Evaluation of behavioral characteristics and diseases incidence of the English Bulldog
Keywords:english bulldog, behavior, genetic diseases
Choosing a dog is a very important event and a careful consideration of the animal and the lifestyle of the future owner are necessary. The aim of this research was to gather information from the owners of bulldogs to detect the presence of behaviors that are undesirable and possible susceptibility of these animals to develop organic diseases. For the following research were recruited 40 dog owners to whom it was administered, anonymously, a questionnaire about dog behavior and possible diseases. The preliminary data of this survey describe the Bulldog dogs as very active and less trainable. A statistically significant difference was observed between males and females with regard to the behavior of "jumping up to other people", expressed from 95.8% of males compared to 68.8% of females (χ2 = 5.52; p = 0.019) and "staring an object" expressed by 62.5% of males compared with 25% of females (χ2 = 5.41; p = 0.020). These behaviors may be a result of mismanagement of the animal but we cannot exclude the possibility that they are part of the "normal" ethogram of the breed, characterized by a remarkable persistence of neotenic characters. A ritual of exaggerated greeting, especially at the return home of the owner, can be a symptom, often misunderstood, of a separation anxiety. Another very frequent behavior in the English bulldog is licking that occurs at parts of the body and the mouth of the owner. As for the organic diseases reported in the bulldog, the results have not shown a high incidence, except for skin problems, reported in 65% of animals and eye diseases. In conclusion, the results of this research may be useful in understanding some aspects of the behavior of the bulldog and then provide advice to future owners for a proper management of this dog, improving his welfare.