Acquired: Breeder (hobby breeder)
Posted March 4, 2017
We adopted Aria, an American bulldog, as a puppy when she was about 8 weeks old from a breeder a couple of towns over. My husband had been asking me to adopt a dog for years and I finally felt ready to take on the responsibility of caring for a dog once more. Our two young sons were thrilled and the moment we saw Aria’s big brown eyes, we knew we’d be taking her home with us.
I’d cared for a dog before (Benji, my little schnauzer) and I thought I knew what I was getting myself into. Boy was I wrong! Within weeks Aria grew considerably, in both height and bulk. I’d read that bulldogs made great family dogs, which was why we’d settled on the bread. However, being a puppy, Aria had no idea just how strong she was. Consequently, she often knocked my 2 and 4 year old around, occasionally injuring them. She would nip at them as well, whether they were paying her attention or not. She would also run away quite a bit. As soon as the front door would open she would bolt. It was quite nerve racking.
Four months after her adoption, it became clear to us we could no longer keep her. The children were scared of her and despite obedience training, the situation hadn't improved. Luckily, we found a childless couple who were thrilled to adopt her and give her a home more suited to her needs.
Based on my experience, if you're considering adopting an American bulldog, know that they are large, strong and very high energy dogs who need several hours of exercise per day. I do not recommend this breed to families with young children (10 years and under). However, if you have the time and the means to invest in dog training, bulldogs can be a great addition to your family. They are affectionate and intelligent animals and can be very rewarding companions, when living under the right conditions.