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Country/Date of Origin: Great Britain/1800s

A member of the Mastiff family, the distinctive shape of the Bulldog enabled this butcher's dog to control unruly oxen. Later, the Bulldogs' skill was used in the so-called sports of bull baiting, bear baiting and dog fighting, where they exhibited the qualities of courage, tenacity and ferocity. The dog's courage and tenacity remain, but the ferocity has long been bred out. In fact, the sterling attributes of the breed were legend and it was used to give pluck and staying power to many other breeds such as Boxers, Bullmastiffs, Bull Terriers and even the Airedale Terrier. It has been popular as a show dog since these contests began in the United States.

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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English Bulldog

AKC Group: Non-Sporting

Breed Club: Bulldog Club of America

Rescue Club: Bulldog Club of America Rescue Network

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Body Type:

  • Heavy, thick, low build with short forelegs set wide apart
  • The head is massive with a short face, round cheeks and an enormous undershot lower jaw
  • Height: 12-14 inches (at shoulder)
  • Weight: 50-55 pounds
  • Short, straight tail is not altered. It is described as like a pump handle. A screw tail is also acceptable
  • The rose ears are small, set wide apart and are held tightly against the neck. They are not altered. This tiny, tightly held ear was bred for so the ears would not be ripped in combats
  • Because the Bulldog is so wide and short, it has a four-track gait. This movement, with each foot never overlapping on another footfall, is unique among dogs


  • Beneath the sour mug lies a heart of gold
  • An excellent breed with children
  • Snores up a storm
  • Not suited to hot climates
  • Loyal, steadfast, courageous, determined - and all those other good things you think a bulldog stands for
  • Great intelligence is not one of those qualities however. A Bulldog is willing to please and it will do your bidding - as soon as it figures out what it is that you want it to do


  • Short, smooth coat lies flat and close to the body. There may not be much hair but there is lots of extra skin on a Bulldog
  • Wrinkles, as with most of us, are a fact of life with Bulldogs
  • Coat colors in order of preference are: red brindle, all other brindles, solid white, solid red, fawn or fallow, and piebald
  • Minimal grooming required

Health Concerns:

  • Short-lived, usually less than 9 years
  • Prone to respiratory problems. Heat stroke a real possibility
  • Allergic skin diseases and skin tumors
  • Possible hip dysplasia
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Eye problems such as tear deficiency and eyelid abnormalities
  • Whelping difficulties
  • The big head of the breed usually requires the bitch have a cesarean
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • The bulldog is more than a dog. It is the symbol of fidelity, strength and solid values
  • The Bulldog stands for the British Empire, wears the Eli blue and white, rides the hood of every
  • Mack truck and lately, a red one has been seen around breweries
  • Bulldogs have been the mascots of the Yale University Football Team for almost a century
  • They are all named Handsome Dan and the current one is fourteenth in the line of Handsome Dans
  • The US Marines have a "devil dog" mascot for the Corps. The current devil dog, is the first female in the long blue line
  • Want to rile up a Bulldog? Bother him while he is eating. This breed is very possessive about food Should be watched around other pets when there are snacks in the offing

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