A guide to English Bulldogs
Are you a fan of the infamous British Bulldog? If you want to know more about this popular breed then read on to find out all about what Bulldogs are bred for, their history and what sort of owners they suit….
Breed group: Utility/Non-sporting
The term ‘utility’ when it comes to dogs simply means ‘fitness for purpose’. This miscellaneous group of pups will likely be some of the oldest on record and would’ve have been bred for specific purposes – outside of working – which are now irrelevant.
Ancestors of the modern Bulldogs, for example, were once used for bull-baiting; their short stocky build and strong jaws made them perfect for just such a task. However, with no place in the modern world, these dogs more often than not live a comfortable life as a family pet. As this group covers such a broad spectrum there really is no unifying physical characteristics.
There’s a reason this breed is more commonly referred to as a Great British Bulldog or an English Bulldog and that’s because this is exactly where they originated from. The early ancestors of the breed were developed in the early 12th century when the Normans introduced bull-baiting to the British Isles and breeding between mastiff-types and short, stocky, powerful dogs yielded the specific animal that was needed – i.e. the Bulldog, the name officially acquired in 1630.
When the sport was outlawed in the 1850s the want for Bulldogs shifted to a more companion-style relationship and thus the modern Bulldog we see today began to become far more recognisable with a more easy-going, loving and friendly temperament. In the late 1800s, the UK Kennel Club officially recognised and registered the breed.
Their quiet yet confident demeanour and affectionate nature makes the good ol’ British Bulldog such a lovable national treasure.
At a glance, Bulldog’s are:
● Good natured
● Easy to please
● People pleasers
What are they bred for?
They were originally bred for their powerful jaws and stocky build to enable them to take part in bull-baiting, giving us the typical physical look of the Bulldog that we see today. However, once this as was outlawed in the mid-1800s, these cute pooches were selectively bred to maximise on their friendly, caring and mild tempered nature to make the perfect, docile house dog.
Despite their tough exterior you would honestly be hard-pressed to find a sweeter, more docile and loving dog. The modern Bulldog is a far cry from its early ancestors and these days their only purpose seems to be as a great companion and family pet.
What sort of owner would they suit?
More akin to languishing on the sofa than whizzing around the garden as if its life depended on it, the Bulldog would far prefer a less active household, with just a short daily walk rather than long hikes. That’s not to say they don’t have a fun-loving, playful nature – they love playing with both adults and kids and enjoy toys that keep their minds active.
Novice owners might not be the best fit due to their sometimes-stubborn nature but someone with enough patience and drive to train their pup will fare well. Despite their usual confidence, Bulldogs can be scared to be left alone for long periods of time so they’re better suited to parents who can check in on them at times during the day.