ALL ABOUT ENGLISH BULLDOGS
Known for their loose-jointed, shuffling gait and massive, short-faced head, the Bulldog is known to be equable, resolute and dignified. A medium-sized dog, they are not your typical lap dog, but would like to be! They are one of the most popular breeds according to AKCÂ® Registration Statistics due to their lovable and gentle dispositions and adorable wrinkles. The Bulldog may be brindle, white, red, fawn, fallow or piebald.
A LOOK BACK
Said to have originated in the British Isles, the name “bull” was applied because of the dog’s connection with bull baiting. The original bulldog had to be ferocious and courageous, and almost insensitive to pain. When dog fighting became illegal in England, fanciers set to the task of preserving the breed by eliminating the fierce characteristics. Within a few generations, the Bulldog became one of the finest physical specimens with an agreeable temperament.
RIGHT BREED FOR YOU?
Bulldogs are recognized as excellent family pets because of their tendency to form strong bonds with children. They tend to be gentle and protective. The breed requires minimal grooming and exercise. Their short nose makes them prone to overheating in warm weather, so make sure to provide a shady place to rest.
THE BULLDOG STANDARD
The perfect Bulldog must be of medium size and smooth coat; with heavy, thick-set, low-swung body, massive short-faced head, wide shoulders and sturdy limbs. The general appearance and attitude should suggest great stability, vigor and strength. The disposition should be equable and kind, resolute and courageous (not vicious or aggressive), and demeanor should be pacific and dignified. These attributes should be countenanced by the expression and behavior.
Size, Proportion, Symmetry, Size
The size for mature dogs is about 50 pounds; for mature bitches about 40 pounds. Proportion–The circumference of the skull in front of the ears should measure at least the height of the dog at the shoulders. Symmetry–The “points” should be well distributed and bear good relation one to the other, no feature being in such prominence from either excess or lack of quality that the animal appears deformed or ill-proportioned. Influence of Sex In comparison of specimens of different sex, due allowance should be made in favor of the bitches, which do not bear the characteristics of the breed to the same degree of perfection and grandeur as do the dogs.
Head, Eyes and Eyelids
The eyes, seen from the front, should be situated low down in the skull, as far from the ears as possible, and their corners should be in a straight line at right angles with the stop. They should be quite in front of the head, as wide apart as possible, provided their outer corners are within the outline of the cheeks when viewed from the front. They should be quite round in form, of moderate size, neither sunken nor bulging, and in color should be very dark. The lids should cover the white of the eyeball, when the dog is looking directly forward, and the lid should show no “haw.” Ears–The ears should be set high in the head, the front inner edge of each ear joining the outline of the skull at the top back corner of skull, so as to place them as wide apart, and as high, and as far from the eyes as possible. In size they should be small and thin. The shape termed “rose ear” is the most desirable. The rose ear folds inward at its back lower edge, the upper front edge curving over, outward and backward, showing part of the inside of the burr. (The ears should not be carried erect or prick-eared or buttoned and should never be cropped.) Skull–The skull should be very large, and in circumference, in front of the ears, should measure at least the height of the dog at the shoulders. Viewed from the front, it should appear very high from the corner of the lower jaw to the apex of the skull, and also very broad and square. Viewed at the side, the head should appear very high, and very short from the point of the nose to occiput. The forehead should be flat (not rounded or domed), neither too prominent nor overhanging the face. Cheeks–The cheeks should be well rounded, protruding sideways and outward beyond the eyes. Stop–The temples or frontal bones should be very well defined, broad, square and high, causing a hollow or groove between the eyes. This indentation, or stop, should be both broad and deep and extend up the middle of the forehead, dividing the head vertically, being traceable to the top of the skull. Face and Muzzle–The face, measured from the front of the cheekbone to the tip of the nose, should be extremely short, the muzzle being very short, broad, turned upward and very deep from the corner of the eye to the corner of the mouth. Nose–The nose should be large, broad and black, its tip set back deeply between the eyes. The distance from bottom of stop, between the eyes, to the tip of nose should be as short as possible and not exceed the length from the tip of nose to the edge of underlip. The nostrils should be wide, large and black, with a well-defined line between them. Any nose other than black is objectionable and a brown or liver-colored nose shall disqualify. Lips–The chops or “flews” should be thick, broad, pendant and very deep, completely overhanging the lower jaw at each side. They join the underlip in front and almost or quite cover the teeth, which should be scarcely noticeable when the mouth is closed. Bite–Jaws–The jaws should be massive, very broad, square and “undershot,” the lower jaw projecting considerably in front of the upper jaw and turning up. Teeth The teeth should be large and strong, with the canine teeth or tusks wide apart, and the six small teeth in front, between the canines, in an even, level row.
Neck, Topline, Body, Neck
The neck should be short, very thick, deep and strong and well arched at the back. Topline — There should be a slight fall in the back, close behind the shoulders (its lowest part), whence the spine should rise to the loins (the top of which should be higher than the top of the shoulders), thence curving again more suddenly to the tail, forming an arch (a very distinctive feature of the breed), termed “roach back” or, more correctly, “wheel-back.” Body–The brisket and body should be very capacious, with full sides, well-rounded ribs and very deep from the shoulders down to its lowest part, where it joins the chest. It should be well let down between the shoulders and forelegs, giving the dog a broad, low, short-legged appearance. Chest–The chest should be very broad, deep and full. Underline–The body should be well ribbed up behind with the belly tucked up and not rotund. Back and Loin–The back should be short and strong, very broad at the shoulders and comparatively narrow at the loins. Tail–The tail may be either straight or “screwed” (but never curved or curly), and in any case must be short, hung low, with decided downward carriage, thick root and fine tip. If straight, the tail should be cylindrical and of uniform taper. If “screwed,” the bends or kinks should be well defined, and they may be abrupt and even knotty, but no portion of the member should be elevated above the base or root.
The shoulders should be muscular, very heavy, widespread and slanting outward, giving stability and great power. Forelegs–The forelegs should be short, very stout, straight and muscular, set wide apart, with well developed calves, presenting a bowed outline, but the bones of the legs should not be curved or bandy, nor the feet brought too close together. Elbows–The elbows should be low and stand well out and loose from the body. Feet– The feet should be moderate in size, compact and firmly set. Toes compact, well split up, with high knuckles and very short stubby nails. The front feet may be straight or slightly out-turned.
The hind legs should be strong and muscular and longer than the forelegs, so as to elevate the loins above the shoulders. Hocks should be slightly bent and well let down, so as to give length and strength from the loins to hock. The lower leg should be short, straight and strong, with the stifles turned slightly outward and away from the body. The hocks are thereby made to approach each other, and the hind feet to turn outward. Feet–The feet should be moderate in size, compact and firmly set. Toes compact, well split up, with high knuckles and short stubby nails. The hind feet should be pointed well outward.
Coat and Skin
The coat should be straight, short, flat, close, of fine texture, smooth and glossy. (No fringe, feather or curl.) Skin–The skin should be soft and loose, especially at the head, neck and shoulders. Wrinkles and Dewlap–The head and face should be covered with heavy wrinkles, and at the throat, from jaw to chest, there should be two loose pendulous folds, forming the dewlap.
Color of Coat
The color of coat should be uniform, pure of its kind and brilliant. The various colors found in the breed are to be preferred in the following order: (1) red brindle, (2) all other brindles, (3) solid white, (4) solid red, fawn or fallow, (5) piebald, (6) inferior qualities of all the foregoing. Note: A perfect piebald is preferable to a muddy brindle or defective solid color. Solid black is very undesirable, but not so objectionable if occurring to a moderate degree in piebald patches. The brindles to be perfect should have a fine, even and equal distribution of the composite colors. In brindles and solid colors a small white patch on the chest is not considered detrimental. In piebalds the color patches should be well defined, of pure color and symmetrically distributed.
The style and carriage are peculiar, his gait being a loose-jointed, shuffling, sidewise motion, giving the characteristic “roll.” The action must, however, be unrestrained, free and vigorous.
The disposition should be equable and kind, resolute and courageous (not vicious or aggressive), and demeanor should be pacific and dignified. These attributes should be countenanced by the expression and behavior.
Bulldogs are special. Bulldogs are different. Those of us who have had Bulldogs for several years still remember our first Bulldog and how much we didn’t know about them.
That’s why the Board of Governors or the Bulldog Club of America Division 5 fell a booklet on basic care of the Bulldog would he helpful to Bulldog owners, particularly those who have just gotten their very first Bulldog Puppy.
In addition to the members of the BCA Division 5 Education Committee, information for this booklet has been provided by Aanneglenn Bulldogs (Carol & Hank Williams), Kaysinger Bulldogs (Genevieve & Oman Kaysinger) and Windy Ridge Bulldogs (Neva Gulliford). All together the contributors have 163 years experience as owners of Bulldogs, have raised 177 litters, and currently own 46 Bulldogs.
The main things we’ve learned about Bulldogs are: You never learn it all; Bulldogs give and need lots of love and attention; Bulldoggers are always ready and willing to help you; a good veterinarian who knows and likes Bulldogs is an absolute necessity.
Bulldogs are wonderful companions – you’ll have a great time with your very own, very special Bulldog.
Bringing Your Baby Home
When you get your puppy, you should also receive from (he breeder: either the puppy’s Registration Certificate or its Application for Registration (blue slip); a copy of its pedigree; a record of its immunizations (exactly what shots and when given) and wormings; assurance that the puppy has been examined by a veterinarian and the name and telephone number of the veterinarian. If you do not receive one of these items you should get a written, dated and signed statement from the breeder stating when you will receive that item or why you will not. You may also receive: a sales contract (if the puppy is sold on a Limited Registration you should received a sales contract which includes the terms, if any, under which the breeder will lift that restriction); a health certificate from the puppy’s veterinarian; written care instructions; a supply of the food the puppy eats. You may even he given the puppy’s favorite toy.
When you arrive home with your puppy, remember – your puppy is a baby Bulldog. Like all babies, he needs lots of love and cuddling, lots of rest and sleep, lots of love and cuddling, lots of good, nourishing food and more love and cuddling.
Moving to a new home, leaving his dam and litter mates and the only humans he has ever really known is a very traumatic experience for the puppy, so try to make the move as easy as possible for him. For the first couple of weeks, try to change his life as little as possible. Follow the breeders feeding routine. The same times, the same amount, the same brand of food, the same supplements. Feed him in the same place at each meal. Be sure he has a special area all his own for his bed. Give him lots and lots of cuddling and petting. Do not let him play so long and hard that he becomes exhausted.
Sometime during the first week, you should take him to your veterinarian for a check up and get to know you visit. Take along the record of his immunizations and wormings and a stool sample.
Once the puppy is settled securely into his new home, you can hegin 10 introduce him to your way of doing things.
If you want to change the brand of puppy kibble he is eating, the change should be slow and gradual. Substitute a small amount of the old food with the new brand and slowly increase the ratio of new to old until the old brand is completely replaced with the new.
A rocking chair or a really comfortable big chair you can sit in and cuddle your new Bulldog puppy.
A food dish with straight sides and flat bottom. The best material is stainless steel – avoid plastic.
A water dish, stainless steel is best.
A collar and a lead. A light weight, small link “choke” collar is best. It should be long enough to slip ovr tlie pup’s head with room to spare but should not have more than a six inch “tail” when around his neck. His first lead should be a light weight one, you’ll need a strong leather lead as he grows.
Nail clippers or grinder.
There are several things which will make life easier and more enjoyable for you and your Bulldog.
First in importance is a wire crate. This comes very close to being a necessity. It is much easier to house train a puppy if he sleeps in a crate. If you travel at all with your dog, he is safer and happier riding in a crate and if you are staying overnight he has a place of his own to sleep in. It is just as important for your dog to be in a crate in the car as it is for you to wear your seat belt. If you do not have a crate, or one won’t fit in your car, get him a dog safety car harness. Bulldogs do better in wire crates than the Veri-Kennel type because the air circulation through the wire crates is so much better. Dogs like to have a special “my place” so If you don’t have a crate, try one, you and your Bulldog will like it.
A grooming table makes brushing, toe nail cutting, whisker clipping, medication, etc. etc. much easier. Start the pup out young and he’ll soon learn to stand still with his neck in the noose and your life will be much easier.
A puppy pen. Even though you have a fenced yard, you may want to confine the puppy to or out of a particular area. Puppy pens are easily portable and very handy for keeping a puppy confined to a small area. They are especially useful for a winter puppy. You can put his bed in his crate, put the crate in a puppy pen, and put his papers in a corner of the pen.
If you plan to exhibit your Bulldog you will need a pair of whisker scissors. These are small, sharp, blunt end scissors which you can purchase from a pet store, a dog show vendor or a dog supply catalogue.
A good brush. You can use almost any brush on a Bulldog but the best ones have flexible rubber bristles. You want one small enough to fit your hand comfortably.
If you travel with your Bulldog you’ll need a large insulated water jug so that you’ll have “home” water available for him. A small water pan that hooks to the side of his crate is handy.
Bulldog Medicine Chest
Vaseline. Use this on his nose, on his eye wrinkles, any place you need to soothe and waterproof but don’t need to medicate. Use it also on the thermometer when you take his temperature.
Plastic RealLemon. If he gets phlegm in his throat and chokes on it, a couple squirts of juice from the plastic lemon will help clear it out.
A good rectal thermometer.
Clear Eyes, Duolube, etc. for irritated eyes
Aspirin. For minor aches and pains. Most Bulldogs can tolerate aspirin but do not give any other human pain reliever such as Tylenol or Advil. Buffered aspirin such as Bufferin is better than plain aspirin and Ascriptin is better than Bufferin. Remember that the dosage for aspirin, like most pain relief medication, is based primarily on body weight. A Bulldog should never be given more than one tablet at a time or more frequently than every twelve hours. Some Bulldogs are allergic to aspirin, so use with care.
Benadryl. Either capsule or liquid. Use this if the dog is stung by a bee or other insect, and for minor allergies.
Panalog Ointment. A good all purpose ointment for minor skin afflictions. Also good for cleaning wrinkles, tail pockets and ears. Do not put in his eyes.
Bag Balm. Also useful for minor skin afflictions.
PeptoBismol. For minor stomach upset.
Kaopectate. For minor diarrhea.
Q-tips. Use for applying medication and cleaning ears.
Cotton balls. Use for applying medication, for cleaning and to keep ears dry while bathing.