COLUMN: Lots to learn for everyone

We often spoke about adding a dog to the family, but which one? The first thing I would recommend to anyone having the same thought…”do your research” and boy, we did. Looking at the Internet, books or speaking with dog owners, we did the lot.

When we went to look at Walter (at roughly six weeks old) the breeder was amazed and impressed with our research and knowledge.

British Bulldogs seem to be an increasing choice of pets for owners, but you really need to understand and accept the breed for what it is and will do and cost you! Don’t consider buying one till you know everything you can find out and definitely don’t go looking at them till you are sure, as I will guarantee you will fall in love with them. The main points you need to know…

Loving family pet with strong bond with their owners
Fine with children and other dogs
Great character
Little exercise needed
Not so good…
High purchase price
Expensive to insure
Regular trips to the vets…more cost. Bulldogs have a history of poor health Short life span (8 years) Stubborn and hard to train

Next is that you have to go dog training and practice each day. To highlight the importance, I would underline, bold and repeat the last sentence.


Anyone who thinks they don’t need to attend training is bonkers with this breed. We started when Walter was 12 weeks old, he has now just turned two and we have been at least once a week every week and most weeks we have been two or three times. Not only was Walter learning at these classes, but my wife and I were, and still are, learning too. Before the first class, Helen came to our house for a 1-2-1. In that hour, we learned more during than we ever thought was possible. It’s not only about Walter, it’s also about what we do that will have an impact on what Walter does.

The first few times going to classes, Walter did nothing apart from wanting to meet the rest of the dogs or their owners and we felt stupid. “Will this dog ever learn?” Gradually he actually did something, be it a sit and stay or a wait, but we soon learned that when you give a bulldog an instruction, they think about it, and then decide if they are going to do it. So expect training to take longer than the average breed.

But less than two years later Walter has passed his Bronze and Silver Kennel Club and maybe one day will pass his gold. The main point is not the achievement of these awards, nice as they are, it’s due to the regular dog training, Walter is an obedient, well socialised dog within our family but we are under no illusions that we still need to continue with training both at classes and at home.

We have been fortunate to choose what we believe to be the best dog training around; the two Helens and their volunteers have been great from the start. They tell you like it is, but some owners need that, and it’s always amazed me how many owners think they know best! Don’t worry they get their message across in the right way. Remember it’s not just the dogs that are learning

Nick, Michelle, Jack & Walter

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