Getting to Know the English Bulldog

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The English Bulldog can be traced back over centuries. In fact, the first literary use of the term “Bulldog” appeared in the 1500s.

What’s in a Name

The English Bulldog is a decedent of the Asiatic Mastiff from the British Isles. The fact this breed of dog looks much like a small, robust bull, and would play an instrumental role in Bull Baiting Games, the dog earned the name Bulldog.

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The Littlest Bull Fighter

English Bulldogs have the power to attack full-grown bulls, due to the aggressive and courageous attitudes they exhibit. These dogs would attack bulls from the underside finishing at the neck, which made it near impossible for a bull to fight back. However, it was not unheard of for a bull to maim or kill several dogs during a single event, by goring, tossing or trampling the dogs to death. Bull and Bear Baiting Games have been illegal since the Cruelty to Animals Act passed in 1835.

Physical Characteristics

The English Bulldog is medium sized and compact with short legs; the head is massive with extra skin, both on the skull and forehead, which falls into folds around the face.

Their short flat coat is straight and lays smooth and glossy over their entire body. Their coats come in a variety of colors red, brindle, solid white, solid red, fawn, fallow and piebald, pale yellow, washed out red or white and a variation of all these colors.

English Bulldogs can be intimidating, even though they are small in stature; but they are among some of the gentlest dogs. They will make impressive watchdogs with their guarding abilities; no one wants to mess with a dog, which is capable of fighting off a bull. This breed has a tendency to snore very loudly; they also tend to drool and slobber and are usually messy eaters.

Height: Male and females both stand 12 to 16 inches; the shorter Bulldogs are more popular when being shown in competition.

Weight: Males are 53 to 55 lbs.; Females are 49 to 51 lbs.

The females will need to have their pups delivered by caesarian section, due to the fact their pups have such large heads and the average littler size is 4 to 5 pups.

Grooming Requirements

Grooming takes very little effort. The face will need to be cleaned with a damp cloth daily to clean the underside of their wrinkles. This breed falls into the average shedder category. Bulldogs require baths only when necessary to help reduce skin irritation.

Common Health Problems

The more common health problems shared by Bulldogs may include breathing problems, poor eyesight, and they are susceptible to heat stroke in warm weather or while being left in hot vehicles.  They are susceptible to skin infection, hip and knee problems and are prone to flatulence, which occurs when they eat anything other than their regular diet.

Is this the Pet for You?

English Bulldogs are popular among apartment or condominium dwellers, they tend to be inactive indoors, they do not require a yard in which to exercise, they will however, need to go for daily walks.

English Bulldogs need to know their owners take the lead. Begin training early by teaching them to enter and exit doorways and gateways after their owners, not before. They should be on a leash, while on their walks, because they can move very quickly when they get the urge to do so.

About the Author

Dr. Susan Wright is a veterinarian, author and a dog bark collar expert who enjoys writing articles with dogs as the primary subject matter

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Updated: March 23, 2014 — 4:13 pm