This article is devoted to the English Bulldog and to all those who love and appreciate the breed. Increasing in popularity every year, the Bulldog is making a serious push towards the number one position for all AKC registered dogs. In some cities across the United States and the United Kingdom, this has already happened. This surprises many people who are not familiar with the Bulldog. So, that is why we are here; to educate and entertain all who enter.
- 1 English Bulldog Facts – From a Bulldogs Point of View
- 2 English Bulldog Facts – Heat And Health
- 3 Breathing Problems & Brachycephalic Syndrome
- 4 More English Bulldog Facts
- 5 English Bulldog Facts – Conclusions
- 6 Food and Diet
- 7 History of the English Bulldog
- 8 Names – Choosing a name for your Bulldog
- 9 Puppys
- 10 Training Your English Bulldog
- 11 Care – Taking Care of your English Bulldog
- 12 Brushing and Bathing
- 13 Harness
Bulldogs are used as the symbol of nations all over the world because of their loyalty and tenacity. During World War II the British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill was depicted as a bulldog because he refused to give up hope and kept working towards victory and peace.
English Bulldogs are very gentle and eager to please. They are good with kids, but heavy bodied so can knock down little ones unless they are well trained. They rarely mean to hurt anyone but if you have small children or grandchildren this is something that you will need to take into account.
Let’s face it, who can resist those droopy jowls and soft, dreamy eyes? Who could be unhappy with such a loyal friend who is so eager to please you, obedient and willing to learn tricks? Are your expectations realistic about what’s needed to care for your pet? Cute puppies turn into adults. The average life span is between 8 and 12 years, so this is a long term commitment for you and your family. The information on this site will help you to make an informed decision and give guidance on caring for your pet in the best way.
They do not shed their hair like some dogs do, so you will not need to spend hours and hours grooming. On the other hand, you should be prepared to be drooled on, listen to snuffly snoring and be prepared to keep all the little wrinkly areas clean. In return, you will enjoy the unconditional love and adoration of a faithful friend.
Winston here, to help you get your English Bulldog facts straight, especially if you are thinking of buying a bulldog as a pet. Of course, we are exceedingly popular, in fact in 2010 we were the 6th most popular breed in the American Kennel Club’s registers. There’s a good chance you are thinking about a bulldog if you want to get a new dog.
Here are a few English Bulldog facts you should think about before you bring one home.
English Bulldog Facts – From a Bulldogs Point of View
In our proper place, we are friendly and have a lovely temperament. Just now and again, though, you get one that thinks that they should be the leader of the pack rather than you. Are you sure that you are dominant enough for the dog to get the message? Are you a good leader? Can you socialize your pet sufficiently to keep him in the right place in your “family pack”?
Do you have small children?
We Bulldogs are much heavier than we look, so be careful if you have small people in your home. They are likely to get knocked over in an over friendly display of love and affection from us.
What’s your sense of smell like?
We get much gas and can be very smelly. The smell is not great if you live in a small space and don’t want to have the windows open all the time.
We snuffle and snore quite a bit, so if you want a quiet dog and peaceful surroundings, then we are not for you.
Are you squeamish about slobber?
We drool. A lot! So be prepared to wipe up the dog juice. Some owners carry a towel with them wherever they go. In one article my human read a bulldog owner said that she and her husband once measured how far the slobber flew when their dog shook herself. There was a blob of drool on the floor more than five and a half feet from where the dog was shaking. Like me, that particular owner thought it was funny; it is so satisfying to see how far you can get a blob of drool to go. However, you may not feel the same.
Can’t stand slime?
We have deep wrinkles on our faces. These contribute immensely to our handsome features, but they need to be kept clean. As a human owner, you will need to wash between the wrinkles every day with a washcloth and then make sure that the lines are thoroughly dried. Can you deal with that? If you do not do it, we can get an infection; then you will end up with vet’s fees as well as a sick dog.
English Bulldog Facts – Heat And Health
Do you live in a hot climate, or is it cooler where you are? Heat does not agree with Bulldogs because of our adorable squashed up faces. We have very short nasal passages, which means that the air does not have time to cool down before it reaches our lungs.
As a result, we overheat quickly. It takes a little heat for us to get hot quickly. You will need to make sure we have plenty of water, keep us in the shade and not give us too much exercise when the temperature gets above the mid-70s.
(On the plus side, we’re inclined to be lazy, so don’t need loads of exercise. We are perfectly happy to sit on the sofa and snooze.)
Because of inbreeding we tend to have lots of health problems, so you need to be prepared for vet’s bills.
Health issues include:
- problems with hip displacement
- a condition known as cherry eye where the gland in the corner of the eye pops out of place
- food and skin allergies
- breathing difficulties
You should expect to pay out, anything up to multiple thousands of dollars, to deal with these problems.
Because Bulldogs are worth it of course!
The average life span of a bulldog is around 7 to 9 years, with most living until about 8, although with care it can be a lot longer. The cost per year can mount up pretty fast if you factor in food, pet insurance, and health care.
We have short hair, so don’t shed much. Brushing 3 or 4 times a week will help to keep our skin in good condition because it removes dirt and dead skin, which will contribute to preventing allergic reactions. It makes our coats shine beautifully too.
To buy a pedigree dog will cost you much money. This is because it needs a lot of time and effort to care for a pregnant mother. Bulldogs have very broad shoulders. That means that it is likely that the mother will need a caesarean section to give birth; otherwise, the puppies get stuck in the birth canal. It takes plenty of vet’s fees to breed Bulldogs successfully.
However, by buying from a reputable breeder, you can be more confident that your dog will be healthier because of the care lavished on the dogs by the breeders.
Breathing Problems & Brachycephalic Syndrome
Although it covers other conditions as well, this term is often used for something that is more correctly called brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome or BAOS for short.
Selective breeding to achieve the breed standard for English Bulldogs means that they have very squashed up faces, which doesn’t leave them much room for their nose. In turn, this leads to them having breathing problems.
The outward manifestation of this is snoring and snuffling. It can also affect the dog’s ability to eat properly, and they can have problems with getting breathing and swallowing in the correct order so that they do not choke on the food.
(Part of the breathing problems may be due to a condition called Hypoplastic Trachea, which is where the rings of cartilage that support the trachea are deformed or don’t grow properly. The resulting, out of shape windpipe means the animal cannot breathe properly.)
Because this is an inherited condition, it will become apparent in puppies when they are still very young, within a couple of months.
The pup may be struggling to breathe, or they might have a cough. You should always take the animal to the vet for a clinical inspection. Treatment will depend on what the vet sees. Some puppies grow out of it, and others will need surgery to correct and cure it.
What Are The Symptoms?
English Bulldogs snore and snuffle, but you may notice that your pet is more than usually noisy when they breathe in.
Bulldogs are not noted for their enthusiasm for physical exertion but if your pet is unusually reluctant to exercise, gets out of breath very quickly and wants to lie down and rest instead of moving about these can be signs of BOAS. You should get them looked at by the vet.
Another indication is if their gums are blue. Just like humans, turning blue is a sign of lack of oxygen.
If you see this, get the dog to the vets quickly.
How Is It Treated?
Depending on the severity of the condition the vet may be able to treat an inflamed airway by putting the dog in an oxygen tent and/or prescribing steroids. This is unlikely to be a permanent cure but will give relief.
In many cases, surgery will be required to open up the airway and remove obstructions. Because it is already hard for the dog to breathe properly, you should take advice from your vet about the most appropriate treatment. Sometimes having the surgery will result in other complications, and can lead to pneumonia, so this is why qualified professional advice is essential.
Things To Be Aware Of
If your English Bulldog has BOAS then you will notice it from a very young age. The vet is the best person to talk to about it, so don’t delay.
- Prompt attention is essential. Remember that if a living thing cannot breathe it does not take long death to occur.
- Weight Control. Keeping your pet at a healthy weight will always help any medical conditions. Carrying too many pounds around puts a strain on organs and can aggravate otherwise manageable conditions.
- Genetics. If your pet needs to have surgery for BOAS, then you should not use them for breeding as they are likely to pass on the condition to future generations.
- Overheating. Because breathing is hard work for them, you should always ensure that your dog is not getting too hot. Because of their short faces, their cooling system does not function efficiently, and they can die of heat exhaustion or a swollen airway very quickly
- Use a harness. To keep your dog on a leash, use a harness rather than a collar. Imagine how you would feel if you were having a problem breathing and someone put a tight collar round your neck! Harnesses are kinder and won’t aggravate a breathing problem.
More English Bulldog Facts
Bulldogs come in several color variations. Brown and white patches, all white and brindle. Brindle is a mixture of black and brown and possibly other colors giving a sort of stripy effect.
My friend Bella has some brindle; you can see it on her front legs.
We originated in England about 400 years ago, where we were bred for use in bull baiting. When the sport became illegal, breeders worked on getting rid of the tough part of our personality. Now we are the friendly goofballs that you know and love.
We love to be with people and are never happier than when we are snoring on the sofa beside you.
English Bulldog Facts – Conclusions
The bottom line is that Bulldogs need care and that is sadly why so many of us end up in animal shelters. If you are even a little squeamish, then we are not for you.
However, we are utterly gorgeous. If you can overlook the obvious drawbacks and are realistic about the state of your finances, then we make wonderful, loyal, faithful friends.
Food and Diet
English Bulldog food is similar in many ways to human food. There are so many different options to choose from, so how do you determine what’s right for YOUR pet?
Like anything in life, you get what you pay for. Cheaper brands of dog food may well seem like a bargain but do they save money in the long run? If you are feeding your pet “junk food” then they are going to get sick and need care and medicines from the vet. This will cost you time and money in trips to the vets.
In some cases, your pet could even die. Is it worth it?
Another problem with cheaper brands is that many of them are bulked up with filler, such as lots of grain. This can cause your dog discomfort and pain if they are allergic to wheat. As you are well aware, many English Bulldogs already suffer from allergies, so we need to find something that they can eat that will not irritate the allergy further.
If you care about the health and welfare of your dog, you will want to be careful about what you feed them.
Humans are what they eat and dogs are no different. If you eat garbage, you will feel like garbage.
English Bulldogs are already genetically prone to many health conditions, why make things worse by feeding them junk?
Diet is just as important to our canine friends as it is to humans. Everyone nowadays knows about healthy eating and how important it is for maintaining good health and we only have to look around us to see the consequences of NOT having a good diet.
That is why we have researched some of the major brands of dog food to discover the facts.
History of the English Bulldog
As I have mentioned in other places on this site, my English Bulldog history is long and distinguished.
It can be traced back with certainty to 17th Century England, but there is a legend that has been handed down that some of my distant ancestors went to Rome to fight with the gladiators in the arenas.
The picture shows some of my many time’s great grandparents fighting with a bull. You can see crowds of spectators on the balconies in the background.
During the 1600s in England, people, in general, did not understand that using one animal to torment another was cruelty of the worst kind. My ancestors were brave dogs who were trained to bait bulls and bears. The poor bulls and bears were tied up to a pole, which was in the middle of a pit. The dogs were then let into the pit to fight with the other animal. The Bulls had big horns, and the Bears had enormous claws and huge teeth. If the dogs wanted to survive, they had to bite hard and hold on tight. They would try to suffocate the bigger animal while at the same time seeking to avoid being trampled or torn to pieces.
The picture on the right shows my 27 times great uncle Henry fighting for his life with a tethered bear. Poor Henry suffered terrible wounds from the bear’s claws and died about 2 hours after the end of the fight.
In some cases, the Bulls were going to be slaughtered for meat but popular opinion at the time said that unless the bull was baited before it was killed then the meat was not as tender. The poor animal was the victim of all kinds of cruel treatment, such as having pepper put up its nose to make it mad.
The bloodthirsty spectators surrounded the pit and took wagers as to whether the dogs or the bull (or the bear) would die first. Thankfully, this terrible blood sport, which caused much pain and suffering, became illegal in 1835. Meanwhile, in North America, some of our cousins were being used to round up wild bulls. They were trained to grab hold of the bull’s nose and keep hold of it so that a man could get a rope around the bull.
This in part is how we came by our family name of English Bulldog History tells us that when bull baiting was outlawed people still wanted to have a family-friendly bulldog, so breeders began to work on a line of more friendly and less aggressive dogs. They crossed the original Old English Bulldogs with Pugs, who were smaller and friendly until we lost all our aggressive traits and became the soppy and indolent dogs that we are today.
It was not that our ancestors were bad dogs, it was because they did not know any better. Responsible breeders could see through the rough exterior to the friendly and loving dog hidden inside.
By careful breeding, they have wiped out the fierce and unpleasant desire to kill another animal and give us the loving temperament that we have today.
As you can see in this last picture, my ten times great grandparents were a beautiful couple.
Names – Choosing a name for your Bulldog
Do you need some help in finding English Bulldog names for your new pup? Here at Doggy Toggery, we have sifted through thousands of dog names and put together a list of our top choices, including their meanings.
What English Bulldog names should these puppies have?
Deciding on the perfect dog name for your puppy is always a fun and sometimes challenging experience for many new Bulldog owners. Popular dog names, such as Spot, Bruno, Lucky and Rover are healthy choices, but in most cases, they just don’t relate to the personality and/or appearance of the new puppy.
We would recommend that you wait a few days before deciding on a name for your English Bulldog after you bring it home. During this time, observe your puppy and find out what name would match its personality and/or appearance. If you want, use our list of Bulldog names as a starting point for possible ideas or decide on one of your own.
If you have more than one dog here are some suggestions for pairs of names.
Eric and Ernie
Bert and Ernie
Thor and Odin
Thunder and Lightening
Zeus and Styx
Hercules and Orion
Cannon and Ball
Smith and Weston
Neptune and Jupiter
Jupiter and Janus
Fester and Lurch
Hector and Spike
Nikon and Pentax
Whisky and Soda
Wallace and Grommit
Pluto and Neptune
A boy and a girl
Ike and Tina
Sonny and Cher
Bonnie and Clyde
Homer and Marge
Hector and Zaza
Winston and Clementine
Augusta and Augustus
Hermes and Aphrodite
Captain and Tenille
Mars and Venus
Gomez and Morticia
Broderick and Elizabeth
An English Bulldog puppy is beautiful, charming and utterly irresistible. However, keeping your puppy healthy and happy involves proper puppy care and lots of it! When you first bring your new puppy home, there are a few things that you need to be aware of.
First of all, an English Bulldog puppy will spend a great deal of the time sleeping or resting throughout the day. Because of this, you will need to familiarize your pup with his new sleeping quarters. We suggest a quality wire crate, lined with a soft towel.
Later on, you can upgrade the towel for a pillow or sheepskin rug. This wire crate will become your bulldog puppy’s little home within his big home. It will become a place of refuge, security, and comfort when he needs it.
When you first bring your Bulldog puppy home, it will most likely be scared and very cautious. This is the first time he has been away from his mother and litter mates, so he is naturally feeling homesick. This is a typical reaction so do not get offended if your new Bulldog puppy does not seem too interested in you.
For the first week, you can also expect the puppy to cry and whimper throughout the night. Tip: Try putting a night-light in his room along with a clock radio playing soft music. These two methods are very useful for calming and soothing your Bulldog puppy.
During the first month, you and your family will need to spend a lot of quality time bonding with your English Bulldog puppy. Stick to a regular schedule and routine for him, so he will begin to feel comfortable and secure in his new environment.
Always be firm when speaking to your puppy as this will convey to him that you are the “leader of the pack.” If you do not do this, you Bulldog puppy will eventually sense weakness on your part and become overly dominant and territorial.
If you wish to change your English Bulldog puppy’s diet, do it gradually. If your breeder gave you a small supply of dog kibble, finish it off by adding small amounts of your new dog food in with it until it is gone. Because English Bulldogs are prone to allergies, we suggest using a premium, single source, protein kibble. You might need a dog proof trash can because Bulldogs are known for dumpster diving in the kitchen!
Single source, protein diets have been shown to help dogs that suffer from allergies. Eagle Pack Holistic Select and California Natural are excellent, premium dog food brands that carry products for puppies and dogs that are prone to allergy issues.
Always avoid “supermarket” dog foods as some of these contain roadkill, fillers, and preservatives. These cheap foods will over-time shorten the life of your English Bulldog and promote sickness and disease.
Finally, use stainless steel bowls to feed and water your Bulldog puppies and adults. Plastic bowls attract unsafe bacteria which can lead to tear staining.
Your English Bulldog puppy will also need to begin obedience and potty training immediately. Bulldogs are intelligent but can be somewhat stubborn so you will need to remain calm and patient during this time. Proper training requires a lot of time and dedication on your part and is not an overnight process.
Are you the proud owner of an English Bulldog puppy? Do you have a cute or funny story to tell? Share it with everyone using the form below.
Training Your English Bulldog
Why is English Bulldog Training so important? All dogs, regardless of breed, need to be trained. The earlier you start, the better because, just like children, what you learn when young stays with you as you grow into adulthood. Moreover, just as the old proverb says, it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
It takes lots of time and patience to train a puppy, so it is not a quick job.
The first thing that you need to do is to teach your dog that YOU are the leader of the pack and that he is a follower. It is important not to let a dog become too dominant because it can lead to lots of issues and can be unsafe for your family.
Ten English Bulldog Training Tips
- Use single word commands, so you do not confuse your dog.
- Be consistent and generous with praise. Correct dog mistakes consistently and firmly.
- Bad behavior is the fault of the trainer, not the dog
- Say things once. It’s not necessary to continually repeat the instructions.
- Everyone in your home needs to use the same commands, so the dog doesn’t get confused
- Always give a reward when your dog is obedient and does what you ask him to. Don’t react to bad behavior, just ignore it.
- Use training to educate and socialize your pet so that everyone can enjoy being together.
- Training is a mental exercise for your dog and will help prevent boredom, teaching tricks keeps them occupied and interested.
- Play with your dog after each training session so that they always enjoy what you are teaching them. Make it fun; the dog will love it.
- Do not force your dog. If you do, then he’ll get frightened, and you will not succeed.
English Bulldog Training Methods
Using a clicker to train your pet is often a very successful way of teaching them to be well behaved.
If you use the clicker every time that the dog does what you want and combine this with a reward of food or petting he learns that the click is good and gives a bonus. Most dogs are eager to please and will soon learn to be safe and easy to keep under control.
Teach your dog not to jump up when you open the front door, and visitors arrive. This can be difficult, so if you do not have a lot of time then it is a good idea to put the dog in his crate before you open the door. Using the crate allows him to see still what’s going on but keeps you in control.
Most pets do not like fireworks, but in today’s world, they appear regularly. Use recordings of fireworks to train the dog not to be frightened. Start with small volume and a short burst and gradually work up to longer and louder recordings.
Dogs are much happier when they are trained because they know and understand the boundaries. They well behaved when out and about and safe to have around your family and friends.
With patience and perseverance, you can train your dog at home. If you need help then you could go to classes, there are many local dog trainers would be more than happy to help you and your pet to learn.
Care – Taking Care of your English Bulldog
This page will help you to provide proper English Bulldog care for diet, grooming, take care of safety issues and more. Mostly it is just common sense, but a few simple steps can make all the difference. By being prepared, and thinking ahead, you can avoid potential problems.
First of all, keep in mind that we English Bulldogs can overheat very quickly so you will need to limit our exposure to high temperatures. Bulldogs need to remain indoors where there is air conditioning if it is hotter than 85 degrees outside. Occasional potty breaks in the backyard are okay, just keep them as brief as possible. Always make sure your English Bulldog has adequate fresh drinking water to keep hydrated. Finally, you will want to limit exercise, playtime and exertion levels during those hot days.
Providing a safe and comfortable sleeping area is another crucial aspect of proper Bulldog care. We recommend using a high quality, wire dog crate for your dog’s sleeping quarters. Avoid the plastic crates and carriers because these may not give ample air flow or circulation.
Bulldogs have also been known to chew up these plastic crates thus creating a possible choking hazard. So keep it safe, always use a metal, wire dog crate! If you are looking for a quality wire crate – Precision Pet manufactures some of the best ones on the market today.
Now that you have the right crate make it soft and comfortable for your English Bulldog. Big fluffy pillows, soft blankets, and sheepskin rugs are perfect choices. Bulldogs might look rough and tough, but they love to be pampered. So go ahead and spoil them in comfort!
Feeding a quality and nutritious dog food is a necessity for your daily English Bulldog care. The Bully is a special breed of dog and as such, requires a special diet. The Bulldog is born with loose joints and is prone to food allergies so finding a dog food that addresses these issues is critical to say the least. A quality diet combined with supplements will help ensure healthy hips, joints, skin and hair as well as boost the immune system.
Brushing and Bathing
Another aspect of English Bulldog care is grooming. Although the Bulldog is not a high-maintenance breed, there are a few things to be familiar with. Among these are:
- nail trimming
- cleaning of wrinkles
Of these four, only one – the cleaning of wrinkles – needs to be done every day. To find out why and to learn all about grooming, check out English Bulldog grooming.
We hope the information provided on this page has helped your understanding of proper English Bulldog care. If you have any personal stories, tips, advice or comments to share with everyone else about this subject, please do so via the comments section.
Bathing Your English Bulldog
If you need to give your English Bulldog a bath you need to take special care of his face, particularly his eyes and ears. Make sure that you do not get either water or soap in them.
Don’t get water in his mouth either. The water should be warm and shallow; it only needs to come up to just over his knees. The best dog shampoo will clean your bulldog but not dry out the skin.
Start at the top and work down, just like you do yourself when you take a shower or bath. Use a dog shampoo that is gentle and won’t take all the oils out of his coat. Make sure that you rinse him off thoroughly; otherwise, you can put him at risk of an infection.
Pay particular attention to his face and around his tail. Deep wrinkles which are damp provide perfect conditions for bacteria and if left uncleaned will get nasty very fast. Don’t use soap or shampoo on his face and ensure that you dry him thoroughly.
Looking for a quality English Bulldog Harness, that has been Bulldog tested and Bulldog approved? How do you decide which one is right for your English Bulldog?
There has long been a debate on whether to use a Bulldog collar or a harness on the English Bulldog. Some have claimed that a collar restricts proper air flow from reaching the Bulldog’s lungs. Others say that a collar is just fine because the Bulldog has a very strong neck and that airflow is not a problem.
Here at Doggy Toggery, we have come to a conclusion: Better to be safe than sorry, so we highly recommend the use of harnesses for your English Bulldog. In recent years, it appears this trend is catching on. Bulldog harness usage is growing in popularity among many pet owners.
There are different types of English Bulldog harness depending on what you are doing, so think about the one that’s most appropriate for your needs.
Do you need the harness for training? In the car? Taking the dog for a walk? Keeping your pet warm? Alternatively, simply for decoration? Some harnesses fit all these requirements so you will need to think about this first.
A ‘walking harness‘ is used to keep a dog from pulling on his neck and throat when he is being taken for a walk. It fits around his shoulders and under his armpits rather than around his neck like a collar does. This allows natural movement and breathing without choking. The harness has straps, and some have reflective sections that show up brightly in the dark, a bit like the reflective vests that road workers wear.
Something to bear in mind if you are using a leather harness is the weather. If it is very wet, then it is probably better to use a nylon harness because the leather becomes waterlogged and cumbersome and can chafe. Nylon will dry quicker and is lighter.
Another point to remember is that regardless of whether you are using a harness or not your dog will still need a regular collar. The collar holds the name tag and your contact information but the leash clips onto the harness.
The Walk Your Dog With Love company make what they describe as The Worlds Best Dog Harness. It is a little different from a regular harness, and when dogs wear it, they do not pull, tug or choke. It allows you to steer and control them, even if you are not very strong. The video below shows an unyielding bulldog that pulls when on the lead but doesn’t pull with a harness.
If you take your pet in the car, you should always use a seat belt harness. This works exactly like a seat belt for dogs. It prevents the dog from moving around in the car and causing a distraction for the driver. It protects them from being thrown around in the event of an accident, and it stops a frightened dog from running around on the road. In some areas of the world it is also the law, just like you would strap your children in, so you must keep your pets safe.
With that in mind, you should never use a dog seat belt harness in the front seat of a car with airbags. Just like small children, your dog is also at risk of injury or even death from the force of air bags going off.