Bulldog

picture of a bulldog puppy

The English Bulldog, now known simply as the Bulldog, traces its roots to England. A breed developed from Mastiffs, the Bulldog was brought to Britain by the Romans where it was selectively bred to participate in a popular sport of the time called bullbaiting. A breed that was quite fierce and aggressive to fulfill its intended role, today’s Bulldogs are only a shadow of their former selves with little trace of their fighting nature remaining.

The Bulldog is an exceptionally loving breed. They are patient and gentle with all they meet. A dog with immense bravery and heart, today’s Bulldog is known for loving and not fighting. Sociable and fun, the Bulldog loves to play, but his favorite role in life is that of a cherished family companion. The breed thrives when the center of attention.

A breed of great popularity in America, this dog type is not every family’s perfect fit. The Bulldog is exceptionally heavy for a medium-sized dog, making picking him up a challenge. This dog type is not a huge fan of the active lifestyle, preferring to sleep his days away.

If you’re looking for a dog that loves nothing more than lounging in leisure by your side, the Bulldog just might be the ideal dog for you. Read on to learn more about this lovable couch potato canine.

Height:          14 to 15 inches

Weight:         Males=50 pounds

Females=40 pounds

 Life Span:     8 to 10 years

 Breed Size:   Medium

 Best Suited To: First time dog owners, families with children

 Personality: Comical, sleepy, loving, loyal, stubborn

 Intelligence: Fairly intelligent

 Shedding: Sheds moderately

Exercise: Low activity requirements

 Energy: Low

 Barking: Not much of a barker

 Drooling: A heavy drooler

 AKC/CKC Group: Non-sporting group

 Colors: Brindle, fawn, fawn and brindle, fawn and white; fawn, brindle and white, red, red and white, red brindle; red, brindle and white, white, fallow. The acceptable markings include ticked, white markings, black tips, black mask, brindle, and piebald.

Coat: Straight, short, and shiny

Bulldog Overview

The Bulldog, a breed also referred to as the English Bulldog or the British Bulldog, is a powerhouse breed with a stocky body and short, muscular legs. A breed with its own distinctive lumber, the Bulldog is a pooch of strength, endurance, and hearty enthusiasm for life.

One of the most distinctive physical characteristics of the Bulldog is his immense head. The dog’s muzzle is quite short, and his face is flattened, making him a member of the group of brachycephalic breeds. Because of his unique facial conformation, the Bulldog is not well-suited to outdoor activities in extreme heat or cold and may suffer from regular snoring and breathing challenges.

A breed with a very unique appearance, you are unlikely to mistake the Bulldog for any other dog type. One of the Bulldog’s most interesting characteristics is its droopy jowls and underbite, giving the dog a distinctive, funny smile.

The Bulldog is very sweet and patient The breed thrives on routine and enjoys time spent with those he loves most. Sociable and friendly, the Bulldog loves to be the center of attention. His comical ways naturally make him the life of the party.

A breed that typically enjoys the company of other dogs, some Bulldogs take time to adjust when introduced to new canine pals. The Bulldog is very brave and will alert bark and defend his family if called upon to do so.

The Bulldog can adapt well to nearly any lifestyle including apartment life. A dog with low activity requirements, a short walk each day in moderate weather is sufficient to keep this breed content. However, because the Bulldog loves to eat, care must be taken to monitor all food portions and treats to prevent him from becoming overweight.

Bulldogs do not like extreme temperatures, preferring to stay indoors when it is hot or cold. The Bulldog can also be prone to loud breathing, snoring, and wheezing. Drooling is another of this breed’s less desirable habits. To prevent infection from occurring, the Bulldog’s facial folds should be cleaned and dried on a consistent basis.

Generally loud breathers, Bulldogs tend to snore and wheeze. Many drool as well. They are moderate shedders, and their short coats require little grooming. However, the wrinkles on the face should be wiped regularly to prevent skin infections. 

General Appearance:

A dog with very distinctive looks, the Bulldog is easily recognizable even in a crowd. Of medium build and with a body that is substantial and set low to the ground, the Bulldog’s head is large and square. A breed with impressive musculature, the Bulldog is a stocky dog of great strength. The dog’s forehead bears the trademark wrinkles that have become one of the hallmarks of the breed. Bulldogs have droopy lips and should possess an underbite. The Bulldog’s jaws remain true to their original purpose as a fighting dog, retaining their power and size.

Because of the Bulldog’s substantial build, he moves in a very unique manner. The Bulldog’s legs are short and attach to the torso at each corner. This causes the dog to waddle in a manner that appears like a sideways shuffle. The breed has a massive head and wider shoulders than hips, making it a challenge for the Bulldog to whelp puppies naturally. As a result, Bulldog puppies are often more expensive than other breeds because of the expenses that go into breeding, whelping, and raising a litter.

Standing between 14-15” at the withers, the Bulldog is not a particularly tall dog. Males typically weigh 50 pounds with females only slightly less substantial at 40 pounds when fully mature.

The Bulldog has a lot of additional skin that hangs loosely from the dog’s body. These skin folds must be carefully cleaned and kept dry to prevent bacteria from accumulating there. The Bulldog’s coat should be short with a soft fineness to the touch. Among the colors the Bulldog comes in are brindle, piebald, red, fawn, and fallow. The Bulldog may also have some markings on his body or come in a combination of the standard accepted colors.

Sadly, the Bulldog’s conformation makes him susceptible to many different genetic health problems. Because the Bulldog loves to eat, it is important to keep this pooch at a healthy weight to avoid excess strain on his joints.

Personality Traits

The Bulldog is a patient and gentle dog. Sweet-natured to his core, the Bulldog is one breed that thrives on routine. This dog type is exceptionally kind to children and is loving and affectionate to his family and friends.

The breed carries itself with a unique dignity. However, make no mistake, the Bulldog can be very obstinate, making training this dog a bit of a challenge. Laidback and friendly, the Bulldog is a joy to be around.

The Bulldog is not that excited about learning but does love praise and treats, and thus, can be motivated to pick up new skills. The breed is a true people pleaser, taking great delight in making his owners happy.

Living Requirements

Though the Bulldog can thrive in almost any environment, the ideal living situation for this breed is a home that has a minimum number of stairs. Because the breed succumbs to cold and heat very easily and has difficulty breathing in the extreme temperatures, the Bulldog prefers living indoors with only occasional forays outside for potty breaks and short walks.

Care

The Bulldog is a great family companion and enjoys accompanying his loved ones wherever they happen to roam. However, the breed will naturally protect his home turf and may even guard his family members if feeling their attention is being diverted away from him.

The Bulldog can eat any high-quality diet, but it is important that this dog type’s meals be carefully measured and all intake regularly monitored. The breed is prone to becoming obese, a problem that can negatively impact his joints and shorten his life expectancy. 

When it comes to grooming, the Bulldog will need be regularly brushed especially during periods of excessive shedding. Baths can occur on an as needed basis. However, the skin folds on the Bulldog’s face and body should be cleaned and dried on a consistent basis. This helps to prevent bacteria from building up and is key to avoiding skin infections.

Nails should be trimmed once weekly. Attention to proper oral health is key to preventing future dental problems. The Bulldog’s teeth should be brushed several times a week for best results.

A breed that is not renowned for its athleticism, the Bulldog would prefer to do no activity at all. Still, it is important to take this dog for a once daily walk of a short to moderate length. To prevent overheating or a chill, the Bulldog should be exercised in mild weather conditions only.

Because the Bulldog struggles to go up and down stairs, some owners opt to build ramps for them to climb instead. It is also important that the Bulldog not be permitted to swim unless under careful supervision as the breed is not naturally adept at swimming and could easily drown.

Bulldog Health

All dog breeds are predisposed to certain genetic conditions. Thankfully, through careful health testing of breeding dogs, it is possible to limit and even possibly eliminate the transmission of some of the most commonly seen problems in some breeds. The main problems that can affect the Bulldog include:

Reputable breeders conduct the appropriate physical and DNA tests on their dogs prior to any matings to ensure genetic illness is not knowingly passed from generation to generation. 

History

The Bulldog is a descendant of Mastiff dogs that were kept by the Romans. Brought with them during their attempts to conquer Britain, selective breeding resulted in an early hybrid of the Bulldog whose main role was to participate in the popular practice of bull baiting.

The breed was first found in literature in 1500 in a tome in which the Bulldog was referred to as a Bolddogge. The volume described the dog’s role in bull baiting which consisted of the dog attaching its teeth to the bull’s snout and vigorously yanking on it.

Bull baiting was not simply considered to be sport. Many people believed the act of bull baiting helped the animal’s meat to become more tender through the thinning of the blood. It became law in some cities in Britain for bulls to be subjected to this practice prior to their slaughter and butchering.

But make no mistake, bull baiting was also an activity that drew many spectators. Angering the bull first created a more exciting show for the audience to enjoy.

The Bulldogs utilized for this cruel practice were larger in size and weight than today’s Bulldog. Their main purpose was to participate only in this sport. To protect themselves from the horns of the bull, the Bulldog was bred to be low to the ground and have short, stocky legs, allowing him to approach the bull on his belly. Because the Bulldog possesses immensely strong jaws, the dog was able to grab onto the bull’s nose and hang on with great tenacity and endurance. In addition to these qualities, the early Bulldog also possessed a very high pain threshold. The wrinkles found on the dog’s head were intended to keep any blood from the nose grip from seeping into the dog’s eyes and temporarily blinding him.

1835 saw an official banning of bull baiting in England. Sadly, the Bulldog found himself without a job. The Bulldog of that time was not naturally loving or affectionate, having been bred from blood and violence. Because of his innate aggression, the breed’s temperament needed to change to avoid facing extinction.

Among the Bulldog’s most prized qualities were his endurance, power, and patience. Breeders of that day focused on preserving those qualities while attempting to produce future Bulldogs with temperaments that were kinder, gentler, softer, and sweeter. They were highly successful in their efforts.

Fun Facts About the Bulldog

  • It is believed that the Bulldog’s breed standard was the very first document of its kind written in the world.
  • The Bulldog ranks among the top five most popular dog breeds in the United States today.
  • Bulldogs naturally have difficulty reproducing and whelping because of their unique conformation. Because of this, most Bulldogs are artificially inseminated, and their puppies are born via scheduled caesarean sections.
  • Winston Churchill was often referred to as the British Bulldog for his similarity in appearance to the breed.
  • The Bulldog was the most cherished companion of two U.S. presidents: Calvin Coolidge and Warren Harding.
  • A skateboarding Bulldog by the name of Otto holds the Guinness World Record for “Longest Human Tunnel Traveled Through by a Skateboarding Dog.”

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