So, you’ve decided that you want to be a dog owner. Great! Now comes the part of choosing which breed will suit you best. Like humans, dogs have different personalities as well as requirements to live a happy, healthy life. It’s important that whatever breed you decide on matches who you are and the lifestyle you lead.
If you have sights set on the English Bulldog or are still in the process of looking around, it might be helpful to know a thing or two about this wonderful breed!
Origins of the English Bulldog
The English Bulldog we know today comes from an ancient breed of Bullenbeissers, which were used as guard dogs against threats like wild animals in Assyria, Greece, Egypt, and Rome. In England, however, the Bullenbeisser was bred to be a smaller dog and began its career as a bull baiter in the 13th century. The breed nearly disappeared in 1835 when bull baiting and dog fighting were outlawed. But fanciers of the breed saved the Bulldog, breeding out its aggressive elements to eventually establish a gentler pet.
Notable physical characteristics
English Bulldogs have short fine coats, typically colored brindle, white, red, or piebald. They stand up to 15 inches tall and can weigh up to 50 pounds. Bred to be bull baiters, English Bulldogs are typically of a stocky build with a large head, folded ears, a short muzzle, and a protruding lower jaw. One of the most distinctive features of the English Bulldog is the size of its skull. Because of its origin, the English Bulldog carries most of its weight primarily in the head, so that even when the bull shook, the dog was unlikely to break its back.
Another iconic feature of the English Bulldog’s physical appearance is the loose skin that forms folds on the head and face, giving it an adorable yet fierce look.
What to expect for owners
Despite its history of aggression, the English Bulldogs we have today are considered to be peace-loving animals. Thanks to many generations of selective breeding, the modern Bulldog has become a gentle-natured, affectionate, and even comical breed. Britannica even points out that this once-violent dog now makes for an unreliable guard dog, stating, “Whereas its fierce expression may scare off intruders, it is likely to sleep through a break-in.”
Though the modern English Bulldogs now prefer to laze about, they can still enjoy brief bursts of activity. They can be taught to perform tricks and enjoy playing with toys, despite not being much of a retriever.
One of the most important information for interested English Bulldog owners is that this breed requires more care than others. Due to their short muzzle and flattened facial structure, English Bulldogs are prone to more health problems such as brachycephalic syndrome, which affects their breathing.
With their aggressive past behind them, English Bulldogs are now known to be great family pets that are good with children and the elderly, and even other animals! Brave and intelligent, this breed is sure to steal the hearts of anyone. But it’s important that you do your own research, to determine if this breed is your perfect match and ensure a fulfilling life together!