Utility dogs

British Bulldog – An English Icon

British Bulldog – An English Icon

Bulldog – Utility

British Bulldog


British Bulldog

Name Bulldog - Utility Breed
Size Medium
Grooming Easy
Training Moderate
Exercise An hour a day
Origins England

British or English Bulldog - The Great British Mascot

The British Bulldog, fancy a dog breed that has been around a bit - think over 700 years, who is a great companion dog and looks a bit like a famous British Prime Minister. Well look no further than the Bulldog, they may no longer be able to bring down Bulls like its ancestors but they remain strong dogs, but ones who like a bit less exercise making them good town dogs. Anyway read on and see if they tick all or most of your boxes.

English Bulldog, British Bulldog

Image: everydoghasastory/Shutterstock.com


Quick Overview

Name:                                                                  The Bulldog

Size:                                                                       Up to 15 Inches tall

Weight:                                                                Up to 50 lbs

Training:                                                               Bulldogs can be trained with work

Grooming:                                                          Not a lot

Exercise:                                                         About an hour per day

Origins:                                                                 England

Lifespan:                                                              Up to 10 Years but 6-7 is more common

Breed Type:                                                        Utility (working dog)

The history behind the British Bulldog

Bulldogs were bred in England circa the 13th century. Back then, bull baiting was a popular sport. The sport involved a tethered bull fighting off a full pack of Bulldogs. We wouldn’t dream of such a thing nowadays, and even though we know they didn’t have television back then, we still don’t accept that this was once considered normal.

Bull baiting died out in the 18th and 19th centuries in Britain. A ban on blood sports in 1835 meant that any fights immediately moved to cellars and basements. This underground movement changed the course of dogfighting in Britain. The Terrier became more favourable and could be set against rats in a pit. The Bulldog was too large to go underground and was subsequently bred to be smaller.

The ancestor of our modern Bulldog was big enough and strong enough to take down a bull… Let that sink in.

The ancient Bulldog was bred with smaller dogs until we were left with breeds like the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. They were smaller, nippier, and allowed the Bulldog itself to become a companion dog and retire comfortably. It wasn’t until 1886 that it would be registered with the AKC though, and this was only due to a concerted effort of breeders. How do you turn a vicious fighting dog into a companion breed? Hundreds of years of refined breeding.

Image: Olga Popova/Shutterstock.com

The modern Bulldog is a mascot/logo/name all over the world. During WWII, the British Prime Minister (Winston Churchill) looked a bit like and acted with the determination of a Bulldog, so the media gave him that nickname. Over time, this breed of dog has become synonymous with ferocious bravery, not letting go till the bitter end, and loyalty. To be fair, it is just as well… because other fighting dogs from days-of-old got banned instead of revered. The media really can make or break a breed!

Facts about the Bulldog

Every breed has special or fun facts to them that set them apart from all others… and the Bulldog has more than 700 years’ worth of time to develop some. Here are the Five Minutes Spare favourite facts about the British Bulldog, for your entertainment:

  • Bulldogs are notoriously bad swimmers. Keep them out of the water or keep a close eye on them if they are swimming. Their short snouts put them at a serious disadvantage when paddling.
  • Most Bulldogs are born without being birthed. Much like Macbeth’s biggest foe, they are taken from the mother via c-section. They have tiny birthing canals, and this way is just easier.
  • They are in the UK kennel club, of course, but you will also find them in the UKC and the AKC, among other local clubs.
  • There are several skateboarding bulldogs, and they seem to like it…

It’s true! Check the footage if you don’t believe us! You get skateboarding bulldogs! Sometimes with sunglasses on! There is nothing cooler on this entire planet. We have looked.

How Much Exercise Does a Brittish Bulldog Need?

The Bulldog is happy enough to lounge around. Years of breeding have seen it have much less energy than it used to have in its dogfighting days. They can suffer from breathing difficulties if they are overworked however they also have a propensity towards being overweight so don't skip that walk even if it is raining! Careful control of your dog’s diet is also advised.

Do They Need Groomed Often?

No. They will shed a couple of times a year and they definitely are not hypoallergenic dogs… but they don’t take much grooming at all. Brush them in spring and autumn to get the loose hairs out of their coat and stop a messy house, but otherwise no brushing is necessary, You will need to do their teeth and claws through to make sure they are comfortable and avoid having to visit the vet with these issues.

Are They Hard to Train?

A Bulldog will always listen to you. They are incredibly loyal dogs… but they have a tendency towards laziness. They are the type of dog that will decide your requests require too much effort and so will ignore you if they want to. You have been warned. Don’t expect a bulldog that skateboards without a lot of work…but if you can convince them they enjoy it? They will love it forever. They really are the most loyal dogs!

How Healthy Are Bulldogs?

Bulldogs have 700 years of intensive breeding behind them. Unfortunately, this means they have picked up more than a few health concerns along the way. Their short snouts mean exercise is a little harder than it is for other dogs, it also means they have less panting space in hot weather. Heart problems are fairly common in this breed, as are skin, ear, and eye issues. Tracheal Hypoplasia is fairly common, as is overheating. If your bulldog is walking around with a lolling tongue you should soak him/her/them in ice water. Sadly they do tend to die youngish with Heart conditions being the most common cause of death.

Where Can I Buy a Bulldog Puppy?

Bulldogs are popular and given the birthing complications and relatively short lives they are always in demand. Thus they are quite expensive so ensure you buy a new puppy from a registered breeder. If you don’t, you risk buying from a puppy farmer where the mother may have been treated poorly and the pups may not be healthy. A registered breeder will have paperwork, your dog’s family history, and inspected breeding facilities. A puppy farmer won’t be able to introduce you to the puppy’s parents, won’t have papers, and won’t be registered. If you find one, report them to the police or to a local animal charity.

Got Five Minutes?

Still got some break time left. If you don’t think a bulldog will be able to keep up with you (despite being a utility breed), then you can find a whole host of other animals detailed over at our dog directory. Don’t forget to drop us a Facebook follow for all the latest news and gossip, too.


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