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English Bulldogs

Updated on May 13, 2011
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Whitney has over 10 years of experience in dog training, rescuing, and healthcare.

English Bulldog History

The term "bulldog" was first used around 1568, which could have been used to reference various ancestors of modern bulldog.

In the 1600s, bulldogs were used for bull-baiting, as well as bear-baiting, which became a betting sport In the 17th century. The bulldogs leapt at a bull which was tied to a post, latched onto its snout and attempted to suffocate it.

The Bulldog Club in England, formed in 1875, wrote the first standard of perfection for the breed.

To help define the standard of the bred, as there were two basic bulldog forms, a competition was held in 1891 to see which dog could walk the furthest. The two top bulldogs, King Orry and Dockleaf were chosen to compete. Orry looked like the original bulldog- lighter boned and very athletic; Dockleaf was smaller and heavier set. Dockleaf was the winner.

Although some people argued that the older version of the bulldog was more fit to perform, the looks of the modern version, Dockleaf, won over the fans because they proved that despite their compact appearance, they were equally as fit and athletic in the walking competition.

English Bulldog Appearance

English bulldogs are short and stocky, composed of a compact body with short, sturdy limbs. They are known for their short muzzles and saggy skin on their faces, which creates their trademark of the "frown."

Bulldogs come in a variety of colors ranging from white, fawn and white, black, brindle, brindle and white, and tan. The white English bulldog is rare, whereas the black English bulldog is not preferred by most breeders.

The English bulldog has a smooth, short coat.

The average weight for the English bulldogs ranges from about 40 to 50 pounds.

Although the dog is short and compact, being on average 12 to 16 inches at the shoulder blade, because of its weight, it is considered a large breed dog.

English Bulldog Puppies

English Bulldog Temperament

The English Bulldog is a docile and friendly dog. The breed is very loyal and extremely gregarious.

Breeders have worked to breed aggression out of the breed, so they are known to have a generally good temperament.

English Bulldogs can become so attached to a home and family that they will not venture out of the yard without a human companion, but that is not always the case so don't rely on this.

Due to their friendly nature, bulldogs are known to get along well with children, dogs, and other animals.

Because of their size and comparative lack of energy, they are suitable for both houses as well as apartments. Although adult bulldogs, tend to be more laid back, puppies are energetic and destructive until they reach adulthood; puppy-hood in English bulldogs can last an average of two years.

At times the English bulldog can be very stubborn and/or dominating, meaning you need to be able to have a firm hand with the dog and to keep up training.

English Bulldog Health

The English bulldog is prone to breathing issues beacuase of the short muzzle and the shape of the lower jaw.

The breed is not known to sleep quietly; they can be heavy snorers.

Because of the shape of their head and the excess skin around the face, they are prone to cherry eye, which can be surgically removed.

The breed can, also, exhibit hip and knee concerns because of their compact bodies and short legs, which must hold the weight.

To avoid infections in their face folds (the wrinkles), English bulldogs require their faces to be cleaned daily in order to minimize any moisture accumulation.

Daily teeth brushing with a regular human soft toothbrush using a vet approved toothpaste is always recommended with any breed of dog, so don't forget the English bulldog.

They require daily exercise, like all other dogs. But, English bulldogs, like other breeds can have weight problems if there are not exercised properly, which can cause other health problems relating to the lungs and heart.

English Bulldogs are extremely sensitive to heat and cold, so you should take care to provide for the dog properly during hot and cold periods. Never leave an English bulldog outside for prolonged periods in hot or cold weather. This breed is a better indoor dog, than out.

As the breed has developed, the tail in some dogs can be curled tight near the body, which can cause infection if not treated or cleaned underneath regularly.

Pictures can be found at


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