The Bulldog comes in a variety of colours and ideally has a smooth, short coat. The only disqualifier for the breed in the show ring is a liver colored nose, although black-coated bulldogs are not preferred. In the US, the size of a typical mature male is about 50 pounds; that for mature females is about 40 pounds. In the United Kingdom, the breed standard is 55 pounds for a male and 50 pounds for a female, but it is not uncommon for males to be 70 pounds.
Despite their famous "sourmug" expression, bulldogs are generally docile, friendly and gregarious but occasionally willful. Breeders have worked to breed aggression out of the breed, and as such the dog is known to be of generally good temperament. Bulldogs can be so attached to home and family that they will not venture out of the yard without a human companion. Due to their friendly nature bulldogs are known for getting along well with children, other dogs and pets.
A bulldog is suitable for houses as well as apartments due to their size and susceptibility to the weather. They are easily trainable as compared with many other breeds, albeit it can be difficult to keep them away from the dinner table.
The bulldog's appearance attributes to specific health issues. Breathing issues can be prevalent in the breed due to the shape and the shortness of muzzle, which was originally bred for gripping. In particular, bulldogs are known to snore. In the United Kingdom, some dogs can be prone to interstitial cysts, which are cysts which form between the toes. These cause the dog some discomfort, though they are treatable either by vet or an experienced owner. Other problems can include cherry eye, certain allergies, and amongst older bulldogs hip issues. Bulldogs have extremely strong jaws and are capable of suspending themselves off the ground for over an hour by their vice like grip.
Because of the large heads in proportion to body size, puppies are frequently delivered by Caesarean section as they can get stuck in the birth canal during natural birth. However, it is not uncommon for a bulldog to whelp naturally and successfully.
Bulldogs require daily cleaning of their face folds to avoid unwanted infections caused by moisture accumulation. Daily teeth brushing with a regular human soft toothbrush using a vet approved toothpaste is also recommended.
Like all dogs, bulldogs require daily exercise. If not properly exercised the bulldog could gain weight, which could cause health problems relating to the lungs and heart. Bulldogs are extremely sensitive to heat and cold and great care should be given to the dog during overly warm periods. During these times, the owner should ensure that the dog has plenty of shade and water, and should be ideally kept out of standing heat.
As the breed has developed, the tail in some dogs can be tight to the body and can cause infection if not treated or cleaned underneath regularly.
In the 1600s, bulldogs were used for bullbaiting (as well as bearbaiting), a gambling sport popular in the 17th century with wagers laid in which trained bulldogs leapt at a bull lashed to a post, latched onto its snout and attempted to suffocate it. Bulldogs have many distinct characteristics that were bred into them so they would be better suited to bullbaiting. The bulldog's body is short, low to the ground and compact, allowing it to be able to scuttle or crawl low under the bull's horns. The lower jaw sticks out further than the top one allowing the bulldog to grip on the nose of the animal and still be able to breathe due to the lay-back of the nose. The wrinkles on the bulldogs face allow the blood from the other animal to run down the bulldogs face instead of going into its eyes.
The oldest single breed specialty club is The Bulldog Club (England), which was formed in 1875. Members of this club met frequently at the Blue Post pub on Oxford Street in London. There they wrote the first standard of perfection for the breed. In 1891 the two top bulldogs, Orry and Dockleaf, competed in a contest to see which dog could walk the farthest. Orry was reminiscent of the original bulldogs, lighter boned and very athletic. Dockleaf was smaller and heavier set, more like modern bulldogs. Dockleaf was declared the winner that year. Although some argued that the older version of the bulldog was more fit to perform, the modern version’s looks won over the fans of the breed because they proved they were equally as fit and athletic in the walking competition.
|Canada - Ontario||Ontario English Bulldog Rescue|
|Canada - British Columbia and Alberta||Cascade Bulldog Rescue|
|United Kingdom||The Bulldog Rescue and Rehoming Trust|
|United States - National||The Bulldog Club of America Rescue Network|
|United States - California||San Diego Bulldog Rescue|
|United States - California||Southern California Bulldog Rescue|
|United States - Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska||Cascade Bulldog Rescue|
|United States - Texas||South East Texas Bulldog Rescue|
|United States - Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama||Smokey Mountains Bulldog Rescue|
|United States - New Jersey||HeavenSent Bulldog Rescue|
|United States - New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware & Maryland||MidAtlantic Bulldog Rescue|
|United States - New York and Long Island||Long Island Bulldog Rescue|
|United States - Florida||Buddies Through Bullies|
|United States - Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina||On the Rebound Bulldog Rescue|