English bulldogs are an old breed, but they are also much different than they were centuries ago. Today, the nose is flatter, the head is bigger, the shoulders are broader and the breed has a friendlier temperament than its forebear. Bulldogs have a lot of health issues. They need a considerable amount of care and live relatively short lives.
English bulldogs are fairly short animals, standing around 12 to 16 inches tall, and weighing about 50 pounds for males and 40 pounds for females. They are heavy for their size. They are muscular and carry their weight in their upper bodies. These dogs are great with children, but can knock a child over with body weight. English bulldogs are friendly if socialized early as puppies. Due to breathing difficulties, bulldogs are less energetic than many dogs. They are contented lap dogs and are happiest when relaxing with people.
Bulldogs have very deep wrinkles on their faces. These are breeding grounds for bacteria, so they need to be cleaned regularly with a warm, wet washcloth. Simply lifting up each wrinkle and washing beneath and around it helps keep down bacterial infections of the skin. When giving the dog a bath, pay special attention to the face, particularly the rope, the wrinkle that lies across the top of the nose. With repetition, the dog will get used to this.
Bulldogs have flatulence issues due to having short noses and difficulty breathing. They swallow a lot of air while eating, only to expel it as belches or flatulence. The breed is known for this, but the veterinarian has medications that help, as well as instructions for finding easily digestible foods. The short nasal passages make it common for English bulldogs to have breathing difficulties. The dogs snort and wheeze, often snore when sleeping, and frequently suffer from brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome.
Train the bulldog puppy early to know that you are top dog, so he develops respect. Persistence is key to training the bulldog. He is testy with stubbornness, but he must learn the only option is to do what you want. He is taught sit, stay, come, walk and good behavior by positive reinforcement. Anything negative, such as pain, slows the training. Don't tug on the leash to make him walk. Use gentle words and let him sit thinking about it. Eventually he chooses to walk because there are no other options.
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