When I decided it was time to add a pet to our family, I was drawn to the adorable faces of bulldogs immediately. With kids in my home, however, I needed to make sure the breed was a good fit for our home. I needed to find out about the temperament, training, and history of the bulldog.
Are Bulldogs good with kids? English Bulldogs have a good reputation with humans, in general. The American Bulldog is much larger and knows for a stubborn attitude. The smallest bully breed is the French Bulldog. These tend to remain very high strung and need proper training. The key to having a dog with kids has less to do with the breed, however, than the training. It is pertinent to teach children to respect animals if you want to lower the risk of accidents with a pet in your home.
Once I learned about the general personality of different bulldog breeds, I decided to focus on the English Bulldog for my home. I like the size and reviews about personality. Read on to find out more about various bulldogs and how to raise a dog with your kids.
Also, if you have other animals such as cats, check out this other article I wrote to find out if bulldogs get along with other pets.
Types of Bulldogs
Dog breeds have evolved over the years to become the popular pets we know and love today. Breeders may focus on things like hunting ability, body type, and personality. You can find bulldogs in many different sizes.
You can expect to find certain features on all types of bulldogs. You may find that these features include
- Large head
- Wrinkled skin
- Brachycephalic (“shortened head”) face type: short snout and smushed face
The English Bulldog, American Bulldog, and the French Bulldog remain some of the most well-known bulldog breeds. English Bulldogs usually weigh about 45-55 pounds, while you can expect an American Bulldog to weigh anywhere from 60- 130 pounds. The French Bulldog weighs in at about 16-28 pounds.
What Size Bulldog Is Best For Your Home?
Think about the size of dog you prefer in your home. An American Bulldog takes up more space than a French Bulldog or an English Bulldog.
A French Bulldog or English bulldog may be a better companion around small children. English Bulldogs also seem to act calmer as adults than other bulldogs. They have shorter legs but can appear very large and dense. They can still knock over a small child while playing. Proper training is key with any size dog. Here are some things to consider when making your choice.
Consider how you may handle a large dog that must get a lot of exercise. An American Bulldog is big and has a lot of energy to expend. You can keep a large dog in an apartment, but make sure you have time to go on lengthy walks.
You must also think about the equipment you need for your dog. Dog crates, beds, and toys can take up a lot of space. Think about where the dog should stay during the day if you leave for work or school.
If you have small children, you need to prepare for the situation by choosing a dog you feel comfortable with around your child. It takes a lot of training to get a big dog to behave properly around small children. Bully breeds can get stubborn, as well.
Health Expenses of Owning a Bulldog
It is a big responsibility to own a dog. You must prepare to have new expenses. Dog food and vet care can become more expensive than you anticipate. Of course, with a bigger dog, the expenses get higher. Medications for larger dogs may have higher dosages, for example.
- English Bulldogs may need more medical care than other breeds. They have a lot of extra skin that makes them very wrinkled. Bacteria and moisture can build up in these folds, causing infections. You must also care for the skin with the right products. You need to devote extra time to keep your English Bulldog clean, as well.
- Brachiocephalic dog breeds must also refrain from getting overheated. An English Bulldog must remain indoors on hot days and cannot exercise too much at one time. Your entire family needs to learn the signs of an overheated dog so you can act fast if your dog suffers from it. This condition can end with a fatality if it becomes severe.
Temperament of English Bulldogs
The temperament of your dog relies more on the training and age than on the specific breed. English Bulldogs are generally calmer than American and French Bulldogs. Puppies, however, have more energy. You can often find older English Bulldogs through rescue groups if you do not want to deal with puppy antics.
An adult dog with good training can make life much easier if you have small children. It takes a lot of time and effort to train a puppy. You can easily spend more than a year on potty training, dealing with chewing, and teaching commands.
- Training is essential with a bulldog. Most dogs can become excellent companions for kids when proper training is part of their upbringing. Remember that temperament changes as dogs go through different stages. Young puppies tend to remain sweet and snuggly. Older puppies go through a “teenage” stage. They can become very disobedient and regress from their training. They may also test your authority.
- Temperament also depends on things like socialization and experiences. Your dog needs many different experiences during the puppy months to become well-adjusted to the world. Dogs need to meet many different people to become. Take your bulldog to the vet, the park, and introduce your dog to many strangers.
- Exposure to different sounds inside and outside of your home is also important. Run the blender, walk outside when the trash truck visits, and sound the smoke detectors. You can help your dog establish a calm and healthy temperament with these exposures. A dog without proper socialization and experience can become fearful or aggressive.
What Age Are The Kids In Your Home?
Consider the age of your kids when you choose a dog, as well. Puppies can play roughly with both dog and human counterparts. If you plan to have a high-energy dog, be sure to purchase baby gates and a crate so you can separate the dog and child when necessary.
- Older kids may also be able to participate more with dog chores. A puppy can be much easier to deal with when the entire family invested in the adventure. Many people do not mind the chaos of a busy house, making it a lot of fun to have puppies and small kids at the same time.
- Think about the activity level and schedule of your kids. You need to be home on time to let a puppy go out to potty. You may also need to get up in the night to let a young puppy go to the bathroom. If you spend a lot of time out of the house for kids’ activities, think about getting a dog that is past the puppy stage.
The Parent’s Responsibility When Adopting a Bulldog
Your dog and child must have supervision when they are together. Never leave a baby or toddler alone in the room with a dog, especially. Learn the body language and behavior associated with an irritated dog. You can prevent accidents by paying attention to your dog’s signals and giving them space when they need it.
- Teach your children to recognize a dog in distress. Dogs usually give warning signs long before they bite. They may try to get out of a child’s tight grasp, show their teeth, or growl. They also “air-snap” in most cases, before they deliver a true bite.
- Teach your children to respect the dog. Do not allow your child to pull on the dog at all. This includes the face, neck, and tail. They should not run around a dog that is learning to behave properly. Dogs may chase a running child, thinking it is time to play. This can lead to unintentional collisions. Sitting on a dog may look cute in a picture, but it can hurt the dog or cause it to bite.
If parents see any irritability or aggression, the vet needs to rule out health issues. Separate an irritable pet from your child until you can acquire a vet visit. If the dog’s health is good, you may need to hire a trainer to assess the situation.
English Bulldogs have become popular in family homes. Their wrinkly appearance and sweet temperament make them easy to fall in love with. If you have children in the home, consider the daily activity level in your home before you bring home a puppy of any breed.
It takes a lot of work to train a dog properly. Health expenses and supplies can also become expensive. Prepare for the arrival of your new family member by talking to your kids about respecting animals. Kids and dogs make a great combination and usually form strong bonds with each other.
If you want to learn more about English Bulldogs or other types of Bulldogs, then consider checking out this Bulldog Handbook on Amazon.