| Giving the impression of determination, strength and activity, the British Bulldog is indeed an imposing sight. Often viewed as a canine "freak", the bulldog is in fact quite an ancient breed whose peculiar characteristics were selected for over hundreds of years to produce a dog able to perform for its owners.
Developed for the so-called ‘sport’ of bull-baiting, he is a powerful, superbly muscled "fighting machine" of a dog with tremendous weight for his height, enormous chest and shoulders and massive head. Today this task for which the bulldog was bred is considered to be horrific and cruel. Its purpose was in the ‘sport’ of bull baiting, bear baiting and dog fighting, where the bulls and bears were tethered and the dogs would charge and take hold of the nose of the poor animal. These events were often held for the purpose of betting and not only were they horribly cruel events for the bulls and bears, but many dogs were maimed or killed.
The dogs were required to be courageous and tenacious but to exhibit absolutely no aggression towards humans as they had to be able to be handled, and even picked up by their owners, during dog fights and baiting.
These cruel events were all outlawed by the British Parliament in the late 19th century and for the past 100 years the Bulldog has been bred purely as a companion dog.
Today the bulldog is probably the most readily identifiable of all breeds, affectionately known as a "sour-mug" - his short muzzle, broad head, small ears, wrinkled face and broad chest are a legacy of his origins.
A Bulldog does best in a loving environment, free from fear and neglect & are happiest when they are with ‘their family’ and demand lots of attention. When left alone, Bulldogs, like most dogs, can be very destructive & may chew throughout their lifetimes. An obstinate streak has been inherited from his bull-baiting ancestors, but patient training will result in a willing response.
Requiring a moderate amount of exercise and capable of a surprising turn of speed, the Bulldog makes an ideal pet for families who are prepared to ensure that they can be kept cool, as their shortened nasal passages make them very sensitive to heat, needing careful management in warmer climates.
Although the Bulldog is not a breed inclined to bark unnecessarily, the Bulldog does make peculiar soft snuffling noises which Bulldog owners find endearing.
There are few breeds with such a delightful, loyal, kindly temperament as the Bulldog - self assured, dignified yet affectionate, patient, dependable and people loving, making them an excellent children's companion and household pet. Despite his dignified demeanour and good-natured patience and tractability, he nevertheless retains his legendary courage, making him a splendid watchdog.
A Bulldog should not be left unattended in your backyard, as not only is it dangerous to their wellbeing, but Bulldogs are often targeted for theft.