How to Stop Dogs from Destructive Chewing

Is chewing a destructive behavior? The simple answer is: Only if they are chewing on the wrong thing. We dog owners have to understand that a lot of the behaviours that we humans consider unwanted are natural behaviours for dogs. Behaviour like chewing and digging, might be considered unwanted by us but it is natural behaviour for dogs.

So the focus of our training should not be on trying to prevent the dog from chewing, but to train the dog to chew on their own toys instead of chewing your shoes or furniture. Bulldogs are known to love to chew on things, with their strong jaws and perseverance they can easily ‘re-decorate’ your living room within the hour.

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Reasons for Chewing?

There are four main reasons why dogs start to chew. One is that they are teething (puppies till 6-8 months old) or that the dog is bored and starts chewing as an activity or form of play, Separation Anxiety or medical reasons.

Teething
A dog’s deciduous teeth will erupt between three to eight weeks of age and around four to eight months of age these teeth will be gradually replaced with permanent teeth. Teething is a painful process and puppies and the puppy will start to chew more during this period because their gums are irritated and the act of chewing relieves their discomfort. Inappropriate chewing is most likely to occur while the puppy is teething but if not corrected can become a long standing problem even after all the adult teeth emerge and teething ends.

Puppies will not only want to chew because of the teething but it is also a way for them to explore and investigate their surroundings. Puppies, like infants and toddlers, explore their world by putting objects in their mouths. Knowing this, make sure to buy chew toys with different textures, this will keep your puppy busy and curious and it will decrease the changes of your puppy searching your home for new chew toy.

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chew facebook.com-danielle.kolisek 2

Boredom
If your dog has too much energy, that energy will be re-directed somewhere else and that may just be your favorite new pair of shoes. Make sure your dog is physically and mentally challenged each day.Two ways to do this are to play interactive games with your dog like fetch or hide and seek or to give them toys that will challenge them mentally like a ball they have to roll around to get the treats out.

Use puzzle and reward toys for your dog, the last few years there are more and more puzzle toys available for your dog that entices your dog and will keep it busy for a while.

A couple examples:

Snuffle mats: fluffy mats where you hide treats the dog needs to use its nose to get to the treats
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Strategic games: yes there are even gadgets available to throw tennisballs from your phone or where they have to complete certain tasks (like pressing a button) to be rewarded
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Puzzles: the dog has to use it paws to press a button or scroll to be rewarded with a treat. Beware do not buy dog puzzles with loose pieces these can be dangerous, there are many varieties make sure to buy one that is Bulldog proof
small 3340 Sep. 12 18.20

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Separation Anxiety
If the behavior only occurs when you’re away from home, then it may be a symptom of separation anxiety. To stop chewing when left alone, you’ll need to address this underlying issue. In this case the chewing is more a symptom of the real issue.

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Medical issues
Some nutritional deficiencies can lead to pica, which is an eating disorder which results in eating non-food items. Also some dogs suffering from gastrointestinal issues may use chewing to trigger vomiting to feel better. Particularly if the behavior started suddenly, it’s worth ruling out medical causes before addressing it as a behavioral issue.

 

How to Stop your Dog from Chewing

First of all you need to know Why your dog is chewing. The reasons for chewing named above will each need a different approach:

Training Puppies when Teething
• make sure to have load of different toys around (different textures, shapes and sizes)
• correct every time you see them chewing on something that is not a toy and encourage them when chewing on their toys
• when left alone remove items that they might chew on to prevent any health risks to the puppies and damages to your home

Training when dealing with Boredom
• again get lots of different toys
• use toys as tools and make sure to find toys that both physically and mentally challenge them
• schedule short quality playtime sessions with your dog throughout the day
• increase the amount and distance of walks

Training when dealing with Separation Anxiety
I will address this issue in another blog but a few tips are:
• always go for a walk before leaving the house
• make sure the dog is calm and in it’s place when you leave the house
• leave enough chew toys around for the dog to play with
• remove any items that might trigger the bad behaviour when you are not around to correct,
it is important that you put these items back in place as soon as you get home (removing items to chew on is evading any damages not solving the problem)

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Tips and Tricks

• make sure all the toys your dog are safe to play with, a lot of the toys that are sold in pet stores can be a danger to your dog (they can for example swallow it as a whole or pieces of it, they can choke on rawhides (never give rawhides to bulldogs but give dear antlers in stead)

• put the items you do not want your dog to play with, for example shoes, on the floor in the middle of the room. So in stead of hiding the item you are training your dog on what not to chew. Correct each time the dogs tries to chew one of the items (it is ok to smell the item but not to touch or chew) and make sure there are also proper chew toys available

• when they have one favorite spot or item where they like to chew, you can buy an anti chew deterrent and spray that particular spot/item. This can be helpful to protect your items but the method mentioned above is the proper solution this is just a helpful tool

• when a puppy is teething try taking a face cloth, wetting it, stick it in the freezer and give it to the dog to chew on while it’s frozen, as it will both numb the gums a little and also give some play and chew fun

• do not confuse toys with chews. Toys are usually designed to be thrown, chased, squeaked, and tugged during play. Most are not designed to be chewed. Bulldogs have very strong jaws make sure to buy extra strong chew toys. I’ve seen a lot of so called ‘indestructible toys’ destroyed in seconds by Bulldogs

• change toys frequently. Most dogs will get bored with a chew when it is available all the time.  Leave the best toys for when you go out and do not have all toys available all the time but switch around

• don’t be played, some dogs are known to start chewing on forbidden items just because they know when they chew that item you will immediately get up and respond as where with the normal toys your dog might get ignored. Break this cycle by encaging the dog when it brings it’s toys to you and to correct the wrong behaviour without using your voice. Do not try to distract the dog when it is chewing the wrong item by waving a toy in front of him. This will again only teach him to do it again, in the dogs mind it means whenever I start chewing the table I get playtime. With chewing do not redirect but consequently address the behaviour in a calm matter

• identify times of the day when your dog is most likely to chew and give him a puzzle toy filled with something delicious treats

• never give your dog the run of the house until reliable behaviour is established, build up from one room and make sure the dog cannot hurt itself by for example chewing on electrical cords

• do not show your dog the damage he did and spank, scold or punish him after the fact. He cannot connect your punishment with some behavior he did hours or even minutes ago.  The only right way is to correct the behaviour in a calmly matter at the moment the dog shows the unwanted behaviour

• remember: only remove items when you are away and do not use a bench or kennel as a solution to this problem, the only solution is training your dog. Putting a dog in a bench or kennel is not humane and you are evading and not resolving the problem

I hope this Blog helped you in understanding and addressing this dog behaviour problem. If you are struggling to apply these training techniques and find permanent solution for the destructive chewing behavior of your dog, consider getting a licensed dog trainer to help.

Let’s finish with some laughs of naughty Bulldogs who were caught in the act and on camera ☺

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To Treat or not to Treat?


Should you use treats in dog training or not? Some people claim it is better to not use treats in training.  Their concern is that the Dog will only listen in case there is a treat. This is a valid concern, cause this can happen if treats are mis-used in training.

The trick is to make sure that food is being used as a reward and not as a bribe. There is a big difference!  A bribe is produced before the desired behavior, a reward is produced after the behavior. So even showing the treat before giving a command is considered a bribe.

Important is to know that when you are rewarding good behaviour, you have many options to reward: a favorite toy, a cozy cuddle, playtime, a belly rub, jogging together.. whatever makes your Dog happy can be used as a reward. Make sure to change type of rewards frequently. This will help prevent the problem that your dog will only follow the commands when you have treats around.

There are also a lot of Dogs who love their treats but will not eat when going outside cause of too much excitement and distractions. This will make the use of treats for training outside the home useless. Again that is why it is very important to use different variations of rewards. Your Dog will soon learn that following commands and showing good behaviour will get him happy surprises 😀

Using food isn’t cheating or bribing. It is an easy way to motivate your dog. A reward should be a positive consequence for a desired behavior.
There are lots and lots of ways to reward your dog for a good behavior. Treats are just one of the most used and often misused rewards.

It is very important to not overfeed your Dog while training. It is also very important to not combine treats as a reward in any form of training where conditioning or any form of activity/sport is involved. Active training with a full stomach can cause a medical condition called bloat, where the stomach swells up/tilts which can be fatal to a dog. Of course you can use 2 or 3 treats during training in the park but make sure to not overfeed and excersize in one session.

So regarding using Treats in Dog training we can summarize it into 4 golden rules of using treats in Dog training:

1. Use Treats as a reward not as a Bribe
2. A Treat should only be one of the many Rewards you give your dog, variety is key
3. Do not overfeed
4. Do not use treats combined with exercise/sport training

House Training

Dogs are instinctively clean animals. If they can avoid it, they would rather not soil themselves or their usual surroundings. Dogs naturally develop habits of certain areas where they would like to poop or pee. The key to house training a dog, is to rely on your dog’s natural instincts and tendencies. For example, most dogs will rather go on the grass or dirt than on concrete or gravel. You can use these natural tendencies for a successful house training. Here are some tips on housetraining a puppy or an adult dog and some insights on other problems with urination like marking their territory.

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House Training a Puppy

The first thing to do is to establish a living area in your home for your dog. This area can be a room in the house, a part of the kitchen etc. This will be his or hers own personal space. Next thing to do is to put the bed or crate, the food, waterbowl and toys in that area.  In the beginning, the dog may poop or pee in their bed or crate but once they realize that this is their special place, they will try to avoid soiling it.

Next thing to do is establish your dog’s toilet area.  Try to find an outside area nearby with quick and easy access. When housetraining it’s a smart thing to keep his collar on and leave his leash nearby. Now all you have to do, is watch and wait. Put your dog in their place and watch it non-stop. Most dogs express the same behaviour when they are about pee or poo. They will start looking and sniffing around for a spot to go. When you see this, it is your time to intervene. Quickly attach the leash to it’s collar and go to the toilet area. Make sure when walking to the toilet area, your dog doesn’t go on the way, keep the leash tight and keep your dog close.

To make things easier on both yourself and your dog, you should put your dog on a regular feeding schedule. What goes in on a regular schedule, will come out on a regular schedule. If you know when your dog needs to empty out, then you’ll know when to take her to her toilet area. Healthy adult dogs should be able to control their bladder and bowels for eight hours.

It’s important that you do not confine your dog without access to her toilet area for too long. If she can’t hold it, she will be forced to soil herself, her bed or her den. If this happens, it may become a habit and will take much longer to housetrain him or her. A common mistake is to punish the dog when peeing or pooing in the house. It’s very important for you to remember that you have to intervene and snap him or her out of it so you can show where to go properly. If you do punish the dog for this behaviour, your dog will be fearful to go whenever you are around and will still poo or pee inhome when you are not there or not looking.

The best way is to anticipate when your dog has to go and get him or her outside, before you have to intervene. When they do go outside make sure to reward his good behaviour exuberantly. When your dog does make a mistake inhouse make sure to clean the whole area directly and thoroughly. Use a powerful cleaner, I recommend a cleaner with lemon fragrance, an enzymatic cleaner can help break down the proteins left over from the urine, thus removing the smell as well as the impulse for the pet to urinate in the same spot again. Dogs don’t like the scent of lemon so it will not only take the smell away but it will also work as a repellent. Of course the petstores are full of anti-pee products, but water with an enzymatic lemoncleaner works everytime and is a lot cheaper.

Some people use newspapers or paper towels to make a temporary inhome doggytoilet which they will slowly move further away and eventually outside. Personally I disapprove of this method. I think a better, easier and more effective way to housetrain your puppy or dog, is to do teach him to go outside from day one. This will also exclude the possibility that your dog will keep associating newspapers or other used materials as a pee-spot.

James Shit Happens

House Training an Adult dog

Some adolescent or adult dogs urinate or defecate inside the house. The first thing you have to do, is rule out any medical problems. If it is not a medical problem, there can be several reasons for an adult dog to show this behaviour. Here are some of the most common reasons:

  • Urine Marking (marking territory)
  • Lack of house training (kenneldogs or strays)
  • A surface preference (dogs who will only pee on certain materials like beds, carpet, paper)
  • Age-related incontinence
  • Anxiety (urinating out of fear) or excitement urination

House training an adult dog is done in exactly the same way you do as house training a puppy. Let’s go over the most common reasons:

Urine Marking

If you find small amounts of urine in your home your dog might be marking. With urine marking, the dog deposits a smaller amount of urine. Marking in the house is usually done to an upright surface such as a doorway, table leg or other piece of furniture. The dog will lift it’s hind leg and mark urine on practically any object in your house. Quite often the object is something new or different with an unfamiliar smell that has come into the house but not necessarily so. He is also likely to mark items that he feels belong to him such as anything that he has become possessive about including you. Allthough female are known to mark their territory too it is more common in males.

We as humans tend to think of dog urine as something unpleasant but to a dog it is something of great interest. A dog leaves it’s scent in urine to tell other dogs a message. This message could be about whose territory it is, about the dog’s social order or advertising mating availability. Dogs use urine marking to show their dominance or to claim something. Dogs with feelings of insecurity or anxiety may also mark, as territory marking builds the dog’s confidence.
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Some facts about Urine marking:

  • Most dogs that are neutered or spayed at an early age do not mark in the house, male dogs that are not castrated are more likely to mark than castrated dogs.
  • Although male dogs are more likely to mark urine than females it is not unknown for a female dog to scent mark too. Often a female dog coming into heat or during it will mark to advertise her availability. A dominant female will also mark.
  • Small breeds tend to mark in the house more than larger dogs.
  • Two or more dogs living together in the same house may regard each other as competition and are more prone to urine marking. Urine marking can be a dominance issue.

How to stop your dog from marking:

  • Neutering will stop marking behavior in the majority of dogs. For older dogs, neutering may still have the desired effect but marking in the house may have become a habit that you will have to break
  • Supervise and break the habit (just like in the puppy training mentioned above) Close supervision is necessary. You must be dedicated to stop the marking behavior of your dog and you must be consistent

Lack of House Training

If your dog was kept in outside kennels, was a stray or maybe has an unknown history it is likely the dog was never house trained at all. In these cases you adjust the behaviour by giving them the same training as the puppy training mentioned above with a sidenote that a dog that has had a certain habit for a long time, it might take a little longer than with a puppy.

Surface Preferance

If your dog has a surface preferance, you first have to remove those preferred items from his place. The second thing you have to do is to make sure your dog knows what rooms, items or materials are off limit to him. You will not accomplish anything by taking the items away from him. You have to confronte the behaviour. So if your dog pees on blankets or papers don’t give him any in his place, but put one in front of you on the floor. Now make sure your dog knows, you own that blanket and it is off limits. Try this with all the preferred items in different areasand and repeat frequently.

Age-related or Medical Incontinence

There is not really much you can do about this problem. Just like humans these are some of the symptoms of getting old. Don’t blame your dog for getting old.  Try walking your dog more often for short periods of time. Some older dogs completely empty their bladder while others may leak small amounts of urine when they are asleep or leak continuously. If there is no medical solution and short walks are not enough, you might consider doggy diapers.

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 Anxiety and Excitement

Sometimes when a major change happens in a dog’s life (like a new family member or pet, a new house or losing a pet or family member) the dog may develop anxiety issues. This anxiety can cause a dog that has been housebroken for years to suddenly start urinating or defecating indoors. This kind of behaviour needs a different approach. You have to take the anxiety away before you can break their bad habit. A fearful or anxious dog needs a strong leader. By showing your dog that you are in charge and your dog can relax. Take him on daily walks, keep his mind aswell as his body busy and make sure your dog has a safe and quiet place to retreat.
If your dog has seperation anxiety and this results in urinating or defecating in the house it is crucial to gradually accustom a dog to being alone, by starting with many short separations that do not produce anxiety and then gradually increasing the duration of the separations over many weeks of daily sessions. In these cases you might consider getting a dog behaviourist or dog trainer involved.


What NOT to do

  • Do not rub your dog’s nose in it’s waste. First of all it does not work as a training method and second of all it is cruel
  • Do not get angry or physically punish your dog for eliminating indoors. Do not hit with a newspaper, spank or jerk on it’s collar. Realize that if your dog has an accident in the house, you failed to adequately supervise, you didn’t take her outside quick enough, or you ignored or were unaware of signals that it needed to go outside. Punishment might frighten your dog and will probably even worsen the problem!
  • Confining your dog is not a solution to the problem and is cruel
  • Do not crate your dog if she soils in the crate. This will just teach the bad habit of soiling the sleeping area and will make it even harder to house train your dog

Summary

House training is a process that takes time and patience and above all structure.  Don’t get frustrated, for some puppies or dogs it may take a little bit longer, but in my experience most dog are house trained in a few days even the adult dogs. Let’s end this blog with some related funnies 😉

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Related Blogs:

Bulldog puppy Training
Raising a Bulldog
Leash Walking
The Bulldog Hall of Shame

Walk your Dog

Baggy Bulldogs
A recent survey (among ± 4000 dogowners) in the USA showed that one in four dog owners are too lazy to give their dogs a daily walk.
Many well meaning dogowners think they’re doing right by their dogs.. after all, their dog has a nice kennel, it gets fed and it has a huge backyard to play in. Surely not walking them is not cruelty?
Well I have to disagree. I really think that a fundamental responsibility of dog ownership is walking your dog. Dogs need walks for both exercise and mental stimulation. Unfortunately it has become a trend among some dogowners to leave their dog out in the garden to do it’s business and the owners figure that therefor they no longer have to walk their dog…Wrong! You can have acres of land but your dog will still need to be walked daily.

When dogs are not getting the exercise and stimulation that they need, it can cause behavioural problems and it can reduce both the length and quality of their life. Despite the advice from vets and animal welfare experts around the world, millions of dogs are denied this basic dogneed.

Dogs are intelligent animals. They need to have environmental stimulation. They need to explore, be out in the fresh air, getting exercise. They need to see other dogs on their walks and meet random people. They need to sniff new trees, practice their obedience, and tire themselves out. All these things are stimulating and exciting for them.  No matter how exciting you make your home environment, it will never replace the exercise or exitement provided by a good walk.

A lot of people will think the English Bulldog is a lazy dog that doesnt need much excersize. This ‘thinking’ results in that a lot of lazy dogowners choose the bulldogbreed, thinking it will be less effort and they can have to pleasure of owning a dog without too much effort. Wrong again!

The Bulldog might not be build for endurance or speed but a Bulldog, just like any dog, needs their daily excercise and mental stimulation. Bulldog are short and chubby in build but they are not fat or lazy by nature!

Baggy Bulldogsphoto by Shun Zi

I think the dogwalk is really undervalued even by well meaning, loving and experienced dogowners. From the Bulldogs that come into our Rescue with behavioural problems, I estimate that about 60 to 70% of those problems is solved just by meeting there basic need of excersize and stimulation. Let me repeat that, 60 to 70% of the dogbehavioural problems of the dogs that come into our rescue are solved just by walking them daily and giving them plenty of excersize and stimulation. So before you complain that your dog is naughty or disobedient, ask yourself how many times did you walk your dog today?

Walking every day will help your dog to be balanced, healthy and happy for a lifetime and I haven’t even begun to discuss the benefits to you; bonding with your dog, losing weight, and relieving stress are just some of those benefits.

Baggy Bulldogs

photo by Kirsten McLean

 

Related Blogs:
Leash Walking
Bulldog Walks photo and video collection

Raising a Bulldog Puppy

Raising a Bulldog

Many people think that the English Bulldog can hardly be trained. This is a misunderstanding. The English Bulldog is eager to learn, but is also stubborn and requires some knowledge from the bulldog owners. The strict approach works counterproductive with a bulldog. The bulldog was bred to persevere and have a high pain threshold. Therefore a tough approach would be ineffective. In the education of a bulldog it is important to know that despite its tough appearance a bulldog is very sensitive to moods and voices. The correct and most effective way of educating is to reward good or desired behavior. In this way the bulldog is positively motivated to learn.

There are some important precepts in the education of the bulldog:

  • Be consistent in correcting undesirable behavior. When you let the dog get on the couch some of the time you are giving the wrong message
  • Make sure that not only the wrong behavior is consistently corrected but also ensure that good behavior is rewarded
  • Try different rewards. A nice hug, sometimes a snack or a toy prevents your bulldog will only listen when it sees that you have a reward
  • Start training from the beginning
  • Correcting wrong behaviour may only occure at the moment of misbehaviour, subsequent punishment is useless. You will only confuse the dog and break their
    trust. A dog has a short memory and will not understand what he did wrong. Every dog has the natural urge to please their owner; it is your job to show him what you
    want. Set rules with your family to ensure that they all follow the same training rules.
  • Take the pace of the bulldog into account. Do not expect too much too quickly or for him to react straight away to your command.
  • The education of a dog is similar to educating a child. You are never done; do not stop after the puppy training or after reaching a certain age. The bulldog with its
    stubborn nature will test his boundaries.
  • I advise both novice and experienced dog owners to go to puppy and/or dog training. Not only to learn basic commands but also to socialise with other dogs and
    build a learn-, work-, follow-relationship between dog and owner


The Bulldog and children


Bulldogs are ideal as a family dog and get along with children of all ages. It is important that parents take responsibility from the start by teaching their children bulldogs are living beings and not toys. Bulldogs are naturally good natured, loyal and are very tolerant with their calm and compliant character.
Of course every parent always has to keep an eye on children and animals. Bulldogs can be a bit clumsy in their behaviour which could overturn a small child. Try to engage your children as much as possible in the upbringing and care of the dog. This not only ensures that children learn responsibility but also creates a close bond between children and dogs. Teach your children clearly what is and is not allowed. For example, teach them to leave the dog alone when it is sleeping or eating. And explain what a dog likes and dislikes in terms of touch. If you have a bulldog and you are expecting a child try to include your dog in this happy time. Especially in the daily activities after the arrival of the new baby. Let the dog sniff the baby’s scent so he gets accustomed to their smell. And of course, do not forget to give the dog some quality time in this period. Never leave your children, especially infants and toddlers, alone with a dog. A dog may scare due to their unexpected or uncontrollable movements, for instance a pull on the dog’s tail or ears. The English Bulldog is a perfect family dog and a perfect pet for children. For more cute pictures of Bulldogs and Babies check out the Photocollection:
Bulldogs & Babies


 

The Bulldog and other dogs 


Bulldogs are social dogs by nature towards both humans and animals. Their behaviour towards other dogs is the same as towards people. Bulldogs are known for their quiet and calm demeanor.
It should be noted that sometimes it is the other dog that responds different towards the bulldog. This is because of the bulldog’s general posture that can be interpreted by other dogs as dominant.
The same applies to the grunting sounds of a bulldog. Bulldog will rarely start a fight, as previously mentioned. If they are forced to fight, they will not want to lose face and defend themselves. Bulldogs play with a lot of enthusiasm and therefore they can be a little rough in their behavior. They are great playmates for other dogs, have a great sense of humor and are very tolerant. Overall the bulldog is very social with other dogs and is a welcome guest on the dog playing fields.

The Bulldog and other pets

Bulldogs are also social towards other pets like cats, rabbits and guinea pigs. However, the owner has to learn both dog and pet to get accustomed to each other. Especially in the case of small animals like guinea pigs, a dog may inadvertently do damage. Most dogs go well with other pets. The easiest way is to let them grow up together but they can also be introduced to new pets. Ive had a Bulldog who was so in love with guinea pigs, she thought they were puppies and kept licking them and moaning in front of the cage her way of asking she could be with them. Ive seen Bulldogs who were friends with parrots, goats, pigs, iguanas, donkeys and the list goed on.

The importance of the Walk

Baggy Bulldogs
A recent survey (among ± 4000 dogowners) in the USA showed that one in four dog owners are too lazy to give their dogs a daily walk.
Many well meaning dogowners think they’re doing right by their dogs.. after all, their dog has a nice kennel, it gets fed and it has a huge backyard to play in. Surely not walking them is not cruelty?
Well I have to disagree. I really think that a fundamental responsibility of dog ownership is walking your dog. Dogs need walks for both exercise and mental stimulation. Unfortunately it has become a trend among some dogowners to leave their dog out in the garden to do it’s business and the owners figure that therefor they no longer have to walk their dog…Wrong! You can have acres of land but your dog will still need to be walked daily.

When dogs are not getting the exercise and stimulation that they need, it can cause behavioural problems and it can reduce both the length and quality of their life. Despite the advice from vets and animal welfare experts around the world, millions of dogs are denied this basic dogneed.

Dogs are intelligent animals. They need to have environmental stimulation. They need to explore, be out in the fresh air, getting exercise. They need to see other dogs on their walks and meet random people. They need to sniff new trees, practice their obedience, and tire themselves out. All these things are stimulating and exciting for them.  No matter how exciting you make your home environment, it will never replace the exercise or exitement provided by a good walk.

A lot of people will think the English Bulldog is a lazy dog that doesnt need much excersize. This ‘thinking’ results in that a lot of lazy dogowners choose the bulldogbreed, thinking it will be less effort and they can have to pleasure of owning a dog without too much effort. Wrong again!

The Bulldog might not be build for endurance or speed but a Bulldog, just like any dog, needs their daily excercise and mental stimulation. Bulldog are short and chubby in build but they are not fat or lazy by nature!

Baggy Bulldogsphoto by Shun Zi

I think the dogwalk is really undervalued even by well meaning, loving and experienced dogowners. From the Bulldogs that come into our Rescue with behavioural problems, I estimate that about 60 to 70% of those problems is solved just by meeting there basic need of excersize and stimulation. Let me repeat that, 60 to 70% of the dogbehavioural problems of the dogs that come into our rescue are solved just by walking them daily and giving them plenty of excersize and stimulation. So before you complain that your dog is naughty or disobedient, ask yourself how many times did you walk your dog today?

Walking every day will help your dog to be balanced, healthy and happy for a lifetime and I haven’t even begun to discuss the benefits to you; bonding with your dog, losing weight, and relieving stress are just some of those benefits.

Baggy Bulldogs

photo by Kirsten McLean

Related Blogs:
Leash Walking
Bulldog Walks photo and video collection

Stop Jumping

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Unless given a command to jump, your dog should never be allowed to jump on humans. A dog that jumps on humans on its own free will is a dog that does not respect the person it is jumping on. Even those cute little puppies or dogs should not be allowed to jump on people. While you may think it is cute, it is not cute to everyone else. Not only is it annoying to most people to have someone else’s dog jump on them, it can also be dangerous especially for little kids or elderly people. A jumping dog can knock people over, muddy their clothes, put runners in nylons and scratch the skin.

There are mainly three reasons for the jumping behaviour in dogs.

  • Excitement
  • Trained Behaviour (Your dog could be seeking your attention and has been rewarded with it by jumping up in the past)
  • Dominance

Before you start adressing the behaviour you have to know which of the reasons named above is the cause of your dog jumping. A different reason might also mean a different way to adress it. For instance a hyperactive dog is mostly helped by snapping him out of it or by redirecting the behaviour by giving it a command. So instead of letting them jump around give the dog a command like  sit and make your dog patiently wait before giving any attention. When the reason is dominance claiming your space is very important. Remember dominance does not mean agression. So your dog might be very loving and non agressive but still dominant. When a dog jumps on a human of its own free will, it is not greeting the human, it is asserting its dominance over the human, it is the dogs way of saying that it is alpha/leader/boss. Space is respect and lower members of the pack respect the higher members. Note: when a young puppy jumps on humans it is sometimes its attempt to reach one’s face. Puppies need to be taught not to jump up on humans as this behavior will manifest into a bigger problem when the puppy grows up into an adult dog.

Dogs like and need consistency, so if you are not allowing your dog to jump on you, everyone in the family and everyone who greets the dog must do the same. You, as an owner, must make sure this happens. It will only confuse a dog if you allow them to jump on some people who say they do not mind, and tell him not to jump on others.


Stopping the Jumps

It is very important to you, your dog and the people around you that your dog is well balanced. When a dog jumps up against you, do not step back or lean away, this will make the dog continue to jump. When you get out of the way the dog is claiming your space. When a dog jumps, step into the dog. Picture a sphere around you and are not going to allow anyone or anything to come into your space. You are not trying to knock the dog down you are just claiming your space. Casually and calmly, keep filling your space, not allowing room for the dog to come in. Remember, your goal is not to knock the dog down, it’s just to retain your space.

Here are some more helpfull videostips to help you solve this problem.

Now here are some approved and funny ways of Bulldogs Jumping:D

Jumping Dogs

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Unless given a command to jump, your dog should never be allowed to jump on humans. A dog that jumps on humans on its own free will is a dog that does not respect the person it is jumping on. Even those cute little puppies or dogs should not be allowed to jump on people. While you may think it is cute, it is not cute to everyone else. Not only is it annoying to most people to have someone else’s dog jump on them, it can also be dangerous especially for little kids or elderly people. A jumping dog can knock people over, muddy their clothes, put runners in nylons and scratch the skin.

There are mainly three reasons for the jumping behaviour in dogs.

  • Excitement
  • Trained Behaviour (Your dog could be seeking your attention and has been rewarded with it by jumping up in the past)
  • Dominance

Before you start adressing the behaviour you have to know which of the reasons named above is the cause of your dog jumping. A different reason might also mean a different way to adress it. For instance a hyperactive dog is mostly helped by snapping him out of it or by redirecting the behaviour by giving it a command. So instead of letting them jump around give the dog a command like  sit and make your dog patiently wait before giving any attention. When the reason is dominance claiming your space is very important. Remember dominance does not mean agression. So your dog might be very loving and non agressive but still dominant. When a dog jumps on a human of its own free will, it is not greeting the human, it is asserting its dominance over the human, it is the dogs way of saying that it is alpha/leader/boss. Space is respect and lower members of the pack respect the higher members. Note: when a young puppy jumps on humans it is sometimes its attempt to reach one’s face. Puppies need to be taught not to jump up on humans as this behavior will manifest into a bigger problem when the puppy grows up into an adult dog.

Dogs like and need consistency, so if you are not allowing your dog to jump on you, everyone in the family and everyone who greets the dog must do the same. You, as an owner, must make sure this happens. It will only confuse a dog if you allow them to jump on some people who say they do not mind, and tell him not to jump on others.


Stopping the Jumps

It is very important to you, your dog and the people around you that your dog is well balanced. When a dog jumps up against you, do not step back or lean away, this will make the dog continue to jump. When you get out of the way the dog is claiming your space. When a dog jumps, step into the dog. Picture a sphere around you and are not going to allow anyone or anything to come into your space. You are not trying to knock the dog down you are just claiming your space. Casually and calmly, keep filling your space, not allowing room for the dog to come in. Remember, your goal is not to knock the dog down, it’s just to retain your space.

Here are some more helpfull videostips to help you solve this problem.

Now here are some approved and funny ways of Bulldogs Jumping:D

Puppy Training

Getting a puppy or adopting a dog can transform your house into a Loving Home.
But without careful preparation, your new pet can turn the your home into a mess.
The following preparation tips will get you on your way to having it all;
a loving home and a happy and tidy home.

There are a lot of questions you might have as a soon 2 be puppy owners, I hope the following will help to answer those questions and prepare you for that special moment you take your pet home.


To Do’s before you get your dog/puppy:

  • Make a decision; are we going for a puppy or a dog?
  • Where are we going do get the puppy or dog, from a shelter or a breeder?
  • Make a list of dog supplies: water and food bowls, leash and collar, a crate and/or a sleeping matras, chewing toys, brush/grooming supplies
  • Puppy proof your home: look for anything that could potentially hurt him, electrical cords, poisonous plants, a pool he could fall into, sharp things etc.
  • Set up rules for the family on; when to walk the dog, when and what to feed the dog, what to do when the dogs needs medical care, for the kids to leave the dog alone when eating or sleeping
  • When you get your puppy you want to explore new places with him. Puppies love to explore, which can be distracting and dangerous while driving. Make sure you have a a crate or secure him with a dog seat belt harness. Also available are car seats and boosters that are used in conjunction with a dog seat belt. These will also keep your dog from being ejected in case of an accident or from jumping out of your vehicle.
  • Find a good veterinarian and put the telephonenumber of your vet and the local alarm number in your phone and when you have kids show them where they can find the numbers
  • Make a choice in what breed and gender the puppy should be
  • Prepare by reading about the breed and about puppy/dog training
  • Make a choice whether to neuter or spay the dog
  • Find a puppy training class in your neighborhood, puppy training is one of the best ways to build a learning/training connection and is also a good way to socialize your puppy
  • Mental preparation: it might sound a little weird but you and your family have to be prepared for your new pet and family member. Be realistic, the puppy might howl and cry the first nights in a new home, it will take time and effort to housebreak a puppy, it might chew on the furniture or shoes, you have to walk your dog several times a day in sunshine and rain, when your puppy gets sick you have to take care of and pay for medical care, raising and training a puppy is not a matter of time, you are never done. When you have read this and your are still absolutely sure you want a puppy and you can promise your new pet all the above for a lifetime,..
    Than…Congratulations you are now ready to be a dogowner;-)


To Do’s when you got you dog/puppy:

  • Take him to your veterinarian for a complete physical
  • Check with your vet if the puppy got all the right vaccinations and when he should get his new ones
  • Make sure your puppy is free from flees and worms, your vet can also help with this
  • Make sure your puppy gets a microchip so your dog will never be lost. Most breeders will do this for you. Make sure you get the papers with it so you can registrate the dog in your name. Most Vets have the equipment to check if the chip is working and registered correctly.


Puppy Training:

The first weeks of training are mainly focused on the following:

  • Housebreaking the puppy
  • Walking outside on and offleash
  • Knowing it’s place (pillow or crate)
  • Following houserules: not gettingupon the couch uninvited, no begging for food, what and what not to chew,
  • Introduction to other pets
  • Getting the puppy used to everything in and around the house like noises, places, (vacuumcleaner, garden hose, etc)
  • First set of commands like: sit, stay and down

Click to read more on how to raise and train your puppy

 

 

If you have any questions please ask!

Baggy Bulldogs on Facebook

The Lampshade Stalker

Cesar Milan helping a Bulldog with the nickname Lampshade Stalker


For more tips on training check this out

How to Train your Dog not to Pull

bbDoes your Dog take You for a walk? 

Would you like a Dog that walks on a regular collar without pulling ? Read On. The answer to how to stop the pulling can be found if we ask ourselves the question “Why do Dogs pull?” The reason Dogs pull is that they want to move forward and explore. There are a lot of things outside than can get the attention of the Dog (other Dogs, smells, people etc).  To make things worse, the dog’s natural pace is faster than ours, so they quickly find themselves at the end of a leash. They pull because it works: they want to go forward (often towards some specific thing) so they pull forward and we give in by going forward with them. It doesn’t take the Dog long to figure out that pulling gets it to where it wants to go. The problem gets worse when the owner resists the pulling a bit. The dog then tries to pull harder and the owner finally gives in, resulting in a dog who learns that if they just keep pulling harder, they’ll eventually get to where they want to go. The main secret to stopping a Dog from pulling is to not allow at all and by also teaching them that they can go where they want when you say so and when they don’t pull. The other part of training involves teaching the dog that when it’s on leash, it must pay at least some attention to where the person at the other end of the leash is.

The most common thing people do when a dog pulls is to yank on the leash. This method might work to teach a dog not to pull but in many cases it has little or no effect. Many dogs don’t seem to mind being jerked with the leash. Often these jerks start as small ones and don’t really have much effect on the dog, so the jerks get progressively bigger, but all the while the dog is building up a tolerance to them and gets pretty good at ignoring them. These leash jerks are our way of telling the dog that what it’s doing is wrong, but we are generally very inconsistent with them. We let the dog pull until our arm gets tired, then we jerk the dog back. What this tells the dog is that most of the time it’s okay to pull, but occasionally it’s not. The dog has no idea when it’s okay and when it’s not.

When your Dog is pulling I advise a regular dog collar with a normal leash (not a retractable leash). Some opinions differ on this but in my opinion using a harness, chokechain or pinchcollar is not the right way to  solve the problem. A harness makes pulling on the leash more comfortable, so it can encourage it. With a harness you are leading them with their body, which can be quite difficult since they can keep turning their head in another direction if they get distracted. Chokechains or pinch collars I don’t use at all. You want your dog to respond to YOU (your verbal and or visual cues) not to its collar! Both options are using force to make your dog listen. Besides, it is not the dog who should decide when it needs to be corrected that is your job. In a lot of ways both pinch collars and choke chains will work counterproductive. Also especially the stronger breeds can get into a “zone” and when they keep on pulling while ignoring the collar or chain this can cause serious health complications. In my opinion those are forms of  fake control. Really having control over your Dog is walking your Dog  on a short leash and normal collar with no tension at all, your dog besides you looking up to you waiting for you to move. This way you don’t feel in control but you are in control and by doing this you and your dog will both enjoy your walks together.

So when you have the right equipment to take control of the dogwalks again, how do you start?

  • First of all, before putting the leash on your dog, it has to be calm and relaxed. When he or she is jumping around and you run after it to put on the collar you started off wrong already. When your dog gets all excited when you get the leash put it back and wait  while till the dog has calmed down again.
  • From the moment your Dog is on the leash, there is One Golden rule: Don’t Walk forward if there is tension on the leash! When the dog is about to apply ANY tension to the leash at all immediately Stop! When the dog turns to see what happened to you, praise for his attention. Encourage the dog back into position next to you, if necessary, take a few steps backwards.

Here are some helpfull videos to help you :

It might seem very simple, but sometimes it is. Just STOP every single time you note that the dog is about to put the slightest tension on the leash and the pulling will go away.  It really works! The key is being consistent and persistent. It helps when training, to tire your dog out before the walk (for example by a game of fetch) and then take him for a walk every day with only ONE goal: to walk without tension and you absolutely refuse to take a single forward step when you feel tension on the leash, he will discover that pulling is is no longer working. It might take a while but (especially Bulldogs are very stubborn, so old habits die hard). But when you have patience and are consistent you will see the lightbulb go on when he realizes this. If you don’t give up, he will learn it!

Leash Walking

 

No Link (67)
Does your Dog take You for a walk?

Would you like a Dog that walks on a regular collar without pulling ? Read On. The answer to how to stop the pulling can be found if we ask ourselves the question “Why do Dogs pull?” The reason Dogs pull is that they want to move forward and explore. There are a lot of things outside than can get the attention of the Dog (other Dogs, smells, people etc).  To make things worse, the dog’s natural pace is faster than ours, so they quickly find themselves at the end of a leash. They pull because it works: they want to go forward (often towards some specific thing) so they pull forward and we give in by going forward with them. It doesn’t take the Dog long to figure out that pulling gets it to where it wants to go. The problem gets worse when the owner resists the pulling a bit. The dog then tries to pull harder and the owner finally gives in, resulting in a dog who learns that if they just keep pulling harder, they’ll eventually get to where they want to go. The main secret to stopping a Dog from pulling is to not allow at all and by also teaching them that they can go where they want when you say so and when they don’t pull. The other part of training involves teaching the dog that when it’s on leash, it must pay at least some attention to where the person at the other end of the leash is.

The most common thing people do when a dog pulls is to yank on the leash. This method might work to teach a dog not to pull but in many cases it has little or no effect. Many dogs don’t seem to mind being jerked with the leash. Often these jerks start as small ones and don’t really have much effect on the dog, so the jerks get progressively bigger, but all the while the dog is building up a tolerance to them and gets pretty good at ignoring them. These leash jerks are our way of telling the dog that what it’s doing is wrong, but we are generally very inconsistent with them. We let the dog pull until our arm gets tired, then we jerk the dog back. What this tells the dog is that most of the time it’s okay to pull, but occasionally it’s not. The dog has no idea when it’s okay and when it’s not.

When your Dog is pulling I advise a regular dog collar with a normal leash (not a retractable leash). Some opinions differ on this but in my opinion using a harness, choke chain or pinch collar is not the right way to  solve the problem. A harness makes pulling on the leash more comfortable, so it can encourage it. With a harness you are leading them with their body, which can be quite difficult since they can keep turning their head in another direction if they get distracted. Choke Chains or pinch collars I don’t use at all. You want your dog to respond to YOU (your verbal and or visual cues) not to its collar! Both options are using force to make your dog listen. Besides, it is not the dog who should decide when it needs to be corrected that is your job. In a lot of ways both pinch collars and choke chains will work counterproductive. Also especially the stronger breeds can get into a “zone” and when they keep on pulling while ignoring the collar or chain this can cause serious health complications. In my opinion those are forms of  fake control. Really having control over your Dog is walking your Dog  on a short leash and normal collar with no tension at all, your dog besides you looking up to you waiting for you to move. This way you don’t feel in control but you are in control and by doing this you and your dog will both enjoy your walks together.

No Link (63)

So when you have the right equipment to take control of the dog walks again, how do you start?

  • First of all, before putting the leash on your dog, it has to be calm and relaxed. When he or she is jumping around and you run after it to put on the collar you started off wrong already. When your dog gets all excited when you get the leash put it back and wait  while till the dog has calmed down again.
  • From the moment your Dog is on the leash, there is One Golden rule: Don’t Walk forward if there is tension on the leash! When the dog is about to apply ANY tension to the leash at all immediately Stop! When the dog turns to see what happened to you, praise for his attention. Encourage the dog back into position next to you, if necessary, take a few steps backwards.

Here are some helpful videos to help you :

It might seem very simple, but sometimes it is. Just STOP every single time you note that the dog is about to put the slightest tension on the leash and the pulling will go away.  It really works! The key is being consistent and persistent. It helps when training, to tire your dog out before the walk (for example by a game of fetch) and then take him for a walk every day with only ONE goal: to walk without tension and you absolutely refuse to take a single forward step when you feel tension on the leash, he will discover that pulling is is no longer working. It might take a while but (especially Bulldogs are very stubborn, so old habits die hard). But when you have patience and are consistent you will see the lightbulb go on when he realizes this. If you don’t give up, he will learn it!

Sheila Bridgette‎.jpg

Preparing for your new Puppy

Getting a puppy or adopting a dog can transform your house into a Loving Home.
But without careful preparation, your new pet can turn the your home into a mess.
The following preperation tips will get you on your way to having it all;
a loving home and a happy and tidy home.
There are a lot of questions you might have as a soon 2 be puppy owners, I hope the following will help to answer those questions and prepare you for that special moment you take your pet home.


To Do’s before you get your dog/puppy:

  • Make a descision; are we going for a puppy or a dog?
  • Where are we going do get the puppy or dog, from a shelter or a breeder?
  • Make a list of dogsupplies: water and foodbowls, leash and colar, a crate and/or a sleepingmatras, chewingtoys, brush/grooming suplies
  • Puppy proof your home: look for anything that could potentially hurt him, electrical cords, poisonous plants, a pool he could fall into, sharp things etc.
  • Set up rules for the family on; when to walk the dog, when and what to feed the dog, what to do when the dogs needs medical care, for the kids to leave the dog alone when eating or sleeping
  • When you get your puppy you want to explore new places with him. Puppies love to explore, which can be distracting and dangerous while driving. Make sure you have a a crate or secure him with a dog seat belt harness. Also available are car seats and boosters that are used in conjunction with a dog seat belt. These will also keep your dog from being ejected in case of an accident or from jumping out of your vehicle.
  • Find a good veterinarian and put the telephonenumber of your vet and the local alarmnumber in your phone and when you have kids show them where they can find the numbers
  • Make a choice in what breed and gender the puppy should be
  • Prepare by reading about the breed and about puppy/dogtraining
  • Make a choice wether to neuter or spay the dog
  • Find a puppytraining class in your neighboorhoud, puppy training is one of the best ways to build a learning/training connection and is also a good way to socialize your puppy
  • Mental preperation: it might sound a little weird but you and your family have to be prepared for your new pet and familymember. Be realistic, the puppy might howl and cry the first nights in a new home, it will take time and effort to housebreak a puppy, it might chew on the furniture or shoes, you have to walk your dog several times a day in sunshine and rain, when your puppy gets sick you have to take care of and pay for medical care, rasing and training a puppy is not a matter of time, you are never done. When you have read this and your are still absolutely sure you want a puppy and you can promise your new pet all the above for a lifetime,..
    Than…Congratulations you are now ready to be a dogowner;-)

To Do’s when you got you dog/puppy:

  • Take him to your veterinarian for a complete physical
  • Check with your vet if the puppy got all the right vacinations and when he should get his new ones
  • Make sure your puppy is free from flees and worms, your vet can also help with this
  • Make sure your puppy gets a microchip so your dog will never be lost. Most breeders will do this for you. Make sure you get the papers with it so you can registrate the dog in your name. Most Vets have the equipment to check if the chip is working and registrated correctly.

Puppy Training:

The first weeks of training are mainly focused on the following:

  • Housebreaking the puppy
  • Walking outside on and offleash
  • Knowing it’s place (pillow or crate)
  • Following houserules: not gettingupon the couch uninvited, no begging for food, what and what not to chew,
  • Introduction to other pets
  • Getting the puppy used to everything in and around the house like noises, places, (vacuumcleaner, garden hose, etc)
  • First set of commands like: sit, stay and down

Here is some more info on how to raise your puppy: https://baggybulldogs.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/raising-a-bulldog-puppy/

This topic will be extended later on with more information about: how to choose a breeder, what to look for when choosing a puppy and training your puppy/dog.

If you have any questions please ask!

https://www.facebook.com/BaggyBulldogs

Raising a Bulldog

Raising a Bulldog

Many people think that the English Bulldog can hardly be trained. This is a misunderstanding. The English Bulldog is eager to learn, but is also stubborn and requires some knowledge from the bulldog owners. The strict approach works counterproductive with a bulldog. The bulldog was bred to persevere and have a high pain threshold. Therefore a tough approach would be ineffective. In the education of a bulldog it is important to know that despite its tough appearance a bulldog is very sensitive to moods and voices. The correct and most effective way of educating is to reward good or desired behavior. In this way the bulldog is positively motivated to learn.

There are some important precepts in the education of the bulldog:

  • Be consistent in correcting undesirable behavior. When you let the dog get on the couch some of the time you are giving the wrong message
  • Make sure that not only the wrong behavior is consistently corrected but also ensure that good behavior is rewarded
  • Try different rewards. A nice hug, sometimes a snack or a toy prevents your bulldog will only listen when it sees that you have a reward
  • Start training from the beginning
  • Correcting wrong behaviour may only occure at the moment of misbehaviour, subsequent punishment is useless. You will only confuse the dog and break their
    trust. A dog has a short memory and will not understand what he did wrong. Every dog has the natural urge to please their owner; it is your job to show him what you
    want. Set rules with your family to ensure that they all follow the same training rules.
  • Take the pace of the bulldog into account. Do not expect too much too quickly or for him to react straight away to your command.
  • The education of a dog is similar to educating a child. You are never done; do not stop after the puppy training or after reaching a certain age. The bulldog with its
    stubborn nature will test his boundaries.
  • I advise both novice and experienced dog owners to go to puppy and/or dog training. Not only to learn basic commands but also to socialise with other dogs and
    build a learn-, work-, follow-relationship between dog and owner

 

The Bulldog and children

Bulldogs are ideal as a family dog and get along with children of all ages. It is important that parents take responsibility from the start by teaching their children bulldogs are living beings and not toys. Bulldogs are naturally good natured, loyal and are very tolerant with their calm and compliant character.
Of course every parent always has to keep an eye on children and animals. Bulldogs can be a bit clumsy in their behaviour which could overturn a small child. Try to engage your children as much as possible in the upbringing and care of the dog. This not only ensures that children learn responsibility but also creates a close bond between children and dogs. Teach your children clearly what is and is not allowed. For example, teach them to leave the dog alone when it is sleeping or eating. And explain what a dog likes and dislikes in terms of touch. If you have a bulldog and you are expecting a child try to include your dog in this happy time. Especially in the daily activities after the arrival of the new baby. Let the dog sniff the baby’s scent so he gets accustomed to their smell. And of course, do not forget to give the dog some quality time in this period. Never leave your children, especially infants and toddlers, alone with a dog. A dog may scare due to their unexpected or uncontrollable movements, for instance a pull on the dog’s tail or ears. The English Bulldog is a perfect family dog and a perfect pet for children. For more cute pictures of Bulldogs and Babies check out the Photocollection:
Bulldogs & Babies

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FB joanna  wheeldon 2


 The Bulldog and other dogs 


Bulldogs are social dogs by nature towards both humans and animals. Their behaviour towards other dogs is the same as towards people. Bulldogs are known for their quiet and calm demeanor.
It should be noted that sometimes it is the other dog that responds different towards the bulldog. This is because of the bulldog’s general posture that can be interpreted by other dogs as dominant.
The same applies to the grunting sounds of a bulldog. Bulldog will rarely start a fight, as previously mentioned. If they are forced to fight, they will not want to lose face and defend themselves. Bulldogs play with a lot of enthusiasm and therefore they can be a little rough in their behavior. They are great playmates for other dogs, have a great sense of humor and are very tolerant. Overall the bulldog is very social with other dogs and is a welcome guest on the dog playing fields.

Carine Peeters‎.jpg


The Bulldog and other pets


Bulldogs are also social towards other pets like cats, rabbits and guinea pigs. However, the owner has to learn both dog and pet to get accustomed to each other. Especially in the case of small animals like guinea pigs, a dog may inadvertently do damage. Most dogs go well with other pets. The easiest way is to let them grow up together but they can also be introduced to new pets. Ive had a Bulldog who was so in love with guinea pigs, she thought they were puppies and kept licking them and moaning in front of the cage her way of asking she could be with them. Ive seen Bulldogs who were friends with parrots, goats, pigs, iguanas, donkeys and the list goed on.

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