Does my bulldog need a friend?
There is a fantastic song on the Pixar movie ‘Toy Story’ that is sung by Randy Newman. The lyrics go, “You’ve got a friend in me… You’ve got a friend in me… When the road looks rough ahead… And your miles and miles from your nice warm bed… You just remember what your old pal said… Boy, you’ve got a friend in me!” That song perfectly describes bulldogs in a nutshell and their natural ability to befriend others. Bulldogs are renowned for their loyalty and being wonderful companion dogs. In fact, bulldogs have been bred with this specific purpose to be a companion dog.
Does my bulldog need a friend?” Yes, bulldogs are nurtured through a loving companionship. They require daily attention and friendship to nurture their mental health. If they are unable to spend quality time with the owner, having another pet can fill that void. Having a strong relation with this companion dog will promote mental health, build confidence, and offer added security. With the right environment, a bulldog can happily thrive.
Bulldogs will be with their family through thick and thin. They may act stubborn from time to time but they really love attention. When praise and loving attention are freely given bulldogs will reciprocate. A bulldog will grow strong bonds with their family quickly, they are patient and kind around children, and can live with other household pets. Bulldogs are known for their social skills and loving nature.
Developing a Great Friendship
For a bulldog to really develop their social skills, it requires daily activity with its owners. A few ideas in strengthening your bond together:
- Stand patiently beside your bulldog while training it the basics (crate training, potty training, etc.) Shower your bulldog with praise throughout this process. You can both grow closer in your friendship during these experiences.
- Go for daily walks, at least 15 minutes. Breathing fresh air will do wonders for both you and the bulldog and enrich each others lives.
- Train your bulldog how to do fun tricks: fetch a ball, play dead, or how to ride a skateboard.
- Pet your bulldog or rub its belly. Your bully will love you forever!
- Go on an adventure: Explore short walking paths, go for a drive, or walk through downtown.
- Just goof off in the backyard or inside the house but have fun, use your imagination!
These simple activities will help you to draw closer to each other and build a great, active friendship. Your bulldog will love the constant activity and by breaking it up with something new it will help to inspire that bond. You will begin to identify hobbies and activities that both you and your bulldog enjoy. Example, I know of a bulldog that loves to paddleboard. Obviously the bulldog can’t paddleboard. But the bulldog sits on the board with its life vest while the owner paddles away with his close friend on board.
Your bulldog needs a friend and its best friend will be its owner(s). Spend quality time together to learn more about your bulldog and for your bulldog to learn more about you. Remember, a lasting friendship is built one block at a time.
Even though bulldogs love to sleep and just lie around more than have the day, they still seek attention. Bulldogs do not want to distance themselves from their companions, isolation is not one of their known traits. Bulldogs need to feel the constant love and assurance from their family. They need direction and structure in their lives. These social butterflies can’t wait to spend quality time with those they love.
But knowing that bulldogs are nurtured through quality time, a bulldog can feel loneliness in specific situations. If you have a normal working schedule or travel a lot a bulldog can exhibit separation anxiety. Bulldogs can be trained to be okay when alone but it is in their nature to be social and have constant interaction. A few tips on how to train your bulldog to be alone can be found in this particular article, “Are Bulldogs OK to be Left Alone.”
Eradicate Loneliness through Friendship
You can eradicate excessive loneliness and depression. It doesn’t need to be accepted into your home. Here are some steps that can be taken to build a foundation of trust and confidence in your beloved bulldog:
- Plan Short Trips – Get out of the house for short 1-2 hour trips so your bulldog can become comfortable staying home by itself. Your bulldog will become more self-reliant and not feel as dependent on you 24/7 but will still value your friendship and love. This step is HUGE and is a basic building block for your bulldog to cope but not strengthen its trust in its owners.
- Give Your Full Attention – For just a few moments each day give your bulldog your complete attention. 15 minutes of walking and some more quality time at home will do wonders to nurturing that friendship. During this time remove distractions, devouting your complete attention. Your bulldog will miss you while you are away at work but will appreciate the time you spend with it.
- Introduce Another Pet – Another pet can become a friend of your bulldog and feed its social personality.
- Plan Social Engagements – Take your bulldog to visit family or go to a dog park. Encourage your bulldog to branch out and socialize with other people and pets.
The idea is to find opportunities for your bulldog to expand its circle of trust and to build strong relations. Participating in great social activities and providing the right training develops your bulldogs mental health. These acts of friendship will help your bulldog feel safe at home. When it is surround by love and social engagements, loneliness will not have a place in its life.
Having a Pet Companion
If you are away from your home constantly you may begin to question, ‘Does my bulldog need a friend?’ If there are no family members or roommates to fall on to watch you bulldog it may be time to look at Plan B. This is considering if another pet is needed in the household to befriend your bully while you are away.. A bulldog that is raised and trained around other pets will warmly accept a new pet joining their household. Just be sure to be around quite a bit to build the bridge between both animals. Your bulldog had a particular lifestyle and this will be disrupted. But we are looking at the long game.
Another pet can fill the social gap when you are not home or your time to spend with a bully is limited. Begin to socialize your bulldog with other pets right away. Especially if you plan to add others in your home. If you already have several pets I would recommend to get a bulldog pup or one raised around pets. Bulldogs still need time to be introduced to this different lifestyle.
A few great ways to socialize your bulldog are by going to the local dog park or plan to have a pet day with neighbors and friends. Frequent encounters like this will quickly open up your bulldogs socializing skills.
What Pets are Best to befriend a Bulldog
If you decide to add another pet along with your bulldog here are a few things to consider. Having another dog can be great, as long as its energy level does blow your bulldog away. I would recommend another bulldog or a dog breed with the equivalent level of energy or massive amounts of patience.
Cat and bulldogs can actually get along, I’m serious! Cats are fairly low key as they roam around, masters of their domain. Cats enjoy spending time relaxing, playing every now and then, being inquisitive at time but generally are calm and peaceful. I have known a bulldog and cat to have been the best of friends. It was amazing to see how they treated each other.
Bulldogs are really great with many pets and are event known to do well with smaller animals like: Birds, Guinea Pigs, etc. Even though a bulldog will demonstrate great restraint I would never recommend you leaving your small animal to roam free while you are away. You don’t want your bulldog playing too hard and turning that beloved animal into a chew toy. All in all bulldogs can be loving, patient, and peaceful with many other household animals, when they have been trained to socialize.
A Bulldog Companion can Promote Good Behavior
Because bulldogs are companion dogs and need a good friend, another pet can keep them out of trouble. Bulldogs can become easily bored when left home alone. They can also have separation anxiety if not properly trained. Boredom and anxiety do not lead to good things. Bulldogs will get into mischief under such circumstances when alone, like chewing…ON EVERYTHING! There are days where you come home, forgetting to put away a shoe for example, and now you find an ablittered mess. Bulldog boredom and anxiety can be terrible partners in crime. If a bulldog becomes lonely it may scratch surfaces, furniture, or whatever they get their paws on. They can bark uncontrollably as you depart and more.
If a well tempered pet is introduced into the household, this will have a positive influence on your bully. Another pet means someone else that they can play with. It means having a friend even when their human family leaves for the day. It means having someone by the bulldogs side, even when they are resting. These positive, emotional touches help your bulldog to not be lonely, feel anxiety, or bored. Instead your bulldog will feel more love with a pet friend. Yes, a bulldog needs a friend and adding another furry pet can fill this need.
Share Your Bulldogs Love
Your bulldog has a great talent to be your best friend. They are wonderful companions that will stick with you through the good times and bad. Maybe that’s why they are built so thick and stout, to bear up those they care about. But be willing to spend that necessary time with your bulldog. They need your love and the love of others to know they have a friend and feel great about their circumstances.