The bulldog is known to have resided in England for hundreds of years. The name came from the dog”s association with the sport of bull-baiting. The object of the game was for the dog to pin and hold the bull by the muzzle and not move. The larger animal became almost helpless as the dog seized on to this tender part. These small, short animals had an advantage for staying low as the bull almost always lowered its own head to try and thrust its horns.

A bulldog usually only grows to 16 inches high with a weight of about 45 to 50 pounds, even though its body is broad and muscular.

Bulldogs and Dog Fighting

When bull-baiting got outlawed, people began the sport of dog fighting. Bull dogs were a natural to be bred and trained for this pastime. London became the central staging area for dog fights of this dog breed. To make them quicker, bulldogs were bred with a terrier. By 1824, the breeding of bulldogs declined once dog fighting was prohibited.

However, by the beginning of dog shows in 1859, classes for bulldogs gave breeders an incentive to breed the best bulldogs they could.

Bulldog Characteristics

A bulldog possesses a broad, compact body. Its head grows in large proportion to the rest of its body. The flat forehead allows the layers of loose skin to land in large wrinkles, giving the animal its distinctive look.

The nose usually should be broad, black and large, and its lips also should be this deep color of black. Big, wide nostrils are seen as prize-winning to judges.

The quality and shape of the bulldog”s ears has a lot to do with the animal”s appearance. Many of today”s bulldogs have ears that fall in front of the head, such as a Fox terrier. Judges in the past have not liked this look.

Broad shoulders, a round chest and narrow waist are desirable qualities for prize-winning bulldogs. Those in the business prefer a screw or kinked tail. The coat of fur should be short, smooth and fine in texture.

Buying a Bulldog

Many strains of bulldogs might not be the best to purchase. Buyers who don”t have experience in this breed should get educated. The dog should be muscular and strong. The purchasers should also check out that the mother and sire of the dog were in healthy condition.

Most novice bulldog owners will choose a male bulldog to take home. But female bulldogs can be just as good of a companion. She remains a loyal and kind dog.

Breeding bulldogs takes a lot of time and patience. Infant mortality is high: About half of a litter usually dies in the first few days. If they live the first four days, their chances of survival are good.

The best time to rear bulldog puppies is in the spring. By the time winter comes around, they are strong enough and healthy enough to withstand cold temperatures.

A bulldog continues to be one of the most trusted dogs to have around children. They have patience and a good temper to put up with the rowdiness of boys and girls.


Leighton, R. (2004). Dogs and all About Them. Retrieved March 24, 2008, from The Project Gutenberg EBook of Dogs and All About Them Web site: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/10991/10991.txt.