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The English Bulldog

Updated on January 17, 2012

The English Bulldog

Also known as just the 'Bulldog,' the popular English Bulldog is a heavy set, muscular dog with a distinctive pushed-in nose and a tremendously wrinkled face. Other breeds of Bulldog also include the French Bulldog, the Olde English Bulldogge and the American Bulldog. The standards of breeding are overseen by the United Kennel Club, the Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club.

The 'bulldog' term was mentioned first around the fifteen hundreds in literature. Traditionally, the spelling of the word used to be 'Bolddogge' or 'Bondogge.' The term 'bull' was added to their names due to the fact that this dog was traditionally used in the bull baiting sport. This was a sport which required putting the dog on a bull that has been tethered.

This distinctive breed is used popularly for the representation of England and the United Kingdom. It has also been an official United States Marine Corps mascot and most base venues have their own base mascot. In the United States, thirty nine universities in America use the English Bulldog as their mascot.

Characteristics of Appearance

Characteristically a breed that has a wide head and broad shoulders, the English Bulldog also has a mandibular prognathism that is pronounced. On the English Bulldog's brows, there are thick skin folds followed by wide-set, black, round eyes and a muzzle which is short. Underneath the neck is skin that is hanging, pointed teeth and droopy lips. The English Bulldog coat is colored brindle, white, fawn or red and is sleek, flat and short. Piebald is another color option for the English Bulldog's coat. In the United Kingdom, the breed standards of the English Bulldog are fifty five pounds for the male and fifty pounds for the female. In the United States, the mature female weights about forty five pounds and the typical male weighs about sixty pounds.

Characteristics of Temperament

Having descended from a Mollosus, Bandog or Alaunt dog, which are Mastiff dog types, the English Bulldog as most people know them today are gentle and placid in comparison to their ancestry. English Bulldogs tend to bark only within reason and do not whine or complain unlike some other breeds.

Even if the English Bulldog is famous for the expression it has that seems like it is a 'sourpuss,' these dogs are generally tractable and docile. On the other hand, in short distances they can move rapidly. The English Bulldog does not need a lot of physical exercise and are great for living in urban environments such as apartments. Gregarious and friendly, at times this breed can be willful. Most breeders have made it a point to work the aggressive nature out of the breed. The AKC breeding standards claim that the disposition of this breed needs to be courageous, resolute, kind and equable in comparison to aggressive and vicious. There needs to be a dignified, pacifist demeanor as well.

The English Bulldog's Lifespan

The average span of life of the English Bulldog is approximately eight to twelve years. In general, the lead cause of mortality when it comes to the English Bulldog is related to old age, cancer and cardiac issues. English Bulldogs that had died due to old age had a span of life that was approximately between ten to twelve years.

Some members of this breed are susceptible to interdigital cysts which are formed cysts found in between each toe. This causes your English Bulldog to feel discomfort but can be treated by your veterinarian. Your English Bulldog can also suffer from problems of a respiratory nature, hip issues in old age, allergies and cherry eye, which is a condition in which the inner eyelid protrudes.

Because of the large head of English Bulldogs, many puppies are delivered via Cesarean Section.

You will need to clean the folds of your English Bulldog's face on a daily basis to avoid infections that are unwanted. These can be caused by the accumulation of moisture. Just like every other breed of dog, your English Bulldog will need exercise on a daily basis. Your dog can become overweight if not exercised properly and this could lead to lung and heart problems as well as issues with joints.

Heat is something an English Bulldog is very sensitive to. You need to be extra cautious in climates that are warmer in the months of summer. There needs to be a lot of water and shade for your dog and he or she needs to be kept out of the heat. Good ventilation and air conditioning is a requirement for keeping you English Bulldog safe and healthy. Many dogs of this breed sweat through their feet pads and for this reason, enjoy floors that are cool.

Hyperthermia is a cause of death for Bulldogs who become overheated because they are breeds that have short faces and thus, may have a hard time breathing. Because of this obstruction, this dog can be heavy breathers and big snorers. For this same reason they tend to snore loudly as they sleep as well.

As long as you are aware of them, all these conditions are easy to control and protect your dog from them.

When dealing with English Bulldog puppies, you need to keep them in an environment which is warm due to the fact that they do tend to get cold quite easily. In the months of winter, you will need to help your dog keep warm through the use of a sweatshirt or a sweater as well as booties while outdoors. Do not keep your English Bulldog puppy in environments that have temperatures below sixty degrees for long time periods.

When it comes to their ability to work as a guard dog, the first breed that comes to most people's minds is usually not the English Bulldog. On the other hand, a protective spirit towards their owners and great courage are qualities of this breed. As a matter of fact, just their appearance is a good enough deterrent in some cases to scare of possible intrusion.


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    • dejvimanushi profile image

      Dejvi Manushi 

      3 years ago from Albania

      Very nice hub... Very well written and it has plenty of useful information. ...I have always wanted to adopt an english bulldog. First I was very perplexed which dog breed is the best, between english bulldog and labrador retriever... But, after I moved out of my parents house and started living in a small flat I now know for sure that I want a bulldog. Since I don't have so much space for a lab.

      I do not know quite a lot about them english bulldogs but your hub really helped me with some extra information ... Thank You a lot!!!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      english bull dogs are one of my favorite dogs besides beagles

    • Cresentmoon2007 profile image


      6 years ago from Caledonia, MI

      Back when I used to be terrified of dogs the English bulldog was one of the ones I was most terrified of. I don't know why, I think I just misunderstood them. Now though, I love them like all other dogs. They are adorable. This is a wonderful hub. Well written with great information, especially for those who might be interested in being a bull dog owner. Voted up.


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