Most adults fortunate enough to have had a puppy English bulldog in their youth look back on those years with fondness and pride. My Winston (yes, quite English!) was the best present a six-year old could ever get. Even now, a big grin comes across my face as I recall those precious moments: the first time we met at the kennel, all the fun we had playing ball, even the times I had to clean up after him.
Winston is long gone now, up in Bulldog heaven, but my memories of him live forever…
No doubt about it – adding a puppy to your family adds a whole new dimension to a child’s life. English bulldog puppies in particular are renowned for being friendly and playful with youngsters. Before long, your kids will start building their own set of unforgettable memories.
Managing expectations may end up being your greatest contribution to puppy ownership. Your children will be extremely excited prior to your pet’s arrival, and eager to start playing with him or her right away. More importantly, they will want to build a strong relationship with the puppy, akin to those they share with close school friends and other human playmates.
As the parent, it’s your job to keep the English bulldog puppy’s best interests foremost in mind. Initially, he will be traumatized by his new surroundings and the “strangers” that constantly surround him. Give your bulldog friend adequate time to de-stress and overcome initial fears. Allowing your dog enough time to settle down and being gentle with him will make for a successful “homecoming”.
Family meetings clear up puppy misconceptions.
Communication is critical within your family prior to your bulldog puppy’s arrival. Go over these critical rules frequently in the build-up to the big day:
• Tell your children not to frighten or hurt their new family member, since he will initially be very scared and stressed.
• Speak to the puppy in dulcet tones and sounds. Screaming, shouting, and raised voices will scare the puppy and are thus forbidden.
• For the elder siblings: The new puppy bulldog is not unlike a newborn baby: delicate, soft, small, and easily hurt. Therefore, rough playing and aggressiveness are not allowed at all.
• Creating a harmonious home atmosphere will help integrate the puppy into your daily lives. Avoid physical and vocal fights in full view of him. Bulldogs are empathic and can detect negative human feelings easily.
Ask your child to commit these “puppy” rules to memory, and make sure they understand why they must be obeyed. The puppy’s needs come first. Once your kids understand this, it will be easier for them to bond with their English bulldog and keep him happy.