English bulldog

Origin of the English Bulldog

As its name indicates, the English Bulldog comes from the United Kingdom. His ancestor is the Old Bulldog, a now extinct breed of dog used in the past for fighting against bulls.

According to collected data, there are records of this breed being cited in the 16th century. Precisely the records detail that this term was cited in a letter in which "two good Bulldogs" were requested. The term Bulldog derives from the main function that formerly had the dogs that were called thus, related to the guard, the fight against bulls and the control and herding of livestock.

There are those who believe that the term Bulldog was used for those who were considered butcher dogs or dogs that made bulls and cows run so that their meat is not so tough. Others say that this term is a deformation of what in another language meant a hardened dog, "Band dog."

As with all Molossians, many claim that the Bulldog's ancestor is the Tibetan Mastiff that spread throughout the world thanks to the Phoenicians and that upon landing in England and crossing with breeds of the region gave rise to the Old Bulldog who gave way to the English Bulldog.

Many theories revolve around the Old Bulldog, but none can be confirmed. Some say they are descended from English Mastiff, others from the Bullenbeisser and, therefore, the defenders of these theories also affirm that the Bulldog is a descendant of the dog Alano. Other theories maintain that the Bulldog is related to the "Old African dog" or Maltese bulldog, who affirm this say that this breed was imported to England, and by crossing with various mastiffs, they made possible the emergence of the English Bulldog.

The Old Bulldog had different physical characteristics to the current one (greater speed, a much more athletic physique, less weight and even greater height), it could be said that it was more similar to the current one Boxer than its predecessor. It is the now extinct Bulldog who gave rise to various breeds such as the Bull terrier, he BullMastiff and the Beagle, to name the most famous ones that have traces of their DNA.

According to the records that are kept, in addition to fighting bulls, they have been made to fight against bears, tigers and lions, which allows us to imagine the strength and fighting capacity they had.

One of the reasons why the Bulldog that we know today has almost nothing to do with the old one, is that it has been modified with crosses with other smaller breeds such as the famous Pug. This change was the product of the “new tasks” of the English Bulldog, who is no longer bred to fight bulls or other large animals but only as a companion dog.

Images of English Bulldogs

Character and personality of the breed

He has the ideal personality to be a family pet, he is funny, attentive, docile, patient, sensitive, playful, brave and loyal. They have special affection for children with whom they can play for hours with great patience. They are dogs that need the family, are committed to it and give themselves completely, so they suffer if they are left alone for a long time.

The only "buts" this breed has are its tendency to be possessive, its stubbornness (depending on the specimen, it can become excessive) and its ferocity when angry. Do not forget that they are descended from a breed that fought against bulls and other beasts of that size, so the English Bulldog can be a very brave and destructive dog if he gets angry.

It is necessary to educate them well from an early age so that their ferocity is not a problem for the family, or for other pets, because some English Bulldogs do not tolerate other dogs well, especially if they are of the same sex.

They usually have a very calm character, it is likely that, especially if they are older, spend most of the time in the armchair at home. We are also talking about a brachiocephalic breed, so it does not tolerate continuous exercise well.

Physical characteristics

The first thing that catches the attention of this breed is its head, large compared to its body, with an abundant dewlap. Its face is short, with a wide and enormous muzzle that slopes upwards. Their eyes are dark in color, almost black, of medium size and well separated from each other. Their ears are rose-shaped, small in size and set high. His neck is short, wide, with a lot of dewlap, but not for that strong.

His body is compact, wide and stocky. Their limbs are short but compact, strong and muscular. Its tail is rounded, thick at the base and finer towards the tip, set low and rather short in size.

His coat is short, shiny and fine. It can present a wide variety of colors, white being very common in combinations. His skin is quite loose and hanging, with various wrinkles, double chin, and folds on his face.

Although there is no official standard for the size of the breed, its height at the withers usually varies between 30 and 40 centimeters. Their weight in the case of females ranges between 17 kg and 23 kg, and in the case of males, between 23 kg and 26 kg. Their life expectancy is rather short, varying between 8 and 10 years.

Health and possible diseases

This breed suffers from various health problems, almost all of them caused by its "flat face" or brachycephalic skull. We will explain it below:

Brachycephalic syndrome

As we said, this breed is one of those considered brachiocephalic, meaning that the flat shape of its face causes both its nostrils and its windpipe to be narrower than normal. It is normal for these dogs to make noise when breathing, but if this is too annoying or you notice that it is agitated very easily, you should take it to a veterinarian. This makes them very prone to heat stroke and excessive exercise.

To reduce this problem, the dog can be surgically intervened, eliminating the nasal tissue so that the air has more space to pass. Recent studies have discovered that the digestive problems of this breed (gastric torsion, reflux, excessive intestinal gasification, etc.) are the product of this same respiratory problem.

Obesity

The English Bulldog is one of the breeds most prone to obesity or overweight. This is a problem in itself, and also causes or increases many other risk factors for the breed's health. We must monitor our dog's weight every month and try not to give it any treats or food for humans. Many times the attachment, their sympathy and their great charisma makes us want to “pamper” them more, but we must be aware of the problems that this could cause.

Split or cleft palate

It is an abnormal communication between the oral cavity and the nasal cavity. The lip and premaxilla of the animal do not close completely. This can lead to breathing problems. It can be solved in some cases by surgery, although this is complex.

Gastric torsion

The dog's stomach becomes excessively dilated, causing this organ to twist on its axis. The consequence of this is that the connections with the esophagus and the intestine are obstructed and the blood stream is affected, making it impossible to properly oxygen some organs and causing damage, sometimes irreversible and even causing the death of the animal if it is not treated. on time.

Dermatitis

It is a chronic disease in the skin of dogs that causes from inflammation to hypersensitivity due to allergies. Dogs that suffer from it are constantly scratching, causing many injuries in the long run. It usually occurs in young dogs.

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Hip dysplasia

It is developed in most cases by a hereditary malformation. When this problem appears, what happens is a displacement of the hip that tends to cause intense pain and lameness in the animal. Dogs that are affected by this disease tend to have difficulty performing common activities such as walking, running, jumping, climbing a ladder, and even lying down or sitting down. In more advanced cases or those that have not been treated, dysplasia can completely incapacitate the animal.

Entropion

It is a curl of the eyelid on the inside, towards the cornea. It is not an overly worrisome problem, but it is very painful. On occasion, surgical intervention may be necessary for the treatment of this condition.

Ectropion

It occurs when the edge of one of the eyelids (usually the lower one) folds in the opposite direction to the surface of the eye. In this case, there is no contact with the surface of the cornea.

Cleanliness

The French Bulldog loses hair quite frequently, so it will be necessary to brush him about 3 times a week. It is also very important to clean the wrinkles that form on your face and neck with the same frequency. Otherwise, it is a fairly clean breed, whose only problem is excessive drooling.

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Recommended exercise

For our English Bulldog to be in perfect physical and mental health it will be necessary 2 daily walks at a leisurely pace, avoiding exposing him in the hours when the sun is strongest.

As we said above, this breed is brachiocephalic, which makes it difficult for them to breathe. Due to this, we must prevent our dog from becoming agitated, so it should not be subjected to long or demanding exercises. It is for this same reason that high heat and drastic changes in temperature affect our dog, which is why it is not suitable for life in the garden.

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Food and recommended diet

It is extremely important to pay attention to the diet of your English Bulldog, since they tend to obesity very often. Taking into account that heat greatly affects the health of these dogs, being overweight is very harmful for them. For this reason we recommend 2 meals a day, of good quality dry feed.

Another detail to take into account is that their flat snout makes it difficult for them to eat, since most dishes of dog food are too deep for them. For this reason, we recommend buying a flatter plate and, if possible, non-slip.

Finally, it is very important that our friend always has fresh water available, since dehydration is a very frequent problem in this breed that drools a lot and does not tolerate heat.

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