Bred originally for Bull-Baiting, the national dog of Great Britain, the Bulldog is a magnificent animal, as courageous as he is affectionate.
Bulldogs have been known as a distinct breed in the UK since the 1630ís, although there is earlier reference to dogs called Ban dogs, a term used today for the fighting dogs.
Bull-Baiting became illegal in 1835 and the Bulldog began to wane in popularity as he did not have the speed to make a good fighter. The breed at the time was a much fiercer animal, longer in the leg and pretty mean-looking. However, with his withdrawal from the fighting pits, the Bulldog was taken up by fanciers who bred for temperament and looks and he made his first appearance in the show ring in 1860. It is certainly not a breed now where temperament would cause concern, as they make a wonderful loving family pet who adore children.
A range of colours are permissible, although black and black and tan are highly undesirable. The bulldog is a medium maintained short coated dog, a good brush every day should keep him looking smart, and you must also pay attention to the wrinkle and nose roll on his face and keep it clean and dry to stop infection.
The Bulldog is not a difficult breed, but are very specialised and to do your dog justice, you will need to be well informed so read up on as many books as possible before you decide if the Bulldog is the dog for you.
Taken overall, Bulldogs have no more health problems than many other dog breeds. Similarly to humans and like all dog breeds, bulldogs can have epilepsy, cancer, arthritis and even canine diabetes (even though the latter is a bit different in dogs).
The most common diseases and health matters are: Skin Conditions. A variety of skin problems may have apparently similar visual symptoms. It is therefore important to seek advise with a veterinarian, who will prescribe the most appropriate treatment.
Eye Problems: Eye problems can be caused by irritation, a trauma or an infection. Like with other dog breeds, there is a breed predisposition to certain eye disorders in Bulldogs including Entropion, Ectropion and Cherry Eye.
There is now a DNA test available for Hyperuricosuria (HUU). Both Sire and Dam should be tested prior to breeding.
Due to their high tolerance for pain, Bulldogs may require closer health monitoring than other dogs, but this does not mean that they are as unhealthy as some would like to have us believe.