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English Bulldog: Breed Characteristics, Training, Care & Nutrition

The English bulldog belongs to the Molosser-type dogs and originates from Great Britain. The powerful dogs are loyal companions to their owners and have an impressive appearance despite their small size. In the FCI standard, the character dog can be found in FCI group 2 Pinschers and Schnauzers – Molossers – Swiss Mountain Dogs and other breeds Section 2.1 Molossoids, mastiff-like dogs. Without working test and with the standard number 149.

English Bulldog Breed

Size: 31-40cm
Weight: 22-25kg
FCI Group: 2: Pinscher and Schnauzer – Molosser – Swiss Mountain Dogs and other breeds
Section: 2.1: Molossoid, mastiff-like dogs
Country of origin: Great Britain
Colors: fawn, red, red-white, fawn-white, gray-brindle, brindle-white, black, black-tan
Life expectancy: 8-12 years
Suitable as: Companion and family dog
Sports: agility, trick dogging
Character: Friendly, docile, willful, sociable
Outlet Needs: Medium
Drooling potential high
The thickness of hair medium
Maintenance effort: low
Coat structure: fine, short, dense and smooth
Child-friendly: rather yes
Family dog: yes
Social: rather no

Origin and breed history

The English Bulldog is one of the oldest dog breeds from the British Kingdom. Researchers assume that the ancestors of these dogs were already bred by the Celts. In ancient times, these dogs were highly valued and sold as far away as Rome. The dog breed was valued for loyalty and courage. The Romans let the powerful dogs fight in the arenas, mostly against other animals such as wild bulls or predators, sometimes also against slaves. The ancestors of the English bulldog were bred further and spread primarily in what is now the British Kingdom. Even the founder of the British Empire, Queen Elizabeth I, loved these dogs and coined the still well-known saying “fight like a bulldog”.

The dogs continued to be used for fighting other dogs for some time, but for around 200 years fighting with English bulldogs was banned and the dog was bred purely as a companion dog and loyal companion for the British gentleman. This did not detract from the popularity of the animals, on the contrary: breeding continued and the archetypal characteristics of the English Bulldog continued to be strengthened and changed. Therefore, today the breed suffers from many problems. However, they have retained their charm. This is also reflected in the widespread use of his name. There are many sports clubs around the world that have “Bulldog” in their name, as well as motorcycles and clubs.

Many breeds have the same ancestor as the English bulldog, which again shows the popularity of the breed. Close relatives include boxers and French bulldogs. Many experts are now warning against overbreeding of the English bulldog and are calling for a rethink in breeding. Therefore, it is very important to buy such a bulldog only from a good kennel that pays attention to the health of the animals.

Is the English Bulldog a Fighting Dog?

In the early prehistory of breed breeding, the English bulldog was also used for dogfighting and fighting wild animals in the arena of Rome. In the latter course, however, the dogs were no longer used for fights and lived only as companion dogs. They are absolutely peaceful dogs and can be kept very well in the city and in a family.

Nature & Temperament of the English Bulldog

The English bulldog has a friendly character and is very cuddly. The dog breed bonds closely with its owners and needs a lot of attention. Despite their impressive appearance and strength, English Bullies are very good-natured dogs. The dog greets people who belong to its circle of reference enthusiastically and is also friendly and open with strangers. With other dogs, he usually reacts neutrally or friendly. Although he is not a great player. In general, the English bulldog is more of a relaxed type of dog that likes to lie on the couch. Nevertheless, the strong dog can also defend its territory report potential danger, and position itself in front of it at lightning speed. Therefore, solid training is very important.

The dog breed is a good observer and can assess situations well. She stays calm and friendly even in the hustle and bustle. Most English bulldogs can only be used to a very limited extent for dog sport, as they are now too overbred and often too comfortable for enduring training.

The English bulldog is very patient with children and can even be motivated to play one or the other game, whereby care should be taken that the dog is not overwhelmed. The quiet powerhouse also proves to be a reliable companion in everyday life, which can also be taken to the office without any problems. The English Bulldog can be a good beginner dog if attention is paid to needs and if good training and socialization is pursued.

The appearance of the English Bulldog

The English bulldog has a very distinctive appearance. The small to medium-sized dog has a compact, stocky build with strong muscles. The animal’s neck is short but very strong with broad shoulders, giving the dog a wedge-shaped figure. The hind legs are narrower than the shoulders and are nevertheless very strong with clear muscles. In general, the legs are short and the dog’s gait always seems a bit clumsy and waddling due to the large head. He tends to be overweight and appears a bit chubby even when he’s at his ideal weight. Its size is not specified in the breed standard, but weight is recommended. According to the breed standard, a male should weigh a maximum of 25 kg and a female should weigh 23 kg.

The English Bulldog’s coat is very short with no undercoat and should lie flat and shiny against the body. When it comes to coat colors, the breed standard is very open and there are various color combinations. English Bulldogs have both solid and multicolored coat colors. Solid color with a black face mask is called Smut. There are also brindle, various shades of red, fawn, white, and piebald as coat colors. The eyes are usually dark.

What does the English Bulldog look like?

The English bulldog is a stocky and powerful dog that has a large head and broad shoulders. In general, he looks very massive and impressive, despite his small size.

Education and keeping of the English bulldog – this is important to note

The English bulldog needs a good relationship of trust for training. She is very independent and headstrong at times and only with a good connection will she follow the instructions of the owner. The English bulldog can even become very stubborn when he feels he has been treated unfairly. It is important to use only positive reinforcement to try to motivate the dog. In addition, clear rules are important in everyday life, and the English bulldog can use these as a guide. Despite its stubbornness, the dog can show good obedience in everyday life and develop its complete charm. However, its owner should get used to the peculiarities of his dog and be prepared not to have a perfectly obedient companion.

Despite his peculiarities, he is a particularly good family dog ​​that has a high level of social skills. His cheerful nature and relaxed nature make him a good companion and a loyal family member. He usually has no hunting instinct and is rarely dominant.

How big does an English bulldog get?

There is no fixed size specified in the standard, on average they are about 30 to a maximum of 40 cm tall.

Diet of the English Bulldog

The English bulldog tends to be overweight, so the owner should pay very close attention to the amount of food. Because the animals are already in poor health due to overbreeding, which is why problems caused by being overweight should be avoided. He is a good eater and will never leave food behind, instead begging for more rewards.

There are some representatives of the English bulldogs who tend to have special intolerances. Therefore, they often need special food. In general, the English bulldog should only be given high-quality food that has a high meat content and is free from unnecessary additives. It is also important to buy puppy food for the English bulldog until they are at least eight months old. From the age of about seven years, you should switch to a well-tolerated senior food. The food must not contain too much energy, since the English bulldog is a rather easy-going dog and gains weight with food that is too high in energy.

Health – life expectancy & common diseases

The English bulldog is a victim of modern dog breeding. The animals were changed so much in the course of breeding that they are only remotely reminiscent of their agile and strong ancestors in the arena of Rome. Not only was the appearance of the animal changed, but unfortunately the health of the animals was also greatly affected. It wasn’t until 2009 that the serious problems of the breed were taken seriously and the Kennel Club in London adjusted the regulations for breeding in order to breed healthier dogs and to come back a little more to the old form of the animals. The severe nasal wrinkles, which lead to respiratory problems and skin inflammation, were banned. The nose must not be grown further back and there should be no exaggerated underbite. Unfortunately, not all breeders adhere to the specifications, so the owner must pay close attention to the health of the animals when choosing a breeder.

Among the possible health problems in English bulldogs are respiratory problems, heart problems, and skin inflammation, there are also problems with the eyes and joints.

There are even problems with the births, so the bitches can only very rarely give birth to the puppies naturally and often have to be brought into the world with a caesarean section. The mating takes place with the help of the veterinarian and no longer in a natural way, since the heavy males can no longer properly approach the female.
Due to these many problems, the life expectancy of dogs is significantly reduced. While a healthy English bulldog from a good breeder can live to be ten to twelve years old, overbred animals only live to around seven years and usually suffer for the rest of their lives.

When is an English bulldog fully grown?

The English bulldog is fully grown at about eight months.

Care of the English Bulldog

Taking care of an English bulldog in good health is not very difficult. The calm dogs have a short coat that should only be brushed from time to time. The ears and eyes should be checked regularly by the owner so that an infection can be detected and treated at an early stage. Otherwise, the dog is free to pursue his preferences and requires very little care from his owner. However, if the animal suffers from one of the several diseases, the care effort is significantly higher. Owners should be aware of this before they decide to get an English bulldog.

English Bulldog Activities and Training

The English bulldog is a loyal companion and cuddly housemate. It doesn’t make any great demands on its owner and is above all satisfied with a comfortable place to sleep, but the dog owner should encourage their pet to engage in regular activities. This promotes the bond between man and dog, strengthens the health of the animal and prevents obesity. Daily walks are a must and when the English Bulldog is fit and healthy they can also enjoy a dog sport. Calm sports should be chosen, such as lunging or track work. He enjoys interacting with his owner, but doesn’t necessarily need it. He is also satisfied with regular walks.

Also, the English bulldog does not need a large apartment with a garden. Rather, this dog breed can be kept in a small apartment without any problems. It is important, however, that he does not have to walk a lot of stairs. This movement, which is unnatural for the dog, puts a strain on the animal and, above all, on its joints.

Long walks are the ideal activity for the English bulldog, but care must be taken to ensure that the animals are not overwhelmed, especially in summer. When it is very hot, you should only take the necessary walks with sufficient water.

Otherwise, the English bulldog prefers to be close to its people and allows itself to be cuddled and dozed on the couch. She is a dog for consistent people who do not want an athlete.

Good to know: Special features of the English bulldog

The English bulldog is a very popular dog that has starred in a number of stars and films. He is a loyal companion to many people from the British middle class and the English Bulldog is also very popular in Germany. It is currently also the core of research in the field of dog breeding. Breeding the English bulldog is highly controversial and many animal rights activists are calling for the breeding to be banned as they view breeding as torture. There are now breeders who pay very close attention to the health of the animals, but unfortunately, they are still in the minority and it is really difficult to find a healthy dog.

Disadvantages of the English Bulldog

A very docile and loyal companion, the English Bulldog makes a good beginner dog, although it can also be headstrong. However, the English bulldog has a few disadvantages. The Bullie is not a sporty dog ​​and usually just wants to go for a walk and romp around with its people.

Animals of this dog breed can stay alone very well, but seek the closeness of their people at every opportunity and demand their attention. They are willful and stubborn at times when they don’t understand a command or feel they have been treated unfairly. The English bulldog tends to be overweight because it is very greedy. She can vigorously beg for food and should be strictly controlled.

Another thing that needs to be addressed is the health of the animals. Many English bulldogs suffer from hereditary diseases. This is a great disadvantage for the breed, because the animals sometimes suffer for a lifetime and are still pushed further in an unhealthy direction by the breeders.

How old do English bulldogs get?

The life expectancy of these animals depends very much on their health. A healthy English bulldog can live anywhere from 10 to 12 years, while a bulldog with pre-existing medical conditions only lives to be around 7 years old.

Is the English Bulldog right for me?

The English bulldog is a downright easygoing dog that loves to lie on a soft couch and be pampered by its owner. Although descended from the powerful dogs of the Roman arena and still has a strong build, he is an even-tempered dog. He has few problems and is good for beginners who are willing to work on the dog’s stubbornness.

If you are interested in an English bulldog, you should be prepared to have high veterinary costs, as unfortunately the animals are often ill. Anyone who can afford this will have a very loyal companion and a real character dog at their side. He is a good dog not only for beginners but also for seniors and families with children. He is very patient with children and can romp around with them, but care should be taken that the dog is not overwhelmed.

Is the English Bulldog Dangerous?

No, the English bulldog has no increased potential for aggression and is a completely normal dog. They get along well with other dogs, children, and most other animals.

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