If you own a Bulldog – or if one owns you, right? – you’ve got one prestigious pup on your hands. They are a purebred with a long and storied history. Since the 16th century the Bulldog has stood as a proud symbol of England, exemplifying the nation’s spirit with a fearless, resolute and intensely loyal character. The term “bulldog determination” sums it up pretty well. That’s why training your Bulldog puppy can be a challenging adventure and you must be just as determined as your pup. A job well done will yield a dog that will truly be your best friend for life.
Selecting your Bulldog Puppy
With the pure blood lines that Bulldogs possess come a few genetically based health issues and a puppy mortality rate higher than with most breeds. Therefore, choose a puppy at least 8 weeks old and have it checked immediately by a vet. The animal doctor will pay special attention to ears, nose and throat issues where common Bulldog problems arise. Note: It is also wise to spend at least a few hours with the litter watching the dogs carefully, including the mother, to make sure the one you choose doesn’t show overly aggressive behavior and isn’t anti-social. Look for a friendly demeanor and you’ll be well on your way to having a wonderful dog in the household.
Start trying your pooch as soon as you get him or her into your home. This starts with adequate socialization. The dog should be at least 8 weeks old because important socialization happens within the litter prior to this that is hard to duplicate. Make sure your young dog gets plenty of attention and gains a comfort level being around a variety of people, including children. If you have other well-behaved dogs let the new pup spend time with them, keeping a watchful eye so that is isn’t harmed or frightened by them.
Essentials of Training your Bulldog Puppy
The fun begins with housetraining. Most Bulldog owners find that crate training works best since the dog will be reluctant to mess its living space. This will also help overcome any stubborn tendencies the dog may have. Once the dog is house broken that same attitude will work for you – the dog will rarely do what it knows it should not do.
Creating the right environment is hugely important for all the training you give your dog. This is done by clearly establishing yourself as the puppy’s leader, the alpha-dog of the pack you might say. Gently and firmly let the dog know through your resolve that you are in charge and that behaviors like biting, jumping up on furniture or chewing on anything but the cat – uh, we should say on chew toys, will not be tolerated. If your Bulldog puppy nips you give a little yelp to show the nip hurts and then respond with a firm “no!” Your pooch will soon get the idea. House the dog in its crate consistently. This gives you a chance to control its behavior more closely during these formative weeks.
Once the basics are established, move on to obedience training. This stage should start once the dog reaches 3 months and should last another 3 months, roughly speaking. Emphasize obedience to basic commands such as sit, heel, walk, and coming immediately when called. The dog should learn not to strain at the leash during walks. Essentially, you are helping your Bulldog learn to control itself, the foundation for good character in all dogs, as well as their masters! While the forceful nature of the dog might lead it to resist your direction at first, once it submits the lesson will be learned for life. Your persistence will pay off for the long haul.
Training your Bulldog Correctly is in its Best Interests
Bulldogs are fearless and adventurous. In today’s world those qualities left unchecked might get it into trouble. Exploring the neighborhood, chasing cars or other animals, and mixing it up with the local skunk or porcupine may not end well for your furry friend. Training your Bulldog in the ways we’ve discussed will offer good protection against the consequences of uncontrolled behavior. Don’t allow your dog off the leash until it has demonstrated its willingness to come immediately when called. Let it prove itself in a confined area like your yard or the obedience class arena first. While a French Poodle might turn tail and run at the first sign of danger, your courageous Bulldog is more likely to hold its ground. While there is a time for that, there’s no use jeopardizing your dog’s well-being needlessly.
Keep in mind that you chose a Bulldog and that they will live up to their inherent qualities. This will mean that you’ve got to work diligently, bulldoggedly you might say, to get your pup properly trained. Be the leader your dog needs. When you prove that you are in charge and that you will protect and provide for your dog as long as it submits to your leadership, you’ll soon have an awesome pet. Your furry friend will be stubbornly loyal, obedient, clean and well-mannered. A dog like that is a great companion and asset to any owner.