Breed Standard

The Bulldog


Traditionally recognised as 'the British breed' and renowned for the bulldog spirit and strength and is often referred to as the Churchill dog as it was used to portray the courage and spirit of England during the second world war. It goes back in history in early literature in the 13th century there are mentions of the forerunners of this breed and is best known for being used for bull and bear baiting, its stance giving the weight and power, its wrinkled face supposed to protect their vision from blood........However these barbaric practices were outlawed and the bulldog became bred for his companionship, loyalty.

In 1875 the oldest bulldog club was formed 'the Bulldog Club Incorperated'and it is still the foremost club today,with approximately 20 more clubs throughout the country, serious breeders and exhibitors in the show world work for the love and protection of the breed, improving the health problems associated with the breed.

The character of bulldogs

Bulldogs are quite stubborn, extremely faithful to their owners look quite fierce and when called upon to protect their loved ones,would act accordingly.They are not great barkers and are happy just to be near their beloved owners, they can be lazy and are content to be couch potatoes if you let them but to maintain good health, muscle tone and short nails regular exercise on hard surface (pavements)is recommended.

They will live happily with other animals but need to be young when introduced to live in harmony, they are possessive over toys, treats and food and even their favourite person.

Bulldogs love children make a good family pet known for an affinity with them, but in this I feel its important for the bulldog to be reared with the children from a pup ,and care taken to protect the pup from too much attention and a peaceful haven provided for dog to retreat too. As they are a powerful dog it is important your children respect this addition to the family.My own bulldogs live happily with each other, two veteran cats and visiting toddlers!

Bulldog characteristics

A full breed standard is available from the Kennel Club or any of the breed clubs.I don't intend to reprint it in detail here

Bulldogs are approximately 50lbs, the males having a bigger head and looking more impressive than the bitches who should be about 5lbs lighter A heavy stocky looking dog and although described as big dogs, I myself think they are a medium size in height.They can be any colour but black, their coat is short haired and rather spiky, they moult in our modern heated houses , (this can be almost all year round,) they can have straight or screwed tails,they are never docked, their expression should be 'Sour' and it is preferable not to show their teeth.

Their life span is like most heavy dogs average 9 years but I personally know one of 14 years and ofcourse it does depend on the lifestyle, a regular steady walk, not too much weight carried can give your bulldog a good chance of a longer life.

Finding your bulldog

If you want to buy a healthy puppy from a breeder who will support you with problems as they arise whilst you are learning about the breed , look around for your local dog shows go and look at the dogs and speak to the exhibitors, try not to buy from anyone who doesn't show you the mother and make sure it is not a crossbred puppy.

Having said most of the downside reasons in bulldogs may I just say that they are wonderful to live with, and once you have owned one you will be totally captivated by the nature of these very special dogs.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Breed Standard
( Reproduced by kind permission of The Kennel Club; Revised: 1 January 2009)

A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed. From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Kennel Club website for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure.

General Appearance: Smooth-coated, well balanced, of great strength for his size. Muscular, active and agile.

Characteristics: Traditionally of indomitable courage and tenacity. Highly intelligent and affectionate, especially with children.

Temperament: Bold, fearless and totally reliable

Head and Skull: Short, deep through with broad skull. Very pronounced cheek muscles, distinct stop, short fore face, nose black.

Eyes: Dark preferred but may bear some relation to coat colour. Round, of medium size, and set to look straight ahead. Eye rims dark.

Ears: Rose or half pricked, not large or heavy. Full, drop or pricked ears highly undesirable.

Mouth: Lips tight and clean. Jaws strong, teeth large, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.

Neck: Muscular, rather short, clean in outline gradually widening towards shoulders.

Forequarters: Legs straight and well boned, set rather wide apart, showing no weakness at the pasterns, from which point feet turn out a little. Shoulders well laid back with no looseness at elbow.

Body: Close - coupled, with level topline, wide front, deep brisket, well sprung ribs, muscular and well defined.

Hindquarters: Well muscled, hocks well let down with stifles well bent. Legs parallel when viewed from behind.

Feet: Well padded, strong and of medium size. Nails black in solid coloured dogs.

Tail: Medium length, low set, tapering to a point and carried rather low. Should not curl much and may be likened to an old fashioned pump handle.

Gait / Movement: Free, powerful and agile with economy of effort. Legs moving parallel when viewed from front or rear. Discernible drive from hind legs.
Coat: Smooth, short and close.

Colour: Red, fawn, white, black or blue, or any of these colours with white. Any shade of brindle with white. Black and tan or liver colour highly undesirable.

Size: Desirable height at withers 35.5 - 40.5 cms (14 - 16 ins.), these heights being related to the weights.

Weight: dogs: 12.7 - 17 kgs (28 - 38 lbs); bitches 11- 15.4 kgs (24 - 34 lbs)

Faults: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

Note: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles full descended into the scrotum