Friday, June 7, 2013

When Being Popular is a Bad Thing

Anyone who reads this blog knows how lucky I am to share my life with an adorable bulldog Bob:

 Bob is a wonderful companion and thanks to his breeder's understanding of genetics, good diet, regular vet care, exercise, and good luck he has (knock on wood) been, aside from his recent eye issues, extremely healthy over the last 6 years.  He is also cuddly, calm in the house, smart (picks up tricks quicker then any of my other dogs, funny, charming, and a great dog all around.  However, he does have his quirks.  Despite being very smart Bob can have a mind of his own and is the most stubborn of our dogs, you have to convince him to do what you want him to do and make it worth his while. He can be food possessive and needs to eat and have chews separately from siblings or under close supervision, luckily he has no trouble sharing his toys.  Bob's sensitivity to heat means he needs air conditioning in the summer and can go outside for no more then a few minutes on a hot day and his wrinkles and face folds need daily cleaningLike all bulldogs Bob doesn't know his exercise limits and while he can go on long walks he requires close monitoring to make sure he does not over do it.  None of these things is a big deal and all together they make Bob the endearing sweet dog he is.   I love having a bulldog and I plan to continue having one in my life after the sad day Bob passes on.

 Sadly, however, Bob's breed has a problem.  The bulldog has climbed to number 6 in the list of most popular US breeds, and is know far too popular for its own good.  Many people think the breed is a couch ornament that requires minimal care and no exercise.  While in my opinion the bulldog is a fairly easy care breed when compared with other dogs, easy is relative and many people seem to mistake a dog for a potted plant. Others apparently think their bulldog will ride skate boards like the famous Tillman (for the record Bob is not fond of skate boards or bicycles). These people have no idea of the special bulldog health concerns and don't bother to research them.   Often they don't understand the bulldog temperament and our unprepared for their intelligence and stubbornness and their tendency to chew and be destructive if neglected.  Many have no concept of what size the breed should be as I've met a number of people with puppies who tell me they hope their dog will reach 80 lbs!, morbidly obese for a bulldog. I've also met many people who tell me they want a bulldog or ask if Bob is neutered, he is of course, and then  they immediately ask how much I paid for Bob. 

The other problem with the bulldogs rise in popularity is a breed that already has  health issues  is being bred by irreputable breeders with no care to health and longevity.  As a result more and more dogs with health issues their owners don't want to deal with be dumped into rescue.   Bulldogs can be very healthy and can succeed in  

That is why I wasn't surprised to see this article in Daily News English Bulldogs Too Popular, Now Swamp Rescuers as Owners Toss Them Aside.

  Bulldogs are a wonderful breed and they deserve owners who truly understand them and appreciate their idiosyncrasies and will shower them with the attention they deserve and need. 


  1. I love hearing about Bob, he is such a sweetie!
    I do understand that being popular is a bad thing, like bulldogs, Pugs are also a popular breed that can develop major health problems if not bread properly and have the proper health care! I think before you decide what dog you want you need to do your research! Great educational post today! Love, Licks and Hugs from Frank your Pugalier Pal xxxxxxxx

  2. It's sad to hear this. The same thing happened to the breed of toy dogs, over breeding due to its popularity. We wish all the Bulldogs and other dogs in the shelter to find their forever home soon. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  3. Too true. Popularity is basically never a good thing for a breed and the Bulldog is suffering as a result of their rise in popularity. So glad that Bob has you!

  4. I know several bulldog owners and they do so much for their babies to make them comfortable with all of their issues. They are adorable babies!

  5. Very interesting post. I am now wondering what are the top five most popular breeds in the US. And the UK.
    When I was a child, wire-haired fox terriers were very common over here. Now they are rare. Hence many folk my age or older, on seeing Bertie, say "you don't see many of those nowadays" whereas the younger ones tend to ask "what breed of dog is that?" I have read that the WFT's former popularity led to careless breeding and a reputation for the dogs being snappy, yappy and difficult, and so their popularity declined, so perhaps these things go in circles.
    Bertie has a good temperament, although when a puppy his tendency to get over-excited required careful management. I attribute his relatively good behaviour and (so far) health to a combination of careful breeding, plenty of exercise (no danger of overheating in Scotland and with his small body mass) and, yes, luck!
    Wishing Bob continued good health. And luck.

  6. That is just a great post. I didn't know much about bulldogs but I think it's really important to match dogs with their needs and the fit of the people and the environment they will be in. Have a great weekend.

  7. Great post! You are probably lucky to have gotten such a healthy bulldog. I've heard some awful horror stories of the issues they can have. And you are right, popularity (for any breed) is a terrible thing! It's so sad when people by a breed on impulse and as soon as the dog starts to experience breed-related issue, they dump them. Do your research, people! You must accept the good with the bad, or don't get a dog! Grrrrrr!

    I bet pugs make a good match with bulldogs since they, too, are heat sensitive, have folds on their faces that need cleaning, etc.

  8. Very well said! And we love Bob too, he's a very handsome guy.

    Meredith & Scarlet

  9. He sounds like such a sweet guy. They all have little quirks. Every dog, I mean.

    I live in central Indiana, and have seen a huge increase in Bulldogs the last couple years. Here, I believe it is partly due to the recent success of the Butler Bulldogs NCAA basketball team. It's unfortunate that people get dogs who have special needs in care without fully researching them first.

  10. Great post. Mom saw the same thing with pugs. Years ago when she got her first pug there were not many around. Now she sees them everywhere. And way too many in rescues.
    Bailey, Hazel & Greta

  11. Bob is such a handsome, sweet boy!
    I hope people who is thinking about having bulldogs read your post and get better understanding. It is very sad many bulldogs lose home because of health issues. Bob is such a lucky boy to have you, who loves, cares and understands him very much :-)

  12. Oh we agree with you, and have seen the very same thing with pugs...people need to thoroughly research each breed they get BEFORE they get it...bob is a doll!!
    stella rose

  13. I KNOW you are telling the truth because I see it all the time on the rescue blogs! Pugs are suffering the same fate. When we get old and not as perky, some people think it is okay to toss us aside. That is so wrong. A dog is a member of the family and should be treated with equal respect. Harrumph!
    Thanks for bringing this issue to the forefront.
    Love Noodles
    PeeEss: Check out my new contest. I posted about it yesterday (6/6/13) and today.

  14. What a shame. The same thing happened with chihuahuas a few years ago after all those movies about them. I wish people wouldn't buy dogs just because they are popular.
    Lynne x

  15. I have never seen a normal weight Bulldog here in UK, they are all over fed, interbred and it's such a shame..Stella Rose is right too Pugs here can hardly move.. people think by stuffing their dogs faces they are being kind..They do it with their kids too.. Oh I will stop now..LOL Have a wonderful weekend and we think you are beautiful xxx00xxx

    Mollie and Alfie

  16. I'm so grateful that our adoption group required us to read 3 books (2 about Greyhounds and 1 about dogs and children) before we adopted. That type of thing can make people testy, but it was so helpful to us in making a decision that was great for us and for our pups. I know this is ridiculous of me to say, but I wish you couldn't buy and sell pets. Money messes up a bunch of stuff.

  17. It is so sad how many people think dogs are just
    toys to use and throw away.
    Bob is quite the handsome lad!

  18. Unfortunately this happens to many breeds that suddenly popular. Backyard breeding just for money. And people who don't research a dog for their lifestyle.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  19. The things people will do for money without any moral or ethic compass is sad.

    We love Bob (and Norbert, Tubby, Ping, Weasley and kitties)

    Bob has a great life with the Urban Hounds family it's no wonder he's so healthy.

  20. It is very sad the way dogs (and cats) are bred for monetary purposes without regards to anything else. I will cringe when I see a celebratory got a new dog because sure enough, you will see a run of people trying to own one without putting any thought into the type of care, training and money that goes into them.

  21. that is so sad. whenever ever people ask me about my pugs i always make sure to let them know the health problems (neither of my girls are particularly well bred) along with all of the wonderful perks of having pugs. it makes me so sad to think of all those sweet bulldogs at rescues, probably with tons of health problems that keep them from getting adopted and cost the rescues so much money.