Be honest with yourself and your future companion and ask yourself what you’re able and willing to do with your dog, what your lifestyle is, what your experience is with other dogs, etc.
Consider the following points to find out if a bulldog is right for you:
WHY do you want to get a dog?
Are you seeking a loyal companion, a guard dog or do you want to start exploring the many activities you can do as a dog-person, things like dog showing, agility, obedience, skimming flea markets for collectibles, etc. ?
Bulldogs are real companion dogs. They are happiest when they live indoors with their owner and share every part of his daily activities. If you want a dog to keep you and your family company and if you have the room and the time to fit him within your home and schedule, a bulldog is an excellent choice.
As to their guard dog abilities, Bulldogs are certainly not the first breed that comes to one’s mind when one wants a true guard dog. Nevertheless, many english bulldogs
do show great courage in protecting their owners and family and their appearance alone often is enough of a deterrent to scare off any would-be intruders. This notwithstanding, if you are looking for a good guard dog or a good watch dog, you may want to consider another breed. See our page about guard dog breeds.
Having a bulldog may soon grow into a real hobby, whether through the research of all possible information about the breed and collectibles related to your favorite breed or by entering the world of show dogs. If you don’t like people who seem obsessed by their dog, this may be not the right breed for you, because chances are high that you will become just like them ! Join the club !
WHAT characteristics do you expect in your dog?
Also, if you want an obedient dog who will jump at your every command, don’t get a bulldog !
Bulldogs have the tendency to examine every command you give them before deciding whether this is a worthwile thing to do or not. It is a common misconception that bulldogs are not intelligent or can not be trained. On the contrary, they are usually very intelligent and have lots of common sense.
If they have a smaller child or puppy under their custody they will also amaze you by their sense of responsibility. However, it is true that they do not ‘blindly’ obey but seem to evaluate your suggestions against their own value system. This is one of the typical bulldog characteristics that bulldog fanciers love about this breed, but it is also the kind of behavior that dominant personalities may not except. If this is your case, don’t get a bulldog !
WHERE will the dog be during the day?
Bulldogs should live inside and should never be left alone outside for longer periods of time. If you live in an appartment, your dog will need to have regular exercise. Bulldogs can usually not restrain themselves for very long periods of time (10 to 12 hours is REALLY too much !)
This can lead to destructive behaviors as well as loss of housetraining as the end result. Leaving your bulldog outside in a fenced yard is risky, not only for your bulldog’s health (humidity, cold, heat, sun) but also because bulldogs are a sought after breed and may be the object of theft.
HOW MUCH time can you spend with your dog each day?
Some dog breeds thrive better alone than others. Bulldogs are not really a demanding breed or time-consuming breed, but when left alone for longer periods of time they get borred and may then become very destructive as a result. They really need the physical and mental stimulation you can give them while spending time with them.
They do not typically beg for your attention, like some other dog breeds, they just want to be around you and will tranquilly sleep at your feet even when your are busy doing something else. If you have a very busy schedule and only return home to sleep, don’t buy a bulldog (and may be reconsider your decision to get a dog alltogether !)
WHAT is your tolerance for dirt and noice?
Bulldogs do not bark much as compared to some other small and medium-sized breeds, so they are considered a relatively silent breed, certainly not a yappy breed. In fact, they only bark when it is really necessary, when someone knocks on the door or whenever they are confronted with someone or something they are unfamiliar with. It is not unusual for them to bark when something is not at its usual place in the house: they love order and routine.
Like most short-nosed dog breeds, bulldogs snork when they sleep. If you live in a studio apartment and you are very sensitive to noice during your sleep this may constitute a problem.
If you are fanatical about cleanliness, you should know that bulldogs are a flat-faced breed, which means that when they drink water or eat they must lay their lips in their bowls. This will inevitably lead to dribble trails and food rests across the floor.
Like all short coated breeds of dogs, bulldogs shed as well. Regular grooming and brushing can help reduce the amount of hair winding up on your clothes, coach and carpets, though.
However, if you are looking for a dog who does not shed at all, the so-called ‘naked’ or hairless dog breeds could be a better option.