First days at home

And so you, newly-made owner of a bulldog, have brought your wrinkled and snorting wonder at home. After the bride-show at which all your relatives and friends were present, after the sighs of emotion and delight you are at last quite alone with your acquisition. And here the prosaic side of life comes to light.
You get to know that this small merry creature can yelp loudly and frantically, it can make enormous puddles in the most inappropriate places, chew your antique furniture and bite your hands badly.
How to cope with this horde of unusual problems, getting pleasure from it and not torturing yourself and driving all your household to white-heat and making them hate all the dogs in the world?
To understand it, you have „to get into the dog`s skin” and to look at „the human world” with your pet`s eyes, to communicate with him basing on his (and not your human) logics.
Look attentively at your puppy`s play with other puppies: he wrestles, chases, runs away changing the tempo and the direction abruptly. Try to reproduce it, if only partially, during your own play with the puppy. Of course it is not worth to bite him in responce during your jokular fight; a human person has another natural means of playing – the hands.
The puppy will invite you for a play by falling down into his front legs and barking; take it into account at the time of your association with him.
Speak to the puppy merrily during the play, lough, bill and coo; if accidentally you have hurt him, your benevolence and positive emotions will make up for all the misunderstandings.
Growning up puppies (from 4 month) do not already like so much long „struggle”; they take interest in chasing, so you can play with them running in different directions and making small „fight” from time to time. It relaxes the growing up dog very well and helps him to get rid of excessive emoitions and energy. Try to play with your puppy without toys, let him at time give himself fully to the power of instincts since for him you are "the more experienced animal", "the elder individual", "the leader of the pack"; he imitates you and learns from you.
As to the toys, for the puppy they are his „prey”, and at this age it will be better to let him play with his toys by himself in your absence. Puppies can do it with real virtuosity and self-oblibion without human help.
Do not let the puppy who has flown into a rage during the play bite your neck, face, hair – this is taboo; do not let the puppy to force his will upon you. The play must commence and end according to your will.
If the puppy flies into a temper and does not want to stop the playing in spite of your actions, switch his attention to something else or simply do not pay any of your attention to him. An elder puppy may be called to order by means of some „private” command (for example, „place”). Do not ever try to bribe the puppy with titbits and all the more do not punish him phisically. Do not forget that puppy`s milk teeth are very sharp and humble yourself with scratches on your hands and feet, but only with the scratches got during the play.
Never punish the puppy if he:
- has bitten you or a member of your family, even a child, during the play. Because of his young age the puppy cannot rate his strength correctly and does not orient himself to perfection in your „table of ranks” yet (for the puppy your family is the pack with its own hierarchy and all the rest). To show the puppy his place in this hierarchy is the personal task of each member of the family, including children. And your task is to explain to the children how to play with the puppy, how to switch him to something else; your task is also to prevent the children to provoke the puppy`s aggression;
- chases the brush, the floor-cloth, the vacuum cleaner and so on. For the puppy each moving object is a prey, and his wish to chase is instinctive and natural. And so during the cleaning up or some other home work do not provoke the puppy; it will be better to shut him in a cage or in another room;
- chews and pulls about some unsuitable thing; begs or steals food from the table; wallows in the carrion; runs after a strange person, a cat or a dog; picks all kinds of rabbish in the street. You must unnderstand that it happens because of your own omissions. The owner`s duty is to control all his dog`s actions constantly and to look after the dog on all occasions. And if you have overlooked something, it is not the puppy who must be blamed for it; simply distract him from the undesired action. The punishment in such a case may be only oral, by intonation.

And more again, if you should not:
- feed the puppy from the table, you will not have to make him lose the habit of begging;
- drag the puppy onto an armchair, sofa or bed, later on you will not have to share your sleeping place with the dog or for a long time and with much agony to drive him away from there;
- pull and tear a cloth or a toy away from the puppy`s mouth roughly and abruptly, you will not be sorry for the puppy`s spoiled teeth and wry jaw;
- let the children walk with the puppy by themsleves, you will not have to experience a tragedy and to blame yourself later on, since the absence of control and attention sooner or later leads to a sad result;
- lift the puppy by his front legs and allow him to jump from the height, you will not have to appeal to a veterinarian for help;
- frighten the puppy with terrific masks, thundering objects, shots and firecrackers, take him with you to see the fireworks and so on, you will not be sorry for his and your own spoiled nerves;
- tease and provoke the puppy when he is playing with you, eating, chewing a bone and so on, you will not have to go to the emergency station with bites when the puppy is grown up. And in any case you can follow the principles described by the famous Russian psychologist V.Levi in his book „A Nonstandart Child” (since a puppy is also a child!).
Here are the general principles:
- "Punishment must not harm the child`s health, neither physicial nor psychic; more than that, according to the idea punishment must be wholesome.
- If you have any doubt, to punish or not – do not punish. Even if you unerstand that you are too mild, do not punish "just in case". There must be a single punishment at a time, even if there has been a numberless quantity of faults. Now the term of limitation. Better not to punish at all than to punish too late.
- Punished – forgiven... Do not prevent to begin the life from the beginning.
You must not punish and scold.
- When the child is sick his psychology is especially vulnerable and reactions unpredictable.
- When the child is eating; during a play; right after a physical or emotional trauma (a fight, an accident).
- When we are not quite ourselves: tired, upset or angry because of our own reasons... In such a situation the anger is always wrong.

How one must not praise.
The praise has the quality of a narcotic. More and more! And if there was a large amount of it and now it has become less, the state of deficit can arise. It can happen if we have made a sudden decision: it is enough of pleasing, it is time to bring up.
The person who praises does not become loved obligatory, there is no small possibility of becoming dispised and disregarded.
In any case it is advisable not to praise:
- more than two times for one and the same;
- for pity`s sake;
- because of the desire to please.”
Of course all of this refers to children, but I`d like to repeat once more, puppies and grown up dogs are children as well, and if you should take the psyhologist`s conclusions into account, follow logics and common sence in your actions and understand the principles of your puppy`s behaviour, you will have all the chances of bringing up a healthy bulldog – both physically and (which is not less important!) psychically.