Owning an English Bulldog is exciting for the whole family but comes with a lot of challenges. Have you ever found yourself coping with the separation anxiety in English Bulldogs?
If yes, then you just landed in the right place. To facilitate you, we have come up with a comprehensive article that explains the separation anxiety of English Bulldogs and how they can be trained to be left alone.
Overview of English Bulldogs
English Bulldog, also known as British Bulldog, is a medium-sized compact, and muscular dog with a massive head. They have loose skin with heavy wrinkles on the face and a dewlap hanging from the throat.
Bulldogs were originally used in the sport of bullbaiting. Today, they are gentle companions who enjoy the company of their owners and make a fine family pet. It comes with no surprise to hear them bark and misbehave as soon as you head out the door.
What are the Characteristics of an English Bulldog?
The English Bulldogs are fun-loving and enjoy social interactions. They are extremely people-oriented and are affectionate with their owners. All English Bulldogs are different just as all humans are different.
We have listed below English Bulldog breed characteristics. This list is meant to be a general guideline for English Bulldog’scharacteristics. Let’s have a look at them:
English Bulldogs are moderately adaptable and are well suited for novice owners. When it comes to apartment living, they turn out to be a great pet.
English Bulldogs are people-oriented couch potatoes that are not very active when indoors. They are sensitive dogs and find it difficult to tolerate a noisy and chaotic household.
English Bulldogs are playful dogs and don’t like to be left alone. This sensitive breed is prone to worry or even panic when left alone by the owner. They need enough hours of daily companionship from their owners. They have a low tolerance for extreme hot and cold temperatures.
- All-Around Friendliness
English Bulldogs are playful and can form solid-bonds with their humans. They are loving and affectionate dogs and shower the whole family with love and loyalty. English Bulldogs are gentle and friendly with children.
They can be scrappy with other dogs of the same sex but early socialization will help deter this behavioral issue. They are best suited to a one-dog household. English Bulldogs tend to befriend strangers and greet guests happily.
- Health and Grooming Needs
English Bulldogs are known to be generally healthy dogs. They do not shed much as most dog breeds do.
If you are planning to own an English Bulldog, you must prepare yourself for big wet spots on your clothes and ropes of slobber on your arms. They have a high drooling potential and hence not suitable for neatniks.
English Bulldogs are brush-and-go dogs and are easy to groom. They tend to put on weight easily and have a tendency for obesity. You need to be careful about their diet, limit treats, and make sure they get some exercise.
English Bulldogs are not very intelligent and quick learners. You need to be consistent with them as this breed is difficult to train. They have a low tendency to nip, chew, or play-bite people.
This breed has a low prey drive along with a low impulse to chase and catch something. You will get a hard time getting their attention during training sessions. This breed does not tend to wander and have no desire for exploring the world.
- Physical Needs
English Bulldogs are low energy dogs and are happy to doze the day away. They are not very vigorous dogs and generally do fine with a daily walk.
Despite being a low-energy dog, English Bulldog has a high potential for playfulness. You can encourage his playful nature through activities like fetch and agility exercises.
Important Stats You Should Know About English Bulldog
Let’s have a look at the important stats that you need to know about English Bulldog breeds:
|Dog Breed Group/Purpose||AKC Classification: Non-SportingUKC Classification: Companion Dog|
|Average Height||Males: 17 inchesFemales: 16 inches|
|Average Weight||Males: 54 lbs.Females: 50 lbs.|
|Life Expectancy||Around 8- 10 years|
|Litter Size||Average of 4 – 5 puppies|
Temperament and Separation Anxiety in English Bulldogs
English Bulldogs are sweet, friendly, and easy-going. They are fun-loving but their appearance is enough to frighten any intruders. This also makes them excellent watchdogs. Being moderately intelligent, they are slow learners so you need to be patient during training sessions.
They are affectionate companions and need the attention of their owners. English Bulldogs like being around their owners and that’s why they don’t make good dogs when left alone by the owners. They can become anxious and messy because of their separation anxiety.
If your English Bulldog follows you from room to room, become anxious when you are leaving, and indulge in destructive behavior when you are away, the chances are that your dog may be dealing with separation anxiety. Isolation can often create fear, anxiety, and uncertainty in them.
Behavioral issues may stem if they are not socialized and trained at an early age. They need training to gradually learn to be left alone. Be consistent and show patience as your English Bulldog take quite a long time to get over their separation anxiety.
Signs of Separation Anxiety in English Bulldogs
English Bulldogs become scared and find it difficult to stay alone and cope with the isolation. When they are left alone, they may develop separation anxiety. The English Bulldogs that show one or more of the following symptoms may have developed separation anxiety.
- Excessive or non-stop howling or barking
- Destructive chewing of household objects and furniture
- Uncontrolled peeing and defecation in an otherwise house-trained dog
- Unusual drooling
- Digging and scratching at doors
- Uncontrollable shaking and shivering
- Biting or chewing their paws, limbs, and other body parts
- Escape attempts
- Coprophagia (eating their feces)
- Show aggressive behavior at the owner’s departure
How to Manage Separation Anxiety and Leave Your English Bulldogs Alone?
English Bulldogs enjoy companionship and are usually hyper-attached to their owners. They become anxious and stressed when left alone by their owners. Here are some ways that may address the separation anxiety in English Bulldogs:
- Establish a predictable routine for your English Bulldog
This is a sensitive breed and is not okay to changed routines. You must establish a daily routine for your English Bulldog. This includes mealtime, potty time, exercise time, training time, and playtime.
Your dog will understand when they will get attention from their owners and when not. This will help them to spend the remaining time for a nap and playing with favorite toys.
- Meeting your dog’s needs: Environmental enrichment
Before you leave the house, you must ensure that your dog’s needs are well taken care of. You must make sure to take care of the following things before you leave:o Feed your English Bulldog before you leave. They are greedy eaters and become satisfied when they are full.
Provide sufficient exercise and social interaction. This will reduce their destructive behavior.o Give your dog chew toys and other activities. This will distract them and keep them busy while they are alone.o Keep the dangerous things out of the reach of your English Bulldog.
- Establish a positive reinforcement protocol
Rewards like treats, playtime, and chew toys are the motivators for your English Bulldog. You can reward your dog for showing some independence and settling down. Do not forget to leave toys for your English Bulldog before leaving him alone. Never punish your dog for undesirable behavior.
- Retrain your English Bulldog to reduce the dependence
The English Bulldogs are usually glued to their owner and share a very strong bond. This makes the dog highly dependant and they try to follow their owners everywhere. When the owner goes out and leaves their English Bulldogs alone, these dogs develop anxiety.
Discourage your dog to follow you all the time and teach him to stay in a room while you are in another room.
- Provide training to deal with separation anxiety
Your English Bulldogs can be trained to be left alone in the house. Teach your dog to settle down and sit comfortably. Your English Bulldog must be potty trained. They will not create a mess inside the house.
Also, crate-train your English Bulldog and make the crate comfortable. Many dogs feel safer and secured inside their crate.
- Provide an area for relaxation
You must provide a secure area to relax for your English Bulldog before leaving him alone. This will help them to avoid any destructive and undesirable behavior. The area or surface for your English Bulldog’s relaxation can be a mat, dog crate, or bed.
- Work on responses to simple commands
Make your dog learn some basic commands like sit and stay. Whenever your English Bulldog desire or need something, make him respond to these simple commands. Once the dog complies, you should immediately fulfill his needs.
Can English Bulldog be Left Alone with a Dog Sitter or at a Dog Boarding Kennel?
The English Bulldogs cannot be left alone for more than 8 – 10 hours. If they are left alone for a longer duration, they become bored and start feeling lonely. If you are planning to leave your English Bulldog for many days, consider hiring a dog sitter or sending your dog to a boarding kennel.
If your dog is well-trained for potty, leash, crate, and have fixed schedules for the meal, he would be easily managed by a dog sitter or a boarding kennel. Finding the right dog sitter and boarding can make a huge difference in your English Bulldog’s life.
Do some research before selecting a dog sitter or boarding kennel for your dog. If you don’t notice stress and aggression in your English Bulldog when they are with a dog sitter or a boarding kennel, you may have done the right selection.
What Should be Done Before Departure to Make Your English Bulldog Less Anxious?
Your departure and arrival should be a smooth experience for your English Bulldog. Try to reduce all sorts of actions that make your English Bulldog anxious at your departure. Teach your dog some stay-settle-relax training and provide some distractions before your departure.
Here are some tips that you can try before your departure to make your English Bulldog less anxious when left alone.
- Teach your English Bulldog to accept your departure
Your English Bulldog requires retraining to stay calm and relaxed and remain in their resting area for a longer duration of time. Teach them to be relaxed in your presence and reward them if they show good behavior.
You need to identify your dog’s threshold for separation and slowly and steadily desensitize them to longer absences.
- Exercise a ‘mock’ departure
Instead of a long and planned absence, begin with a mock or graduated departure. The English Bulldogneeds to experience the mock departure cues for many weeks until he behaves calmly when left alone by the owner.
Mock departures should be as much close to real departures as possible and must include all activities like changing clothes, picking keys, locking doors, etc.
- Have a low-key departure and arrival
Don’t make your departure and arrival a big deal in front of your English Bulldog. Try to have a low-key departure and arrival so that your dog may not become very anxious. Avoid saying emotional goodbyes as this will only make your departure tougher for your dog.
- Give your dog some treats before your departure
Save some treats for your English Bulldog and give these to your dog before your departure. This may include food treats and favorite toys to keep them distracted before your departure.
If you need a lengthy departure, have a play and exercise session with your dog but ignore your dog and leave him alone with some toys for the last few minutes.
Training Your English Bulldogs to Deal With Separation Anxiety
English Bulldogs are slow learners and not very easy to train. Early training and socialization with people and other dogs are very important for your English Bulldog and will keep their separation anxiety from getting out-of-control.
A well-trained English Bulldog can be left alone by himself and stay safe and happy.
If the training experience is pleasant, your dog will love it. If it is uncomfortable, your English Bulldog will show resistance. Structure and consistency are the most important factors that will impact how successful you are with English Bulldog training tasks.
If you have got an English Bulldog puppy, here is what you should do:
- It’s easier to train an English Bulldog puppy when you don’t let him loose in your house. Confine your puppy in a small area and then introduce him to the rest of the house.
- Before your pup explores the house, make sure that the house is completely puppy-proof.
- The ideal time to start training is when the pup is 8-12 weeks old. By this time, they have weaned from their parents and ready for training.
- Follow a training schedule rather than cherry-picking different training on different timings.
- Use a balanced training method for your pup, based on respect and leadership. Keep training sessions short, frequent, and don’t exhaust your dog.
- If you are unable to devote much time, it’s better to enroll your English Bulldog puppy in puppy kindergarten. Your puppy will learn basic manners and how to cope up with separation anxiety.
- Socialize your English Bulldog as much as you can. Make sure your puppy gets to encounter all kinds of people, animals, and objects in different places.
- Train your English Bulldog puppies to understand the basic commands like sit, stay, and lie down.
Pro Tip: You should avoid using choke chains and shock collars during your English Bulldog training sessions.
All you need to do is be to be consistently firm and patient with him but not harsh. He will learn to deal with separation anxiety. This sweet and affectionate dog breed responds very well to positive reinforcement training.
Keep training fun, dynamic, and challenging to captivate your English Bulldog’s interest. Praising your English Bulldog and showering with treats during training is rewarding for you and your dog.
Your English Bulldog puppy will need to undergo the following training:
- Leash Training
Leash training can be difficult for English Bulldogs, but it’s essential especially if the two of you are to enjoy walks and adventures together. When your dog is on a leash, be patient until he’s calm before you walk him out.
The first thing to make sure is that you must have the right equipment. Choose the right type of leash and collar for your English Bulldog.
- Crate training
Crate training is a very important step in English Bulldog ownership. Many dogs view crates like a nightmare prison. Establish the proper mindset that crate training isn’t “imprisoning” your dog. Take crate training slowly and make the whole experience pleasant for your pup.
Make the crate comfortable for your pup as much as possible. Have several toys for the crate and rotate them so that the English Bulldogmay not get bored. Dogs should never, ever have collars on when they’re in the crate. This is hazardous and the dog may choke themselves.
- Doghouse Training
Housebreaking is one of the main challenges of many dog owners and may require quite a bit of effort. Patience is required as this may take much time. If you already crate-trained him, housetraining him will be very easy. Having a set method will help smooth the way through this initial stage.
- Potty training
You will need a lot of patience and preparation for accidents. To start the potty training, you need to establish a routine around their feeding and toileting needs. Take your English Bulldog puppy for a potty break after every 2 – 3 hours.
Make the experience comfortable for your dog by choosing a quiet place for potty breaks. You must learn the signs when your dog needs a potty break. Never punish them for accidents as your shouting and scolding will harm, their behavior and make them feel stressed.
How to Take Care of Your English Bulldog
Taking care of your English Bulldog involves a lot of things including feeding, grooming, and exercises. The English Bulldog is happiest and does best when they are around their human companions.
If they are not properly socialized, trained, and taken care of, they develop separation anxiety and indulge in destructive behavior.
Let’s get down to the feeding, grooming, and exercise requirements of English Bulldogs.
Feeding Your English Bulldog
Diet is a significant point that contributes to the overall health and satisfaction of your English Bulldog. If you want your dog to be stress-free and in good physical condition, it is essential to feed him properly.
An English Bulldog diet should be formulated for a medium-sized breed and must include all nutrients. If your dog is on commercial dog food, it must be safe, affordable, and made with high-quality ingredients.
Pro Tip: English Bulldogs drink a lot of water so, fresh and clean water should be available at all times for this breed.
The feeding guide for English Bulldogs is given below:
|English Bulldog Age||Cups per day|
|At 2 – 4 months||⅓ cup thrice daily|
|At 5 – 6 months||½ cup twice daily|
|At 7 – 12 months||½ cup twice daily|
A feeding routine is recommended for your adult English Bulldog. Most owners prefer twice a day feeding schedule for their adult dog while some owners feed one meal per day. Don’t overfeed your English Bulldog as they tend to easily gain weight.
Grooming Your English Bulldog
For English Bulldogs, grooming is a relatively easy task and shouldn’t be a big problem for any owner. Let’s have a look at English Bulldog’s grooming needs:
- Regular brushing, once a week, keeps the coat in good condition. Their coats will look shinier and cleaner just from brushing.
- For English Bulldogs, bathing is only necessary as needed, which shouldn’t be more than a few times a year unless dogs get dirty.
- Facial wrinkles and folds around the tail should be cleaned daily to avoid skin infections.
- Brush your English Bulldog’s teeth at least one to two times a week to maintain good oral health.
- Keep their nails short and trimmed.
Pro Tip: When you groom your English Bulldog, look inside his mouth and ears. Check for allergies, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin.
Your regular grooming and careful weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early. Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards.
Exercising Your English Bulldogs
English Bulldogs are indoor dogs with an easy-going lifestyle but they need regular exercise. This helps them to reduce separation anxiety and health problems, stimulate their appetite, and prevent excessive weight gain.
Exercising your English Bulldog should not be a burden for you or your dog. You can meet their exercise requirements by:
This is the best and easiest way to exercise your English Bulldog. The length of the daily walk for an adult English Bulldog should not be more than 15 – 20 minutes.
The daily walk helps them socialize and stimulate their mind with the sights, sounds, and smells they come across. This also assists your dog to manage stress and separation anxiety.
- Find The Treat
This is a fun game for English Bulldogs but a more relaxed game for you. It is played by hiding your treats around the house and is a great way to keep them occupied and steal away some time for yourself to go.
Remember, the more treats you give them, the more weight they will put on. So, instead of treats, you can hide their favorite toys.
- Mental stimulation
You need some creative ways to stimulate your English Bulldog’s mind so they don’t feel stressed and anxious. Scenting and nose games, puzzle toys, and chew toys are great mental stimulation activities for your English Bulldog.
The English Bulldog is truly a wonderful family dog. They are easy-going dogs and love to play and spend time with owners. If you have enough time for a sweet English Bulldog, he will be your best pal! Give a loving home to your English Bulldog; he just needs your love and attention!
Hope you enjoyed reading this article about English Bulldogs! Did you find this article helpful? Feel free to share your thoughts with us.
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