Everything You Need to Know About Raising a White American Bulldog
The white American bulldog is a guardian dog that can weigh as much as 120 pounds when fully grown. However, some dogs in this breed only weigh around 60 pounds.
Regardless of the size of the particular dog, most people who own these dogs think of them as excellent pets, and they certainly can be.
However, the white American bulldog, just like any dog, is not necessarily the right choice for every person, family, or lifestyle type.
So before you run out and buy one of these dogs, make sure you do your research and that it is the right type of dog for you.
The Basics of the Breed
When most people think of bulldogs, they think of short, stout dogs. However, the American bulldog is different from the more common English bulldog.
American bulldogs are muscular instead of fat. They are also thick with large bones. Surprisingly, though, this doesn’t stop them from being able to run and move very quickly.
These dogs come in a variety of colors and can have ears that droop or that stand up straight. Their fur is coarse and short, making them easy to brush and not very prone to shedding
All in all, these dogs are great pets, and it should come as no surprise that they’re so popular in households across America.
Bulldog Personality Traits
One of the most important things to know about any dog before bringing it home is what its personality is like. This is especially important if you have small children or other pets since you’ll need to know if the dog you’re considering buying is a good fit for this type of household.
Fortunately, American bull dogs can get along with just about any animal or person. They are gentle, despite their large size, and are very affectionate. These dogs are also loyal and intelligent.
However, they do need the proper training in order to avoid becoming rebellious or destructive.
American Bulldog Health Concerns
If you’re thinking that an American bulldog could be the right fit for you, you’re in luck because these dogs are generally very healthy.
They can live up to 16 years, though some do live for as few as 10 years. With that said, though, there are some health issues that do pop up in members of the breed from time to time.
Fortunately, regular veterinary care, ensuring that your dog gets adequate exercise, and also taking care to avoid allowing your dog to get overweight can all help to prevent or at least reduce the risk of these health concerns.
In fact, before you even think about bringing a dog home, you should go out and find a vet that you can trust. That way, you can get your new furry friend looked over and cared for right from the very start.
Getting Your Dog Housetrained
If you do ultimately decide that a white American bulldog is right for you and you bring one home, your first step will probably be to housetrain it. After all, you aren’t going to want it going to the bathroom inside your home.
However, if you bring home a very young puppy, you might have to wait a little while to start teaching it about going outside. It’s not recommended to begin house training until puppies are at least twelve weeks old.
Before that time, you can keep the dog in a crate or a separate room when you’re not able to watch it. Taking it out regularly can help to reduce some of the mess during this very young stage.
Once you are ready to start house training, you’ll want to keep the dog in a confined space. This could be a crate or a room that is sectioned off from the rest of the home, and preferably not carpeted. This will help to minimize the mess from any accidents.
To start house training, make sure you have the puppy on a regular eating schedule. Try and have him eat only twice a day and always take him out about a half hour after eating. Also, take the dog out each morning, whenever it wakes up from a nap, and before bed at night.
When you take the dog out, take it to the same spot each time. When the dog goes in that spot, give it a treat and plenty of praise. Soon enough, your bulldog will get the hint.
When accidents do happen, make sure you thoroughly clean up the spot where the accident occurred. The left-behind scent of past accidents can cause dogs to continue going potty in the same spot.
Also, don’t punish the dog. Instead, redirect it. This is especially important if you catch the dog in the act of an accident. When that happens, pick it up and take it outside. This will help the dog to make the connection that outside is the place to potty- the only place.
If you can housetrain your pet by following these tips, you and your dog should be a whole lot happier. Dogs that are well trained are a lot less likely to end up in shelters because of frustrated owners.
Just understand that, by taking a puppy into your home, you are basically agreeing to the fact that, every now and then, accidents are going to happen. This is part of owning a dog, and if it’s not something you can deal with, you might not be a dog person after all.
If you’re okay with this fact of dog life, however, invest in some good cleaners and paper towels. There are actually cleaners designed specifically for dog messes.
Hopefully, though, your dog will have the hang of housetraining before long, and you won’t have to use that cleaner very often at all.
Bad Behaviors to Nip in the Bud
While white American bulldogs tend to be well-behaved, for the most part, remember that it’s your job as a “puppy parent” to reinforce good behaviors and get rid of bad ones.
One common bad behavior you may see in your pup is jumping up on people when they enter a room. This can be frightening when the dog is older, as well as potentially dangerous. However, your dog doesn’t know any of this. To a dog, jumping up is a perfectly reasonable way to say “hi.”
However, telling your dog a firm “No” when this happens and making it get off the person is a good first step. In the future, when your dog doesn’t jump on people, reward it for acting appropriately. If you are consistent, your dog should get the message and start greeting people more appropriately.
When you first bring home your new dog, don’t be surprised if you have a problem with chewing. It’s really common among puppies and a normal sign of teething.
However, to keep all your favorite things from being turned into chew toys, first get in the habit of getting items up and off the floor where your dog can’t get to them. From there, make sure you buy plenty of chew toys for your pup and keep them within easy reach.
If you ever do catch your dog starting to chew on something it shouldn’t, correct it with a firm “no,” remove the item, and instantly provide a chew toy in its place. Your dog will soon learn what it’s allowed to chew on and what it shouldn’t touch. Plus, before long, your dog will probably outgrow the chewing urge altogether.
Some people also experience issues when it comes to leash training their dogs. Some dogs are just prone to pulling on leashes, which can sometimes cause the person walking them to lose control. You can teach your dog to walk properly on a leash by stopping the walk immediately anytime the dog pulls on the leash. When the leash is slack, the dog will learn that then, and only then, can it walk freely. You have to be consistent to get your dog to figure it out, but, with time and persistence, your dog should develop good “leash etiquette.”
Enjoy Your Dog
As you can see, there is some work involved in owning a white American bulldog.
If you can follow these training tips, however, you should get great enjoyment and reward out of your relationship with your furry friend.
Remember to love and cherish your dog to the fullest, no matter what. Their lives go by much too quickly.