Traditionally recognized as 'the British breed' and renowned for the
bulldog spirit and strength and is often referred to as the Churchill
dog as it was used to portray the courage and spirit of England during
the second world war.
It goes back in history in early literature in the
13th century there are mentions of the forerunners of this breed and is
best known for being used for bull and bear baiting, its stance giving
the weight and power, its wrinkled face supposed to protect their vision
from blood........However these barbaric practices were outlawed and the
bulldog became bred for his companionship, loyalty.
In 1875 the oldest bulldog club was formed 'the Bulldog Club
Incorperated and it is still the foremost club today,with approximately
20 more clubs throughout the country, serious breeders and exhibitors in
the show world work for the love and protection of the breed, improving
the health problems associated with the breed.
The character of bulldogs
Bulldogs are quite stubborn, extremely faithful to their owners look
quite fierce and when called upon to protect their loved ones,would act
accordingly. They are not great barkers and are happy just to be near
their beloved owners, they can be lazy and are content to be couch
potatoes if you let them but to maintain good health, muscle tone and
short nails regular exercise on hard surface (pavements)is recommended.
They will live happily with other animals but need to be young when
introduced to live in harmony, they are possessive over toys, treats and
food and even their favorite person.
Bulldogs love children make a good family pet known for an affinity with
them, but in this I feel its important for the bulldog to be reared with
the children from a pup ,and care taken to protect the pup from too much
attention and a peaceful haven provided for dog to retreat too. As they
are a powerful dog it is important your children respect this addition
to the family. My own bulldogs live happily with each other, two veteran
cats and visiting toddlers!
Problems associated with the breeds
Hot weather is a danger to bulldogs,their faces are called
brachycephalic it means short faced which also means there are problems
breathing, they particularly struggle in the heat, traveling in hot cars
, sun bathing(which they are partial to) all can result in a dangerous
situation which has been known to cause death.
Immediate but slow
cooling down is needed to save an over heated bulldog.
can lack protective pigment and may suffer severe sunburn if allowed out
in the hottest part of the day, its safer to walk bulldogs in the early
morning and late in the evening during the summer.
One of the reasons bulldogs are expensive to buy is they are very
expensive to breed as unfortunately they often need a Caesarean section
to deliver their puppies,and although they are good mothers they are
also clumsy and a 24 hour per day vigil for the first three weeks by the
whelping box is necessary to avert the very real danger of the mother
overlaying the pups.
Unless you are at home all the time, breeding is
not an option with this breed and I feel it is not a novice breeders
best choice as rearing a litter properly is very time consuming and its
very important to get the feeding right. As they are a rapid growth
breed if they are not reared well they never achieve the bone, power and
stature that is characteristic of this wonderful breed.
The following are a list of other problems that breeders have tried to
eradicate but it must be mentioned at this point:
· Entropian this is
an eye condition, hereditary caused by eyelids inturning
· Heart murmurs: sometimes found in puppies and in various degrees of
· Skin problems: due to Hormones in bitches, and in some
· Allergies that can be helped by
feeding special diets ie:chicken and rice
· Some hip problems are in
the breed but there is no recommendation for the
scoring of bulldog
hips,as in some breeds.
Its worth mentioning here that bulldogs don't react well to anesthetics,
and it is very important you find and banestheticsd a bulldog
knowledgeable Veterinary Surgeon before entrusting your precious friend
for an operation.
Insuring is a wise precaution as any treatments are likely to be
So if you have bought your bulldog this is your daily care......
A quick rub down with a hound glove to remove that moulting and give
the coat a shine .
Washing with a damp cloth the wrinkles of the face,
putting a cream in them ( a nappy rash type ) or putting baby talc or
chalk in to dry them.
Wash under the tail if its tight fitting to the
body and cream this.. this is very important as this area if neglected
can cause so much pain to your dog it can completely change its
character. and in severe cases require the tail to be surgically removed.
A regular walk, good diet as recommended by your puppies breeder.
Finding your bulldog
If you want to buy a healthy puppy from a breeder who will support you
with problems as they arise whilst you are learning about the breed ,
look around for your local dog shows go and look at the dogs and speak
to the exhibitors, try not to buy from anyone who doesn't show you the
mother and make sure it is not a crossbred puppy.
Having said most of the downside reasons in bulldogs may I just say that
they are wonderful to live with, and once you have owned one you will be
totally captivated by the nature of these very special dogs.
Bulldog Breed Guide written by Vicky Collins Kezia
Here are some books about our breed