My roomates have an English bulldog. He’s very good with children and adults, both familiar and new. And he does not try to harm my cats. He’s fun to play with, as long as you don’t throw the stick more than 15 feet. For urban/apartment life, and English bulldog might work, as they are natural couch potatoes.
He does not tolerate unfamiliar dogs at all, but I suspect this is upbringing more than breed.
He’s solid muscle and can hit in the shins with enough force to bowl over a 200lb man. Thick as a brick, and dumb as a post.
He barks, usually at night, and then incessantly. And he chews. On everything. His sibs & parents do as well (my roomate got him from her parents, who breed them). Houdini (the dog) barks at night until he’s let in, then he spends the night chewing on the cabinetry in the kitchen (again, may be upbringing).
He snores. LOUD.
The following may be TMI for some of you. It concerns those health problems Rhum Runner mentioned.
Houdini started getting horny very early. He’d spend all possible time humping our other dog, a spayed female. When she wasn’t around, he’d go for legs, chairs, the couch, piles of clothes, the air… anything. Separating the dogs didn’t even work.
Eventually, he blew out the tip of his penis from this, and was bleeding profusely. The official word from the Vet was that it was weakened tissue from the constant buildup of pressure with no release. My roomates had his tip sewn back together, and had him neutered, on the Vet’s recommendation.
Three months later, his testosterone hadn’t died down sufficiently, and he did it again. This time the Vet amputated half of Houdini’s penis.
$3,500 in vet bills before he was a year old. On top of a $1,500 dog.
The Vet said this was a common defect in males of the breed, and that they need to be kept separate from females, except when breeding.
Houdini (and parents & sibs) will eat anything you leave within his reach. He’s shredded soda cans, and passed them. He ate a plastic bag once or twice. Nothing in the bag that smelled attractive, either. He got very sick over eating the shop rag. And he shredded a sleeping bag once and had plaid stools for a week.
Come to find out that over the last week, he ate a pound or so of mesquite charcoal. (“I wonder what Great Dane tastes like?”) This too shall pass.
Houdini is a cool dog. But he has been very expensive, and continues to be quite a handful.
We’ve been told that his problems are common in the breed, but we’ve had no second opinion on that.