Many people believe that the appearance of a Bulldog can be intimidating due to their wide build, but in reality, the temperament of a Bulldog means that if they are properly trained, they make a fantastically caring and gentle addition to any family.
Because of their kind nature, Bulldogs require lots of love and attention and so are well suited to owners who are able to give up large amounts of time to train and walk them. This breed is nothing if not determined, and their natural enthusiasm for attention and praise means that you will need to ensure you are willing to play plenty of games and go for long walks with them on a daily basis. Bulldogs who are not allowed to exercise enough can often have behavior problems and become hard to manage, so it is key that this is considered before making a commitment to own a dog of this breed.
Following their natural instinct to migrate when taken for walks means that proper training of Bulldogs is essential. Unless taught otherwise, they will use the opportunity to push boundaries and test to see if they can become the dominant one in the relationship. Key points to remember when walking a dog from this breed are that they should heel and sit on command very early on in training, and ensuring they walk through gates and doorways after you is something that should be reinforced routinely.
Although they are known for being gentle and lovable animals that are great around small children, Bulldogs can also make excellent guard dogs, with their instinct to protect their owner being something that is very hard to break. Although they need to be walked, Bulldogs are very happy to be inside, and if their energy has been "run-off" they will not cause issue in smaller flats or houses. This character trait means they are often used as guard dogs for people with a smaller property.
Making very lively puppies, as they get older, bulldogs do often start to slow down a bit. An average life expectancy is around 8 years, although this can vary greatly depending on lifestyle and whether they are prone to common heath problems found in this breed. Many Bulldogs can suffer from weak eye sight, and breathing problems are frequently found to case minor issues. Changes in temperature can also cause some discomfort for these dogs, with many having difficulties adapting to both hot and cold environments such as cars. Some owners feel that this can make them difficult to transport to events such as dog shows, however, as long as the car will settle at a reasonable temperature during the drive, there is no reason why a Bulldog would become distressed in this situation.
Properly socialising a Bulldog puppy is very important - trusted and reputable breeders should start this process from when they are still very young, however it is key that this is continued. Bulldog puppies who have not gone through the process of being habituated have been known to become aggressive towards other dogs. Puppy classes and frequent walks in dog parks are simple and easy ways to overcome this problem and ensure your Bulldog stays the lovable and doting companion you are hoping for.