Apart from being cute and gentle, bulldogs are extremely affectionate. You can probably feel their love for humans since yours insists on staying around you. And you might wish to reciprocate the love — to bond with your bulldog over some activities.
So you might find yourself asking, what do bulldogs like to do? Check out these fun things to do so you can bond with your English bulldog:
- Go hiking.
- Play hide and seek.
- Go for a picnic in bulldog-friendly spots.
- Take your English bulldog shopping.
- Attend a training class together.
- Play tug of War.
- Do treat hunting together.
- Play flyball.
- Play water games.
- Take your bulldog skateboarding.
- Use the stairs game.
- Play the laser pointer game.
- Teach your dog some new tricks.
- Watch a movie together.
- Hand-feed your dog.
- Cook delicious food.
- Groom your bulldog by yourself.
- Schedule everyday relaxation time.
- Dance with your English bulldog.
- Spend quiet time together.
Although many people think the bulldog is downright lazy, there are unique activities that arouse the attention and energy of this beauty. They like both physically and mentally challenging fun activities that are exclusive to their character.
One thing I didn’t put on this list was going to the beach with your bulldog. Many people wonder if bulldogs enjoy the beach, which is a question I answer here. Now let’s discuss the stuff you can do with your English bulldog to initiate a tight bond.
1. Go Hiking
Find some bulldog-friendly trails and hike them together. As you stroll around, your English bulldog will try sniffing on some interesting smells. Tag along and pay attention to what interests them.
Bulldogs love attention from their parent, and as you follow their lead and show interest in what they are curious about is one smart way to initiate a special bond. Also, nature enhances the mood and concentration of humans, so it may be the perfect set up to improve the connection with your bulldog.
2. Play Hide And Seek
Naturally, English bulldogs strive to seek their human friend. They use their senses to discern where you are and hurry to be by your side. This quality about them makes the hide and seek game truly ideal in bonding purposes.
You can play this game in your house, backyard — anywhere your bulldog can move effortlessly. You can use these steps to play hide and seek with your English bulldog:
- Take treats you’ll use to reward your dog when they find you.
- Create a “seeking word” and make it familiar to your bulldog.
- Tell your dog to sit and wait while you go hide.
- Call them using the “seeking word” and let them find you.
- As soon as your bulldog finds you, pet them, and reward them with a treat.
- Repeat the game until you both get enough of it.
3. Go For A Picnic In Bulldog-friendly Spots
A picnic in bulldog-friendly places is also a great way to bond with your English bulldog. Pack their treats and toys and go to a nearby park to have some alone time together.
While picnicking, you can cuddle, socialize your bulldog with new people who like them. Since they love attention, don’t keep your eyes or hands off them. This serene moment will take their love for you to the next level.
4. Take Your English Bulldog Shopping
You don’t have to go shopping for toys and treats on your own. Sometimes, to show your bulldog that their likes matter, take them to a pet store and let them choose the toy they like most. You can know from whatever grasps their attention.
Just like the way kids can bond over shopping, English bulldogs can too. They desire attention and acknowledgment. Show your bulldog that they matter, and they’d feel connected to you like never before.
5. Attend A Training Class Together
A bulldog loves it when you involve yourself in their lives a lot. So training with them is another perfect chance to bond. Instead of shipping your English bulldog off to classes with their trainer, tag along sometimes and take the exercises together.
6 Play Tug Of War
The Tug of War game may be your bulldog’s favorite game since it doesn’t involve many rigorous movements. Also, they get to show off their jaw and muscular body strength by holding the rope tight you might have no option but to fail.
Don’t bother with the way people think this game keeps them on the dominant side. The affectionate nature of an English bulldog makes them oblivious of superiority. Make sure you show how much fun you are having, for they are always happy to please you.
Here’s how you can play Tug of War with your English bulldog:
- Buy a tug toy or even better, rip a strong cloth that exudes your smell, braid it, and tie two knots on each end. You can also use a rope, but something that smells of their loved one makes them more enthusiastic. Not to mention, it enhances bonding.
- Choose the playground. It could be anywhere as long as it doesn’t expose your bulldog to excessive heat or freezing temperatures. You can play around your house, you pulling on one end, and your bulldog striving to keep the rope in their mouth.
- Keep playing and alternate your winnings. Even though letting your dog win might make them feel dominant, you can let your bulldog win every once in a while.
7. Do Treat Hunting Together
The treat hunt is one of the most interesting ways to challenge your bulldog mentally and bond with them at the same time. As they put their senses to practice, you can go around with them, keeping them interested in the challenge even more. Here’s how to do it:
- Hide treats all over the house and call your bulldog.
- Tell them to find the treat but guide them to the first one.
- Once they find the first one, tell them to find the next one while following them around without giving a clue.
- Repeat for all treats and give them ultimate attention during the game.
8. Play Flyball
Many English bulldog parents think they can’t play flyball with their canine companion since they can’t handle too much vigorous exercise. However, when played in bits, flyball can be immensely effective in relationship building and mild exercise to a bulldog.
Although you only see the skinfolds when you look at the English bulldog, under it is a muscle mass that can take little flyball games. Also, when excited, you’ll be surprised how fast your bulldog can run.
To bond with your bulldog and improve their physical health, you might want to include flyball. You can take your dog to flyball centers or create your own at home. Here’s how you can set up a flyball game:
- Buy flyball equipment like four hurdles and the fly box. However, you can make hurdles of your own and buy the fly box only to reduce costs.
- Line up the huddles with a runnable distance between them and put the fly box at one end.
- Now call your bulldog and start teaching them by first telling them to sit at the beginning of the hurdles.
- Stand at the fly box end and signal them to run through the hurdles and to you.
- Teach them to press the fly box and catch the tennis ball and run back to the beginning of the hurdles again.
- After they grasp what the game is like, hold treats, and reward the dog every time it makes all the steps.
Since bulldogs tire quite fast, you shouldn’t take long playing flyball. Also, this game is quite difficult to teach, so be patient with their learning since you merely want some bonding time.
You can also refer to this book, The Beginner’s Guide To Flyball by Lisa Pignetti, if you love flyball and wish to get more serious about it with your bulldog. You can also watch other English bulldogs do flyball like absolute champs in the following video:
9. Play Water Games
Do you enjoy some time in the water? Perfect, when it’s quite hot, bulldogs enjoy water play as well. Although some swim, many others prefer relaxing in the pool while lightheartedly splashing water around.
You can buy your bulldog a doggy floatation vest and lounge together in a pool, ocean, lake — anywhere with calm and quite shallow waters. You can put them on a raft and watch them float, the attention strengthening the connection between you.
You can also have fun with water through:
- Playing water fetch. Throw floatable balls across the waters and let your bulldog fetch it and bring it to you. As always, give them a treat for victory and repeat.
- Sprinkling some water on them to cool off.
- Bulldog surfing. Bulldogs’ balance helps them settle on surfboards seamlessly. You can teach them to surf too.
10. Take Your Bulldog Skateboarding
After the famous English bulldog, Tillman showing people that dogs don’t have limits by surfing and skateboarding, more bulldogs have been trying and succeeding in the sport.
Your bulldog might love skateboarding too. You can buy them a skateboard or take them to a class while you do it too. If they enjoy it, this will be a special moment that strengthens your relationship.
For inspiration, watch this cute famous English bulldog skateboard:
11. Use The Stairs Game
This is simple and doable even now as you read this. It only requires your house stairs and some of your bulldog’s favorite treats. However, don’t enjoy it too much and exhaust your pet, it might turn bonding to wounding.
Here’s how to play the Stairs Game with your English bulldog:
- Sit at the top of the stairs and throw a toy to the bottom of the stairs.
- Tell your bulldog to fetch it and bring it to you.
- If they bring it to you, reward them.
This game might also help eliminate dominant behavior in a stubborn bulldog. As they watch you from the bottom and play in a friendly way, they know their place but also feel the connection through the rewards and the fun in the game.
12. Play The Laser Pointer Game
Most animals get fascinated by colorful moving things, and the English bulldog is no different. Let them follow the dot, and if they catch it, provide a reward. Even better, you can also use this game to teach them some tricks while you enjoy that parent-pet bonding time. Speaking of new tricks.
13. Teach Your Dog Some New Tricks
You see it all the time. Kids get connected to the parent who teaches them new games. You can do the same thing with your bulldog.
Instead of using old tricks over and over again, you can teach them new ones to reignite the connection you have. This way, you have something new the two of you share so you strengthen your relationship.
14. Watch A Movie Together
There’s one major thing that English bulldogs are known for– lying around. Use this quality about them to your advantage by inviting your bulldog to cuddle with you on the sofa as you watch a movie.
You can watch a movie that involves dogs and watch if they seem interested. If not, just watch whatever you like. The goal here is for them to feel your attention — to feel that they matter. This is one way that might immensely strengthen your bond if done regularly.
15. Hand-feed Your Dog
It’s okay to feed your English bulldog with their plate since they are very possessive, but you can spice things up for the sake of your bond. Hand-feeding is affectionate and a powerful way to please an attention-seeking bulldog.
If you have time to spare, sit, and let your bulldog feed on your hands. It gives them a sense of belonging hence enhancing your bond. Apart from bonding, other need-to-know benefits of hand feeding are that it:
- Enhances your bulldog’s self-control.
- Reduces nervousness and anxiety.
- Alleviates their impulse to bite.
- Slows down their eating.
16. Cook Delicious Food
One of the best ways to get to your bulldog’s heart is through their stomach. Giving your bulldog processed food on a daily basis can get boring. The processing methods take away some nutrients and rich taste. However, cooking for them occasionally brings the two of you closer, especially if they enjoy it.
You can make these treats and foods for your canine friend and make them love you more:
- Pumpkin biscuits.
- Peanut butter yogurt popsicles.
- Beef stew.
17. Groom Your Bulldog By Yourself
Taking your bulldog to be groomed is understandable with your schedule, but doing it yourself is an excellent bonding idea as well. Since the English bulldog doesn’t require any complicated grooming, use your beginner grooming skills and grab some moments together.
Due to their attention-seeking tendencies, bulldogs tend to treasure being touched a lot. Take this to your advantage and groom them sometimes.
18. Schedule Everyday Relaxation Time
Spending your days busy running your life might make you forget another important companion like your bulldog. However, while you take some time to relax every day, include them so they can feel your attention.
To avoid forgetting, set a particular time that you spend relaxing every day. This could be after dinner, where you can lounge and signal your bulldog to do the same. Make it a tradition since dogs love consistency.
19. Dance With Your English Bulldog
Music unites souls. Dance to your favorite song and hint your bulldog to do the same. You don’t have to be a great dancer. Even goofy moves will do too. Just make sure you are consistent so that your bulldog can make similar moves. As long as you get them to move a little bit, you’ll bond over dancing.
20. Spend Quiet Time Together
Love sinks deeper in quiet moments. Switch off the TV and every distraction to spend time with your bulldog. Talk to them about anything — they listen even if they don’t understand. Kiss them and touch them where they like most. As you show them attention and pour your secrets, you connect with them in many ways.
Tips For Maintaining A Bond With Your Bulldog
Although you are now packed with activities that help you bond with your English bulldog, they aren’t enough to keep you bonded. For instance, you can go hiking with your English bulldog today but treat them harshly the next day — that will loosen or even break the bond you built with trust and love.
But there are ways to keep the bond alive. This is an affectionate breed that desires attention and reciprocating that with your actions will be immensely important to them.
Keep Negative Emotions In Check
Although things get rough sometimes, avoid dramatic outbursts like yelling, throwing stuff around in anger, or any similar behaviors. If you truly have to let out your feelings, go somewhere private and do it.
Just like humans, dogs tend to feel like they are involved in your negative emotions somehow. The worst part is they have no other way of understanding you other than the visual expressions you portray plus the words you use to command. Instead of putting your bond at risk with regular outbursts, find ways to control emotions in the presence of your bulldog.
Learn More About How English Bulldogs Behave
The first thing that helps you bond with your dog is understanding. You have to know how to spot their anger, frustrations, and joys so that you can react appropriately. Sometimes, as you do research about a particular dog breed you have, you realize that you were never compatible in the first place.
For your bond to last, you need to know that the English bulldog is:
- Gentle, affectionate, and hence loves cuddling.
- Mostly human-oriented. It likes humans and some other family pets but quite aggressive to unfamiliar dogs.
- An attention-seeker. It craves attention to humans hence requires you to consistently provide it.
- Less inclined to be dominant and so it desires a friendly relationship.
Note The Personal Likes And Dislikes Of Your Canine Friend
Although you might know the general characteristics of bulldogs, your English bulldog has their own likes and dislikes that you should know. As for their likes, ensure that you observe what makes them happy and provide it. This enhances your bond, especially if you avoid doing or giving them what they hate. From food, toys to gestures, observe what they like and hate.
Be Consistent With Your Communication
Like all animals, English bulldogs like consistency. This is a living thing that depends on you, and whimsical tendencies confuse and frustrate them. Consistency makes them remember things you teach them and therefore keeps your bond intact.
When you use a certain word to issue a command, never change it because you’ll be making things hard for both of you. Your actions towards them should also be consistent since they watch what you do more than what you say.
Don’t show anger when they do something good whilst you were happy about it the previous day. Don’t chase them out of your bed when you normally sleep with them. This is confusing and compromises your bond. Don’t do it.
Show Attention Even When Around Your Social Group
You already know how much your English bulldog craves attention, so don’t deny it to them merely because you are around your friends. In fact, use this opportunity to help them socialize with other people and since they are people-oriented, they’ll love you harder for it.
Be Present In Your Private Moments
Your English bulldog will feel whether you are emotionally present or not. They will show some gestures of affection, and if you don’t reciprocate, they’ll know that you are no longer focusing on them. To avoid bruising your relationship because of this, ensure that you stay in the moment when you choose to spend time together.
Create A Monthly Schedule Of Special Moments With Your English Bulldog
Drifting through life without special regard for our pets is easy when you don’t have a rough plan. Therefore, you might treat your English bulldog in a special way this month and do it again after a year. This way, you’ll keep wondering why you’ve drifted apart.
To avoid this, choose even an hour every month where you do something special for your furry friend. This way, you can keep the bond and even strengthen it even more.
Travel With Your Dog
Traveling with an English bulldog might not be easy during all seasons, but you can do it occasionally. As you go to new places, your English bulldog will desire to be around you since you are their security. This will maintain the bond.
How To Know That You Are Bonded With Your English Bulldog
So, what shows you that you are bonded to your bulldog? You know your bulldog loves when they:
Get Excited When You Come Home
If you and your English bulldog are tight, they’ll gladly meet you at the door when you come home from work. They’ll show their happiness to see you with a vigorous wagging of the tail, and even a wild jump depending on their agility.
They Make An Adoring Eye Contact
If an English bulldog trusts and respects you, they’ll readily make eye contact. This shows you that they are free around you and readily look to you for guidance.
Japanese researchers confirm this by stating that if your dog looks you straight in the eye, they are experiencing the love hormone oxytocin, and as you look right back, you experience it too. This not only reveals an existing bond but also enhances it.
They Get Comfortable When You Are Around
If you are bonded with your English bulldog, they’ll exude a relaxed demeanor when around you. They’ll nap beside you and, if possible, let their body touch against yours. This relaxed state shows how much they trust you and hence feel free being in your presence. Sometimes they’ll take vulnerable positions like rolling over to expose the belly without a second thought.
They Are Responsive
If your English bulldog hurries every time you call them, it shows that your connection prompts them to obey. If they show you they’re listening when you talk, it means that the bond you two have makes them affixed to what you say. Note that their response should be relaxed since you create a bond with positive reinforcements.
They Can’t Get Over Your Scent
One of the strongest senses for dogs is the scent. Therefore, one common thing about bulldogs that are in love with you is their tendency to consistently take your clothes and shoes in their mouth. To them, these things represent the love and attachment you have for them.
They Always Seek To Physically Feel You
If your English bulldog constantly seeks your affection by brushing against you, sleeping near you, jumping on you — anything that makes them feel their body against yours, that’s a sign that they feel bonded to you.
They Keep Tabs On You In A New Environment
The English bulldog is known for its possessiveness. However, they tend to be possessive over people they love, checking on them constantly when in new environments. You’ll know if you are bonded with your bulldog if they make visual contact with you from time to time. Also, they’ll rarely get lost even when having a lot of fun.
Bonding with an English bulldog isn’t difficult. They are extremely lovable, and hence positive reinforcements plus a little fun times bonds you with them easily.
Whether you already have an English bulldog as a pet or you are thinking of getting one, use any of the above-mentioned activities and tips to make them feel special and content to have you as their parent.
Remember! Although you have work, family, and friends, your English bulldog only has you.
If you want to learn more about English Bulldogs or other types of Bulldogs, then consider checking out this Bulldog Handbook on Amazon.