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When you arrive home with
your puppy, remember ...

 

Your puppy is a baby Bulldog. Like all babies,
he needs lots and lots of love and cuddling,
lots of sleep, lots of good, quality nourishing
food and still more love and cuddling.

arrive

Moving to a new home, leaving his family and the only humans he has ever really known can be a little scary for the puppy, so try to make the move as easy as possible for him. For the first couple weeks, try to establish a good routine for him.

Make it simple and relaxed at first so that he feels secure in the new environment. He will need a lot of guidance and direction from you during this transition so take advantage of this experience to bond with him. This will allow him to feel comfortable with you and develop his trust for you.

Follow the breeders routine for feeding. The same times, same amount, same brand of food, same supplements. Feed him in the same place for each meal. Be sure he has his own special area for his bed. Give him lots and lots of cuddling, petting and attention. Be careful not to let him play so long and hard that he becomes exhausted.

Sometime during the first week, you should take him to your vet for a check up and allow him/her to get to know your puppy kibble, the change should be slow and gradual. Substitute a small amount of the old food with the new and slowly increase the ratio of new to old until the old food is completely replaced with the new.

Housing/Bedding:
Bulldogs thrive indoors around their family and in a temperature controlled environment. A bulldog can overheat faster than other dogs so if it's much over 80 degrees (F) your bully should be in an air conditioned area. And be careful with slippery surfaces such as hard wood floors, tile or linoleum. Bulldogs are born with joints that are naturally looser than, say, a German Shepherd, and slipping on the floor or in the bath tub can be hard on the joints. If you have these kinds of floors you might consider area rugs to provide traction and a bath mat when bathing.

Bulldog bedding need not be as elaborate and expensive. Costlier isn't always better. Usually a common cotton rug or blanket in his crate will due nicely. They are fairly cheap and easy to wash and dry. Artificial sheepskin rugs are available at most pet stores and also wash and dry easily. The main thing is that your bully likes it and you like it.

Avoid wicker dog beds because most bulldogs love to tear these to pieces and could choke on or swallow the pieces. We recommend using a wire crate. Bulldogs actually love having their own private retreat to go to when they want to be left alone. It is much easier to house train a puppy if he sleeps in a crate. If you travel with your dog, he is safer and happier riding in a crate and if you are staying overnight he has his own place to sleep in. The ventilation in wire crates is much better than most plastic ones.

Equipment:
A big fluffy, comfy chair or couch so you can sit and cuddle with your new puppy is a great way to start off his new life with you.

A food dish and a water dish with straight sides and flat bottom. Preferably ceramic or stainless steel.

A collar and lead. His first lead should be a light weight one, you'll need a strong leather or nylon lead as he grows. A harness can be confusing for them when they are just learning to follow your tugs. A collar tugs on one area in one direction whereas a harness tugs their entire chest and shoulder area making it hard for him to tell what you want him to do. We recommend using a collar while training your puppy but after he is well trained a harness is fine.

Dog nail clippers or grinder. It is recommended to start early clipping the puppies nails, 1. so the quick doesn't get to long; 2. so they get use to the action.

A brush. You can use just about any brush on a Bulldog but the best ones have flexible rubber bristles. Find one that fits comfortably in your hand

If you travel with your Bulldog you'll need a large insulated water jug so you'll have lots of cool water available for him. A small water bowl that hooks to the inside of his crate is nice also. A spray bottle filled with cool water. Lightly spray his face and body if you notice him panting or breathing heavily. A must for long walks and road trips.

Toys:
Never give your Bulldog a rawhide toy! They can tear the rawhide off and choke on it. Most puppies will love a simple knotted sock to shake and play tug-of-war with you. Many pups love chasing a ball. Whatever toy you choose just be sure that it is too big to get lodged in the puppies throat. And if you get toys with eyes or buttons on them be sure to tear them of as your puppy can choke on these.

Feeding/Diet:
Your aim in feeding a bulldog puppy should be to aid in muscle, bone and joint growth as much as possible without causing your puppy to become obese. It is best to feed a 2-4 month old puppy 3 or 4 times a day. Be careful not to overfeed. Until you are familiar with your bullies eating habits avoid making his food accessable all the time. If you notice your puppy is putting on too much weight you may want to restrict his food consumption. Obesity can be a serious health threat to your bully.

You can begin feeding your bully adult food at about 12 to 18 months. If you have your bully spayed or neutered or if because of old age he becomes less active you will want to switch to a 'light' or 'low fat' version of his food to avoid obesity.

If your kibble is hard you may want to soften it with warm water.

Educate yourself on the different brands and check the labels periodically for any changes. Basically the less 'junk' in it the better. Avoid food with lots of preservatives and fillers. And never feed a Bulldog anything with soybeans or soybean oils as these are very difficult for bulldogs to digest.

Fresh water should be available at all times! However if your bully is very winded or panting heavily after a run you should let him have just a little at a time until he is cooled off.

Training:
Bulldogs are very smart but can also be a little stubborn. So as with any dog, training your bully will require time, patience and consistency. Key to good training is an understanding of how a dog thinks. Below is a bit of 'dog psychology' which applies to any canine. All dogs, including bulldogs, are thought to be descendants of the wolf. Yes, the resemblance to your bully is nil.

But remember this important fact: like all dogs your bully is a pack animal. At first this description may sound a little savage and unpalatable. But this pack instinct is precisely why dogs wedge themselves so perfectly into our families. They want to belong - to please. When a dog joins a family, even a family of one, a pack is formed. At this point his instincts compel him to seek out the structure of the pack - 'Who is the leader?' 'Who is the follower?' Have you ever known a person whose dog is very rude, disrespectful and even a little aggressive? Does he (the dog) 'sass' his owner? (bark back). Does he dart just out of reach when he is reached for? Does he steal food or run away from his owner? Does he bark uncontrollably at guests? These behaviors may indicate that the dog is confused as to his position in the pack. He may have difficulty recognizing his owner as the leader of the pack therefore the dog could attempt to assume the role himself.

It is very important to training that you assert yourself as the leader early on. Of course bulldogs, just like people, have their own individual personalities. One may just be more willing to accept your correction than another.

I know, I know. 'But she is just sooo cuuute when she gets sassy.' 'How can I correct him when he gives me that sweet little smile?' 'Yes it was my new couch, but don't all bully pups chew?' ... It's not always easy to correct an animal as charming as a bully. But it can be confusing for them and make training difficult for you if they don't know who's boss. So with that in mind...

Potty Training:
When potty training your puppy you must first learn to watch for the signs (sniffing, circling etc). Take him out (preferably to the same area every time) right when he wakes in the morning, 5 minutes or so after each meal, just before bedtime or about every hour otherwise. Watch the puppy until he goes then remove him from the area as soon as he finishes that way he learns quickly the reason for these trips. Give the puppy lots of praise when he gets it right. Praise for correct action works much better than punishment for mistakes. Don't scold the puppy unless you catch it in the act. There will be accidents but remember, your puppy is a baby and doesn't have the mental capacity or muscle control of an adult so be patient.

Grooming:
Proper bulldog grooming is a relatively low maintenance affair. The main areas of concern are the coat, the nails, the ears and of course those cute, trademark wrinkles. We will start with brushing.

Brushing:
Brushing is key to a healthy, shiny coat. Most bullies love being brushed so it shouldn't be a problem. Brush at least 3 times a week with any good dog brush that fits your hand comfortably. Start at the back and move forward. Then brush from front to back. Your aim in brushing is to remove dead hair and to evenly distribute natural body oils. This will keep your bullies skin healthy and his coat shiny and smooth.

Brushing Teeth:
Dogs, just like humans, can get cavities. Their teeth should be cleaned at least twice a week. Feeding your dog dry dog food and giving him plenty of hard bones to chew on, is one way to help keep his teeth healthier and whiter. Two common problems dogs with poor dental hygiene have, are loose and abscess teeth. Does your dog have bad breath? Studies show that 98% of dogs with bad breath are suffering from periodontal disease, a result of plaque build up. If left untreated, this can lead to a bacteria infection, which can enter the bloodstream and spread to your dog's kidney, liver, heart and even their brain. Chances are if your dog has very bad breath, there is a problem with his teeth. You will need doggie toothpaste, and either a toothbrush, a nubby-surfaced rubber cap, a wash cloth or a piece of gauze wrapped around your finger. Position yourself and your dog, so that you can access the dogs teeth comfortably. Lift your dogs upper lips and begin to brush in a circular motion, much like you would brush your own teeth. Be sure to brush where the tooth meets the gum-line. Don't forget to get the very back teeth, since this is where your dog is most likely to develop problems. When you are finished the top, move on to the bottom.

Bathing:
A bulldog who is regularly brushed will not need frequent bathing. Most bully owners only bath their bullies when they obviously need it. But when it is time for a bath you will need to gather up everything you will need including: shampoo, Q tips, cotton balls, wash cloth and towel. Choosing a shampoo for your bully is much like choosing one for yourself. There is no 'best' or 'worst'. You just have to try several different brands till you find one that agrees with your dogs skin and coat.

Begin by placing a cotton ball in each ear. Then thoroughly wet the dog from just behind the ears to his tail being sure to get the underside also. Apply the shampoo and work it in thoroughly everywhere including between the toes, under the tail and the genital area. Use a washcloth with shampoo to clean his face and wrinkles. Use a cotton ball or Q tip to clean the inside of the ears but don't go too far in. Now rinse thoroughly so that every bit of shampoo is off the dog. You can now remove the cotton balls from his ears. You can towel dry, use a hair dryer or simply let him drip dry. Put a little Vaseline on the nose to keep it moist and soft.

Nails:
A bulldogs nails usually need trimmed 2 times a week when they are pups. Once a week for adult dogs. If the nails get too long it can cause his toes to spread out unnaturally and make the foot deformed. Use a dremmel tool or dog nail clippers. Cut or grind just to the curve of the nail.

Wrinkles:
Wrinkle care is very important. A lot of dirt and moisture can collect under your pups wrinkles and can lead to an infection if not properly cleaned and maintained. Bulldogs vary in how often they need wrinkle cleaning but a good rule is at least twice a week. Use a wet cloth with shampoo to clean them then dry thoroughly. After cleaning and drying put some corn starch or baby powder in the wrinkles to keep them dry. Baby wipes with aloe and lanolin are great for on-the-go wrinkle cleaning.