Bull Dog

english bulldogThe bull dog (also known as the English Bulldog or British Bulldog) originated in England by crossing the Mastiff and the Pug. This breed was most commonly used for bull baiting and bear baiting, a gambling sport in which the bulldog typically attacked the animal (which was lashed to a post) and tried to suffocate it by latching on to the snout.

Bulldogs were also used 17th century New York to round-up wild bulls. The dogs were trained to grab on to the bulls nose and distract it long enough for the animal to be roped.

The practice of dog fighting and baiting was banned in the UK in 1835. In time the breed was crossed with the the pug to create a shorter and wider dog. The modern bull dog is very different from its predecessor and is a loving and loyal pet.

1. Description

A male bulldog weighs about 50 to 55 pounds while females are lighter at 40- 50 pounds. Bulldogs stand at around 12 – 14 inches. This breed has a widely built and stout muscular body. The breed’s ‘waddle’ is due to the squarely set muscular build. It has a short and pug muzzle with wide nostrils and widely set round eyes. Bulldogs have an uncommonly large head with dropping checks and lips. The teeth are pointy and have an under bite.

This is one of the few breeds whose tail is naturally curled and short. Bulldogs come in a variety of colors including white, brindle, red, washed-out red, yellow, fawn or a mixture of these colors.

2. Temperament

The bulldog is a very loving and gentle breed despite the impression given off by its ‘sourmug’ expression. Bulldogs are extremely attached to their homes and family and it is not uncommon for them to stay at home unless accompanied by a person. They are a great breed for families with children and are friendly towards other pets if raised with them. Bull dogs usually snore loudly and drool. They are also prone to flatulence often and can offend some people.

Female bulldogs tend to be more aloof and placid compared to the males who are more playful. Bulldogs are easily trainable and seldom bark or get over excited. Although usually docile, bulldogs are known for a streak of stubbornness at times.

3. Exercise requirements

Bulldogs are not a very energetic breed although they can move fast when required over a short distance. This breed prefers not to exercise and is quite content to lie around all day. Care should be taken when feeding these dogs as they have a lazy disposition and can easily get overweight. Bulldogs adjust well in relatively small houses and apartments.

4. Use as work dogs

Although easily trainable, modern bulldogs are seldom if ever used as for practical purposes. They look tough but they can not withstand vigorous physical exercise. Bulldogs do make great house pets, especially homes with small children.

5. Grooming

This bulldog has a smooth short-haired coat that can be taken care of easily by brushing with a firm bristle brush. This breed is a moderate shedder.

Bulldogs should be bathed with a very mild solution/shampoo and only when necessary as they have sensitive skin. A Bulldog’s folds should be cleaned multiple times each week. It is also important to keep their ears and nasal passages clean. Some skin irritations can be prevented by cleaning the dog’s mouth and nearby areas after each meal.

Cysts that form between the toes are also a problem for some bulldogs and are easily treatable by a vet.

6. General Health

The average life expectancy of a bulldog is 8-10 years. Because of their small wind pipes and pug nose, this breed is susceptible to various breathing problems. Due to their large heads they are commonly delivered by caesarian section. Bulldogs also suffer from the protrusion of the inner eyelid which is known as cherry eye. Although not known for their health, they usually do not develop hip dysplasia because of bowlegged hind legs.

7. Recommended for

Bulldogs are one gentlest of all dog breeds and are great with children. Their laid back nature and size make them an ideal dog for small houses and apartments. They are more suitable for people who cannot exercise their dogs regularly although this breed does crave human attention. However, it is not a good choice as a guard dog.

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