One of Britain’s oldest indigenous breeds, the Bulldog is known as the National dog of Great Britain and is associated throughout the world with British determination and the legendary John Bull. The Bulldog was first classified as such in the 1630s, though there is earlier mention of similar types referred to as bandogs, a term reserved today for a type of fighting dog. Used originally for bull-baiting, the Bulldog also fought its way through the dog pits, but after 1835 it began to evolve into the shorter-faced, more squat version we know today. It entered the show ring in 1860 and the ensuing years saw a big personality change.
The pugilistic expression of this delightfully ugly dog belies his loving, affectionate nature to family and friends. He has a reputation for tenacity and is very courageous, strong and powerful. Although he is a little bit stubborn by nature, he is good-tempered with children, of whom he is also very protective. The impression he gives of being slow and sluggish is completely contradicted by the great bursts of speed that he can and does produce when the occasion demands. His mood can be dignified, humorous or comical, and he has many endearing ways.
A British breed evolved from the Old English Mastiff and the Bulldog. Primarily used as a guard dog and, in olden times, to help the gamekeeper in the apprehension of poachers.
Naturally intelligent and observant, he is easily trained but likes to have a reason for doing things. Highly spirited, he makes a happy companion who is totally reliable both physically and mentally. Devoted to the members of his human family, his bravery and courage in defending them against intruders are legendary. He can quickly assess a situation, and this, combined with his acute hearing, makes him an excellent house-dog. He is very strong, but amenable to kindly discipline.
* If you are asthmatic or have an allergy, you should consult your medical advisor before considering obtaining a dog. More information can also be found on the Kennel Club website.
The Working Breed Group
Over the centuries these dogs were selectively bred to become guards and search and rescue dogs. Arguably, the working group consists of some of the most heroic canines in the world, aiding humans in many walks of life, including the Boxer, Great Dane and St. Bernard. This group consists of the real specialists in their field who excel in their line of work.