How To Choose An English Bulldog Puppy Based On Your Budget, Lifestyle & More
Guide To Making The Right Choice When Adopting A Bulldog Baby
When the time comes to finally make your dream of owning (or being owned by) an English Bulldog puppy, you’ll want to do everything you can to be sure that you have found your ‘perfect puppy’! After all, you’ve probably been waiting a long time for this day, and are about to make a serious investment and commitment for your new bundle of joy.
And there are many considerations when beginning your search. To help you get started, we have created a basic checklist of the most common factors you’ll want (or need) to consider.
Boy Or Girl?
Usually your choice will begin with the gender of your puppy. Are you more interested in adopting a male or a female? Do you know enough about the pros and cons of each to make that decision, or is this based on a past experience with another breed?
In general, well-bred Bulldogs will be very much the same when it comes to temperament. The Bulldog breed is most recognized for their amazingly family-oriented personalities. They have an even temperament and sweet dispositions, but are probably best known for their sometimes stubborn personalities.
They can be much like a well-behaved, yet determined, three-year-old that knows exactly what they want….or in most cases, do not want to do. Whether it’s getting them into the bathtub when they’re not in the mood to get wet, or walking into the office of the Veterinarian, it’s not uncommon to have a situation that may require pushing, pulling, begging or bribing to get them to see things your way.
When it comes to the actual adoption process and the details involved, there can be a lot of steps required. Not all puppies are created equal when it comes to the steps in getting them home (more on that later).
I would like to note here that I will not be getting into the overall health of the puppy. I will assume that the required research has been done regarding English Bulldogs and the various health issues that can affect them and cannot stress enough the importance of finding a good breeder.
Cost Vs. Budget
The adoption fees for an English Bulldog puppy can be many thousands of dollars, or as low as just hundreds, even with very comparable puppies. Where you adopt your puppy can be a major factor here. Pet stores, for example, tend to be as much as double (and sometimes more) than the adoption costs involved when dealing directly with an independent breeder of English Bulldogs.
Of course, there will always be a difference from breeder to breeder as well. I can’t honestly say that the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ applies here. I’m unsure of how each individual breeder determines the adoption fees they set for their puppies, but would like to think they are based on the amount of time they have committed, investment made and the overall quality of care that has been dedicated to raising their puppies.
Regardless of how the fees are determined, the bottom line is that you should only be willing to invest what you can actually afford. Payments and financing can be helpful here, but keep in mind that financing a puppy can add a substantial amount to the overall cost when paying interest.
Here at Bulldog Pros, we offer in-house payment plans, requiring very little down (and 0% interest) to help you finance your puppy. We personally understand the invest being made, and know all too well about budgeting for a new puppy. We do everything we can, from pre-birth deposits and payment plans, which allow you more time to make payments; to offering extended payment options for full AKC registration.
Your lifestyle, and future plans for your Bulldog, should be your very next consideration. I want to take a minute to focus directly on the build of a Bulldog puppy, regardless of any other features. It’s important to consider their different shapes and sizes.
This is very important when considering what you have in mind for your new puppy in the future. While shorter legs may be a desirable look to you, if you plan to take long walks or begin agility training, this may not be a wise decision.
If you see your puppy participating in dog shows in the future, the bloodlines may be important, requiring research prior to adoption. You may want to focus on champion bloodlines, either American or International. However, this does not necessarily mean that your puppy will be show quality, even with the best bloodlines; or that you puppy will not be show quality without champions in their pedigree.
Keep in mind though, if you are considering the show ring, you will want to visit the AKC website for information on qualifications and requirements of showing your Bulldog. For instance, if competing for conformation, your Bulldog cannot be spayed/neutered, as these types of competitions are used to ‘grade’ breeding stock, meaning that your Bulldog is required to be ‘intact’. See more on AKC conformation shows here (this will open in a separate window for you, so you won’t lose your place in our checklist).
While English Bulldogs are often referred to as being ‘high-maintenance’, this isn’t necessarily true. There are really just few areas where maintenance can become intense. However, reputable Bulldog breeders will do their very best to ‘breed out’ unhealthy and undesirable traits.
The real main areas of concern are:
The more folds and wrinkles your Bulldog has, the more time you will spend keeping these areas clean and dry. Find tips for face care on our FAQ site at Bulldog Face Care.
Tails really should never be a problem. Unfortunately, there are still many breeders that pair two Bulldogs with inverted and/or tight corkscrew tails. This really is something that should be taken a lot more seriously, as these types of tail can become a real nightmare! The folds and pockets created by the inverted tail are a great hiding place for bacteria, posing a serious risk for infection.
If infection sets in, intense care will be required, and in some cases, surgical removal of the tail will need to be performed. This is exactly a nice, straight tail is a must for our studs.
In most cases, those looking to adopt an English Bulldog puppy will have a very good idea of what their idea of a Bulldog should look like. It may be that a friend or neighbor has a Bulldog, or you may just remember the looks of one in a commercial or movie. The truth is, no two Bulldogs look alike (see more about this on our blog at ‘Why Do Some Bulldogs Looks So Different’), so finding one that fits your preference may require some time and patience.
Following are just a few of the characteristics that differ from Bulldog to Bulldog:
Bulldogs come in all shapes and sizes. They are like no other breed in this area. You will see variations in size and length of their legs, body, noses and tails, as well as extreme difference in their heads, faces and ears. There are also variations of chest sizes, body depth and height and backend structure, and this is just to name a few.
To determine your preference, it’s a good idea to spend some time online. Start by visiting breeders’ websites or reputable puppy listing sites, such as puppyfind. This will help you get an idea of the wide variety of looks in Bulldogs.
In addition to build, Bulldogs can vary greatly in size. The breed standard for weight, according to the AKC, is 50 lbs. for adult males and 40 lbs for adult females. However, females can be as small as from 35-pounds (which was the previous standard set by the AKC) and males can easily exceed 60 pounds.
The color of your Bulldog is another serious consideration when planning to find your perfect puppy. Do you like the looks of the standard red brindles? Or are you more partial to fawn (light brown/blonde)? What about the more hard to find colors, such as black, chocolate or blue, like our beautiful blue baby (shown right) from our February 2014, Silas & Lavia Puppies.
With the wide range of colors now available, in both common and rare colors, be sure to take your time to research the options when beginning the search for your puppy. And while some colors may require a higher adoption fee than others, having a very unique Bulldog that really stands out among the crowd may be worth the extra investment for you.
The purebred registry that your puppy will be registered with may also be important. If you intend to breed and/or show your English Bulldog, you will most likely want to adopt a puppy with AKC registration. Just be sure that the type of AKC registration offered grants permission to do so, referred to as full AKC. See more about Full AKC Registration here.
There are other purebred registries available that may be a consideration if you are strictly looking for a pet, but caution should be taken when AKC is not offered. See more about the different registries on our blog at Differences In Purebred Registries.
Given all of the variables provided above, when you finally find your perfect puppy, travel or delivery arrangements may need to be made to complete the adoption. Ideally, you will find one within just a few hours drive of your home, but if you’ve done all the required research, this may not be the case.
You may find that your puppy is located many states away, requiring some kind of transportation. You will need to ask the breeder if delivery is available, and if so, what your options are; or if you will be responsible for flying/driving to the location to pick-up your puppy.
The location shouldn’t be a hindrance in your decision to adopt, especially after the amount of time you’ve spent finding them. In most cases, arrangements can be worked out to make the adoption possible. Like us, most breeders are willing to take extra steps to help you get your puppy home. If not, and you’ve taken all the steps to determine that this is your puppy, don’t rule out personally making the trip to make the adoption happen.
We’ve traveled as far as Virginia (over 900 miles, one-way from our home in mid Missouri, for Liam), made a 14-hour round trip to Tennessee (for Silas), as well as a few day trips to Kentucky, and other nearby states, to bring some of our Bulldogs home! And I can say, without hesitation, it was well worth it!
I’ve left this topic for last to stress how important it really is to have a very strong relationship with your Breeder. And yes, I use the term Your Breeder to show just how important it is! You will be communicating with this person many times prior to adoption (or at least you should be) and will need to be comfortable with them on all fronts.
You are depending on this person to provide your baby the with utmost care, and take all the required steps needed to keep them safe and healthy at all times prior to them coming home. This is a big responsibility that every breeder must take very seriously!
You will be counting on us to be available at all times to answer any questions you may have or concerns that arise, both before and after the adoption. Our responsibility does not end when you puppy arrives home. You will need to feel that you can reach out to them, at any time, when you have questions or concerns, whether it’s in the weeks leading up to your puppy coming home, or five years after the adoption.
So getting to know your breeder, through phone conversations (this should be your first step), followed up with communication through email and taking your time to read through the information provided on their website, should be crucial to your decision. This will be your only way of knowing that you have found a reputable breeder that truly cares about you, your puppy and all aspects involved with raising Bulldog puppies.
While all of the information provided should get you well on your way to adopting your ideal puppy, feel free to contact us with any questions. We’re always happy to help and are available 7 days/week, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. CST, by calling 573-873-4293, or you can always send us an email!