When you wish to get a new pet, but you also have children in your household, it is important to sit down and truly consider which dog breeds would work well for your environment. You do not wish to miscalculate your steps and buy a dog which will not integrate well into your surroundings, as that will just put stress on you and the animal.
However, if your pick landed on bulldogs, and you wish to know how they behave with children, you have come to the right place.
English bulldogs are one of the most well-behaved dog breeds currently found on the planet. While they have their stubborn moments, they are exceptionally lovable pets. Not only are they cuddly with adults, they tend to be playful with the young ones quite often.
Are Bulldogs Good with Kids?
Yes, bulldogs are very good with kids. Their gentle nature ensures their lack of hostility towards children or newborns. Generally speaking, they are playful and well-behaving around children. Bulldogs make excellent family pets.
How do Bulldogs Behave Around Children?
How a bulldog treats a child greatly depends on the age of the dog.
Younger bulldogs are usually full of energy and they love to play. They will run around and enjoy any and every game your child can think of. On the other hand, older, more mature bulldogs know when to stop the fun. They will still enjoy playtime, but they will quietly retreat when the fun becomes too much for their liking.
An interesting observation of pet owners is that bulldogs generally take more curious abuse from children than from other pets. They have a sort of 6th sense towards the moods of children (and adults as well) and will try to give affection (especially female bulldogs) when they sense that something is a miss.
Additionally, bulldogs have a strong sense of loyalty. While they will be on friendly terms with your friends and other family members, they are still wary of strangers. They will bark and alert you when something or someone is not to their liking.
All in all, as long as your bulldog is well-trained and socialized with both children and other animals. However, you also need to make sure the children are keeping the bulldog’s boundaries. While that might be a bit hard with smaller children, who do not understand why pulling the doggy’s ears as hard as they can is a bad, really bad idea, it is recommended to set rules that should not be broken – for both the safety of the child and the pet. Neither the dog nor the child should be harmed as a result of their interaction.
Bulldogs and Kids: What to Watch out for
Bulldogs have a mellow temperament, but even their buttons can be pushed. There are certain scenarios when their instincts are stronger than their training. While they might not lash out at their owners or the children, what they consider as a warming might easily harm the child.
So what to watch out for during the interaction of your bulldog and child?
Here are some issues that even the owners of the most good-natured bulldogs may face:
- Food possessiveness
- Other animals
Bulldogs are extremely possessive when it comes to their food. They hate to be disturbed during meals. Unfortunately, children often do not understand that the bulldog’s mealtime is their happy place. They love food and love to eat. If they are bothered while they are eating, their instinct gets triggered and they will try to “protect” the food. They will snap, nip at, bark at the person disturbing them. You will need to ensure that the children are not alarming the dog at mealtimes.
If your bulldog is not socialized with other animals from their puppyhood, they will be nervous around them. They are willing to put all of their trust into humans, especially the people that take care of them, but other animals, especially unfamiliar dogs, will give them shivers. In such situations, when the bulldog becomes nervous, its fight or flight instincts show themselves. Additionally, this also puts unwanted stress on your bulldog. They already have enough health problems – you don’t want anxiety to be on the list.
Bulldogs are stubborn creatures. If they do not want to do something, no amount of begging will change their minds. Okay… maybe food can do that, but rewarding such behaviour can be tricky. On one hand you don’t want to reward their stubborn outbursts, but on the other hand you wish to have them interact with the children more. The golden middle ground is to let the child know not to bother the dog when it gets into one of its moods.
Bulldogs and Kids: a Perfect Match
Your bulldog will not go on mile long walks with your children. It will probably not play sports with them. But, they will be the children’s life-long companion, through thick and thin.
Bulldogs are loyal, they will be loyal to all members of your household, which includes the children as well. Especially, if the bulldog and the child grow up together, they will become an inseparable pair.
Just keep in mind to have the bulldog trained and to set some boundaries for the children, and your bulldog will be the best pet your family has ever given home to.