The English Bulldog, is a medium sized breed, that continues to sneeze and drool its way into the hearts of dog lovers, including America’s favorite Hollywood stars. This Bulldog is a top 5 in popularity, according to the American Kennel Club, and one of the most familiar faces in sports as a mascot.
You’ve heard about them, and you have seen them slugging around, but what is it about this breed, that makes it such a popular choice for a household companion?
Don’t let the lazy, mug face fool you, the British Bulldog’s history is one of action and bravery. Here is what you need to know about the English Bulldog.
The English Bulldog’s story dates back to the 1200’s, and much like the name indicates, his story began in England. Today, you may think of this breed as a slow going and harmonious companion, but you may be surprised to find out that the British Bulldog was used in a far different fashion.
This dog is a cross between a Pug and Mastiff, and its original role was one of fighting and violence. Some of it out of necessity, while a majority of this dog’s fighting was by way of historical deviance.
Up until the mid 1880’s, the people of England would use the Bulldog for game and entertainment. Queen Elizabeth herself enjoyed watching this breed engage in what they referred as, “Bull-Baiting.” This form of popular entertainment would involve the English Bulldog fighting a bull, often attacking and biting the beast without mercy. The breed did quite well, often fighting for his own survival, yet unfortunately, to its own death.
Fortunately, the dog found a new role in society, once the bloodsport spectacle of “bull-baiting” became outlawed in 1835. However, this diminishing role for the breed left the Bulldog without much of a purpose.
Thanks to a few English Bulldog enthusiasts, this breed was rescued from its own extinction. The enthusiasts found a way to incorporate the breed’s best attributes that many dog lovers today would come to love.
Since being saved from grace, the English Bulldog is now one of the most adorable and loved breeds on earth.
Today, you can find the Bulldog strutting along with the likes of pop-sing, Pink, or slugging around the soccer field with superstar, David Beckham.
While this particular Bulldog hails from England, you can see the breed’s face all around the United States as a mascot for over 40 colleges and universities. The American Kennel Club voted the British Bulldog fourth most popular breed in the world and officially recognized the breed in 1886.
The English Bulldog is considered a medium sized breed, that displays a low sitting stance, with a bulky yet compact body. According to the American Kennel Club, a male should weight 50 pounds and a female should weigh in at 40 pounds. On average, you can expect this breed to stand at about 14-15 inches in height.
What a long ways this breed has come from its origins. Once a fierce and a force to be reckoned with, is now a docile and loving pet.
Beware, however, that this breed can be quite the Diva at times. They are very stubborn, when their minds have been made up about something. Especially if they want your affection, they will persistently pitch an effort to get your love and attention.
At first glance, the English Bulldog’s flat and short muzzle exudes a sour and somber looking face, but if anything, the breed is better known for being sweet and affectionate with his family. The British Bulldog can be trusted with small children, for as long as you’ve socialized them properly as a puppy. They are very patient and dependable, and you know what you’re getting from your dog day in and day out.
When it comes to other dogs or pets, the English Bulldog is sociable and adaptable. He can get along with everyone, but they can be quite territorial over their food.
They are ambitious and busy as puppies. As adults, they mature and settle down into easy-going, low energy pets.
He barks when necessary, but it is the wrinkles of wisdom, thickness in the neck, and brawn shoulders like an American Staffordshire, that do all the talking. It would require quite the threat from a stranger for the breed’s old school tenacity to be triggered.
English Bulldog’s are the perfect pet if you are someone who doesn’t live a very active lifestyle. They are very resolved, and you can find them snoring on the couch more than you can find them exploring about. Daily exercise should be encouraged.
FInally, they do respond well to instructions, but can be quite sensitive to someone who is impatient and mean. They do have fine memories, and are quite intelligent, but more than anything, the English Bulldog is full of compassion and eager to please.
The English Bulldog is prone to a series of health risks as you may expect from a dog known for its snoring, grunting, wheezing and sniffling. The average lifespan of an English Bulldog is about 8-12 years.
While the costs of buying a British Bulldog seems steep, you may notice the costs trending upward as they age. Find yourself a good dog vet, and make sure that you keep a good relationship with them, because you are most likely to frequent their practice.
80 percent of all English Bulldog births are by way of a C-section. This is because of their large robust heads. Dogs with brachycephalic heads or large skulls tend to have issues with breathing as well. Hence, why you will often hear this Bulldog sneezing and wheezing. This also makes the breed a poor choice for swimming, so you should always keep them away from a body of water.
Due to the likelihood of small windpipes, narrow nostrils and their soft palates, an English Bulldog must make more of a concerted effort to breath and permeate oxygen throughout the body. This increases the chances of heat exhaustion and dehydration. That’s why many breeders and experts agree that you should keep the dog in ideal climates or temperatures.
Other issues that affect this breed include:
- Skin infections: Breeders recommend wiping the wrinkles on the face daily to discourage infections.
- Hip and knee complications.
- Sensitive to colder weather.
- Poor eyesight or cherry eye.
One other major concern, that you should always consult with your veterinarian is the breed’s issue with undergoing anesthesia. Because of their genetic makeup, the way a British Bulldog’s body conveys oxygen makes them a higher risk for complications.
The English Bulldog is apartment friendly, and doesn’t require a lot of space to expend energy. That said, you should encourage a walk daily with your Bulldog.
While their coats may appears to be of low maintenance, you may be surprised to find that they do shed quite frequently. The hair tends to stick to clothing.
The wrinkles on their face should be wiped and cleaned daily or regularly to avoid infections. A damp cloth is more than adequate to keep your Bulldog clean.
It’s always best to introduce your puppy Bulldog with other dogs. This will help ward off any possible aggression issues, while giving the dog companionship at the same time.
They aren’t meant for hotter climates or severe cold regions. This makes the breed best as an indoor pet.
You can never shower the Bulldog with enough affection. They are great with children, as their patience can withstand the annoyances and clumsy actions, that a child may introduce.
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One of the more defining traits this Bulldog is known for is flatulence. Thanks to their natural deformed faces, the English Bulldog has a tendency to inhale more air when they are feeding. You won’t be able to rid the breed from its common gassiness, but the extent of the odor depends on the diet you give them.
Per usual, like many breeds, a diet rich in corn or soy (any grains) will produce an unpleasant gas. If you stick to a rich diet or grain free, top rated dog kibble, then the chances of foul flatulence smells should reduce.
An English Bulldog puppy can eat up to four times per day before they reach four to six months. This will depend on their exercise and appetite needs. It’s recommended that you switch from puppy formula to adult food at about 4-6 months. From then on, you should feed your dog twice a day. One meal in the morning and one meal in the evening will make your English Bulldog feel like a part of the family’s schedule. Always keep fresh and clean water.
The height of an English Bulldog is essentially what made the breed avoid any physical damage from the horns of a bull. The breed sits low to the ground, but has healthy and vibrant meat to the core of its body, while their feet are short and stubby.
A Bulldog’s tail can either sit straight up or screwed.
Their jaws are wide and strong with a firm grip that can puncture much bigger and stronger flesh. They have loose lips and round cheeks. Thick folds and noticeable wrinkles characterize their face.
The American Kennel Club claims the English Bulldog has 10 colors. Their coats can be described as short and straight, which will require low maintenance at times depending on their shedding season. The most common coat colors on an English Bulldog are brindle, piebald, solid red, fawn or white.
Did You Know?
- Comedian and Actor, Adam Sandler, owns an English Bulldog as a pet.
- Because of their breathing issues and respiratory complications, Bulldogs have died more than any other breed by airline deaths.
- Martha Stewart, Zac Efron, Ashley Olsen own Bulldogs.
- The first dog to win a Golden Collar Award was, Brigitte, a Bulldog, who played a pet in the popular show, Modern Family.
- English Bulldogs are one of the worst canine swimming breeds on the planet.
- Breeders often charge anywhere from $1000-1500 because of all the complications involved with breeding a Bulldog. It is because of their large heads, that cause this breed to be born by C-section 80% of the time.
If you are going to own an English Bulldog, then you are going to need some time, patience, and a good veterinarian. Of course, not all Bulldogs are created alike, but the chances of health complications are high.
That said, there’s a reason so many people have such a lust for this breed. They are by trademark, comical, and thanks to their organic deformities, unique.
Which is what the English Bulldog is on surface. What they are on the inside is dependable, loving, entertaining, and loyal. They may slouch along the sofa, or sneeze in your face. Heck, they may cost you an arm and leg caring for them. What they give back in return makes this breed so worth the time and investment.
It because of those virtues listed above, that makes this dog from England, such a great fit for anyone who doesn’t mind the noise, the smell, and the effort.