Learn About the English Bulldog Breed & Personality
Are you considering adding an English Bulldog to your family? There are many factors that go together to determine if a certain dog breed is right for a family, so let's discuss the English Bulldog breed so you can make an informed decision.
What is an English Bulldog?
There are many separate breeds of bulldogs, and the English Bulldog is one of the specific breeds.
They're medium-sized dogs with low, stocky bodies and wrinkled faces with a mixture of cute and silly charm.
Their coats come in a variety of colors and patterns, including white, black, red, fawn, brindle, and piebald. Their fur is short and straight, so close to their bodies that they may appear furless. This makes their fur very easy to care for. English Bulldog bodies are covered in wrinkly skin that does require daily wiping.
History of the English Bulldog
English Bulldogs were bred in England in the Middle Ages from the lineage of Neapolitan Mastiffs, specifically to be bull baiting dogs for entertainment purposes. That's where bulldogs get the name from.
This means they were bred to be short and to securely hold themselves low to the ground, to "doggedly" pursue a tethered bull until they were able to pin the bull's nose in their mouth (rendering it helpless), and hold on stubbornly even if it meant being thrown. The dog pinning the bull allowed an entertainer to come slaughter the bull.
When bull baiting was banned in 1865, the English Bulldog was slated to be phased out, but people liked the breed's strength and people-skills and deliberately bred the aggression out of them so they could be family pets.
English Bulldog Temperament
Today's English Bulldogs have agreeable, easy-going temperaments. They are much more friendly than anything else, so they don't make the best watchdogs, and they are sensitive, responding much better to positive reinforcement than getting impatient with them.
They don't demand a lot of activity, happy to lounge around more often than not. So, walking and playing are important parts of their lives like any dog, but much less so than active breeds.
They get along very well with people and children, and they love cuddling with their family members.
If you want them to get along with other dogs, you'll have to socialize them thoroughly as puppies and continue socialization throughout adulthood.
The stubbornness that had them hold on even when it put them in danger still remains, making them slow to train. To make a well-behaved pet out of them, you'll have to give them dedicated training as puppies, either by you or a professional, and the training will have to be upheld as they age.
Are English Bulldogs Smart?
Yes. Stubbornness may give the impression of a lack of intelligence, particularly when people often judge a dog's intelligence by their ability to learn new tricks, but they are sensitive dogs, responding to their environments.
English Bulldog Popularity
The combination of low maintenance, low activity demand, and friendliness makes them attractive to many people, particularly ones looking for low energy dogs for apartments or ones who can't exercise a dog very often.
The owner will have to be willing and able to properly train the dog or adopt a properly trained English Bulldog and maintain the habits they learned. The assets of the breed will be best shown with proper training.
English Bulldog Training
English Bulldogs are very stubborn. That was their whole point for being. They shouldn't be scolded for being stubborn, as this is hurtful to the sensitive dog and can actually make them more stubborn, but they do have to be thoroughly trained.
Baby English Bulldogs should receive careful training with lots and lots of positive reinforcement. Plan to give them the proper amount of time and consistency. They will have to learn bite inhibition as well as to sit, wait, stay, and come.
They will need to be socialized with other people, dogs, and children.
Some English Bulldogs are so stubborn that they require treats to obey, but positive reinforcement and praise are usually the most effective motivators.
Proper training makes your life better with your dog, makes them happier, and keeps them safe.
Caring for an English Bulldog
They require less maintenance than most dogs because they have such a short coat, but they also have wrinkly skin on their faces and bodies. If these wrinkles are not kept clean, the dog can develop skin infections. You should use a cotton ball dipped in peroxide or special dog wrinkle wipes to clean their wrinkles every day.
Their shorter snouts make them more prone to dental problems, so it is particularly important to have a dental routine for your English Bulldog.
English Bulldog Health Concerns
English Bulldogs weren't bred for longevity or health. Their life expectancy is around 8 to 12 years, and they are genetically prone to developing many illnesses, including hip dysplasia, breathing problems, heart problems, and more.
English Bulldogs can't cool themselves as effectively as other dogs and they aren't very good at keeping themselves warm, so they should be protected from extreme temperatures.
Their stocky bodies, low activity level, and very healthy appetite make them likely to gain weight. A fat English Bulldog may be cute, but they are more likely to develop health problems, so you will have to be mindful of maintaining a healthy diet. Feed them high-quality dog food and ensure they are only eating a small amount of treats and table scraps. You will also have to maintain a regular exercise routine.
How to Get an English Bulldog
You can purchase baby English bulldogs from trusted breeders. Always ensure a breeder is reputable because otherwise they may be breeding unhealthy bulldogs more prone to diseases.
Baby English bulldogs from reputable breeders typically cost anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000, but the price may be higher. You can ask your vet or check sites like the American Kennel Club or PupQuest to find a reputable breeder near you. Learn about breeders you consider. They should focus on a small number of dog breeds like 1 or 2, and they should be willing to answer questions and allow you to see their facilities and interact with their dogs. You will want to determine if the facilities are clean and safe and if the dogs act happy and healthy. It is also recommended that you prove the breeder is registered and has documentation on their dogs.
The price of a purebred baby English Bulldog from a breeder may be too steep for you. Or maybe you'd rather rescue a dog anyway, enjoying giving an English Bulldog in need a loving home. You may be surprised how many animal shelters have English bulldogs and baby English bulldogs. Purebred dogs are not exempt from the many reasons animals end up homeless.
How CBD Oil Might Help When You Have an English Bulldog
CBD oil shows promise at managing many ailments, including:
- lack of energy
- digestive issues
- breathing issues
The English Bulldog's cute, stocky body and short face make them prone to breathing problems and musculoskeletal illnesses like hip dysplasia.
If musculoskeletal problems or obesity cause or exacerbate pain and inflammation in your dog, you may find CBD oil to be an effective natural alternative to traditional medications that may pose scary side effects and risks that may be so bad your dog can't take the medication.
If breathing problems threaten your dog's respiratory or cardiovascular system, CBD oil may alleviate the breathing problem and the secondary effects. On a less serious note, it may also help you and your dog sleep better by lessening their snoring.
Should your dog develop a skin infection from all those cute wrinkles, CBD oil might kill the infection and soothe the pain and inflammation at the site.
The subtle energy boost that CBD oil may give could be a great help if your arthritic, sick, or overweight dogs is not exercising enough.
Some illnesses strike any dog, like epilepsy, cancer, and anxiety. CBD oil offers a gentle way to address these illnesses.
Using CBD Oil
CBD oils come in many forms so you can find just what your English Bulldog wants and needs.
You can choose from:
- oil tinctures
- extract concentrates
Treats are the easiest and most fun way to give your dog CBD oil. It's just like any other treat. They even come in crunchy and chewy forms and have flavors your dog will love.
Capsules are easy and the taste doesn't matter. If your dog is great with pills, this may be the best method for them because they have fewer ingredients and calories than treats.
Extract concentrates are cannabidiol in a container that dispenses it in little beads you can measure to find the right dose. These contain only one ingredient and are the most cost-effective way to give your dog CBD oil. They also provide great dose control when an average dose won't do. Because they only contain one ingredient, there is no flavoring, so if your dog doesn't like the taste of hemp, you'll have to mask it in a stronger tasting food or beverage. Concentrates can be given directly by mouth or applied to their food.
Oil tinctures are cannabidiol, a carrier oil, and often flavorings to offer the dose control of concentrates in a method that is easy and enjoyable to take. They come with a dropper or sprayer and can also be given by mouth or in food.
Topicals, like a lotion or balm, give you the option to treat localized issues like arthritis pain or skin infections directly. CBD oil topicals may prevent and manage skin infections.
Dosing CBD Oil
Treats and capsules come in packages with specific dosing instructions on the package. You'll choose the product for your size dog. Doses are calculated based on the average weight of dogs that size and assume that the dog is a median age and in reasonably good health.
Senior and baby English bulldogs, as well as very sick dogs, need special doses.
Concentrates and tinctures give you the flexibility to dose any dog for any illness.
Doses often require tweaking to find the one that works best for your dog. Always start with a lower dose and gradually increase as needed. This is the least stressful and the safest way to reach the right dose for your dog and their ailment.
Risks Associated with CBD Oil
There aren't many risks associated with CBD oil. It's a natural, gentle way to manage symptoms of ailments when traditional medications don't work or are too harsh for the dog to take.
You know those long lists of side effects most medications have? You could blink and miss CBD oil's side effects list. They are just lack of appetite, diarrhea, and/or sedation, and most dogs won't have any side effects unless they are taking a large amount.
CBD oil impacts the way the liver absorbs medications, so you will need to tell the vet that you are using CBD oil and the dose so they can accurately prescribe medications and administer treatments. Scientific studies also show mixed results regarding whether CBD oil has a negative or positive impact on the liver. You should be maintaining regular vet visits with your English Bulldog anyway because they need checkups for the many illnesses they are prone to, and your vet might also need to be checking their liver if you're giving them CBD oil in the long term or giving them a large amount.
CBD oil has not been FDA approved at this time. While it is exciting scientists with all the ailments it demonstrates to them that it can positively impact, there haven't been enough tests and trials to warrant FDA approval. Those scary medications may be harsh, but vets also understand their pros and cons and can expect certain results. it is too soon to do that with CBD oil. It may provide miraculous results for your English Bulldog in their time of need. It does with some animals and people, but there is no guarantee that it will.
Many vets support and are knowledgeable about the use of CBD oil, but that doesn't mean yours is one of them. If you feel CBD oil is right for your dog, call around or look for a holistic vet in or near your area.
Purchasing CBD Oil
Make the safest choice for your dog by educating yourself on the following points.
Full-spectrum versus CBD isolate
CBD isolate is, as the name implies, only cannabidiol. Full-spectrum CBD is cannabidiol, other cannabinoids(not THC), terpenes, and nutrients that come from the hemp plant. Full-spectrum is the most popular option because the entourage effect of all these compounds is supposed to make CBD oil more effective, but some people are adamant that CBD isolate actually works better for them. The good news is that if one doesn't work for you, you can always try the other before giving up on CBD oil altogether.
Dishonest CBD oil manufacturers sell products containing low-quality cannabidiol, less cannabidiol than promised, or no cannabidiol! This is why reputable CBD oil manufacturers have their products tested by an outside lab and then share the results on their websites. You can see an example of how we provide the test results for each batch of PurCBD+ 125mg.
Honest CBD oil manufacturers tell you where they acquired their cannabidiol. There are many ways to get it. We can grow our own hemp and extract the oil ourselves or purchase the hemp or the extracted cannabidiol from someone else. Any of these methods is fine as long as you can ensure the hemp was grown in a country with safe agricultural regulations.
Check the website for mention of the CO2 extraction method as it is the safest and purest option.
The fewer ingredients there are in your CBD oil product, the more likely the ingredients are to be necessary and safe. It's also easier for you to research ones you aren't familiar with so you know what you're giving your dog. Extract concentrates will have only one ingredient, oil tinctures will have a handful that should all be carrier oils or flavorings, capsules should have only what is necessary to turn cannabidiol into a capsule, and treats will have the most ingredients, but those ingredients should all be safe.
Most CBD oil manufacturers boast natural products, but you can also get organic. Organic beats natural. Also, just because something is natural or organic doesn't mean you don't still need to read the ingredient's list. Natural and organic do not guarantee safety. And even if everything is safe, it may still be allergenic for your dog.
Innovations from Innovet
We at Innovet enjoy finding creative, eco-friendly solutions to issues pet owners face. If you are considering owning an English Bulldog, you might find comfort in knowing that should your English Bulldog develop health conditions, there are products like our CBD oil, CBD treats, or balm to potentially help you. We also sell natural anti-pest products, eco-friendly poop bags, and more that may interest you.
Should you discover a problem in pet ownership that no traditional option or natural alternative solves, contact us to see if we can't find an answer. It's our pleasure.
Dr. Sara Ochoa
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, St. Georges University
Sara Redding Ochoa, DVM was raised in north Louisiana. She graduated from LA Tech in 2011 with a degree in animal science. She then moved to Grenada West Indies for veterinary school. She completed her clinical year at Louisiana State University and graduated in 2015 from St. George’s University. Since veterinary school she has been working at a small animal and exotic veterinary clinic in east Texas, where she has experience treating all species that walk in the hospital. In her free time, she likes to travel with her husband Greg, bake yummy desserts and spend time with her 4-legged fur kids, a dog Ruby, a cat Oliver James “OJ”, a rabbit BamBam and a tortoise MonkeyMan.
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The Innovet Team
Please do not ask for emergency or specific medical questions about your pets in the comments. Innovet Pet Products is unable to provide you with specific medical advice or counseling. A detailed physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinarian are required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet requires emergency attention or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic health conditions, please contact or visit your local/preferred veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.
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