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English Bulldog Basic Information

Recognized By: AKC, CanKC, CKC, UKC, KCUK, FCI, AFDSB
Country of Origin: Great Britain
Life Expectancy: 10 yrs
Height Range: 12 - 15 in
Weight Range: 50 - 60 lbs
Colors: White; Fawn; Red; Red Brindle; Any above with White markings; Piebald (predominantly white)
Trainability: Medium. Very attentive, but would rather learn what English Bulldogs can get away with.
With Children: Excellent. Loves to play but not demanding.
With Other Animals: Good except at feeding time.
Climate: Suffers in heat
Indoor or Outdoor: Predominantly Indoor
Exercise Required: Low. Lazy.
Grooming Required: Generally low, but requires ear, wrinkle, and dental care.

One of the most distinctive breeds in appearance, the English Bulldog has changed dramatically over the years. Originally the English Bulldog was bred for bull- and bear-baiting, English Bulldogs origins have defined much of English Bulldogs appearance. English Bulldogs strong jaws and short muzzle were perfect for hanging tenaciously onto a bull, and English Bulldogs front-heavy weight distribution and short back made it difficult for the bull to shake them. Although today's Bulldog retains many of those physical characteristics, the personality of the modern Bulldog is completely different. English Bulldogs are loving, gentle dogs who live for human attention but demand very little. English Bulldogs love to play, but rarely initiate it. English Bulldogs docile, tolerant, and attentive nature makes them excellent with children, although older Bulldog puppies can be a little too playfully strong and clumsy for toddlers. As adults, English Bulldogs are more careful and passive about play, but English Bulldogs never completely grow up.

It is a widely-held misconception that English Bulldogs are not very intelligent. In general, English Bulldogs are actually highly intelligent dogs who want to play, cuddle, or have their fat little tummies rubbed, rather than learn some obedience trick. However, if you can keep it fun, English Bulldogs can learn the basic commands. English Bulldogs true intelligence, though, is more subtle. English Bulldogs are masters at figuring things out... most especially figuring out how to get their way. In fact, English Bulldogs often think 'no' means 'wait until I'm not looking;' English Bulldogs are great at making you think they can't reach the table, or the bed... until you're not looking; and if all else fails, English Bulldogs are masters of the guilt trip. English Bulldogs seem to know that the sad, pouted face and the carefully-placed sigh can get them most anything. English Bulldogs truly have a human-like quality, and their feelings are easily hurt. But English Bulldogs are quick to forgive, especially with a treat and a hug!

The Bulldog is not a demanding breed by nature, but Bulldogs do require a family to have a strong knowledge of the English Bulldog breed and its healthcare requirements. If you aren't willing to commit to possible vet visits, then a Bulldog isn't for you. The breed is essentially man-made, and English Bulldogs have been bred for specific physical traits. Unlike most breeds, where nature has shaped their physical characteristics to fit their function and their environment, English Bulldogs aren't built for thriving in any natural environment. So before welcoming a Bulldog into your home, the first step is to become knowledgeable about the breed, and the second step is to find a vet that is experienced with English Bulldogs. That is not to say that English Bulldogs can't be healthy... English Bulldogs simply rely on you to keep them healthy, and to care for them in general.

One critical note: Anesthetizing any dog has its risks, but with Bulldogs, it is very serious. Because of English Bulldogs unusual airways and difficulty breathing, the muscle relaxation that comes with anesthesia can easily cause English Bulldogs airway to collapse. Sadly, many Bullies have been lost in simple, non-emergency procedures that involved anesthesia. That is but one reason for finding a vet that is very experienced with the breed. It is also a reason that breeding is undertaken by only the most knowledgeable, experienced, and committed families... over 90 percent of litters are born via Caesarian section, and care of the newborn puppies is extremely difficult.

Overall, the English Bulldog can be a wonderful addition to your family, if you are willing to commit the time to learn about the Bulldog breed and provide the proper health care. Equally importantly, English Bulldogs need your time, companionship, and love. In return, you will get unconditional affection (except for the occasional pouting) and a delightful, often comical friend. Quote from the Bulldog Mind: 'I'm not a dog, I'm a Person!... only shorter.'

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