The Bulldog is one of those breeds where just about everyone loves them (including us here at IndulgeYourPet), but only a few will actually decide that they want to actually adopt one.
And this is…
Probably a good thing, because while Bulldogs are awesome animals, they’re certainly not going to be the “right” dog for everyone. And the last thing we here at IndulgeYourPet want to see happen is for someone to choose to adopt one of these adorable guys only to regret their decision six months from now!
In an effort to prevent this from happening, we wanted to take a moment and discuss some of the pros and cons of owning a Bulldog so that you’ll have a better idea if this particular dog breed is going to be a good “fit” for you.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right into it.
Bulldog Fast Facts
Country of Origin: Great Britain
Original Purpose: Companion Dog
Height: Varied but typically 12 to 15 inches tall.
Weight: 40 to 50 pounds
Life Span: 8 to 10 years
Dog Breed Classification: Non-Sporting
Origin of the Bulldog
While it is clear that the Bulldog was originally developed in England over 500 years ago, over the centuries, this breed has undergone many changes. Which is why, when we discuss what they were originally bred for, you might be surprised!
The current “version” of the Bulldog isn’t much of an athlete and not necessarily a dog you would place a wager on to win a bet for anything other than being a great “napper”.
But truth be told…
And there was a reason…
Why the Brits wanted them this big. You see, Bulldogs in Britian were first bread to “bait” bulls in a practice known as “bull baiting”.
At this point we should probably explain what “bull baiting” was. You see, this was a practice whereby a dog, in this case a Bulldog would be tasked to “fight” or “herd” a bull to slaughter or castration.
In cases where…
The bull was being led to slaughter, it was believed that the “beef” would taste better if the bull was “baited” before slaughter. In cases like these, the Bulldog would be encouraged to bite the nose of a bull and hang on while the bull thrashed around in pain/anger.
Sounds horrible, right?
We’ll we here at IndulgeYourPet think so, but back in 13th century, this was actually considered quite entertaining. Fortunately, the practice was ultimately outlawed in 1835, but that’s a good 300 to 400 years later!
It should be noted that…
Bulldogs were not the only dogs used in this way, which is why over time, the Bulldog was slowly replaced by bigger and stronger breeds allowing the Bulldog to assume more “leisurely” occupations.
Post 19th century Bulldogs have had it a bit easier that their earlier ancestors. You see, once they were no longer needed to bait bulls, breeders began to breed these magnificent animals for other purposes. Purposes like companionship.
As a result…
Breeders began breeding Bulldogs with shorter legs and larger heads. This new “type” of Bulldog bred no longer needed to be as aggressive as his predecessor which is why our modern day Bulldogs are just big sweethearts compared to their ancient ancestry.
These new “modern” bulldogs…
Then quickly became the quintessential known as a symbol of Britain, which is why they’re often referred to as English Bulldogs or British Bulldogs.
It never hurts to have a celebrity admirer in your corner which is exactly what these dogs had in the name of Sir Winston Churchill, the former Prime Minister of Great Britain, of course…. The Bulldog even has that famous Churchillian jowl, believe it or not!
The Bulldog make it to America
The Bulldog was brought to America in the 19th century where he proved to be an instant hit. Everyone wanted a Bulldog for a pet. As a result, it didn’t take long for the American Kennel Club (AKC) to recognized the Bulldog in 1886. There was even a Bulldog Club of America, formed shortly afterwards by their owners in 1890.
Also created a “trend” by many universities and organizations across America to adopted the Bulldog as their mascot. For example:
- Yale adopted a Bulldog by the name of Handsome Dan as its mascot,
- And the University of Georgia had a Bulldog called Uga as their mascot just to name a few.
We would be remiss to not mention the fact that the U. S. Marine Corps chose the Bulldog as their mascot at the end of the World War I. Where the continue to be a proud mascot for the Corp, and are uniformly referred to as “Chesty”.
Physical characteristics of the Bulldog…
The Bulldog is very easy to identify with his big head, robust torso and short legs. He has a unique shuffling walk and sideways roll. In fact, the Bulldog may be one of those few dog breeds where you would actually have a decent chance identifying even if you were “blindfolded”!
And that’s because…
Your typical Bulldog is going to be a heavy breather. And will likely begin breathing heavily or even panting after a short walk!
There’s really not all that much one can do about that because the “modern day” Bulldog have simply been breed to “accentuate” certain “traits”. Traits that make them susceptible to overheating and making “breathing” a chore!
The Bulldog thick coat, that can come in a variety of colors including: fawn, white, red or piebald, will certainly make him over heat in the wrong environment as well as a shortend or flattened face that can lead to all sorts of breathing difficulties including a condition known as brachycephalic syndrome.
Have a unique corkscrew type tail, but don’t be surprised if your breeder either automatically amputates them or recommends amputating them to prevent or reduce the risk for future infections.
On a side note…
If you have a pool at home, it’s better not to get a bulldog pup from a breeder, as he cannot swim. He is too “heavy” to swim and can barely keep his head above water.
The Bulldog Temperament
You’re really got to go out of your way to upset a Bulldog. And we’re just going to say it… if you have an angry Bulldog on your hands, chances are, you’re at fault!
The Bulldog has one of the best “temperaments” of any dog breed out there. As a general rule, a typical Bulldog is going to be calm, composed, friendly and loyal!
They’re remarkably intelligent. He knows when you are sad and will try to cheer you up. He is kind and generous and he loves his human family.
He is not a watchdog or a guard dog, but he will do everything he can to protect you – but all he’s probably going to be able to do is make your attacker laugh!
Did we mention that Bulldog’s love kids?
Well, he does! And kids love him back! So if your thinking about getting a dog and introducing him or her to a household with children in it, this may be just the “kind” of dog you’re looking for.
But we should point out that…
The bulldog is an indoor dog, and does not tolerate hot weather all that well. So if you live in parts of the country, you may want to consider the fact that a bulldog may not be right for you.
Bulldogs in general will slobber all over the place and they snore… a lot! So, if you think this might bother you, you may also want to rethink adopting a Bulldog puppy.
What about the health problems affecting Bulldogs?
The Bulldog is not the healthiest of breeds. Bulldogs suffer from a host of respiratory problems including bracycephalic syndrome.
And as we…
Said earlier, they breathe heavily after even the slightest physical activity. But that’s not all, you see Bulldogs can actually suffer from a long list of ailments including:
- Hip issues,
- Spinal issues,
- Skin infections,
- Eye problems such as,
- Inverted eyelids,
- Cherry eye,
- And dry eye,
In addition to the following issue as well:
- Pulmonic Stenosis,
- Aortic Stenosis,
- Bloating or Gastric Dilatation Volvulus,
- Elbow Dysplasia,
- Fold Dermatitis,
Which is probably why…
Everyone seems to “love” Bulldogs but most don’t actually choose to own one! And we haven’t even mentioned how expensive Bulldog puppies can be have we?
But if you are a “true”…
Bulldog person, none of this is going to matter! And we know there are a lot of you out there! Heck, we’ve got a few of them here at IndulgeYourPet too!
It’s important to understand that if you do decide to purchase or better yet adopt a Bulldog rescue, you really out to consider purchasing a pet insurance policy for your bull! Because the last thing that you want to do is be on the “hook” for all of these vet bills particularly if there is another option out there.
For more information about pet insurance policies, we would recommend that you check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.