Extremely loyal, affectionate, excellent with children, good guard dogs… a Bulldog has all he needs to win his way into your home and hearts.
Do you remember that hefty dog, an accomplice of Jerry in the popular ‘Tom & Jerry’ cartoon series? Yes, he is Spike, the Bulldog! Originally bred as a serious fighting dog, a Bulldog has come a long way…today he is completely transformed into a wonderful family pal. He loves human companionship and prefers to stay indoors…close to his human family.
What’s the bull doing in the ‘Bulldog?’
It is believed that the Bulldog was first bred in British Isles for the sole purpose of bull-baiting, a brutal pastime in England. The sport involved the use of a dog or a group of dogs to attack a bull tied with a rope. These Bulldogs were aggressive with huge amount of strength and courage, just opposite to what Bulldogs are today – full of affection and loyalty. Thankfully, the bull-baiting was stopped in 1778.
The most characteristic feature of a Bulldog is his massive head, fairly large in proportion to size and his wrinkled face. His short muzzle and the saggy skin of the face give him a frowning look. A typical Bulldog expression!
Bulldogs are medium-sized, smooth-coated, with a compact body and short sturdy limbs. Eyes are round and dark in colour while ears are set high and are small and thin. The overall look of a Bulldog conveys impression of determination, strength and activity.
Bulldogs come in dazzling colours like white, red and white, brindle and white, white pied, fawn and smut, etc. The male dogs usually weigh around 25 kg while females weigh around 22.7 kg. The average height of Bulldogs is 12-16 inches.
A Bulldog is a complete people’s dog. Intelligent, bold, alert, quiet and courageous, he is extremely affectionate, tolerant and patient with children. He even gets on well with other pets, including cats and birds.
Fiercely loyal and protective of their family, Bulldogs can become aggressive to protect them, if the need so arise.
Bringing home a Bulldog pup
Bulldogs are not easy breed to rear, hence should only be bred by experienced breeder. Since they have large heads, puppies are more often delivered by Caesarean section to avoid them getting stuck in birth canal during natural birth.
Choose your pup from a reputed breeder only. While looking for your bundle of joy, pick up the pup who is friendly and has a well-fed appearance. Do not choose a shy or overly aggressive pup. His body should be firm, with a solid feel and his skin of the abdomen pink and clean.
Once you bring your bundle of joy home, give him a warm and secure place and give him time to adjust to the new surroundings. Early socialisation is important as lack of it can make the pup fearsome and aggressive. Similarly, train him from
an early age to make him an obedient Bulldog. Crate training is quite helpful for Bulldogs.
Living with a Bulldog
A Bulldog is very adaptive, he can live comfortably at an apartment as well as a country-side dwelling with plenty of space to roam around. He is not an active breed and love to be at home and would enjoy your company indoors.
Bulldogs love to chew and this behaviour is not restricted to younger dogs only. So, to protect your things from getting chewed up, give him plenty of chew toys and rawhide bones to keep his teeth busy.
Keeping him fit and fine
Bulldog is a healthy breed of dogs. Short daily walks are all that is needed to keep them fit. They love to play, but keep the play sessions short.
They are average shedders and do not need much grooming. However, it is imperative to wash his face and wrinkles on a regular basis as they can collect dirt. Simply, wet a cloth and wipe the wrinkles. The ears should be kept clean and removeany excess hair inside it. Carefully trim his nails as well. Also, clean his teeth regularly with a brush and a vet approved toothpaste.
To keep his coat in excellent condition, brush him using a natural bristle brush or a hound glove. It will remove dead hair and stimulate his natural oils to add shine to his coat. Besides, regular bathing will keep his coat healthy and shiny.
A word of caution
A Bulldog can have difficulty in breathing, particularly during hot and humid days, hence, they should be kept indoors and strenuous exercise should be avoided at such time.
(With inputs from Ashok Pratap Rai, who despite his jet setter schedule (literally!), as the CEO of Club One Air, India’s first fractional ownership company for business jets, and charters, finds enough time to indulge in his passion and love for birds and animals. He has owned, bred and shown Pugs, Miniature Pinschers and Pekingese, in the past with great success and Bulldogs are his newfound love. As per him, they are the most adorable, affectionate wrinkle balls! He is proud to have some top of the line blue blooded bulldogs, which have been imported from various countries. Though they are one of the most difficult breeds to breed, there is a very strong effort to breed and raise some of the finest Bulldogs within the country. The Bulldog family has to themselves the most conducive conditions and are pampered with all that they need. He can be contacted at 9868101199.)