Certainly, there are many dog breeds that are cute and lovable. Everyone loves a puppy and apparently all puppies are cute. But among the many breeds of dogs, there is one that stands out as being particularly interesting to watch, be it a puppy or an adult. In the United States we call these dogs English Bulldogs. I say in America because in Britain, where bulldogs originate, they are just plain bulldogs.
Question: How do you make a bulldog smile? Answer: You don’t, it makes you smile. One look at the bulldog’s wrinkles, wide posture, and flat-faced appearance and it’s hard not to smile. Their appearance and disposition contribute to making the bulldog one of the most popular dogs in the United States. They are fiercely loyal dogs that are happy to spend time with their owners.
The records do not clarify the true origins of the bulldog, but some things are for sure. Almost everyone agrees that its name comes from the cruel sport of bull baiting. Bulldogs were also used to control and corner bulls in England. In the mid-1800s, bulldogs ceased to be “sporting” dogs when the “sport” of bull baiting was banned.
While the bulldog’s popularity waned after bull baiting was banned, within a few years they became show dogs. But none of this explains why the bulldog looks that way; so let’s move on.
Dog farming was not the science hundreds of years ago that it is today. Breeders would mate dogs based on their appearance. And in doing so, they finally obtained many of the physical traits that we see in bulldogs today. The bulldog’s nose is high on the head to allow the dog to breathe easily while maintaining a firm grip on a bull.
Some believe that the wrinkled skin allowed it to sag and there was less chance of a bull’s horns breaking the skin. Of course, being very close to the ground made them a more difficult target for the bulls. The wrinkles on a bulldog’s face have been thought to make it easier for tears to drain from the eyes. The bulldog has a powerful jaw that gives it a target-like grip.
Combine all of this with strong hind legs and you have a dog that looks tough but is actually quite gentle and good with children. Of course the bulldog was once aggressive, yet for over 150 years they have been raised as companions and family pets. At one point there was a reason for the looks we find so adorable on today’s English Bulldog.