Bulldog Basics: Overview Of The Breed


Originally hailing from England, the bulldog is instantly recognizable, if slightly misunderstood. They have played an important role in English society for hundreds of years, first in a sport known as bull baiting and later, as a famous mascot, symbolizing the resolve of a tenacious spirit. In this article, we’ll describe the unique appearance of the English bulldog and its surprisingly friendly nature. You’ll also learn about the breed’s inherent health issues, so you’ll be prepared if you purchase and raise a bulldog.

A Unique Look

A lot of people who are unfamiliar with bulldogs initially find their appearance intimidating and unsightly. They are stout (though well-proportioned) and have a face that some consider unattractive. However, over time, owners typically grow fond of the breed’s unique appearance. The head is large and has a short muzzle that glides upward while ample wrinkles form around its perimeter.

One of the most noticeable physical traits of the bulldog is its characteristic flews. They hang low and thick over the sides of the breed’s jaw, giving it a slightly daunting look. Meanwhile, its short legs are noticeably bowled as the frame of the hindquarters and forequarters is squarish. In excellent condition, a bulldog’s frame is stocky and muscular.

Friendly By Nature

Bulldogs look unapproachable. Their short, sturdy frame and humorless face often give people the impression that they are unfriendly. In truth, bulldogs are extraordinarily sociable and loyal to their owners. This is due, in large part, to breeders’ efforts to remove the aggression from the breed over the last several generations. Today, bulldogs are perfect family pets who are as gentle with children as they are with adults.

The breed is usually calm, even during the puppy stages. As they age, they become even more docile and tend to avoid venturing far from their owners. Occasionally, Bulldogs will show a trace of stubbornness, ignoring their owner’s command when it doesn’t suit them. This should not be considered normal delinquent behavior. Instead, owners should understand that the breed can be willful, but never disloyal. In fact, bulldogs crave their owners’ attention and will do much to earn it.

Health Factors

Because of how the bulldog has been bred, the breed copes with basic health issues. For example, the frame of its jaw and shortness of the overall muzzle is partially responsible for the breathing issues that the breed is known for. Also, Bulldogs commonly have a narrow trachea which lends to the short breathing and wheezing that is characteristic of the breed.

Bulldogs are plagued with hip problems, especially as they grow older. It’s important to note that many dog breeds suffer from hip dysplasia and the condition is not exclusive to bulldogs. That said, their stocky frame and muscular build tend to exacerbate the problem.

Joy Of Owning A Bulldog

Even though Bulldogs look mean, seem obstinate, and cope with some health-related issues, they make excellent house pets. Owners report that the breed is friendly and loyal to their families, and inherently calm around small children. What’s more, despite their occasional stubbornness, they can be trained far more easily than other breeds. For those who are considering a new pet, bulldogs can make a great addition to any home. Millions of owners are as loyal to the breed as their bulldogs are to them.

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