We read every book we could find on bulldogs (at that time about four), every magazine article, and every piece of information we could get our hands on. Although we thought we knew what to expect, the real thing exceeded everything in the literature. Reading about a belching, snoring, and gassy dog isn't the same as experiencing it. Our first bulldog, Rocky, burps more than any animal we know of, tends to make visitors to our house ask us if she has a gas problem, and snores so loudly we had to move her crate to the other end of the house. She's also a never-ending source of special effects sounds.
Now, having said all this, they really are great dogs and we enjoy them tremendously. They do, however, require more maintenance than other breeds, and this can sometimes be very expensive. Bulldogs are natural clowns with very expressive faces. They just love children and are usually very gentle with them. And since bulldogs have a high pain tolerance, an occasional pulled ear doesn't phase them. They can be stubborn, and although they hear you, they will sometimes simply choose to ignore you and do what they please. Training is best accomplished by repetition, routine and reward, and being consistent with them is key. Starting training early is also very important, as is establishing the grooming routine early on so your bulldog gets accustomed to it and doesn't fight you every time nails or whiskers need to be trimmed. Lastly, be prepared to get lots of attention when out in public with your bulldog. Bulldogs love the attention and love to meet new people.
Even though Rocky is AKC registered, we felt she wasn't quite show-quality. But she does have good features and is from a good bloodline, and bred with the right dog she produced some outstanding puppies. We bred Rocky in April of 2006 and she had eight puppies, two of which went to show homes. Rocky had a second litter of two beautiful puppies in 2007, and has had her final litter of eight puppies in May of 2009.
Then there's Spice, our second bulldog and first Champion. Ch. Empire's Legend Spice-Girl, as she is formally known came from a local breeder. We found a mentor and worked diligently with Spice. We would not be where we are today without our mentor, and we are grateful for her wisdom and guidance. Spice finished at the Muncie Kennel Club show on August 17, 2006. It took us 15 months to finish her and it's been a wonderful experience. We are so proud of her.
Spice won First Award of Merit at the 131st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City on February 12, 2007. Her brother Ch. Cherokee Legend Rock took 2nd Place in the Non-Sporting Group for the second year in a row. Spice has been featured in the local news several times in 2007 and on local television three times (Zionsville Sentinel, Lebanon Reporter, Lafayette Journal and Courier, Purdue University, WTHR Channel 13 in 2011, WXIN Fox 59). Spice was also featured in the Fall 2008 and Fall 2010 editions of Lafayette Magazine.