The Proper Use of a Crate and Your Bulldog

The Proper Use of a Crate and Your Bulldog

Who we are and why we are the authority on the English Bulldog Breed

We have devoted the last 15 years to improving the health of the English Bulldog breed in the United States. Instead of following the current unhealthy breed standards, we set out to change the breed for the better, focusing on lighter wrinkle sets, slightly longer snouts and extensive health testing. Through years of dedication we have been able to significantly improve the health characteristics within our bloodlines and give hope to the breed that health improvements are possible. Along the way, we have also become thought leaders in proper bulldog training, care and behavioral studies.

Crating Philosophy

When considering the natural habitation of a canine, often its home is a den, cave, or similar close-quartered shelter. They used this space as their home, to sleep, escape from danger, and raise their young. Obviously, your bulldog would not appreciate roughing it out in the wild. 

On some days, it feels like our bulldogs have decided to claim the entire house as their den. But, we know they find comfort and in their crate as an escape from the clamor of a busy house.

Certainly, the crate can be a great tool and outlet for your bulldog IF used properly. As useful as crates can be they are often one of the most abused resources an adopter. There is much, unneeded controversy on using them that has stemmed from irresponsible dog owners abusing their purpose. As concerned bulldog breeders, we make sure to take the time to explain to our adopters the proper and improper uses of a crate.

Introducing the Crate

Introducing your bulldog puppy to the crate should be a gradual process. Start by placing the crate in a central location within your home, such as the living room or kitchen, where your puppy can observe the household activities. Leave the crate door open and entice your puppy to explore it using treats or toys. Encourage positive associations by placing their favorite blanket or toy inside the crate.

Addressing Whining or Barking

It’s not uncommon for bulldog puppies to vocalize their displeasure when first introduced to crate training. However, it’s essential to resist the urge to give in to their demands or comfort them excessively, as this may reinforce the behavior. Instead, wait for a moment of quiet before providing attention or letting them out of the crate. Consistency is key, and over time, your puppy will learn that quiet behavior results in positive outcomes.

Proper ways to use a crate:

Nighttime Crate Training

Nighttime crate training is particularly important for bulldog puppies, as it helps prevent accidents and promotes a good night’s sleep for both you and your puppy. Place the crate in your bedroom initially to provide comfort and reassurance to your puppy. As they grow more accustomed to their crate, gradually move it to its permanent location elsewhere in the house. Ensure your puppy has had ample opportunity to eliminate before bedtime and avoid leaving food or water in the crate overnight. Once your bully is completely potty trained it is ok to sleep outside the crate, but we have found they often prefer their crate as a place of comfort as they grow older.

Utilizing Crate Training for Housebreaking

Crate training can be a valuable tool in the housebreaking process for bulldog puppies. Dogs naturally avoid soiling their sleeping area, making the crate an effective means of teaching bladder and bowel control. Supervise your puppy closely when they’re outside the crate, and take them outside to eliminate immediately after meals, naps, and play sessions. Praise and reward them lavishly when they go outdoors, reinforcing the desired behavior.

Establishing a Routine

Creating a structured routine is essential for helping your bulldog puppy acclimate to their crate. Designate specific times for meals, bathroom breaks, playtime, and crate time. As puppies thrive on predictability, a consistent schedule will help them feel secure and confident in their environment. Incorporate short crate sessions throughout the day, gradually lengthening the duration as your puppy becomes more accustomed to their crate.

Limit access to the house while you aren’t home (for short periods of time)

While starting the potty training process and as you build trust in your bulldog, you should control any unsupervised time by crating him/her. With that being said you should LIMIT the amount of time that your bulldog spends in their crate. We like to use the 4-hour rule at our house for an adult bulldog and the 2 hour limit for our puppies. Any time past these limits, we would seriously consider arranging someone dropping by the house to let them out and play.

Transporting your bully in the car

A crate provides a safe place for your bully to travel with you in the car (especially long trips). We have found they love to snooze in their crate when road-tripping with us.

Escaping from too much commotion

The crate should be a place that your bulldog voluntarily goes into; they should feel that the crate is their home! Crates are an escape haven for your bulldog when the house is busy and there is just too much commotion.

What a crate is NOT to be used for


We cannot repeat this enough! Do not use it as punishment for your bulldog! The crate should be a place that your bulldog likes going and if you use it for punishment they will not want to go there.

 Long periods of time

Puppies under six months of age shouldn’t stay in a crate for more than a few hours at a time. They cannot hold their bladder that long and they should not be expected to! A crate is not a way of life for a dog, if you are working 8-10 hours a day, coming home and letting your bulldog out for a few hours and then putting them back in their crate for 8 hours of sleeping you are not being fair to your bulldog.

Eventually, behavioral issues will start to show simply from a lack of attention. If being home all day is not an option for you and you have to crate your bulldog we encourage you to look for another option… possibly having a family member dog sit, adjust your schedule or look for a trustworthy doggie daycare.

 Crating caution!

Remember that a crate is a tool for training NOT a way of life! This isn’t a magical solution. If not used correctly, a dog can feel trapped and frustrated.

Check Out our Available Puppies Here


Bruiser Bulldog’s Reviews

  • I've grown up with english bulldogs my whole life. I am familiar with common and uncommon health problems they may face so when my boyfriend and I decided we were ready to adopt our own english puppy finding a reputable breeder that prioritizes health was most important to us. Erica and Mitch of Bruiser Bulldogs are just that. They are experienced, ethical and quality breeders. I was referred to them by my friend that I trust after I saw their gorgeous healthy puppy. Our Puppy Primrose is the light of our lives! Bruisers was there to assist us every step of the way. We would highly recommend Bruisers Bulldogs to anyone looking for their own happy, healthy pup!

    Leah H. Avatar
    Leah H.
  • We, like many of the other people who found Bruisers, did a lot of research to find a responsible breeder, especially since English Bulldogs can have health issues and because there is a trend now for "trendy" bulldogs (blue, etc.) which have even more health issues. We were lucky to have come across Bruiser Bulldogs and even more so the fact that they were near our family and hometown made it even better. We have had Clementine (Callie) for four months now, and she is a wonderful dog. Her personality is amazing, and I think part of it is breeding and the other part is Erika and her family lovingly raising the puppies in their home with plenty of attention and snuggles. I also was impressed that, rather than send the puppies out right at 8 weeks, Erika kept ours for a few extra weeks because she was tiny and not read to leave her mom yet. It's that care that differentiates Bruisers from other breeders.

    Emily R. Avatar
    Emily R.
  • We found Bruiser Bulldogs after researching healthy breeding line for bulldog puppies. Erica was easy to work with thru the entire process from application to adopting and now beyond as we host our new family member, Chief. Her on-call support and willingness to provide open, honest advice to all of our questions and concerns continues to be appreciated. We would highly recommend Bruiser Bulldogs to anyone looking for an English Bulldog to join their family.

    Elizabeth W. Avatar
    Elizabeth W.
  • Lady L. Avatar
    Lady L.
  • Bruiser Bulldogs are 5-star breeders! They are experienced, responsive and knowledgeable about all things bulldog related. They went above and beyond for us and are truly dedicated to all of their pups! We love our little girl so much and would recommend Bruiser to anyone looking for a healthy beautiful bully.

    Jonathan E. Avatar
    Jonathan E.
  • Bruiser Bulldogs is a 5-star breeder in every way. Erica and Mitch are trustworthy, excellent communicators, fair, passionate, and produce the best bulldogs.We were at the top of the waiting list for months and Erica reached out every litter to see if we were finally ready for a bulldog. When we were, she was very easy to work with. Her knowledge on bulldogs is outstanding. We had many questions on the process and she always knew what was best for the puppy.We've had Penny (formerly Blair) for two months and she is very healthy, energetic, playful, and sweet. She is great with other people and dogs. We are so happy with our pup.When we are ready for bulldog #2, we will only consider Bruiser Bulldogs.

    Mitch C. Avatar
    Mitch C.
  • We waited a while to write this review so that we had a better sense for the overall health of our Bruiser Bulldog “Bowser”. Bowser was born April 2020 and is an integral part of our family. When we were first exploring English Bulldog breeders our biggest concern was the overall health of the dogs. We decided to work with Erica at Bruiser Bulldogs because we liked their focus on improving the breeds breathing abilities and the fact that the puppies are raised within her family environment before coming home with their new owners.As for Bowsers health, he’s a health energetic English Bulldog that has no problem keeping up with the kids, going on 2 mi walks and camping with us on a regular basis. Bowser also breaths clearly and our vet was impressed with his overall health from the moment we brought him home. All that said we know English Bulldogs have a predisposition to many health issues and that his current health can not predict the future. With that In mind its important to start with a breeder that open to answer any of your questions as Erica has ours, and that strongly believes in improving the breeds overall health profile.

    Adam B. Avatar
    Adam B.
  • After the loss of our first English Bulldog due to health issues it was very important for us to find a breeder who did not breed only for aesthetic but more importantly for health. My sister ended up finding Bruiser Bulldogs and we knew right away that they were the breeder for us.In September we ended up driving 9 hours to pick up two Bruiser bulldog puppies- one for my husband and I and one for my mom. Jackson and Penelope have been nothing but a joy. They are very social and very friendly to everyone they meet including kids and other dogs/animals. They are both very athletic and healthy. They are also HUGE snugglers and always want to be with you. It is an absolute pleasure having these two bullies in our lives! My sister and her fiancé also fell in love with them and now are on the waitlist themselves for a Bruiser bulldog!Erica is very knowledgeable about the breed. She is very hands on throughout the process and is just overall a kind and honest person to work with.With all that being said I cannot recommend Bruiser Bulldogs enough!

    Collyn C. Avatar
    Collyn C.
  • We fell in love with our puppy the moment we saw him. One of the reasons we chose Bruiser Bulldogs was due to the claims about breeding for health. During our first visit at our vet's office, he told us that our pup was one of the healthiest English bulldogs he had ever seen. He is healthy, happy and social. Would recommend to anyone.

    Christina S. Avatar
    Christina S.
  • What an awesome experience! We seen our dog on their website and sent them an Email. Mitch called us and personally walked us through the process and made sure we had the right dog for our family. We couldn't be happier when we picked up our dog Ramsey, Erica made sure we had everything we needed and then some. They are truly amazing people who breed truly amazing dogs!

    Jim T. Avatar
    Jim T.