The bulldog's general appearance should "... suggest stability, vigor and strength. The disposition should be equable and kind, resolute and courageous (not vicious or aggressive)..." (From the Official Bulldog Standard). 

The bulldog loves people and the attention people give him. As a rule, he is a good quiet companion. He does not necessarily make the greatest watch dog for this reason, although his looks alone will tend to deter any potential intruder. 

A bulldog does best in a loving environment, free from fear and neglect. He is happiest when there are people around. Left alone, a bulldog (like any other breed) can be destructive. A dog crate is a good investment. Not cruel, a crate provides security both when you are at home or away-as long as it is not used for extensive durations of time. A crate serves well for house training, too. A bulldog should never be chained in your backyard. Not only is it dangerous to his well-being but also creates a high target for dognappers! 

The bulldog is a very even tempered dog, but it is important to teach him at an early age appropriate behavior. Jumping up on people and biting are cute puppy habits but can create a problem when your bulldog has the mature weight of about 40-45 pounds for females and 50-60 pounds for males. Although bulldogs are typically one of the best breeds for children, they can easily knock down a small child. A bulldog learns easily with firm but gentle training. It is NOT necessary or advisable to use harsh training methods. Not only do bulldogs train to become good pets but also to go into the conformation show ring and the obedience ring. Some even learn tracking and/or go on to the agility ring. Most bulldogs thoroughly enjoy being exhibited. 

As with other short nosed breeds, it is necessary to keep a watchful eye on your bulldog in hot weather or in any stressful situation, making sure he has cool shade and clean water. Exercise is important for a bulldog to build stamina and prevent obesity, but don't overdo it, particularly when it is hot or humid. 

Authored by Jean Simmons, MLBC member.

Click here to view the standard