Other Names: Bulldog, English Bulldog
Dog Group Kennel Club: Non Sporting (AKC) Utility KC (GB)
British Bulldogs have a short, medium sized sturdy body with a wide chest. The most distinguishing feature of the Bulldog is their large heads and flat faces. They have loose skin, especially at the head, neck and shoulders (face wrinkles must be cleaned on a daily basis).
Bulldogs have a short, fine and straight coat. Coat colours include: brindle, white, red and fawn.
Weight: Males 50-65 lbs, Females 40-45 lbs
Average Life Span: 8 – 10 years
Some people are intimidated by the physical appearance of the Bulldog. They should not be as bulldogs are affectionate, gentle, good natured, friendly and loyal dogs. They adore children making them excellent family pets. They will get along well with dogs and non canine animals. They do not like to be left alone for too long as they crave human attention. It is thought that bulldogs are not very intelligent, this not true. They are intelligent, it is just they would prefer to be cuddled rather than learn a new trick or two. Bulldogs can be lazy and very stubborn, it is at these times their intelligence shines through. They always know how to get their own way, or get you to help them do something e.g. helping them on to the sofa. All they do is give you that sad look to make you feel guilty, and bingo, they have got what they wanted. Bulldogs are known for their human like quality. Their wrinkly faces give away so much expression. Bulldog owners will tell you that they nearly always know what their bulldog is thinking!
Bulldogs learn quite quickly but they are stubborn. Training should be carried out from early puppy-hood, and should be gentle and consistent. Bulldogs should also be socialised well from puppy-hood.
Grooming requirements are minimal, weekly brushing will keep the coat healthy. The face wrinkles require daily attention to prevent infection, especially the nose wrinkle which can be quite deep. The underneath of the tail daily also requires daily cleaning. Nails should be clipped regularly
Bulldogs can be lazy but they do require regular daily exercise to keep them fit and healthy. Bulldog can not cope with hot weather so they should not be walked during the hottest parts of the day. Wait until the day is cooler, keep in the shade and always carry water on sunny days (see below for more details).
If you are thinking of owning a bulldog you should have strong knowledge of the breed and its healthcare requirements.
Note: Because of their short airways bulldogs snore, and snore loudly
British Bulldog Health Issues
Hot weather can be fatal to a bulldog, they don’t even need to be moving about in it to succumb to the heat. Please make sure that any exercise is given early in the morning or late in the evening, don’t be tempted to go for a nice Sunday afternoon stroll when it is very sunny or hot. Also please don’t allow your bulldog to lay out in the sun for long periods, they do not know when they have had enough and it doesn’t take long for their panting to become out of control. Click here For More Information
Elongated Soft Palate and other airway disorders: Every bulldog has an elongated soft palate to a certain degree, this is because of the shape of their heads (ie: brachycephalic – short nosed). In most cases this causes nothing more than snoring, but in severe cases may cause your bulldog difficulty in breathing. Heat and exercise will cause loud, gurgly breathing, (commonly known as “roaring”) and your bulldog may appear to be “lazy”. The severity can range from loud breathing when excited, during/after exercise to total exercise intolerance, regurgitation of food to permanent breathing difficulties. The condition can be corrected with surgery and you need to be sure that the vet you chose to carry out this surgery totally understand brachycephalic breeds
Cherry Eye: Where the gland under the third eyelid protrudes and looks rather like a cherry in the corner of the eye. Your vet will need to remove the gland (some prefer to tuck but it’s not recommended). Occasionally removal of the gland causes dry eye but dry eye is a very common bulldog problem anyway regardless of if the dog had cherry eye surgery as a pup. More recently we have heard of vets that refuse to snip, try and find one that will if possible. The risk of dry eye is increased but we see so much dry eye in dogs that haven’t had this surgery that it’s not usually a factor – bulldog tear glands often block even if they still have this gland.
Dry Eye: Caused when natural tear production slows or stops. Symptoms include green gungy eyes, especially in the morning and a dry appearance or blue haze to the eye itself. Can be confirmed by your vet who will perform a dry eye test with blotting type paper to see how much moisture can be soaked from the eyes surface. Artificial tears will need to be applied to the eye for life, your vet can prescribe this.
Sore Wrinkles: Looking after a bulldog involves daily care of the face and the deep folds. Wash their faces on a daily basis with either a soft cloth and water. Be sure to dry the face properly, extra care is needed to the nose roll which in some bulldogs can be very deep.
British Bulldog History
Bulldogs come from the ancient breed of Bullenbeissers a mastiff-like dog used for guarding and attacking wild animals in Ancient Greece, Egypt and Rome. 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. Thankfully, baiting and dog fighting were outlawed in England in 1835. From that day, Bulldog owners began selective breeding to eliminate the aggressive elements of the breed and establish a good natured, yet still determined family pet being bred for their companionship, loyalty. Traditionally recognised as ‘the British breed’ and renowned for the bulldog spirit and strength. The Bulldog is often referred to as the “Churchill dog” as it was used to portray the courage and spirit of England during the second world war.