The Bulldog as we know today is very different from its ancestors who were used for the sport of bull baiting. Originally descendants of the Mastiff, the Bulldog was bred with a set back nose and up swept jaw specifically so that it could breathe while hanging onto its opponent.
Legendary tales abound of the Bulldog’s courage and tenacity in the ring. This appalling sport was incredibly popular in England until it was officially banned in 1850.
With a face some say only a mother could love, the British Bulldog is affectionate, gentle and courageous.
The Bulldog’s bloody history has led many to believe that this is a ferocious beast. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Warm, loving, dependable and playful, the Bulldog loves to be fussed over and makes a great family pet.
On the whole, they get along well with other animals and are good with children. Their solid build and determined appearance is usually enough to ward off intruders. However, if you are looking for a guard or watch dog, you may want to consider another breed.
Early obedience training and socializing is very important because Bulldogs can be stubborn and determined – they need a firm but gentle owner.
The Bulldog has a smooth coat that requires an occasional brush and a bath from time to time. The facial folds need regular maintenance and once weekly cleaning with a baby wipe. Moisture, dirt, dust and grime can build up if this not attended to and may cause skin problems.
While the Bulldog’s ancestors were very athletic and had a powerful build to match, today’s breeds can be lazy by nature. It’s important that daily exercise and a good diet are maintained throughout the dog’s life to prevent obesity.
The dog needs to have good muscle tone, and sit within normal weight ranges otherwise health problems can arise. The breed is particularly sensitive to overheating, so common sense should always prevail when exercising in hot weather and be done in the morning or afternoon, not in the heat of the day. If your Bulldog is going to spend the day outdoors make sure that it has a cool spot to relax in. And be very careful about taking any breed of dog out and leaving them in the car.
This is a good family pet for experienced dog owners who can handle this dog’s tenacity. The Bulldog is ideal for singles, couples or growing families, although as with any dog, interaction with children should always be supervised.
British Bulldogs are most happy when they are living indoors with their owner and share every part of their daily activities. They are suitable for apartment living, but happier in a minimum small yard with regular exercise to prevent destructive behavior.
Breed classification Non Sporting Dog
Size Small to medium
Lifespan 12 years
Colors Red, white, fawn and brindle
Common conditions Eye irritations, breathing difficulties and skin irritations.