Many people do say that it is cruel to keep Bulldogs as pets as yes they can have bad breathing problems. However, it all depends upon how they are bred and a lot of breeders are selective and they do manage to create healthier Bulldogs.
Over the past few years some people have said that the Bulldog is better off extinct. However there are many breeders and British Bulldog owners who would disagree completely. If a Bulldog does suffer from bad breathing problems it can be easily corrected through surgery. If it isn't corrected they do tend to snore and breathe quite loudly and it can be uncomfortable for the dog. However, their lifestyle isn't overly affected as they still love to play and they can be quite cheeky dogs too!
Overall it depends on your own personal view regarding their breathing. It can be corrected and they do lead happy, healthy lives. Just make sure you choose a good breeder who has bred their dogs to be healthier.
A bulldog's breathing will sound bad because of the short nose and soft palate - which is the cause of the snoring. They are also "barrell chested" which is not an efficient shape for what is essentially an air bellow.
So long as you bear your dog's limitations in mind, keeping them cool in hot weather, not expecting them to jog miles etc, there is no specific cruelty in keeping one. After all, most if not all dogs are adapted to specific tasks and/or specific environments, and would have some difficulty if asked to do or live somewhere much different. No-one says it is "cruel" to keep a saluki in a cool climate - you just put a coat on them. In other words, adapt your expectations to the dog's ability and morphology.
I hope you have a great time together.
We breed 'HEALTHIER BULLDOGS' our dogs have a higher percentage of british bulldog than of the various other breeds we use in our dogs. The idea behind this is that although the other breeds used each bring benefits in their own right, the Bulldog genes remain dominant. Therefore the dogs appearance and temperament is still very much the bulldog, though the structure, breathing, immune system and overall health are vastly improved. Though we initially received criticism from some closed minded breeders, our dogs are now very popular and are in very high demand. SUFFOLK BULL BREEDS BREEDERS OF HEALTHIER BULLDOGS
If you get a good quality bulldog you will love and appreciate every moment with this beautiful dog.
Our English Bulldog just passed away & he was only 2 1/2. Although he lived outside, he always had Shade, big patio cover/roof & slept inside. He would get overly excited when kids would play with him, or even just watching kids play. If you had a soccer ball, he would be freaking out...so I wouldn't let the kids play with soccer balls near him.
He shored, & when he would play just a little he sounded like he had asthma;( very sad.
Maybe we bought an English bulldog with genetic health problems, but I'll tell you, I do think it's cruel, he had cherry eyes, flies would nip @ his ears in the summer, & breathing issues. Just sad, maybe most English bulldogs don't have this many problems, I don't know, but ours did, & passed away quietly on a Saturday afternoon, while the kids were swimming, very short sad little life, & our kids are just heart broken;(
Please know if your going to buy an English bulldog, be prepared for health problems, they are high maintenance & are very expensive, we had no idea, just saw this cute puppy that my son & husband fell in love with, little did we know...