The British Bulldog

  • By: Mick Whitefield
  • Time to read: 3 min.

This short squat but muscular framed dog originates from England, originally used for an ancient so called sport known as bull baiting.

Short in height at just 12 to 15 inches (30 to 38cm’s) with a broad head, stubby nose over a wide mouth and floppy ears over wide jaws on a thick neck. Wide shoulders through a muscular frame to slim rear hips with a short tail, straight or screwed.

A heavyweight dog coming in at 40 to 50lbs or 18 to 23kgs.

The coat is short haired and generally wrinkled. It can be Solid White, Red, Fawn, or a mixture of these, and then there is Brindle.

British Bulldo And Pup
British Bulldog with her Pup

Origin: ~ England.
Bred for: ~ Bull baiting.
Coat: ~ Smooth, short.
Colour: ~ Brindle. Solid White, Red, Fawn any combination of these.
Height: ~ 12 to 15 inches or 30 to 38cms.
Weight: ~ 40 to 50lbs or 18 to 23kgs.
AKC Group – Non-Sporting Group.

History of The British Bulldog

A 13th Century “sport” known as “Bull Bating” and also possibly “Bear Baiting”, placed the dog in an enclosure where the dog or dogs maddened the Bull or Bear. With the Bull (usually a small one) tied to a stake.

Prior to the event starting, the bull’s nose was blown full of pepper as an act of enraging the animal before the baiting. A variant of this was “pinning the bull”, for which the Old British Bulldog (a predeceasing breed now extinct) was specially-trained. The dogs would set upon the bull one at a time and a successful attack was won when the winning dog fastened his teeth into the bull’s snout.

Old English Bulldog Long Nose
Old British Bulldogs were larger than the current British Bulldog

The belief was that the meat of the bull would taste better if it was baited first and of course some people found this sport exciting and would place bets on how long the fight would last before the bull was finished off by the butcher. This sport was outlawed by Parliament in 1835 under the Animal Cruelty Act.

The breed however remained popular to stand as a symbol of England and what it meant to be English – Steadfast, Amiable, Formidable and Determined.

Character and Health of the British Bulldgog

Despite their history Bulldogs are considered to be mild mannered, amiable and even comical characters who can be stubborn when not wishing to participate in training. Generally they are quite a docile dog. Here at Top Lap Dogs we consider them as a Lap Dog but you need a strong lap to sit them on as they are definitely on the heavy side.

Bulldogs need exercise but not marathon walks. Hot weather conditions can be difficult for them but do not attempt to cool them off in the lake as they cannot swim.

British Bulldog 450
Bulldogs are Mild Brachycephalic

They are considered to be a mild brachycephalic breed which can cause breathing problems and all the other associated problems with this condition, dry eyes and eyelid problems are common but not major concerns if dealt with by the vet. Hip dysplasia for older dogs can be a concern as can shoulder luxation.

They have a lifespan of about 10 to 12 years.

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