When you have decided to bring a puppy into your home, it is very important to be a well prepared dog owner. This includes choosing the breeder of your puppy with great care. When looking for an English Bulldog puppy, you need to be sure that you find a reputable English Bulldog breeder.
English Bulldogs are a very expensive breed. Unfortunately, this also attracts the wrong kind of breeders and often they are just there to make a profit on these dogs with minimal care and costs.
Most people know about puppy mills, but don’t be fooled! A lot of prize winning, high rated breeders with champion dogs are no different. A lot of these breeders keep the dogs in kennels outside. They get five to ten female dogs, let them have puppies three times and than dump the female dogs online, or in pounds/shelters.
I know this from experience since I adopted several female bulldogs that were used for breeding in this way. Most of these dogs never get to go outside their kennels, or interact with other dogs or animals, and don’t get the love and guidance from a human they need. Most of these breeders will tell you that their dogs go for daily walks, stay all day in the house and only sleep in the kennels, which in most cases, is not true.
Here are some tips to find a good breeder
There are several things you need to look for when you are researching an English Bulldog breeder. First off, the best way decide who to choose is by looking locally. Before you make an appointment to go visit, do some web research about this breeder. You’ll be amazed how much you can find about breeders by Googling the kennel name, address and the owners name(s). Make sure to also Google the address. Bad breeders quite often change names. Also, ask around on forums about the breeder.
A good breeder won’t mind and will only applaud you for being careful and well informed before choosing your puppy. If they have a website, what is the purpose of the site? In my personal opinion, a website says a lot about the kennel. It should not only have pictures, but also important topics regarding the breed. There are a lot of kennels that are just advertising puppies and stud dogs with no personal information about themselves or the dogs. Also, they have several dog breeds for sale and usually will not have many photos and the photos they do have show the puppies either in a show or kenneled environment. These are all serious warning signs.
When you are pleased with the web search results, make an appointment to visit the breeder. A good breeder will show you the paperwork and documentation proving that both the male and female are pure bred dogs. They can also show you the documentation of the veterinarian to show that both dogs had all their shots. etc.
Your visit to the breeder is an opportunity to get to know the dogs and the breeder before you commit to purchasing one of the puppies. It is also an opportunity to get all the information you need before making that big decision. This should include asking for references from prior litters.
Look at the picture above and let’s say for example the three dogs on the left are female and the two are male. Which one would you choose? Of course you cannot choose a dog from a photo! But when you ask yourself that question, several other questions come to mind. What gender, what color, what size, etc. Make sure that before you make a visit to a breeder you make a list of your criteria and include the whole family.
This way, when you go to visit you are a 100% sure what to look for. All those puppies are so darn cute and adorabull, so beware when you are going because you will want to take them all Home! Before emotions take over make sure to make a list, so you make a well thought out choice. Keep in mind a breeder might recommend a certain puppy for you. However, even when you have a good connection with the breeder, make sure to make your own decision! A breeder often has other interests in mind: how many dogs have reservations, which dogs will go to other breeders (and go to show and maybe win prizes which will be free advertising for their kennel), female dogs are often more desirable so they will try to find homes for the males first, etc. etc.
Questions you need to ask the breeder
- How long have they been breeding dogs? What are their motives?
- What is their daily routine? How many times do the dogs get to go outside?
- What kind of food are they giving the dogs? Is it a hobby or do they have jobs aside?
- Did they breed other dog breeds as well? If yes, beware it might be a fashion breeder (a dog breeder who does not specialize in one breed and breeds whatever wanted and most profitable)
- When there are no older dogs around, ask the breeder what they do with their female dogs who can’t give any more litters?
- Did they study the breed and if yes, how?
- Ask what diseases and viruses they vaccinate for
- Ask when the puppies are ready to leave the nest? Usually its a minimum of eight or preferably nine weeks, but you should check with your local laws first. If a breeder weans too early, I suggest that you look elsewhere.
- Always ask if any of the dogs have hereditary medical problems and what they define as hereditary medical problems.
- Make sure to ask about Bulldog breed related health problems like cherry eye, or problems with their breathing, skin problems and allergies.
- Ask about the possibility of your puppy getting sick. At what age and under what conditions will they cover the medical costs?
- You will want to know how often the same female is bred. In some countries there are laws to prevent using the same female dog over and over again. Here in the Netherlands the maximum amount of litters per female dog is three.
- How and when will you pick your puppy? Is there a waiting list or picking order? What if they have reservations for 3 females and they only have one, etc.
- Ask the simple question why you should buy a puppy with them and not another breeder
You want to make sure that the English Bulldog breeder is willing to offer you some sort of guarantee or paperwork on the health not only of the parents but of the babies as well. You want to make sure that they can verify the health of their puppies. You don’t want to pay all that money only to find that the little puppy is sick and will have medical problems later in life.
To Do’s on your visit
- Check out the health of the dogs in general (not only mom and dad). Is their overall look clean and healthy?
You don’t have to be a veterinarian to get an overall look. Check for clean eyes and ears, clean skin, no dirty wrinkles etc.
- Check out the home of the breeder. Is this a place where the dogs seem to be most of the time or are they more likely to be in the kennels all day?
A good way to check if the dogs are being walked is checking their paws. If the paws are soft, more than likely they are not being walked.
The paws of a dog that walks every day feel like sandpaper.
- If the dogs are kept in kennels, how do they look? Do they have good shelter, clean water, toys, etc?
Ask the breeder if you can walk one of the dogs (preferably the parent dogs but if the female is pregnant for awhile that’s not an option).
Walking the dogs is the best way to find out if the dogs have good endurance and don’t have any breathing problems.
A good breeder won’t mind a 15 minute walk with you and their dogs and will give you a good representation of the dogs overall health.
A Good Breeder
In my opinion a good breeder:
- Breeds 1st on Health, 2nd on Character, and 3rd on Looks. Unfortunately, with most breeders, it’s exactly the other way around
- Studied the breed extensively, owning the breed for several years does not automatically make you a Bulldog expert
- Keeps their dogs like family which means (mostly) in the house
- Even when kept in kennels the dogs get to go outside for a walk every day (not on some playfield besides their kennels but really explore)
- Knows the pro’s and con’s of the breed and will inform the future owners about both
- Will want to know a lot about you, your living situation, etc. Don’t think of this as intruding, in fact, this is exactly what you want. This shows the breeder wants to find good homes and is not looking for the highest bidder but the best home.
- Will provide all the papers when you get to take your puppy home (when they say they will send it later, beware!)
- Will vaccinate and deworm your puppy
- Will prepare future owners with all the information needed, about health, food, house breaking, training etc.
- Most important, a good breeder is an honest and loving person. This sometimes means saying no to people who want to buy a puppy but are not fit to be puppy parents. This means compensate medical care when the problems are hereditary and most of all this means caring for their dogs like they are family not possessions.
When you are thinking about getting a Dog, have you considered adopting a Dog?
There is nothing wrong with buying a puppy from a good breeder but there are also a lot of Bulldogs in shelters or even death centers waiting for someone to take them Home. So when looking for breeders online you might want to check out some local rescues and shelters as well. Why buy when you can Adopt?