Beautiful English Bulldog Puppies for Sale -- English Bulldog Stud Service
"You don't say, old chap?" If English bulldogs could talk, you might imagine them saying this colloquial phrase with gruff, polite curiosity and a slight tilt of the head. Nothing epitomizes English gentility more than the English bulldog. This gentle, endearingly "homely" companion may look intimidating, but is quite the opposite.
Around 1500, bulldogs made their first appearance in literature, with the spellings "Bolddogge" and "Bondogge." The modern spelling of "bulldog" was documented as first having been used by a man named Preswick Eaton, in a letter he wrote around 1631 or 1632.
The modern English bulldog is probably descended from the Asiatic mastiff, and given the name of "bulldog" because it was used in bull-baiting (see below) and because these dogs have the appearance of a little bull, with short, thick, wide bodies and massive heads.
Bulldogs were first used in their original incarnation, the Old English Bulldog, in the sport of bull baiting in England; with this "sport," dogs were set on tethered bulls. The first bulldog to grab the bull by the nose and pin it on the ground would win. As you can imagine, this was very dangerous to the dogs, and many bulldogs were killed during these matches. Over time, the dogs were bred specifically to have massive heads and jaws, stocky bodies, and — notably – fierce temperaments. In 1835, the practice of bull-baiting (and the related bear-baiting) was made illegal, thanks to the Cruelty to Animals Act of 1835.
Although this lessened its popularity in England, the Old English Bulldog was certainly most welcome in the New World, as emigrants needed its help there. In the 17th century, New York governor Richard Nicolls used bulldogs to grab untethered bulls long enough for ropes to be put around their necks. Bill George, a dog dealer, began to advertise them as pets.
Crossing with Pugs
Eventually, the old English bulldog was crossed with the Pug, for a wide, short dog with a large skull. Today's English bulldog is in fact not a working dog as its original incarnation was, given that breed changes have made it impossible for dogs to run to any great extent, or to grip bulls' muzzles.
Today, the English bulldog is the official mascot for the United States Marine Corps, with many bases keeping actual English bulldogs on base as mascots. In addition, 39 universities in the United States also use the English bulldog as their mascot.
Temperament and Appearance
The typical English bulldog, with his massive head, Pug nose and flat face with jowls may look fierce, but he's anything but. This gentle-tempered, medium-sized dog is short, wide-set and very stocky, usually weighing between 45 to 60 pounds at adulthood. Although the original "baiting" bulldogs were indeed bred to have a fierce temperament, breeders since then have worked very hard to get rid of this characteristic, especially since it's no longer needed; bulldogs can no longer function as bullbaiters even if this practice were still in use because of their cross-breeding with Pugs, resulting in short, pushed-in snouts and often pronounced underbites.
Today, the perfect bulldog has, according to the American Kennel Club, a disposition that is "equable and kind, resolute and gracious… and demeanor should be pacific and dignified," and further, that, "These attributes should be countenanced by the expression and behavior."
In general, English bulldogs are very happy in families, gentle with children, affectionate, and dependable. Although it's not specifically bred as a guard dog, the English bulldog is very courageous and tenacious, and will protect those it loves. It's no mistake to say that the bulldog is "bullheaded," because of its tenacity and determination to be with those it loves.
However, this stubbornness and fierceness is secondary to its nature: as long as you provide the English bulldog with plenty of guidance and direction, this gentle, affectionate pet wants nothing more than to please and be loved. Properly socialized, English bulldogs truly are "gentleman" (or "gentle lady") pets – polite and dignified to everyone they meet.
Bulldogs don't need a lot of exercise beyond their daily walk, which they must have both for physical activity purposes and to fulfill their need to migrate as canines. However, they are naturally very inactive when they're indoors, and they can overheat easily. They do very well with apartment living because they're quite inactive, but they do need a lot of human attention and boundaries. If you don't establish boundaries with the English bulldog and establish yourself as the clear leader, English bulldogs can inappropriately dominate or become aggressive. They need to see you as the leader, and can get in trouble or express unwanted guarding behaviors (such as becoming territorial over certain spots in the house, for example) if you don't.
A well-socialized dog, however, can live just about anywhere. They don't need a yard. These patient, gentle, and even-tempered dogs do very well even with young children as long as they know you're the leader. They become beloved members of the family or faithful companions for solitary folks equally well.
Unfortunately, the English bulldog does come with its share of health problems, and as a result, it also has a relatively short lifespan, living between six and twelve years, with the average being eight.
Because of their short, pushed-in snouts, they can be prone to breathing problems. Many dogs also develop cardiac problems as they get older. They often snore or are very heavy breathers when they sleep, and will not be particularly active once they get older. Although they are very energetic as young dogs to the point of being rambunctious, by about the age of six they will begin to experience some of the problems of middle age and aging, and will slow down considerably. Although it's important to exercise your pet on a regular basis with daily walks, you should take care not to overexert your pet during exercise, either. Moderate exercise is best.
These dogs are so prone to becoming overheated that they may even die if you're not careful. This is common for brachycephalic or short-nosed breeds like the English bulldog. They absolutely must have plenty of shade and water, and they have to be out of direct heat. English bulldogs sweat through their feet; one of the things you can do to keep your pet cool is to let him or her sleep on a cool floor. Air conditioning and ventilation are also important to your pet's health in hot weather. Be careful; the English bulldog, for all of its sturdy appearance, it is quite delicate.
Notably, English bulldogs are also sensitive to extreme cold, such that they should live in moderate temperatures. Take care to protect your pet from both extreme heat and extreme cold.These dogs usually also have very poor eyesight, and may have trouble breathing specifically because they have small windpipes. Puppies are usually delivered by caesarean section specifically because of their large heads.
Are there any conditions where the English bulldog is not suitable as a pet?
Gentle, dignified and easygoing, the English bulldog is a suitable pet for just about anyone as long as you have the proper time and attention – and guidance – to give. These dogs may dominate and become aggressive if not given enough guidance, but if they are given gentle boundaries, they want only to please. However, you should plan to spend plenty of time with your pet if you are going to get an English bulldog. They crave attention and companionship, such that you should not leave them alone for long periods of time. If you can't give them the attention and care that they need, you should probably get a breed that doesn't mind spending time alone.
Although English bulldogs do have short, easy-to-care-for coats and usually only require brushing weekly (rarely if ever is bathing required), they do have a few unique characteristics that require attention. Their deep skin folds require daily cleaning with a damp cloth, then drying, because moisture can accumulate in the folds and cause infection.
Upcoming future changes in the breed
In part because of the health problems that exist in the current breed, the Kennel Club in the UK has revised breed standards for the British bulldog (aka the English bulldog) as of 2009, to address problems with breathing and respiration. Future breed characteristics will include a smaller head, longer nose, and a posture that is both taller and thinner, for improved breathing. Future dogs will also likely have fewer skin folds.
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