The bulldog is a breed originating in England that was originally used for baiting bulls – where dogs were placed in a ring to fight the great big beasts. Years ago, they had smaller heads and a more muscular, strong build. As you can imagine, there was a great deal of bulldog training involved in creating these prizefighters – so they are very susceptible to training. However as the years passed by, bull baiting was considered illegal as the sport exploited the dogs – in turn, the breed became calmer, friendlier, and has become a popular choice among pet lovers.
The appearance of the bulldog can be very intimidating because of its solid build and wrinkly face that gives you the impression of toughness. Adding to their typical characteristics, they have quite a broad head, rose ears, and a lower jaw that is undershot and upturned. They are usually short, with the length of their body slightly longer than their height.
But don’t be fooled by the menacing impression they give, (or the recent spate of bad dog behavior news stories in the US). They are one of the gentlest breeds of dogs, they are sweet and very good especially with children. They are very affectionate, trustworthy, and loyal, also they can be an outstanding guard dog to have in your home. They love to seek their master’s attention which can make them hardheaded and stubborn at times.
Most of the time we’ll probably find their efforts at getting noticed endearing and cute, but guaranteed there will be those days when it’ll just annoy us. Besides their determination, a common irritating problem is that they tend to bite and chew on everything they see – they develop this habit from a young age and it stays with them until maturity unless trained out of them. But these should not be a reason to punish them. Bulldogs are intelligent, and they can be easily trained at a young age. The correct bull dog training methods are more than capable of preventing these undesirable behaviors – leaving you with a wonderful and happy pet.
Bull Dog Training
Most bulldog owners would want to train their puppy by themselves. This is good because training your own pet is one form of bonding activity that is essential in building a relationship with them. Taking them to a professional trainer can not only waste your time and money, but the result might also not be what you expected. Since most of them still use the method of employing fear to get your puppy to follow commands, your dog will behave well as long as the trainer is in control, and will return to its willful and frisky behavior once they are dealing with you.
So when and where should you start training your puppy? It’s best if you begin as soon as possible. The younger you begin bulldog training the sooner the results. During their first few weeks at home, you’ll want to concentrate on potty training and basic commands.
Bulldog Potty Training
- Providing them with their own crate is an excellent way to give them their own place in the house, as well as learn how to control themselves. They usually don’t mess up in their bedding, so when it is time to get up in the morning you should lead them outside. Do this regularly and they will soon understand to empty their bladder and do their thing outdoors.
- After they have eaten their meals, have your puppy relax for around 15 minutes then take him out.
- Allot a specific amount of time for them to eat. Say, allow them to have 20-25 minutes to consume their food and then removed the bowl so the potty time will be regular.
- Designate a particular spot and take them to that spot every time they have to go.
Basic Obedience for Bulldogs
- Stay– To stay is to have your puppy stop bouncing around and sit still. To instruct him to do this, sit or stand in front of your dog, and say “stay” in a firm voice as you put your palm in front of his face. Step back with your right foot. Take only two steps and then face him again and repeat saying the word “stay” a few times. The process may take a few sessions but your dog will eventually understand and wait for you. Remember to give a lot of praise when they do well.
- Sit– Place your puppy somewhere he cannot go back any further, such as against a wall. Have a small treat available in one hand and show it to him, then with your hand signal for him to sit. Say “sit” in an authoritative voice, close your hand around the treat and move it closer and above his head so that he must sit back in his haunch position to follow your hand with his nose. Since his back is against the wall, he will not be able to get it unless he sits down. And when he’s in the sitting position, you can now open your hand and offer him the treat.
- Heel – You can begin by using a leash. Place a snug collar around his neck and take him for a walk. Make sure that he maintains his pace alongside you. When he appears to be lingering or walking ahead of you, place a little force on his collar to control the pace, saying ‘heel’ as you do so. Patience is key here, as angry shouts will not be nearly as effective as consistent training.
- Come– Flash your puppy with a toy or a treat. Then call him by saying “come” and his name cheerfully. He will then come to you, and as he approaches you, retreat for a couple of steps. When he finally reaches you, affectionately pat his head and give him the treat or the toy you are holding.
It’s actually fairly easy to do bulldog training correctly as they are highly intelligent and really want to please their owners. Even older dog training is not impossible with these animals, but admittedly it can be tougher. Although at times they may not follow every command – they do have a lazy streak – see to it that the training session will last no longer than 15 minutes. If it takes longer than that and it’s not engaging they may get bored and walk away. And don’t forget the treats. Reward them and appreciate their ability to keep up with the training and doing a great job.