(aka - English Bulldog, British Bulldog)
The Bulldog has something of a comical appearance, with a short, stout body and a rather glum and reproachful expression. The skin on his face falls in folds, and his legs are set wide apart. Although short and stout, he also has a sturdy build.
The coat of the Bulldog is short, sleek, and tight fitting, and the coloring can be white, red, fawn, brindle, piebald, or fallow. His ears are small and hang folded to the side of the head. The height of the Bulldog is around 14-15 inches, and these dogs weigh in at 40-60 pounds.
The Bulldog is a gentle, easy going, and affectionate dog, with a wonderful nature, a comical outlook on life, and a really entertaining personality. The national symbol of Great Britain, the Bulldog is known to be extremely amiable, friendly, and loving, and loves to spend time with his family. Known to be one of the most dependable breeds around, the Bulldog makes a wonderful family pet, and is fine for the more inexperienced dog owners as well as those with experience. The Bulldog can have a stubborn streak, but is also a very docile breed with plenty of affection and devotion to give to his family.
The Bulldog is known to be excellent with children and will get along with other pets too, but be way of his jealous streak of another animal tries to take his food! His sweet nature and comical attitude makes him a big hit as a family dog. This is a breed that has inbuilt laziness, however, so don't expect your Bulldog to go romping around and playing Frisbee with you. It is important to exercise him for health reasons, but this should be along the lines of gentle strolls and walks in cooler weather. With strangers the Bulldog may be reserved, although some will be quite friendly. He is a sensitive and intelligent dog, and is ideal as a pet in a relaxed household.
When it comes to looking after the coat of the Bulldog the requirements are not demanding, and you simply need to brush the sleek coat of the Bulldog on an occasional basis. The Bulldog is a medium shedder, so you may need to brush a little more regularly when he is shedding more heavily. You will also need to ensure that you clean the folds on his face carefully to prevent infection, as well as the skin around the tail.
The English Bulldog has a rather disturbing history, as it was originally bred from the Asiatic Mastiff for its aggressiveness in baiting bulls and bears in ancient times. It was in the year 1209 that bull baiting, or having a dog grab onto the bull by the nose and hold on until the bull was killed, was first introduced in England. The Bulldog was bred to be a ferocious dog, that would hold on to the bull's nose despite the pain that the bull would inflict on the dog. In 1835 the terrible "sport" was outlawed and owners of the Bulldogs tried to use the breed to fight in dogfights, but thankfully they did not fare well in this venue. Through the concentrated effort of dog lovers in the United Kingdom, the English Bulldog was bred to maintain their body shape and size, but remove the aggressiveness and replace it with the qualities of an excellent companion dog.
The English Bulldog requires an owner that understands how to work with a dominant breed of dog. This is critical, as owners that don't understand how to positively and appropriately teach the dog that they are not the boss will soon have a dog that simply does what he or she wants, rather than listening and obeying commands. The owner must establish that he or she is the "alpha dog" or leader in positive and gentle ways, without punishing or harshly treating the dog. A Bulldog is very sensitive to punishment, and will rarely be intentionally disobedient once they have outgrown their puppy stage. Occasionally some Bulldogs will be stubborn and difficult to train, and a puppy obedience class is highly recommended for the breed.
An English Bulldog is a very intelligent breed and is a thoughtful dog, not typically jumping into new situations or activities without giving them some consideration. Since the older the Bulldog gets the slower it tends to move, it is important to keep in mind that this dog will take a few seconds or more to respond to a command. In addition, the Bulldog likes to contemplate his or her options before jumping up to respond to a command. They are not a dog that does something on the spur of the moment; rather they seem to study the situation before deciding what action to take. A Bulldog does best with repetitive training in very short time frames, rather than one long training session. Typically, they love to please their owners, and will work very well for praise as well as treats and rewards. Limit food rewards, as the breed has a tendency for rapid weight gain.
A well-trained and well-socialized English Bulldog is an excellent companion dog. The natural protective instincts of the breed mean that they require little training to become expert watchdogs. Typically the English Bulldog has few destructive behaviors, although chewing can occasionally become a problem if they are not provided enough attention. They can be somewhat dog-aggressive with strange dogs, so ensure proper socialization at an early age. Most English Bulldogs get along well with cats and other pets, and socialization will increase these positive attributes as well.
The life span of the Bulldog is relatively short compared to some other breeds, and is around 8-10 years. There are a number of health problems that can affect this breed, and this includes heart problems, thyroid problems, ectropion, entropion, cataracts, elongated palate, a range of eye disorders, inverted tails, recessed tails, stenotic nares, and skin problems. Being short haired means that the Bulldog should not be exposed to extreme temperatures as this can be dangerous, and neither should he be over exerted as his short muzzle can mean that he develops breathing problems under these circumstances. The parents of the Bulldog puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates.