Bulldog Puppy Mills – How To Spot Them

Hello Everyone,

Oprah is rebroadcasting her Puppy Mill Expose on May 29th on her
daytime show.  It’s difficult to watch, but it really exposes
what goes on in puppy mills and what we can do to help stop
this kind of dog abuse.

If you are thinking of getting an English Bulldog puppy, here are a
few tips on how to avoid buying from a puppy mill type breeder.

Never buy a puppy from a pet store.  It is most certainly of
questionable quality.

Never buy from a kennel that offers different breeds of dogs.  The
best bulldogs are going to come from individual breeders who
specialize in one breed.

Beware of internet sites, especially ones with big promises of
“Championship” lines – the truth is nearly every bulldog has a
championship dog in it’s history (even bulldogs that are not
purebred)  – all this means is somewhere in the past there was some
champion bulldog.

Many reputable breeders have internet sites showcasing their
champion bulldogs,but there are certain characteristics that can
alert you to puppy mill sites.

Beware of sites that say “all our dogs are family raised” or some
similar line – internet puppy mills know what to say to entice you.

Beware of internet sites that look too pretty.  Most quality
breeders are not into the internet and have pretty basic sites that
are not updated regularly with their puppies for sale.  Their
puppies are sold long before they could even get them onto their

Beware of internet sites that say they will ship.  Reputable
bulldog breeder will never ship their dogs.

Beware of breeders who don’t interview you personally.  Reputable
breeders want to know where their puppies are going and may refuse
to sell to homes they feel are not appropriate for their dogs.
They also usually have a ‘surrender’ clause that states if you
decide to give up your dog, you will return it to them to
‘re-home’ in an appropriate home.

Beware of a bargain price.  If a bulldog is for sale at a bargain
price, you will probably get an unhealthy or non-purebred bulldog.

Beware of any dogs that come from Pennsylvania.  This state is
notorious for puppy mills and the deplorable conditions you see
on Oprah’s expose.

I know it’s hard to resist any bulldog puppy but if you follow
these guidelines you are far more apt to have a healthy bulldog.

Puppy mill owners DO NOT care about the quality of their dogs, they
are only interested in money.  And we know bulldogs command big
money.  They will breed their dogs as often as possible with no
care to the dog’s health or the quality of the puppies.

Reputable breeders are interested in preserving healthy
characteristics of the breed and will not breed any of their dogs
that show signs of genetic defects.

Ask for references from people who have purchased puppies from your
short list of breeders.  Beware of breeders who will not give you
any references.  Call people who have purchased from the breeder
and ask about the health of their dog.  Unusual health problems
would be a big red flag.

English Bulldogs make wonderful pets, but you must be vigilant when
searching out a good breeder.

When searching for a bulldog breeder, consider visiting your
local Bulldog Specialty Show or contact your local chapter of the
Bulldog Club of America and get to know these folks.

Being cautious and thorough when buying a bulldog can make a huge
difference in the quality of life for your bulldog.

Bulldogs have a lot of health issues to begin with so it’s vitally
important that you start off with the best of the breed.

Your Bulldog Pal,


Bulldogs and Racehorses: a story of man versus nature

Every time I see the photo of Kentucky Derby 2nd place finisher
Eight Belles laying on the track with two broken ankles, struggling
to get up, I cry.

I love horses.  I was an avid rider when I was young.  My favorite
horse was a mix of quarter horse and thoroughbred.  She was a very
sturdy horse with a lot of heart.

If you know anything about Thoroughbreds, you know they love to
run.  They have great heart and a competitive nature that makes
them the best for horse racing. Whether you think horse racing is
great or inhumane, you must
understand the horse’s desire to run and compete.

In my mind there is only one reason why these magnificent horses
are running so fast and breaking bones: over-breeding.

Race horses have been inbred for generations.  Owners are looking
for horses with strong muscles and a certain running style.  In
other words, genetically engineered horses.

Along with Barbaro, who was making a run for the Triple Crown and
suffered a catastrophic deadly injury during the Preakness two
years ago, Eight Belles was a descendent of Native Dancer.  In
fact, most of the horses on the track at the Kentucky Derby,
including the winner Big Brown, were decedents of Native Dancer.

So why am I writing about horses in my bulldog newsletter?  Because
our bulldogs are also excessively inbred.  Like the Thoroughbreds
they have great heart and courage.  Originally they were engineered
– man made for the aristocratic sport of bull baiting.  Today they
are bred for looks and show quality.

Even the most scrupulous of breeders is breeding a bulldog with
it’s relative because they were all created about 200 years ago.
And they’ve been inbred ever since.

This is why we encounter so many health problems with our bullies.
Sad to say this is the case with almost all purebred dogs today.
They are bred for “champion” show looks.  And many suffer genetic
weakness because of this.

What happens with inbreeding is certain wanted characteristics are
manifested, but often unwanted recessive genes appear as well and
these create weaknesses.

Sometimes I think Bulldogs should not be bred at all.  I love
bulldogs very dearly but at times I can see how difficult things
can be for them.  Something as simple as breathing is a challenge.
And a dog that can’t go for a walk in the summer just seems a
little bit out of sync with nature.

Hearing the news stories about Eight Belles, I cry.  Whenever I
hear a sad story about a Bulldog I cry.  I wonder if we are
creating suffering creatures in pursuit of the perfect race horse
or bulldog.  In other words, are we creating flawed animals to suit
arbitrary fashion guidelines of what ‘should’ be attractive in our

I don’t usually write such a philosophical newsletter, and I’d love
to hear your thoughts on this topic.

Your Bulldog Pal,