English Bulldog

AKC Group: Non-sporting

The English Bulldog was bred from the Asiatic Mastiff in order to use its aggressiveness to bait bulls and bears. In 1835, bull baiting was outlawed. Unfortunately, Bulldog owners turned to dogfighting. Fortunately for Bulldogs they weren’t the greatest of fighters. British Bulldog lovers came together and took ahold of the breed. They were then bred to retain their shape and size, but removed the aggression and made the breed an excellent companion dog instead.

Size: 12 to 16 inches high; 50 to 55 pounds

Color: Red, fawn, brindle, white, piebald, yellow or any combination of colors.

Life span: 8 to 10 years

Health problems: Heart problems, thyroid problems, ectropion, entropion, cataracts, elongated palate, eye disorders, inverted tails, recessed tails, stenotic nares, skin problems. The short hair of the breed begs not to be exposed to extreme temperatures nor be over exerted due to his short muzzle. That muzzle can lead to breathing troubles.

The English Bulldog has a short, stout body and a glum expression. His skin falls in folds around his face and his legs are set wide apart. The Bulldog coat is short, sleek and lays close to the body. His ears are small and hang folded down the sides of his head.

Bulldogs are gentle, easygoing and affectionate dogs that love to entertain. The national symbol of Great Britain, the Bulldog loves to spend time with his family. His personality is amiable and friendly. The Bulldog is dependable with a capital DEPENDABLE. They can have a stubborn streak. They can get a little jealous if another animal tries to take their food. Otherwise they love everyone: kids, cats and dogs. With strangers, it depends. You can help him to be more friendly by socializing him as a puppy. Bulldogs are naturally lazy, so it’s up to you to initiate play and exercise times. Don’t wear him out; all he’ll need is a gentle stroll when it’s mild outside (not in the summer heat nor in the frigid winter). Bulldogs are sensitive and intelligent and thrive in a relaxed household.

To keep him looking handsome, brush him occasionally. When he sheds more heavily, brush him a little more often. He’ll require much more attention to his skin folds on a daily basis than he will with his brush. Clean his face to avoid infections and check on the skin around his tail. (This area will probably require as much cleaning as his face folds.) To commence training, you’ll need to employ positivity and gentleness to teach him that you’re the leader of this pack. (Don’t worry, this isn’t too difficult a concept for him to grasp.) Keep in mind: Bulldogs are extremely sensitive, especially to punishments. If you find your Bulldog to be extra-stubborn, your best bet is to find a puppy obedience class.  When your Bulldog doesn’t respond right away, don’t panic. It takes Bulldogs a few extra seconds to noodle it through. (He’s just trying to determine if the task is worthy of his effort.) As Bulldogs age, they naturally slow down, and it’ll take him even longer to noodle things through. All training sessions should be super-repetitive and last for short bursts of time. They love to please and respond well to praise and treats as a reward. Bulldogs tend to pack on the pounds easily, so try to limit food rewards. Chewing can also be problematic if he feels he’s not getting enough attention. Socialization to other animals and strangers will help him overcome his natural instincts of aloofness or jealousy.

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