- Knowing the origins of the Bulldog
- Seeing past the ugly mug — the picture of a Bulldog
- Looking at the American and French Bulldogs
- Showing Bulldogs
So you want to know a little more about Bulldogs? I’m glad you asked, because the Bully is an incredibly interesting dog, with an interesting history to match. In this chapter, I go over that history.
In fact, the British thought so highly of the dog’s personality that the dog has become the symbol of Britain. In 1875, the Bulldog Club was incorporated in England to promote and protect the breed, and the Bulldog Club of America was founded in 1890 and incorporated in 1904 for the same purpose.
Picturing the Bulldog
If a Bulldog breed club exists in your area, this group can also be an excellent source for information on Bulldogs, showers, and breeders.
Perusing the pedigree
The dogs listed on the top half of the pedigree are your puppy’s father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. The dogs listed on the bottom half are the mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. The pedigree also tells you which dogs are champions, indicated by the ch in front of their names. If a dog earned performance titles, he will be listed with initials after his name. An example is CD, which stands for Companion Dog. See Chapter Showing and Showing Off Your Well-Trained Bulldog for the various championship titles.
AKC Bulldog breed standard
– Maintaining a registry for purebred dogs and preserving its integrity
– Sanctioning dog events that promote interest in breeding for type and function of purebred dogs and sustaining this process
– Taking necessary actions to protect and continue the sport of purebred dogs
In its operations, the AKC focuses on serving “The Fancy — the dedicated breeders, exhibitors, judges, handlers, and other participants and enthusiasts who make the sport of purebred dogs so rewarding and enjoyable.” Visit the AKC at www.akc.org.
Size, proportion, symmetry
– Size: The size for mature dogs is about 50 pounds; for mature bitches, about 40 pounds.
– Proportion: The circumference of the skull in front of the ears should measure at least the height of the dog at the shoulders.
– Symmetry: The points should be well distributed and bear good relation one to the other, no feature being in such prominence from either excess or lack of quality that the animal appears deformed or ill-proportioned.
– Influence of sex: In comparison of specimens of different sex, due allowance should be made in favor of the bitches, which do not bear the characteristics of the breed to the same degree of perfection and grandeur as do the dogs.
– Eyes and eyelids: The eyes, seen from the front, should be situated low down in the skull, as far from the ears as possible, and their corners should be in a straight line at right angles with the stop. They should be quite in front of the head, as wide apart as possible, provided their outer corners are within the outline of the cheeks when viewed from the front. They should be quite round in form, of moderate size, neither sunken nor bulging, and in color should be very dark. The lids should cover the white of the eyeball, when the dog is looking directly forward, and the lid should show no haw.
– Ears: The ears should be set high in the head, the front inner edge of each ear joining the outline of the skull at the top back corner of skull, so as to place them as wide apart, and as high, and as far from the eyes as possible. In size they should be small and thin. The shape termed “rose ear” is the most desirable. The rose ear folds inward at its back lower edge, the upper front edge curving over, outward and backward, showing part of the inside of the burr. (The ears should not be carried erect or prick-eared or buttoned and should never be cropped.)
– Skull: The skull should be very large, and in circumference, in front of the ears, should measure at least the height of the dog at the shoulders. Viewed from the front, it should appear very high from the corner of the lower jaw to the apex of the skull and also very broad and square. Viewed at the side, the head should appear very high and very short from the point of the nose to occiput. The forehead should be flat (not rounded or domed), neither too prominent nor overhanging the face.
– Cheeks: The cheeks should be well rounded, protruding sideways and outward beyond the eyes.
– Stop: The temples or frontal bones should be very well defined, broad, square and high, causing a hollow or groove between the eyes. This indentation, or stop, should be both broad and deep and extend up the middle of the forehead, dividing the head vertically, being traceable to the top of the skull.
– Face and muzzle: The face, measured from the front of the cheekbone to the tip of the nose, should be extremely short, the muzzle being very short, broad, turned upward and very deep from the corner of the eye to the corner of the mouth.
– Nose: The nose should be large, broad and black, its tip set back deeply between the eyes. The distance from bottom of stop, between the eyes, to the tip of nose should be as short as possible and not exceed the length from the tip of nose to the edge of underlip. The nostrils should be wide, large and black, with a well-defined line between them. Any nose other than black is objectionable and a brown or liver-colored nose shall disqualify.
– Lips: The chops or “flews” should be thick, broad, pendant and very deep, completely overhanging the lower jaw at each side. They join the underlip in front and almost or quite cover the teeth, which should be scarcely noticeable when the mouth is closed.
– Bite/jaws: The jaws should be massive, very broad, square and undershot, the lower jaw projecting considerably in front of the upper jaw and turning up.
– Teeth: The teeth should be large and strong, with the canine teeth or tusks wide apart, and the six small teeth in front, between the canines, in an even, level row.
Neck, topline, and body
– Neck: The neck should be short, very thick, deep and strong and well arched at the back.
– Topline: There should be a slight fall in the back, close behind the shoulders (its lowest part), whence the spine should rise to the loins (the top of which should be higher than the top of the shoulders), thence curving again more suddenly to the tail, forming an arch (a very distinctive feature of the breed), termed “roach back” or, more correctly, “wheel-back.”
– Body: The brisket and body should be very capacious, with full sides, well-rounded ribs and very deep from the shoulders down to its lowest part, where it joins the chest. It should be well let down between the shoulders and forelegs, giving the dog a broad, low, short-legged appearance.
– Chest: The chest should be very broad, deep and full.
– Underline: The body should be well ribbed up behind with the belly tucked up and not rotund.
– Back and loin: The back should be short and strong, very broad at the shoulders and comparatively narrow at the loins.
– Tail: The tail may be either straight or screwed (but never curved or curly), and in any case must be short, hung low, with decided downward carriage, thick root and fine tip. If straight, the tail should be cylindrical and of uniform taper. If screwed, the bends or kinks should be well defined, and they may be abrupt and even knotty, but no portion of the member should be elevated above the base or root.
– Shoulders: The shoulders should be muscular, very heavy, widespread and slanting outward, giving stability and great power.
– Forelegs: The forelegs should be short, very stout, straight and muscular, set wide apart, with well-developed calves, presenting a bowed outline, but the bones of the legs should not be curved or bandy, nor the feet brought too close together.
– Elbows: The elbows should be low and stand well out and loose from the body.
– Feet: The feet should be moderate in size, compact and firmly set. Toes compact, well split up, with high knuckles and very short stubby nails. The front feet may be straight or slightly out-turned.
– Legs: The hind legs should be strong and muscular and longer than the forelegs, so as to elevate the loins above the shoulders. Hocks should be slightly bent and well let down, so as to give length and strength from the loins to hock. The lower leg should be short, straight and strong, with the stifles turned slightly outward and away from the body. The hocks are thereby made to approach each other, and the hind feet to turn outward.
– Feet: The feet should be moderate in size, compact and firmly set. Toes compact, well split up, with high knuckles and short stubby nails. The hind feet should be pointed well outward.
Coat and skin
– Coat: The coat should be straight, short, flat, close, of fine texture, smooth and glossy. (No fringe, feather, or curl.)
– Skin: The skin should be soft and loose, especially at the head, neck and shoulders.
– Wrinkles and dewlap: The head and face should be covered with heavy wrinkles, and at the throat, from jaw to chest, there should be two loose pendulous folds, forming the dewlap.
Color of coat
– The color of coat should be uniform, pure of its kind and brilliant.
– The various colors found in the breed are to be preferred in the following order:
- Red brindle
- All other brindles
- Solid white
- Solid red, fawn or fallow
- Inferior qualities of all the foregoing
– Note: A perfect piebald is preferable to a muddy brindle or defective solid color. Solid black is very undesirable, but not so objectionable if occurring to a moderate degree in piebald patches. The brindles to be perfect should have a fine, even, and equal distribution of the composite colors. In brindles and solid colors a small white patch on the chest is not considered detrimental. In piebalds the color patches should be well defined, of pure color, and symmetrically distributed.
– The style and carriage are peculiar, his gait being a loosejointed, shuffling, sidewise motion, giving the characteristic roll.
– The action must, however, be unrestrained, free, and vigorous.
– The disposition should be equable and kind, resolute and courageous (not vicious or aggressive), and demeanor should be pacific and dignified.
– These attributes should be countenanced by the expression and behavior.
UK Bulldog breed standard
– Smooth-coated, thick set, rather low in stature, broad, powerful, and compact.
– Head, fairly large in proportion to size but no point so much in excess of others as to destroy the general symmetry, or make the dog appear deformed, or interfere with its powers of motion.
– Face short, muzzle broad, blunt, and inclined upwards.
– Dogs showing respiratory distress highly undesirable.
– Body short, well knit, limbs stout, well muscled, and in hard condition with no tendency toward obesity.
– Hindquarters high and strong but somewhat lighter in comparison with heavy foreparts.
– Bitches not so grand or well developed as dogs.
– Conveys impression of determination, strength, and activity.
– Alert, bold, loyal, dependable, courageous.
– Fierce in appearance, but possessed of affectionate nature.
Head and skull
– Skull large in circumference. Viewed from front appears very high from corner of lower jaw to apex of skull; also very broad and square.
– Cheeks well rounded and extended sideways beyond eyes. Viewed from side, head appears very high and short from back to point of nose.
– Forehead flat with skin upon and about head, loose and wrinkled, neither prominent nor overhanging face. Projections of frontal bones prominent, broad, square and high; deep, wide indentation between eyes.
– From stop, a furrow, both broad and deep extending to middle of skull being traceable to apex.
– Face from front of cheek bone to nose, short, skin wrinkled.
– Muzzle short, broad, turned upwards and very deep from corner of eye to corner of mouth.
– Nose and nostrils large, broad and black, under no circumstances liver colour, red or brown; top set back toward eyes. Distance from inner corner of eye (or from centre of stop between eyes) to extreme tip of nose not exceeding length from tip of nose to edge of underlip. Nostrils large wide and open, with well defined vertical straight line between.
– Flews (chops) thick, broad, pendant and very deep, hanging completely over lower jaws at sides, not in front, joining underlip in front and quite covering teeth.
– Jaws broad, massive and square, lower jaw projecting in front of upper and turning up. Nose roll must not interfere with the line of layback. Viewed from front, the various properties of the face must be equally balanced on either side of an imaginary line down centre.
– Seen from front, situated low down in skull, well away from ears.
– Eyes and stop in same straight line, at right angles to furrow. Wide apart, but outer corners within the outline of cheeks. Round in shape, of moderate size, neither sunken nor prominent, in colour very dark — almost black — showing no white when looking directly forward.
– Free from obvious eye problems.
– Set high — for example, the front edge of each ear (as viewed from front) joins outline of skull at top corner of such outline, so as to place them as wide apart, as high and as far from eyes as possible.
– Small and thin.
– Rose ear correct, for example, folding inwards back, upper or front inner edge curving outwards and backwards, showing part of inside of burr.
– Jaws broad and square with six small front teeth between canines in an even row.
– Canines wide apart.
– Teeth large and strong, not seen when mouth closed. When viewed from front under jaw directly under upper jaw and parallel.
– Moderate in length, very thick, deep and strong. _ Well arched at back, with much loose, thick and wrinkled skin about throat, forming dewlap on each side, from lower jaw to chest.
– Shoulders broad, sloping and deep, very powerful and muscular giving appearance of being “tacked on” body.
– Brisket capacious, round and very deep from top of shoulders to lowest part where it joins chest. Well let down between forelegs. Large in diameter, round behind forelegs (not flatsided, ribs well rounded).
– Forelegs very stout and strong, well developed, set wide apart, thick, muscular and straight, presenting rather bowed outline, but bones of legs large and straight, not bandy nor curved and short in proportion to hindlegs, but not so short as to make back appear long, or detract from dog’s activity and so cripple him.
– Elbows low and standing well away from ribs. Pasterns short, straight and strong.
– Chest wide, laterally round, prominent and deep.
– Back short, strong, broad at shoulders, comparatively narrower at loins. Slight fall to back close behind shoulders (lowest part) whence spine should rise to loins (top higher than top of shoulder), curving again more suddenly to tail, forming arch (termed roach back) — a distinctive characteristic of breed.
– Body well ribbed up behind with belly tucked up and not pendulous.
– Legs large and muscular, longer in proportion than forelegs, so as to elevate loins.
– Hocks slightly bent, well let down; legs long and muscular from loins to hock; short, straight, strong lower part.
– Stifles round and turned slightly outwards away from body.
– Hocks thereby made to approach each other and hind feet to turn outwards.
– Fore, straight, and turning very slightly outward; of medium size and moderately round.
– Hind, round, and compact.
– Toes compact and thick, well split up, making knuckles prominent and high.
– Set on low, jutting out rather straight and then turning downwards.
– Round, smooth and devoid of fringe or coarse hair.
– Moderate in length — rather short than long — thick at root, tapering quickly to a fine point.
– Downward carriage (not having a decided upward curve at end) and never carried above back.
– Peculiarly heavy and constrained, appearing to walk with short, quick steps on tips of toes, hind feet not lifted high, appearing to skim ground, running with one or other shoulder rather advanced.
– Soundness of movement of the utmost importance.
– Fine texture, short, close and smooth (hard only from shortness and closeness, not wiry).
– Whole or smut (i.e. whole colour with black mask or muzzle).
– Only whole colours (which should be brilliant and pure of their sort) viz., brindles, reds with their various shades, fawns, fallows etc., white and pied (i.e. combination of white with any of the foregoing colours).
– Dudley, black and black with tan highly undesirable.
– Dogs: 25 kgs (55 lbs)
– Bitches: 23 kgs (50 lbs)
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.
UKC Bulldog breed standard
General appearance and characteristics
– The ideal English Bulldog is massive, of medium size and has a smooth coat, a heavy, thick-set, low-slung body, wide shoulders, sturdy limbs and a short-faced head.
– General appearance, coupled with attitude, suggests great stability, vigor and strength.
– The English Bulldog has an equable and kind disposition; and is resolute and courageous. The characteristic demeanor is one of peace and dignity. These attributes are evident in their expression and behavior.
– When comparing both sexes, due consideration is to be given to bitches, as they do not bear the breed characteristics to the same degree as the males.
– All points of the standard are well distributed and bear good relation one to the other. No feature is so prominent or so lacking that it makes the animal appear deformed out of proportion.
– The skull is very large. The circumference, taken in front of the ears, measures at least the same as the height of the dog, measured from the shoulders to the ground. When viewed from the front, the head is very broad and square, and appears very high from the corner of the lower jaw to the apex of the skull.
– In profile, the head appears very high and very short from the occiput to the point of the nose. The forehead is flat, never rounded or domed; and never too prominent nor overhanging the face.
– The well-defined temples (frontal bones) are broad, square and high, causing the stop, a hollow, or groove, between the eyes.
– The broad, deep stop extends up the middle of the forehead, dividing the head vertically, being traceable to the top of the skull.
– The well-rounded cheeks protrude sideways and outward beyond the eyes.
– The extremely short face is measured from the front of the cheekbone to the tip of the nose.
– The very short muzzle is turned upward and is very deep from the corner of the eye to the corner of the mouth.
– The distance from the bottom of the stop (between the eyes) to the tip of the nose is to be as short as possible, and does not exceed the distance measured from the tip of the nose to the edge of the under lip.
– The massive jaws are broad and very square. The undershot lower jaw projects considerably in front of the upper jaw and turns up.
– The thick, broad, pendant flews, referred to as the “chops,” are very deep. They completely overhang the lower jaw at each side. In front, they join the under lip, almost or quite covering the teeth, which are scarcely noticeable when the mouth is closed.
– A full complement of large, strong, white teeth meet in an undershot bite.
– The canines are wide apart; and the incisors are in an even, level row.
– The very dark eyes are quite round and moderate in size; never being sunken nor bulging. When the dog is looking directly forward, the lids cover the white of the eyeball. There is no haw showing.
– Viewed from the front, the eyes are situated low down in the skull, as far back from the ears as possible. They are quite in front of the head and as wide apart as possible, provided that their outer corners are within the outline of the cheek, when viewed from the front.
– The corners of the eyes are in a straight line at right angles with the stop.
– The large, broad nose is black in color. Its tip is set back deeply between the eyes.
– The wide, large nostrils are also black in color.
– Very serious fault — Nose color other than black.
– Disqualification — Brown or liver-colored nose.
– The small, thin rose ears are set high on the head.
– The front inner edge of each ear joins the outline of the skull at the top back corner of the skull, placing them wide apart and as far apart from the eyes as possible.
– Very serious faults — Erect ears; prick ears; button ears; cropped ears.
– The short, very thick neck is deep, strong, and well-arched.
– The very heavy, muscular shoulders are widespread and slant outward, providing stability and great power.
– The short, very stout forelegs are straight and muscular. They are set wide apart, their well-developed calves presenting a bowed outline.
– The legs themselves are not curved or bandy, nor are the feet brought too close together.
– The low elbows stand well out, and loose, from the body.
– The brisket and body are very capacious, and very deep from the shoulders down to the lowest part.
– The very broad chest is deep and full.
– The brisket is well let down between the shoulders and the forelegs, causing a broad, low, short-legged appearance.
– The sides are full.
– The body is well-ribbed-up behind, and the ribs are wellrounded.
– The belly is tucked up; not rotund.
– The backline is short and strong. It is very broad at the shoulders and comparatively narrow at the loins. There is a slight fall in the back, its lowest part being close behind the shoulders. From there, the spine rises to the loins, then curves again more suddenly to the tail, to form the breed characteristic wheel back.
– The top of the loins is higher than the withers.
– The strong, muscular hind legs are longer than the forelegs, contributing to the elevation of the loins above the level of the shoulders.
– The short lower legs are straight and strong.
– The stifles turn slightly outward and away from the body, causing the hocks to approach each other and the hind feet to turn outward.
– The slightly bent hocks are well let down, providing length and strength from the loins to the hock.
– The compact, firmly set feet are moderate in size.
– The compact toes are well split up and have high knuckles and short, stubby nails.
– The front feet may be straight or slightly turned out.
– The hind feet should be pointed well outward.
– The short tail is hung low, and has a thick root, a decided downward carriage and a fine tip. It may be straight or screwed, but never curved or curly.
– A straight tail is cylindrical and is tapered uniformly.
– A screw tail has well-defined bends or kinks that may be abrupt or even knotty, but no portion of the tail may be elevated above the base or root.
– The skin is soft and loose, especially at the head, neck and shoulders.
Wrinkles and dewlap
– The head and face are covered with heavy wrinkles.
– There should be two loose, pendulous folds forming the dewlap at the throat, from the jaw to the chest.
– The short, straight coat lies flat and close, and is smooth, glossy and of a fine texture.
– There are no fringes, feathers, or curls.
– Coat color is uniform, pure, and brilliant.
– The various breed typical colors are to be preferred in the following order:
- Red brindle
- All other brindles (Note: To be considered perfect, brindles are to have a fine, even, and equal distribution of the composite colors.)
- Solid white
- Solid red
- Fawn or yellow
- Inferior specimens of all the foregoing (Note: A perfect piebald is preferable to a muddy brindle or a defective solid color. Solid black is very undesirable, but black is not so objectionable if occurring, to a moderate degree, in piebald patches.)
– Note: A small white patch on the chest is acceptable in brindles and solid-colored dogs. Color patches on piebalds are expected to be well-defined, of pure color, and symmetrically distributed.
– Weight for mature dogs is approximately 50 pounds.
– Weight for mature bitches is approximately 40 pounds.
– Movement style and carriage are distinctive to the breed. It is a loose-jointed, shuffling, sideways motion, causing the characteristic roll.
– However, action is free, vigorous, and unrestricted.
– Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid
– Viciousness or extreme shyness
– Brown or liver-colored nose
The French and American Bulldogs
The French Bulldog
The American Bulldog
American Bulldogs range in height from 20 to 27 inches, depending on whether the dog is male or female. A male weighs 75 to 125 pounds, a female 60 to 100 pounds. A Bulldog male weighs about 50 pounds, a female 40 pounds. The American Bulldog has a topline that slopes slightly from the withers to the tail; a Bulldog has the distinctive roach or wheel back.