The Bulldog, also referred to as English Bulldog is a medium sized breed. The term “Bulldog” was first talked about in literature around 1500. The oldest spelling of the word was Bondogge and Bolddogge. The designation “bull” was implemented on account of the dog’s participation in the sport of bull baiting. The dogs were set onto a tethered bull. Whichever dog was successful at grabbing the bull by the nose and got it pinned to the ground was considered the winner. It was common that many of the dogs would get killed or maimed by the bull by either getting tossed, trampled, or gored. Over the centuries, dogs used for bull-baiting developed enormous heads and jaws and the stocky bodies that typify the breed in addition to a savage and ferocious temperament.
The Bulldog is a strain with wide shoulders and head in accompaniment with a pronounced mandibular prognathism. The eyes are round, black, wide-set, and normally there are thick folds of skin on the dog’s brow. The short muzzle with characteristic folds called knots are seen above the nose. The dog has hanging skin under the neck, with drooping lips, and pointed teeth that occasionally have an underbite. The coat is flat, short, and glossy, with colours of red, fawn, white, brindle, and piebald. A typical male weighs 45-55 lbs, and the female weighs about 45 lbs. The American Kennel Club recommends the common weight of a bulldog to be 40-50 pounds.
Bulldogs are among the few strains whose tail is not naturally long but is either straight or screwed and thus is not cut or docked as with various other strains. A tail that is straight is a tail that is desired based on the breed standard set forth by the BCA if it is facing downward, and not upwards.
A bulldogs disposition, should be “equable and kind, resolute and courageous (not vicious or aggressive), and demeanor should be countenanced by the expression and behavior”, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Generally, Bulldogs are known for getting along well with other dogs, kids, and pets. They can become so attached to the dwelling and family, they will not typically venture without human company out from the yard. They are also more likely to sleep on someone’s lap rather than pursue a ball across the yard.
Some dogs of this breed are prone to getting interdigital cysts, which form between the toes. These cause the dog some discomfort, but are treatable either by a seasoned owner or veterinarian. Due to their small nasal passages, they might also suffer from respiratory problems. Other problems may include cherry eye, a protrusion of the inner eyelid (which can be corrected with a veterinarian). They may also suffer from allergies, and hip issues in older Bulldogs.
Bulldogs have great trouble keeping their bodies cool due to their very small nasal cavities. Bulldogs are very sensitive to heat and additional caution should be taken in warmer climates and during summer season. Bulldogs should be kept out of standing heat, and must be given plenty of water and shade. A 2004 UK survey of 180 Bulldog deaths places the average age at death at 6 years 3 months. The top cause of death of Bulldogs in the survey was cardiac associated (20%), cancer (18%), and old age (9%).