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The English Bulldog breed is also referred to as the British Bulldog. However, he is more simply known as the Bulldog because he is the original and forefather of all Bulldog breeds, including the French Bulldog.
English Bulldogs originated in England in the 1500s. They were descended from bull-baiting and fighting mastiff-type dogs.
The modern English Bulldog is a wonderful companion dog, unlike his ancestors who were aggressive and vicious. He is one of the most popular breeds in the world not only because of his adorable appearance, but also because of his gentle and laid-back characteristics.
The English Bulldog breed’s amiability and affectionate nature makes him suitable for all types of families.
English Bulldogs are low-maintenance in grooming and only need weekly brushing. Training these dogs can be difficult, as they are known to be very stubborn. The lifespan of the English Bulldog breed is 10 years.
Are you thinking of getting an English bulldog puppy? Here is a brief background of this gentle, iconic companion dog.
The English Bulldog breed is considered the original and ancestor of all breeds of Bulldogs. He is also known as the British Bulldog or Bulldog. He originated in England in the 1500s from mastiff-type dogs.
The earliest English Bulldogs had a violent history. They were created for the sport of bull-baiting and fighting.
These tenacious and fearless dogs that were immune to pain would grab on to the bull's nose and shake it roughly until it dies. This was mainly the people’s form of entertainment in those days. It was also believed that this process tenderises the bull’s meat as it thins the blood.
In 1835, bull-baiting was finally illegalised in England. The English Bulldogs faced extinction because they were no longer needed. Fortunately, breeders re-engineered English Bulldogs from ferocious and savage fighters to gentle and affectionate companion dogs.
Only the docile English Bulldogs were bred to eradicate the breed’s aggressive tendencies. It is now hard to believe that the English Bulldog who used to be merciless has become one of the mellowest breeds.
Some of the English Bulldogs were transported to Germany to become herding dogs. Some Bulldogs arrived in the United States in the 1800s for the same purpose.
The English Bulldog was officially recognised as a standard purebred dog in 1886 by the American Kennel Club. It was then followed by the establishment of the breed club called Bulldog Club of America in 1890.
The Kennel Club in the United Kingdom acknowledged the English Bulldog in the Utility Group in 1873. In 1878, the Bulldog Club of England was formed. The breed is considered the national breed of the UK.
Some famous English Bulldog owners are Olivia Wilde, John Legend, Pink, Adam Sandler, and Janice Dickinson. American presidents like Calvin Coolidge and Warren Harding were also fond of the breed.
The English Bulldog dog breed is a mid-sized canine. He has an iconic appearance, which is why the breed often becomes a mascot or a part of cartoon shows. English Bulldog is a compact and broad canine with a massive head and a wrinkly forehead.
Male English Bulldogs weigh around 22–24 kilos (50 pounds–53 pounds) and grow approximately 30–40 centimetres (12 inches–16 inches) tall.
Female English Bulldogs are slightly smaller than their male counterparts. They measure about 22–23 kilos (49 pounds–51 pounds) in weight and 30–33 centimetres (12 inches–13 inches) in height.
The average litter size of female English Bulldogs is 3–4 puppies. Birthing is difficult for them because their pelvis is often too small for a foetus to pass through.
Moreover, English Bulldog puppies have large heads, which add to the problem. Thus, pregnant English Bulldogs need to undergo caesarean sections.
The English Bulldog breed is medium in size, thus he matures faster compared to larger dogs and a bit slower than small breeds. It would take around 18 months for English Bulldog puppies to fully reach maturity.
English Bulldogs have thick shoulders and chest. They have sturdy limbs but are short-legged. They have a droopy upper lip and an undershot lower jaw. Because of their short, flat nose, expect a lot of snorting, snuffling, and flatulence.
According to the Kennel Club breed standards, the colour of the English Bulldog breed should be whole or smut with a black mask or muzzle.
The standard colours of the English Bulldog are brindle, red, fawn, white, fallow, as well as pied. Black, Dudley, and black with tan are considered highly undesirable.
The grooming needs of the English Bulldog breed include cleaning his face daily. Use a damp cloth or baby wipes to clean his wrinkles and tear stains. Keep his wrinkles clean and dry to avoid infections.
To avoid dental problems, brush the English Bulldog’s teeth at least twice a day. Consider providing him with dental chews, which can help in maintaining good oral health.
English Bulldogs are heavy droolers especially after exercise and during mealtime. Always have a clean towel with you to wipe off his slobber.
Tying a handkerchief around the English Bulldog’s neck will also keep his saliva from dripping on the floor. Placing a mat under his food and water bowls is also a good idea.
Also trim the nails of the English Bulldog breed every week to prevent painful overgrowth. His ears should be cleaned once a week.
No. When it comes to caring for their coat, English Bulldogs are relatively low-maintenance. They are clean and moderate shedders. Their short, smooth, straight, and glossy coat only requires brushing 1–2 times a week.
Modern Bulldogs are great family pets despite their rough past. They get along well with everybody and are very good with kids, including young ones. These tough-looking but gentle dogs are patient with children.
Instead of becoming aggressive when hurt or fed up, English Bulldogs will just walk away. However, always teach kids how to properly handle a dog and avoid pain-inflicting gestures.
The English Bulldog breed can live harmoniously with other pets provided that both of them are properly socialised and introduced. Some male English Bulldogs can be aggressive towards same-sex dogs. Neutering can help reduce this type of aggression.
The English Bulldog has food-guarding behaviours as well. Feeding your English Bulldog in a separate room, away from other pets, is advised to prevent them from fighting.
English Bulldogs can be slow learners because of their immense determination to do things their own way. On the brighter side, these stubborn dogs can retain what they have learned. Training should involve a lot of patience and treats as positive reinforcements.
The English Bulldog dog breed tends to be lazy and stubborn and would prefer to be a couch potato than do physical activities.
The English Bulldog’s low energy level is perfect for families and owners who want a laid-back dog. However, a few minutes of light exercise daily is important to avoid obesity, which he is prone to.
Before getting a dog, it is important to do your research and learn about the general characteristics of the dog breed that you chose.
Other factors will help determine the overall personality and temperament of a dog. It is best to provide a loving home and set out rules to bring out the best version of your pet.
Yes, English Bulldogs are good pets. They are one of the most popular dogs in the world because of their adorable appearance as well as their sweet and gentle nature.
As people-loving companion dogs, English Bulldogs may develop separation anxiety if they lack social interaction. They are not fit to live outside in kennels as they need to stay close to their family.
No, English Bulldogs are not dangerous so long as they are properly trained and socialised. They are courageous watchdogs, but they are also friendly and even-tempered.
However, if English Bulldogs feel that their family is in danger, their protectiveness will replace their amiability. They will do whatever it takes to keep the threat from hurting their loved ones.
No, English Bulldogs are not heavy barkers. Their appearance is definitely enough to frighten away trespassers. But they can be noisy dogs due to their smushed faces, which affect their breathing.
Thus, most English Bulldogs tend to snore, wheeze, snuffle, and grunt. They may not be the best pick for dog lovers who are sensitive to noises.
Fully-grown English Bulldogs require 1 1/2–2 cups of excellent-quality dry dog food per day. But note that the amount of food depends on several factors like age, size, build, activity level, and metabolism.
The English Bulldog breed is a heavy eater and can easily become obese, so you have to make sure that your dog is not overfed.
Here are the typical calorie needs of a fully-grown English Bulldog per day:
Senior and less active: up to 1,000 calories daily
Typical adult: up to 1,200 calories daily
Physically active/working dog: up to 1,300 calories daily
Protein is the most essential component of an English Bulldog’s diet. English Bulldog puppies need at least 22%, whilst adults should have 18% of maintenance protein.
For energy source and healthy coat, roughly 8% of fat for puppies and 5% for fully-grown English Bulldogs is needed.
Since the English Bulldog breed is prone to hip dysplasia, make sure to start providing your puppy calcium and phosphorus from the start.
The English Bulldog breed has an average lifespan of 10 years. Sadly, due to the prevalence of health issues in the breed, many of these dogs have shorter lives.
Below are the most common health problems in the English Bulldog breed:
This eye problem causes an English Bulldog’s third eyelid to become red and inflamed. Although it is usually not a painful condition, it can obstruct his eyesight. Affected dogs can be treated through surgery.
Cherry eye should not be ignored as it can cause several optical disorders including conjunctivitis.
This is a widespread health problem in short-muzzled or brachycephalic dogs such as the English Bulldog. Brachycephalic syndrome is a collective name for a group of abnormalities that affects a dog’s ability to breathe properly.
The defects commonly found in this condition are elongated soft palate, stenotic snares, and laryngeal collapse. Corrective surgery along with weight control and medications will help manage this health issue.
The English Bulldog breed has a very sensitive skin due to his skin folds, which are prone to dirt and bacteria build-up. Thus, he is highly vulnerable to a lot of skin problems including eczema.
Eczema is a disease that causes itchiness and inflammation on the affected skin. Using medicated shampoos and drugs recommended by the vet can get rid of this skin condition.
It is a bone and joint disorder caused by the looseness or misalignment of a dog’s kneecaps. Negative effects of this disease are lameness, difficulty in moving, and abnormal gait.
This can also result in arthritis due to the grinding of bones, which causes inflammation. The vet may recommend surgery to reverse its effects.
It is a skin infection caused by bacteria or fungi. English Bulldogs with this disease will have reddish lesions that contain white pus on their skin. Other symptoms to look out for are hair loss, constant itching, and flakiness of the skin.
Skin infections due to pyoderma can be treated through antibiotic therapy and topical treatments.
The English Bulldog is a relaxed breed that has minimal exercise requirements. Since he tends to breathe heavily when tired and is susceptible to heatstroke, his exercise regimen should be limited to 15–30-minute walks in the morning or evening.
If it is a hot weather, it would be better to exercise your English Bulldog at home, preferably in an air-conditioned room. Indoor games such as hide-and-seek, obstacle course, and shell game are fun activities for him.
English Bulldogs can also walk around a fenced back garden in cool temperatures. Fresh water should always be provided for them.
The English Bulldog breed is one of the most expensive dogs. The price tag for a pedigree English Bulldog puppy starts from £1,000 and can go over £4,000. English Bulldog puppies belonging to the higher price range come from normally top bloodlines. It is always recommended to get your puppy from a reputable English Bulldog breeder.
We also encourage you to try finding your ideal English Bulldog in an animal shelter or rescue organisation. It is a great way to give a new life to a dog that lacked love and care from his previous family.
The monthly food expenses of your English Bulldog puppy will total around £28–£37. Basic dog accessories and equipment, such as collar, bowls, lead, and toys, will help him quickly adjust to his new home. These items will cost you around £100–£400.
Keeping your English Bulldog puppy healthy means regular visits to the vet. Each check-up has a fee that can range from £30–£60. You will likely spend around £100–150 for your new puppy’s initial vaccination shots and £50–£60 for yearly boosters.
Medical care is one of the most expensive aspects when caring for an English Bulldog puppy. Reduce the cost by getting your dog pet insured.
Basic cover is about £60, and a lifetime cover would cost over £150. The prices vary depending on where you are in the UK and your dog’s health and age.
Are you sure the English Bulldog is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
Still unsure if the English bulldog is the right pet for you? Our Pet Finder may help narrow down your choices on the best breed for your personality and lifestyle.
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One of the most popular breeds, the English Bulldogs, also called British Bulldogs, are appealing canine companions to own. Their menacing looks are a direct opposite of their winsome personality, which adds more to their charm.