The Bulldog (often called the English Bulldog or British Bulldog )
is a medium-sized dog breed that originated in England.
The Bulldog is a relatively small but stocky breed, with a compact body and
short, sturdy limbs. Their shape results in a waddle-like gait. Bulldogs are
known for their short muzzles and the saggy skin on their faces, creating
the apparent "frown" that has become a trademark of the breed. Bulldogs
come in a variety of colours and ideally have a smooth, short coat. The size
for mature dogs is about 50 pounds (23 kg); for mature bitches about 40
pounds (18 kg). Though stout, the adult Bulldog measures only about
12-14 inches (30-36 cm) tall at the shoulder.
Contrary to classic cartoon parodies and nicknames of the breed, such
as 'Sour-Puss', that depicted the bulldog as ferocious and wearing a
spiked dog collar, the bulldog is not a vicious dog breed and gets along
well with humans, including children, and usually other dog breeds. The
reputation of being ferocious was true during the days of bullbaiting,
but the aggressive tendencies were bred out of them by the time of the
Second World War. Bulldogs are very friendly and playful, whilst also
being stubborn and protective.
Bulldogs tend to have breathing problems as their flat face restricts air;
because of this they should be closely monitored in hot weather as they
can suffer heat stroke easier than breeds with long noses. In addition,
many bulldogs also suffer breathing difficulties as a result of their palate
which can all too easily collapse into their airway. The collapsed palate
can be fixed easily with surgery, but if left untreated, it can yield trademark
breathing and snoring difficulties characteristic of the breed. They also have
problems swimming and can drown if left unattended near a pool. Other
common health problems include cherry eye, allergies, and (among older
bulldogs) hip problems and cataracts. Because of the large heads in proportion
to body size, baby bulldogs are usually delivered by Caesarean section as most
pups get stuck in the birth canal during natural birth. Bulldogs cannot swim,
due to their body structure.
The term "bulldog" was first used around 1500 and might have been applied
to various ancestors of modern bulldog breeds. In the 1600s, bulldogs were
used for bullbaiting, a wagering sport popular in the 17th century in which
trained bulldogs leapt at a bull lashed to a post, latched onto its snout and
attempted to suffocate it. The practice of bullbaiting was banned in England
After bullbaiting was banned, the breed began to die out (known as the Old
English Bulldog) until fans turned to conformation dog shows. The first show t
o have a class for bulldogs was in Birmingham. Just a few years later, in 1864,
a club was organized to enhance the breed. Unfortunately, this group never
picked a specific breed standard, and in 1891 the two top bulldogs, King Orry
and Dockleaf, were greatly different in appearance. King Orry was reminiscent
of the original bulldogs -- lighter boned and very athletic. Dockleaf was smaller
and heavier set -- more like modern bulldogs. Dockleaf was declared the winner
that year. Although some argued that the older version of the bulldog (known
as the Old English Bulldog) was more fit to perform, the modern version’s looks
won over the fans of the breed.
Recently, many people have tried to recreate a breed more akin to the original
bullbaiter. Examples of the trend are the Olde Englishe Bulldogge, Renaissance
bulldog, Victorian, Continental and Dorset Old Tyme bulldog.
Because of their tenacity, the bulldog is the symbol of Britain and is popular
as the mascot of universities, military institutions, and other organizations.
See List of Bulldog mascots for a partial listing.
Bulldogs in the Arts
- Hector the Bulldog, and Spike the Bulldog are animated cartoon characters
in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons.
- Marc Antony, an animated cartoon character in the Warner Bros. Looney
Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons.
- Spike, Tom's nemesis in the theatrical cartoon series Tom and Jerry.
Sometimes Spike had a puppy, his son Tyke. No mother bulldog was ever shown.
- Francis from Oliver & Company
- Bandit from Jonny Quest
- Carface from All Dogs Go to Heaven
- Angus from the 1997 Mr. Magoo movie
- Rambo from the 1987 movie Mannequin.
- Ma-Mutt from the 1980s cartoon series Thundercats.
- Ripper and many others belonging to Marjorie Dursley in Harry Potter.
- Frog from the TV series "MacGyver"
- Butch, Droopy's nemesis in the theatrical cartoon series "Droopy"
- Max, from Jake and the Fatman
- Raymond in Everybody Loves Raymond brings a stray bulldog named
- "Shamsky" in as a pet in Episode 19 ("The Dog").
- In "Where My Dogs At?" Woof is a bulldog.
- Atom, in the 1947, Tex Avery directed, theatrical Short, King-Size Canary.
- Earl in Rocko's Modern Life
- Granbull Snubull in Pokémon
- Meatball, late pet of Adam Sandler
- Beefy, from the Adam Sandler film, Little Nicky
"Do you know why the English Bulldog has a jutting chin and sloping face?
It is so he can breathe without letting go." - Sir Winston Churchill, to a
Nazi envoy, 1940
"I ask the enemy, who wants a piece of this Bulldog?" Commander Jim Pate,
Franco-Prussian War, 1871
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