- Picking up your Bulldog
- Showing your Bulldog the house
- Meeting other family members
- Setting up a schedule
- Detecting possible problems and sensible solutions
You chose the perfect Bulldog, and now the time has come to pick him up and bring him home. Remember, this process is new and strange for your Bully. Imagine how you’d feel if someone picked you up, took you away from your home and family, and set you down in a strange place where you didn’t know the language. This chapter gives you the ins and outs of introducing your Bulldog into his new home and family and preparing yourself for things your Bulldog may do when he’s exposed to his new life for the first time.
Bringing Home Bully
Christmas isn’t the season for a new pet
Christmas is the worst time to get a dog. Puppies make a great gift idea, and you can picture your children’s faces when they open a box filled with the adorable puppy with a cute bow around his neck. Greeting cards and holiday commercials show puppies in stockings and under the tree, making the puppy seem like the ideal gift. Even though the family may be home, the trouble with the Christmas season is too much excitement and activity. The puppy may be overwhelmed and, in all the rush, ignored.
A housetraining schedule may be virtually impossible to establish, and your new dog may find it hard to adjust to his new place filled with friends and relatives. Your Bully needs a chance to be quietly introduced to the immediate family and to get to know the rooms of the house. Also, the chances of “excitement urination” increase with the addition of many people to meet and play with.
Besides not having an established schedule, the more people in your house, the more the chance exists that your puppy may be given “just a tiny piece” of cheese, turkey, or candy. A puppy’s digestive system is sensitive, and with strange foods and strange people in a strange place, your puppy can have diarrhea or an upset stomach causing vomiting. The puppy doesn’t need the added stress, and neither do you at this already-busy time of the year.
If you think that a dog is the perfect holiday surprise, take a picture of the dog for under the tree. Give a fancy gift certificate or a collar and lead. Wrap up a book on dog care, and plan to pick up the dog after the New Year. This presentation will make your entire family happier.
- Your puppy’s three-generation pedigree
- A health record for your Bully
- Food for two or three days
- A toy or two (optional)
Giving Your Bully the Guided House Tour
Getting to Know the Kids
–Teach your children to approach any animal quietly and slowly. No running and no grabbing.
– Teach your children to be gentle. A puppy isn’t a toy. Children should gently stroke the puppy — soft pats, not hard thumps. Don’t pull ears or tails or legs.
– Supervise interactions with younger children at all times. Young children may not understand about being gentle.
– Never leave a baby alone with any dog. Puppies can nip; nails can scratch; and a baby isn’t a dog’s toy any more than a puppy is a baby’s toy.
– Educate your children on how to pick up and hold a puppy. Don’t grab the dog around the middle and haul her around. Slip a hand under the puppy’s chest and hold the hindquarters with the other hand. Hold the puppy gently but firmly against your chest. If a child is too small to hold the puppy, supervise a cuddle session with the child sitting down and the puppy in her lap.
– Remember that puppies, like small children, need naps. Your children may want to play with the puppy all the time. Make sure that you allow rest periods when your puppy can have an uninterrupted nap in his crate.
– Depending on the age of your children, enlist them in the care of the puppy. Kids can take the puppy out and give him his meals as part of their chores. Taking care of an animal is a good way to teach responsibility.
Just remember that the ultimate responsibility belongs to the adult. The puppy needs regular outings, meals, and fresh water. Providing dog care is up to you if your children fail to provide it. Your dog shouldn’t suffer when children forget their dog duties.
Meeting the Other Pets
– Supervise the meeting in the yard — not in the house. The yard is a bit more neutral.
– If you have multiple dogs, let them meet the new addition one at a time.
– Be careful and cautious in the beginning, but don’t leash the resident dog. Sometimes a lead, especially if it gets pulled tight, can make the leashed dog more aggressive or protective than if he’s left loose.
– Older dogs have different reactions to a puppy, and you need to know the personalities of your dogs. My male has always joyously greeted new puppies. One of my females considered all puppies hers to discipline as needed. Another of my girls just generally loved all other dogs, and still another was just amazed and bewildered at the small size of the newcomer.
One idea is to find a friend with a cat-friendly dog and invite your friend and dog over to the house before you bring home the puppy. Although the cat may hide, this process helps her get used to the idea of a dog.
– Hold the puppy for the initial nose-to-nose hello.
– If everything seems friendly, put the puppy down, and let the animals interact. Continue to watch them.
– Don’t let the puppy bother the cat when she’s eating or in the litter box.
– Also, don’t let the cat wander over to the puppy when he’s eating. Keep them separate during meals so squabbling over food doesn’t occur.
– Make sure that the cat always has a way to escape the attentions of the puppy. Cats can easily bound over a baby gate into a safe room or leap up to a kitchen counter if that’Technical Stuff allowed. Eventually, your cat and dog may become best friends.
Your cats and dogs can become bosom buddies, but when it comes to smaller pets, hamsters and guinea pigs are likely to become lunch. Dogs are predators, and they look on small, rapidly moving, squeaky animals as prey. Occasionally, you may read of a dog and a guinea pig cuddling, but that situation is rare. Safeguard smaller pets and birds by putting their cages up high so your dog can’t reach them. If relocating the cage isn’t possible, make sure that your dog is never left alone in the same room as the smaller critters. If you let your bird or smaller pet out for playtime, put your dog in his crate, or shut him in another room. No reliable way exists to teach a dog not to chase (or kill) one of these smaller animals.
Setting Up Your Puppy’s Schedule
Surviving the First Night
– Make sure that your puppy is well fed. Even a small meal before bedtime can help your dog fight the late-night tummy grumbles that may wake him and keep him from sleeping soundly.
– Before bedtime, take your puppy outdoors. A final pit stop ensures that your puppy isn’t crying because he has to go.
– Give your puppy a snuggly, soft dog toy to curl up with. Remember your favorite stuffed toy when you were a child and how it comforted you? Your puppy can get comfort out of a toy as well.
– Make sure that your puppy has soft bedding. Provide enough padding to make a nest and to keep your dog warm. A warm environment is more conducive to dozing off than a cold, hard crate bottom.
– Wrap an alarm clock that ticks in an old shirt or a towel. Place the clock in the crate. The ticking sounds like a mother’s heartbeat and can calm your jittery puppy.
Tackling Problems before They Start
Examining the crate size
Getting a grip
Bulldogs are determined dogs, but they aren’t built for struggles. Although you may be able eventually to get an adult of another breed to stop fighting you when you’re cutting nails or holding a foot, a Bulldog won’t stop. This struggle can lead to shortness of breath (for your dog and maybe you too) and threaten your dog’s health. Use patience and perseverance, but never use force with your Bulldog, and don’t fight with your Bulldog over something for so long that he is gasping for air.
by Susan M.Ewing