The Bulldog originates from the British Isles, where it was bred for ferocity and used in the sport of bull baiting. However, when dog fighting became illegal in Great Britain during the1830s, the future of the Bulldog looked very bleak indeed. Dog lovers rallied round in support of the breed, in the hope of preserving it and eliminating its aggressive nature. Thankfully, due to their success, today’s Bulldog is an affectionate, dependable and gentle dog, which loves attention and is good with children.
Although Bulldogs are gentle and love plenty of attention, they can be a little too demanding at times and even dominating. Strong leadership will be required to keep them in their place. They are not huge fans of exercise, particularly as adults, so you may need to coax them out for regular walks to keep them fit and healthy.
Bulldogs are medium-sized dogs with a thickset, low swung body. They have a large short-faced head with wide shoulders and sturdy limbs. They are approximately 12 – 16 inches (31 – 40cms) in height and, considering their size, are quite heavy. Dogs weigh around 53 – 55 lbs (24 – 25kg) and bitches weigh around 49 – 51 lbs (22 – 23kg). They have dark eyes, which are set far apart and close to the nose. They have thin, folded ears – resembling a rose – and dense folds of skin on the skull and forehead. The legs are stocky and set squarely at each corner and the tail is short and carried low. The coat is straight, short, flat and fine-textured and comes in brindle, solid white, solid red, fawn or a combination of these colors.
Bulldogs are average shedders and their smooth and fine coat is easy to care for. Regular grooming with a firm bristle brush will keep it in good condition. Bathe when necessary and keep the face regularly cleaned to keep any dirt out of the wrinkles.
Bulldogs are susceptible to breathing problems – they do snore quite loudly too! They can also suffer from poor eyesight, heat stroke, skin infections and hip and knee problems. The average lifespan of the Bulldog is around eight years.