The Bulldog has a face everyone adores and brings loads of laughter and love to any family. Ironically, the Bulldog was bred to participate in the cruel sport of bullbaiting, so it was bred to be courageous, ferocious and savage.
Once bull baiting was outlawed in England in 1835, the Bulldog breed was finished—until a group of Bulldog lovers decided to preserve it. Removing its undesirable fierce characteristics, while preserving and accentuating its finer qualities, the Bulldog Club, Inc., gave the old mean Bulldog a facelift and, within just a few generations, turned it into the adorable, sweet breed it is today.
The Bulldog’s Appearance
You’ll never mistake a Bulldog for any other breed. They are of medium-size and have broad shoulders and chests, with thick, sturdy limbs. Although Bulldogs are low to the ground, they are wide and muscular. Their broad head is massive and square, with cheeks that extend to the sides of their eyes, and the skin on their foreheads has dense wrinkles. The Bulldog’s jaws are massive and strong, with a droopy upper lip, and his lower teeth stick out farther than his top teeth.
Bulldogs are devotees—loyal, friendly, and outgoing. Bred to be affectionate and gentle, Bulldogs aren’t aggressive by any means. They love people, seeking them out for attention and company. Bulldogs relish just chilling with their masters, sitting so close till they’re on your lap—if you’ll let them!
Care Level & Warnings
In general, the Bulldog is an easy-care, low-maintenance breed. It is not a dog that can or should live outdoors as they are intolerant of warm weather and could die if overheated. It’s important for him to live in air-conditioned comfort, not only to prevent heatstroke but also because his whole reason for living is to stay in close proximity to his human. He requires little exercise, so he’s a good choice for the homebody, disabled or elderly.
Bulldogs can’t swim. Their big head, dense torso and short legs impede their ability to stay above water. If you have a pool or pond on your property, monitor the access your Bulldog has to them. And much like a toddler, never leave them unattended near water.
Unfortunately, the Bulldog’s unique body and head structure makes him prone to health problems, especially respiratory and joint difficulties. They are greedy eaters and will overeat every chance they get, which means they can easily become overweight if they don’t get enough exercise. Breathing also becomes a problem with too much exercise or stress.
While Bulldogs can be willful and stubborn, they are still fairly easy to train—despite rumors claiming otherwise. When the Bulldog learns something, he remembers and knows it—period. They learn best through repetition and positive reinforcement (i.e., treats and praise).
Did you know that some dogs are born by Caesarian Section? Bulldogs, in fact, are mandatory C-Section babies, which explains the higher costs associated with their purchase.
If you keep the Bulldog well brushed, he shouldn’t need frequent baths. Caring for the facial and nose wrinkles requires a bit more effort (e.g., cleaning between the folds). If you have any questions about dealing with skin problems or wrinkle issues, talk with your veterinarian who may prescribe a specific care regime.
You can expect the Bulldog to live an average of eight to 10 years, a little sooner than most dogs. For this reason, every moment with your Bulldog should be celebrated, and doggie care should always be a top priority to get the fullest lifespan out of him as possible with the best quality of life.
Interaction with Other Animals
Bulldogs are friendly, easygoing and get along with everyone, including children and other animals.
A Bulldog’s Bark
Bulldogs are not barkers; so for the person who likes peace and quiet, this breed is for you.
If you think the Bulldog might be the dog for you, first check with your local animal shelters or Bulldog rescue groups. You might find a Bulldog or Bulldog mix waiting to be adopted, and you’ll be giving a dog a second chance at life.
If you don’t find the dog you’re looking for at your local shelter or breed rescue group, you may choose to purchase a puppy instead of adopting one. If so, please be certain you are buying from a responsible breeder that breeds and sells only healthy, well-socialized puppies. Sadly, most pet store puppies come from puppy mills where dogs are not bred for good health and temperament and where they are often raised in inhumane conditions.
Responsible breeders typically do not sell their puppies to pet stores. Most responsible breeders want to meet and screen prospective owners to ensure that their puppies are going to good homes.