There are many different types of “bulldogs” but the English Bulldog is the one that most people picture when they hear the breed mentioned. This heavy set, muscular and very stocky dog is typically associated with a slow moving and slow acting animal, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
The English Bulldog is one breed where males and females should look distinctly masculine or feminine through the head and body. Males, for show purposes, measure about 16 inches at the shoulder and weigh about 50-55 pounds. The head and body are thick and wide with the dog’s body appearing square in shape with the legs well to the corners. The chest is massive and wide and the neck is very thick, extending to a wide skull. The muzzle is short and the bottom jaw protrudes with the upper lips hanging below the bottom jaw. The ears are small, triangular and folded over and the eyes are dark and deep set. Wrinkles of skin extend over the head and the down the neck. The tail may be docked or left natural and carried low.
The coat of the Bulldog is short, very smooth and naturally shiny. There are a variety of colors allowed including solid colors, piebalds (white with another color), brindles, fawns and yellow or light red colors. These dogs will shed a moderate amount on a regular basis but regular grooming with a soft bristle brush is all that is required. You will also need to carefully wipe any debris or food material out of the folds of skin around the face to prevent skin irritation and possible dermatitis problems.
The most important health issue for the English Bulldog is problems with respiration, eye infections and heat stroke. The very short muzzle combined with the massive size of the dog can lead to overheating in hot or humid conditions. In addition this breed is often born with smaller than normal airways, further complicating the issue. Talk to your vet and monitor your Bulldog’s respiration whenever they are exercising. Potential owners need to realize that this is not a naturally long lived dog with an average life expectancy of 8 years.
The Bulldog is a very loyal, loving and calm dog. They have a wonderful temperament for even small children and they are incredible patient and kind. They get along well with other house pets and companion dogs and, when properly socialized and trained, are very accepting dogs. They do bark when strangers approach and they can be very protective of their families, particularly if they feel a threat. The Bulldog, despite their large size, loves human attention. When they are young they are very active and will want to be in the middle of the activity, but as they age they will become more content to just sit back and watch.
The English Bulldog is a known drooler and is very prone to snoring. They are not an outside dog and prefer to be with the family as much as possible. Wet and cold weather, as well as hot and humid conditions, will be problematic for the breed. The Bulldog can stay by themselves during the day provided they have lots of attention when the family is home.