There's a reason they're called bulldogs, although it sometimes comes as a surprise to lovers of this canine "couch potato" that they were, indeed, once bred as canine gladiators
In fact, they were once trained to use their powerful jaws to latch on to a bull's neck or snout (often resulting in the
bull lying mortally wounded) - to often uproarious cheers by bloodthirsty
audiences in ancient Rome.
"bull-baiting" exhibitions continued in popularity throughout the
Dark Ages, the sport rose to most notable prominence in medieval England. That is, before bull-baiting was entirely outlawed throughout Europe some centuries
It wasn't until the early
19th century when the bulldog's was first bred out -- to result in a perfectly domesticated
household pet, or what we now recognize today as the family-friendly sad sack
(and first cousin to the boxer),
with the droopy jowls and the big round eyes.
sometimes viewed as that short-limbed dog with the sad face,
the bulldog is not without its charms and has developed quite
a following with fanciers who know it as the English, American,
or French Bulldog ("Frenchies") for its sweet, kind
and kid-friendly disposition.
With a legendary vicious temperament now completely bred out,
today the bulldog is the perfect household pet, proving itself
to be a laid-back and extremely loyal breed that sticks close
to its adoptive family with all the tenacity of, well, a bulldog of yore.
famous bulldog snore, the occasional flatulence, and the drooling, who couldn't fall for its often forlorn expression -- surprisingly punctuated at times by a wide open grin?
& health tips
As with most dogs that sport a foreshortened muzzle, bulldogs sometimes have breathing problems and should never be exposed to extremes in exercise,
especially during the summer.
As their facial
skin tends to overlap, extra care should be taken to keep their
faces clean to avoid skin infections. Due to their sedentary nature,
weight problems often become an issue, so careful feeding and
exercise are also important considerations as the bulldog matures.
More information about Bulldogs around the Web:
Bulldog Information Library - Check out this virtual English Bulldog
encyclopedia with facts & information on health, diseases
and hereditary defects, detailed history of its development, guides
for breeders, tips on puppy care, bulldog art, humor & fun
facts, suggested reading and related resources.
Club of America - Discover breeder resources, photo gallery of
national show champions, illustrated guide to breed standards,
plus basic tips & advice on bulldog care including grooming,
bathing & feeding tips.