Bulldogs come form the ancient breed of Bullenbeissers a mastiff-like dog used for guarding and attacking wild animals in Assyria, Greece, Egypt and Rome. The Bullenbeisser, which came in various sizes, was also certainly used by Teutonic and Celtic tribes. In England, the originally huge Bullenbeisser was bred to be a smaller dog and during the reign of King John (13th century) began its career as a bull baiter. Over the years, an ideal dog for bull baiting was created. First of all, the dog was bred for tenacity, i.e. once latched on, it wouldn’t let go. Secondly, the dog was bred to be impervious to pain. In addition, the Bulldog’s weight is primarily in the head so that when the bull shook, the dog was less likely to have its back broken. Thankfully, baiting and dog fighting were outlawed in England in 1835. From that day, Bulldog owners began selective breeding to eliminate the more aggressive elements of the breed and establish a good natured, yet still determined family pet.
The overall look of the dog should be powerful and vigorous with a short, sturdy (not stout) body and a peculiar rolling gait. One of the distinctive elements of the Bulldog is its loose skin, especially at the head, neck and shoulders. Another distinctive feature is the massive skull. The Bulldog sort of shuffles along in a loose-jointed manner with some sidewise motion, but he should still be able to move freely and with vitality.
|Colour||The bulldog can be brindle, shades of red, fawn or white with any of the aforementioned colours.|
|Coat Length||Short Smooth|
|Weight/Height Range||The present day Bulldog stands at between 31-36cms at the withers and weighs between 23-25kgs.|
Due to all these physical eccentricities, the Bulldog is beset by a bevy of health problems. Elbow and patellar dysplasia are not uncommon and all breeding dogs should be screened for these two diseases. Hip dysplasia can occur but it is difficult to screen for and score accurately in Bulldogs due to their unique anatomy. Due to the massive head and relatively narrow hips the Bulldog usually delivers by caesarian section. Another breeding problem plaguing Bulldog breeders is the male dog’s frequent inability to mate. As a result, many litters are conceived via artificial insemination. Mange is a further problem that seems to attack Bulldogs. Also worth mentioning is the fact that Bulldogs are not tolerant of heat and care should be taken whilst exercising as they can have respiratory difficulties.
|Breed Classification||Bulldogs belong to the utility group and are used as companions and seen in the show-ring.|
Feeding & Ownership
You must be very careful to avoid overfeeding with this breed. Also, many dogs have skin problems and may need to be on special diets.
|Food Cost||$10 to $15|
Reportedly, the temperament of the Bulldog is unmatchable. This is a family dog that loves children and will even learn to get along with other pets if introduced to them at an early age. The Bulldog is a bit too friendly to be a good guard dog but would defend a family member in need. They can be peaceful, pensive, goofy and have a well developed sense of humour.
|Intelligence||Although stubborn and not terribly easy to train, the breed is intelligent, devoted and a bit of a clown. To train the Bulldog use consistency and firmness but beware that this dog is very sensitive to the voice. It will not take kindly to being screamed at and will probably choose to end the training session and curl up on the sofa to studiously ignore you.|
|Suitability for Children||Medium|
|Tendency to Bark||Low|
|Overall Exercise Requirement||Bulldogs should never be exercised in the heat of the day. Two relatively short walks at a steady but not terribly brisk pace should be adequate.|
|Suitability as a Guard Dog||High|
|Ease of Transportation||Low|
|Level of Aggression||Medium|
|Other Animal Compatibility||Medium|
The coat should be groomed with a rubber grooming mitt to remove loose and dead hairs and the folds may need cleaning with a special lotion. If the breed has a recessed screw tail, care should be taken to keep the tail base from becoming moist as this will lead to bacterial infections. Another grooming measure that must be taken is the cleaning of tearstains. The wrinkles should be cleaned regularly.
|Grooming Requirements||Once a week|
|Amount of Hair Shed||Moderate|