Bulldog is a muscular, heavy dog with a wrinkled nose and powerful jaws. It is an extremely popular dog in the UK. Around 500 years back, Bulldogs were bred for the purpose of bull baiting. In England, during the time of Queen Anne, bull-baiting was practiced in London, where the sport was for the dogs to immobilise the bull. Before the event started, the bull’s nose was blown full of pepper to enrage the animal before the baiting. Specially trained dogs would set upon the bull, with a successful attack resulting in the dog fastening his teeth strongly in the bull’s snout. Bulldogs were trained to seize the bull by its nose long enough for a rope to be secured round the bull’s neck. The bulldog was bred especially for this sport. Hence the resultant extraordinary jaw strength of the bulldog.

Early Bulldogs were heavier and taller with a bite so powerful enough that the bull tossing the dog in the air would not loosen the grip. Short, flat nose helps the Bulldog to continue breathing while holding on to the bull’s snout. They also developed a high tolerance to pain as a result of this barbaric sport. Nothing that you do can loosen a Bulldog’s fierce bite grip once it latches on to something. It was common for bulldogs to kill and maim several other dogs by goring tossing or trampling.

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Appearance

Bulldog has a wide head and shoulders with characteristic short stout legs. It has drooping lips, pointed teeth and muscular jaws. They can weigh 25-23 kg with a height range of 31-40 cm. Bulldogs cannot swim as they have a heavy head and short legs which makes it difficult for them to stay afloat.

Temperament

Bulldogs were originally an aggressive breed but Breeders have considerably modified them to tone down the aggressive streak. Training a bulldog appropriately to get attached with the family is quite important. Though they do not bark a lot but they can be a formidable watchdog due to its tenacious nature. Once on to attacking someone, it is difficult to make them let go.

Health

Bulldogs have very small nasal capacities leading to breathing difficulties leading to problems in controlling their body temperature.  Their breathing difficulties may also lead to irritated loud snoring. Thus Bulldogs should be provided plenty of shade and water. Your Bulldog will love sitting in the AC.

The leading cause of death of bulldogs is cardiac (20%), cancer (18%) and old age (9%). A Bulldog should be made to exercise a lot as they can easily become overweight which can lead to life threatening diseases as above. Other diseases that Bulldogs are prone to are Hip dysplasia, Patellar luxation, Interdigital cysts, gastric torsion, cherry eyes etc.

Lifespan

A Bulldog has a comparatively short lifespan of 8-10 years. They mature by 2 to 2.5 years of age but start showing signs of aging by 5 to 6 years of age.

Pros:

  1. True to the purpose for which they were bred, Bulldog can be a formidable guard dog. They do not readily trust a stranger and are powerful enough to attack. Criminals are quite scared of a Bulldog as an angry Bulldog can be quite deadly.
  2. Bulldogs do not bark much and hence are great apartment dogs. They are quite lazy and do not require too much exercise compared to other dog breeds like a German Shepherd, Doberman or a Labrador.
  3. Bulldogs are child friendly. They are great around children and are quite affectionate. Bulldogs love the companionship of humans.
  4. Bulldogs don’t shed heavily apart from spring or fall. Regular brushing is required during the shedding period.

Cons:

  1. Bulldogs have quite a short lifespan and cannot tolerate heat and humidity. They need to be kept indoors most of the time and in air conditioned environment for tropical countries. Bulldogs are known to die due to excessive heat if their body temperature is not sufficiently controlled.
  2. Bulldog faces a lot of breathing issues due to a narrow breathing track leading to irritable behaviour like snoring while sleeping. They are also prone to flatulence.
  3. Bulldog can be expensive to buy and maintain. Due to a wide head, most bulldog puppies are born by a caesarean operation racking up the costs. They are greedy eaters and can quickly become overweight. Read how much you should feed your dog here. Treatment due to any health issues can also incur decent costs.
  4. Bulldogs are relatively difficult to train as compared to other dog breeds like German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Labrador etc. Their tenacious and stubborn nature is a great asset in a guard dog but can be a liability while training them.

Bulldogs are the best apartment guard dogs. They are small, don’t shed a lot, bark very less, don’t need too much exercise but are formidable fighters.

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