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Is it unethical to get an English Bulldog?

(62 Posts)
JazzyCardi Tue 04-Mar-14 03:36:50

We have wanted a dog for years and years but have never had the space for one.

We recently moved into a ground floor flat with gardens and expect to be here for at least the next 5 years.

Our dream has always been a boxer but one wouldn't suit our circumstances - mobility limited DP, space restriction, unsecured garden.

Next up is the English Bulldog. As I understand it, they cope well in flats, don't need unsupervised access to a garden, don't require hours of exercise, are good companion dogs and could be a deterrent to intruders - everything we want in a dog!

My initial research left my appalled at the problems the average bulldog is likely to face - breathing issues, cs births required and inability to mate. One source said their life expectancy is only 5 - 8 years!

I started to search for 'healthy bulldogs' and came across 2 different types of results. 1) those that showed images of bulldogs jumping and running and claiming they are perfectly healthy, and 2) Olde English Bulldogges or cross breeds that (to me) looked more aggressive than I'd be comfortable with.

We've considered Staffys but we don't want a dog that might intimidate our neighbours.

Is it unethical to get a bulldog, and if so, does anyone have a suggestion for a breed that might suit our lifestyle?

This will be our first dog btw.

SelectAUserName Sat 08-Mar-14 22:06:54

Don't get a retired greyhound if there are cats on the premises, unless the rescue has thoroughly cat-tested the dog in question or you are prepared to keep the dog muzzled when it's outside. The majority of them have a naturally high prey drive and have then been trained to chase a small furry object.

A good-natured Staffie would be perfect for your situation. So many of them are great with other dogs, cats, children...they make such fantastic family dogs, and rescues are groaning with them.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 07-Mar-14 12:11:44

(Well the folded back ears , the huge liquid eyes and the leeeeeaaaaannn of a Retired Greyhound at a Greyhound Rescue Stall might just tilt the balence) wink

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 07-Mar-14 11:57:49

We were watching Crufts yesterday and the breeding/overbreeding on some of the dogs is criminal.

But worse is the way that the SBT has had it's reputation wrecked . I know alot of people dispute the Nanny Dog title but when my DD (who is now ok to walk past a dog on a lead but a bit twitchy near a loose dog) sees a SBT she'll say
"Oh look Mum there's a chunky staffie, the Nanny Dog" and the owners look quite relieved that she's not shrieking "OMG it's a Pitbull, how dare you take that vicious mutt out " which I'm sure they do hear.

It'll take a while for them to get their good name back. Hopefully they will.
Few things are nicer than a Staffie Smile.

VetNurse Fri 07-Mar-14 06:55:45

There is no way I would ever have a bulldog or recommend one. Riddled with health problems, will cost you a fortune in vets bills and will probably cause you heart ache when it drops dead due to its problems. All very negative I know but being a vet nurse I unfortunately see it happen all to often. I personally think bulldogs should be allowed to die out as any breed who can't mate or give birth without assistance shouldn't exist!

Get a staffie smile

butterfliesinmytummy Fri 07-Mar-14 03:37:17

I have a rescue mixed American Staffie (same as British Staffie but bigger). She's also got Ridgeback and a load of other breeds. She's boisterous but very playful, can walk forever and has a very soft mouth. She has destroyed stuff round the house so we have crate trained her. Hoping to get rid of the crate in a few months once the puppy chewing stage is mostly past. Her pics are on my profile but she's grown since then, now about 42lbs and the size of a collie. Our vet doesn't think she will grow much more (she's about 8 months). Would never have picked a staffie but they are adorable, kind and very playful dogs. They do have a lot of energy and need to work it off though!

JazzyCardi Thu 06-Mar-14 22:10:41

I think I've seen that photo YNK.

Thanks for the positive posts about staffs. I'm getting excited now!

YNK Thu 06-Mar-14 14:32:37

The pic the papers use to give the impression of a 'devil dog' is actually a pic of a SBT SNEEZING!!!!
A staffy would give loads of affection to a child in it's family and a grayhound would spend all it's time laying on your sofa!
Good luck, and well done for deciding to rescue!

HannahG315 Thu 06-Mar-14 14:18:10

Sorry I keep popping up.

Glad you're considering staffers. There's no such thing as a bad dog, just bad owners. Staffies aren't nasty they are blooming lovely dogs. Be prepared for long walks though, all that muscles for speed and distance not fighting.

Our lab x's best play mates are staffers because they're the only ones able to match her speed and tire her out!

higgle Thu 06-Mar-14 13:27:42

We have had two Staffies, both older rescue dogs and they have been the most lovely companions you can imagine. Have a look on "Oldies club" /Rescue Remedies or Happy Staffie Rescue, and find the love of your life.

MothershipG Thu 06-Mar-14 13:18:49

Thanks Jazzy <proud mummy emoticon> grin

JazzyCardi Thu 06-Mar-14 10:35:45

Also meant to say to Mothership, Gozo and Enzo are great!

JazzyCardi Thu 06-Mar-14 10:32:54

Thanks for all the new posts and suggestions.

We all talked about it last night and settled on trying to get a rescue EB as first choice and then looking at other rescue dogs if needed.

I had written off staffs, not necessarily because we don't like them but because I didn't think we could give one a good home and it might cause issues with the neighbours. I'm having a re-think now after what 70 posted about there being daintier, less boisterous types available. That could be perfect. I've looked at Battersea Dogs Home and there are loads sad

It would have to be a calm dog that can cope without free access to a garden - DP is here all day so can take it out for wees and let it wander around the garden on a long lead. I'm here all day at the moment but am looking for work so worst case scenario is I can do a quick walk in the morning and a longer one in the evening.

Obviously we'll let the rescue centre know our circumstances and what we can manage and see if they can match us.

Does all this sound ok?

ClaimedByMe Thu 06-Mar-14 08:31:23

I was going to post about Staffies but I see 70 and JumpingJack have covered it! my staffie is about 6 (rescue) and I have 2 children 8 & 11 we have had her 18 months, she hasn't destroyed anything, she is just lazy and loyal.

Go meet a few before you decide they are not the dog for you!

kilmuir Thu 06-Mar-14 08:18:33


MothershipG Thu 06-Mar-14 08:15:45

May I suggest an Affenpinscher, they have monkey like faces but a enough length of nose that they don't suffer from breathing issues. They are small but cobby, not at all delicate. They are happy to walk for miles and just as happy with a stroll around the park. They can be a bit vocal, but if you only have one (very hard wink) that is manageable.

I have 2, I think they are great and mine come from a fantastic ethical, health conscious breeder that I can highly recommend.


My boys!

JumpingJackSprat Thu 06-Mar-14 07:51:50

You've written off staffs because of what your neighbours might think but actually they could be a perfect dog for you and there's so many languishing in rescue its ridiculous. Also as someone said upthread greyhounds might be with considering. A relative of mine has two and they are complete couch potatos but will happily go for long walks. Very laid back dogs. I wouldn't underestimate the sheer relentlessness of having a puppy around -my mum got one and I said after that I would never ever get a puppy myself. They need a huge amount of careful socialisation and training to make them into good citizens. Most reputable rescues will work hard on basic training and socialising of their dogs.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Thu 06-Mar-14 07:42:34

Can I just add to this?

(I'm not a dog person )

Interesting that you say about the Staffie and not wanting to intimidate the NDN. My DD (now 11.6) spent the first 10+ years of her life terrified of dogs. The only dog she was vaguely comfortable with was a Staffie !

She knew them as The Nanny Dog. Sje got very excited by "Chunky Brindle Staffies" (not excited enough to go and chat to them though)

There are so many 'build' types. Yes I know the papers (yes Daily Mail, I mean you ) always show the huge. tooth filled face of a Staffordshire. But we've seen more that are smaller, daintier, but still reassuringly chubby.
There will be 1000s in Rescue, alot of them family pets.
Worth considering wink

HannahG315 Thu 06-Mar-14 00:17:13

Completely agree with adishbestservedcold. smile

ADishBestEatenCold Wed 05-Mar-14 23:39:40

Nothing special to add re breeds, JazzyCardi, just posting because I wanted to say well done!!

It is great to see someone putting so much time, thought and research into making sure that they chose not only a dog that is right for them, their family, home and lifestyle, but also a dog that is 'ethical' in terms of health, breeding and needs.

I think you'll make a great dog owner! thanks

HRHsherlockssextoy Wed 05-Mar-14 21:40:09

I had a bulldog.

He was the loveliest dog. He lived until 11, which was the same age as my westie.

He was very loveable, other dogs don't like them, neither do vets, loved going for walks, was active.

I researched him, went to shows, meet breeders, so I got myself a lovely puppy. The only issue I ever had with monty, was he'd jar his leg when getting off the settee occasionally. But I was careful never to walk him when it was hot.

I think they are lovely dogs. Have you thought about a rescue bully?

CMOTDibbler Wed 05-Mar-14 21:31:05

A lovely whippet x lurcher boy has just come into EGLR if you look on their FB page...

boobyooby Wed 05-Mar-14 10:20:44

Most breeds of dog have a UK Club and their secretary and will be able to help you source a reputable breeder. This would be your first information point and they also usually have to deal with rescue side of things too so may be able to find you a rescue dog if you decide you don't want a puppy. Good luck smile

JazzyCardi Wed 05-Mar-14 10:20:16

Thanks Squirrel

I would be interested in either of those dogs CMOT.

I've had a quick chat with DP this morning and told him about the documentary I watched last night. We've agreed to abandon any ideas about a pedigree pup. He would prefer a rescue pedigree to a cross-breed pup, but would consider an older cross if that's what's available.

CMOTDibbler Wed 05-Mar-14 10:13:15

How about a whippet or small lurcher? They have very low exercise needs, but equally happy to do lots, snore companionably, and alas theres lots of lurchers that need new homes, often as older puppies when they are found not to hare course.
Mine is v friendly to other dogs, and is cat safe. He's most happy going out for dh to chuck balls for him on our shared green space so he can run round loopily

Squirrelsmum Wed 05-Mar-14 09:27:01

They are a big dog, and yes I totally agree with you regarding the deformities and generally fucked up breeding that is going on.
I have a wolfhound that I found through rescue, I knew when I seen her she was meant to be with us, she's a gem. I hope you find your "gem"

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