The Bulldog is quite the opposite of his appearance; while they can look quite fierce and threatening, they are the complete opposite. These dogs have a gentle, friendly nature, adore their human family, and have a dose of mischievous stubbornness. Above all, they are loyal to their family. They are highly spirited as a puppy but grow into a calm adult. They are fond of children and very tolerant; if they have had enough, they will just get up and move away. They also get along well with other animals and are one of the easiest natured dogs to bring into a mixed household. They can be a bit on the lazy side as they mature, preferring to sit at your side and watch the action. They will join in the games with the kids but not for long; you will soon have them back at your side snoozing in the sun. They do overheat easily and need a cool retreat in summer. The Bulldog does drool and snore and they can have health issues because of their short nose, but they are devoted funny loveable dogs.
The Bulldog descended from ancient Mastiffs that originated in the Asian areas, and wandering nomads brought the breed with them when they went to Europe. The Mastiff was refined during breeding, becoming the dog we know today as the Bulldog. With its short muzzle and wide lower jaw, it was ideal for the blood sport known as bull baiting. The dog would keep low to the ground to avoid being tossed by the bull, and then it would clamp its teeth onto a bull’s nose. The upturned shape of the dog’s nose allowed it to breath as it remained clinging to the bull, hence their name, the Bulldog. The breed has a high tolerance to pain, but many were injured or killed in the sport. The authorities outlawed this barbaric sport in England during 1835, and many wondered what the Bulldog would now do. Indeed, the dog was very aggressive, a result of being bred with the most aggressive and courageous dogs available, so it was not a good companion dog at that time. These dogs were used in bear baiting before the outlawing of this sport, and the breed was bred to be softer and gentler. The breed then spread to America and Germany where they made ideal companion dogs and helped create the Boxer breed. Because of this dog’s stalwart devotion, it has been made the mascot for several colleges as well as the United States Marine Corps. The Bulldog is respected for their qualities of loyalty and determination that they represent. The ferociousness that the Bulldog was known for has been bred out of the breed, and they are now known to have the sweetest, most loving disposition!
The Bulldog is a solid compact looking animal, medium in size and has short legs. This breed has a distinctive walk; they walk in a loose-jointed, shuffling sidewise roll. They can be a solid dog when mature, no longer easy to lift! The body and head are massive, with extra skin on the skull and those famous skin folds and wrinkles on the face. The cheeks extend to the sides of their eyes, and the muzzle is wide, short, and pug shaped with a broad, deep stop. Although their black noses are broad with large nostrils, because of the shortness of the muzzle they do have breathing or respiratory problems. The eyes are dark in color and deep set, and they have small thin ears that are set high on the head. The jaws are truly impressive, broad, square and massive with hanging upper lips. The teeth should have an under bite, which was important when they were involved with bull baiting as they would latch onto the bull’s nose with their strong jaws and would not let go – they were tenacious to the extreme. While that aggressive part of their nature is no longer present in the breed, they still have the impressive equipment that they utilised. Their tail is either straight or screwed and carried low. With their plush soft, smooth coats, they are adorable as puppies and come in a range of colors from red brindle to white, to piebald and everything in between.
The Bulldog is very easy to maintain and keep with their short soft hair only requiring a firm bristle brush once a week and a face wipe with a damp cloth every day. It is important to wipe in the folds of their skin though, to remove debris and check that there is no inflammation, sores, or parasites lurking. Make sure you dry these fold after the wash. Other grooming needs are nail care and dental hygiene; get them used to this at an early age so that they enjoy it. Also, check their ears and wipe them out carefully, removing dirt and wax with a cloth, and never poke anything in the ear canal. They are inactive indoors, ideal for apartments, and have a low to moderate energy level. They do need a good walk each day to help them to stay in shape and keep fit, as they love food and can put on weight easily. Because of their pushed in faces, the Bulldog doesn’t do well in the extreme heat or cold, for that matter, they need air conditioning in hot weather as even 30 minutes outdoors in 85-degree temperatures can be fatal for them. They need plenty of water to drink and will love a shallow child’s play pool to cool off in, but because of their massive heads, they are not good swimmers so protect them from your swimming pool as they can drown easily.