Jan 6, 2011

Is a Bulldog right for you?

Even if you’ve owned a lot of dogs before, don’t think that you know anything about The Bull Dog. Bulldogs are unique beings. Very special creatures. These are not your Golden Retriever.

Bulldogs won’t jump up when called or perform fancy tricks on cue. They will not fetch your ball or go for a run with you. Some bulldogs cannot even walk normally without totally gasping for breath. They are not outdoor dogs. During the summer months, they need air conditioning and during the winter months they need warmth. In other words, they are indoor dogs. And I’m not saying that they just prefer comfortable indoor temperatures – most dogs do. I’m saying Bulldogs cannot survive in high heat or freezing temperatures. And Although Bulldogs seldom bark, they are NOT quiet dogs. They loudly snort, pant, grunt, snore and whimper in their sleep. People think that a bulldog doesn’t shed much. Untrue. Their short coarse little hairs get everywhere. Even after a good brushing. They require constant cleaning in their wrinkles, ears and eyes. Their flatulence can empty a room and the slobbering will get all over your clothes. If you are a neat freak you will wipe their faces every time they are done eating. Bulldogs are very expensive and I’m not just talking about the cost of a puppy. Throughout their entire life, the veterinary care will cost you plenty. Bulldogs come with a long list of hereditary health issues including respiratory problems, hip/knee issues and eyesight concerns. I’ve heard people refer to them as “the rich man’s dog”.


BUT


Bulldogs are loyal, confident and obedient. Contrary to popular belief, Bulldogs are not lazy. They are prone to very sudden and very short bursts of unparallel energy. At these times, they are commonly referred to as flying meatloafs. They don’t need too much space, and they like nothing better than hanging out all day long on the couch. Hence the nickname “couch potato”. To a novice bulldog owner, they will appear to be sleeping or in deep meditation for the most part of the day… and night. But they are very aware of everything going on around them. It’s almost as if they sleep with one eye open. They don’t like change and new stuff will spook them out for weeks. Especially furniture. I’ve never met a bulldog that didn’t like to go for a car ride – across country or to the corner gas station. Doesn’t matter. They love to go Bye-Bye. Bulldogs love children and will tolerate being dressed up and pushed around in a stroller. My male bulldogs loved to skateboard with my boys and would often come home with black puck marks on their tough skin after a neighborhood hockey game. You can’t help but look at that face and fall in love and personally I think they are beautiful creatures. Once you lived with an English Bulldog, you never go back to a normal dog. Like a fine wine, they mellow with age yet remain childlike in nature till the end.

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