Bulldogs have had a “bloody” history of bull baiting in old England due to their aggressive and sturdy built.
Thankfully, they’ve come a long way and are now known as a domestic companion all thanks to their lovable personalities and cuddly demeanor.
According to research, Bulldogs have placed 5th as the most loved and popular breed of dogs in the US as of 2017.
Among the Retrievers and German Shepherds, Bulldogs don’t get the exposure they deserve. So, through this article, FeedFond aims to try and spread light on this beautiful, adorable creature.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- The History of Bulldogs
- Popular Bulldog Breeds
- Bulldog Size, Personality, and Temperament
- Bulldog Health Issues
- Taking Care of a Bulldog
- How to Train a Bulldog
- How to Adopt a Bulldog
- Final Thoughts
The History of Bulldogs
Bulldogs have an interesting history that only a few know about. A brief account is given below.
Introduction to Ancient England
Bulldogs go back at least 500 years with numerous sources claiming them to be created during the reign of King John or Queen Anne of Great Britain.
Although, this is still an unsure fact, what is absolutely sure is why Bulldogs were brought into existence in the first place.
Ancient England was anonymous for their love of the bull-baiting sport,a blood sport where bulls were pitted against a pack of dogs aka Bulldogs.
Unlike the loveable and kind bulldogs of today, their ancestors lived up to their physical appearance.
They were bigger, wilder and almost pain-proof. As this game didn’t stand the test of time and was utterly inhumane, the Bulldog breed almost died out.
Bulldog lovers protested and this started the journey of Bulldogs – converting from an animal wrestler to a more domestic companion.
Migration to the U.S.
Despite their jowly and wrinkly face, with big jaws and a ferocious exterior, Bulldogs actually have the softest hearts with great affection for children. Making them an excellent domestic pet.
Over the years, they have become quite a cultural symbol all over the world, especially in the US. Bulldogs were the first animal mascot for many sports.
The most famous being “Handsome Dan,” the legendary mascot of Yale University that has become quite the pop-culture icon.
They serve as the face of the U.S. Marine Corps going by the name of Chesty plus they have been a famous national symbol of England for the longest time.
They’re also known as Uga, the well-known football mascot of the University of Georgia.
Popular Bulldog Breeds
There are many popular breeds of Bulldogs. They include:
- American Bulldog
- French Bulldog
- English Bulldog
- Australian Bulldog
- Italian Bulldog
- Olde English Bulldogge
- Alano Espanol/Spanish Bulldog
However, the American, French and English Bulldogs are the most widely known across the world. Below we’ll talk about them and discuss their physical appearances and other attributes.
American Bulldog VS French Bulldog VS English Bulldog
The American Bulldog can be classified into two types: the Johnson Type and Scott Type. This is accredited to its two creators Dr. John D. Johnson and Alan Scott.
After the bull baiting fiasco in old England, these people saved the Bulldog breed from becoming completely extinct.
The Johnson Type Bulldogs are more like their English ancestors and have a more aggressive, bully look with bulkier muscles and bones.
The Scott Type Bulldogs, however, are mellower and have a more athletic form with lighter bones and muscle mass. They have longer muzzles in comparison to the Johnson Type Bulldogs.
They come in a variety of colors liked red, brown, white, and tan and so on and are a great working dog among the American households.
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The English Bulldog is smaller than their ancestors and American counterparts. They have a crinklier and a more jowly face with broader shoulders, rosy ears, and a blackish nose.
Due to their inherent broad shoulders, both as an adult and an infant, the female Bulldogs often undergo C-sections when giving birth.
They have an arched back, loose skin and also come in various color coats like red, white, and brindle to list a few.
French Bulldogs originated when English lace workers brought the breed over to France.
Although they have the same arched back, wrinkly and jowly face, and broad shoulders like their English counterparts, they do have bat-shaped ears. This makes it sure that they’re a hybrid of specific breeds.
Their tails are naturally short and they have a muscular build with heavy bones. They come in a variety of coat colors like white, tawny, fawn or a mixture of two or all of them.
Important Read: The Brindle Pitbull: Everything You Wanted To Know
Bulldog Size, Personality, and Temperament
Bulldogs vary in size standing tall at about 12-15 inches and weighing between 40-50 pounds or as small as 20-28 inches tall weighing from 60-120 pounds, depending on their gender.
Due to their sturdy built and stubborn nature they work well on farms and as watchdogs.
They’re more lazy than energetic but are still friendly and sociable. Their temperament is influenced by various factors including genetics, and social skills.
Bulldogs mostly have a gentle, kind, and loving temperament even if they seem standoffish at first. Although they can be active and playful, they thankfully are not very boisterous and therefore don’t bark much.
Bulldogs love children and vice versa. Even if you don’t have a nanny around worry not, because Bulldogs are great with children.
Bulldogs are not the most intelligent dogs when responding to commands, but once they learn a skill, they’ll know it forever!
Bulldog Health Issues
Due to their distinctive physical built, Bulldogs can have some health concerns. They suffer from breathing problems due to their short noses.
Their jowly and wrinkly skin attract a lot of infections. Plus, due to their heavy bodies, they also suffer from hip dysplasia.
Here are some of the most common health problems suffered by Bulldogs:
1. Cherry Eye
Cherry Eye is one of the most common health problems experienced by Bulldogs from the ages 4 months – 2 years. It occurs in the 3rd eyelid of dogs and is known as “prolapsed nictitating membrane” in medical terms.
The third eyelid is needed for the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the eye and for a dog’s ability to see. So, during a cherry eye, this eyelid becomes mispositioned resulting in swollen, cherry looking eyes.
2. Pharyngeal Gag Reflex
Also known as reverse or inverted sneezing, this is a common occurrence for bulldogs. Bulldogs are short-nosed breeds which makes them susceptible to a lot of respiratory problems.
Although it’s not precisely sneezing, it’s actually a spasm that occurs due to a soft palate irritation. Inverted sneezing can result from various reasons like too much exercise, tight leashes, pollen allergies and viral infections to name a few. When this occurs pups usually pant heavily, snort, tense their bodies or start choking.
Brachycephalic means “shortened head.” This syndrome mostly occurs in dogs that have short, narrow skulls and noses plus have extended soft palates.
This disorder causes upper airway abnormalities in Bulldogs which causes them to snort and snivel. The best way to avoid this is ensuring a healthy weight for your canine friend, controlled exercises, avoiding stress, oxygen therapy and so on.
4. Hip Dysplasia
What is Dysplasia?
Dysplasia in medical terms means an aberration of development or alteration in size. Now to understand how hip dysplasia works, we have to know how a hip joint works.
How Hip Dysplasia Works
The hip joint consists of a ball (head of the femur) and a socket (located in the pelvis). This fastens the hind leg to the body. Typically, the bones complement each other by bracing the joint with a strong ligament which allows the ball to rotate within the socket spontaneously.
However, due to a Bulldog’s soft tissues and genetic issues, they do miss out on this normal hip-joint scenario and suffer from hip dysplasia instead.
The ball doesn’t rotate within the socket as the two bones lose contact with one another causing a drastic change in appearance.
Basic Causes of Hip Dysplasia
Dysplasia is a genetic condition, it cannot be avoided. But, obesity is one of the significant contributors to this condition. Thus, a good diet with low-level exercises is of utmost importance to prevent this disorder. Some other health problems faced by Bulldogs are Demodicosis, head shakes, Patellar luxation and so on.
Taking Care of a Bulldog
Taking care of Bulldogs can be both easy and challenging. Because they’re indoor dogs, it’s not absolutely essential for them to go out often.
They can’t stand humid conditions, so it’s important to always keep them in a suitable temperature with plenty of water. Besides these basic points, here’s a list of things you need to keep in order while owning a Bulldog:
1. Feeding and Exercise
Bulldogs are prone to obesity, so it’s important not to overfeed them. Taking them to the vet regularly can help you keep an eye on their bulk and maintain an effective diet plan.
Rigorous exercise is not the best way to keep your bulldog healthy as it makes them vulnerable to all kinds of health issues.
Thus, take them for light walks instead. Also, keep them away from swimming pools, ponds and other bodies of water as they do not know how to swim.
Face and Body
Bulldogs don’t shed heavily. So, brushing them 3 times a week should be more than enough to keep fleas and infections away. This also reduces any loose hair in your home and on your clothes.
They have wrinkly and jowly faces which may trap a lot of dirt and cause irritation. So, it’s important to clean their faces regularly with a damp cloth. Household items like aloe vera, peroxide and cornstarch can be used to clean this area as long as it doesn’t touch their eyes. Petroleum jelly can be used on their noses to avoid flakiness.
Nails, Teeth, and Ears
Nail care, oral and dental hygiene are equally important too. Brush their teeth 2-3 times a week and trim their nails 1-2 times a month. It’s advised that you start early to avoid hard times with bacteria, tartar, and your dog’s moody tantrums later.
Keep a good check on your dog and ensure their ears are not full of wax or their eyes are not infected with redness and swelling. Consult a vet regularly to be cautious.
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How to Train a Bulldog
Bulldogs may have an unruly and aggressive exterior, but they’re actually very sweet and affectionate dogs.
Although they’re not the quickest learners, it’s important to be optimistic and patient with them because if they learn something right, they don’t quickly forget.
Bulldogs can be trained in various ways:
1. Start Socializing Your Bulldog with Others
Expose them to everyday activities like car rides and fun games to instill positive behavior.
2. Crate-train Your Bulldog
Purchase your bulldog a suitable crate to help train them. This will protect your dog from unwanted hazards and lessen their separation anxiety.
Make the crate enticing, cozy and comfortable for your pup by placing their favorite toys, blanket, and food there. Command them to get in the crate but don’t leave them there for too long as they may require bathroom breaks.
3. Try and House-Train Them Frequently
Choose a safe spot for them to go to the bathroom. It can be in your backyard or anywhere outside your house where they’ll be safe from unwanted trouble.
Make a bathroom schedule and take them for bathroom breaks after eating or other important activities at least 5 times a day, morning and night.
4.Teach the 5 Basic Commands
It’s important to teach the 5 basic commands to your dog to ensure good behavior and obedience. Bulldogs are not the smartest when it comes to taking instructions, so be patient with them and teach them one command at a time.
They like to overeat so teaching them the “leave it” and “drop” commands are extra crucial. If your Bulldog has performed well after training, praise and hug them to boost their confidence.
Offer your dog treats, but don’t over-do it since they’re prone to obesity. Keep them indoors, avoiding humid temperatures and always offer them fresh water.
How to Adopt a Bulldog
To adopt a Bulldog first make a checklist of the breeders, shelters and other important features. Here are some things to keep in mind:
1. Look for Local Breeders and Experts
They’ll give you the most valuable lessons and information to keep in mind. They’ll know what you need, plus provide you with the necessary health certifications to avoid troubles later.
2. Use Social Media and Other Online Sources
Petfinder.com, Adopt-a-Pet.com, AnimalShelter.org, and other sites can help find Bulldogs in your area and introduce you to rescue groups and online dog communities.
3. Be Aware Of Unreliable Vendors
Bulldogs are popular animals and can be found in puppy mills and other inappropriate places. Sometimes these puppies are lied about being “locally bred” and are sold for lucrative amounts.
Although there’s no way to avoid this situation entirely, you can consult your vet or a well-known local expert to help you not fall prey to this.
4. Keep in Mind That Bulldogs Are Expensive
This is due to their popularity. Their nativity, gender, previous home environment all fall into the category that decides their value.
5. Owning an Adult Dog Is Far Easier Than a Puppy
Puppies are cute no doubt, but they also require a lot of training and attention.
6. Are You Ready?
If you’re a working professional, ask yourself if you’re ready for such a big commitment. Adult dogs come with basic training plus their personality and temperamental traits are mostly known beforehand as opposed to a puppy.
Phew! I’m sure you’re overwhelmed after receiving so much Bulldog information. Take a deep breath, a walk and rejuvenate your mind to help you grasp all this knowledge.
Owning a Bulldog may not be the easiest task and may give you trouble from time to time. But, try to be optimistic and patient with these affectionate mush balls, because they’re keepers and undoubtedly great family additions.
Stay clear of all the presumptions, uncertainties and difficulties that others talk about owning these precious pups, because we assure you, they’re worth it! So, follow your heart and bring that adorable, cuddly Bulldog home already!