The first thing that should be considered when looking at the Bulldog breed is what you will expect from your canine companion.
If you're looking for a dog that will take a 10 mile hike with you, swim across the lake, go on field trips in 99 degree weather, jump over high obstacles, or locate and retrieve game, a Bulldog is not the best choice for you. However, they do however make great companions and want to be with their family as much as possible!
Bulldogs, for the most part, are laid back, smooth and easy going. They are active as puppies but most will turn into couch potatoes as adults. The heat is the Bulldog's worst enemy. An air-conditioned home is required if you live anywhere that summer temperatures get above the mid 80's. Bulldogs love going for rides in the car, and sleeping at the foot of your bed, on the couch or in the easy-chair. They must have plenty of love and socialization, and will offer you the same in return.
Bulldogs are very alert, even when they appear to be sleeping. Bulldogs will generally get along well with children, other pets and people. They enjoy being part of the family. They are by no means considered a guard dog. They will however bark to protect the people they love and will offer some security.
The Bulldog is a medium-sized breed and belongs to the Non-Sporting group of dog breeds. They do well in a home or apartment setting. Bulldogs have a short-haired coat and do shed, but the shedding will be less of a nuisance with regular brushing. Some bulldogs can be almost maintence free and others will require daily cleaning of the folds and wrinkles on the face. It is strongly recommended that you locate a veterinarian with plenty of Bulldog experience so that your dog is assured the best care for his unique anatomy. Bulldogs require c-sections for delivery of their puppies.
The average life span for a Bulldog is 10 years. Of course, that depends on diet, exercise, health and other factors. Bulldogs are an expensive breed to acquire, the price ranging from $2000-$3000 for a good pet quality dog in most of the USA as of late 2005. Remember, in most cases you get what you pay for, so beware of those selling Bulldog puppies for a few hundred dollars. You should also stay away from people trying to sell "Mini Bulldogs", Bulldogs registered with a foundation you have never heard of, puppymills, pet stores, brokers, and dogs that just don't look like they are Bulldogs. Show quality dogs could be priced several hundred dollars higher. Also, much depends on how the contract/bill of sale is written. Co-ownership, pet/show quality, or full ownership along with possible puppy (s) back plays a role in the price. An average is around 2,500.00 for a good quality puppy. Remember pedigree, health screening, sire and dam plays a role in cost as well.
There is the cost to maintain the dog, an expense that will continue for the life of the dog. You could spent hundreds or even thousands of dollars in vet bills, many people never spend any money on vet bills except yearly check ups, but it's possible and you should understand that may be the case. Always start with a good quality healthy puppy with a health guarantee. A great option for the person wanting a Bulldog, but who can't afford a large sum for the initial purchase, would be a rescue Bulldog. There are many local clubs, animals shelters, rescue groups and other organizations that have Bulldogs needing a second chance at life. Rescue is considered one of the best things you can do for a dog. When you get your dog, remember to spay/neuter at the appropriate age. The breed is registered with the American Kennel Club simply by the name "Bulldog", though there are many that still refer to the breed as the English Bulldog.
There is no greater joy than being owned by a legendary Bulldog!