Other names: English Bulldog
The English Bulldog is an unusual dog, both in terms of his physical characteristics and his placid or even lazy temperament. He is not a keen sportsman but he shouldn’t be sedentary either. He tends to be unfriendly to outsiders, but he is very friendly towards the members of his social group. Loyal, protective, and courageous when necessary, he is a very nice companion dog. His expression gives him a grumpy look that hides his immense joy being alive.
Key facts about the Bulldog
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Origins and history
He comes from combat dogs used in the Medieval Age against bulls, hence his name. He is the result of a selection that aimed to create a dog with a powerful bite, very fierce and courageous, insensitive to pain. This unhealthy selective breeding regime, which sought to produce only "war machines", was due to be eradicated due to his great ferocity. Thus, the English Bulldog was almost extinct until a group of breeders took an interest in him and began to work on his personality by eliminating any traces of aggression. Today the English Bulldog is a very friendly, sweet and quite balanced companion dog.
Physical characteristics of the Bulldog
Female : Between 12 and 16 in
Male : Between 12 and 16 in
Female : Between 46 and 55 lb
Male : Between 51 and 60 lb
The coat can be unicolour (beige, pure white, etc.) or sooty (with black face/snout). Red (from pale fawn to darker fawn), brindle, and mixed (combination of white with another colour) are also accepted colours. On the other hand, black, black and tan, liver and Dundley are not accepted.
Type of coat
His hair is short.
His fur is thin, tight and smooth.
Very dark in colour, the eyes are almost black.
The English Bulldog is a very peculiar, stout, and powerful dog, with short legs, and an astonishingly large head compared to his size. The skull has very pronounced wrinkles. The muzzle is short and crushed. The eyes are round, medium-sized, located low on the skull and well exposed. The ears are small and rose-shaped. The teeth are projected forwards, with a lower jaw that juts forward.
Good to know
The English Bulldog does not know how to swim and he tends to sink. In fact, his short legs do not allow him to swim fast enough to keep his body on the surface of the water. And even if some Bulldogs manage to swim, it fatigues them too much and they eventually give up by letting themselves drift. The wearing of a life jacket is therefore indispensable in case of walks in the vicinity of a body of water.
Despite a painful history as a fighter, the English Bulldog is now seen as a very affectionate dog who enjoys spending time with members of his social group. Sensitive and loyal, he needs affection and attention to be completely fulfilled.
Despite his somewhat grumpy air, he is a dog that likes to play and especially spend time with children. If he is not too hot and he is not bullied, he participates happily in the game.
The English Bulldog is sometimes so calm and sweet that one might think he is lazy. His temperament is very balanced and he knows how to adopt a serene attitude when necessary.
His intelligence is reflected in his ability to adapt to many environments, lifestyles and activities.
There’s no excessive predatory instinct with this dog, who prefers to sleep at the foot of the couch rather than chasing prey that he will certainly never catch.
Fearful / wary of strangers
Since he is a natural protector of the people who are known to him, this hound can be suspicious towards outsiders. He will need time to offer his trust to someone he doesn't know.
Despite appearances, this grumpy-looking dog is clearly devoted to his master. Independence is not his thing, and he always needs to be with a person in whom he has confidence.
Behaviour of the Bulldog
Loneliness is the worst enemy of the English Bulldog. Thus, people who work at home (or who have the opportunity to take him to work) or retired people, for example, are the best masters for this sensitive dog.
Absences should never be long, for risk of seeing different behaviours such as destruction, immorality, etc.
Easy to train / obedience
This hound may be difficult to motivate but when you have his attention, he is rather docile. On the other hand, if he perceives confusion or unfairness in the attitude of his master, then he may express his disapproval.
Education should be initiated as soon as you get an English Bulldog puppy to prevent him from learning bad habits.
As he may have a thick head on occasions, any training exercises will have to be repeated regularly and in the most positive way possible, but with a dose of firmness. The sessions should be short to prevent the loss of the dog’s concentration and to guarantee success.
Teaching him to be alone is recommended to prevent this dog from stressing as long as you don’t push your luck with long absences.
Walking on a leash without pulling will also require a swift star to the learning process if you want walks to be enjoyable, both for the master and for the dog.
If we put aside his snoring and his loud breathing, this little hound is not noisy and he barks little.
Tendency to run away
The homebody side of this dog prevents him even thinking about running away. He is far too dependent on his master and not very bold. The English Bulldog prefers to keep warm with his people.
He is particularly destructive as a puppy, mainly when teething.
Greedy / Gluttony
This dog is very greedy, so he will never refuse his bowl or a treat. Therefore, it is very important to monitor his diet as to avoid the obesity that’s very common in this breed.
However, good quality treats can be used to motivate this lazy dog during training sessions.
The English Bulldog is a very protective dog and can, due to his physique, be a serious deterrent. However, this dog should not only be adopted for a guarding job as he is, above all, a sensitive pet dog.
He resorts to aggression only when someone threatens his master or, worse, his children: he is ready to give his life for them.
He is a formidable foe because he has a steel grip and is practically insensitive to pain.
This dog is a very good choice for your first adoption. However, be careful not to adopt an English Bulldog simply for his atypical physique. The characteristics of the breed must be seriously taken into account.
Do not underestimate the few "flaws" of this dog: he drools immensely, often snores and encounters many health problems especially regarding his breathing.
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Bulldog in a flat
The English Bulldog is exclusively an indoor dog and does not need a lot of space to be happy. He can get used to living in a city environment, especially thanks to his easygoing and docile temperament.
Life in the countryside, meaning in a house with a garden, is also enjoyable for a bulldog, but this should not justify the absence of outside walks.
Need for exercise / Sporty
There’s no need to be athletic when adopting an English Bulldog. Even if he can be dynamic and playful, he can’t resist intense physical stimulation for too long.
Indeed, his brachycephalia (crushed nose) causes many respiratory problems, so he cannot indulge in very intense physical activities.
A few daily walks can suffice his need to expend energy. For this dog, mental activities (games), socialisation (peer meetings) and sniffing tasks (research, tracking, etc.) will be preferred.
Travelling / easy to transport
Travel is tricky especially because of their breathing difficulties. This dog will not be able to withstand a confined space for long hours.
Bulldog and cats
The cohabitation between a cat and an English Bulldog is possible only if they grow up together. If this is not the case, you have to teach immense control to the dog during his interactions with the cat (although the cat can always hide up high).
Bulldog and dogs
His fighting-dog heritage has left a few traces. In fact, this dog can sometimes be too abrupt with his peers. Without implying that he is a dominant dog, he remains indelicate in his deportment and this can cause fights.
Early socialisation will have to be taught to the English Bulldog puppy to develop strong inter-dog behaviour and to create as many positive experiences as possible.
Be careful of same-sex dogs who may not be able to find common ground.
Bulldog and children
If he is respected, this dog can get along perfectly with children he likes to play with. He is also very protective of them in dangerous situations.
Some ground rules will have to be put in place so that cohabitation is healthy and safe.
Bulldog and the elderly
He is a good companion for old people, especially because he does not need to exercise much and he adapts well to a sedentary life.
However, this dog will need masters that can offer him several walks a day. The use of a dog walking service will have to be considered if his masters cannot meet this need.
The price of an English Bulldog varies depending on his origins, age and gender. It is between £1460 and £1700 for a dog registered with the KC. The high prices are generally justified by the titles won by the breeding parents at dog shows.
The average monthly budget ranges from £35 and £45 in order to fully meet the needs of this dog, including conventional food and care.
The maintenance of the English Bulldog’s short hair is not particularly complicated, you just need to monitor his skin because of its folds.
His eyes are also very delicate, so just observe them and clean them regularly to prevent irritation. Do the same for his ears.
Weekly brushing is necessary to remove the dog's dead hair, especially during moulting periods when the loss is more abundant.
Nutrition of the Bulldog
The English Bulldog must have a diet suitable for his age, shape, health and fitness.
Daily rations can be divided into two meals (a light one in the morning and a more copious one in the evening). Be careful because this breed is prone to obesity.
High-quality dog food must be offered to him or homemade meals with the agreement of a veterinarian.
Health of the Bulldog
The life expectancy is estimated at 9 years.
Strong / robust
Particularly sensitive to temperature changes, the English Bulldog is very fragile when facing extreme climates. In addition, his low endurance makes him prone to suffering breathing problems. Finally, he can be affected by many health problems.
He is very sensitive to heat because of his short coat. In summer, he should not come out if it is too hot
The cold can cause violent shivering in the English Bulldog, so it is advisable to limit excursions when the temperatures are too cold. His coat will not provide enough protection during winter walks
Tendency to put on weight
Obesity in this bulldog is not uncommon and it should not be underestimated on the pretext that he is such an energetic dog. His low need to spend energy and his predilection for gluttony are not really compatible, so it is important to pay attention to his diet.
- Cancers and tumours (aortic chemodectomas, cutaneous lymphoma, localised mastocytoma, etc.)
- Heart disease (CIV, aortic stenosis, pulmonary, etc.)
- Skin diseases (generalized Demodicosis, cyclic follicular dysplasia, folliculitis, Pod-dermatitis, etc.)
- Congenital cleft palate (malformation that prevents a link between the oral cavity and the nasal cavity)
- Type A Haemophilia
- Kidney stones
- Distichiasis (Ocular affection)
- Retinal dysplasia
- Dry Kera-conjunctivitis (desiccation of the cornea and conjunctiva)
- Dislocation of the nictitating gland
- Hip dysplasia
- Patella dislocation
- Osteochondrosis (anomaly during growth)
- Eosinophilic (bone marrow damage during growth)
- Rupture of the crossed ligaments
- Diseases of the respiratory system (tracheal hypoplasia, brachycephalic syndrome)
- Cryptorchidism (a testicle fails to drop)
- Vaginal hyperplasia