The English Bulldog, one of the most easily recognizable breeds, is also known as the British Bulldog. As its name suggests, this breed originally hails from England as a descendant of the fighting Mastiffs the Romans brought to the region. The ancestors of the modern-day Bulldogs were used for bull-baiting, a practice or “sport” officially banned in 1835. Today, the English Bulldog is a popular breed loved by its pet parents for its friendly and affectionate disposition.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the English Bulldog stands 14- to 15-inches tall and weighs approximately 50 pounds for males and 40 pounds for females. On average this breed lives eight to 10 years, has a calm or mild demeanor, and typically requires weekly grooming. The Bulldog is a medium-size dog with broad shoulders and chest, plus a massive head that’s square-like.
In addition to the Bulldog’s unique history, there are several fun facts to know about this family-friendly breed.
1. Ranks in Top 5 of Most Popular AKC Dog Breeds
The English Bulldog ranks as the fourth most popular AKC dog breed in the United States. It was officially recognized by the AKC in 1886.
2. Bulldog Club of America Established in 1890
The Bulldog Club of America (BCA) formed in 1890 and continues today helping owners, breeders, and judges work together to maintain a high standard of excellence for the Bulldog breed. Because it was the first recognized Bulldog specialty club in the United States, it’s considered the official Parent Club for the breed.
3. Skateboarding Bulldog Holds World Record
Tillman the English Bulldog cruised into the Guinness Book of World Records in 2009 at the X Games XV in California. This amazing and charismatic English Bulldog set the record for the fastest 100 meters on a skateboard by a dog. His time was an astounding 19.678 seconds. Tillman not only loved to skateboard, but he surfed, and appeared on the television show the Greatest American Dog and in the 2009 Rose Parade.
4. Bulldogs are Brachycephalic
Dog breeds with a short head/short snout are brachycephalic. This particular type of canine typically have some degree of breathing/airway obstruction syndrome. Because of this condition, English Bulldogs may breathe noisily, snorting and snuffling. They may also suffer respiratory issues. Bulldogs (both English and French) aren’t the only breed that is brachycephalic. This condition also affects the Boston Terrier, the Pug, Shih Tzu, and Chinese Shar Pei to name a few.
5. Bulldog = Top College Mascot
The 2017 USA Today index poll named Uga, the English Bulldog mascot from the University of Georgia as the Top College Mascot. According to The Red & Black, “Since 1956, all of the University of Georgia’s mascots have been part of the same pure English Bulldog line owned by Sonny Seiler.”
There have been ten English Bulldogs fulfilling the role of Uga for the University of Georgia, each with their own distinctive personality. Every Uga has been a beloved companion and faithful mascot, several earning impressive achievements. For example, Uga V was in a movie and on the cover of Sports Illustrated while, Uga IV was the first mascot invited to the presentation of the Heisman trophy.
Fun Fact Extra: The English Bulldog is an extremely popular mascot for universities/colleges and high schools throughout the United States. Ranker lists at least 15 colleges with Bulldog mascots including Yale, Drake University, and The Citadel.
6. Reason for the Wrinkles
While not as pronounced as the wrinkles on the Shar Pei breed, the English Bulldog’s facial wrinkles add to its character and actually had purpose long ago. The ancestors of today’s modern Bulldog, the canines bred for bull-baiting, needed their wrinkles. Those folds of skin effectively helped keep blood away from the Bulldog’s eyes when in battle. Owners of English Bulldogs today must be sure to wipe clean the wrinkles/folds to help reduce the risk for infections. The nose folds in particular can be susceptible toward infection.
7. Famous Bulldog Owners
Throughout history, the English bulldog has held the hearts of many pet owners. Famous English bulldog owners include but are not limited to President William G. Harding and his bulldog named Old Boy, President Calvin Coolidge and his bulldog Boston Beans, actor Adam Sandler and his bulldog Meatball (who’s worked in movies and served as Sandler’s best man at his wedding), and Prime Minister Winston Churchill who not only owned bulldogs but was known as The British Bulldog during World War II.
8. Meaning of the Phrase “British Bulldog Spirit”
According to History Extra, the phrase “British bulldog spirit” means unrelenting courage. 18th century political cartoonists depicted the “female figure of Britannia being accompanied by both a lion and a bulldog.” By the 19th century, the bulldog had become an icon often appearing on World War I propaganda posters.