Breed Spotlight: Bulldog
Bulldogs are currently one of the most popular breeds of dog! In 2016 they were rated fourth-most popular in the United States. With a distinctive face, they’re also easily one of the most recognizable breeds. (If you have one, you know you attract attention everywhere you go!)
The History of the Bulldog
Exactly when this breed emerged is not hammered down, but it’s believed to be the 13th century in England. Their name, ‘bulldog,’ is intertwined with their history. They were bred for the sport known as ‘bullbaiting.’ In this event, a pack of dogs was pitted against a bull, with bets placed on the outcome. The breed as we know it today is very different since this sport was outlawed.
During the height of bullbaiting, bulldogs were bred to be ferocious and brave, with large jaws capable of bringing down a bull. Their well-known underbite, which they still have today, allowed them to bite onto the bull and hold on. Their wrinkles also came from their bullfighting days. They deflected blood away from bulldogs’ eyes during a fight.
When the sport was outlawed in 1835, along with other blood sports involving animals, dog fighting became popular underground. The bulldog no longer fit the needs of this “sport.”
Since then, bulldogs have been bred with other dogs. The result is many of the bull terriers we know today. Since they were no longer needed for bullbaiting or dog fighting, bulldogs were being forgotten as their own breed.
Out of a desire to save them, people began breeding them to be companions, rather than fighters. Their aggression was bred out. Now patience, affection, and obedience are their main traits. Docile and sweet, bulldogs are popular in the United Kingdom and the U.S.
There are three types of bulldogs:
American bulldogs are larger than English bulldogs. They grow up to 125 pounds and 25 inches tall. With longer limbs and a more athletic build, they are faster and tend to be more hyperactive. While English bulldogs are considered lapdogs and stay indoors, American bulldogs love the outdoors. They’re often used as working dogs by farmers and hunters.
French bulldogs are considered descendants of the English bulldog.
When many people think about a bulldog, they’re thinking of the English variety. English bulldogs have shorter legs with a wider, ‘sport-like’ stance. Their heads are large and broad. Of course, they have the distinctive face they’re known for.
Size of the English Bulldog
When fully grown, an English bulldog only weighs about 50 pounds and stands just over a foot in height.
Coat and Color of the English Bulldog
- A combination of red, yellow, and white
Life Expectancy of the English Bulldog
English bulldogs tend to live between 8 to 12 years.
Health of the English Bulldog
The short head and snout can lead to health issues, mainly revolving around the:
- Respiratory system
Overheating is a concern because bulldogs don’t pant enough to cool themselves, like other dogs do.
It’s also important to maintain regular grooming to keep infections away from their wrinkly skin.
Bulldogs Make Great Pets!
Attitude of a Bulldog
Today’s bulldogs are patient, obedient, and great with children. Because they’re affectionate, they’re generally nice toward strangers, but they still have a courageous streak from their fighting days. They’ll defend their turf if they feel they need to.
They’re happy to please their owners and generally get along great with other pets in the home.
Training and Exercise of a Bulldog
Bulldogs only require moderate exercise. They’re more than happy to sit by their owner’s feet. Since they’re prone to being overweight, exercise is an important part of their lifestyle, especially as they age.
The fact that they don’t need much exercise makes them great for city-dwellers. Even a jaunt around an apartment building gets their little legs working!
Fun Facts about Bulldogs!
Their distinctive appearance isn’t the only reason bulldogs are a huge standout!
- Bulldogs are one of the most popular choices for mascots. They represent teams at the University of Georgia and Yale University. Some of these schools and other institutions even use live dogs to represent their teams!
- Bulldogs represent branches of the military, including the Marines and the 3rd Infantry Division of the Army.
- Brigitte, also known as Stella on Modern Family, was the first bulldog to win a Golden Collar Award.
- Leonardo DiCaprio, Hugh Jackman, and Zac Efron are just three of the many celebrities that love and own bulldogs.
- Prime Minister Winston Churchill was often compared to a bulldog because of his jowly looks and tenacious attitude.
Ask just about anyone, and they’ll be able to describe a bulldog to you in a heartbeat. They’re that recognizable! If you’re interested in adopting this beautiful dog, check out local shelters. If you’re looking for a breeder, research one that is reputable and certified.
Once you’ve brought your wrinkly playmate home, schedule their first appointment for vaccinations at Cinco Ranch Vet! We’ll make sure your newest family member is in tip-top shape. Call us at 281-693-7387.
The Team @ Cinco Ranch Veterinary Hospital
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