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The English Bulldog: Where They Came From

Updated on June 16, 2010

Where did the English Bulldog come from?

The English Bulldog came from ancient Masstiffs that originated in Asia, and were then bought to Europe. The Bulldog was bred in the 13th century for bull baiting. The Bulldog's short muzzle and wide lower jaw was needed for the dog to clamp itself to the bull's nose like a vise. The nose had to be upturned so the dog could still breathe while clinging to the bull. Animal baiting contests were outlawed in England in 1835. The Bulldogs were exported to America and Germany where they helped create the Boxer. The last of the working Bulldogs in England were crossed with Pug Dogs to create a stocky, docile pet known today as the English Bulldog. The breed was first registered by the American Kennel Club in 1934 in the non-sporting group, and today is a popular show-dog throughout the world.

happy as can be
happy as can be


Bulldogs are very social and very different from other dog breeds. They possess many qualities. that make them stand out: their patience with children and their quiet and calm behavior. The main drawback is that they are relatively short-lived compared to other breeds of dogs. (of course this also depends on their living conditions, genetics, health, and diet). Bulldogs are very intolerant to heat and excessive exercise. The difficulty in breeding bulldogs explains why they are rather expensive. Bulldogs are chronic chewers, not only as puppies, but throughout their lifetime. It is important to provide many safe chew toys. One point to consider when thinking about purchasing a Bulldog, is that their food and vet expenses will often be higher than other dog breeds. While the Bulldog originally was bred as a bull-baiting dog, they no longer have anything to do with that activity. Their favorite position is flat on the floor staring at their owner.

Personality, Temperament & Character of the Bulldog

The bulldog's character and personality is often misunderstood. Their intelligence is also sometimes questioned. Not ALL bulldogs are lazy couch potatoes. The most important things mentioned when talking about a bulldog is their faithfulness, stubbornness, protectiveness and their devotion to their owner and loved ones. Their special talent in life is really "companionship". Their owner is their life and bulldogs are very forgiving and loving when it comes to their humans. They will do just about anything to make you laugh. They are also great with children and the elderly. Bulldogs are very sensitive to your moods. They will be ecstatic for you when you are happy and will be still and compassionate when you grieve. They are true companions in every sense of the word.

Part of their charm is that they do look tough but they really are not at all. Most bulldogs are brave and will guard and defend their owner if they think he or she is being threatened. Bulldogs are conscious of their own force and therefore are very self-assured. However, they evaluate each situation in order to act the most appropriate way. Their natural protectiveness is mostly manifested towards animals and small children. Some bulldogs will be ready to defend their territory without special training, others remain happy, happy-go-lucky positive thinkers that will welcome just about any stranger into your house. Bulldogs mature very slowly and will remain very playful, puppy-like and unpredictable until over 24 months old.

What appears as laziness or stubbornness is actually an incredible capacity to prioritize. Even when bulldogs are asleep or resting, they will still notice every single movement.  They have an incredible talent for observation.  They will notice every single change you make in the arrangement of your furniture and it is not unusual for a bulldog to bark when something is out of place in the house.  


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    • Tina Grayce profile image

      Tina Grayce 7 years ago

      I love dogs, especially bulldogs and other molossers. Went to an American Bulldog show yesterday with a friend of mine who has two American Bulldogs.

      The English bulldog has a great character. Love your hub.