Most Bulldog owners would say the breed is special and very different from other types of dogs; something that often sparks debates with owners of other dog breeds. However, Bulldogs do have notable characteristics that make them stand out. They are incredibly patient, especially with children. They have a calm, laidback attitude, and they are very quiet. They are great dogs to have if you live in an apartment or other shared residence. They rarely bark, preferring to cuddle next to their owners or in their dog beds rather than run around outside.

However, Bulldogs have their drawbacks too. They don’t live as long as other breeds–the average lifespan is eight to twelve years. They can’t tolerate excessive heat or exercise, and their unique build may make whelping difficult. They tend to be a little more expensive to acquire and care for. Breeding is complicated, which is why the puppies cost more. Food and medical care also cost more for this particular breed. Lastly, Bulldogs are lifelong chewers. If you don’t train them to only chew on safe toys, these dogs could put a hurting on your furniture, clothing, and other valuables.

Like all dogs, Bulldogs are at risk of developing genetic defects, particularly puppies that result from poor breeding systems. They can also become victims of common illnesses that befall many breeds. Some health concerns that may arise include:

  • Small trachea
  • Dermatitis
  • Mange
  • Elongated soft palate
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Eye anomalies
  • Allergies
  • Heart problems

Bulldogs may also mutilate themselves by scratching constantly and vigorously due to irritation from skin problems. To avoid this, you should check your dog’s condition on a regular basis to catch and nip problems in the bud.

One way to minimize the risk of getting a puppy with a congenital disorder is to work with a good, reputable breeder. While there is no guarantee your puppy will be problem free, a decent breeder will work hard to eliminate as many potential health issues as possible. Another thing you can do is remain alert to potential issues and try to catch them early. Many times health problems can be successfully mitigated as long as they are treated from the first moment of onset.

It’s important to note, though, that you can’t always take a list of known diseases and defects that can inflict a breed at face value. First, the list should only serve as a warning about what could potentially go wrong, not as a statement of fact that the diseases will befall your dog. Many Bulldogs live out their days in perfect health.

Secondly, the lists only reflect our current knowledge about a particular breed. Bulldogs have been studied for centuries, which is why their list of potential ailments is long. Rare or uncommon breeds often have shorts lists only because no one knows much about them. The size of a list is not a good indicator of a breed’s hardiness. Additionally, it’s much more difficult to eradicate a particular trait from a rare breed because the pool of candidates is so small.

Although Bulldogs are a fairly common and popular breed, not all veterinarians are knowledgeable about or trained to treat their specific needs. A treatment that may fix a health problem with one breed may result in a premature death for Bulldogs. Before purchasing a Bulldog, you need to make sure there is a veterinarian in your area that is familiar with Bulldog biology and has experience caring for them. Ask for recommendations from other Bulldog owners or breeders. If you’re not able to find a relevant care provider, then you may want to rethink your decision to get a Bulldog.

Bulldogs have long childhoods, taking as many as 36 months to fully mature. Owners often enjoy their puppy-like antics and often forget to discipline or train their canine companions. It’s important to invest the time and effort to do so. This will make life much easier for you and the dog later when he moves past the puppy stage. If you feel confident in your abilities, you can train the dog yourself. Otherwise look around your local area for obedience training courses.

In the past, Bulldogs were used to bait bulls (hence the name) and other large animals like bears. Hundreds of years of breeding have filtered out the aggression and ferocity needed for such a task. However, people still find Bulldogs intimidating due to their appearance. In reality, Bulldogs are very sweet. While they are immensely protective of the people they love, they do not make good watch dog compared to other breeds. If you are looking for a guard dog, you are better off selecting another well-known breed in that category.

The assorted characteristics of Bulldogs make them great companions for people of all ages. Invest time and energy into learning more about this breed to ensure you know all there is about taking good care of your furry friend.