If you went to college in the US, the chances are that this dog symbolizes that institution. The English Bulldog is one of the most famous dog breeds in America and the world. And this is no accident, as the characterful appearance is accompanied by an appealing temperament that softens pet parents’ hearts. From my article, you can learn all the important information about these dogs. I trust I can help you decide: is the Bulldog, a dog for you?
- Height: 12-15 inches
- Breed Group: Companion Dogs
- Weight: 50 pounds (male), and 40 pounds (female)
- Life span: 8-10 years
About the Bulldog In Brief
Many American universities and schools have chosen Bulldogs (aka British or English Bulldog) and even the Marine Corps, as the animals represent them.
These dogs have a hard past. Their ancestors (certain fighting mastiffs) were taken to the British Isles by the Romans. The Bulldogs at the time were used in a sport called bullbaiting. It was a wild and bloody sport for which these were really ideal dogs.
Today’s Bulldogs are far from their ancestors, both externally and in personality. Their appearance is unique and special. In addition to their medium size and chunky physique, they are associated with short legs and a flat square face.
At the same time, they have relatively large muscle mass and broad shoulders and chest and thick, strong legs, command authority. In addition to their flat and wide face, another important characteristic is the abundance of wrinkles.
The jaws of Bulldogs are very massive and strong. Perhaps this most closely resembles their ancestors, as the condition of the jaw was important in combat. Their lower teeth stick out, which is also characteristic and can not be confused.
But these are not the only characteristics of English Bulldogs. Their eyes are round and dark, their ears are small and thin, and their tails are short. Because of their muscle mass and the position of their legs, their gait is quite unique.
These dogs have much wider shoulders and front bodies than their backs. Plus, their heads are pretty big. Because of this, childbirth is complicated in most cases and is only possible by cesarean section. Thus, breeding the Bulldog can be quite expensive.
As I mentioned, Bulldogs today no longer resemble their ancestors. Their nature is firm and brave but not combative. They are a little stubborn, but they can be very friendly and gentle. They love people and are very family-oriented.
They really enjoy spending time with their loved ones. They are loyal, and resting and sleeping with pet parents is one of their favorite pastimes.
Bulldogs are prone to some health conditions because of their unique physique. The most common of these are various respiratory diseases and joint problems. In the latter, obesity can be significantly exacerbated, to which this breed is also susceptible.
English Bulldogs do not require much exercise; in fact, they can be considered really inactive dogs. In addition to eating, their other favorite pastime is sleeping.
Because of this, while they get along well with the kids, it’s no surprise that they don’t like to play ball or run in the park for hours. They are pleased with short play sessions, but they want to continue to relax afterward.
History of the Bulldog
As I mentioned, this dog is significantly different from its ancestors. It was developed in England and was first mentioned in the 1500s.
The Bulldog dogs at the time were used during so-called bull baiting. The dogs grabbed and shook the bulls’ noses. This strange activity was done because of certain beliefs. It was thought that bull-baiting changes the condition of the blood to soften the bull’s flesh. It was a pretty strong belief. Baiting was also made mandatory in many places in England before the massacre.
By the way, it was also a spectacular and popular sport. People loved watching angry bulls throw dogs into the air with their horns while those bulls clung to their noses with their strong teeth and jaws. The audience even made bets on the participants of the “competition”.
So it’s no surprise that the Bulldogs at the time were bigger, stronger, and smarter. Crawling on their bellies, they climbed to the bulls, so they were less likely to catch them with their horns and toss them into the air.
Thanks to their strong jaws, the bulls had a tough time shaking them off. Dogs had to be very persistent with this stunt, and that’s exactly what the Bulldogs at the time were. Their pain tolerance was high.
Allegedly, the wrinkles on their heads also had a combat function. Namely, that due to strong jaw compression, blood flows out of the eyes. That way, the dogs don’t go blind.
Finally, fortunately, in 1835, bullbaiting was banned. After that, many thought the Bulldogs would disappear. After all, it was a breed of dog created exclusively for this purpose. They weren’t cute; they weren’t kind; they could only fight.
However, many Breeders found the strength and endurance of these dogs impressive. That’s why they decided to change the personality of the Bulldogs. Patient breeders only started breeding dogs with the right temperaments. Thanks to lengthy and sacrificial work, the Bulldog has been transformed into the lovely dog known today.
From 1859, breeders began to show the English Bulldogs in public. In 1860, Bulldogs were first shown at a Birmingham dog show, and in 1861, a Bulldog named Dick King also won a dog show in Birmingham.
Soon, in 1864, a man named R.S. Rockstro founded the first English Bulldog club. The club had 30 members, and it was here that the breed standard for Bulldogs was first formulated as Philo-Kuon. It’s all named by Samuel Wickens. The club disbanded three years after its founding.
In 1875, another Bulldog club was founded, which still exists to this day. Here, another breed standard was created that was similar to the one mentioned above.
Within a few years, the breed also reached America. The first Bulldog named Donald was showed in 1880 in New York. An English Bulldog named Bob was later registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1886.
The Bulldog Club of America was founded in 1890 by H.D. Kendall in Massachusetts and soon became a member of the American Kennel Club. For a while, the British breed standard was used, but a few years later, in 1894, an American standard was developed called the American-bred Bulldog.
The English initially protested strongly against this. However, the standard was accepted in 1896 and is still used today.
The Bulldog breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1890 and was close to the top 10 breeds until the 1950s. It currently ranks 5th in America on the popularity list.
Bulldogs’ history is proof that devotional and persistent breeding methods can greatly develop and change a dog breed’s temperament.
Some Interesting Facts About The English Bulldog Breed
- Bulldogs can have 10 different colors and 4 different markings
- English Bulldogs are more independent than other dogs
- Because of their physique, Bulldogs have a tough time swimming in the water
- Two American presidents also had an English Bulldog. (Calvin Coolidge and Warren Harding)
- There is a skateboarding Bulldog who holds the world record
As I mentioned, today’s English Bulldog temperament is not like it used to be. For its courage and perseverance are accompanied by a social, kind, and loving character.
These dogs get along well with everyone, although sometimes they are pretty stubborn. They learn a little slowly, but when they get something, then they won’t forget it.
They are excellent watchdogs, they do not bark, but they scare away intruders due to their respectable appearance.
The exact temperament and behavior depend on many factors, such as training, socialization, but also inheritance. Therefore, you can also influence what your dog will be like. When you see puppies, choose the one that looks kind, smart, and friendly.
You can also be convinced of kind temperament by meeting the mother or other relatives. Thus, a relatively accurate conclusion can be drawn about what the puppy will look like in adulthood.
Early socialization is critically important for all dogs. The English Bulldog is no exception. He needs to get to know different voices, people, animals, environments, and experiences as soon as possible. A puppy training class can be a good start.
Take your puppy to parks often, call people to your house, possibly with stranger dogs. Of course, introduce all of these gradually and not all of a sudden.
Bulldogs are prone to several health problems. Of course, not all of these may occur in your dog. In fact, there is also a chance that none of them will happen. However, you should be aware of these conditions, so you know what to watch out for at the breeder.
Buying from a reliable and reputable breeder is essential. Proper vaccinations and deworming should be the foundation. If the breeder cannot present these, you will need to look for another place.
Many diseases can only be detected after the age of two. So even parent dogs can only receive health records after this age. Therefore, it is important to buy from a breeder where dogs under two are not used for breeding.
The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals provides clearances for the appropriate hip, and the Canine Eye Registry Foundation can provide a certificate of the eye condition.
Bulldogs are basically prone to quite a few diseases, unfortunately. You can read about these below:
- Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome: This condition is found to some degree in all Bulldogs. Short heads, muzzles, and elongated palates obstruct the airways. In less severe cases, this causes noisy breathing or breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, however, even a complete collapse of the airways can occur. Treatment depends on the severity of the condition. This can be oxygen therapy or certain surgeries (widening of the nostrils or shortening of the palate). It is essential to know that the condition can be worsened by obesity. Therefore, a proper diet is essential for these animals.
- Temperature Regulation problems: Breathing problems can cause problems with the thermoregulation of Bulldogs. Therefore, make sure your dog does not stay outside in the heat for a long time. In summer, it is best to have air conditioning in your home. Watch for clear signs of overheating. These include a Discolored tongue, strange throat sounds, mouth foam, excessive panting, and exhaustion. If you are going on a hike, always have a splash-proof water bowl with you that can provide your dog with fresh water. An English Bulldog food bowl is also a good idea if you have it.
- Skin problems: There are some skin problems that Bulldogs are prone to. One of these is eczema or canine atopic dermatitis. Symptoms include dry, itchy, or scaly skin or rashes. Several things can be caused, such as allergies, tenderness, irritation, stress, or beetle bites. A common skin condition is hot spots, also known as acute moist dermatitis. It is also usually caused by various allergens, irritants, beetles, or parasites. Bulldogs are prone to bacterial infections such as staph, pyoderma, or dermatitis. These infections can appear on the surface of the skin or in the deeper layers. I should also mention Interdigital cysts. These cysts form between the toes and can swell into large bumps. They can be treated with cleaning, but excessive cleaning can worsen the condition. As you can see, the skin of the Bulldog is susceptible and vulnerable. The most effective protection against the conditions mentioned above is regular bathing. Choosing the right allergen-free shampoo is critical.
- Bone and joint issues: Bulldogs have a unique physique due to chondrodysplasia. This is a virtually abnormal cartilage growth and can cause additional health problems. One such problem is Hip Dysplasia. It is a disease in which the hip bones do not fit properly into the joints. The condition can be asymptomatic but can also cause pain or lameness. According to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, 71% of English Bulldogs suffer from this disease. Hip Dysplasia can even develop into Arthritis, but this disease can appear in Bulldogs without any sign. This is a painful condition where the cartilage wears out or is damaged. Anyway, it’s true for Bulldogs that their joints are vulnerable, so it’s worth keeping them fit and healthy. Dog foods containing glucosamine and chondroitin can help with joint problems.
- Eye problems: Unfortunately, English Bulldogs are also prone to eye problems. An example is Cherry Eye. In this case, the third under-eyelid gland enlarges and protrudes. It can look like a cherry in the corner of the eye. The problematic gland can be removed surgically. Their facial deformity causes the other eye problem for Bulldogs. As a result, debris, dust, and other contaminants can easily get into their eyes. The technical language calls this problem Brachycephalic ocular disease. Bulldogs often suffer from dry eyes. In this case, the natural formation of tears is reduced. This causes a lot of irritation as tears are an important way to remove dirt. Regularly cleaning your Bulldog’s eyes and monitoring various symptoms can help prevent or treat problems on time.
- Head shakes: This condition is associated with seizures that only affect the head. The movement can be lateral or back and forth. It’s like the dog is doing this on purpose. The cause can be many, such as low blood sugar or stress. So you also have to start from here during the treatment. If the cause is stress, then distractions should be eliminated. With low blood sugar, a small amount of honey can help solve the problem. If neither method works, take your Bulldog to the vet as soon as possible.
- Allergies: Allergies can develop in all breeds, and Bulldogs are no exception. Moreover, it is practically one of the most prone breeds to allergies. There are basically two types of allergies. Dog food allergy occurs when a certain component of dog food triggers immune reactions in the dog. Symptoms include skin problems, digestive problems, excessive shedding, and infections. Common allergenic ingredients include poor-quality protein sources, wheat, corn, soy, artificial preservatives, dyes, and additives. If your Bulldog has this condition, he needs the best quality dog food for allergies. Environmental allergies are the other type. In this case, Bulldogs are sensitive to some chemical (such as shampoo or flea treatment), dust, mold, or pollen. It is advisable to deal with skin allergies because, in addition to the initial itching and irritation, it can also cause severe wounds and infections.
- Pulmonary Stenosis: It is a common heart deformity in English Bulldogs that is a congenital condition. Proper blood flow is blocked, and this can lead to heart problems, like failure or death. With regular examinations, this disease can usually be detected quickly. It can be treated surgically.
- Cancer: Unfortunately, Bulldogs are also very prone to cancer. Two common cancers are lymphoma and mast cell tumors.
Regular vet checks may be expensive, but believe me, they can save you from many problems and tragedies. And as I mentioned, you can avoid a significant portion of these diseases by getting your English Bulldog from a reliable breeder. With this, he or she will have a relatively high life span.
Feeding and nutrition
It is important to buy the best dog food for your Bulldog. Due to its low activity, this breed is quite prone to obesity. And obesity is very bad for the joints.
The amount of food your dog should eat each day depends on many factors. Examples include age, gender, activity level, and so on. The recommended daily amount is about 1.5-2 cups per day for adult Bulldogs.
Malnutrition and overeating are just as bad. It is worth asking your veterinarian about the ideal weight of your dog. Basically, you need to be able to feel his ribs and see his waistline.
Divide the total daily amount of food into two meals, morning and evening. This is how you should serve it to your dog. Treats can be helpful when training and playing, but don’t overdo it. Up to 5-10% of your dog’s daily calories should come from treats.
Avoid human food and table scraps when feeding. In many cases, they do not contain adequate nutrients, but they can also be downright harmful to dogs.
You need to provide fresh water while feeding and even several times a day.
Coat and grooming needs
The coat of the Bulldogs is easily recognizable. It is short, straight, and if properly groomed, it is shiny and has a soft texture. The color can be several: striped (red and other colors), white, red, fawn, cream, pale yellow, yellowish red, or mottled, with multiple colors. Black is relatively rare.
The skin of Bulldogs is soft and loose, especially on their heads, necks, and shoulders. They have huge wrinkles on their heads, which is a real characteristic of the breed.
Grooming Bulldogs is relatively easy. One brush a week with a solid bristle brush is appropriate. Their faces should be wiped once a day with a damp cloth, especially the inside of wrinkles. Do not leave these places wet; try to dry them.
If your dog has irritations on the skin, you can use aloe vera, lanolin, or other soothing ointments. After cleansing the wrinkles, wash your Bulldog’s nose and then apply Vaseline. This way, it stays soft and does not dry out.
Basically, these dogs don’t shed much. With a few brushing a week, you can significantly reduce the amount of hair on your clothes and furniture.
It would be best if you cut your Bulldog’s nails 1-2 times a month. Of course, it is conceivable that they will wear out naturally. Nail trimming can be a huge stress for dogs, so you should start this process as soon as possible. So-called dog nail grinders can also help, which work on a different principle, are much safer, and are less intimidating.
Time should also be devoted to dental care. Brushing 2-3 teeth a week significantly reduces the chances of tartar formation.
Each of the processes described above is important and useful. Remember to check with your veterinarian. He or she will know your dog’s medical history better and will probably be able to tell you more tips.
During grooming, look for signs of infections or injuries on your Bulldog. Pay attention to the smell of the ears and the cleanliness of the eyes. With a little attention, you can spot any problems on time.
As I mentioned earlier, English Bulldog has low movement needs. They are non-sporting dogs and like to lie around a lot on the couch, and the favorite pastime for them is to relax with their owners and to be just lapdogs. Of course, they like to be outdoors at times. This is also necessary as exercise in addition to the diet is the best way to avoid obesity.
The structure of the Bulldogs’ faces makes it difficult for them to breathe properly. Therefore, they should avoid strenuous sports on hot summer days.
Because of their physique, swimming is also difficult for them. So the ideal way to cool them is air conditioning. But there are also so-called dog cooling vests, which have been developed specifically for this purpose.
The best exercise for Bulldogs is walking, loose short jogging, and short play sessions.
Bulldogs are kind and basically intelligent. They can be trained for quite a lot of things. However, it is critical to start training on time. Early socialization and a puppy training class can help you develop the right behavior.
Because of the structure of their faces, Bulldogs love to chew. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you need to teach your dog to chew on the chew toys made for him. It would help if you also taught him to release what is in his mouth on command.
There are things that Bulldogs learn more slowly. However, if they learn something, they will not forget it afterward.
Behavior With Children And Other Pets
Bulldogs are not only kind but patient and can even be playful. Because of this, they can become excellent companions, friends, and family pets.
They also get along well with the kids and tolerate a lot of things. However, it is important that you also teach your children and your dog how to behave with each other. Children should not be left unattended with dogs.
They also need to learn not to disturb your dog while eating, and which part of the body they should and should not touch.
Bulldogs can get along well with other pets (even with your cat), but for that, you definitely need to start socializing in time.
Frequently Asked Questions About English Bulldogs
My article wrote in some detail about this amazing breed. However, I am sure you still have questions. Let’s see the most common ones.
Is a bulldog a good family dog?
The Bulldog is a very kind, loyal, loving, and affectionate dog. This makes it a perfect choice for the family. It also gets along well with other pets, except with foreign unfriendly dogs. Early socialization helps a lot in this.
What is the best bulldog breed?
The English Bulldog is the best known, oldest, and most popular bulldog breed. They are very kind, loyal, and affectionate pets. They love their owners, and that makes them good family dogs.
Is a bulldog an aggressive breed?
Today’s Bulldogs don’t retain those aggressive traits like their ancestors. The ancient Bulldogs were bred for bull-baiting. However, after this sport was banned in England, breeders changed this breed’s temperament over the years.
How much do bulldogs cost?
Basically, it is an expensive dog breed. A Bulldog costs $1500-$4000. If you find dogs that are cheaper than a breeder, that could be a bad sign in terms of breeding methods.
Are Bulldogs hard to train?
Bulldogs are basically intelligent and love to impress their owners. However, sometimes they can be stubborn, and some things are hard to teach them. Positive reinforcement and treats help the most. They may have a hard time learning, but they won’t forget anything.
Bulldogs are extraordinary dogs, and it is no coincidence that it is one of the most popular breeds in the world to this day. In addition to their muscular physique, they are accompanied by a kind and friendly temperament with a huge heart and soul.
Unfortunately, due to their unique physique, they are prone to many health problems, but they can live a long and healthy life with their loved ones with proper care. I hope my article helped you decide if such a dog is right for you.