Bulldogs are #1 Breed Again

With his precious wrinkled face and easygoing personality, its no surprise that the Bulldog tops Googles list of most searched dog breeds!

via 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds of 2013 According to Google Searches | Pets – Yahoo Shine.


Want to Keep Your Bulldog Around Forever?

Warm Hearts and Freeze-Dried Pets

It looks like now we can keep our beloved pets forever.  There appears to be a growing industry specializing in the preservation of our “best friends” by freeze drying them.

And there is an entire tv show on Animal Planet called ‘American Stuffers’ devoted to the subject:

while taxidermy is merely fascinating, pet preservation, as the practice of memorializing pets by freeze-drying them is more delicately described, makes for truly riveting television. What a narrative: there are the grieving owners, invariably in tears; the stricken animal (frozen, not in the rictus of death, but in actuality, as Mr. Ross asks that deceased pets be kept chilled until they are brought to him); and the epic life story of each pet (like Chatters, the 40-pound raccoon, who gnawed cabinetry and snuggled in bed, or Sam, the bad-tempered Chihuahua, who ate toenail clippings).

Then, months later, because freeze drying takes time (up to six months for large animals like dogs, though the show telescopes that process into minutes), there is the spectacular reveal, as Mr. Ross, a former auto body specialist, presents his deft handiwork: the pet, revivified. (Well, almost.)

“Freeze-drying love,” as the show’s teaser promises. “One pet at a time.”

It seems to me that most of the attachment to my bulldogs is their personality, the way they come up to greet me, the click click click on the hardwood floor.  But some of us may want to just keep what’s left of them around forever.

You can read the entire article here: ‘American Stuffers’ Family – Warm Hearts and Freeze-Dried Pets – NYTimes.com.


Genetics of the Bulldog Reveal Surprising Relatives

Recent advancements in genetic testing have revealed which dog breeds are closely related.  It is well known historical theory that the Bulldog was bred from the Mastiff.  Early illustrations of fierce Bulldogs reveal their similarity to the Mastiff.  When bull baiting was banned in England the Bulldog almost disappeared.  Fortunately for us the breed was saved and the present day incarnation was formed.

Early bull baiting bulldogs

Bulldog Puppy from 1903

Bulldog Puppy 1903

Bulldogs Play with a Ball

Contemporary Bulldogs

We can thank Victorian England with it’s passion for dog shows as a favorite passtime for the revival of our breed. Now genetic testing has revealed the close proximity of the Bulldog not only to the Mastiff, Bull Terrier, French Bulldog, and Boxer as well as some surprises.  A portion of the study defines our group:

The new third cluster consisted primarily of breeds related in heritage and appearance to the Mastiff and is anchored by the Mastiff, Bulldog, and Boxer, along with their close relatives, the Bullmastiff, French Bulldog, Miniature Bull Terrier, and Perro de Presa Canario. Also included in the cluster are the Rot- tweiler, Newfoundland, and Bernese Mountain Dog, large breeds that are reported to have gained their size from ancient Mastiff-type an- cestors. Less expected is the inclusion of the German Shepherd Dog. The exact origins of this breed are unknown, but our results suggest that the years spent as a military and police dog in the presence of working dog types, such as the Boxer, are responsible for shaping the genetic background of this popular breed.

If you want to read the entire scientific study, go here.


English Bulldog Sings Opera!

Can your Bulldog sing?  Archie only sings when he hears a Spiriva drug ad, not sure what he finds so appealing about it.  And I’ve never been able to capture it on tape.  This bulldog Fred can belt out opera with the best of the tenors as you can see from this video:


Happy Bulldog Valentine’s Day

A Happy Bulldog Valentine’s Day to Bulldog Lovers everywhere

This image is part of my Bulldog design collection that I created
to be put on custom t-shirts, mugs, mouse pads, and more.
you can see all the designs here

I happy to report that Archie’s on the mend, getting better every
day.  He’s on a bland diet and some meds as he still has some
intestinal upset. Thank you for all your letters of concern.

your bulldog pals,
Jan & Archie

Brad Pitts Bulldog

What’s the perfect addition to a household full of kids?  A Bulldog of course!  And it looks like that’s what the Jolie-Pitts needed to complete their brood.

It’s obvious from this photo how much Brad loves his Bulldog.  Of course it’s no surprise to us.

When the actor recently brought his pooch along to keep him company at aParade magazine photo shoot, the dog (whose name we don’t know) ended up running the show. He even managed to get front and center in some of the pictures! “He organically popped up in the shots after the shoot began,” photographer Michael Muller tells PEOPLE Pets.

Brad Pitts Bulldog Is One Pushy Pooch | Celebrities | News | PEOPLE Pets.


Over the Top Christmas for this English Bulldog “Fur-Kid”

I’ve spent more on presents for my pooch than my partner

This Christmas, Matilda’s getting skateboarding lessons, a £150 cashmere blanket, a head massage and tea at a five-star hotel. Not bad for a two-year-old bulldog!


On Christmas day this year, just like the past two, I’ll be showering the love of my life with sumptuous gifts, endless cuddles and love.

We’ll sit beside the tree together, carols playing in the background, and open our presents, oblivious to the world around us.

Sadly, for my partner of four years, George, I’m not referring to him but to our gorgeous two-and-a-half-year-old bulldog Matilda.

You’d be forgiven for thinking I’m barking mad – pardon the pun – and I probably am, but Matilda came into my life and changed everything, not least my capacity to love another being.

One pampered pooch: JoAnne Good plans to spend more than £600 on her bulldog Matilda this Christmas - but only £100 on her boyfriend George

One pampered pooch: JoAnne Good plans to spend more than £600 on her bulldog Matilda this Christmas – but only £100 on her boyfriend George

Christmas is an opportunity to show her how much she means to me, to the tune of gifts costing more than £600 this year.

Poor George will have to take his place on the sidelines, no doubt feeling very left out as he unwraps the meagre £100 worth of gifts I’ve bought for him.

All my adult life I’ve been very vocal about not wanting children. I’ve always been an ambitious career girl, appearing in TV programmes, taking part in documentaries and presenting The Late Show on BBC London.

I’ve long enjoyed a fabulous social life, with invitations to the best parties and restaurant meals every night with George; the only thing that had graced the inside of my oven until recently was a cashmere Nicole Farhi coat that I keep in there to stop the moths from getting it.

I always believed there was no place for a child in my life, and that if I did have one, I’d be a terrible mother, the kind who’d forgetfully leave it standing outside the supermarket while I drove off, oblivious, with the weekly shop.

So it was one of life’s greatest surprises when, three years ago, I found myself in the throes of an urge I’d never experienced before; I wanted something to care for and nurture.

It all started when George, a musician and broadcaster whom I’d been dating for a year, came with me on a trip to New York. When we went for a walk in Central Park, there seemed to be bulldogs everywhere.

They looked like fat, cuddly children who were docile and didn’t want to do a lot except be loved. I couldn’t take my eyes off them. The strange thing is I’d never been an animal lover either. When I was in the soap opera Crossroads in the Eighties, I bought a border collie as a status symbol, but I was an appalling dog owner then.

After George and I returned from our New York trip, my yearning for a bulldog to care for remained firmly intact. It was fuelled a few months later on New Year’s Day 2008 as we walked through London’s Berkeley Square to blow away the cobwebs and spotted a family walking a lovely bulldog. It ran to me and I thought: ‘That’s it, I want one.’

Dinner time: Matilda likes to get stuck into steamed vegetables and organic dog biscuits while she only drinks bottled water

Dinner time: Matilda likes to get stuck into steamed vegetables and organic dog biscuits

But bulldogs can suffer awful health problems, so George, who was already an animal lover, did lots of research for a good breed.

In August 2008, we drove to Hertford to pick up our new bulldog puppy, Matilda. She was tiny and vulnerable and I cradled her in a blanket in the car. We both remarked that it really was like bringing home a newborn baby.

George taught me how to feed and care for a puppy and, in doing so, helped create a monster. Matilda became the centre of my world and comes before George every time, never more so than at Christmas.

Apparently, I’m not alone in my doggy madness. According to the Oxford Dictionary, what Matilda has become is my ‘furkid’ – a word used to describe the increasingly common phenomenon of dogs taking on the role of surrogate children, particularly among childfree women in their 40s and 50s.

Research has revealed that women produce oxytocin when they stroke their own dog – the same happy hormone produced by new mums when they breastfeed their babies. And we lavish more than £5 billion every year on our dogs in the UK alone.

I’m not embarrassed to admit I fret over Matilda every bit as much as if she was a child. When she had her second lot of immunisations at 12 weeks old, I could finally take her out for her first walk, and chose my close friend, comedian Julian Clary, and his dog as our companions.

We walked, had coffee and walked some more before I noticed Matilda had bubbles coming out of her mouth. I was terrified she was ill, so we jumped in a cab and made what would be the first of many dashes to the emergency vet, who told me I’d over-walked her and she’d have to stay with him overnight. I sobbed all night and suddenly understood how parents must fret over their babies.

George despairs of the constant unnecessary visits to the vet I make with Matilda, and he doesn’t even know about half of them. I’m so paranoid about her health and wellbeing that all her food is organic, made freshly and delivered to our door by a specialist company.

She has steamed vegetables with her meals, organic biscuits as treats and drinks only bottled water. I spend more than £50 a week on Matilda’s food and health supplements. She also goes to a pet crèche when George and I are working, where they have a pianist who plays classical music.

Then there’s her wardrobe. The first thing I bought her was a pink Aran sweater with matching plaited collar and lead at around £170. She has a collection of hoodie tops with her name on them, plus waterproof fleeces at £45 a time: some with legs, some without. All Matilda’s collars are handmade from a company called Holly & Lil, who supply Harrods.

Despairing: JoAnne's partner George is moans that she constantly takes Matilda to the vet - despite there being nothing wrong with her

Despairing: JoAnne’s partner George is moans that she constantly takes Matilda to the vet – despite there being nothing wrong with her

This Christmas, I shall be expanding her collection of luxury items. While all I’ve bought for poor George is a stripy shirt and a pair of bulldog cufflinks, I’ve got so much for Matilda. Mind you, that’s an improvement on last year when I didn’t buy George a thing.

On Christmas morning, Matilda will unwrap – with a little help from me – a beautiful cashmere blanket (£150), handmade dog biscuits (£15), toys (£60), a solid silver identity tag (£25), a designer collar (£100), a new bed (£70), winter clothes including a tweed coat (£200), and a voucher for a one-tone training session to teach her how to skateboard (£25).

Before Christmas, I’ll also treating her to afternoon tea at the dog-friendly, five-star Milestone Hotel Kensington, with her best friend Molly, a miniature bull terrier (£50).

To make sure Matilda’s in good shape for the festivities, I’m taking her to a new doggy spa at Harrods this week for a cranial massage, her favourite pampering treatment.

I know it must sound completely over the top and indulgent , but there’s a serious side to my relationship with Matilda, too.

The bond between us was instant, and she’s had a positive effect on our whole family. My brother doesn’t have kids either, so she’s almost a surrogate grandchild for my mum. I often overhear Mum talking to Matilda in the kind affectionate voice usually reserved for children.

Perhaps the most startling discovery, though, has been a maternal instinct I didn’t know existed within me.

It’s too late for me to have children now and I don’t regret the decisions I’ve made. But having Matilda has made me realise if I’d had a baby, I would have been very affectionate, doting mother.

What’s upsetting is that bulldogs only live for about eight years, when Matilda’s five, I’m going get another puppy to ease the grief of losing her when it happens.

But I’m not going to think about that yet. After all, we’ve got a very special Christmas to look forward to, spending it together. Oh, and with George, too.

original post here: http://tinyurl.com/BulldogChristmas


Let Your Baby Snuggle & Kiss Your Bulldog

When I was a child we had lots of pets.  My mom loved cats and I even go to see kittens born!  We also had a couple dogs.  Alas, none were bulldogs – my love affair with English Bulldogs started when I was an adult! None of us suffered from allergies and now science may have discovered why!

I read this post from Dr Marty Becker, from his new book The Healing Power of Pets

New evidence suggests that exposure to pets early in life might actually help the body build defenses against allergies and asthma, thereby protecting children from developing reactions, rather than triggering them.

“Kids exposed to animals seemed to be better off,” said Christine Johnson, Ph.D., a senior research epidemiologist with the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. Christine Johnson’s study… tracked 833 children over seven years and found that exposure to two or more cats and dogs at one year of age made children less susceptible to other allergy-inducing substances by the time they turned seven, and that the exposure even improved some boys’ lung functions.

Other research since then has supported these findings, but it’s not just allergens; it’s germs, too. It’s part of what’s known as the “hygeine hypothesis,” the idea that as standards of household cleanliness have been raised, children are being exposed to fewer and fewer germs and allergens, and their immune systems are not as robust as they would be if raised with dust, dirt, farm animals and, of course, “snakes and snails and puppy dog tails.”

One important note: It’s very important that you start early. If you have pets from birth or as toddlers, great. If you wait until you’re a teenager to get a pet to reduce allergies or asthma, not only does it not work, it may make these conditions worse.

Find out about Marty’s book at this link The Healing Power of Pets

And be sure to let your small children cuddle with your bulldog – it’s good for both of them!


English Bulldogs Holiday Video – darned cute!

I was thrilled by all the bulldog photos sent in by my subscribers
of their bulldogs dressed in holiday garb, so I put together
a little Bulldog Holiday video.

All the photos are also on the VivyLand website,
but the video sure is cute if I do say so myself!


If you can’t see it here, view it on YouTube at this link:
Bulldog Holiday Video
and be sure to send it on to all your bulldog friends!

Happy Holidays from Jan & Archie!


My English Bulldog Throws Up a Lot . . .

Hi Jan,

I was wondering if you could help me? Gracie my bulldog seems to throw up alot.
Is there something I can do?
Do you think there is something wrong with her?
I am very worried about her..
Thanks so much,

Hi Janice,

It depends on what sort of vomiting.
There is a difference between vomiting and regurgitation.
If your dog is simply throwing up food right after eating,
food that has not been in the stomach, it is probably simple

Bulldogs tend to gulp their food and sometimes eat so fast
that the food can’t get down the esophagus properly and
so they throw up.

There is a condition common in bulldogs called esophageal
motility disorder, where the normal constrictions of the
esophagus don’t work properly and cause the bulldog to
not “swallow” properly and often regurgitate.

There is a simple way to alleviate this condition that I
recommend in my book.  Elevate your bulldog’s food
dish.  This lets gravity take over and help get the food
down her throat.

To soothe an upset stomach you can feed her a little
canned pumpkin with her food – be sure it is pure
pumpkin and NOT pumpkin pie mix which is loaded
with sugar.

There are, however, other things that can cause vomiting,
including food allergies, metabolic disorders, ulcers, or
even obstructions in the throat, or if she has something
lodged in her stomach like a rawhide bone or teddy bear.

If you suspect she has eaten the stuffing out of a teddy
bear or a similar item, you can withhold her food for
about 7-8 hours.  Then give her some white bread with
the crust cut off.  It’s really gooey and can catch
what’s clogging her and pass it through.

Be sure she gets small amounts of water frequently
or sucks on an ice cube to keep her from getting
dehydrated.  Then give her a couple pieces of white
bread, broken up into small pieces.  This will bind with
the stuffing and allow it to pass through.  If she throws
this up as well, call your vet immediately.

Vomiting is characterized by the dog heaving for a while
before the stomach contents come up.  When they do, they
may also come through her nose.

If your dog has been vomiting blood or bile, you need to
take her to the vet right away.  Vomiting is dehydrating
which is very dangerous long term.

Throwing up can be an indication of serious illness in
the liver or kidneys or pancreas.  Your vet should be
able to do some simple tests to determine this.

If your bulldog has been “vomiting” for several days,
if she is still doing so, I think it advisable to take her to
the vet to make sure she does not have anything lodged in
her stomach or esophagus.  And make sure it is not a more
serious illness.

I hope this helps.  Let me know if you need some clarification.

your bulldog pal,


What’s the Best Chew Toy for a Bulldog?

HI Jan,

Could you tell me a good chew toy for bulldogs? Seems like everything we
buy Gracie only has it a few days then its all chewed up.  I have to really
watch her cause she will even chew the chair I am sitting in.

She doesn’t seem to like the real hard rubber ones which do seem to last
longer. Any kind of raw hide makes her throw up.

Any suggestions would be a great help?

Thanks so much,

Hi Janice,

I have found that Kong chew toys are the most durable for bullies.  Have
you tried the ones where you put a treat inside?  Sometimes this will
attract them when the toy alone they don’t like.

If Gracie is chewing on the wrong things, like your furniture, you can rub a
little BenGay on the furniture.  They hate the taste.  You can also try
Bitter Apple, be sure to shake it before spraying or else she’ll think it’s

Other brands that have done well for bulldogs are
-Nylaknot – nylabone’s extra tough line
-Sheepskin toys (be sure they cannot get the squeaker out and there are no
eyes that could be chewed out)
-Booda bones and ropes (be careful they can’t chew up the rope) – try the X-Large
Booda super 8 tug
-there is a rubber tug toy I’ve seen bulldogs playing tug-a-war with that seems to
last, called Invincible Chains Tug Toy – get the large one
-empty plastic water bottles (with cap, ring, and label removed) work really well,
my Archie loves them and the price is right!  Throw them out when they start to
show too much wear.

It’s ok for the dogs to play tug-a-war, but you should never let a human play tug
with them as it promotes a dominance instinct in the dog.

Rawhides, even the particle types are bad.  Rawhide expands in the stomach and can
kill a bulldog who swallows chunks of it.  Bulldogs gulp, they don’t really chew
their food.  Rope toys may be shredded and if they eat them, you can
get the same stomach problem.  So you need to keep an eye on them with a rope

A dog has a reflex at the back of the stomach that causes the to throw up
things that cannot be digested, but it does not always ensure your dogs
won’t be harmed by ingesting the wrong thing.

Never give a bulldog a greenie either, despite the new ads.  I’ve heard of
cases where a Greenie had to be surgically removed from a bulldog’s
stomach (at a cost of $3000).

good luck – bulldogs can destroy many chew toys in a matter of hours!

your bulldog pal,


Designer Dogs Taken to New Heights!

I’ve always thought bulldogs were pricey at $2000 – $3000,
but now I have a whole new perspective.

There’s a company that produces “designer pets” to suit your
lifestyle. Forget the labradoodle, we now have a truly
hypoallergenic dog.

It’s called the Jabari GD is an adorable little white fluffy
thing, priced at a mere $15,000. You can read more about this
little fella here:

The company also offers the Titan, the perfect protection dog.
Fierce when it counts yet loving and gentle with the family.
You can pick up one of these guys starting at a cool $85,000
see them here:

They also offer cats hypoallergenic or exotic, ranging in
price from $5900 to $125,000

Is this taking hype and exclusivity to the extreme? I’ll
leave that up to you to decide.

For now, I’m just happy with my snorting, shedding, and probably
making me sneeze bulldog!

Your Bulldog Pal,