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#18: Bulldog

Developed in England for use in herding, the Bulldog became used for the vicious sports of bull baiting, bear baiting, and dog fighting. In those days, the Bulldog was noted for its strength, agility, and tenacity. In particular, a dog that was not ?game? for fighting was considered unworthy to breed and was killed. The Bulldog originally came to Britain with the Roman legions and is considered to be descended from the Molossian-type of dog. The Romans brought the dogs with them as guard dogs and as herders. The dogs remained long after the Romans had gone and were useful in herding cattle in thick brush. In fact, the American bulldog is an attempt to breed back to this original type of stock worker. The Bulldog (in its earlier form) was noted for its ability to ?throw? a bull or steer like a judo master tossing a charging man. The sport of dog fighting and other blood sports died out and the interest in the breed waned. At that time, the Bulldog developed the look that we know today. While the breed was always known for its massive head, undershot jaw, and wrinkled snout, its legs were initially normal sized. The short legs of the Bulldog are actually the result of a genetic disease. Many breeders and owners hate to hear that their favorite animal is actually the result of a dwarfism disease, but it is true. The Bulldog we know today is a much shorter, but still heavy, muscular dog. The Bulldog has a square appearance and a massive heavy head with wrinkled jowls. The jaw is undershot and the eyes are wide set but not bulging. The ears should show the ?rose? ear that is so desirable. The coat is short and smooth. The hind legs should be higher than the forelegs to give the appearance of higher hindquarters. The Bulldog is entirely a companion dog at this stage of its history and should have none of the aggression and fight of its ancestors. It should be gentle, calm, and easygoing. The dog is still protective of its family, but has little interest in fighting or aggression towards other animals. Due to its low key disposition, the dog needs to be encouraged to exercise or it can become overweight. It fits well in any apartment or house and does not require a lot of room. The Bulldog is not a jogger?s dog, preferring a leisurely walk to any kind of vigorous running.

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