Living Conditions

Care

careBulldogs are inactive indoors and don't require a great deal of exercise (although they must be walked every day to keep them from gaining weight). They are indoor dogs and prefer a relaxed lifestyle. After about 15 minutes of play, they're ready for a nap. This low to moderate energy level makes the Bulldog suited to any type home, from an apartment to a house with a yard. You can take the Bulldog for a walk of a mile or two during the cool part of the day, but he'll be just as happy with a brief stroll up and down your street.

Because of their pushed-in face, Bulldogs don't do well in extremely hot (or cold) weather. They breathe heavily when they're hot and don't dissipate heat well. They're especially susceptible to heatstroke. As little as half an hour outdoors in 85-degree temperatures can kill them. Provide him with an air-conditioned environment and plenty of fresh water. Bulldogs are also not swimmers. Their massive heads drag them straight down. If you have a pool, spa, or pond, protect your Bulldog from falling in.

The Bulldog is unlikely to be an obedience-trial star, but once he learns something, he never forgets it. He learns best through fun training sessions that involve repetition and positive reinforcement through food rewards and praise.

Size

size

 

Mature male Bulldogs weigh about 50 pounds; mature females about 40 pounds. Show dogs may be about 10 pounds heavier. They stand 12 to 15 inches at the shoulder.

 

Feeding

feedingRecommended daily amount: 1/2 to 2 cups of a high-quality dog food daily, divided into two meals.

How much your adult dog eats depends on his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don't all need the same amount of food. It almost goes without saying that a highly active dog will need more than a couch potato dog. The quality of dog food you buy also makes a difference — the better the dog food, the further it will go toward nourishing your dog and the less of it you'll need to shake into your dog's bowl.

It's easy to overfeed a Bulldog, but obesity can stress his joints, so he shouldn't be allowed to get fat. Keep your adult Bulldog in good shape by measuring his food and feeding him twice a day rather than leaving food out all the time. If you're unsure whether he's overweight, give him the hands-on test. Place your hands on his back, thumbs along the spine, with the fingers spread downward. You should be able to feel but not see his ribs without having to press hard. If you can't, he needs less food and more exercise.

Coat Color And Grooming

coat color and groomingYour Bulldog's coat should be straight, short, fine textured, smooth and glossy. He has soft, loose skin, especially on the head, neck, and shoulders. His head is covered with heavy wrinkles and he has two loose folds at the throat (from the jaw to the chest) to form what's called a dewlap.
Bulldogs come in a variety of colors: red brindle; all other brindles; solid white; solid red, fawn, or fallow (pale cream to light fawn, pale yellow, or yellow red; and piebald (large patches of two or more colors). Solid black isn't common and isn't much admired.

Brush the Bulldog's smooth, fine, short-haired coat once a week with a firm bristle brush. Wipe his face with a damp cloth every day, taking care to clean inside the wrinkles. Be sure to dry the inside of the wrinkles completely after they're washed. Some people suggest wiping the wrinkles with baby wipes that have lanolin and aloe vera. If your Bulldog's skin is irritated inside of the wrinkles, ask your vet to recommend a soothing ointment. After you've cleaned the wrinkles, wash your Bulldog's nose and apply petroleum jelly to it to keep it soft and prevent it from becoming dry and flaky.

The Bulldog is an average shedder. If you can take the time to brush him more than once a week, it will help reduce the amount of hair that gets on your clothes and furniture.

Other grooming needs include nail care and dental hygiene. Trim your Bulldog's nails once or twice a month. If you can hear them clicking on the floor, they're too long. The earlier you introduce your Bulldog to nail trimming the less stressful the experience is for both of you.

Brush the teeth at least two or three times a week — daily is better — to remove tartar and bacteria. Start when your puppy is young so he'll be used to it.

As you groom, check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, in the ears, nose, mouth, and eyes, and on the feet. Ears should smell good, without too much wax or gunk inside, and eyes should be clear, with no redness or discharge. Your careful weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early.

Children And Other Pets

children and other petsHis amiable temperament and bulk make the Bulldog an excellent companion for children, even young ones. A Bulldog will put up with a lot from a child, although he shouldn't have to, and he'll walk away if he gets tired of being tormented.

Always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's sleeping or eating or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog should ever be left unsupervised with a child.

With their pacific nature, Bulldogs also get along well with other pets, dogs and cats. They may be less sociable toward strange dogs, however.