All About English Bulldogs

About This Breed

The Bulldog originated in 19th century England where it was used for bull baiting, though it would eventually become a popular companion dog.

To learn more about the English Bulldog and to meet other Bulldog lovers, check out our English Bulldog group in the community!

Physical Characteristics

The Bulldog is short yet powerful. It has a rather heavy build with a lot of loose skin and wrinkles. Its bottom jaw usually protrudes, exhibiting a distinctive under bite. The English Bulldog also has a short muzzle, which makes it prone to breathing problems and frequent snorting and sneezing.

COLOR(S)

The English Bulldog can be seen in any color except black. The most common colors are brindle, fawn and white, white, red brindle, and brindle.

COAT

Short and smooth

Personality and Temperament

ACTIVITY LEVEL

Low

POSITIVES

The English Bulldog is the perfect couch companion — it loves to eat and sleep.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

The English Bulldog is not an active dog and will require some prodding to exercise; it also snorts and drools.

Care

IDEAL LIVING SITUATION

The English Bulldog fares well in the city or country.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

The English Bulldog requires daily exercise to fend off obesity.

Health

The following conditions are commonly seen in the English Bulldog:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Obesity
  • Skin problems
  • Breathing problems

History and Background

The history of the Bulldog is as unique as its distinctive face. First bred in England as a cross between the pug and the mastiff, the Bulldog's main purpose was as an entertainment dog in the sport of bull-baiting, a popular game during the Middle Ages — from the 1200s through the mid 1800s, when it was outlawed by an act of Parliament. The aim of the dog was to attack and bite the bull, not releasing its grip until the bull was brought down. Bulldog owners boasted of their dog's ferocity and courage, and their ability to fight to the finish even when suffering extreme pain.

It is recorded that all levels of society took part in this blood sport, and that even Queen Elizabeth enjoyed this form of entertainment. The longevity of the sport is owed in large part to the belief that the meat of the bull would be more usably nutritious if the bull was in an excited state before slaughter — a belief that has been since grounded in fact.

After bull baiting was banned in 1835, a new chapter began for the Bulldog. Although the Bulldog lost much of its popularity because of the end of the fighting, there were still those who appreciated the breed for its devotion and fortitude. Ardent Bulldog enthusiasts rescued the breed from what appeared certain extinction, encouraging its most attractive physical and characteristic features, while replacing its ferociousness with a gentle and docile disposition. The dog maintains its ferocious tenacity in the face of danger however, fighting to the death, if necessary, in the protection of family. These qualities, altogether, make the Bulldog a very popular and friendly dog.

Today, with its clownish and amiable personality, it has also become a favorite among American pet owners, and a favorite of institutions throughout the world, who use the Bulldog as a mascot to denote their own strength in the face of adversity and battle. They include the United Kingdom, the U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps, and hundreds of businesses, schools, universities and sports teams. The English Bulldog is everywhere!

National Clubs and/or Organizations

Bulldog Club of America

PO Box 334

Cochran, GA, 31014-0334

Fun Fact(s)

The Bulldog has been a very popular breed with many U.S. presidents.

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