An English Bulldog at our West Sacramento Clinic.

Here is a typical looking English Bulldog with his human family at our West Sacramento clinic.

Notice the characteristics which identify the English Bulldog breed: He has a wide and low stance for stability. He has impressive musculature and it is especially prominent around his head and neck: He has the standard Bulldog underbite with thick, loose tough skin and he has the characteristic knot of folded skin over the bridge of his muzzle. All these features are left over from the days, hundreds of years ago, when Bulldogs of all sorts were used in England for the blood sport of bull baiting. While today’s Bulldogs have been bred to exaggerate the original physique of the bull baiting dogs, the purpose of the original traits is obvious. The bullfighting dogs had to be tough and stable enough to survive being thrown about by the bull, they had to have the thick loose skin to protect them from injuries from the bull’s horns and they needed that scissor-locking underbite to both hold onto the the bull and also to be able to continue to breathing without releasing the hold on the bull. All this sounds fearsome and it was in the old days. Fortunately those bull fighting days ended almost 200 years ago and today’s bulldogs have been paradoxically bred for quiet and agreeable temperament while at the same time have been bred to accentuate the ferocious look of the old fighters. The mild and agreeable English Bulldog is proof that you can’t always predict a dog’s temperament from its looks 🙂

– Geoffrey Antipa

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