Sometimes called the English Bulldog or the British Bulldog, the breed originated in England and has a bloody past. It descended from fighting mastiffs that were brought to the British Isles by the Romans and was used in a bloody sport called bullbaiting. Today, however, the Bulldog only slightly resembles his ancestors in appearance. And all of the ferociousness that he exhibited in the bullbaiting pens? Gone for good. Despite his still ferocious appearance, you’d be hard-pressed to find a dog with a sweeter, more loving disposition.
Bulldogs are never mistaken for other breeds of dogs. They are a medium-size dog with a thick-set, low-slung body. Their short-muzzled head is massive and square. They have broad shoulders and chests, with thick, sturdy limbs.
Mature male Bulldogs weigh about 50 pounds; mature females about 40 pounds. Show dogs may be about 10 pounds heavier. They stand 12 to 15 inches at the shoulder.
Sociable and sweet, but with a reputation for courage that makes him an excellent watchdog, the Bulldog is a lover, not a fighter. He’s dignified rather than lively and has a kind although occasionally stubborn nature. The Bulldog is friendly and easygoing; he gets along with everyone. He can be a slow learner, but once he knows something, he’s got it for good. Bulldogs don’t tend to be barkers. Usually their appearance alone is enough to frighten off intruders.
Like all breeds, Bulldogs are prone to certain diseases and conditions. Not all Bulldogs will get any or all of these diseases, but it’s important to be aware of them so you can be informed when you interview breeders and can know what to look for throughout your Bulldog’s life.
Bulldogs are inactive indoors and don’t require a great deal of exercise (although they must be walked every day to keep them from gaining weight). They are indoor dogs and prefer a relaxed lifestyle. After about 15 minutes of play, they’re ready for a nap. This low to moderate energy level makes the Bulldog suited to any type home, from an apartment to a house with a yard. You can take the Bulldog for a walk of a mile or two during the cool part of the day, but he’ll be just as happy with a brief stroll up and down your street.
Children And Other Pets
His amiable temperament and bulk make the Bulldog an excellent companion for children, even young ones. A Bulldog will put up with a lot from a child, although he shouldn’t have to, and he’ll walk away if he gets tired of being tormented.