The writer’s bulldog Thor at 18 months.

English bulldogs must be of medium size and have smooth coats. They have a massive, short-faced head, wide shoulders, and sturdy limbs. They are wide, medium-sized, compact dogs with short legs and bodies, and massive heads with extra skin on the skull and forehead falling in folds and their skin hanging under the neck. Their attitude should suggest great stability, vigor, and strength. They are kind, stubborn and courageous, but not vicious or aggressive. Friendly, sociable, and sweet, they get along with everyone, from children to other animals.

I have personally experienced my bulldog Thor contracting skin diseases,  white retina in one eye, and needing an operation for cherry eye. We are fortunate to have a great veterinarian, Dr. Jerry Hawson of Pet Bureau located in Del Monte Avenue Quezon City, from whom we acquired Thor.

Dr. Hawson is very patient with all our dogs and explains every detail to the answers he gives when we inquire from him. He got interested in Brachycephalic breeds when he was in his second year of studying pre-vet. “Brachycephalic” means “shortened head” and refers to the short nose and flat face of these dogs.

Breeding English bulldogs is a great challenge. The timing of labor is critical when they are full term. He learned that other countries wanted to stop the breeding of English bulldogs due to its defects as a breed. He personally feels the breed will endure because people love English bulldogs in spite of their faults.

Taking care of English bulldogs is a big challenge. They might not be ideal for beginners but with their great personalities and adorable looks and behavior, I would suggest learning about and researching on their care before taking the plunge and getting a pet bulldog.

English Bulldog Basic Physical Traits

BASIC CARE AND INFORMATION

  • Breed group: Non-sporting
  • Weight: Males, 53-55 pounds (24-25 kilograms or kg); females, 49-51pounds (22-23 kg)
  • Height: 12-16 inches (31-40centimeters or cm)
  • Lifespan: 5-10 years
  • Color: Brindle, fawn or yellow, piebald, red, solid white
  • Requires minimal grooming and exercise
  • Short nose makes it prone to overheating in warm weather
  • Prone to cherry eye and skin infections
  • Needs a shady place to rest
  • Great jumpers because of their massive legs

This story appeared in Animal Scene’s April 2017 issue.