T Nation

Bulldog Owners?


#1
The wife and I want (or maybe need) a dog. She likes little ones, I want a real dog. We have researched, and an english bulldog seems to be the best choice for us.

We realize that a bully is not exactly a little dog. Short, yes, but 50 pounds is not small. Still, everything I have read to date indicates that they are suited for apartment living.

I'm just curious on thoughts from bulldog owners, past and present. What do you think of these guys? Do they work well with apartments? Would you get another, or make the same choice again? Do you have any reason to sway me one way or another? Any special tips on selecting one? Male or female?

If it helps, there are two adults in my household, my wife and I. We live in a pet friendly apartment. We both work day jobs, I am usually able to come home for lunch. We don't plan on children for at least a few years.

Also, I a curious about the purchase. I have found many online sources, but I'd like an outside opinion. We will go to a breeder, not a petstore or mill. What do you feel is a good price, what is to cheap (raising flags) or to expensive? We won't be showing or breeding the dog? Anybody know of good breeders in the Kansas area (we live about an hour west of Topeka)?

Thank you in advance for any feedback, and feel free to PM me if you have any breeder info.


#2

Well if you want a REAL dog I wouldnt go with a Bulldog, they cant swim, run to well, stay outside when its a little hot, or follow direction very well. If you want one that needs to stay inside and doesnt need much exercise, that would be good for an apt. Also they need regular cleaning in the flaps of the face, and the water bowl area will always have a lot of water on the floor because of the mess they tend to make. Also they tend to be expensive the one my roomates have was $1200. If you want a real dog go with a Lab of some sort, but for your apt. If you like the face of a Bulldog, Boston Terriers are great companion dogs and they arent really that small, and wont be heavy on your furniture.


#3

oh man, bulldogs are great. i've had mine for about 2.5 years now, dozer is a mix though, they are calling him an olde english bulldogge which is supposed to be more athletic like the original bulldogs, and not as short and fat like todays show bulldogs. i think they are great addition to any family, as the ones that i have known have been frindly with all age gropus and good with other animals, although i think with any breed it depends on breeding and how the animal was raised. i will caution you you that bulldogs have a LOT of health problems, mostly respiratory. my dozer has gone in spans of 3 weeks out of a month of needing to be at the vet, this i was told by my vet is due to "backyard"breeding. essentially i wasnt careful enough in choosing a reputable breeder.

i hope that mad some kind of sense. basically bulldogs are awesome dogs/companions but have their share of health problems. be careful in chossing a good breeder(for any breed) and be prepaired to pay 1200-2000 for a quality bulldog pup. also i recommend getting the dog health insurance, you vet should be able to tell you about that. good luck


#4

hmmm...I gotta say that an english bulldog is a good companion...but not a good pet. They are horribly expensive...to upkeep and to purchase. They will likely need several surgeries before they are 6 months old to correct eye problems and respiratory problems. I have a neighbor who has a bulldog from the uga generation(the University of Georgia official mascot), and that dog is the epitome of what a bulldog should look like....but she has spent a small fortune on surgeries and just to keep her dog alive. They are fairly stubborn dogs, more difficult to house train from what I have heard, but their low activity level does make them suitable for apartments. A lab would not be a good choice for an apartment BTW. You could go with an american bulldog, and a boston terrier is a good choice as well. We have an Akita and she does wonderful in apartment life....go to this website:http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/ for information about various breeds.


#5

I live in an apt. and I have a Great Dane. She is a great apt pet. Very relaxed when indoors and quite gentle and doesn't knock things over. Larger dogs are generally less high strung I think and better pets for apartments. It can be hard finding someone to rent to you though.


#6

Hi,

We've had our English Bulldog for almost 4 years. She is so sweet & loving... she's a lot of fun. We got her from a military couple in the UK that were moving & had not planned ahead.

She has never had to go to the vet for anything more than shots. She does get overheated easily, especially since we moved with her from the UK to Utah, and recently to Hawaii.

She is tenacious & hilarious. She thinks she is a bigtime swimmer!! She leaps into rivers, pools, ponds, and the ocean... and sinks like a rock. This doesn't phase her a bit.

She stands on the bottom, looking around. At this point, we freak out & drag her out. I think she just loves having her chest nice and wet and cool.

Her name is Penny. She gets along with other dogs & cats just fine. We got lucky - she only cost us $200. I'd say a puppy really will cost you $1400-$2000. For that reason, why not keep in touch with your local shelter? Just a thought - - I'm a cheapskate. Lol...

I am sure there are lots of families out there that don't plan ahead & get rid of them (just like most breeds). She's a fairly lazy dog - - not a lot of stamina for long walks. She loves to play (after a nap). She plays a little rough with my husband, but is super gentle with kids.

Oh - I think most bulldog breeds have stinky farts. (Had to warn you!)

Want to see a picture?


#7

Oh that is too cute and funny! I bet she makes you all laugh everyday.

Damn $2000 for a dog? Makes $500 for a good Golden pup look like a great bargain!


#8

Bulldogs are normally born by caeserian section - their heads are too big. So the pups end up being more expensive (and from what I've heard, sometimes the mom gets too much of the gas & the pups die).

She really is hilarious - - pretty much like having a cartoon in your house all day long. I think she could bench press me, if she wanted to. I'll get her doing dead lifts one of these days! ;o)

Renee


#9

I have a purebred English bulldog.

Here are some cons:

Generally not healthy or sturdy dogs. He has had two eye surgeries for a condition known as "cherry eye". They dont like to run very much and you have to be very careful with hot weather.

He has been exceedingly difficult to train. After 2 years he still is not fully housebroken. Stuborn and not too bright is a bad combination.

They are also expensive. $1500 to $1800
probably the average.

With that said, he is a very sweet dog, and would never hurt anyone. He has a great temperment and he is damn cool to look at.

A goofy dog like him makes a great buddy
for me as I tend to be a very intense
person and he mellows me out.

I would certainly recommend the english bulldog.


#10

We have a Bulldog, a Standard Poodle, and a mix (Shepard and Lab). They are all great dogs with each having different advantages/disadvantages.

For the Bulldog - they are expensive but they are worth it. Our bulldgod is a goofball. Bulldogs, in general, are the sweetest dog around. Ours is sweet and curious about everyting - consequently he gets into a lot of things. We've spent money on him but he's been worth every penny.

We've had our bulldog are a little over a year now. My wife was totally against it but it was my turn. She choose the Standard Poodle 12 years ago. He's a great dog too. We researched breeders through our local kenal club and selected a breeder after talking with each and calling past customers, etc. When we got our little Mojo (his full name is "Mr Mojo Rising" - he's a Jim Morrison fan) he was 10 lbs. Now's he 60 lbs and still cute as ever! He's not a timid or agressive dog. Just curious! And Goofy as can be! And he's not athletic. Basically, Mojo eats, sleeps, gets into things, and keeps us laughing all the time.

As I said earlier my wife was totally against him. She did research and was convinced that bulldogs were not a good bred for us (or anyone for that fact). Now a year later - she's a big fan of the bulldog. Mojo is her little baby. He follows her around and basically causes havoc. She loves him and he loves her. It so funny to see his reaction when she walks in a room. He gets all excited and starts all these weird noises, rolls around, and gets under her feet.

One last thing - Bulldogs can be trained just as well as any other dog. They have a rep of being stupid but Mojo has already learned a lot (he's just over a year old). The secret to training bulldogs is to use food (treats) and be consistent. Mojo hasn't had an accident in our house since he was 3.5 months old. He knows how to "sit", "stay", "roll over", and "hand shake". If I tell him to "sit and stay" - he will even if other dogs walk by. The thing about bulldogs is they'll do anything for food. But they're stubborn so punishing doesn't work well. He learned everything by treats. Once he figured out what I wanted him to do he'd do it if (and only if) he got a treat. That's where Mojo is different from our other dogs. They'll do it because they want to please. Mojo wants to please too but really what he wants most is food.

Hope all this helps.

Carlsbad

PS: Search the internet for "Tyson" the bulldog - this bulldog can skateboard. It's cool.


#11

My uncle is a huge dog person, always has like 5 or 6 dogs in his house at anyone time, and he has owned all different kinds of breeds. He has owned one bulldog. He says the dog is the most stubborn animal he has ever owned. At the time he owned Benson, the bulldog, he also had 4 labs. If the animals were raining, all he had to do was open the door and the labs would run in the house. Benson needed to have a steak waved in front of his face to get him to move.

One day my uncle came home from work to find that Benson had chewed a hole through a wall. Being of Celtic and Italian extraction, my uncle naturally wanted to beat the shit out of the animal. I asked him if he hit the dog and he told me "Once. If Benson does something wrong, he'll let you hit him once. You hit him more than once and he comes after your ass." Benson died a few years ago, and the funny thing is, my uncle was more depressed at losing this dog than any of his other ones. Their temperment makes them a challenge to deal with, but apparently you get quite attached to them.


#12

I considered the same thing after we had to put our 13 year old boxer down a few years ago. I always wanted a bulldog, but after doing some research on the the breed, I learned a few things about the problems they had.

I then found the Olde English Bulldogge breed. This dog is what the breed looked like back in the 1400's. This breed stands much taller than the AKC bulldog and does not have the problems most AKC registered bulldogs have.

After talking with many breeders, we bought one a couple of years ago. I named him Bob and he is a great dog. He is too big for an apt. as he is pushing 110 pounds, but the quality of the breed is amazing.

If you have any questions, I will be happy to answer them.

Gregg


#13

Bulldogs are notorious for skin problems.
My brother owns a bulldog and has spent at least $2000 on vet bills because of his dog's skin allergies. They tend to be expensive dogs, but anymore all dogs are expensive with the average vet visit costing $50+. They are pretty cool dogs tho.


#14

I agree that training a bulldog requires food treats. Disciplining them with a whack on the butt really does not work. Penny thinks a quick swat on the butt means "PLAYTIME!"

She got hit by a car when we had her for one week. The car was going slow... she had slipped off her leash & collar and was running away from my husband (chasing her). She rolled when the car hit her... then jumped up, growled, and BIT the front tire on the car. We took her to the vet & she was fine.

I only tell you this to illustrate what we've noticed many times... the threshold for pain is amazing. We took her to the beach, and she cut her paw on something. Sliced off most of one pad, was bleeding profusely - and she didn't care. She was playing in saltwater, blood going everywhere.

So food treats are a necessity for training, and you definitely need to be consistent. They're athletic, when they're so inclined. Jumping doesn't seem like an option for them, but WOW... they can! Chasing a cat, they corner really fast! The back end is only along for the ride, while the front end has all the power.

Fun dogs!

Renee


#15

G22 - - post a picture! I'd love to see! Please?

Renee


#16

Thank you guys, and gals, for the responses. This seems like it is the breed for me.
They say dogs are like their owners, so I guess a bulldog fits me just fine. Short, fat, wrinkly, stubborn and gassy.

I realize the difficulties of these dogs going into it. Health problems, cost and stubborness. Still, it seems worth it to me.
I'll try to keep posted as I can. We are going to a breeder next weekend. We probally won't be picking up a dog until spring or early summer. I am awaiting orders and I don't want to deploy with a new puppy at home.

While I think a dog would be a wonderful companion for my wife when I am gone, we realize a puppy is a lot of work and would like to raise it together.
Good info, good stories, please keep it coming.


#17

Oh! I have to chime in on this because I LOVE my bulldog! Yeah, he was a very expensive puppy but worth it. A week after I got him I found out that he has a heart problem and it was really devastating to hear. But it's been more than 2 years later and he's doing great. :slightly_smiling:

I tell you this because even with all the money I have spent on vet bills, he is so worth it. He is the most loving and sweet companion you could ever want. Most of the time he sleeps (we live in an apartment btw), but when he wants to play he's got tons of energy...for about 20 minutes. Like renee said, they definitely have got some stinky gas.

But for me he's perfect. If you don't mind the vet bills I'd definitely go for it! Good luck with your puppy search! I'll post a few pics cause he's just so cute. :slightly_smiling:

He loves the tub.


#18

Oops...just realized i posted under my fiance's name.


#19

Do they drool or get those nasty snot splatters on everything or do they have more of a dry mouth?


#20

I would suggest an American Bulldog. They are excellent watch dogs, great with kids, very smart and don't require
the type of maintenence a English bulldog does. Plus they will run with you, swim and just be your bud.