Bulldogs have long been depicted in the media as the symbol of violence, strength, roughness and dominance. Many people, especially children, are sometimes afraid of them just because of their somewhat scary appearance.
They originated in Britain from fighting mastiffs, which in turn were introduced by the Roman invaders and conquerors. Today, they only look slightly like their ancestors and their behavior is completely different. Despite their pasts where they represented rough and violent traits, these dogs today are among the friendliest of all breeds.
They were once used by butchers to bring cattle to slaughterhouses, and were called Alaunts some two hundred years later. It was only by the year 1500 when they were officially called Bulldogs. Animal baiting became popular much later on, and these bulldogs were the perfect athletes for the event, because of their size, and their short legs.
In 1835, the sport was finally outlawed, but the Bulldogs did not disappear along with the sport. Many people admired their unique personalities and characteristics and have successfully transformed these little beasts into gentle canines. And finally in 1890, the breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club and gained popularity in the succeeding years. In fact, some dogs, such as the Boston terrier, Bull Terrier and the Boxer inherited some of the Bulldog’s unique characteristics.
A standard Bulldog is a medium-sized dog with a short-muzzled head and broad shoulders. They have strong limbs and stand around 14 to 15 inches and weighs around 40 to 55 pounds. The females are slightly smaller than the males. They have a rather square head with a flat forehead, with a short face and a massive jaw. Their ears are set far from the eyes, and are quite small. They also have a very short tail. The coat comes in many colors: white, pale cream, red, or any fawn color in a glossy style, sometimes in patterns. And contrary to what many people think, the Bulldog is not really vicious or aggressive by nature – they are kind and courageous canines that have good temperament. Their average life span is around 10 years.
Many health problems, however, arise in the breed. These include hip dysplasia, respiratory diseases, skin irritations, heart attacks, congenital heart disease, snoring, and whelping puppies. Also, because of their short muzzles, they are more susceptible to hot weather problems than normal dogs. Therefore, they should always have good ventilation, and should not spend long hours outside on a hot summer day. When you let one ride in the car, make sure to crate him and open the windows so he gets fresh air. Bulldogs’ health can be maintained with good exercise, water, and ventilation to keep them from getting dehydrated and help them stay cool.
Overall, the Bulldog is a very quiet and gentle dog that you will love to play with and cuddle around your house. Though they may be a bit stubborn and hard to train, it can still work out with a lot of patience on your part.