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Advice on Bulldogs

(21 Posts)
DixieD Sat 20-Oct-12 20:20:47

We are tentatively discussing getting a dog. We all love them but realise the work involved and we want to be sure we are all ready. DH mentioned that he would like to get a Bulldog. His reasons are purely aesthetic - he likes the look of them.
I know a bit about a lot of different dog breeds but practically nothing about bulldogs. We are in Ireland and they are not very common here at all so I don't even know anyone with one.
So can any of you nice people tell me about them? We have three kids 5,3 and 1, although we probably won't be getting a dog until we have moved house which is a year or so off anyway so they'll be older obviously.
I assume from the loom of them that they can be prone to breathing trouble? Are they big droolers? Any details much appreciated.

toboldlygo Sun 21-Oct-12 16:21:11

If you can deal with looking at an animal in severe respiratory distress every single day of its (short) life, go ahead. sad

I am not one of the rabid anti-pedigree, anti-dog show people, I am on here defending the necessity of and the health of pedigree dogs all the time - I just cannot be positive about the breeding of such deformed animals.

DixieD Sun 21-Oct-12 23:48:25

Thanks for that. I did suspect that it was one of those breeds that was suffering from the ridiculous breed standards imposed. Your links are very interesting. DH likes the look of the non KC Old Tyme breeds so we may go for one of those. Will be difficult to get one in Ireland I'd say but we will travel to UK if need be.

midori1999 Mon 22-Oct-12 12:52:48

'Old Thyme' bulldogs are not a breed and you will find it very, very hard (impossible) to find an ethical breeder of one.

I agree with what toboldlygo has said, Bulldogs do have serious health issues and have been bred to the 'extreme', but I also would take anything Ms Harrision (PDE) has to say with a inch of salt. Her documentary did nothing but damage dogs and did great business for puppy farmers. sad It also apparently had to be edited for later showings as some parts were grossly misleading/incorrect.

There are plenty of much healthier pedigree breeds to choose from, or you could consider a rescue dog?

toboldlygo Mon 22-Oct-12 15:45:08

Agree midori, she just has some very convenient (and brutal) links for breeds like bulldogs and pugs. As much as I contest pretty much everything else she has to say about pedigree dogs and dog showing you can't argue with videos like that. sad

OP, a non-extreme bulldog is basically a Staffordshire bull terrier of which you will be able to find thousands of wonderful examples in rescue, including puppies. They make wonderful family pets, have only moderate needs in all things (exercise, training, grooming all fairly straightforward) and most importantly are generally sound, healthy and active dogs.

Blackballoon Mon 22-Oct-12 15:48:19

Deformed and will cost you a fortune in vets bills! Hope you have a big bank balance.

Aquelven Mon 22-Oct-12 18:01:18

Funny you should be asking about bulldogs. I saw a very young bitch puppy today in the village, first one I've seen (apart from at shows) in years. It was with a family of visitors, wearing a pink collar & lead. Everyone was making a huge fuss of her, she did look very sweet.
But it isn't a breed I would like to own personally. There are health problems & mostly they are very short lived. I'm reliably told that 8 is a good age for a bulldog. I'd find that heartbreaking.

LadyTurmoil Mon 22-Oct-12 18:14:52

I have noticed over time that a lot of men want bigger or dogs they consider "macho". A friend's husband would only consider a golden retriever for that reason (she would have preferred not to get a dog at all but, luckily, likes walking every day so is OK with it. It's lovely but now at 8 months is really strong on the lead (so the kids get their arms wrenched out of their sockets), needs loads of exercise - meanwhile, her DH is at work all day and they probably would have been more suited to a Cavalier/Westie type size of dog. They also paid £600/700 for it. I would really consider what type of dog suits your lifestyle rather than a specific breed of dog.

Heavywheezing Mon 22-Oct-12 18:29:05

Ok, I used to have a bulldog until he died about 18 months ago.
He lived until he was nearly 11 which is a good age for a bully.
I loved him so much and he has such a personality. Bullies are wonderful dogs.
Mine cost me, £750, that was in 2000. They are more than £1000 now, which is a lot for any dog.
The wrong sort of people are breeding them because they can make a lot of money from them.

Monty was alive when ds1 was born and he was wonderful with him, although he did pinch his tea! Very gentle but noisy when he went for a walk or snoring.

Yes he did drool, it got over everything, but very little hair shedding.

Mine never had issues breathing but we never left him out in the sun or took him for walks on a hot day, sensible with any dog.

We took him for walks everyday and they are very strong your lo's win't be able to hold him on a lead. Other dogs don't like them because of the noise but people will. I got stopped a lot with him, and got asked about him. But that in a way is bad because people will know you for having them and the cost makes them a theft risk.
I never ad problems, vet wise with my bully, he used to jump off the furniture and hurt his leg but ibuprofen used to sort that. He was insured though!
I love them and would have one again, just the cost!

I can 't vouch for American bulldogs, they are more aggressive and I wouldn't have one with small children but I don't know much about them.

Any more questions please ask

poachedeggs Mon 22-Oct-12 19:11:30

Dear lord don't give dogs ibuprofen, ever.

Bulldogs are frequently born by caesarean section because they are so abnormally proportioned that they struggle to successfully deliver live pups vaginally. That alone is a reason not to perpetuate their breeding.

Heavywheezing Mon 22-Oct-12 19:51:36

sorry, I can't remember if it was paracetamol or ibuprofen.

since I've had a bulldog the breed standard has changed, making their heads smaller etc.

They are wonderful companion dogs.

DixieD Mon 22-Oct-12 20:41:48

Thanks everyone. I can see a lot more research is needed. I did see that the breed standard in the UK has changed which can only be good news. Whatever we get we will certainly not be buying without being absolutely certain that it is from a reputable breeder. If we can't be certain then we won't buy. The problem with puppy farms in Ireland is huge and there is very little regulation of them so we will be very concious of meeting the parents and seeing the litter etc.
Heavywheezing thanks so much for all that info it is very helpful. I am sorry your dog died sad
LadyTurmoil I think there is a bit of that with DH alright. I think he sees them as the anthisis of the 'pretty' designer dogs. He likes the fact that they are a bit different (as I said very unusual in Ireland - in my 35 years I ve only ever seen 1 or 2 here), that they are so solid and strong looking and that as he put it 'they look a bit grumpy'!

TheCatInTheHairnet Tue 23-Oct-12 02:22:16

Firstly, bulldogs are very contentious breeds, and if you do get one, be prepared for total randoms commenting that your dog can't breathe/is lazy, etc etc.

That said, if you're serious, the right breeder is essential. There is an entire movement of bulldog breeders actively working on making them a healthier breed. They ARE expensive. Mine cost $3k and I would never have a bulldog without pet insurance, purely for my own peace of mind.

They are also stubborn, so are not recommended for first item dog owners and yes, they drool, they fart and burp, snore and they leave bulldog hair everywhere. Like all dogs, they need lots and lots of training, but unlike a lot of other dogs, they won't really care if they don't feel like doing something.

That said, they are fantastic dogs. They are brilliant with kids. They are waaaay more active than their reputation suggests, particularly when they are young. They are loving and warm, are useless guard dogs as they are people pleasers and they want to be with you all the time.

I love mine, and would have one over and over again. He is healthy, breathes fine, can hike as long as all the other dogs (except on very hot days) and is the most loving, gentle dopey ball of fur you could ever hope to meet. And he's beautiful to boot!

Feel free to message me if you have any other questions.

Heavywheezing Tue 23-Oct-12 10:05:03

Thecat, I agree with everything you have said.

charlearose Tue 23-Oct-12 18:40:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NittyNuttyNoo Thu 01-Nov-12 16:53:30

I think anyone who wants a bulldog should spend time at a specialist vets and see what these poor animals have to go through just to be able to breath properly! These dogs should be allowed to die out for welfare reasons.

Vondo Thu 01-Nov-12 16:59:37

We have an Old Tyme Bull Dog who was bred ethically and she is great - snores like an 80 year old man but apart from that she's healthy as.

She's lazy though. Gets three big walks a day and she hates them - regularly sits down and refuses to move!! We have two DS's aged 10 and 3 - We got Jools when DS1 was 6 and DS2 wasn't with us yet - they love her to bits!

Vondo Thu 01-Nov-12 17:01:30

Oh and Old tyme Bull Dogs are a bred they are just not pedigree. They are classed as part of the Rare Breed collection. grin

NittyNuttyNoo Thu 01-Nov-12 17:25:52

They snore because their soft palate is blocking their airway. This is not normal.

Vondo Thu 01-Nov-12 20:41:04

She's been fully checked by the vet and has no breathing issues. Snoring is common in dog with short snots grin

NittyNuttyNoo Thu 01-Nov-12 22:19:21

Yes but they snore because their snouts are so short that their soft palate covers their airway. That is where the noise comes from. For a bulldog this may be normal but doesn't mean it's right. We have bred them to be deformed which means health problems. Same for all brachycephalic breeds. All bred for looks and not function.

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