English Bull dog
Bull dogs were earlier used for a bloody game known as Bull baiting. Dogs that were used for bull baiting evolved to have massive heads, stocky bodies and ferocious temperament. However, after several animal protection acts, the practice of Bull baiting was stopped and these dogs were eventually kept as dogs for home use. Soon, the English bull dog was mated with pug resulting in a dog which had a wider skull and had less aggressiveness than the previous version. The first club to give recognition to the English bull dog is the English Bull dog Club, England in 1878. The American Kennel Club recognized and registered these dogs in the year 1890.
English Bull dog – At a glance
The following list of general and physical characteristics will help you to get familiarized with your English Bull dog: –
• Breed type: Pure breed (belong to the Mastiff/ Non- sporting/ Utility group of dog breeds). These dogs are recognized and registered with the Continental Kennel Club, Dog Registry of America, Inc., American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club, Australian National Kennel Club, Canadian Kennel Club, American Canine Registry, and various others.
• Height: 1 ft. 1 inch to 1 ft. 3 inches for males and 10 inches to 1 ft. 1 inch for females at an average.
• Weight: 45 to 55 pounds for males and 40 to 45 pounds for females at an average.
• Life Span: Most English bull dogs have an average life span of 9 to 11 years. Bull dogs have a low life span and have slow maturation. The ageing process starts at the age of 5 or 6 years.
• Available coat colors: Red, Fawn, Beige, White, Pie bald and Brindle colored.
• The coat is sleek, smooth, fine, short and flat.
• These dogs have a wide head and the most characteristic feature of the English bull dog is the presence of thick folds of skin or wrinkles on face along with pronounced mandibular prognathism.
• They have a hanging skin with droopy lips and pointed teeth. The eyes are wide and are deep set within the folds of the brows.
• They can give birth to 4 to 6 puppies at a time.
Temperament and Personality traits
The Bull dogs make an excellent companion with children and hence they are preferred family dogs.
However, they can be excellent as watch dogs as well. They do not have a stubborn nature, instead they love to spread and take love. Sometimes, these dogs will become so much attached to their owner or family that they would never go outside of their territory without the assistance of a human companion or their master.
While these dogs are quiet slow learners than other dogs because of their low intelligence, this does not limits them from their willingness to learn. They do not give up easily which makes them easy to train. However, very few bull dogs can be dominating and will drive away other pets encompassing their territory. The training depends upon proper leadership by the owner.
Feed your bull dogs with 1 to 2 cups of premium quality dry dog food divided into two equal meals every day. The amount of food to be given will depend upon the weight, age and the disease conditions prevailing in your dog. You can trust brands such as Purina, Acana, Hills and Taste of the Wild dry dog food for feeding these dogs.
The feed shall contain at least 20% Carbohydrate content, 18% Protein content and 13% fat content.
Obesity is a major problem in these dogs and hence you should keep a check on his weight and make sure your bull dog exercises regularly. A daily 25 to 35 minutes’ walk will keep these dogs fit and away from most diseases.
Health and Immunization
Death in bull dogs are majorly related to either cardiac related diseases, cancer or because of old age. Other diseases in these dogs are mostly eye- related or ophthalmic in nature. Such diseases include – the Cherry Eye Syndrome (wherein the corner of the eye appears to have a dark cherry coloration due to protrusion of a gland under the third eye lid), Dry eye (this condition is because the ability to produce tear in these dogs have lessened naturally), Entropion (in which the eyelashes turn inwards causing irritation in the dog’s eye).
Other diseases in Bull dogs includes – Inverted or Reverse Sneezing – causing sound of choking as the nasal fluid drips down on the palate, Brachycephalic syndrome – which causes labored or noisy breathing in these dogs, Head shakes (resembling fits and seizures), Demodectic mange or Demodicosis, hip and elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, screwed tails and others.
Every English Bull dog should be immunized at regular intervals so that they are protected from various diseases caused by dangerous viruses. Some mandatory vaccines for this breed includes: – Parvovirus, Rabies, Distemper, Coronavirus, Hepatitis A and B, Influenza and Parainfluenza vaccines. Inject annual booster shots from experienced vets.
Care and Grooming
Your bull dog has smooth and soft coat and hence it is easier to manage. However, maintaining the wrinkles and keeping them healthy can be problematic. To keep the skin of the wrinkles healthy, clean them from within and brush them while bathing.
Brush your Bull dogs at least twice a week and bathe them at least once a week, depending upon how much they get dirty. Your bull dog is an average shedder.
Maintain proper dental care, nail and ear hygiene. For this purpose, brush his teeth daily (or at least once in two days), cut his nails once in a month and clean his ear with pH balanced ear cleanser every week.
While you are grooming, check for any obvious signs of irritation, allergies, sores, redness, erythema, fluid discharge and rashes. If these symptoms do not slow down with time then show him to an experienced vet immediately.
You can adopt or rescue Bull dogs according to the guidelines set by various organizations that give recognition to these dogs (as mentioned above). Make sure you adopt a Bull dog that is least prone to diseases.
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