Once you have found your working Bulldog you must take advantage of his willingness and energy by channeling them in the right direction without discouraging him with negative responses. You cannot make a great performance dog out of a poor prospect but you can very easily ruin a potentially great dog by improper training methods.
Bulldogs, even very willing ones, do not have an intense need to please. They like to make us happy but if they don’t succeed they seldom worry about it! This type of a dog does not find repetition exciting nor is it productive. Repeating a portion of training 2-3 times then moving on usually is better than drilling over and over. Bulldogs are intelligent. When they don’t do what we ask it is usually because they don’t want to, not because they don’t understand it! Our job is to convince them they want to perform the activities we want and that they are fun. Only then will our Bulldogs buy into our program and earn those performance titles. A working Bulldog cannot be made to do anything!
Rewards are the most important part of training a Bulldog. Petting, praise, food and fun are the type of rewards that appeal to most Bulldogs with food probably leading the list. Even when using food as a motivator, most Bulldogs will not readily respond to mundane rewards such as dog biscuits. Much better results are obtained by using liver cookies, hot dogs, chicken, etc. Few Bulldogs work for minimum wage!
Training should never be boring or too repetitive.
Attention is the key to successful training. Until your Bulldog will pay attention your training will have little success. Attention training will strengthen the bond between you and your Bulldog resulting in the focus needed to perform well, in spike of distractions. Dogs that do not pay attention to their owners are easily distracted in a performance venue. There are many books and videos on the market if attention training is not available in your area.
Conditioning is the second necessity for a performance Bulldog. A dog cannot sit around all week and be expected to go out and perform a strenuous routine on the weekend.
He should have plenty of opportunity to run and play each day in order to earn to use his body efficiently and to build strong muscles and ligaments. If possible provide an area with varied levels. Let him play on hills or banks to improve strength and agility. Keep his weight down. Fat stresses the soft tissues and the respiratory system. Be cautious about training or performing in warm weather and always carry water, towels, spray bottles and cool pads.
Throughout your Bulldogs performance career it is important to make all performances and training sessions short, fun and rewarding. Training should never be boring or too repetitive.