I cannot stress enough how much it matters what you feed your dog. First off, most veterinarians do not receive much formal training when it comes to nutrition. So please make sure to do your own research on better ways to feed your dog than traditional kibble. We have seen first hand, on multiple occasions, how much it influences your dog's health. Most 'trendy' health problems are caused by a poor diet. We try to raise our puppies with whole foods and keep our dogs on a very natural lifestyle. Here are some links to get you started on this journey: Starting your puppy on raw food >>
No Muss way to switch to raw >>
Nothing truer than that…when it comes to having an obedient Bulldog it really is important to start implementing consistent and repetitive training from day one. I know it is hard to resist those cute puppy eyes when it comes to enforcing a silly rule, but it works and you will enjoy your bully even more when he or she is fully grown. Here are some simple methods that make a big difference with our pack of Bulldogs (also, we can take our Bulldogs into public places and they know how to act civilized and enjoy lots of attention and compliments from everyone we meet out and about):
- Start training your puppy from day one. They can learn basic commands at a very young age.
- Use positive reinforcement techniques and reward the right behavior instantly (use some delicious treat/ not a dry milkbone)
- Make sure every member of your family is on the same page. Talk about enforcing the same rules to avoid confusion in your puppy!
- Remember, your fully grown puppy will be 50+ pounds, you do not want him to jump up on you (especially with young children in your household). Teach him from the beginning not to jump on anyone! This is easiest accomplished by only giving them attention/ petting them when they (ideally sit) or stand in front of you. Ignore your bully/ turn away from your puppy when he jumps on you and only acknowledge/ pet him when he acts the right way.
- Make sure any person living in your household always enters the house BEFORE the dog. Your dog has to walk through the door after everyone else. Not only does it teach your dog about the pecking order of the family, but falling over your dog as he pushes you out of the way (and your Bulldog will push you out of the way) can end in broken bones easily.
- Pecking order is important, especially if you have an intact dog. Remember, dogs do not speak human. We have to speak dog for them to understand us. Our dogs want to communicate with us and feel so much safer when they understand their place within the family. Lots of cuddles and love included of course!
- Socialization is very important. Get them out and used to other people, children and dogs. Make sure it is a positive experience for them (no aggressive dogs, etc.).
- Try to attend structured training courses to start off right.
Last, but not least, we have established the rule of no dogs on furniture in our house. I know that is not everyone's ideal, but it has plenty of benefits, if, for example you have multiple or dominant (intact) dogs in your household. Furthermore, it prevents the stress on our bullies joints from constant jumping up and down. Make sure to provide plenty of comfortable dog beds in your house if you do choose to enforce this rule.