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English Bulldog

One of Britain's most famous breeds, the Bulldog of today is a very different dog compared to its Alaunt ancestors, not only in appearance, but also in personality. Descended from the old fighting, hunting and bull-baiting mastiffs and bandogges of Europe and common butcher's dogs of Britain, it has been bred away from its blood-sport past over the course of the last two centuries of the previous millenium. Unlike its Spanish and American counterparts, who had remained relatively unchanged and still continue being primarily employed as working dogs used for guarding, hunting and livestock-controlling duties, the English Bulldog was given a new role, that of a reliable urban pet. By selecting smaller and friendlier specimens of the old British bulldogge population and then crossing them with imported Pai dogs, Pugs and possibly French Bulldogs, the developers of the modern English Bulldog created a well-mannered and devoted companion dog, which was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1935 and has remained a very popular breed worldwide to this day.

An affectionate and loyal breed, the present-day Bulldog is primarily kept as a family pet, although it still retains some remnants of its roots which manifest themselves in its somewhat confrontational nature toward other dogs. Still armed with a strong protective drive, this lovely dog might not be able to DO anything to the potential intruders, but it definetely gets a few points for courage. It does make a great alarm dog, if not a guard. Massive, stocky and slow, the English Bulldog is not an athletic breed, but is intelligent and reasonably easy to train, easily adaptable to any lifestyle.

However, due to the immense popularity of the breed and overbreeding, many Bulldogs suffer from a variety of hereditary health issues, from skin infections to breathing difficulties, as well as not being able to give natural birth. The head is very large and broad, with an extremely short muzzle which is turned upward, an undershot lower jaw, well-defined cheek muscles and thick, pendant flews, referred to as "chops" by the breed fanciers. The "rose" ears are small and set high on the head. The nose must be black. This is a wide-chested and loose-skinned breed, with a short neck, moderate dewlaps and a broad back. The legs are thick and relatively short, set wide apart, with feet slightly turned out. The tail is short and thick, accepted both as straight or "screwed", but never curled.

The coat is short, flat and fine-textured, coming in a wide range of usual bully colours, but preferred in red brindle shades, with or without white markings. Average height is around 13 inches.

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