Thursday, May 16, 2013

The History of Bulldogs

Many people have come to love Bulldogs, but do you know the history of the breed? Originally Bulldogs were bred for the sport of bull-baiting in England, hence the name English Bulldog. The dogs were bred specifically for the sport, with the specific characteristics needed to bait and catch bulls. They needed to have fighting abilities and be very tough in order to take on the mighty bulls. The breeders wanted a short dog who is low to the ground so bulls couldn’t get their horns under the dog. This way the dogs couldn’t be thrown around with the bull’s horns. If they did get tossed around, however, the dogs did need to be very sturdy and tough if they did occasionally get thrown around. The original Bulldog breeders also wanted a dog with a small, short nose so that they could get a good grip on the bull’s nose without getting stuck in the bull’s face, allowing the Bulldog to breathe while still holding on to the bull. Even the Bulldog’s characteristic folds and wrinkles are a sought after characteristic, the breeders wanted this feature as it channeled the blood away from the Bulldog’s face if it were injured. They also needed a strong and tough dog that would be able to stand up to fighting a giant bull.

Eventually bull baiting was outlawed but people loved the breed so much that they kept the remaining dogs and tried to breed out any aggressiveness or viciousness. The result of a lot of select breeding is the English Bulldog we know and love today – with the hard, tough looking exterior but a soft, sweet temperament inside. Today’s Bulldogs may look like their ancestors but they have a much different personality. Bullys are even good with the entire family, from babies and young kids to the elderly. They may have come a long way from being used to bait bulls in the ring for show, nowadays the English Bulldog is a recognized member of the AKC’s non-sporting group of breeds. Although they may have had a barbaric past, being used for fighting and baiting, the Bulldogs of today’s time are soft and sweet. You can cuddle a Bulldog like a teddy bear, they love attention and hugs. So as you can see they have come a long way since the beginning. In contrast to the Bulldogs from the past, current Bulldogs are now the perfect pet.

Different Types of Dog Training Classes

There are many ways to train your dog, whether you have a Bulldog or any other breed of dog. You can do it yourself, you can take your dog somewhere and have them train him for you, or you and your dog can attend training classes together. The latter method is one of the best, and not to mention quickest, ways to train your dog as well as learn how to act around your dog in order to get the best results from your training. Dog training is not only about training your dog, it is about you learning as well. That is why it is good to attend training classes with your dog. The trainer can correct you or your dog if either of you make mistakes in your training regimen. If you can attend dog training classes, it is highly recommended that you do. Even if you only go to a few classes, it will give your dog much needed social interaction with other dogs as well as people, all in a controlled environment with a trained professional who can correct you and your dog if need be. Of course you will need to practice your training at home and when going for walks, etc. but dog training classes can be very beneficial to you and your Bulldog or other breed of dog.

Puppy Training

When you first get a young puppy, it is good to bring him around other dogs of the same age so that they can play and learn how to act around other dogs like they would naturally. When we adopt dogs, we usually only take one home from their litter of 4, 5, 6, or maybe even more. Usually they would play with each other and the mother dog would correct them if they misbehave. Since we take them out of that natural environment, it is good to give your puppy a little bit of that experience when we can. Puppy training classes will allow your dogs to have some social interaction with other dogs the same age as well as teach you and your dog the basic training points. This will be the basis for future training, whether in classes or at home. If you can start your dog off with puppy training classes while he is still young, all training in the future will be much, much easier.

Basic Obedience

Once your dog is a little older, he will be ready for basic obedience training. This type of class will teach you and your dog the ins and outs of basic obedience, such as how to sit, stay, and come when called. Basic obedience training is good to teach you how to coax your dog into following your orders. Usually this is achieved with treats or food along with a verbal command at first. When your dog learns certain words and what you want him to do when you say them, you can start to discontinue treats and your dog will automatically follow your command because it has become a reflex to him. Some obedience classes use other training tools such as clickers, which make a clicking noise to teach your dog that he should be listening to you. This is done similar to verbal training with treats: at first you click and give your dog a treat so he starts to learn that when you click he will be rewarded with a treat. Later you can stop giving treats every time and he will simply know to come to you and listen for a command whenever you click the clicker. Whatever method the instructor uses, it is a good idea to give it a try so that your dog learns to listen to you and obey your commands. At first he will be doing it expecting a treat, but later you can simply give him praise, and then your dog will simply follow your orders as second nature. You can still give him treats sometimes but you don’t need to all the time once he learns.

Advanced Training

These training classes will teach your dog more advanced commands, such as tricks and other neat things. Once your dog has mastered the basic training courses, you can try to teach him more advanced commands in a more advanced training class. This type of class will build upon what your dog has learned in the previous classes. For instance if your dog learned how to sit and stay in the basic training course, your instructor might have you teach him how to stay for long periods of time without moving. Another variation on this is to have your dog sit and stay in one spot while you walk out of sight, and then stay until you come back and release him. This is very hard for most dogs to do even if they know how to stay. Once they lose sight of you they think they should search and find you. It is hard to break dogs of this natural reflex, so it may take a while to teach your dog how to stay even when you leave his line of sight. Other things they might teach in an advanced class are tricks and fun commands, such as how to shake hands or high five, how to roll over, how to play dead, how to fetch your slippers or the newspaper, and much more. Many instructors will take requests as well, for example if you want to teach your dog how to fetch his leash when it’s time for a walk, or any other command that you want to teach your dog. If you have a dog that already follows basic commands but you want to teach him a little more, this type of class is right for you.

Agility Course Training

These training classes will teach your dog how to run through an obstacle or agility course. These types of courses have many different obstacles for your dog to maneuver, such as tunnels, ramps, teeter-totters, balance beams, and more. If you want your dog to compete in agility competitions in the future, these classes are a must. Or if you just want to give your dog a little bit of variety in his exercise, these classes can be very fun. Imagine showing off your dog’s new tricks to all your friends and family, having him jump through hoops and balance on a narrow platform. Even if you don’t ever plan on having your dog compete in this type of course, it is very fun and stimulating for you and your dog. It will wear him out mentally and physically, so he won’t be digging through the trash and ripping up your furniture while you are at work. If you have already mastered the other training classes, this is a fun alternative to the other obedience style classes.


Why You Should Train Your Dog

There are many reasons to want to train your dog. Some people have more reasons than others. But there are a few reasons that are more or less universal to dog training. Here are the top reasons that most dog owners want to train their dogs.

House Breaking

No doubt one of the most important reasons for teaching your dog a few basic commands is so that she will not relieve herself all over the house. You don’t want to be constantly cleaning up after your dog for the rest of her life do you? No, so teach her how where to correctly go to the bathroom and everybody will be much happier. This is also necessary for going to other people’s houses or other places where they are not allowed to relieve themselves. You don’t want to bring your dog to the pet store to pick out some new toys and have her make a mess all over the floor. So teach your dog when and where to go potty and you will both be much happier.

Basic Obedience

You want your dog to listen when necessary. Whether you are at home about to feed your dog, or out for a walk and she sees a squirrel running across the street, you want your dog to be able to listen to you and obey your commands. This comes in handy much more than you would expect. It is always good to have your dog listen to you. From “Sit” and “Stay” to “Drop it”, there are many basic commands that your dog should be able to recognize and obey.

Begging For Food

One thing common to pretty much all dogs is they all like to beg for food. Dogs are curious and hungry creatures. If they see or smell something they want or want to know more about they will try to get a closer look and smell of it. It doesn’t matter if it is on your dinner plate or in the garbage, dogs will do anything they can to get to it. That includes jumping on the table and knocking down trash cans. So teach your dog that your food is not for her, and that you will feed her when you are good and ready. If you start to feed your dog from your plate once she starts to beg, she will think that this is ok to do. Once you do that it is very hard to come back from. So if you don’t want to undo years of bad behavior just don’t do it to begin with. And if your dog gets into the garbage, put it somewhere she can’t get into it.

Not Jumping On People

One of the major complaints that people have with other people’s dogs is that they get too excited and jump on everyone. This is one major reason that you will want to teach your dog some basic obedience. If you teach your dog to sit and stay when people come close then she will not be tempted to jump on everybody that she sees. Dogs get excited when they see people or other dogs. They can’t help it. So teach your dog to remain calm and not jump on everybody that she sees so this doesn’t happen all the time.

Staying Close While Walking

Most younger dogs get so excited to be outside that they can’t help but to run every which way when they get the chance. You need to teach your dog to stay close to you when outside, for her safety and the safety of others. It is a good idea to teach your dog how to walk on a leash correctly first. Then slowly let her off the leash but make her stay close by your side. Eventually she will learn to stay close to you and not run into the street or chase after other animals.

Dogs Are Social Animals

People with untrained dogs usually don’t let them out much. They keep them locked away when people come over, and barely let them outside for walks or play time. This is not good for any dog. Even if you think a dog is too aggressive to be around people, it is probably because you give him such little time around other people and animals. You need to gradually introduce your dog into the world and let her see that she doesn’t need to be afraid of everything and everyone. Dogs are social animals and they love to be around people and animals alike. Most overly aggressive dogs have had a bad past and behave in such a way because they don’t know any better. If you teach your dog from the beginning about how to act around people and animals, then she will behave much better than if you did not. Isolating a dog is inhumane, so do the best you can in order to acclimate your dog to the world and she will be a much better dog all around.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Being the Alpha Dog: How to Show Your Dog That You Are In Charge

Dogs are pack animals, and as such they follow a sort of hierarchy within their packs to decide who is the leader and who are the followers. When the leader is gone, the next dog in line becomes the leader in charge for that time. If you have dogs at home, they act the same way with your family members. Dogs find their place within the family and follow the head of the family as if they were the leader of the pack that is their family. ‘There are many ways that determine who is the leader of the pack to a dog. If you do the necessary things your dog will think that you are the leader of his pack. If you don’t then he will think he is your leader and that he is in charge. So be sure to teach your dog that you are in charge and he is to follow your rules. It is not mean or cruel, this is how dogs live naturally so they need this type of structure. If you don’t give it to them they will automatically think that they are in charge and will do anything they want at any time they feel like it.

Make The Rules

Dogs will follow you if you simply give them a few rules to follow. In their eyes, this makes you the leader and they will gladly follow. This involves telling your dog to do simple commands such as sit, lie down, stay, etc. Once you start teaching commands to your dog he will start to learn that you are the one in charge. This will promote you to the leader of the pack in his eyes. The same goes for everyone in the family. Every person, including kids, should start to give the dog simple commands in order to show him that the humans are in charge and the ones that give orders. Most dogs want to please and be a welcome part of the pack so they will follow the directions once they learn what to do. If certain members of the family don’t interact with the dog as much or do not give commands to the dog, the dog may think that he is above these people and may not listen to commands when necessary. If the dog gets loose one day, it is important that anybody in the family can call him back and he will not run away from certain family members. This is why it is important that all family members are involved in training your dog.

Be The Leader

When you go for walks or go outside to play, always be the leader to your dog. Make sure that your dog knows that you are the one who decides when to go out. Do this by always being the first one to go. Whether you are stepping outside of the house or out of your yard, make sure you go first. This teaches your dog that he is to always follow you. If you don’t go outside, neither should your dog. But if you go first it shows your dog that it is ok to follow. Always make sure that you take the first step and your dog will learn to watch your leg and follow you once you start walking. It is important, especially at younger stages of your dog’s life, to keep him on a leash most of the time while walking. This teaches him that you are letting him go for a walk and he is to follow your instructions. If you don’t want to walk a certain way, don’t let your dog choose the path. Pick a direction and stick with it, otherwise your dog will learn that he can guide you sometimes and this takes away from your leadership.

Provide The Food

One of the major things in dog culture is who provides the food and what order they give it in. Whoever eats first is the leader of the pack in the dog’s eyes. The leader then doles out food to whoever is next in line. This means that your dog should always see you put the food in his bowl and it is best to do this right after you eat your meals. This shows the dog that you are the first to eat and he is to follow you when eating. Some people even like to scoop the food into the dog’s dish by hand. This shows the dog that you are putting his food in the bowl with your own hand and it also puts some of your smell onto the food so that he really knows who provides his food.

Do The Grooming

Another main part in animal life is grooming. Whoever does the grooming is the master or leader of their group. This shows your dog that you are in charge and that you can touch and handle his body whenever you want. This shows him that you are helping him by grooming and keeping his body nice and clean and checking for injuries or other bad things. Be sure to consistently check your dog’s body, including his coat, legs, paws, and even mouth. Check his teeth and gums by opening his mouth and even sticking your fingers in there to check for anything wrong. This will show your dog that you are not afraid of touching him or him biting you. In general you just need to show your dog that you and your other family members are in charge of him. Once he learns his place in your family he will be happy to obey orders and serve his pack. Remember dogs are pack animals by nature so this is natural to them. They like to make their leader happy whenever they can so they will obey you once they learn what you want. So whether you have one dog or a few, treat them all this way so that they all know that you are above them in the hierarchy of your family.

Dog Crates: Different Types of Dog Cages and Crates

Some people think that dog crates are evil and only for bad dogs or mean owners. They think that to cage your pet is cruel and unusual punishment. But dog crates have actually proved to be very useful in training your dog. Using a crate gives your dog a feeling of his own little area that he can feel safe in. The crate is your dog’s own area that he can do anything he wants in. He can bring treats and toys in to stow them safely without you taking them and hiding them away. He can go in there when he wants some peace and quiet to rest. Since dogs are naturally pack animals, they like to have a nice cozy place to sleep and rest. To them, their crate is like their own little cave that they can crawl into. Since most crates are too small for humans to crawl into, they feel safe in their own little area that nobody else can bother them in. So don’t just think that crates are to cage your dog up when you leave or when he is bad. It is a fun place for your dog and he will learn to like being in there until you come home. It is not mean if you don’t treat it that way. Treat the crate like it was a small dog house inside your home, like your dog’s own room. Make it nice and comfortable with blankets and pillows or a bed. This also teaches your dog that he is not to go potty in his crate. If you keep the plastic bottom of the crate and make it easy to clean up, he might think it is ok to go potty in there. If you keep it nice and cozy he will not want to mess it up. This is also another reason to keep the crate area small. If it is too big he will potty on one side and just sleep on the other side. Dogs will not relieve themselves in their sleeping area unless they absolutely have to. If they think the crate is big enough they will think they have enough room to have a bed and a potty area.

There are a few different types of crate. The most popular type of dog crate is the old fashioned metal wire cage. These are strong and sturdy, and many are collapsible. Many also include dividers so you can make the crate smaller if you have a growing puppy. As the dog gets bigger you can make his living space larger and larger. Another type of crate is the plastic shell type. These are also pretty strong and sturdy but they usually are not collapsible or portable. They are more comfortable inside for your dog as it is a smooth surface all around. If you travel a lot with your dog you may want to use his crate as a travel container, or you might want to get a separate travel crate to bring him along on family vacations, trips to the vet, etc. This will make your dog more comfortable when travelling. You can keep food and water in your dog’s own little area that will keep him happy and comfortable while traveling.

Wet Or Dry Dog Food: Which Is Best For Your Dog?

Many dog owners do not know what the differences are between wet dog food and dry dog food. What should you feed your dog and why? Well it depends on many different factors, including your dog and your lifestyle.

Wet Dog Food

Wet dog food is usually best for smaller breeds and younger dogs. This is because it is easier to eat for dogs with smaller mouths and pickier appetites. Wet dog food smells and tastes better to dogs so it entices them to eat more and more often. If your dog has trouble eating or does not seem to be eating enough you may want to try to feed her wet dog food. The major drawback of wet food is that it is more expensive and usually takes up more space as each serving is in a separate can or container. This also creates more waste as you have to throw away one or more cans per day.

Dry Dog Food

Dry dog food is usually less expensive and easier to handle. You can buy dry dog food in bulk in bags weighing 40 pounds or more. This is usually more economical especially if you have a larger breed of dog or if you have more than one dog. Some dogs however are picky about their food and do not like most dry foods. If this is the case you can either try another brand of dry food, try wet dog food or you can try making your dog’s food yourself. Most dry foods do have proper nutrition, but beware of discount brands because some of them cook the food at too high of temperatures and cook some of the nutrition out.

Monday, May 13, 2013

How to Find a Leash and Collar for your Bulldog

There are many different types of leashes available these days for you Bulldog or other large breed of dog. From the standard leather or nylon leash to a metal “choke” collar, to the retractable type leashes that let you have the leash as long or as short as you want. The type of leash you want to get depends on your Bulldog and your walking routine. Here is a quick breakdown of the different types of leashes for your Bulldog, along with the pros and cons for each one.

Standard Collars

A standard collar is the typical collar that most dogs have, typically made out of nylon or leather that goes around your Bulldog’s neck. The major drawback of this type of collar is that when your Bulldog starts to pull on the leash it will choke him. Most dogs, including Bulldogs, don’t realize that they can stop being choked if they simply stop pulling and they never learn to stop doing so. See some of the other types of collars and harnesses below.


Although a harness makes walking easier on your Bulldog by not choking him, it also makes it easy to pull for hours on end without getting tired or hurting himself. Think about it, harnesses were designed for dogs to pull sleds and other objects with ease for a long time. They make it easy to pull a sled through snow so of course it will be easy for your Bulldog to pull on his leash when you take him for a walk. So be prepared that your Bulldog will probably be pulling more once you put a harness on him. There are other types of collars that don’t make it so easy to pull but still give your Bulldog a comfortable walk. For example, see gentle leaders below.

Gentle Leaders

A gentle leader is a type of collar that goes around your Bulldog’s face and puts the pressure on his nose when he wants to pull on the leash. Some people say that it looks uncomfortable, especially for Bulldogs with their short nose, however most Bulldogs do not seem to mind at all. The only thing that may be uncomfortable is when the dog begins to pull on the leash, this puts more pressure on his nose and makes him want to back off and walk slower. This is good because it makes your dog walk at a consistent speed close to how fast you want to walk. Eventually your Bulldog will learn not to pull or tug on the leash and you can even discontinue use of the gentle leader once your Bulldog has learned how to walk properly.

Standard Leash

A standard leash is usually made out of a material like nylon or leather. It is a simple leash that is only one length. This is good for most dogs as it doesn’t let them go too far away from their owner. Most standard leashes are anywhere from 4’ to 8’ in length. This is the standard type of leash that most owners get for walking their Bulldog

Retractable Leash

A retractable leash is good for Bulldogs that are a little more obedient than others as it gives them a lot more leniency when it comes to how far they can go. Most retractable leashes can go up to 25 or 30 feet but do have a button that stops it at any length you want if you don’t want your Bulldog to go any farther. This is good if your Bulldog sees something that catches his attention but you don’t want him to go any farther. You simply push the button and he will not be able to go any farther.

Chain Leashes and Collars/Choke Chain

Some people like the look of chain collars and leashes because they make your Bulldog look tough. Others like the choke chain type collar that chokes your Bulldog as soon as he goes too far. However, most dog trainers and owners find these types of collars and leashes to be inhumane and cruel. They also weigh a lot more than most other types of leashes and collars. Some bigger breeds like Bulldogs don’t mind a chain collar or leash compared to smaller breeds of dogs but they are still not recommended.

Whatever type of leash and collar you decide on for your Bulldog, make sure it is comfortable for both you and your canine companion. This will make your walks together much more comfortable for you and your Bulldog. Make sure it fits your Bulldog and his walking style but keeps him safe and close enough to you in case something happens.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

List of Male Names for Bulldogs

Do you have a male Bulldog that you need to find a name or nickname for? Or do you have a dog of another breed that you are looking for a name for? This is a list of some of the most popular names and nicknames for male Bulldogs that should help you to get some ideas of names to call your male Bulldog or other breed of dog as well. This is a short list of 80 of the most popular recent names for male Bulldogs. Although this is a list compiled of the top male names for Bulldogs, these names are also good for other male dogs of other breeds as well, so of all the names here you should be able to get an idea of a name or nickname that you can call your male Bulldog or any other breed of dog.