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English Bulldog: character, care and predisposition to diseases

English bulldog

Most of us associate the English bulldog as a lazy fat, lounging on the couch all day, and at night, in addition, a loud snorer.

The role of Max in the popular series "Cop and the prosecutor ", where this squat dog accompanies the squat prosecutor, brought fame and publicity to this breed.

The family tree of the English Bulldog is very extensive and goes back a long way.

Together with the French bulldog, it is descended from the Old English bulldog, which in turn is descended from the ancestor of all fighting breeds - the ancient Babylonian dog.

In ancient times, it was used for bullfighting in the arena, hunting big game and guarding slaves.

After being brought to Britain, their career mainly focused on the aforementioned bullfights, which were then quite a popular form of entertainment in England.

When these fights were banned, the breed began to be bred to select individuals with a mild temperament.

This is how today's slightly phlegmatic bulldogs were created.

According to the FCI classification, the English Bulldog belongs to group 2.

  • English bulldog character
  • English Bulldog breed description
  • English bulldog grooming
  • Feeding the bulldog
  • English Bulldog disease
    • Prolapse of the gland of the third eyelid (cherry eye)
    • Hair follicle dysplasia
    • Acne
    • Spina bifida (spina bifida)
    • Respiratory syndrome of short-skulled dogs
    • Congenital portal lobe anastomosis
    • Cleft palate
    • Congenital deafness
    • Congenital hydrocephalus
    • Lymph stagnation
    • Hypersensitivity to acepromazine
  • Is it worth choosing a bulldog?

English bulldog character

English bulldog character

These dogs are characterized by great patience and a highly developed "maternal" instinct, which has given rise to a common opinion that they are ideal nannies and will be happy to look after our children.

Calmness and phlegmatism are their hallmarks, but they can also be on their own and behave aggressively in an emergency.

Paradoxically, they like movement, but not professionally.

They are nice, loyal and friendly.

English Bulldog breed description

English Bulldog breed description

Bulldogs have a rather peculiar physiognomy.

A large head in relation to the body, a wide flattened muzzle as well as a squat and strong silhouette are his distinguishing features.

  • The height at the withers of an adult specimen is 30 - 40 cm, with a weight of 23 - 25 kg.
  • Seen from the front, the head is broad and square, and its circumference corresponds to the height at the withers. The forehead furrow is deep, the muzzle is wide and short, with distinct folds.
  • The jaws are wide, covered by thick lips, with a set of teeth set in a fore-bite.
  • The eyes are dark, round and slightly protruding, set far from the nose.
  • The ears are set high, small and thin with a pinna that slopes forward.
  • Short neck with pronounced folds forming a dewlap transforms into a muscular, barrel-shaped torso.
  • A characteristic feature of the breed is the so-called. roach - back, i.e. a specific pattern of the back line, which lowers slightly behind the shoulder blades, then rises to the loins, and then descends towards the tail.
  • The tail is not too long, set low, carried below the topline.
  • Forelegs thick and massive, shorter than the hind legs. As a result of this disproportion, the dog's gait is sluggish and its hind limbs appear to be trailing in motion.

English Bulldog

Short coat of solid color or with a black mask, brindle, red, white and variegated.

You can see what an English Bulldog puppy looks like in the video below

Maddison - Our AKC Pure Breed Female English Bulldog!!
Watch this video on YouTube

English bulldog grooming

The greatest attention should be paid to the paranasal folds and the dorsal folds of the skin, because in these places there may be chafes and secondary fungal or bacterial infections, the treatment of which is often burdensome and long-lasting.

It is important to keep the skin of these areas dry and take care of them locally with preparations, e.g. in the form of wet wipes chlorhexidine if phytosphingosine.

We brush the coat with the hair at least once a week and bathe with the dog's shampoo as needed.

Feeding the bulldog

English Bulldog feeding

These dogs are unlikely to be fussy eaters and therefore have a tendency to gain weight, so avoid giving them treats and food 'from the table '.

The most convenient solution is to give ready-made, balanced food for dogs of medium breeds.

The diet can be enriched with meat products, preferably after heat treatment.

English Bulldog disease

English Bulldog disease

Prolapse of the gland of the third eyelid (cherry eye)

It is the most common condition affecting the third eyelid.

It occurs most often in young dogs up to 2 years of age and may affect one or both eyes at the same time.

Clinically, a shiny spherical tissue is observed sticking out from under the third eyelid.

The treatment of choice is surgery of sewing the gland in, or if it falls out anyway, it can be removed, but it will most likely be associated with dry eye syndrome in the future.

Hair follicle dysplasia

We distinguish here 2 groups of disorders - dysplasia not related to pigment disorders and seasonal baldness of the sides.

Hair follicle dysplasia unrelated to pigmentation disorders includes progressive alopecia of the sides and the back of the English Bulldogs, most often observed at 2 to 4 years of age.

In some dogs, hair grows cyclically, while in others the hair loss is permanent.

Seasonal alopecia of the sides is most often characterized by symmetrical alopecia of the sides of the body, the arrangement of which resembles a map of continents.

Hairless skin becomes hyper-pigmented - it becomes dark. In most dogs, hair falls out in the fall and grows back in spring.

There is no specific treatment for both types of dysplasia.


Acne is a chronic disease involving inflammation of the hair follicles, mainly around the chin, and most often affects young dogs.

Initially, hair loss and pustules appear, which over time may become susceptible to bacterial infection.

Treatment of the initial stages consists of using disinfectant fluids and keeping the area clean and dry.

In complicated stages, the general one is used antibiotic therapy and ointments from glucocorticosteroids after improving.

Spina bifida (spina bifida)

It is a developmental disorder consisting in the non-closure of the spinal arch of the spine, most often in the lumbosacral section.

The condition may be accompanied by neurological symptoms and the prognosis is careful.

Respiratory syndrome of short-skulled dogs

The respiratory syndrome of short-skulled dogs includes anatomical defects such as:

  • narrowed nostrils,
  • too long soft palate,
  • eversion of laryngeal pockets,
  • underdevelopment of the trachea.

As a result of the obstructed air flow through the constricted airways, there is insufficient oxygen saturation and secondary infections and damage to the respiratory tract.

Symptoms most often occur after exercise and are favored by high ambient temperature and excitement.

These dogs have recurrent respiratory tract infections and digestive symptoms (vomiting, swallowing disorders), and they also often snore - you can see what a snoring bulldog looks like in the video below:

English Bulldog Lip Snoring
Watch this video on YouTube

Treatment is to combat complicated infections, and surgery is required if the nostrils and palate are abnormal.

Obese dogs need to be slimmed down.

Congenital portal lobe anastomosis

It is a congenital disease involving disturbed blood flow through the liver, where blood from the portal vein, instead of into the hepatic vessels, goes straight to the jejunum, bypassing the hepatic circulation.

This is led by, among others.in. to disorders of the conversion of ammonia to urea and, consequently, an increased amount of the first compound in the blood, and thus to the symptoms of encephalopathy.

Affected animals are smaller and grow more slowly than other litter puppies.

There may also be:

  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea,
  • lack of appetite,
  • excessive thirst,
  • increased urine output.

Ammonium urate crystals may appear in the urine sediment.

In more advanced stages, we observe nervous symptoms:

  • seizures,
  • blindness,
  • aggression.

For diagnosis, a blood test should be performed, in which liver enzymes are most often elevated, and bile acids and ammonia tests.

In order to determine the type of anastomosis, an examination is necessary Doppler ultrasound or angiography.

Conservative treatment is low-protein diet and use lactulose.

In cases qualifying for surgery, it is the treatment of choice, but it is performed in specialized centers.

Cleft palate

It is a congenital, genetically determined defect.

It manifests itself in the presence of a gap in the palate, which allows communication between the nasal and oral cavities, and is noticeable in newborn puppies.

Such puppies have a problem with feeding, they often choke on milk, which may flow out of their nose.

In less severe cases, it is possible to surgically close the cleft approx. 7-8 weeks of age, but unfortunately such puppies are often euthanized.

Congenital deafness

It is a genetically determined disease.

It arises as a result of the degeneration of the VIII nerve.

Affected puppies fail to respond to auditory stimuli.

In order to confirm deafness, hearing tests are carried out using the BAER method, which consists in determining the potentials evoked in the brainstem in response to acoustic stimuli.

Such an examination is performed under sedation and allows to objectively determine deafness, as well as to determine the degree of hearing damage and which ear it concerns.

There is no treatment, and such animals can function almost normally in the environment.

Congenital hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus is the widening of the ventricles of the brain, mainly as a result of disturbances in the production or outflow of cerebrospinal fluid.

The clinical signs observed in affected dogs are the result of this fluid pressing against the nerve tissue.

Most often we observe them in puppies up to 6 months of age, and they are:

  • growth disturbance,
  • disproportionately large skull in relation to the rest of the body,
  • ungrown fontanel,
  • abdominal - lateral strabismus.

The X-ray image shows thinning of the skull bones, and an ultrasound examination through the fontanel can confirm the enlargement of the ventricles of the brain.

A CT scan is also helpful.

Treatment is based on reducing the production of cerebrospinal fluid and with a good response to the treatment and mild symptoms, the prognosis is good.

In advanced stages, the prognosis is unfortunately unfavorable.

Lymph stagnation

Primary lymphatic stasis is an inherited hereditary disease.

As a result of lymphatic drainage disorders, pasty, non-inflammatory swellings are formed, most often under the skin of the pelvic limbs.

These changes appear in the first few months of life.

There are no general symptoms.

There is no effective treatment, and some improvement may be achieved by centripetal limb massage.

Hypersensitivity to acepromazine

The cause of this hypersensitivity is unknown.

AT english bulldogs overreaction to drugs containing acepromazine as a prolonged and stronger sedative and sleep-inducing effect compared to other breeds.

In the event of hypersensitivity, supportive treatment in the form of fluid and oxygen therapy, diuretics and pressure-raising medications, as well as heating the dog are used.

Is it worth choosing a bulldog?

Is it worth choosing a bulldog?

Today's English Bulldogs have completely lost the features of their previous utility and have become typical companion dogs.

They are friendly, devoted, do not require a lot of exercise (although they like walks) and are perfect for homes with children.

They are sensitive to high temperatures, so in summer you should ensure that they have an asylum where they will find shelter from the scorching sun and heat.

Due to the anatomical structure of the muzzle, nostrils and upper respiratory tract, you must take into account that they will snore loudly at night, and often during the day they will mark their presence with a hoarse breath.

Breeding an English bulldog is difficult due to frequent reproductive problems (large puppies, often mono-pregnancies and the need for caesarean sections), there are not many individuals of this breed, and therefore the price of a puppy can be high.

When buying a small bulldog, it is worth choosing a proven breeding farm, and before buying it, check it for visible defects, such as e.g. significantly narrowed nostrils or an ungrown fontanel.

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