- The Bulldog originated in England with the practice of bull baiting, in which a dog was set upon a bull to torment it before it was killed. This was done as entertainment and to make the bull's meat more tender. The ordeal might last for hours, during which the dog was expected to grab the bull, often by its muzzle, and hang on. Having jaws that protruded beyond the dog's muzzle helped it breathe while hanging there.
- Bull baiting and other blood sports were outlawed in England around 1835. Efforts to use the Bulldog in dog fighting were unsuccessful, although when mixed with terriers, its descendents were good fighters. The Bulldog itself, however, was without a job.
- Some admirers set out to redefine the breed as a stylish companion, breeding with temperament as a priority. They also bred for accentuated features, so that today's Bulldog doesn't look much like the original.
- A breed club was formed in 1875 in England.
- The AKC recognized the Bulldog in 1886.
- The Bulldog is a national symbol of England as well as a popular team mascot.
Bulldog Behavior Concerns
- Makes a loyal and fun-loving companion.
- Playful and good with children.
- Friendly toward strangers.
- Not friendly toward strange dogs, but friendly toward other pets.
- Willing to please, but can be stubborn. May rebel against forceful methods.
- Does best with reward-based training along with good control and leadership.
Bulldog Suggested Exercises
- Makes a calm and trustworthy housedog.
- Requires daily exercise in the form of a leisurely walk or some backyard games.
- Extremely prone to overheating because of its flat face. Indoor games are preferable in warm weather.
- Its short coat does not protect it against the cold.
- Obedience and trick training provide essential mental stimulation.
- Most Bulldogs cannot swim.
- Coat is fine and glossy.
- The coat needs only occasional brushing, once every week or so, to remove dead hair.
- Shedding is average.
- Facial wrinkles, as well as any wrinkles around the tail, should be examined, cleaned and dried daily.
Suggested Bulldog Nutritional Needs
- Has a tendency to be slightly overweight.
- Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.
- Puppies should be fed a large-breed growth food, which slows their growing rate but not final size. This may decrease the incidence or severity of hip dysplasia in adults.