Bulldogs For Dummies
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Bulldogs possess behavioral quirks specific to their breed that you should seriously consider before you invest in one of the breed. If any of the traits mentioned in this article doesn't fit your lifestyle or with what you expect from your dog, consider getting a different breed.

A Bulldog may be perfect for you if the following list represents your behaviors and the kind of dog you want:

  • Couch Potato is your middle name.
  • Grooming isn't on your list of fun things to do.
  • You leave home for much of the day.
  • You want a companion to hang out with after a hard day's work.

Bulldogs love to be with their families, but they also like to snooze the day away. You can go off to work and know that your Bully isn't desperate for an afternoon game of fetch. And when you return home, your pal will be waiting for a snuggle on the couch.

When you come home and plop down on the couch, you may notice that your Bully has left behind a present for you. You have dog hair all over your black pants! A Bulldog's short and smooth coat sheds much more hair than you may imagine, and your Bulldog sheds year round, but you won't have the hours of combing, brushing, and trimming maintenance that you would with many longer-coated breeds. Do pay attention to his wrinkles, though; you can easily manage a little touch up during your evening TV time on the couch.

You must realize that your Bulldog is your companion; she isn't an athlete. In fact, Bulldogs are predisposed for lounging around. If you want a dog to keep you company in your active lifestyle, consider a different breed.

The Bulldog isn't built for speed, and even if she wanted to run, jump, and play for extended periods of time, she just can't. Her short, pushed-in nose doesn't allow airflow like active dogs, and an elongated soft palate and small trachea further hamper a Bully's breathing. High heat and humidity also make Bulldogs unhappy, and hot conditions can affect their health. Overheating poses a real danger for a Bulldog.

If you expect to spend a day paddling around the lake with your Bully, you may need to reconsider. Drowning is a major cause of death in Bulldogs. As one breeder says, "They swim like a rock."

A Bulldog's temperament slows her down, too. Bulldogs want to please themselves. They aren't driven to work, and they don't act on command to please their owners. You can't force a Bulldog to do anything. He's bred to be single-minded and unyielding to rough handling.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Susan Ewing has been “in dogs” since 1977 and enjoys showing and trying various performance events, with the emphasis on “trying.”
She holds a Master’s degree in Television/Radio from Syracuse University and has attended canine seminars at Cornell University. She is a member of the Dog Writers Association of America and of the Cat Writers’ Association and is listed in the 2005 edition of Who’s Who in America.
Ewing has been writing professionally since she was 16 and is the author of several books: The Pembroke Welsh Corgi: Family Friend and Farmhand; The New Owner’s Guide to Pembroke Welsh Corgis; The Pug; and The Dachshund. Her column, “The Pet Pen,” is in The Post-Journal (Jamestown, NY) every Saturday. One of her essays is a part of the book, Cats Do It Better Than People.
Her articles have appeared in AKC Gazette, Family Dog, Bloodlines, German Shepherd Dog Review, Good Dog!, Pet Odyssey, Dog Fancy, Dog World, Puppies USA, the national Schipperke Club newsletter, ASPCA’s Animal Watch, and Bird Talk.
She has been a radio copywriter, owned and operated a boarding kennel, and served as the director of the Lucy-Desi Museum in Jamestown, NY.

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