Thinking of getting an English Bulldog puppy for the first time? Here are some things that you may find surprising!
You really do need a bulldog specialist vet
You will have seen this on the internet multiple times and should have heard it straight from the breeder. It is however tempting, if you already have dogs, to take your bulldog to your usual veterinarian. If you have built a good rapport with a particular vet at your practice and they are knowledgable about the breed then that is fine but I cannot stress enough the importance of finding a professional who understands this very unique animal. I personally have a pup who recently contracted kennel cough and I wanted an appointment ASAP but my usual vet was not available that day. His cough & sniffly nose was dismissed as 'typical thing most Bulldogs get on a regular basis' and was essentially told to get used to it. Needless to say I was not happy and within 20 hours was back with the puppy, kennel cough confirmed (by a different vet) and he was given an anti inflammatory.
They are extremely boisterous as puppies
Bulldogs are lazy right? Wrong! A healthy bulldog puppy can be just as hyperactive as any other breed, maybe more if you've picked the most...ummm...'characterful' of the litter. Make sure you keep a close watch on your bully baby as they will attempt to climb on anything, chew anything, and generally just get themselves into trouble. Teaching them manners is vital to avoid issues such as toy possessiveness & jumping at people...remember this will grow into quite a heavy dog.
Some people willl actually be scared of your bulldog
Considering the popularity of the bulldog on social media and advertisements it is really quite a shock when people are afraid of your breed, and even more surprising when they are afraid of a bulldog that is still a small puppy. Whilst the majority of people are extremely positive and want to pet your dog, there are many that cross the street with a disapproving stare, or pull their children close, exclaiming 'dont go near those dogs, they are dangerous'. Perhaps it is the somewhat serious face of the bulldog that some individuals find disconcerting, or maybe the bad rap the media has created In regards to the American Pit Bull Terrier, which may I add I believe is totally unjust & undeserved, has led to some individuals here in the UK (where the pit bull terrier is banned) to treat all dog breeds with the word 'Bull' in their name with suspicion.
You should pay extra attention to teething
Bulldog puppies, like other Brachycephalic breeds, have a hard time teething and you should get their teeth checked at vet check ups to make sure everything as it should be, as pointed out in this article from Petcha: http://petcha.com/pet_care/what-to-expect-with-puppy-teething/ Those little needle teeth are going to hurt when they sink into you, and your puppy will need to learn it is not appropriate to bite people. Making a sharp 'ouch' sound and moving away from the pup helps inform them that biting hurts and you are not pleased with this behaviour. Make sure you praise your puppy when it exhibits good behaviour by choosing to chew a safe toy instead. Further information can be found here: http://bulldogmixes.com/puppy-biting.html
You will fall completely and utterly in love!
Obvious surely! But I do believe a bulldog has a unique ability to melt the heart. A bulldog puppy is a huge commitment, as is any dog of any breed shape or size. But they really do have unique requirements and are expensive to keep. They will also try you, be very stubborn at times and push the boundaries. With the correct care and patience a bulldog will reward you with complete devotion and a bunch of sloppy kisses. And if anyone dares call your bulldog ugly....you will probably kick them straight out of your house!