The English Bulldog is iconic for its wide-set frame, muscular physic and compact stubby legs. The body is stocky and dense and the head is large and wide. A hallmark of the breed is the folds of skin that form around the face and forehead of the animal, together with the drooping cheeks that extend from each eye.
A direct decedent of the ancient Mastiff breeds and thought to have been mixed with Old English Terrier types, the Bulldog was developed entirely in England. The breed was first noted in the 1500s in the description of a man who had ‘two Bolddogges by his side’. They were bred with the purpose of bull baiting in mind. This required the animal be both strong and tenacious with vicious fighting spirit.
The modern English Bulldog is worlds apart from the fighting dog it was originally. The English Bulldog we all know today has been selectively bred over a few hundred years to serve as a companion animal. Although to some the Bulldog can appear intimidating, the breed has developed a great reputation for gentle play with children and tolerance for other household pets.
Their loyal and steadfast determination remains from their bull baiting days, however, and good training from a young age, paired with firm and consistent discipline is a must when owning an English Bulldog. They are predominantly house bound pets and require a good walk at least once a day.
The English Bulldog has fast become a popular family pet and their gentle but protective nature means that they are very personable and loyal family members. The breed requires a great deal of human contact and will show high levels of affection to their owners. If provoked or threatened by a stranger, the English Bulldog will bravely stand its ground and protect loved ones with determination.
The average English Bulldog will grow to between 31 and 40 tall and should weigh in the vicinity of 23 to 25 kgs. A healthy and happy English Bulldog will live to between the age of 7 to 10 years.
Personality and Temperament
The British Bulldog is a very persistent yet even-tempered and gentle breed of domesticated dog. The intimidating appearance and the breed’s history is misleading as the English Bulldog has gone through many years of selective breeding to encourage the fine qualities the modern dog now has.
English Bulldogs are very people-orientated and crave human attention at all times. The breed is highly affectionate and especially good with children, protective and enthusiastic. Because the British Bulldog requires so much attention it is best suited to a family environment where there will be some contact throughout the day. Separation anxiety is common in the breed if they are left alone for an extended period of time.
Because the British Bulldog is a stubborn and persistent animal, training can be a chore but only if the owner doesn’t commit to a regime with patience and consistency. Commencing training when the Bulldog is a puppy is a must and establishing a pecking order early is essential for good behaviour to follow. British Bulldogs are very loyal animals and are keen to please their owners. Firm and consistent discipline is important when establishing the position of the pack leader; respect will only follow if the owner remains dominant.
British Bulldogs are not overly energetic but are enthusiastic at play time and should be exercised thoroughly at least once a day. They are best suited to living indoors as they can feel the heat, especially in an Australian summer.