In many ways, all puppies need the same care. They all need patience, persistence, constant supervision and quality vet care. But the confirmation of the English bulldog (or bulldog or Churchill dog) requires extra attention that other puppies do not need. English bulldog puppies cannot clean most of their bodies, have different exercise needs and may not initially get on with other dogs.
Price for Beauty
The English bulldog has had pay a big price in health in order to get those cute looks. Problems with their short legs, short snout and inability to have normal vaginal births were highlighted in a BBC documentary, “Pedigree Dogs Exposed” (2008.) This documentary caused such a public outcry that the Kennel Club of the UK is even encouraging breeders to radically alter the breed standard.
However, no English bulldog national breed club has changed the standard in any way. In the meantime, there are a lot of bulldogs that need loving, caring homes. Because of their popularity, many puppy mills are concentrating on breeding bulldogs. Animal shelters and bulldog rescues are crammed full of homeless English bulldogs – even puppies – and so there is no reason to buy one.
The bulldog’s endearing grin is one of the things bulldog puppy owners need to be aware of. All of those facial wrinkles can trap sweat, dirt, food and organic matter. If not cleaned, this bacteria begins to fester, similar to plaque on teeth. The result is skin-fold dermatitis, a painful and unnecessary skin condition. Bulldogs need their facial wrinkles cleaned every single day by the owner. The dogs’ noses are too short to do the cleaning themselves.
Bulldogs, even as puppies, tend to move slower and need less exercise than the average puppy. They still need regular exercise, though. But because of their short nose and slow gait, beware of exercising them on very hot and humid days. Also, keep an eye on them if they are outside in a secure yard. Puppies have been known to play so much that they collapse from the heat.
Speaking of secure yards, bulldog puppy owners need to know that their breed is one of the most stolen. Bulldogs are hot and so there are many thieves willing to “puppyknap” from puppies left unattended. Thieves will break into yards, cars and kennels to get puppies. Never leave a bulldog tied up outside or unattended in a yard for more than a few minutes.
Bulldogs are naturally chunky, but many owners let their dogs get dangerously obese. Fat dogs often begin as puppies that are overfed. The puppy gets used to all of this food and keeps on demanding it. Growing puppies do not need as many calories as adult dogs. Keep to your veterinarian’s guidelines about how much to feed, what food is best to feed and how much to exercise your English bulldog.
“Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds.” D. Caroline Colie, Ph.D. Barron’s; 2005.
“ASPCA Complete Guide to Dogs.” Sheldon L. Gerstenfeld, VMD. Chronicle Books; 1999.
“The Veterinarians’ Guide to Your Dogs’ Symptoms.” Michael S. Garvey, DVM, et al. Villard; 1999.
Mar Vista Animal Medical Center. “Brachycephalic.” http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_brachycephalic.html
Pet Place. “Pyoderma in Dogs.” http://www.petplace.com/dogs/pyoderma-in-dogs-bacterial-skin-infection-pus-in-the-skin/page1.aspx