Bulldogs are great family dogs despite their reputation! They require only a few activities daily and are usually lying around the house in the company of their family members. They are also great with children and at any type of environment, although they are not the kind of dogs to keep outside in your back yard. However, considering that they are not heavy shedders, it is easy to allow them to stay inside, close to family! Another reason adding to that is the fact that they are also not very adaptable to changing climates! You will surely get yourself the perfect pet should you decide to own a Bulldog!
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Dog breed: Bulldog
Breed Group: Molossoid breed – Mastiff type / Companion dog
Breed Color: Fawn and White, Red, Brindle and Whtie, Fawn, Red and White, Gray Brindle
History/Origin of the Bulldog
Bulldog’s, also known as the English or British Bulldog, origin dates back to the 5th century in England – a time when the dog has been bred strictly for aggressive purposes.
They are the descendants of fighting Mastiffs, brought to Britain by the Romans. Their first and foremost usage was in bull-baiting – which was a tough, bloody sport that involved the Bull and the Bulldog fighting against each other. In 1835 this sport got banned for good – a decision that caused the breeders to change the dog’s genetics in order to get a less aggressive, friendly dog that we know today.
Nowadays, Bulldogs only slightly resemble their descendants, the fighting Mastiffs. They are noticeably smaller, less energetic and less aggressive today!
Another good skill was their livestock herding instinct, which brought about great use in catching horses, cattle, boars and performing other important farming jobs, in this way lending much help towards their owners.
Whereas, recently, Bulldogs are being bred more as family dogs on account of their loving nature, rather than their ferociousness and aggression!
Molosser Group Characteristics
Molosser is a dog group noted for containing large dog breeds of solid built with one same, common ancestor. Their bones are heavy while their muzzles and necks are somewhat short, while their ears are non-erect.
The group name derives from Molossia, an area in ancient Epirus, and King Molossus – the grandchild of Achilles of the Trojan War who ruled the ancient Molossian People of Epirus. There, these shepherd dogs were called Molossus. Presently, these lands spread over Greece and Albania, therefore the exact origin of the Molosser has not yet been set clear.
Molossers are known for having travelled with their masters in places like Asia where they have been further bred in order to accomodate with the different climates and the overall environment.
Later on, they also interbred these dogs with other local dogs and the results of this interbreeding produced various Molossers: ones with shorter coats, or different colored coats while their height, short muzzles and massive heads were kept the same.
Some Molosser types are used for search and rescue purposes, others as guard dogs, or livestock guardians, and as cart dogs.
Allergies in Bulldogs
Allergies may occur in Bulldogs either in relation to their genetic predisposition or as reactions to specific environmental agents. Correspondingly, it is crucial to understand allergy types and general symptoms in order to have a more informed opinion as well as a more prepared path for taking any actions towards treatment. It is important to systematically check on your dog for various allergy signs as allergies can lead to serious and/or even fatal consequences and health problems, if left untreated.
Allergy types are alike for all English, French and American Bulldogs. There are basically five types of allergies affecting Bulldogs and the most common allergy symptoms involve itching and licking around the armpit, groin, abdomen and paw areas. The dog may also cough, sneeze and wheeze due to respiratory allergies. If the digestive tract is affected, it will lead to vomiting and diarrhea.
Below are explained the common dog allergy symptoms and the different types of allergies affecting Bulldogs.
This is a skin allergy which occurs due to hypersensitivity towards dust mites and molds. Symptoms that may arise because of this specific allergy are excessive licking, chewing paws and/or abdomen as well as the rear legs. Additionally, your dog’s ears may become red and if you touch their ears you may feel heat being released. Except for their ears, you must also check for other symptoms showing up in their armpits, groin, between their toes of paws, and abdomen. Moreover, changes in skin color which usually resemble deep pink, red or black colors are indications of atopic dermatitis.
Inhalant Allergy and ‘Cherry Eye‘
This type of allergy usually arises due to inhalation of allergens like dust, pollen, mites, molds or other chemicals. You may notice your dog feeling more itchy around the feet, groin, armpits and abdomen. This allergy is also the main reason for your Bulldogs‘ ear infections! When your dog rubs the abdomen with the outside world, they come in contact with these allergens.
On the other hand, the ‘Cherry Eye‘ is caused by the inhalation of chemicals, which cause your dog’s eye to become cherry-colored. ‘Cherry Eye’predominantly occurs among puppies!
Usually, food allergies cause itchy skin and scratchy-ears – similar as other allergies – and your dog may also turn to biting and licking their paws, rubbing their faces in the carpet, coughing, diarrhea, flatulence, sneezing, gagging, seizures, ear inflammation, and other discomforting reactions.
The most ordinary food allergens found among dogs are soy products, corn, wheat, chicken, beef, pork, fish, milk, eggs, whey, additives, preservatives, sugar, artificial flavorings – products that are usually found in commercial foods. Therefore, you should consult with your vet and go after identifying allergen ingredients –this may take weeks to find out – and then change your dog’s diet accordingly.
The most likely foods to cause allergic reactions in dogs include:
However, if you notice your dog having allergic reactions to one of the above-mentioned foods, consider very likely the rising of allergic reactions towards the rest of the listed ingredients!
Some dogs are genetically programmed to develop bacterial allergy and the dogs that do, usually get hair loss and skn infection in the affected areas. A common bacteria that causes such allergies in Bulldogs is Staphylococcus.
May occur after having come in contact with certain allergens, such as flea collars, specific plants, grass, wood, dog shampoo, among others. It is important to consult your vet and undertake the right actions towards finding the specific allergens causing such reactions in your dog and subsequently avoid contact with these factors.
In dogs, fleas can cause allergy reactions through their saliva, not their ticking. If you cannot detect any fleas in your dog, it is advisable to take your dog to the vet and perform the tick-allergy test which enables determining whether your dog has any fleas! If positive, a routine removal of remaining fleas must be done, then your vet may also prescribe necessary remedies like capsules, sprays or shampoos.
Flea allergy, food allergy, parasitic allergy cause similar symptoms. Check for fleas or other parasites‘ presence as their salivas may be what causes the allergic reaction in your dog.
Flea shampoos, soaps and other dedicated medications have proven helpful in eliminating such skin allergies in dogs! Always remain alert towards your pet dog’s health and behavior!
Physical Appearance of the Bulldog
The Bulldog is of medium-size, very muscular, with thick and strong limbs. Their tails are short and carried low. In contrast to their front body part, their lower body is narrower, and one possible implication of this is that for female Bulldogs it is more difficult to give birth than for other dog breeds, and may require assistance! Some must even undergo the cesarean surgery upon delivery. Considering that their legs stand a little out of their bodies, they seem like they are rather waddling than really walking, a kind of loose-jointed walk.
Their heads are massive and square-shaped while their lower teeth stick out farther than their top – known to pin and hold tight onto their rivals without letting go! Meanwhile, their ears are thin, folded and small! Yet, a very charming detail about the Bulldog are their dense wrinkles on their foreheads! They even have skin hanging under their necks, and their loose lips! It may seem as if they have a reserved, or more of a grumpy look, but Bulldogs are very tame, friendly and happy dogs. Great towards children as well as other pets! They are also highly attached to their families or packs and will always need their human companions beside them, in almost all or whatever they do!
Back to when they were first bred, Bulldogs were of bigger size as they were bred for aggression, fighting and bull-baiting purposes. Due to the changes in their genetic combination, the Bulldogs became as we know them today, less aggressive and smaller in size.
Height, Weight and Life Span
Height and weight variations between matured female and male Bulldogs:
- Female Weight: 22-23 kg
- Male Weight: 24-25 kg
- Height (Male & Female): 31-40 cm
- Life Span: 8 to 10 years
Whereas, Bulldogs used for show purposes are around 4.5 kg heavier than the rest!
Personality, Temperament and Character of the Bulldog
Bulldogs are not highly energetic, they prefer sleeping and laying around inactive until their feeding time. Stubborn and lazy, they are not overly excited to go out for walks and play, but you must take them in order to avoid overweight and other arising health problems due to their inactivity.
They are also quite greedy eaters, so you should be careful and not allow overfeeding. Always keep an eye on their meal portions!
Their personality is not appropriate for being kept in your yard – you should keep your Bulldog inside your house. What makes keeping them inside favorable is also the fact that they are not big, crazy barkers! Moreover, they require air-conditioned homes and a lot of water available at any time, owing to the fact that they are not adaptable to climate changes – intolerance towards extreme highs and lows!
On the other hand, they do wonderful with children, but will not be very playful as to wear them out! Bulldogs either tire or bore quickly, therefore stop playing!
The interaction between the Bulldog and children should be supervised by the owner in case of inappropriate ear or tail pulling from the children. Messing with their food while they’re eating or when sleeping is also not tolerable. Make sure to supervise improper actions by both parties! Try to advise your children on how to behave around dogs in general!
Regarding Bulldogs’ relationships with other pets, they get along pretty well, but may be less sociable with unknown dogs!
In the overall, the Bulldog is a lover, rather than a fighter – getting along with almost everyone! Despite their tough appearance, you will not find a dog that has sweeter and/or loving tendencies! Some Bulldogs may even be of shy personality! Although, their temperament is generally affected by the early socialization provided. If not exposed to different situations, sights, sounds, humans and animals, the Bulldog may become bad-tempered. If the other way around, you’ve got yourself a great companion, with polished social skills!
Generally, Bulldogs are healthy. Their body structure causes them to be more prone to respiratory and joint problems. Another surfacing problem are their narrow nostrils – causing breathing hardships, and may even require surgery to correct. What can make the problem even worse is the sensitivity to anesthesia due to their short nose, so any surgery they must undergo should be planned out with care and involving your vet! Their pushed-in face makes them unable to tolerate very hot or cold temperatures – they have a hard time breathing and dissipating heat!
If not exercised sufficiently and regularly, Bulldogs easily become overweight, and that can bring about further problems concerning their overall well-being. Flatulence is another common condition among Bulldogs!
It is important to buy your Bulldog from a responsible breeder to ensure that you get a healthy and easy-going dog. Responsible breeders breed only mature (usually over 2 years of age) and physically well dogs, and they also test their inherent genetic diseases priory in order to avoid unhealthy dog deliveries! As some diseases do not appear until the dog reaches maturity, it is advised to not breed them, at least before the age of 2, preferably 3. It is recommended to get health clearances of both parents of your dog beforehand.
Frequent conditions that may affect Bulldogs are:
This is a gland that may show up in the eyelid, around the corner of the dog’s eye, which is a condition that needs gland removal.
An inadequate tear production. Your vet will prescribe medications for your dog to avoid the pain of the condition.
Is a condition where eyelashes turn inwards and cause eye irritation, which may also require correctional surgery.
Inverted or Reverse Sneezing
This is not a health condition, but it may happen to your Bulldog, so it is advised to stroke their throats until it passes. It is generally caused by blocked nasal palate.
Another disorder that may happen to Bulldogs, which manifests with troubles in breathing or a collapse of the airways. Treatment should be done by either oxygen therapies or surgery to widen the nostrils.
If your Bulldog is over-stressed or has low blood sugar, he may start having head-shakes (up and down or side to side).You may distract them from the condition, but if not, then you should immediately take your dog to the vet to avoid any suspicious conditions.
This is the so called parasitic demodex mite, which may be passed down to the pups from their mothers. They live in hair follicles and are usually harmless, but if your dog is suffering from a low immune system, then he may develop deodectic mange- patches of red skin and hair-loss may start appearing in the neck, head, and forelegs. The condition is known to have a genetic component and these dogs are suggested to not be breeding in order to avoid further inheritance!
You should take your dog to your vet as soon as this condition may appear in order to keep track of it before it gets any chances to spread and generalize, which can turn out fatal for your dog’s health. Although, usually, it is only a puppy’s condition which goes away slowly on its own!
To avoid this condition, the Bulldog must not get over-exercised during their rapid growth period and should also not be overfed. As mentioned earlier, they do have loose limbs, so it is crucial to respect these rules in order to not develop the condition, as it can be easily developed!
Their inverted, screw or tight tails should be kept dry in order to prevent infections as well as skin problems.
Also known as ‘slipped stifles’, is a common problem in small dogs generally, and it occurs when the three parts of the knee are not properly lined. It may either occur at birth, but it may also occur later on in life. This problem can lead to many other problems, such as: arthritis – a degenerative joint disease. There are IV grades of the condition and the last one cannot be repaired, the dog must undergo surgery for it.
Bulldogs do not require a lot of exercise as they are quite inactive indoor dogs, however, daily walks are a requirement in order to avoid overweight problems.
They love a relaxed, lazy environment as their play mood may usually last up to 15 minutes. This energy level makes them suitable for all types of homes, including apartments.
They are not the quickest learners nor the best obedient dogs, but they do learn! It is best to shower them with positive praise and rewards when training. And keep your training fun, repetitive and positive because once a Bulldog learns, a Bulldog never forgets!
They should be fed a maximum of 2 cups of dog food. Always go for the high-quality dog food and divide it into two meals daily, to keep it lighter yet fulfilling.
Food quantity depends on age, size, metabolism and activity level of your dog. Less than a cup a day is recommended for young Bulldogs.
*An important reminder: Watch out for obesity! Their joints are already problematic and sensitive without the extra kilos, therefore obesity can put a lot of unnecessary stress on their joints!
It is helpful to keep their weight in check by doing the hand measuring trick on your dog to understand whether they are being overfed or not. This is done by placing your hand on your dog’s back while your thumbs pass along the spine, fingers downwards. Without pushing too hard, your dog’s ribs must be felt! However, the ribs should not be seen though! If they are seen it means the dog is underweight!
Bulldog’s coat is straight, short, and glossy-smooth. They come in a variety of colors, like red, solid red, solid white, fawn, brindle, or fallow and they can also have patches of two or more colors. A black-coat Bulldog is not common and is not as required by new owners.
Their coats must be brushed once a week with a firm brush, while you can maintain their faces clean by getting a damp cloth and wiping daily. Do not forget to lift up their wrinkles and clean the part underneath. Sometimes, the skin under the wrinkles may get irritated – contact your dog’s vet in such cases, in order to treat it with specific soothing creams.
Bulldogs are not heavy-shedding dogs, therefore brushing them around two times a week will help in reducing the amount of hair that may fall and spread around the house.
Regarding nail care, you should do trimming once or twice weekly, depending on the condition.
Furthermore, their teeth should be kept clean from tartar and bacteria, so brushing them three times a week is sufficient and necessary. Clearly, daily brushing would be much better!
And the last but not least, clean their outer ear-part whenever you see fit, as in this way you can clean the dirt and avoid ear infection. The best way to do this would be by getting a damp soft cloth and wiping away excess!
It is good to introduce nail-trimming and teeth brushing at an early age so that the dog does not get over-stressed every time you start grooming and maintenance procedures! In addition, make sure to check their eyes from time to time for redness or discharge as it may imply eye-infection.
While grooming, you should also look out for any other skin conditions that may appear, like: redness, tenderness, or inflammation. Inflammation may occur in their ears, eyes, mouth, nose, and feet – so check regularly to prevent health problems, or at least catch and treat them as early as possible!
- Bulldogs do not tolerate heat nor humidity. You should be watchful when out with them in case they look distressed.
- Bulldogs are not tolerant to cold weathers, either.
- You could put up a pool in a specific shaded spot in your yard, where your bulldog can lie when temperatures are high.
- You should not let them live outdoors as they are the dogs you should keep inside with you.
- They are lazy and not highly obedient.
- It is important to take them for walks daily, and engage them in light exercises even though they are not very enthusiastic, considering their laziness.
- Also, watch their weight. They can easily turn obese as they are inactive, yet greedy eaters.
- Having a pinched-nose makes them prone to wheezing, snorting, snoring and sleep apnea among other respiratory problems.
- If your Bulldogs’ flatulence seems excessive, consult their vet.
- If you want to let your Bulldog breed, you should remember that due to their narrow lower body, they have trouble giving birth and most Bulldogs require caesarean surgery for delivering puppies.
- They are sensitive to anesthesia because of their pinched and short noses. Always consult your vet primarily.
- Get your Bulldog from a reputable breeder who performs the necessary tests for possible inherited genetic health problems and temperament.
- Bulldogs are not to be mistaken for aggressive dogs. They are sweet and lovable – aggression is a long gone trait of Bulldogs!
Bulldogs are not specificially known for excelling in sports, but there is one sport they are natural born gamers at, and that is Skating! They simply love and excel in skating and have become very famous because of this stand-out skill. It is mesmerizing how well they understand it and how passionately they perform it, with many mind-blowing manuvers! Tyson and Tillman are two celebrity Bulldogs, very famous for their skating capabilities and tricks.
There is a large number of Bulldogs that are real stars:
- Known for their specialty – Skateboarding
- Known through their celebrity owners
- Known for their performances on TV or movies
- Known through sports or business
- Known through heroic deeds
Many other Bulldogs have become famous because of being pets to a great number of celebrities, like: The Beckhams, Jolie-Pitt, Valentino Rossi’s, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Maggie – Chris Brown’s Bulldog, Fred Durst‘ s famous Bulldog, Pink’s Bulldog – Elvis, Adam Sandler’s, Paris Hilton’s, Adele‘s, Cesar Milan’s Bulldog, Jessica Biel‘s, Ozzy Osbourne‘s, Jane Birkin‘s, Wendy TV presenter’s Bulldog, and Michael Jackson’s Bulldog.
Many other notable figures like writers, actors, actresses, musicians, TV presenters, dog whisperers, sportsmen, athletes, own and love their Bulldogs and show them off!
Facts & Stories
Dozer, the hero Bulldog!
The story of Dozer is a very touching story and one that shows the imprinted desire in dogs to do good.
Dozer got adopted by Carl Lokey, and together they have been contributing in their town with good deeds, ever since adoption!
His excellent skill of finding missing dogs and reuniting them with their owners has helped in so many cases until now. So far, he has completed 6 such acts, without ever being trained to do so. His gentle nature has always succeeded at reuniting, even in hopeless situations.
Dozer is the one dog in the park that is always trying to calm tensions between other fighting dogs without causing any harm. His assertive personality allows other dogs to submissively follow his lead and create trust.
Dozer’s last rescue case has been with a missing Beagle that was on the look-out by his owners for over a week! The Beagle was spotted by passers-by and they have tried to capture her, yet to no avail. Neither its owners, nor the town’s animal control officers could reach the goal until Dozer and Lokey approached the situation and got to work!
Dozer ran around searching for the Beagle for two days. As soon as he spotted the missing dog, he managed to get close to it, and soon enough the dogs started playing together happily, although the Beagle would refrain from any other unknown contact. Lokey also got close to the dogs and slowly, by putting a slip-collar on, brought the dog back to its worried owners. The Beagle seemed very comfortable walking with Dozer by its side.
His great work has brought Dozer the reputation of a lovable and heroic dog! At times he has helped by getting to know the missing dog’s scent, while other times by getting to notice the dog in the distance. Either way, he has always succeeded. The missing dogs always submit to Dozer’s approach, a fact his owner cannot yet comprehend. ‘‘It could also be because of Dozer’s size that they see him as an alpha dog“ – thinks Lokey sometimes. “But one thing I am sure of, we both never perform these acts in order to get any rewards or payments. It is a genuine act of help because of the great love towards animals.“ – continues Lokey.
*Dozer was rescued by Lokey from a shelter where he had stayed for around 10 months. And he will always be the most loving dog in town!
Harley – the life-saving Bulldog
The Bulldog named Harley tried his best to wake his owners up while they were sound asleep on a night when their house was flaming up by the fire that struck their home! Harley’s only mean of causing the stir up was by never stopping his barking on the side of their owners bed, who initially did not pay attention to him until finally they did wake up and saw the fire approaching their bed!
Because their house did not have any smoke detectors this case could have terminated fatally, if it weren’t for Harley’s relentless, unshakable attempts. Now, thanks to their companion Bulldog they are safe and sound today, whereas their house got completely deteriorated and is being rebuilt! Whereas, Harley‘ selfless nature is forever to be admired!