The Bulldog originated in England during the 13th century where they were originally bred to participate in the deadly and horrific sport of bull-baiting, in which a staked bull fought a pack of dogs while spectators bet on the outcome. Bull-baiting was banned in 1835 but it paved the way for a new blood sport called dogfighting and the need for a quicker specimen by crossing various terriers to the Bulldog, resulting in early ancestors of the Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and other bulldog-type terrier breeds. The ancestors of the modern-day English Bulldog were taller and aggressive, but over the generations, breed enthusiasts began to select for dogs with shorter legs, bigger heads, and a kind and courageous temperament. The good-natured Bulldog is a popular image in today's society with being seen as a mascot of prestigious schools such as Handsome Dan for Yale University and Uga for the University of Georgia, even being associated with the U.S. Marine Corps. Today, the Bulldog has become one of the most popular and well-recognized breeds in the United States and continues to be a national symbol in England.
English Bulldogs are a medium-sized breed most recognized for their heavy, thick-set, low stature body, and massive head. Paired with their wide shoulders and wrinkly face, the Bulldog cannot be mistaken for any other dog. They have a straight and short coat with a smooth and glossy finish that comes in red, fawn, and white with various patterns and markings. A widely recognized and loved characteristic, these thick-bodied dogs have a large head that is covered in heavy wrinkles. They have slightly rounded eyes, small ears, and a broad, upturned, and very short muzzle, giving them their famous "bulldog face." The naturally short tail of the English Bulldog can be either straight or "screwed."
Although known for their wrinkly appearance, the English Bulldog is adored for their easygoing and friendly temperament. These dogs are the exact opposite of their bull-baiting ancestors, sporting a calm and courageous demeanor. Bulldogs can look a little intimidating at times but they enjoy human companionship and are not to be kept outside and forgotten. As mellow as they are, the breed still retains some of their tenacity and headstrong nature. It is a common misconception that they are difficult to train but with patience and affection, these eager companions can be highly responsive. English Bulldogs are a great companion for families with children of any age and can be quite tolerant of toddlers. Known for being low-active and a little lazy, all Bulldogs still require regular exercise and a careful diet to stay trim. Due to their short muzzle, they can suffer from labored breathing in hot and humid weather. As a responsible owner, dogs with short snouts should be paid close attention to when outdoors and should have access to shade or air conditioning. English Bulldogs are a classic example of a breed that is great for both rural and city life, in addition to various types of households from families with small children to senior couples.