If Winston Churchill saw Britain through its finest hour, these Churchill look-alikes might be Britain's finest breed. The Brits certainly think so: the Bulldog is England's national dog!
Bulldogs can require a lot of special attention — many have some fairly severe health issues. But as a wise prime minister once said, “the price of greatness is responsibility.” If you can commit to investing in this dog's health and well-being, you won't find a more affectionate, determined, devoted canine companion. And frankly, it's hard not to fall in love with that smooshy, wrinkly, jowly face and the silly snorts she makes.
Originally from England, this medium-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 40-50 pounds and lives an average of 8-12 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Non-Sporting group.
|Breed's original pastime||Companion|
|Average lifespan||8-10 years|
|Bark factor||Rarely barks, if ever|
|Family||Livestock dog, mountain dog|
|Date of origin||1200s|
|Original function||Bull baiting|
|Average size of male||Height: 12-15 Weight: 50|
|Average size of female||Height: 12-15 Weight: 40|
|Energy level||Low energy|
|Affection level||Very affectionate|
|Friendliness toward other dogs||Shy|
|Friendliness toward other pets||Very Friendly|
|Friendliness toward strangers||Friendly|
|Ease of training||Easy to train|
|Protection ability||Not very protective|
|Grooming needs||Low maintenance|
|Cold tolerance||Low tolerance|
|Heat tolerance||Low tolerance|
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A BULLDOG'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Nonsense. This dog is pure nonsense. They make strange sounds and silly faces, and have wonderful, clownish senses of humor. The breed's independence, confidence, and tenacity means this dog owns any room she walks into or any street she strolls down. She loves to be part of a family, and is often crazy about kids. Human strangers are just friends your Bulldog hasn't met yet, though they can be suspicious of other dogs.
WHAT IS BULLDOG BEHAVIOR LIKE?
Bulldogs are what canine power and determination look like. In fact, they were bred to be strong enough to bring bulls down (thus the name). Your Bulldog will need moderate exercise every day to keep her happy and healthy. Don't try to get them in the pool, though — this breed is definitely not built to swim. Their short coats don't provide much protection from the cold and they're very prone to overheating, so plan to play inside during the coldest and warmest months.
Bulldogs are not protective or particularly vigilant, nor are they very prone to barking. They make reliable and calm housedogs.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A BULLDOG?
When you bring up training, you might find that your bulldog is “always ready to learn, although [she] does not always like being taught.” Which is to say that Bulldogs can be a titch resistant to training. They're independent minded and can be slow or resistant to pick up new behaviors or tricks. But given the right motivation, they're willing to try and please you. Bulldogs learn best through gentle, consistent, reward-based methods. Learning tricks and obedience training will also keep their busy brains active.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO BULLDOGS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Their short single coats are smooth, glossy, and fine. Bulldogs need daily grooming because their folds and wrinkles need frequent cleaning — they tend to stay wet, which can lead to skin infections. But otherwise, this breed doesn't require much muss or fuss. Brush them about once a week. They are average, seasonal shedders.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO BULLDOGS HAVE?
There are many concerns about this breed's health. Their life spans are often short, and they're prone to congenital orthopedic and heart diseases. They also have a tendency toward pudginess, so be conscientious about feedings.
Feeding your baby Bulldog a growth food for large-breed puppies will slow their rate of growth but not diminish their adult stature, and may help prevent or reduce the impact of adult-onset hip dysplasia.