The English Bulldog as it is known today is very different from the original breed. The original English Bulldog was used as a working dog and, as its name suggests, it worked with bulls. That breed, now called Old English Bulldog, is extinct and it has been replaced with the non-working English Bulldog of today, which was bred with pugs to achieve a more extreme look, but it was also accompanied by many health problems not seen in the original dogs.
Scientific & Common Names
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Mammalia
Order - Carnivora
Family - Canidae
Genus – Canis
Species – Canis lupus
Subspecies - Canis lupus familiaris
Common Names – English bulldog, British bulldog, bulldog
Bulldogs are solidly built and low to the ground, with a large, heavy skull and short legs. Their most prominent feature is their short, squashed snout and their many layers of skin folds. Bulldogs have wide set eyes set above a prominent ridge of skin over their black noses. They can be nearly any color normally found in dogs, with fawn and brindle, often mixed with white, being dominant. They average around 50 pounds and they are being bred shorter and shorter for competitions.
There is a great deal of pressure to over breed bulldogs, and puppy mills and other damaging breeding programs have developed as a result. Females must often be artificially inseminated and pregnancies can be dangerous for them. Puppies are often delivered via cesarean-section due the female's inability to safely give natural birth, although there is some evidence that cesareans are over-used out of fear from the animal's large heads creating problems during birth.
They can be bull-headed, true to their name, but they are extremely loving and loyal. While they are brave and will protect what is theirs - especially their family - they are not any real threat and rely on their tenacity and weight for defense. They are both heat and cold sensitive and are not able to stand much physical activity, making them more appropriate for apartment living than their appearance would suggest.
The original English bulldog was believed to be descended from an Asiatic mastiff and was a ferocious fighter used to bait bulls until the practice was outlawed in the 19th century. With no bull fighting, the breed was abandoned as a working dog and it was later bred with pugs to achieve the look that is known today.
They are a popular domesticated breed and they are in no danger of disappearing as the original Old English breed did. However, unless the health of the breed improves, they will continue to live short lives filled with breathing difficulties as well as many other ailments.
English Bulldog: Your Guide to Owning and Caring for an English Bulldog by Cynthia Lynden
Bulldogs (Barron's Dog Bibles) by Phil Maggitti
The Bulldog: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow by John F. McGibbon
The Bulldog (Paperback) by Mr. John Williams