Also commonly referred to as English Bulldogs due to their origins in the British Isles, Bulldogs are a medium-sized breed that is known for its loose-jointed shuffling gait and characteristic short-muzzled face. Recognized as exceptional family pets due to their propensity to form strong bonds with children, the Bulldog is currently ranked as the 5th most popular breed in the United States by the American Kennel Club. If you are interested in opening your home to a Bulldog, read on to find a full breed description and determine whether this lovable lapdog is the perfect match for your family.
|Other Name||English Bulldog|
|Size Type||Medium Dog Breeds|
|Breed Group||Non-Sporting Breeds|
|Life Span||8-12 years|
|Temperament||Willful, Gregarious, Friendly, Docile|
|Height||Female: 12–16 inches; Male: 12–16 inches|
|Weight||40 to 50 pounds|
|Colors||Fawn, Red, Gray Brindle, Brindle & White, Fawn & White, Red & White|
|Puppy Price||Average $1200 - $2000 USD|
Easy to recognize with its wide compacted body with short legs, the Bulldog has a massive head that is covered with extra wrinkling skin on the skull and forehead that forms numerous folds. While the cheeks extend to both sides of the eyes, the wide short muzzle has a broad well-defined stop that gives the breed a pug-like appearance. The dogs have a broad black nose with large prominent nostrils, deep set eyes that are dark brown in color, and rose-shaped small ears that sit high up on the head. Along with teeth that meet in a noticeable underbite, the immense jaw is broad and square-shaped with drooping upper lips. The breed either has a straight or curled tail that is carried low on the hindquarters. Male Bulldogs are typically between 14 to 16 inches with a weight ranging from 45 to 55 pounds, but the females are slightly smaller with a shoulder height of 12 to 14 inches and a weight of 40 to 50 pounds.
The most common color variations for the Bulldog include red brindle, brindle, solid pure white, fawn, solid red, piebald, pale yellow, fallow, and washed-out red or white. According to the breed standard, it is also acceptable for the dogs to have any combination of these colors with white markings on the forehead, muzzle, chest, tail, legs, and feet.
Bulldogs possess a short, flat coat that consists of short straight hairs that provide the breed with a glossy or sleek appearance. The dogs generally have thick folds of skin on their brow, folds called rope above the nostrils, drooping skin beneath the neck, and hanging lips. With the fine short-haired coat changing with the seasons, the breed is considered an average shedder.
|Good with Kids|
Rather easy to groom, there are very minimal grooming requirements needed to keep the short-haired coat of the Bulldog in ideal condition. In order to keep the coat shiny, it is recommended that owners brush their Bulldogs at least four times a week with a slicker brush, hand brush, or grooming glove. Since the face is covered with its trademark wrinkles, one of the most important requirements is to clean the folds of skin with mild soap and water to remove the buildup of any debris on a daily basis. In addition, the eyes should be cleaned with warm water and a washcloth to prevent tear stains from forming. Veterinarians also suggest that owners routinely check Bulldogs thoroughly for bare spots, scabs, infections, flaky skin, skin lesions, or other problems that may be an indicator of a health concern.
Believed to be a descendent of the ancient Asiatic Mastiff, the Bulldog has its origins in the British Isles of England where it was used for its aggressive temperament for centuries. With the name “bull” being applied because of the dog’s use in the sport of bull baiting, the breed was used for fighting tethered bulls for sport in areas. Over the centuries, the dogs used developed the characteristic stocky bodies and massive heads in order to be more ferocious against the savage bulls. After bull baiting and the similar bear baiting reached its apex of popularity in England in the early 19th century, the sports were made illegal in 1835 by the Cruelty to Animals Act passed by Parliament.
Despite the fact that the Bulldog had outlived its original purpose as a sporting animal, the fanciers of the breed were determined to preserve the dogs by eliminating the fierce temperament for more agreeable characteristics. As a result, the Bulldog was crossed with the Pug to create a shorter, wider dog that could not withstand the rigors of fighting like their ancestors. Within a few generations, the Bulldog became one of the best physical specimens among dog breeds and developed a more pleasant disposition for its new role as companion. By 1886, the Bulldog was brought to the United States by emigrants and the breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in the Non-Sporting Group.
Although its history as a fighter and somewhat intimidating appearance may suggest otherwise, the Bulldog is often named among one of the gentlest dog breeds. The dogs are often described as being very affectionate, trustworthy, dependable, docile, and calm. With its excellent guarding abilities, the breed can also be extremely courageous, bullheaded, stubborn, determined, and persistent to never giving up a challenge. Thriving off human attention, the Bulldog requires a firm and consistent leader to avoid any dominating alpha canine behaviors.
In order to fulfill its primal canine instincts to migrate, it is essential that Bulldogs are taken on a daily walk to avoid any negative behavioral issues that may stem from boredom. Susceptible to a variety of troubling health concerns, it is important for owners to take the time to provide daily mental and physical exercise that will keep the dog in good shape and capable of moving very quickly for short periods of time. The Bulldog may be suitable to apartment living, but they will need to still be given plenty of exercise as they are very inactive inside.