The bulldog is probably the one dog that people are mistaken about more than any other. From their history of being bred and used for bull baiting - where they would attack and drag a bull - they've had the reputation for being mean and aggressive, but in fact nothing could be further from the truth. The British bulldog is a wonderful and gentle dog that makes a great family pet.
Not only do they get along great with children, but they love children and make great companions. As with any dog, when they are first introduced to children it should be done on a gradual basis. It makes sense that no child should be left alone with any dog for any reason. The bulldog, however, will instantly become one of the family. Many believe that they don't consider themselves as "dogs" but more like the rest of the family members.
One of the characteristics that make the bulldog stand out above other dogs is their great tolerance and patience with children. They are also very calm and docile animals, seldom barking unless they really have something to say. They love playing with children, sometimes to the point of not knowing when they've had enough. Because of their intolerance to heat, their playtime often needs to be interrupted so they don't overheat.
They are not very high on the scale of top watchdogs, but their appearance alone is usually a deterrent for any strangers thinking of breaking into your home. They have a face that looks mean and aggressive along with their reputation of terrorizing bulls many years ago. In reality they are far too laid back and gentle to be aggressive watch dogs, but their love and devotion to their family would make them protect them if the situation warranted it.
They are not active dogs at all, but are more content just lying on the floor looking at their master or family members. They are chronic chewers all their lives so it is important they always have an abundance of chew toys available to save your furniture from being destroyed. Bulldogs are not the easiest dogs to train. They are slow moving and somewhat stubborn, but are trainable to a certain point and would certainly benefit from the most basic obedience training. One must keep in mind, however, that the bulldog does not respond well to excess exercise, often being described as a couch potato.
If there is one reason why families may hesitate in getting a bulldog as a family pet, it's their short life span. The idea of owning and loving a bulldog only to lose him in a few years is often something many dog owners don't want to have to deal with. They can live 8 to 10 years with good care, however. As much as some families love taking their dog with them in the car, owners need to be very cautious when traveling with the bulldog, as he cannot stand the heat anywhere near as well as most dogs.
For a family dog with children of any age, the bulldog makes the perfect pet, being loving and loyal to all family members.