As the name tells us, the English Bulldog originated in Great Britain. Great Britain breeders bred them from the Mastiff breed. The initial breeding was not all that favorable. They produced them for sport with bulls. The dog had to grab the bull’s neck until the owner caught it.
During the 19th Century, English law changed to prohibit this cruel sport. For a while, breeders tried to use Bulldogs as fighting dogs, but that didn’t go so well either.
Despite the rugged appearance, decades of future breeding made the Bulldog a family dog. Today, this is one of the gentlest dog breeds and a perfect family dog.
Character and Temperament
Despite the rugged appearance, the English Bulldog is a softy. They love all the members of the family and are very good with kids. These dogs need lots of love and attention and don’t like being left alone.
Bulldogs can be reserved around strangers and other dogs, making them reasonably good guards. They will alert with barking.
They are intelligent and can be stubborn and even dominant. Other than that, they are very reliable, loving, and loyal dogs. The owner needs to be loving but determined.
Due to their lazy appearance, some people might think that the breed is lazy and even un-intelligent. This is far from the truth. Bulldogs are real thinkers and don’t blindly follow orders. They are very bright and determined.
Socialization and Training
Bulldogs can be taught a few tricks, but are not very excited to do so. They are very intelligent and can be stubborn. Early socialization is needed to prevent potential aggression towards other dogs.
They will enjoy chilling on the couch with you, afternoon naps, and similar activities.
They love to chew, and you should provide them with chew toys.
Some bulldogs can be over-protective of their food. As puppies, you can address this problem by occasionally taking food away from the bowl.
Compatibility with Children
English Bulldogs are wonderful with children of all ages. They are very patient, loving, and protective of them. However, especially adult dogs are not too energetic and don’t expect them to run around too much. For this reason, an adult should always supervise the situation.
Bulldog puppies are usually very playful and energetic. With age, they get much calmer. They don’t need a lot of exercise, a short walk a day won’t hurt and will help them to stay fit.
They enjoy playing in shallow water, but should never be allowed in deeper waters.
Due to their flat nose, they can have trouble breathing. Never take your dog for a walk in very hot or humid weather. These dogs are perfect for people who are not very physically active. They are also a good fit for smaller apartments.
This breed is prone to certain conditions, and buying from a certified breeder can prevent many of them.
Good breeders will have certificates of the parent’s good health (no dysplasia, no eye disease, etc.). These certificates are issued to breeding dogs at least two years of age. Some conditions don’t appear until the dog is completely mature.
Some dogs might stay completely healthy, while others can have medical issues. It’s important to keep that in mind, and also have enough money to afford medical care if needed.
Brachycephalic Syndrome (This is common in dogs with short heads and flat noses. If severe, it can be treated with surgery, to widen the nostrils).
- Cherry eye, Dry eye, Entropion(eye conditions, not life-threatening, but require medical attention).
- Reverse sneezing- Not a real health problem, but might look like your pup is in distress, try calming him down.
- Head shakes (Usually due to stress or low blood sugar. It’s recommended to give the dog some honey or distracting him. If it doesn’t stop, take him to the vet. )
- Tail problems (Inverted tails, screw tails, tightly grown tails). Their tail can cause skin problems or skin infection. Always keep that area clean. Sometimes simple surgery is required.
- Patellar luxation
- Brachycephalic Syndrome(This is common in dogs with short heads and flat noses. If severe, it can be treated with surgery, to widen the nostrils).
English Bulldogs need to be brushed twice a week. In shedding periods, we can brush more often (3-4 times a week).
Pay attention to the dog’s facial wrinkles, regularly cleaning any food or dirt residue. If left unattended, it can even get infected.
If the dog doesn’t get too dirty, you can bath him every two months. It’s ok to bath every three weeks if necessary. As in other breeds, trim the nails when needed.
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