Animal stories: Bulldogs
Bulldogs are muscular and affectionate dogs with a sweet nature. One of the unique features of bulldogs is their soft and loose skin, mainly at the head, neck and shoulders. The head and face are covered with heavy wrinkles, and at the throat, from jaw to chest, there are two loose pendulous folds, forming the dewlap. Their coat is of fine texture and is short, flat, smooth and glossy. They have a wide chest and a short, powerful, compact body with the massive skull. The eyes are set low in the skull. The shoulders are wide, and the neck is short and thick.
They are family dogs that love children and can also get along with other pets if introduced to them at an early age. They are a bit too friendly to be a good guard dog but would defend a family member in need. They can be peaceful, pensive, silly and have a well developed sense of humour.
A bulldog usually weighs from 23-25 kg and is 31-36 cm tall at the shoulder.
Their smooth coat can be brindle (white with patches of brown, red or black), fawn (light brownish), or pied (with patches of two or more colours).
Bulldogs are stubborn and not easy to train but are very intelligent. They are also devoted and a bit of a clown. To train these dogs one should use consistency and firmness. They are very sensitive to the voice. If being screamed at during the training, they might choose to end the training session and curl up on the sofa to studiously ignore the trainer.
One must be very careful to avoid overfeeding with these breeds. Also, many dogs have skin problems and may need to be on special diets or take supplements.
A bulldog’s lifespan is usually 9-15 years.
Country of origin: England
Bulldogs were originally bred from huge mastiff-like dogs called Bullenbeisser to be a smaller dog in England. Bullenbeisser used to guard and attack wild animals in Assyria, Greece, Egypt and Rome. Bulldogs originated in England in the 1600’s to 1800’s. They were bred to bait (fight) bulls and bears. They were trained to pin a bull’s nose, throwing the larger animal to the ground. Bulldog’s weight is primarily in the head so that when the bull shook, the dog was less likely to have its back broken. In 1835, the baiting and dog fighting were outlawed in England. After that, people began selective breeding of these dogs to eliminate their more aggressive elements and establish a friendly family pet.
As they have heavy wrinkles, it should be cleaned regularly. The coat should be groomed with a rubber-grooming mitt to remove loose and dead hairs and the folds may need cleaning with a special lotion. If the dog has a recessed screw tail, care should be taken to keep the tail base from becoming moist as this will lead to bacterial infections. Cleaning of tearstains is also very necessary.