English Bulldog - General Features, Temperament, Health

English Bulldog dog breed face

FCI #149, Origin: England, Group 2 : Molossoid Breeds

Height: 14-15 in, Weight: 45-60 lb

Shedding: MEDIUM, Coat: Short

Color: red brindle, other tiger suit, white, piebald, without black

Ease of training: LOW, Energy level: LOW, Span of life: 8-10 years


Breed: English Bulldog is one of the brightest and most famous European fighting breeds, but now he has very little in-common with his ferocious forebears.

Today it is a very big fashion to keep the English Bulldog, puppies are in a constant demand among fans, who can hardly guess that the popularity of a Bulldog came simultaneously with the loss of those unique qualities that are saved now only in his American "namesake".

The history of the emergence and development of the English Bulldog is interesting, and in many ways revealing, for it can serve as an example of a huge influence that the the vagaries and whims of man backed up by directional selection have on the state of livestock. Baiting of animals in Britain is one of the oldest entertainment. Heavy dogs with a stranglehold were mentioned in the book "The skill of hunting," written in 1406 by Edward, the Duke of York. Referring this dogs to the ancient Alans, a medieval author wrote that they "are strong, albeit small growth. This is the best dog to catch and keep any animal, and it grabs so strong and so fast - as any other animal can not do."

Initially, the organizers of bull baiting were not caring much about entertainment and sports side of things. Any more or less suitable dog was allowed to participate, often it was a whole pack. The poor dogs were biting the furious enemy at random places and were killed by dozens. Later, the organizers of cruel fun put it on a grand scale, developed rules governing the course of the fight - and to the XVII century the emergence of specialized breeds has become a matter of a foregone conclusion. It was then that the ancestors of the breed for the first time were classified as "bulldogs" by the breeders. The role of a "bull-biter" was first performed by the English Mastiff and his smaller version, which served British butchers as a working dog, reminiscent of the Rottweiler. Among the first "Bulldog", however, could be met dogs of all sizes, colors and with different jaw structure. However, initial screening was performed by bulls, destroying unfit for fighting animals, man was only strengthening and developing those qualities that helped to create the perfect specialized fighting dogs.


English Bulldog dog breeds


So, the Mastiff was usually grabbing the bull behind his ear, neck or back of the neck and tried to knock him down using his weight. But because of their large size Mastiffs were often caught on the horns of a bull or under a deadly hoof. But the butcher's dog by long-term "professional" selection of the best were saving themselves from a formidable enemy, and had another remarkable feature - the desire to grab the bull by the nose. Everyone knows that the nose is the most sensitive place of a bull and that it has been used by humans: using threaded steel ring in the nostrils, he subdued obstinate animal. Therefore the Bulldog, who seizes the bull's nose, was capable of completely paralyzing his will to resist. The fight, incidentally, was considered complete if the bull fell down or ran out of the arena.

More powerful levers of the jaw muscles had the short-muzzled dogs, but in these working Bulldogs this feature never evolved to a modern level, because it was necessary to ensure a good grip with a sufficiently "deep" bite, not disturbing the normal breathing. (As for the stranglehold, let's note that this is a function of the nervous system of dogs, but not a feature of the structure of the muzzle). Borzoi is sometimes holding the wolf "tightly". Stranglehold can be noticed in hunting dogs, Bull Terriers and, depending on the situation and temperament, in the representatives of virtually all breeds of dogs. Judging from the existing ancient images, working Bulldog was a dog, the proportions of the head and face of which ranged from the type of Staffordshire Terrier to the Boxer. Later (XVIII-XIX centuries) the Bulldogs were more of the same type, they were like a Boxer but with heavy rough bones and broad chest. Short legs, wide front and exaggerated features of brachycephaly in no way were not desirable and inherent in fighting dogs, they came much later. It is no coincidence that these dogs in XIX century, in common parlance were called "broad-mouthed", rather than "short-mouthed", as it is customary now.



Bull-baiting was outlawed in 1835 - and the numerous livestock of Bulldogs was "irrelevant." Coming out of the scope of traditional use, the English Bulldog began to acquire a qualities of a keeper and companion of a respectable gentleman. Some inconveniences were created by his character, so angry dogs in large numbers were exported to the New World and other colonies, where life was hard, simple, and completely devoid of stiffness and gloss inherent in the metropolis, those dogs who stayed at home, had to undergo changes, which would allow them to enter in a certain way of life, of a "good old England" without chaos, destruction and mutilation. Thus, the character and temperament of the English Bulldog became the object of attention of breeders. Since the "classical" gentleman must have a "good" dog, then the preference was given to balanced, loyal to strangers (up to a certain limit) and reliable Bulldogs.

The well-known tenacity and fearlessness that made the breed a symbol of English nation, were considered positive effects, but unfortunately they had to suffer as a result of show selection. If the first British show Bulldogs had an expression of power and a rough charm of soldiers, the modern representatives of the breed became a symbol of charming ugliness (beautiful in it's ugliness). Among the famous dogs, before the second world war persisting similarities with the prototype, can be distinguished champions Glenwood Queen, Diamond Lass and Sweet Briar.


General Features: English Бulldog can be compared with a powerful tugboat or a thoroughgoing puffing with steam locomotive with a fair supply of fuel.

Girth of his head is equal to the height at the withers. Eyes are very dark, deep-set looking from overhanging eyebrows. Ears are small, highly placed. The upper end does not close the shell, is taken aside. The coat is short and tight, straight. Color of an English Bulldog is usually brindle on a different background (usually a red), white, or speckled (white and tiger areas). Black and black and tan are not allowed.


Temperament: Modern Bulldog may be the top of the dog breeding: his forms can be a clear example of how the human intervention in the structure of the dog's body reached it's limit. The English Bulldog is totally dependent on humans. Therefore, the one who is going to buy a Bulldog, should remember: this dog needs constant care literally. But he pays for that care hundred times more: the devotee, with a very human attitude to life, with a thousand shades of feelings and thoughts in his touching, almost human eyes.

With his more than original appearance and balanced, even a gentle character, the English Bulldog is an ideal dog for apartment. Unlike many other dogs the English Bulldog is unruffled, calm and friendly. Stable nervous system allows him even in the most crowded place to avoid conflicts. But if necessary, in this "impenetrable" Englishman may arise the tough character of his ancestors, and he can easily stand up for himself, severely punishing the offender.

British believe that the modern Bulldog is a "decorative dog", a real high-lite of the apartment, a lover of sofas, cars and comfort and they call him "the perfect one for a lazy person." The fact is that in these dogs all the mass of the body is held on the muscles, whereas in other breeds - in struts-limbs. The proportions of a Bulldog's body (or rather, imbalance, when compared with the structure of other breeds of dogs): a huge head, a relatively small, but fairly heavy body on short thick legs, and the back legs are much longer than the front, ungainly shuffling gait - all these dictates the need to establish a dog exercises, that he can bear without fatigue. But we must bear in mind that the slowness and clumsiness of a Bulldog is surprisingly combined with his ability to move very rapidly and vigorously in moments of acute need.

English Bulldog today is a Companion Dog. The creature just as dedicated as sensitive, compassionate to everything that happens at home, in his "flock." Slightly rustic in nature, the Bulldog is very clever. Very fond of children: the Bulldog understands that the child in the family is an object of universal love, and tries to imitate adults. Bulldog can become an indispensable companion to children's games: he is noisy, excited, impatient and just a gush of energy.

The English Bulldog can not tolerate the loneliness and lack of communication, becoming sullen and obstinate, however, like any living creature. However, due to precisely their obstinacy Bulldogs acquired the international fame, becoming the mascot for many sports clubs: this dog can not be convinced by force or brutality, but he is willing to give himself to persuade "in an amicable way." But most importantly - the Bulldog is very devoted to his man, taking him for what he is: a successful or unsuccessful, happy or sad, lazy or energetic - and always ready to defend his master in case of danger.


Health problems: English Bulldogs are very sensitive to both - hot and cold weather. They are prone to the breath difficulties and some heart problems.


English Bulldog dog breed photo

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