English Bulldogs in Hawaii
There are special considerations for having an English bulldog in Hawaii. It can work successfully and wonderfully but only with the proper care and consideration taken into account. We'd like to share some of the more common issues with you.
1. Bulldogs are Sensitive to Heat
You should be able to provide a home where the bulldog is comfortable with the temperature and never panting. For some areas of Hawaii, this requires air conditioning. For other areas, this only requires a fan. Some healthy bulldogs may be able to play at the beach without overheating, others may not. You should evaluate your own dog and have a feel for what they are comfortable in, and can tolerate. Best to always have extra cold water, a spray bottle, and even a portable battery-powered fan available in case your bulldog gets hot when you have him/her outdoors.
2. Hawaii rabies laws prevent shipping bulldog puppies into the State until a certain age.
It is difficult to ship a bulldog into Hawaii (this applies for all dogs) because Hawaii is rabies free and has certain restrictions for bringing animals into the State. There is a process where it is possible, but it requires the dog going through a specific procedure that takes 6-9 months (and can be costly). The other options are to either ship the dog from a rabies-free country OR quarantining it in Hawaii for a long period of time (very costly). When purchasing our first bully in Hawaii, we researched all these options very carefully and HIGHLY discourage them. First of all, all of the options require putting the dog on an airplane for a long period of time, which is very risky (discussed in #3). Secondly, if your goal is to have a good pet for your family, missing out on the quality part of their youth, where they should be bonding with you and trained properly, will likely adversely affect the long term relationship you have with the dog, and its personality.
3. Bulldogs do not do well on airplanes.
Any time you put a bulldog on an airplane, you are taking a risk (because of their sensitive breathing issues). Many airlines will not even accept bulldogs any more due to this. We've heard too many stories of bulldogs dying on planes and feel it our responsibility to bring up the issue. Inter-island flights are one thing as they are shorter in nature. Hawaiian airlines will let you fly your puppy for free in the cabin with you, as long as they are small enough to fit under the seat. This is not as great of a risk since you will be there with the puppy to monitor it and it will have the same air and pressure as a human. Putting a bulldog in baggage (underneath the plane) is another story for a long cross-Pacific flight. This should be avoided at all times if at all possible and is one reason we do not support buying bulldogs from outside of Hawaii. We do know of several people that were successful doing this but also know of other people that were not. It is a real risk for the dog. If you are in a situation where you have to fly your dog then we suggest doing extensive research to first try to find a way to fly your dog in the passenger cabin with you (not sure any airlines do this anymore). If you are flying inter-island (which is obviously not as much as a risk, but still a risk, especially if the dog has to fly in baggage because they are larger), then we recommend Hawaiian airlines.
4. Bulldogs are more expensive in Hawaii.
Isn't everything though? AKC well bred English Bulldogs are a little more expensive in Hawaii than on the mainland. Given the cost (and risk) of shipping one from outside of Hawaii, this does even out. Why are they more expensive? First of all, vet care is more expensive in Hawaii thus raising the costs of breeding. Secondly, it is rare to find a good quality stud dog in Hawaii (especially a champion) so a conscientious breeder that cares about quality will most likely be shipping semen in from the mainland. The semen shipping costs alone can double the price of stud services. This raises the cost of the bulldog. Additionally, shipping in semen means either surgically implanting or artificially inseminating cooled or frozen semen for the breeding. This is an expensive vet bill compared to if the stud were in Hawaii. Good breeders take this all into consideration and obviously will be paying more for the breeding because they care about the quality of the puppies. But it also will mean the ending price of the puppy will be higher. Lastly, general care for the bitch and puppies is higher in Hawaii due to the general higher cost of living here (basic supplies like electricity to wash blankets, food for the puppies, bottles, cleaning supplies, etc.). These costs DO add up over the duration of the breeding.
(AKC English Bulldog puppies in Hawaii generally range from $4000 - $5500. The price depends on many factors and can be lower or higher than this average. A reputable breeder should be able to explain why their puppies are higher or lower priced.)