English Bulldog Breed, Temperament & Training
The Bulldog is seen as the national dog of England, and it has a long tradition. Once bred as a fighting dog and a bull biter, its courage and strong assertiveness was highly prized. History and origin of the Bulldog In the 6th Century B.
C., Celts in today’s Great Britain began crossing their mastiff-like dogs with the molossers brought into the lands by the Phoenicians. Later in the 13th Century, the dogs first became known as “bonddogs” or “bolddogs”, which already indicated their courage and fighting strength.
The present name “English Bulldog” was first used in the 17th Century. Breeders attached importance to broad jaws and a shortened muzzle, so that the dog could bite into the nose of a bull in a fight and still get enough air.
Over time, bulldogs were forced to fight other animal species, but fighting dog against dog almost became their profession. When dog fights were banned in England in 1835, the breed of the English Bulldog almost wholly disappeared.
However, in 1875 the Bulldog Club Incorporated took over the direction of the breeding of the English Bulldog. In doing so, more emphasis was placed on the dog’s peaceful nature, and the fighting nature was bred out.
This has basically remained so until today. In recent years, breeders have put more emphasis on the health of the dog. Exaggerated breed characteristics such as enormous heads, short noses, enormously wrinkled faces and too short legs are avoided in breeding today.
Appearance of the Bulldog The FCI does not specify any particular measurements. As a rule, Bulldogs reach a height at the withers of about 30 to 40 cm depending on the sex. The fixed weight is between 23 to 25 kg.
Their life expectancy is only about 8 to 10 years – while a British study from 2004 even showed average ages of only 6 years and 3 months. Their coats are dense, short, smooth and fine. According to the breed standard, English Bulldogs’ coats may be solid yellow, red, fawn or white, pied or brindle, and with or without a black mask.
However, black is undesirable. The dog’s nose must also be pigmented. The head of the heavy, massive dog is disproportionately large concerning its body. The Bulldog has a short snout, and small, thin ears set high above the eyes, which can give it a grim-looking appearance.
Its main characteristics are its broad chest, and its rather narrow backside with a low set tail, which is bent down at the end. Some dogs have corkscrew tails, which can cause health problems.
Temperament and Training of the Bulldog Over the decades, Bulldogs have developed from being former fighting machines to loving family dogs, which love playing with children. As a remnant of its earlier breeding, they display a lot of bravery and have a high pain threshold.
The dog has to be trained extremely consistently, because total obedience can never be expected from it. Although its disposition is rather unemotional, it can also react very strongly when it’s unhappy.
However, with the right socialisation, the English Bulldog is a rather calm and above all faithful dog, which can happily live within a family, especially if the children are not so young. Exercise and Care of the Bulldog Unfortunately, there are still many overbred specimens, which makes the Bulldog highly susceptible to disease and hypersensitivity.
English Bulldogs do not like hot conditions, and can be prone to hip dysplasia, heart problems, allergies and epilepsy. Because of their short noses, which bring associated breathing problems, dog sports are not suitable for this breed.
Sometimes with overbred bulldogs, a natural birth is no longer possible and puppies must be born by caesarean section. Therefore, when purchasing a dog, it is essential to choose a serious breeder who complies with today’s breed standards.
Bulldogs love to be groomed with a special dog glove, and require daily cleaning of their eyes and nose wrinkles to prevent inflammation.