Choosing a Puppy

So you have decided what breed your dog should be. Ideally, this should be a weighed out decision, not an on-the-spur-of-the-moment one. But where and in what manner are you to look for your “Bulldog joy” in order not to become disappointed in the breed and in dog ownership in general? Permit me to give you some advice and warn you against possible mistakes.
First of all, it will be quite reasonable and, in the long run, financially profitable to spend some time investigating the situation. After one or two show seasons you will find yourself quite conversant in the range of prices, existing colors, the best specimens of the breed, popular breeders and leading kennels. You must look for the breeders who are interested in good buyers, in good buyers like yourself. In other words, first, you collect intelligence, look into the different opportunities, think everything over and only after that make a purchase. No one will choose the puppy for you. Ultimately it is solely your choice.

After you have done all the preparatory work you should look for a good breeder. A good, honest breeder can be identified by several signs. First of all he should have well-groomed, healthy and joyful dogs (not only the young ones, the veterans as well!). A good breeder is not overly critical of other breeders and owners’ dogs. At the same time, a good breeder is reserved yet objective about his own dogs and possesses the desire and readiness to share his knowledge and experience and give advice to his clients.

A good breeder readily gives you a lot of necessary information on: selection and diversity of food for your future puppy, hygienic practice and vaccination. He should give you the addresses of reliable veterinarians, the correct litter certificate and the, last but not least, reliable information about the dog’s ancestry!

Your choice must fall only on the dogs with proper documentation. I firmly advise to only purchase a puppy with the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale/World Canine Organisation) certification.

Do not hold out on yourself! Even if you have irreversibly decided to never take part in any dog shows or club events, buy a puppy with good ancestry, from a good kennel. You probably won’t need a “high class” puppy, maybe something a tiny bit simpler. Having bought a purebred puppy with incomprehensible documents of some ephemeral club, you risk buying yourself a headache and a load of problems for many years to come.

The puppy’s ancestry should be considered with much care. You must learn who your future puppy’s father and mother are. If you are offered a puppy of some famous and award-winning father, do not think it to be a guarantee of the puppy’s own high quality. Keep in mind that the puppy’s mother passes down to him 60% of her own qualities. So instead, look attentively at the mother. Try to learn about her achievements and her health. If you like the mother and you have seen her certificates and her awards, you can buy the puppy quite safely since no owner of a good, successful female would mate her with a mediocre male.

Never confide only in advertising or “private dog care specialist” advice. It so happens that exactly those beginners and inexperienced breeders who happen to own rather second-rate dogs are usually the ones to assure their clients of their puppies’ unquestionable future potential. If only everything could be that simple!

One of the leading breeders of English Bulldogs and dog show judge Norman Davis once said: “If I could foresee which of my puppies would become a champion, I’d be a millionaire!” Do not rush to buy the first puppy you see and remember that a miser pays twice.

One more issue remains: a male or a female? Of course it is in many aspects a matter of taste. But, nonetheless, it would be advisable to take into account all the pros and cons. In a male Bulldog the breed features are more expressed. He is bigger, stronger, more robust, but also more self-assured, more stubborn and confrontational, especially in some specific periods of his development. A female is not so powerful. She is rather more sweet-tempered, more affectionate, more resourceful, cunning and intelligent. Two times a year she will be in heat and you will have to walk her only on the leash. But a male dog is ready to pair all year long and is constantly interested in the “ladies”, with all the following logical consequences. Moreover, there are always fewer potential “brides” than “bridegrooms” wanting to “get married”. The owners must remember that only certain male dogs are used for breeding. It is the law of competent breeding: only the best, most famous and award-winning males will mate. Taking the above into consideration, it would be better for a beginner to give preference to a female. In addition, it will give you a chance to experience the great joys of seeing your female become a mother.