The English Bulldog is a medium sized dog with a low slung, thick set, heavy body that makes the dog look stout and square. Although not very tall, the overall impression of the English Bulldog is a powerful animal with great strength and vigor. Its disposition is never aggressive or vicious but courageous, kind, and dignified.
It has a massive, broad, thick head, obvious protruding, well-rounded cheeks, and a compressed, short muzzle. The English Bulldog also has square, broad, massive jaws, an undershot lower jaw that projects beyond the upper jaw and strong, large teeth. The Bulldogs lips overhang its lower jaw and they have folded back, thin, small ears, dark, round eyes that sit far apart and a black broad nose with big nostrils. The skin on their forehead and skull hangs in dense folds and they have a low, short tail, and short, very fine hair.
English Bulldogs have very smooth, fine textured, glossy, short, straight coats with no furnishings on their chest area, belly or legs. Their coat comes in many colors including white, pale red, pale yellow, brindle, fawn, red and a combination of several colors.
The temperament of today’s English Bulldogs is extremely different from their ancestors, the Asiatic Mastiff, used for bull baiting. Introduced in England in 1209, they banned bull bating in 1835. Owners tried their English Bulldogs in the sport of dog fighting and fighting other animals such as bears, badgers, monkeys and lions but were not successful. In the United Kingdom, English Bulldog lovers concentrated on replacing these dogs aggressive, fighting temperaments with qualities to make them wonderful companion dogs with the Bulldogs size and shape. Around the world today, English Bulldogs are extremely popular pets and show dogs.
The English Bulldogs may look intimidating but are really one of the most gentle, loyal, devoted breed of dog. These wonderful family dogs need human attention and companionship so are not a good choice for a person or families that are away from home for extended periods or every day during the week. Although they can be stubborn and bullheaded at times, they are an affectionate, gentle, dependable animal. Bulldogs love their family and form a very strong bond.
It is important for the English Bulldog to understand that their owner is ‘top dog,’ because they have a tendency to be dominant so need to know their place. Highly intelligent, quick to learn, and always ready to please, these loyal, laid back, undemanding companions are wonderful with children. Excellent playmates, they love spending time romping and playing with the children outside in a fenced yard or in the house.
Proper socialization and training is important because they are sometimes dog aggressive, especially if there is food involved. English Bulldogs are normally good with other pets and animals. Because they are so cumbersome and slow, English Bulldogs make very poor watchdogs, although they normally bark when someone comes to the door. As guard dogs, the fearless bulldogs will fight to protect their family or property if necessary.
There are several health problems that owners of English Bulldogs should be aware of including:
[-]Eye Problems – Cherry eye occurs when the third eyelid gland sticks out in the corner of the dog’s eye. When there is not enough natural tear production, the dog can suffer from dry eye.[/-]
[-]Respiratory Problems – Brachycephalic Syndrome results in obstructed airways causing the dog to have problems such as snorting, labored, or noisy breathing.[/-]
[-]Tail Problems – Some dogs have inverted or screw tails causing skin problems.[/-]
Other health conditions include an elongated soft palate, poor eyesight, digestive and flatulence issues, and knee and hip problems.
English Bulldogs have fine, smooth, glossy, straight, short coats and loose, soft skin and wrinkles on their head, shoulders and neck. Easy to groom, these average shedding dogs require brushing weekly using a rough cloth or firm bristle brush and comb. Be sure to keep the inside of the dog’s wrinkles on its tail, neck, and face cleaned daily using a soft, damp cloth and drying thoroughly. This removes any trapped debris, which could cause irritation or infections.
Bathe the dog only when necessary using a good quality, mild shampoo made specifically for dogs. Washing the English Bulldog too often could cause irritated, flaky, dry skin. Keep their teeth brushed and nails clipped regularly.
Some adult English Bulldogs are energetic while others prefer little or no exercise if possible. Although they have a low energy level, Bulldogs need regular walks to keep them fit and reduce the chance of them becoming overweight or obese.
When playing with children or other dogs, the English Bulldog can be fast, moving quickly for a short length of time. They should have protection from both extreme heat and cold so English Bulldogs require a moderate climate.
English Bulldogs are not a good choice of dog for first time owners because they are a dominant breed that needs someone who displays strong leadership. The dog must understand that their master is the alpha dog. Knowing their place in the human family makes English Bulldogs great companions and family pets. Bulldogs respond far better to positive, gentle training with short, repetitive training sessions, rather than any yelling or punishment. They love pleasing their masters and respond well to food rewards and praise. Because the English Bulldogs have a tendency to gain weight, limit the treats and food rewards.