Bulldogs are very stocky dogs, with wide shoulders and a wide head. They have thick folds of skin on their brows, and over their muzzles they have another fold of skin called a "rope." The skin under the neck is loose, and their lips are droopy. I think a bulldog looks like it was left in the oven too long, and its face totally melted. Either that or it ran into a brick wall, and its face got all scrunched up. Some people really like this look in a dog, but frankly, I think basenjis are much cuter!
The coat color of a bulldog can be red, fawn, white, brindle, or piebald. Their hair is short and sleek, and it doesn't need much grooming. A male bulldog usually weighs 55-60 pounds, and a female weighs about 45 pounds. The bulldog's tail is short and curled, and that happens naturally, so the tail doesn't have to be docked.
If you look at a bulldog, you might think it is a grumpy dog, but this is not true. Most bulldogs are friendly and gentle, and they make good family pets. They are protective and tolerant of children. And since they don't need a whole lot of exercise, they can live in an apartment. But it's not healthy for them to get overweight, which means they shouldn't just sit around and watch TV all day.
Because of their short faces, bulldogs don't do well in the heat, and they need someplace shady or air-conditioned to hang out on a hot day. They especially like to lie on a nice, cool floor. Those short faces also make them snort and breathe heavily. Besides which, they snore loudly and they are "the most relentless farters in the canine world."
British people first started to think of bulldogs as a particular breed of dog back in 1500 or maybe even earlier. But they spelled the name of the dog Bondogge or Bolddogge, probably because everybody spelled words in all sorts of weird ways in those days. Anyway, the dogs were used in the sport of bull baiting, so that's why they were called "bulldogs."
Bull baiting was a mean and nasty sport, where a bull was tied up, and dogs tried to grab it by the nose and pin it to the ground. During this process, the bull usually gored or tossed or kicked several dogs, and some of the dogs died. People bet money on the dogs, and they began breeding bulldogs that were heavier and meaner and had stronger jaws. Bull baiting and the similar "sport" of bear baiting got to the peak of their popularity in England in the mid-1800s. But then in 1835, the Cruelty to Animals Act was passed, and it made these activities illegal. After that, there was no reason to keep breeding fighting bulldogs in England, but emigrants to America took the dogs with them and used them on farms to catch or corner a bull long enough to get a rope around its neck.
Meanwhile, back in the UK, people started trying to make the bulldog gentler, so that it could be a pet. Also they crossed bulldogs with pugs, and after a while, the breed ended up being shorter and wider and having a smooshed face. The modern English Bulldog does not have the right kind of jaw shape to grab a bull's nose and hang on. Also it couldn't breathe well enough to do all the running it would need to do while fighting a bull.
|English bulldogs are popular school mascots.|
This is Handsome Dan, the original Yale mascot.
The American Bulldog, since it kept on being a working dog longer than the English Bulldog, has a longer muzzle and is less stocky. But like I told you, I am not going to talk about that breed today.
English Bulldogs live about 7-11 years. Some of the health issues they might have are heart problems, cancer, allergies, cherry eye, hip dysplasia, and luxating patellas. More than 80% of bulldog litters are delivered by Cesarean section because of how big the puppies' heads are. The folds on the bulldog's face need to be cleaned every day to make sure there are no infections there.
Well, that's all I know to tell you about English Bulldogs. Someday maybe I will tell you about some other kind of bulldog.