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Bullwhip

Brooke Billingsley

June 18, 2021

Bullwhip1_Pixabay

Height 13-20 inches
Weight 20-60 pounds
Lifespan 12-15 years
Colors White, cream, brown, black, brindle, pied, tricolor
Suitable for Active households, large fenced yards, sporting events
Temperament Happy, exuberant, active, protective, independent

The Bullwhip is a designer breed that is a mix between a Whippet and a Bulldog. This cross-breeding results in a dog that is less delicate and more protective than a Whippet, but more agile and active than a Bulldog. These dogs make great sporting dogs for activities like agility, lure coursing, and flyball, but they’re usually up for almost any activity, including hiking, bikejoring, and running. If you’ve been looking for a medium-sized, highly active dog, the Bullwhip might be a great fit for your lifestyle.

It’s important to understand that these dogs require thorough training and socialization to prevent behavioral issues, like aggression. They are strong-willed and will do best with an experienced dog owner who is willing and able to put a significant amount of time into meeting their needs. With proper training and socialization, Bullwhips can make great family dogs in homes with children that have been taught proper interaction with dogs. For a challenging dog that’s protective and active, here are the things you need to know about Bullwhips!

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Bullwhip Puppies – Before You Buy…

Energy
Shedding
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

What’s the Price of Bullwhip Puppies?

Bullwhip puppies may be difficult to come by since they are not a popular designer breed, but you will likely find one for a very affordable price. They usually run between $200-800, unless you are trying to purchase one from a pet shop.

It’s extremely important to ensure you are purchasing a healthy puppy from health-tested parents and a responsible breeder. When possible, visit the breeding facility and ask to see the parents. Look for signs of puppy mills, like breeding more than 2-3 breeds of dog, multiple buildings on the property, and a strong smell of feces and urine. These are red flags and you should not purchase a puppy from this breeder.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Bullwhip

 

  • Bulldogs were bred for bull baiting

The Bulldog was initially bred in the 1500-1600s for bull baiting, which was a blood sport involving chained bulls being pitted against dogs. There was no practical use for this blood sport, and it is now illegal. After bull baiting became illegal, breeders began breeding Bulldogs into friendlier, more sociable dogs that remained loyal and brave.

  • Whippets were bred for hunting

In the 1700s, the lithe Whippet was bred for hunting small animals. They were commonly used to hunt rabbits and other small animals. Whippets are sighthounds, which means they hunt by sight and not by scent. Whippets are no longer used as hunting dogs, but they still have their sighthound instincts. They love to run, are prone to chasing small animals, and enjoy being couch potatoes when they’re not running.

  • Bullwhips are increasing popularity

Bullwhips first entered the dog ownership scene in the 1980s, although it’s impossible to know the origin and age of the breed since they are still considered a mixed breed. Since the 1980s, Bullwhips have continued to grow in popularity. People are attracted to the Bullwhip for their active nature and loyal, protective instinct.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Bullwhip

Are These Dogs Good for Families?

Bullwhips can make great family pets, but they probably aren’t the number one choice for homes with small children. These dogs can be very tolerant and protective of children, but without proper training and socialization, they can be a handful and can develop behavioral problems. When kept in homes with children, Bullwhips should only be around children who have been taught proper behavior around dogs. This includes not climbing on the dog, not pulling ears or tail, and not bothering the dog when it has food or another high-value item. With proper training and socialization, Bullwhips can make excellent family dogs that thrive in a high-activity home.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Bullwhips should be properly socialized and slowly introduced to other animals. The Whippet in these dogs makes them prone to chasing after small animals, like guinea pigs and rabbits, so it’s best to keep them away from small animals. They may even chase after cats. Bulldogs can be hesitant and suspicious of other animals, which can lead to Bullwhips not doing well with other animals. These dogs tend to be very people-oriented, but should be provided safe, slow introductions to other animals and watched closely while building relationships with other dogs and cats.

Things to Know When Owning a Bullwhip:

  • Food & Diet Requirements

Since Bullwhips are active and muscular, you’ll need to provide a balanced, high-protein diet. Bulldogs are prone to becoming overweight and obese, so you’ll need to ensure that the energy your dog is consuming is also energy that your dog is burning. Otherwise, they will consume too many calories and may become overweight. Active and young dogs have higher calorie needs than inactive and older dogs, so you’ll have to consider your dog’s activity level and may need to adjust as needed. If you’re unsure of an appropriate diet or amount of food for your Bullwhip, talk to your veterinarian.

  • Exercise

Bullwhips aren’t necessarily dogs that need a job, but they do need activities. They enjoy activities like running and sports, but it’s a good idea to come up with games and enrichment activities to prevent boredom and to keep things fresh and interesting. Your Bullwhip will need exercise every day and will do best in a home with a large fenced yard. Young, active dogs will require high levels of activity, so they may need walks or runs multiple times per day, as well as other interesting enrichment activities.

  • Training

If you’re bringing home a Bullwhip, be prepared for working with a stubborn, smart dog. You will need to be consistent with training and find high-value rewards, like treats and toys, that will keep your dog interested in training activities. It’s important to use plenty of positive reinforcement to build trust with your dog. A Bullwhip that doesn’t trust you will be extremely difficult to train and will likely develop aggression and other behavioral problems. If needed, bring in a professional trainer to assist you in ensuring your dog becomes balanced and obedient.

  • Grooming

Since Bullwhips are short-haired dogs, their grooming needs are minimal. You will need to brush your dog at least weekly to keep the coat free of loose hairs and dirt, as well as to keep the coat healthy and shiny. Your dog will require baths every 2-4 weeks, although baths may need to be more frequent if your dog participates in activities like hiking and swimming.

  • Health and Conditions

Serious Conditions:
  • Gastric Torsion: Also called Bloat, Gastric Torsion is a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate veterinary intervention. Deep-chested dog breeds, like Whippets, are prone to Gastric Torsion. This event involves the stomach filling with air and twisting or flipping, which can result in lack of blood flow to the stomach as well as gastric rupture.
  • Hip/Elbow Dysplasia: This disorder is usually genetically acquired and involves a malformation of the joints. It is most common in the hip and elbow joints. Dysplasia can usually be managed medically when a dog is young, but it may lead to major surgeries to attempt to repair the joints. Dogs with joint dysplasia are at a high risk for arthritis and tendon rupture.
  • Brachycephalic Syndrome: Flat-faced dog breeds, like Bulldogs, can develop this syndrome, which is a set of disorders that are all related to the brachycephalic nature of the breed. Brachycephalic Syndrome consists of disorders like soft palate deformities, narrowed airways, and small nares.
Minor Conditions:
  • Skin Conditions: Bulldogs are prone to skin conditions due to the folds in their skin, so Bullwhips that take on more of the Bulldog traits may be more likely to suffer from skin infections, both fungal and bacterial. Inbred and poorly bred dogs are also at a higher risk of developing skin allergies.
  • Reverse Sneezing: Often seen in brachycephalic and small dogs, reverse sneezing can be a scary event if you aren’t sure what’s happening. If the dog’s soft palate becomes irritated, they may begin rapidly inhaling air through the nose, the opposite of a normal sneeze. When a reverse sneeze occurs, you’ll see your dog extending their neck out and making a snorting or honking sound. If your dog routinely has reverse sneezing, talk to your vet about potential causes and treatment options.
  • Snoring: Also related to flat-faced breeds, snoring isn’t a medical concern unless it is accompanied by difficulty breathing.
  • Obesity: Bulldogs are prone to obesity, but Whippets tend to be very lean dogs. Depending on which parent’s traits your Bullwhip takes on, your dog may or may not be prone to obesity.
  • Luxating Patellas: More common in small and some medium dog breeds, like Whippets, this condition involves the patella, or the knee cap, slipping out of place. Mild cases usually do not interfere with activity and typically aren’t painful. However, dogs with patellar luxation are at an increased risk of arthritis and tendon rupture. Moderate to severe cases can cause pain and interfere with activity. This condition can be surgically repaired.

Male vs Female

There aren’t any noticeable differences between male and female Bullwhips. Male and female Whippets tend to have very similar personalities, but males may be slightly more laid-back than females. Male bulldogs tend to be more playful and less territorial than females, but both sexes tend to be equally protective.

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Final Thoughts

Bullwhips are interesting dogs that definitely aren’t for everyone. They can make a great pet for an individual or family who are willing to put time and effort into training and socialization. If you’re interested in sports, like skijoring and agility, or you have an active lifestyle with plenty of running and hiking, then a Bullwhip could make an excellent companion for you. These dogs bring together the best of both the Whippet and the Bulldog breed, but, like all crossbreeds, have unpredictable gene expressions, so you never know what you’re going to get until you have it. If you’re ready, able, and willing to work with your dog to help them become sociable, friendly, and relaxed, then check out Bullwhips in your area.


Featured Image Credit: (Left)Bulldog: Sven Lachmann, Pixabay | (Right)Whippet: David Mark, Pixabay

Brooke Billingsley

Brooke Billingsley spent nine years as a veterinary assistant before becoming a human nurse in 2013. She resides in Arkansas with her boyfriend of five years. She loves all animals and currently shares a home with three dogs, two cats, five fish, and two snails. She has a soft spot for special needs animals and has a three-legged senior dog and an internet famous cat with acromegaly and cerebellar hypoplasia. Fish keeping has become a hobby of Brooke’s and she is continually learning how to give her aquarium pets the best life possible. Brooke enjoys plants and gardening and keeps a vegetable garden during the summer months. She stays active with yoga and obtained her 200-hour yoga teacher certification in 2020. She hosts a podcast focusing on folklore and myth and loves spending her free time researching and writing. Brooke believes that every day is an opportunity for learning and growth and she spends time daily working toward new skills and knowledge.

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