Despite his sourmug the Bulldog is jovial, comical and amiable, among the most docile and mellow of dogs. He is willing to please, although he retains a stubborn streak. The bulldog is very good with children. Most are moderately friendly toward strangers. The breed is quite good with other pets.
Bulldog Dog Care
The Bulldog appreciates a daily outing but cannot tolerate hot humid weather and should not be expected to jog or walk great distances, or to jump from any heights. Most Bulldogs cannot swim. Most Bulldogs wheeze and snore, and some drool. Coat care is minimal, but facial wrinkles (and any folds around the tail) should be cleaned daily.
Bulldog Dog Health
Major concerns: CHD, KCS, stenotic nares, elongated soft palate,
shoulder luxation, internalized tail
Minor concerns: entropion, ectropion, distichiasis, CHD, elbow
dysplasia, cherry eye, patellar luxation
Occasionally seen: urethral prolapse, vaginal hyperplasia
Suggested tests: hip, elbow, knee, (eye)
Life span: 8-10 years
Note: It is prone to skin fold dermatitis unless the wrinkles are
kept clean and dry. It cannot tolerate heat. Special precautions must
be taken when anesthetizing a bulldog. Caesarian deliveries are
commonly needed. Hip radiographs show most bulldogs to be dysplastic
but few show overt symptoms.
Interested in the history of the Bulldog dog breed?
With the most distinctive mug in dogdom, the Bulldog has an equally distinctive history. The Bulldog's origin lies in the cruel sport of bull-baiting, which originated in England around the 13th century. The dog's purpose was to attack and madden the bull by grabbing it, usually by the nose, and not releasing its grip. Not only was this considered entertainment, but it also was believed that a bull's meat was tastier if the bull was baited before being butchered. Some bulldogs were also set against bears for bearbaiting, purely for entertainment. Bulldog owners set great store by their dog's ferocity and, especially, fortitude in the face of pain, so much so that horrifying stories exist of handlers proving their dog's toughness by demonstrating that it would hang onto the bull despite being tortured or mutilated by the handler. In 1835, bull-baiting was outlawed, and a new phase began for the Bulldog. Some efforts were made to have the dogs fight one another, but this was clearly not the Bulldog's forte. Now a dog without a cause, the breed's popularity plummeted. By all rights, the breed should have become extinct, except that it had gained so many ardent admirers that they set out to rescue the bulldog by selecting against ferocity while still maintaining and often accentuating his distinctive physical characteristics. So successful were they that the Bulldog became an extremely amiable character, with a personality not at all like its sourmug might suggest. His tough steadfast persona led him to be identified as a national symbol of England. His amiable clownish personality belies his appearance, and the bulldog is a popular pet.