The Bulldog, which has become emblematic of British courage and endurance, is one of the most ancient of all the British breeds. Although it looks fierce, it is genial and intensely loyal and makes an affectionate family pet.


We don't know when this breed appeared in Britain: in ancient times it went under different names – Alaunt, Mastive and Bandogge. These dogs had big heads, short muzzles, incredible courage and an ability to "pin and hold". In 1204. Lord Stamford of Lincolnshire saw butchers' dogs tormenting a bull, found it entertaining and offered a field for bull baiting. Bulls' horns were padded and dogs were tossed in the air, the spectators standing close to catch them before they hit the ground. Dog fighting became illegal in 1835 and the breed, now known as the Bulldog, began to lose its popularity but was still exhibited. In 1874, the Bulldog Club was formed and people became interested in improving the breed. As dog shows became popular, so did the Bulldog.

Grooming a bulldog is simple: just weekly brushing and keeping the wrinkles and ears clean. Always dry them after exercising in rain.


The late Bulldog breeder Mrs. E.E. Smith's words on the temperament of the Bulldog cannot be bettered: "The Bulldog's apparent stolidity, stemming from his forbidding exterior covers many sterling qualities . . . abundant affection, kindness, especially to children, reluctance to fight but courageous and steadfast if he has to. Unparalleled loyalty coupled with an unfailing sense of humour."

must know

There are genetic problems, so buy only from breeders who are members of the integrated health scheme that monitors respiratory disability, eye and joint anomalies.


This dog has a wide head with a short muzzle and wrinkle, giving a fierce aspect, heavily-muscled, short legs and a wide chest. The coat of short hair comes in different colours: whole or smut (whole colour with black mask or muzzle) in brindles, various shades of red, white and pied. Dogs should weigh 26kg (55lb) and bitches 22.7kg (50lb).

Strangers 4/5

Will warn, suspicious

Temperament 4/5

Very affectionate, loyal, humorous

Exercise 3/5

Walks twice daily, garden play

Grooming 1/5

Minimal: once a week

Other dogs 3/5

Not argumentative but will stand its ground


Amusing individual, devoted but obstinate, needs sensitive handling

General care

Bulldogs need to be exercised regularly for short distances when young, increasing as they grow, in the coolest part of the day. Keeping them slim is very important: the type of food and quantity should be controlled. Grooming is simple – just brushing weekly and keeping the wrinkles and ears clean.

Gallery of Bulldog