The English bulldog or just Bulldog in the United States is one of the most popular dogs in the American Kennel Club (AKC), many people love this pet’s breed for its character and some for its appearance, it has a personality that makes it very beloved even though in its origin they were known to be the opposite, but thanks to the effort of many people this breed had a total change and for many, it is the perfect pet to have at home. They are small in height but are big, it can give you the appearance of being a bad boy, but it is all a sweetness. Having a Bulldog means having new responsibilities to which you must commit, being a decision that you should think very well before getting one. If you are interested in knowing more about this breed I invite you to keep reading.
The exact origin of the English bulldog is not known exactly, but it is believed that they come from the Mastiffs that were in the British Islands. The presence of these dogs began to be recognized in the 13th century when unfortunately these dogs were used as bull-baiting, a sport or rather an entertainment of the time where the dogs had to attack the bulls by the nose without releasing them until they died. It was a very bloody sport, and they encouraged these dogs to be aggressive all the time to prepare them for the confrontations; unfortunately, to maintain these attitudes, they also tortured them to be even more aggressive. Over time, they were also forced to confront other large animals such as bears, and even lions. Their name comes from this same ancient action they did and were called Bulldog. In the beginning, they were bigger dogs with great strength, they had a wide and strong jaw that allowed them to endure these confrontations.
It was until 1835 when England banned completely this type of entertainment using animals just for fun. Many people tried to do them secretly but ended up being discovered, so the Bulldogs were no longer needed and came to the brink of extinction. A group of animal lovers wanted to save this breed so they began a new breeding program where this breed was more peaceful and friendly, they wanted to disappear completely their aggressive behavior for fighting, so the first Bulldog Club was born in 1864 presenting the new standards of the breed, but this does not last long and dissolved. Years later in 1875, a new club called Bulldog Club Incorporated appears, it was the first dog breed club which is still present to this day, this group of people was completely dedicated to saving this magnificent breed, and they dedicated themselves to safe and responsible breeding making them the perfect pets for the human with a loving and dear personality, so much that they became the British national dog.
This dog arrived in the United States in 1880 attracting the attention of many people, and it was until 1886 that it was registered only with the name of Bulldog in the American Kennel Club along with 8 other breeds. In 1890 the AKC registered together with the Bulldog Club of America even having dogs of the English version, but the Americans felt that the breed was not concise so they decided to improve the breed and created new standards, but the British did not like the idea and it was not until 1896 that the new standards of this breed were recognized and are used until today. As the years went by the popularity of this breed started to increase so much that it ended up being one of the first ones in the popularity list in the AKC, but it brought a consequence an excessive amount of breeds without any concern to the physical damage they could do to the breed having as a consequence a lot of problems, one of them is the change in the hip narrowness making the females only able to give birth by cesarean section. Through all this, the respective institutions have taken the necessary measures to change this and protect this breed again.
Although in its origins the English Bulldogs were large and widebodies, with a lot of strength, today they have a different appearance that makes them very loved by people and it is impossible not to recognize a Bulldog just by looking at it. The dog’s life has an approximate expectancy of 8 to 12 years. It is a broad and muscular dog, despite its short height it is very heavy and has great strength, it is a medium-sized dog that gets to measure approximately 14-17 inches, and the male’s bulldog gets to weigh about 50 lbs while the female gets to weigh about 40 lbs.
His head is large and wide, rounded with a few slight folds in his face, has small, pointed ears that are slightly drooping, and have a good separation between them. It has a flat face, a spacious forehead with small, dark-colored eyes, a short muzzle, a small nose, and large, sagging lips on the sides. Their jaws are massive and wide, where the lower jaw protrudes a little more than the upper, their teeth are large and strong. Its head connects to a neck that has to be short, deep, very thick, and strong, having the back arched. Its back is wide, short, and strong, its shoulders have to be very broad and reaching the area of the narrowest loins. His chest is very broad, full, and deep and at the bottom in the belly area should be tucked up and not filled. Its legs are short but muscular, giving it a good base to support its weight, its paws are well developed and formed. Its tail is short, thick, and can be straight or curled.
Its coat is short, flat, straight, and has a soft, smooth, and shiny texture. Normally has folds or wrinkles from his face to his shoulders, should have a thick fold in his head, and from neck to shoulders should have two folds hanging forming the dewlap. Its allowed colors can be white, fawn, red, fallow and can be combined with each other, its patterns and marks that are only allowed are piebald, brindle, ticking, black tipping, black masks, and some minimum of solid black piebalds.
When you see a Bulldog without knowing how they really are the first thing you will think is that they are a dangerous dog and nothing affectionate, but in reality, they are quite the opposite, it is a lazy dog that enjoys being affectionate with people, is very sociable and gets along well with everyone, he loves to be cuddled and shared with him, but they are also usually somewhat sensitive and are a bit stubborn when they are very scolded. The socialization from puppies is very important for them since due to their personality they must familiarize themselves with all type of environment, people, other types of animals or places so that they adapt and can grow without disadvantages, it always considers to give a positive education to him and never you should take an aggressive attitude with them since they could be temperamental because of this, it depends on how you want that your English Bulldog puppy is, it will depend totally on how you educate it. You must be firm with their training as they are usually a little slow to learn but once they learn it they never forget it, so you must have patience in all this process and always showing who is in charge but with a loving attitude, and do not forget to reward him for his good deeds, so he feels that what he does is something good and it is something that is worth.
This breed adapts to all types of living environments, whether in apartments, houses or even in the countryside. They like to stay indoors, since they prefer a relaxed life, sleeping as long as they want, but don’t forget their daily exercise, even if it means walking a little at the recommended times. They are perfect for families, they love to be with children and to play with them, due to their calm personality they don’t like to make disasters, the reason why it would be a well-behaved dog, but if you have very small children you should watch them since as it has a great body and force unexpected situations can happen without intention.
The care of the English Bulldog breed is a very simple work as his coat, requires only one or two times per week for brushing to remove the dead hair, and especially in shedding season to prevent your house to be filled with hair everywhere, also in this way stimulate the natural skin oils to maintain a healthy coat. You can bathe him regularly if you want, once a month is more than good try not to bathe him too often either because it is not healthy for his skin, you can also bathe him only when he is very dirty, use only special shampoos for dogs that do not contain chemicals that affect their health. Due to the skin folds that have the Bulldog, you should always check their skin folds and wrinkles to see if it needs cleaning or to prevent skin infections. I recommend that you clean them with a wet wipe, and then dry them immediately, so it doesn’t get humid because bad hygiene can develop fungus and other problems. Dog’s teeth are very important, you should always check and clean their teeth to maintain good oral hygiene and prevent any dental disease like bluish gums. English Bulldogs are also prone to eye and ear infections, so you should always keep or check them every day to keep them clean, you can find ear mites in your bulldog’s ears. Also, make sure your dog nails should be trimmed regularly using a dog nail clipper.
Moreover, you should avoid walking your dog, especially in summer when it is very hot because it can suffer from a heat stroke and can be fatal for your dog. This also applies to avoid leaving him locked in the car without enough air, or leaving him tied up somewhere without access to clean and fresh water, if it’s not treated in time it can be fatal for your pet. In seasons of moderate temperatures, you should take advantage of taking your dog for a walk at least twice a day to keep him active even for a short time, since they are usually very lazy, consider this since it is very important for them as they tend to suffer from overweight and in the long run it can bring him serious health problems, and more than that they have a quite short life expectancy that is why you should take very good care of them. You can also apply exercises inside the house in order not to lose his routine, you can do different types of games that keep him busy chasing a ball, or make him search for things, or establish a series of special exercises for dogs to keep them active, and in this way avoid complete sedentarism since they enjoy doing nothing, love laziness and rest a lot.
The feeding of the English Bulldog breed is mainly based on providing high-quality food, which complies with ingredients that are beneficial to their health, moreover, provide good nutrition for their growth, also in this way you can avoid future diseases. Wherever you go to get dog food you should make sure you check all the ingredients it has, and if they are the right ones for its condition. You should always allow them access to water that is clean and fresh. Plus, before and after every meal allows them to rest for at least 1 hour.
Depending on the age of this dog breed you have to focus on what nutritional aspects are right for their development. These are divided into 3 stages:
- Puppies: once your new pet is ready to be weaned, you can choose a high-quality puppy food and make sure it contains vitamins, iron, calcium, and protein. This will allow your puppy to grow in good health and without any bone or muscle problems. Pups improve with a routine, so establish and set guidelines for a moderate schedule for eating, so you can maintain it while continuing to grow, encouraging better breeding.
- Adult: I recommend that you ask your vet what is the best amount you can give them, as it can vary according to their weight. An adult dog must contain a high degree of protein, and you can choose their feeds depending on their lifestyle, whether they are dogs that exercise constantly or are normal life dogs, or even feeds that help them lose weight if they are overweight.
- Senior: after the age of 7 you should start focusing on what type of nutrition is most suitable for your senior bulldog. Unlike other ages, the amount of protein can be reduced in case they are in delicate health, your vet will recommend which diet is most beneficial for them.
You can also choose to feed them with Human foods that are safe for your pet, you can ask your veterinarian what type of food is best or not to feed them. You can give your dog treats and more when you are training him, since this way he will feel rewarded, but you must still control the amount you give him since they contain high levels of calories and can cause obesity.
The English Bulldog usually enjoys good health and more if their owners are responsible and dedicated to taking care of them as it should be, but due to the physical changes that this breed has had throughout this time has been predisposed to develop or suffer certain diseases, but this does not mean that your bulldog can suffer some of these diseases that will be explained below, a bulldog owner should also take into consideration that depending from where the pet comes, will determine what kind of health can have. One of the main ones that are better known in dog breeds with high weight and similar proportions like the American Staffordshire Terrier tend to suffer from hip dysplasia being one of the most common, it is an Inherited disease that makes the hip bone doesn’t fit with the femur, causing wear and joint pain. Then, if you see your dog limping, you should go to the vet as soon as you can as with any other changes in his behavior. Another future painful condition that is very similar to this situation, is in bulldog’s elbows, that is elbow dysplasia but limping by the front legs, that with early diagnosis it can be treatable and even prevented.
Due to the flat shape of their nose and face some bulldogs are predisposed to suffer from respiratory distress syndrome or also called Brachycephalic syndrome, in which they begin to develop breathing problems due to the little tissue they have in their nose accumulating infections that can affect their health. Many dogs can breathe well with this syndrome, others snore in their sleep and others may have complications, this can be solved by surgery to help your dog live a longer life, but unfortunately, many dogs die young from a complication. Prevent your Bulldog from getting heatstroke, as its respiratory level can affect it more. It is recommended that your dog is kept in a cool environment or under air conditioning.
Also, they can develop diseases such as von willebrand’s disease, heart disease, luxating patella or patellar luxation, a problem that is common in dogs, and the last two occurs when the kneecap is not well aligned, producing pain and at the same time limping or difficulty walking, and this can later develop arthritis, the moment you see your Bulldog showing some undue pain when moving or is limping you have to go directly to the vet. Because of the wrinkles or loose skin around his eyes, the Bulldog it’s also prone to suffer some eye diseases like keratoconjunctivitis sicca, corneal ulcers, or more common, ectropion and entropion, this is a disease that affects the eyelid exposing the eye, and can suffer infections, irritating or injuring the eyeball, both can be corrected by surgery if it’s necessary.
Due to the physical changes that the Bulldog has had throughout all this time, it has been seen that due to the bone structure of the females, natural births have to be dangerous and the puppies usually die, so if you are going to dedicate yourself to the breeding of this breed you must take into consideration that they must have a cesarean section in their births to avoid inconveniences. Also, the Bulldogs that usually have their tails curled, may have them inverted or any type of tail that is usually very close to the skin can cause some problems, so it is advisable to keep that area clean and dry to prevent infections.
The best way to prevent all these diseases from developing is with a constant checkup from puppies, also at the time you get to observe any abnormal symptom, you should take it immediately to check with the doctor. You should always be up to date with his vaccination schedule and do his continuous deworming.
If you consider that this is the right breed for you and you want to get an English Bulldog puppy, you can do it through a reputable bulldog breeder within the AKC marketplace, since it is the only exclusive site that has registered 100% of litters, and the breeders who have cared and dedicated to raising puppies following the rules and regulations established by the AKC. In this way, you can be sure that your bulldog pup is in good health through all the certificates and tests performed, that he was raised in good conditions, that he had all his check-ups, vaccinations, and deworming done by a veterinarian, also you can be sure that his parents are not exploited just to have puppies, but that their breeding time is respected and they are under all the care they deserve. Avoid having them through puppy mills or pet stores that do not give you a true picture of the health of your puppy and by the way, this makes the pet exploitation keep growing.
Also, if you want you can go to shelters or Bulldogs rescue groups to adopt them and give them a second chance to be with a family, as many Bulldogs are abandoned because the people who get them are not aware of the responsibilities that come with carrying this pet, so before deciding on having this breed inform yourself!
If you are looking to have a dog at home that has qualities of being big but cute, who likes to be indoors but likes to have his exercise time, who likes to be surrounded by people and share much love, then the English Bulldog or just Bulldog, is your best option, as long as you can carry the responsibilities it needs, be a good pet owner and you have informed yourself of everything necessary of this breed, undoubtedly the Bulldog is your best choice. If you have any questions or if you think I’ve missed anything, please let me know in the comment section down below.