As with most of my blogs, I not only like to welcome you all but also I want to include the following link to another blog about us and who we are. I like to think that its a good idea for my readers to know a bit about the author of this blog, so I hope you find it interesting:
English bulldog brief history:
The English bulldog, British bulldog, and just bulldog, all these three names are commonly used for this breed of dog. As with the french bulldog this breed is also prevalent in the United Kingdom and has been for a long time now, In fact, the first time the word bulldog was referenced is in a letter in ( sixteen thirty-one ) by a man called Preswick Eaton, and he writes “procure me two good bulldogs”, and he then continues with ” let them be sent by ye first shipp”. There are more written accounts of the word bulldog in later publications, but the letter of sixteen thirty-one seems to be the earliest.
Unfortunately, the bulldog was also known as the bear dog after the bloody sport it was associated with, i.e. bull-baiting. I don’t want to go into too much detail here as I find it quite appalling the so-called sports that the human race has come up with during our history,
Bull bating was made illegal in the 1830’s thanks to the cruelty to animals act, along with cockfighting ( and not before time either in my opinion ). The bulldog was then less favourable due to the cruelty to animals act. The dogs had outlived their usefulness, and its days were numbered as a working or sporting dog in England. However, they were used in the new world such as in new york during the seventeenth century to help round up wild bulls.
Today’s English bulldogs are much different from their ancestors, and they certainly aren’t as aggressive or as athletic.
And although the bulldog today looks muscular and is quite capable of guarding, it is also an excellent choice as a companion dog, mainly due to the efforts of breeders who have over the years concentrated on removing aggression which has resulted in a much calmer and friendlier dog but they can be quite stubborn.
Today’s bulldogs are highly regarded as pets for the family due to getting along with other pets as well as tending to form strong bonds with children. The English bulldog image is used in many ways as a mascot, in the second world war it was used on posters, and it was also associated with Winston Churchill against Nazi Germany. It is also the mascot for the American marine corps, and an American truck manufacturer uses the image as a bonnet emblem, and more than thirty-five American universities use the English bulldog as their mascot also.
There’s no mistaking today’s bulldog
There’s no mistaking today’s bulldog, and you certainly can’t confuse it with any other breed, the loose facial skin and furrowed brow along with the choppy chops and undershot jaw and squashed nose, these indeed are a majestic breed in their own right. Their walk is one of self-confidence, and you can’t help but admire and love them. They come in a variety of colours including white, fawn, piebald,fawn&white,brindle&white,red&white, red, brindle red, blue merle, lilac, chocolate, black, as well as others and any other mutation over the coming years.
The English bulldog is classed as a medium-size dog and is both heavy and muscular the males generally weigh in the region of 23-25 kilo’s and the female 18-23 kilo’s, the height of both sexes is between 31-40 centimetres, and life expectancy is 8-10 years with some living longer these days which can probably be attributed to our increased knowledge of the breeds ailments as well as the superb skills of veterinary practitioners and their equipment that we have here in the Uk today.
Today there are many clubs dedicated to the English bulldog both in the Uk and abroad with the oldest recorded club in the Uk being formed in 1878 and based in London, the members met frequently, and it is believed that they were the first to compose a breed standard for perfection. It wasn’t until 1886 that breed was recognised officially by the American kennel club.
The English bulldog, unfortunately, can suffer from one of the many health problems that this breed is prone to mainly due to inbreeding and the small breeding pool of these dogs, It was just a few years ago that the BBC aired a programme in which one of our best-loved comedian/writers took part to highlight the bulldog’s plight and British vets started a campaign to encourage people not to buy flat-faced breeds of dogs.
A study revealed that 75% of owners of the (flat-face ) type of dog ( brachycephalic ) were completely unaware of any problems with this type of dog before they chose their dog. Up to 80% of litters are born using the caesarian method due to this breeds characteristic large head not being able to pass the mothers birth canal.
And some scientists now suggest that the English bulldog breed could die out if it isn’t modified/changed through a selective breeding programme with another breed to irradicate the horrendous breathing difficulties these dogs suffer as a result of having a squashed face trait.
English bulldog Health Problems:
It can be frightening when you see for the first time this list of problems and health issues that this breed is susceptible to but have no fear these health concerns can be treated and managed with preventative care, As with all health issues early detection is a definite bonus along with veterinary assistance.
Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome:
( Brachy means shortened ) and ( cephalic means head ) the bulldog belongs to this group their skull bones are shorter than usual which gives the facial appearance of a squashed or flat face. Now to us, this appearance may look utterly adorable. Still, in reality, in a lot of dogs, this has an adverse effect on their health, because of their narrow nostrils and short nose bulldogs more often than not have breathing problems which include difficulty in eating, exercise intolerance, panting as well as chronic discomfort.
Obesity has a direct adverse effect on this condition, and your dog’s healthy diet is going to be of the utmost importance if your dog suffers mildly from this condition then you may be able to control the effects with regular exercise and a healthy diet, we will discuss dietary requirements further on in this blog.
Our family has the first-hand experience of this disorder as our daughter has two English bulldogs and one of them had a cherry eye in both eyes, cherry eye is a mostly found in young dogs, and if it is not treated it can then lead to keratoconjunctivitis sicca as well as other complications and in the most severe cases blindness, my daughter’s dog was operated on at our local veterinary practice and not only was the condition cured but it has never re-occurred since. So I wholeheartedly offer this piece of advice from experience ( as soon as you notice something that doesn’t look quite right seek advice from your veterinary practice) you won’t regret it.
Many breeds, as well as the bulldog, with loose skin such as the shar-pei etc., are more prone to skin problems than say a greyhound, the skin inflammation is typically found in the skin wrinkles/folds of the skin due to moisture, and the rubbing of the skin fold together. When this is the case, regular bathing with an anti-fungal / anti-bacterial dog shampoo and making sure that you thoroughly dry the skin afterwards. You can also buy Antibiotic Ointment to treat bacterial infections of minor cuts and burns or scrapes on the skin of the animal, but I must admit that If I had a pet that had broken skin, I would seek advice from my local vet.
Hip and elbow dysplasia:
Hip and elbow dysplasia is a hip malformation and includes elbow joints, and this condition can cause lameness, pain and with that, a reluctance to climb stairs jump or run and in severe cases even to walk. Again a healthy diet with exercise ( but not when the weather is too warm/hot ) This condition will most certainly require a visit to your vets and X-rays will be needed to assess the extent of the condition, once that is known I feel sure they will advise you as to what course of action is required.
These are just a few of the conditions/health conditions that could face you as an English bulldog owner, but you can help yourself before you purchase your puppy and reduce the chances of owning a pet with any of these conditions.
Dogs that suffer from the condition Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome find it hard to pant effectively, and dogs need to pant to control their body temperature, and your bulldog must be kept at a comfortable temperature to alleviate constant panting, so choose the room in the home which you feel has the cooler temperature throughout the day and certainly avoid going out in hot weather. signs of your dog overheating are as follows:
- Exhaustion while trying to breathe
- Excessive panting
- Foaming at the mouth
- Unusual noises from the throat
If you notice anything at all out of the ordinary that you’re concerned about, call your veterinary practice for advice, If that isn’t possible, I would soak a towel and wring it out thoroughly then lay it on the dog to give him some relief and bring his temperature down to a comfortable level slowly, make sure he or she has plenty of fresh water available to keep hydrated.
Research when considering buying a dog:
If you take one thing away from this blog post, let it be the word research. It quite literally is everything. There is so much to consider and find out about when you start thinking about adding an English bulldog to your home, such as:
- Are all your family members in agreement?
- Are they all willing and able to play a part in the care and attention that a dog needs?
- And have you all agreed on this specific breed of dog?
- Do you all have the time in your lives for a dog?
I’ll take it that the answer is yes to those questions and we’ll move on!
Searching for a puppy:
There are a few ways to find a puppy to purchase, and this is where caution and research come into its own. The more you do of both, the better your chances are of not being ripped off by an unscrupulous dealer, and the higher the chances are that you’ve bought a fit and healthy pup! Finding a responsible and knowledgable breeder of this particular breed of dog is essential to find the dog of your dreams. This breeder will have years of experience and a deep understanding of what is required to produce a high-quality litter.
Call in at your local veterinary practice and have a chat with the staff, they always have a steady stream of people calling in throughout the day and are usually the ones ” in the know ” you could probably pick up some tips and advice on what or who to avoid! Today we do a lot of our shopping on the internet, whether its food, furniture, holidays as well as pets there are responsible websites specifically for pets which receive hundreds of thousands of search requests each week from people looking for a pet, one of the Uk’s newest is https://www.pets4uk.co.uk
Getting a puppy is a such a big decision, and there are things that we can do to make it a happy experience for the whole family and finding the right puppy from the right breeder should be your mission, this will help to avoid heartache and misery later.
When you have found a breeder and before you even arrange to view any puppies the next step is to contact them via email or phone and ask plenty of questions from a list of questions that you have put together such as:
- How long have you been breeders of this particular breed?
- Do you provide a health guarantee?
- Are the puppies vaccinations up to date?
- Are the puppies micro-chipped
- What health checks if any, have been carried out on the parents as well as the puppies?
- Is the mum available to view with the puppies?
- Is the dad a stud dog from elsewhere or your own?
These were just the basic questions that you should ask if you have thought of more then now is the time to ask them before you visit. So let’s assume that you’re satisfied with the answers and you’ve arranged a time and place to visit/view the pups, always without exception do not arrange to meet up in a car park or anywhere else other than at the puppies home address, do not entertain any excuses whatsoever as to why you can’t visit/view at the home address if so end the conversation.
When you have found a breeder that has answered all your questions and more, and you are at the puppies home address watch how the breeder interacts with the puppies, are they calm and reassuring? As well as you asking the breeder questions, are they asking questions of you? Remember these are the babies of a responsible and caring breeder and they would want to know that their babies are going to a loving home. Have you met the puppies mum? What sort of temperament has she got? have you seen all the paperwork for health checks, microchip, pedigree? Have the puppies and parents been screen for any genetic diseases that affect this breed?
This blog is just a helpful introduction to this breed and is by no means exhaustive, we so lucky today to have the internet and can find so much more information regarding this breed and many others with just a few clicks of the mouse, and I wish you well with your search, and here we have another blog that you might find interesting.
As with all of my blogs, I like to include a couple of links for rescue/rehoming centres, and if you are looking for an older dog rather than a puppy then these links could be helpful for you.