The proud English Bulldog is a uniquely British dog, with a face and body full of character. It is very recognisable as a breed and is popular for use as a mascot in the UK as well as many other countries in the world.
The English Bulldog is believed to have originated in the British Isle and was used for bull baiting and dog fighting - both extremely inhumane, but very popular sports for a long period in British History until outlawed in the 19th Century. Because of this the breed was selected for its aggression, fearlessness and determination When this was made illegal, the Bulldog became at risk of disappearing but with the determined work of a group of breed enthusiasts developed and improved the breed, many think by crossing it with the Pug which resulted in its much shortened snout. As a result the modern English Bulldog has made a transformation from a fierce bull fighter to friendly and loyal companion. This is a dog breed that has made its make worldwide and is very popular in the USA.
Average height to withers: Males and females both between 12-16 inches
Average weight: Males 24-25kg, females between 22-23 kg.
This is a proud and noble dog, if a somewhat 'grumpy' looking animal. The large face and head of the English Bulldog is its defining physical trait and a more character full face you will not see in any other breed of dog. The head, as mentioned, is large with a very pronounced undershot jaw with canine teeth which point upwards and are usually very visible. The folds of skin on the face and nose are large with a conspicuous fold called the 'rope' over the black nose of this breed. The skin around the mouth droops downwards hanging under the neck giving the 'sourpuss' expression. The snout is short and the body muscular, although they can be prone to weight gain if allowed. The Bulldog has short, fur over the entirety of its body and comes in mixed patterns including defined stripes in colours including brindle, fawn, red, white and piebald. It also has a naturally short and somewhat curly tail.
Whilst the English Bulldogs appearance can look intimidating; it is among the gentlest and most loyal of dogs. That said, it is a brave dog, given its bull fighting heritage, and will stand its ground in the face of adversity. It is known to be a very affectionate and dependable dog and especially gentle with children.
Stubborn and determined, this breed can be very persistent! Bulldogs are very much a peoples dog and thrive with human attention. As a result, Bulldogs can manipulate those who love and live with them and a firm understanding of its behaviour is needed at all time to make sure the lines are drawn and the leader is established. A Bulldog who understands it's position in the family pack and knows the 'pecking order' is a very reliable with all people. This is a calm and friendly dog, especially when older but as a youngster, they do tend to be on the excitable side with selective hearing when they want!
This breed is good with family pets, if socialised from an early age, but some can be confrontational with dogs it does not know. They are known for snoring very loudly, most tend to drool and slobber on a regular basis, mainly due to the shape of its snout.
In addition, this breed can be 'couch potatoes' and regular exercise should be encouraged as they can easily pile on the pounds, (see health section).
With an average life span anywhere between 6-12 years care must be taken of the physical needs of this dog.
Because of the Bulldog's head and nose shape, it is considered a brachycephalic (short faced) dog breed. As such, care must be taken when exercising this dog, especially in the heat, to ensure it does not over heat. This is in large due to breathing issues and a decreased efficiency in panting, which all dogs used to cool down. Shade and water must be provided (for all dogs) in hot weather, but it is especially notable for the Bulldog.
In addition, over 80% of all Bulldogs litters are born via caesarian section. This is due to the unusually large head being prone to getting stuck in the dam's birth canal.
Hip Dysplasia (HD) is also very common on this dog, and another reason that its weight needs to be carefully controlled.
This dog is also widely known for having prolific digestive and wind issues.
Daily care and cleaning of the folds of skin on this breed must be observed to limit the chance of bacterial skin infections to make sure the skin is in good, dry condition between these folds. This is best done with a damp, not wet, cloth and dry towel. The actual coat is short, and they shed an average amount of coat. The owner must be careful to balance food and exercise in the Bulldog as they are known for gaining weight easily.