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 cleaning. Like 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.