The Bulldog is a medium-sized dog breed commonly referred to as the English Bulldog or British Bulldog. Other Bulldog breeds include the American Bulldog, Old English Bulldog (now extinct), Olde English Bulldogge, and the French Bulldog. The Bulldog is a muscular, heavy dog with a wrinkled face and a distinctive pushed-in nose. The American Kennel Club (AKC), The Kennel Club (UK), and the United Kennel Club (UKC) oversee breeding standards. Bulldogs are the 5th most popular purebreed in the United States in 2013 according to the American Kennel Club.
The term "Bulldog" was first mentioned in literature around 1500, the oldest spelling of the word being Bondogge and Bolddogge. The first reference to the word with the modern spelling is dated 1631 or 1632 in a letter by a man named Preswick Eaton where he writes: "procuer mee two good Bulldogs, and let them be sent by ye first shipp". In 1666 Christopher Merret applied: "Canis pugnax, a Butchers Bull or Bear Dog." as an entry in his Pinax Rerum Naturalium Britannicarum.
The designation "bull" was applied because of the dog's use in the sport of bull baiting. This entailed the setting of dogs (after placing wagers on each dog) onto a tethered bull. The dog that grabbed the bull by the nose and pinned it to the ground would be the victor. It was common for a bull to maim or kill several dogs at such an event, either by goring, tossing, or trampling. Over the centuries, dogs used for bull-baiting developed the stocky bodies and massive heads and jaws that typify the breed as well as a ferocious and savage temperament. Bull-baiting, along with bear-baiting, reached the peak of its popularity in England in the early 1800s until they were both made illegal by the Cruelty to Animals Act 1835. This amended the existing legislation to protect animals from mistreatment and included (as "cattle") bulls, dogs, bears, and sheep, so that bull and bear-baiting as well as cockfighting became prohibited. Therefore, the Old English Bulldog had outlived its usefulness in England as a sporting animal and its active or "working" days were numbered. However, emigrants did have a use for such dogs in the New World. In mid-17th century New York, Bulldogs were used as a part of a citywide roundup effort led by Governor Richard Nicolls. Because cornering and leading wild bulls were dangerous, Bulldogs were trained to seize a bull by its nose long enough for a rope to be secured around its neck. Bulldogs as pets were continually promoted by dog dealer Bill George.
Despite slow maturation so that growing up is rarely achieved by two and a half years, Bulldogs' lives are relatively short. At five to six years of age they are starting to show signs of aging.
In time, the original old English Bulldog was crossed with the pug. The outcome was a shorter, wider dog with a brachycephalic skull. Though today's Bulldog looks tough, he cannot perform the job he was originally created for as he cannot withstand the rigors of running and being thrown by a bull, and also cannot grip with such a short muzzle.
The oldest single breed specialty club is The Bulldog Club (England), which was formed in 1878. Members of this club met frequently at the Blue Post pub on Oxford Street in London. There they wrote the first standard of perfection for the breed. In 1894 the two top Bulldogs, King Orry and Dockleaf, competed in a contest to see which dog could walk 20 miles. King Orry was reminiscent of the original Bulldogs, lighter boned and very athletic. Dockleaf was smaller and heavier set, more like modern Bulldogs. King Orry was declared the winner that year, finishing the 20-mile walk while Dockleaf collapsed. The Bulldog was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886.
At the turn of the 20th century, Ch. Rodney Stone became the first Bulldog to command a price of $5,000 when he was bought by controversial Irish American political figure Richard Croker.
Breed Description Edit
The coat of the Bulldog is close, straight, short, glossy, and smooth. It is of fine texture and there is no feathering, fringe, or curl. The color of the coat comes in red brindle, solid white, solid red, fawn, or fallow, piebald, and various colors of brindle. This breed is an average shedder.
Descended from the Asiatic mastiff, the Bulldog was developed in Great Britain. Their primary function was that of a participant in the blood sport of bull baiting. They were also used against bears, other vicious carnivores, and lions. During the 19th century purebred Bulldogs were very rare due to the enactment of the anti-baiting laws. Today the Bulldog is a family companion and show dog.
The Bulldog is moderate in size, heavy, and built low to the ground. They are strong, kind, amiable, and courageous. This breed is not vicious or aggressive and is quite dignified. They possess a passive demeanor and have a quirky sense of humor.
This breed is loyal, exceedingly affectionate, and deeply devoted to their family. The Bulldog is dependable, gentle, and does well in a home with children. They will get along with other pets they have been raised with but may be rude and try to bully strange dogs. They thrive on human attention and are dependent upon it for their happiness and well-being. The Bulldog has excellent guarding abilities but will only bark when absolutely necessary. This breed is very possessive of food and should never be fed in the presence of children or pets.
The Bulldog needs occasional brushing with a firm bristle brush. Bathing or dry shampooing should only be done when necessary. This breed has a tendency to slobber and drool so daily cleaning of the face is a must. They are prone to such health issues as breathing problems, low tolerance to anesthesia, poor eyesight, skin infections, and hip and knee problems. Nearly all Bulldogs must be born by Caesarean section due to their large heads. They are adverse to weather extremes and are highly susceptible to heat stroke. This breed is also well known for their active gastrointestinal system.
Early socialization and obedience are a must for the Bulldog. They have a tendency to be hardheaded and stubborn. It is important that they be taught to know their owner is dominant. They do not respond to harsh or heavy-handed methods. Training must be done with firmness, fairness, patience, consistency, praise, and reward.
The Bulldog must have daily exercise to stay fit. A securely leashed walk will suffice. They also benefit from and enjoy short family play sessions. This breed is well suited for apartment, condominium, and city dwelling. Bulldogs are very inactive indoors and do not need a yard.
If you are looking for Bulldog puppies for sale from reputable Bulldog breeders or to adopt a Bulldog from a Bulldog rescue then make sure you understand as much about the dog breeds you are interested in as you can. Every puppy breed is different. Begin your research by reading the breed information about the Bulldog puppy above. Search our dog breeds section to find Bulldog puppies, dogs and puppies that make great pets.