety of colours: solid red, beige or fallow (pale cream to light yellow, pale yellow or yellowish red) and white (large patches of two or more colours). Solid black is not common and not much admired.
Brush the Bulldog’s soft, fine short coat once a week with a firm bristle brush. Wipe his face with a damp cloth every day, taking care to clean out wrinkles. Be sure to dry the inside of the wrinkles completely after washing.
Some people suggest wiping wrinkles with baby wipes containing lanolin and aloe vera. If your Bulldog’s skin is irritated inside the wrinkles, ask your vet to recommend a soothing ointment.
After you have cleaned out the wrinkles, wash your Bulldog’s nose and apply petroleum jelly to keep it soft and prevent it from drying out and becoming flaky.
If you can take the time to brush your Bulldog more than once a week, you will help reduce the amount of hair that gets on your clothes and furniture.
Other grooming needs include nail care and dental hygiene. Trim your Bulldog’s nails about twice a month. If you can hear them making a sort of ‘clicking’ sound on the floor, it means their nails are too long. The sooner you introduce your Bulldog to nail trimming, the less stressful the experience will be for both of you.
Brush the teeth of Bulldog breeds at least two or three times a week (daily is better) to remove tartar and bacteria. Start when your puppy is young, so he’ll get used to it.
While grooming, look for lesions, rashes or signs of infection, such as redness, tenderness or inflammation on the skin, ears, nose, mouth, eyes and paws. The ears should smell fine, without too much dirt or grime inside, and the eyes should be clear, with no redness or discharge.
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