The English Bulldog

A Symbol of Courage and Tenacity

English Bulldoog picture

Breed History:

The Bulldog was developed in England around the 13th century from the ferocious Alaunt, a powerful vicious dog whose Molossian ancestors were brought to Britain by Phoenician traders around the 6th century BCE. Bull baiting was a popular sport since the Roman days, and most towns had a bull ring. It was a very cruel contest in which the dog had to grab the bull by an ear, the lips or nose, and hold on until it brought the animal to the ground. The powerful short, undershot jaw and laid back nose of this British Bulldog, were particularly advantageous, as it could still breathe while holding on. This action required unbelievable courage, powerful jaws, tenacity and a very high pain threshold. Finally, bull baiting became banned in 1835. However, just at that time, dog fighting was becoming the number one sport. A longer jaw was considered necessary for fighting, so the breed was crossed to terriers.
Male Weight:  50 lb. (22.7 kg).
Female Weight:  40 lb. (18.2 kg).
Height:  12-15 in. (30.5-38 cm) at withers.
Function:  Companion.
Affection:  Very affectionate.
Towards other pets:  Usually good.
Towards other dogs:  Generally not good.
Watchdog:  Good.
Protection:  Can be effective.
Grooming:  Minimal brushing.
Other Names:  English Bulldog; British Bulldog.
Life Expectancy:  8 - 10 years.

Additional Information:

The future of this purebred British Bulldog was thus in doubt. Fanciers however, were determined to save it. Viciousness was eliminated by selective breeding, and within a few generations, a more gentle Bulldog evolved. Its popularity grew, but for domestic reasons this time. A breed club was formed with the motto, "Hold Fast". The English Bulldog club became one of the first to be recognized when the Kennel Club was founded in 1873. For many, it is still known as the British Bulldog, English Bulldog or Old English Bulldog. Nowadays, it is usually referred to as simply, the Bulldog. This sometimes leads to confusion, because there is an American Bulldog breed, and of course, the French Bulldog.


The breed is today, one of the most popular breeds in North America. It retains all the admirable traits of courage and tenacity. The English Bulldog is a gentle, very affectionate, kind dog, excellent with children. It is not vicious, or aggressive at all, except in some cases towards strange dogs. They are not a high energy dog, but are very playful, and clownish, despite its "Sourmug" expression. There is a question about whether or not a Bulldog can swim. The answer is "Yes" some Bulldogs can swim, but the consensus is that most Bulldogs cannot swim. Therefore, bulldog owners should take care to properly fence off swimming pools, and keep their Bulldogs away from deep ponds and rivers. Why take a chance? If you go boating with your Bulldog, it is wise to keep him in a flotation device designed for him, at all times. That is good advice for any dogs who go boating. Any size home will do, as long as it can enjoy the close company of its family. The English Bulldog is not a noisy breed, but will bark if it detects a stranger. Note, they often snore when sleeping. Some drool. Early lead training for an English Bulldog puppy is recommended. It should be noted that this breed does not tolerate heat nor cold climates well. Running or jogging great distances is not a good idea for this breed. The facial and tail area folds of its skin, should be kept dry daily, to avoid skin fold dermatitis. Because of its enormous head, the bulldog usually needs to deliver its puppies by Caesarean section, wherein lies a potential danger. It is known to be sensitive to anesthetics.

Finding Other Breeders:

Do you want information on the English Bulldog breed, and Bulldog breeders, who have English Bulldog puppies for sale?  See the Bulldog breeders. If there are no nearby English Bulldog breeders, see the Canadian club, English Bulldog rescue. See also, the American club, English Bulldog rescue, for other Bulldog breeders.

Health Issues:

The Bulldog sometimes has serious health problems, from ventral septal defect, hip dysplasia (CHD), dry eye (KCS), elongated soft palate, to shoulder luxation (the shoulder dislocates). Minor concerns include entropion (eye problem), ectropion (eye problem), distchiasis (improperly placed eyelashes), canine hip dysplasia (CHD), cherry eye, and patellar luxation. Suggested tests are: hip, elbow, knee and eye. Hip X-rays show that most Bulldogs are dysplastic, but few exhibit visible symptoms.