That sour mug expression belies the Bulldog's inner clown. In fact, there are few dogs on earth that can bring a smile to your face as fast as a Bulldog can. He may be frowny on the outside, but he's giggly on the inside---and he'll have you giggling too!
Bulldog life wasn't always so happy-go-lucky. In the Middle Ages, every European village had a bull-baiting ring where bulls to be slaughtered were tormented by one or more Bulldogs beforehand because it was thought to tenderize the bull's meat. The Bulldog was designed with a recessed face so he could grip the bull and still breathe, and with a wide body and low center of gravity so he could stay on his feet. Bull-baiting was outlawed in the 1800s, but the Bulldog soon found another, better job as a fun-loving companion.
The Bulldog is known for its toughness, tenacity, loyalty and courage, earning it a position as the national symbol of England. It's also been the mascot of more sports teams than any other dog.
One of the most beloved of all breeds, the Bulldog is currently experiencing a popularity surge that has propelled it into the top 10 list of most popular dogs in America.
Bulldogs are among the most entertaining of breeds. Give him a basket of toys and let the show begin! But avoid letting him get overheated, as he can't cool efficiently. And forego the swimming---he tends to sink!
Bulldogs have a high rate of joint problems, including hip and elbow dysplasia. Feeding a diet formulated for large breed puppies during the first year of life will help decrease the possibility of these joint problems. These diets allow the puppy to grow more slowly, while still achieving the same adult size---just a little later. Joint supplements, such as glucosamine chondroitin supplements, are also important for protecting joint health throughout life.
Bulldogs also have a high degree of flatulence! Bring on the anti-gas pills! These pills may also help prevent bloat, a potentially fatal condition in which gas is trapped in the stomach.
Bulldog coat care can be both easy and hard. Easy, because the hair is short and requires only a quick brushing to remove dead hair once a week. Hard, because the folds of skin can harbor moisture and set up an ideal location for infections. To combat this you must clean and dry any recessed skin areas, especially those around the face, between the eyes and nose, and at the union of the tail and back. Clean the folds with an antibacterial wipe and dry thoroughly. For some Bulldogs, once a week will suffice; for others, once a day.
Allergies and sensitive skin can also be a problem. Bathe with an avocado oil or oatmeal based shampoo.
Apply an ear cleanser any time the ears start to accumulate dark secretions. Some ear wax is healthy; a lot is not. If you must apply ear medication, use the ear cleanser first to remove thick secretions that would block the medication from reaching the surface of the canal.
Brush the teeth daily.
Clip the nails every two weeks or so using a heavy-duty dog nail clipper.
Bulldogs can suffer from age-related changes, including arthritis, at a comparatively young age. Besides any intervention recommended by your veterinarian, a soft cushion to lie on and glucosamine chondroitin supplements added to the diet can help soothe aching joints, and keep him as young in body as he is at heart.