Originally, bulldogs were bred to be used for livestock control in 15th century England. The first bulldogs are described to be large and powerful enough to control bulls, hence the dog breed’s name. Some were also used in the sport of bull baiting. Over the centuries that followed, bulldogs branched out into as many as 20 other breed types all over the world.
Here are some of the most popular bulldog breeds together with their distinctive qualities.
The English bulldog
Also lovingly called the “Olde English bulldog”, this type of bulldog is characterized by their short and smooth coat of hair and sweet-tempered personalities. As their name implies, this breed originated in England and were originally bred to fight bulls.
They have a moderately-sized build and can weigh around 50 to 55 pounds. They don’t need much exercise choosing to spend the majority of their day lounging instead. Another perk of owning an English bulldog is that they seldom bark. However, they are notorious for their food possessiveness and stubbornness which makes them unsuitable to be around small children. They can also be a bit flatulent and be prone to loud snoring.
The French bulldog
Although they bear the French tag, French bulldogs actually originate from England as well. They are a smaller version of the English bulldog weighing around 20 to 28 pounds which is half the size of a regular bulldog. Like their English counterparts, French bulldogs have short, easy-to-care for coats and doesn’t bark nor exercise much. They are also described to be ‘polite’ with everyone even with other pet animals.
They share the same faults of flatulence, stubbornness and slobbering as English bulldogs. French bulldogs tend to be more expensive as well. Another problem with owning this type of bulldog is that it is prone to health problems which is said to be due to the breed type’s deformed face.
The dog breeds bullmastiff and dogue de Bordeaux look very similar to bulldogs but aren’t really classified as bulldogs. They also share very similar characteristics and temperament to full breed bulldogs. The dogue de Bordeaux which weighs around 100 to 145 pounds is also known for being a drooler and notorious snorers. They are classified by the American Kennel Club as being 40% bulldogs. Meanwhile, the bullmastiff breed is said to be 60% bulldog. But unlike purebred bulldogs, these two breeds are classified as working dogs by the American Kennel Club.
The American bulldog
Often mistaken as a pitbull terrier, American bulldogs are a mix of the American Staffordshire terrier and the pitbull terrier neither of which are real bulldogs. The American bulldog can weigh around 70 to 120 pounds. Unlike other types of bulldogs, they love being active and require regular vigorous exercise to keep healthy. They have a muscular build giving them an imposing appearance. But don’t let their hard exterior fool you, American bulldogs are real people-pleasers. However, they tend to be aggressive towards other animals.
The American bulldog is not recognized as a dog breed by the American Kennel Club. But it is recognized by five other dog organizations as an official breed of bulldog.
Bulldogs have really changed from their original role as bull baits and herders. Today’s bulldogs are definitely smaller and more subdued and domesticated. But there are still traces of their ancestors in them which manifests in their strong build and aggressive tendencies shown through stubbornness.