The Bulldog, colloquially known as the British Bulldog or more often English Bulldog, is a medium-sized, short haired, muscled breed of dog that originated in England. A family dog that doesn't require much, part of the Molossers group.
The English Bulldog History
The history of Mastiff-type dogs in the British Isles dates back beyond the arrival of Caesar. With the arrival of the Normans in 1066 came Alaunts; an extinct Molosser breed from the continent. The breeding of the indigenous mastiffs to the newly arrived ones produced the Mastiff, Bulldog and Bandog of England.
Bulldogs were bred in England for the task of bull-baiting. The term "bulldog" was first used around 1568 and might have been applied to various ancestors of modern bulldog breeds.
In the 1600s, Bulldogs were used for bullbaiting (as well as bearbaiting), a gambling sport popular in the 17th century with wagers laid in which trained Bulldogs successfully leapt at a bull lashed to a post, latched onto its snout and attempted to suffocate it. The old-type Bulldogs had many distinct characteristics that were bred into them so they would be better suited to bullbaiting. Compared to the big Mastiffs and Bandogs the Bulldog's body was short, low to the ground and compact, allowing it to be able to scuttle or crawl low under the bull's horns. The lower jaw sticks out further than the top one allowing the Bulldog to grip on the nose of the animal and still be able to breathe due to the slight lay-back of the nose. The wrinkles on the Bulldog's face would allow the blood from the other animal to run down the Bulldog's face instead of going into its eyes. However mankind has changed the breed over the years towards its current form, now featuring such exaggerated characteristics that were it to perform the task it was originally bred for it would fail miserably.
When animal baiting contests were outlawed in England in 1835, to preserve the breed the Bulldog was introduced to the show world. The oldest English Bulldog single breed specialty club is The Bulldog Club (England), which was formed in 1875. Members of this club met frequently at the Blue Post pub on Oxford Street in London. There they wrote the first standard for the breed. In 1891 the two top Bulldogs, Orry and Dockleaf, competed in a contest to see which dog could walk the farthest. Orry was reminiscent of the original Bulldogs, lighter boned and very athletic. Dockleaf was smaller and heavier set, slightly more like modern Bulldogs. Dockleaf was declared the show winner that year, while Dockleaf was still a strong dog this decision set a trend towards breeding ever smaller and heavier set Bulldogs, the Pug breed was used to achieve this. While the older version of the bulldog (now extinct and know as the Old English Bulldog) was more fit to perform athletic tasks, the modern version's characteristic and comically charming looks won over the fans for the decades to come. The breed was first registered by the American Kennel Club in 1934 in the non-sporting group and today is a popular show dog throughout the world.
English Bulldog Appearance
Body: the English Bulldog has a broad, powerful and compact physique. His legs end relatively low compared to his body. The short and strong back is at its widest at the height of the shoulders and becomes narrower as it comes towards the loins. Viewed from the side, the back shows a slight decline after the shoulders, whereupon it rises towards the loins and then bends downwards with the tail. The highest point of the back is also at the highest point of the loins. The chest is broad, round and very deep, and hangs solidly in between the legs. The well-rounded ribs run far to the rear and the belly is tucked. The low set tail is thick at its start and thins out towards its tip. It runs to the side and the tip is worn downwards (corkscrew tail). The tail is naturally short. The straight and strong legs stand far apart from each other and are somewhat shorter than the back legs. The hind-quarters are compact and round and the front-quarters are slightly twisted outwards with the feet almost round. The strong, deep and strong neck is rather short than long.
Head: the massive, square skull is very large, the circumference is as long as the shoulder height. The cheeks are well rounded and stick sideways past the eyes. Viewed from the side the head is very high and short. The head is flat, with a wrinkled skin. There is a clear forehead groove running from the stop till the top of the skull. The very deep and broad snout is pointed upwards and short. The nose lies mostly between the eyes and has wide nostrils. The broad upper lip droops at the sides over the lower jaw, but close at the front on the lower lip to making sure there are no teeth visible. The broad square lower jaw runs upwards at the front. The thin and small rose-ears are placed relatively high and are set widely from one another. The eyes are set low in the skull, distancing them as far as possible from the ears, and are in a straight line with the stop. They are round and moderately large. English Bulldogs have a frontal underbite.
Height at Withers: there are no official guidelines for height in the standard. Usually the height at the withers for males is 32 centimeters (12.5 inches) to about 40 centimeters (16 inches). Bitches are usually around 31 centimeters (12 inches) high to about 39 centimeters (15.5 inches).
Weight: the weight of males is around 23 and 25 kg and for bitches, this is around 22 to 24 kg depending on their size.
Coat: the fur is short, dense and smooth and has a narrow composition.
Colors: English Bulldogs come in two color types; brindle and red. The red can range from almost white to dark red and fallow deer-brown. They may or may not have white markings and/or a black mask. In addition, there are (almost) white copies, which definitely should have many dark pigments around snout and eyelids. Black, liver-colored and black and tan colors are very undesirable. The eyes are as dark as possible.
English Bulldog Temperament
Character: English Bulldogs are mild, very balanced and gentle dogs. They have a friendly and cheerful characteristics, are spontaneous and enthusiastic in their doings, but generally quiet in the house. They are very sensitive to moods in the house, but physically quite hard on themselves. They are quite intelligent in a thoughtful way and reasonably obedient. The English Bulldog is very affectionate and is happiest when close to his family. They do not do well in a dog kennel.
Social Build: English Bulldogs normally are very good with peers and because of the lack of hunting instinct dealing with other animals is almost always without problems. In addition, they are excellent with children. They are extremely tolerant and also have a doglike sense of humor, they are easy going. Most English Bulldogs are everyone's friend, but there are some that show watchful and protective behavior.
English Bulldog Socially
Care: the coat care of the English Bulldog is only small. In the shedding period you can easily remove dead hairs from the fur with a soft rubber brush. The facial folds, especially beneath the eyes, need a little more attention. Cleanse them if necessary with an appropriate lotion. The skin is susceptible to infections. An English Bulldog should be held in a draft-free, dry and preferably also soft place to lie and most of them are not suitable to be held in a kennel. Very cold sensitive. Very susceptible to heat stroke in warm weather or hot rooms and cars. Breathing problems; some have small windpipes as well. Regularly have poor eyesight. Hip and knee problems do occur. Puppies often delivered by caesarian section because of their broad heads. Its digestive system is very active and may be offensive to people with sensitive noses.
Education: on the whole dogs of this breed are not difficult to raise. An English Bulldog is very sensitive to your voice (moods) and often will follow through on a friendly but certain request. Under no circumstances should this breed be tackled the hard way, but you can not let it walk over you either. Always stay consistent and converse clearly against your dog. He will happily do what you want if he understands what you want from him, he will not disappoint you.
Activity: English Bulldogs are no dogs to take with you on long walks. This breed is sufficiently satisfied when it is taken out three times daily for a short walk around the block. Other than that they prefer to stay at home or in the garden, at least as close as possible with the family. This characteristic makes them an ideal dog for the less sports minded people among us. Young Bulldogs, unlike the adult animals, are very active and often have the tendency to continue to play and run, while they no longer can. Make sure also that the young dog takes its time to rest and does not get too weary. English Bulldogs can not handle heat well. In hot weather give the dog a cool place to lie and do not place him in the car or with you on walks.
Usability: the breed is mainly used as a companion dog for people both with and without children. Although it is intelligent and can learn much, its physique keeps it from taking part in the various forms of dog sports.
English Bulldog Quotes / Trivia