Everything you need to know to buy or adopt an English Bulldog puppy or adult dog.


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English Bulldog dog breed

Buying or Adopting an (English) Bulldog

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017

Is a DOG really the right pet for you?

I've been helping people choose and find dogs for over 35 years now, and I have to say that for many people, dogs are not ideal pets.

Pros AND Cons of Owning a Dog

Should you get a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog?

Don't set your sights on any purebred dog until you read these three eye-opening articles:

The Truth About Purebred Dogs

The Truth About Crossbred Dogs

The Truth About Mixed Breed Dogs

Is an English Bulldog the right breed for you?

English Bulldogs: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

English Bulldog Health Problems

Are YOU right for an English Bulldog?

Can you provide what this breed needs?

  • Someone home most of the day
  • Fenced yard (not an electronic/underground fence)
  • Sufficient exercise after maturity – enough ongoing exercise that your English Bulldog stays slim and is tired enough to sleep contentedly and not get into mischief
  • "Mental exercise" – interesting activities that keep the mind stimulated, such as challenging dog toys, or tricks and games such as Hide 'n Seek; instructions in my training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words
  • An indoor lifestyle, except for exercise and bathroom breaks
  • A meat-heavy diet, either homemade or commercial – meat is expensive, so people with less money should opt for a smaller dog
  • An owner with enough money to treat the health problems English Bulldogs are prone to (pet health insurance can really help here!)
  • An owner who is okay with moderate/heavy shedding, and lots of slobbering, snorting/wheezing, and flatulence (aka gassiness!)
  • Commitment to provide thorough socialization – introducing your English Bulldog to lots of people and other animals
  • Commitment to establish the right Leader-Follower relationship with your English Bulldog, teaching him to listen to you and do what you say

Should you get a male or female English Bulldog?

Symbols for male and female Male Dogs vs. Female Dogs
Which one makes a better pet?

Should you get a young puppy, an older puppy, or an adult dog?

Girl hugging a dog Puppies vs. Adult Dogs
What age should your new English Bulldog be?

Where can you buy or adopt an English Bulldog?

English Bulldogs are an extremely common breed in the United States. Out of 189 breeds in the American Kennel Club, where 1 is most popular and 189 is least popular, English Bulldogs rank 4th. Unfortunately too many people acquire one on impulse, falling in love with the cute puppy and not appreciating all of the serious health issues.

Adopting From Dog Rescue Organizations
English Bulldogs are often available from Dog Rescue groups. Bulldogs may be turned over to Rescue because they're aggressive toward other dogs. Or perhaps the owner can't stand the snorting and snuffling sounds, or how often their dog has to visit the vet due to the health problems inherent in the breed. Other Bulldogs are given up simply because of changed family circumstances.

Adopting From Public Animal Shelters and Humane Societies
English Bulldogs are sometimes found here, but Bulldog Rescue groups keep their eyes peeled on shelters and humane societies across the country. When an English Bulldog turns up at a shelter, the rescue group typically moves in quickly to take the dog.

Buying From a Dog Breeder
You can buy an English Bulldog from a show breeder, who breeds Bulldogs to match a detailed standard of appearance for the dog show ring. You can also buy an English Bulldog from people who "just breed pets" or "just had one litter." But should you? Be sure to read the article to learn more about these people.

Here's one difference between a responsible breeder and an irresponsible breeder – BOTH PARENTS of an English Bulldog puppy should have:

  • a certificate from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) – dated within the past year – certifying the dog to be free of eye diseases
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) certifying the dog to have normal knees
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) or a report from a veterinary cardiologist – dated within the past year – certifying that the dog has had an Advanced Cardiac Exam and has a normal heart

If a seller can't show you those certificates, the puppies are higher risk for health problems. You might choose to accept that risk. But then you need to be willing (and able) to pay a couple thousand bucks for future surgeries and lifelong meds if your English Bulldog ends up with cataracts, heart disease, and bad knee joints.

Puppy in a pet shop window Pet Shop Puppies: Buying a Puppy From a Pet Store
Lots of English Bulldogs are seen in pet shops. I have plenty to say about buying a puppy from a pet shop!

Related Articles

Girl holding up a puppy and looking at him How To Choose a Good English Bulldog Puppy
How to test the temperament and personality of English Bulldog puppies and pick the best puppy in a litter.

Pedigree parchment AKC Registered Puppies: Are AKC Papers Important?
Should you consider buying only AKC registered English Bulldog puppies? Do AKC papers and pedigrees really matter?

To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.