English Bulldog

FCI standard Nº 149

Origin
Great Britain
Group
Group 2 Pinscher and Schnauzer Molossoid breeds-Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs
Section
Section 2.1 Molossoid breeds, Mastiff Type
Working
Without working trial
Acceptance on a definitive basis by the FCI
Monday 14 March 1955
Publication of the official valid standard
Wednesday 13 October 2010
Last update
Monday 10 January 2011
En français, cette race se dit
Bulldog anglais
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
Englische Bulldogge
En español, esta raza se dice
Bulldog Inglés
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd
Engelse Bulldog

Usage

Dissuasion and Companion Dog.

Brief historical summary

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 began to evolve into the shorter faced, more squat version we now know. It entered the show ring in 1860 and the ensuing years saw a big personality change. A delightfully ugly dog with a pugilistic expression, which belies a loving, affectionate nature to family and friends. One of the oldest indigenous breeds, known as the national dog of Great Britain, and associated throughout the world with British determination and the legendary John Bull.

General appearance

Smooth-coated, fairly 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 relatively short, muzzle broad, blunt and inclined slightly upwards, although not excessively so.
Dogs showing respiratory distress highly undesirable. Body fairly short, well knit, limbs stout, well muscled and in hard condition with no tendency towards obesity. Hindquarters high and strong. Bitches not so grand or well-developed as dogs.

Behaviour / temperament

Conveys impression of determination, strength and activity. Alert, bold, loyal, dependable, courageous, fierce in appearance, but possessed of affectionate nature.

Head

Cranial region

Head
Viewed from side, head appears very high and moderately short from back to point of nose. Forehead flat with skin on and about head, slightly loose and finely wrinkled without excess, neither prominent nor overhanging face. Face from front of cheek bone to nose, relatively short, skin may be slightly wrinkled. Distance from inner corner of eye (or from centre of stop between eyes) to extreme tip of nose should not be less than the distance from tip of the nose to edge of the underlip.
Skull
Skull relatively large in circumference. Viewed from front appears high from corner of lower jaw to apex of skull; also broad and square. From stop, a furrow, extending to middle of skull being traceable to apex. 
Stop
Defined.

Facial region

Foreface
Viewed from front, the various properties of the face must be equally balanced on either side of an imaginary line down centre.
Nose
Nose and nostrils large, broad and black, under no circumstances liver colour, red or brown. Nostrils large wide and open, with well-defined vertical straight line between.
Muzzle
Muzzle short, broad, turned upwards and deep from corner of eye to corner of mouth. Over nose wrinkle, if present, whole or broken, must never adversely affect or obscure eyes or nose. Pinched nostrils and heavy over nose wrinkle are unacceptable and should be heavily penalised.
Lips
Flews (chops) thick, broad and deep, covering lower jaws at sides, but joining underlip in front. Teeth not visible.
Jaws and teeth
Jaws broad, strong and square, lower jaw slightly projecting in front of upper, with moderate turn up. 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.
Cheeks
Cheeks well rounded and extended sideways beyond eyes.
Eyes
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, 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.
Ears
Set high - i.e. 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, i.e. folding inwards back, upper or front inner edge curving outwards and backwards, showing part of inside of burr.

Neck

Moderate in length, thick, deep and strong. Well-arched at back, with some loose, thick and wrinkled skin about throat, forming slight dewlap on each side.

Body

Topline
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 slight arch - a distinctive characteristic of breed.
Back
Short, strong, broad at shoulders.
Chest
Wide, prominent and deep. Body well-ribbed up behind. Brisket, round and deep. Well let down between forelegs. Ribs not flat-sided, but well-rounded.
Underline and belly
Belly tucked up and not pendulous.

Tail

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. Lack of tail, inverted or extremely tight tails are undesirable.

Limbs

Forequarters

Generality
Forelegs short in proportion to hindlegs, but not so short as to make back appear long, or detract from dog’s activity.
Shoulders
Broad, sloping and deep, very powerful and muscular giving appearance of being “tacked on” body.
Elbows
Elbows low and standing well away from ribs.
Forearm
Forelegs very stout and strong, well-developed, set wide apart, thick, muscular and straight, bones of legs large and straight, not bandy nor curved.
Pastern
Short, straight and strong.
Forefeet
Straight and turning very slightly outward; of medium size and moderately round. Toes compact and thick, well split up, making knuckles prominent and high.

Hindquarters

Generality
Legs large and muscular, slightly longer in proportion than forelegs. Legs long and muscular from loins to hock.
Stifle
Hocks slightly bent, well let down.
Hock
Stifles turned very slightly outwards away from body.
Hind feet
Round and compact. Toes compact and thick, well split up, making knuckles prominent and high.

Gait and movement

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.

Coat

Hair
Fine texture, short, close and smooth (hard only from shortness and closeness, not wiry).
Colour
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.

Size and weight

Weight
Males : 25 kgs. Females : 23 kgs.

Faults

• 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 and its ability to perform its traditional work.
• Faults listed should be in degree of seriousness.

Disqualifying faults

 Aggressive or overly shy.

NB :

• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
• The above mentioned faults when occurring to a highly marked degree or frequently are disqualifying.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.

Bibliography

http://www.fci.be/

 

Detailed history

The Bulldog is one of the most extraordinary representatives of the canine species. This veteran of bulls, full of courage and pugnacity; two qualities that, over the years, breeders have endeavored to develop; has become the symbol of the British nation.

His name tells us that this dog, before becoming the inseparable companion of John Bull, was a bull dog, according to the tradition, very old, which had for primary purpose the improvement of the quality of the meat, the chevrons being aware that it was softer and tastier if the bull had been run before slaughtering it. To this end, butchers used strong mastiffs, dogs brave enough to oppose bullfighting, and in Britain this role was vested in the ancestors of the Mastiff.

The ancient origins of the Mastiff divide the cynophiles. Some of them, indeed, think that the Phoenicians and the Romans would have implanted it in Great Britain during their wanderings in Northern Europe. If this hypothesis may seem at first interesting, it must be admitted that it is contrary to the words of Caesar himself, especially in his Commentaries, about the conquest of Brittany (let us say Great Britain), where he said that Celtic Molossians had been launched to attack the Roman legions and had largely contributed to spreading panic among their ranks. It is therefore more probable that such Molosses already existed in Great Britain; and this from the Celtic expansion; and that the Romans imported them to make them fight in the circuses, rather than to make known to the populations of the British islands their pugnaces of Epire. This explanation is all the more plausible because the Roman chronicler Gratius Faliscus indicates, in the year 8 BC, that the latter had been brought especially to Great Britain to be confronted with the Molosses of Cornwall (Cornwall), which always came out victorious. In addition, the Celtic tribes which devastated the Greek and Roman cities were helped by dogs of impressive size. At the Museum of Copenhagen, moreover, are exhibited some very beautiful pieces of Celtic art, including cauldrons on which are represented Molosses with monstrous appearance.

Be that as it may, the clashes between bulls and dogs soon turned into the most exciting entertainment of the Middle Ages, so much so that they were elevated to the rank of sporting events. However, from this time, the nobility was to reserve the exclusivity of the use of the Mastiff, the "Laws of the forest" enacted in 1272 even providing for the amputation of three fingers of the forepaws of every morning of high body build belonging to the villains. Therefore, all those who did not have the honor of belonging to the British upper classes had no other solution, to continue to organize bull baitings, than to use dogs of smaller size, but no less combative for that: from this initiative was born the Bulldog.

Thus, Edward de Langley (1344 - 1412), officer of King Henry IV and in charge of "the courts, bulls and Mastiffs", reports in the Mayster of Cam a "second category Mastiff" spotted, with ears hanging and eyes little ones, who had the reputation of never letting go of the beast capped by him. An animal that actually announced the Bulldog. From the beginning of the sixteenth century, mention is made of the exploits of the Bold-Dog; dog full of daring; while in 1586 Willy Harrison told the Band-Dog that it was "a dog with a powerful body, a bloody and frightening face, a weird, stubborn character, [and what four dogs were enough to liquidate a powerful bear" reported by Dhers and Rufer). Whatever the denominations of the time, the existence of the Bulldog in the sixteenth century no longer makes any doubt; an animal whose essential role is to fight the most diverse animals.

It was not until 1632, however, that the term Bulldog appeared for the first time. A certain Preston Eaton, based in San Sebastián, Spain, asks his London friend, George Willighan, by mail to send him "a Mastiff and two big Bulldogs" to compare the exploits of English dogs with those of the famous Burgos Mastiffs, also valiant fighters of the bulls.

The animal fights actually became a real institution under the reign of Elizabeth I (1558 - 1603). The sovereign had also made Tuesday the day dedicated to these festivities and missed every opportunity to go every week to encourage his Mastiffs struggling with bulls, bears, lions and other big cats. These fights are not unanimous, however. If, for Cromwell, it is a "sweet and comforting recreation for the entertainment of a peaceful people," for Samuel Pepys, a 1660-1669 editor of a London life journal, "this is a brutal and disgusting pleasure. So, little by little, and even though their national dog arouses pride in some, such poet Christopher Smart that "of all dogs, they are the best," the Bulldog is more and more hated by some of the British population. A British Field Sport journalist goes so far as to write in 1818 that this dog is "devoted only to the most barbarous and detestable purposes, that he is the shame of his species, that one can not invoke its utility, its humanity, or even simple common sense, in a word that the disappearance of the race is to be desired ".

In 1835, the British Parliament banned bull baiting, and even though this sport did not disappear completely from the most remote counties of London before the end of the 19th century, the breeding of the Bulldog was gradually abandoned. Only in dog fighting; they too are forbidden but can be more easily carried out in backyards of pubs, barns or private cellars; that some subjects are reconverted. But they are not very adapted to this kind of sport; without their aggression and courage being blamed, they are criticized for not being spectacular enough and we prefer Bull Terriers from Bulldogs and Terriers.

In the middle of the nineteenth century, the Bulldog was endangered and in 1859 the breed was absent from the first dog show. It was not until the Birmingham exhibition, the following year, and then at Sheffield and London, that subjects were presented for the first time. This was a great victory, which pushed some breeders and amateurs of Bulldogs to found a club, in 1864. Under the pseudonym of "Philo Kuon" (the Friend of the dog), they wrote a standard which was published the following year by Club Treasurer Sam Wickens.

If the standard clearly described a Bulldog of this time, that is to say a large and compact animal close to the Boxer, it is just as certain that the editors had as ideal a rather different animal. Therefore, the breeders, who had not known the old fighting dogs and who followed the standard to the letter, would move to another type of dog, more leggy, even more compact, shorter, to the head more massive and the muzzle erased. This transformation was at the heart of a long debate, which is still not closed.

Thus, in 1893, in his seminal work Non-Sporting Dogs, Rawdon Lee wrote: "Time can wreak havoc on historical monuments, but never before has it degraded something as burlesque as our national symbol: the British Bulldog. Selected for a specific purpose (now long removed), current topics are the result of a selection of things not found in any other dog. There is nothing to support the claim that they are raised today as they were sixty years ago. "

What was so vehemently reproached for the first breeders to be compared to vandal burlesque? Simply to make this dog like no other the opposite of all dogs. In other words, to make a monster intended to personify courage and power, but blowing and groaning as soon as it had to provide the slightest effort. And it is true that the danger of turning him into a cripple, by wishing him ever more typical, is constantly on this dog. But perhaps this is also what passionate breeders: manage to produce an animal as large, massive, compact and short as possible without sacrificing much to his health.

Oddly enough, the Bulldog standard has remained largely the same; only a few modifications were made: in 1950, the weight was raised from 22.7 to 25 kg; in 1987, some adjectives and adverbs were added with the intention of putting a stop to outrageous interpretations. However, the Bulldog of 1875 does not look much like that of the twenties, itself considered too high on legs, not large enough, with a head too small when showing reproductions to current breeders. The fame of this dog having grown up despite the efforts of some "reasonable" cynophiles like Rawdon Lee, to criticize the modern Bulldog, is the symbol that the British used to recall the qualities of good old England at the time of its darkest hours. It is no coincidence that Churchill himself adopted such a dog.

The Bulldog is today one of the most popular breeds in Britain and the United States. In other countries, it is a little less esteemed, but we bet that the few enthusiasts of this particular dog will appreciate it.

In his serious, perpetually concerned manner, the Bulldog puppy is in fact a true clown full of vitality, frolicking, jumping, then, for no apparent reason, sprawling on his stomach and falling asleep, almost smug. In adulthood, he remains this dog happy to live, under a severe and grumpy mask, say the English, that is to say "scowling". The Bulldog is in fact attentive to everything that is happening around him and sensitive: it is unfairly argued, and he will be upset for the rest of the day. He, former fighting dog, he can not stand brutality; He seeks above all human affection, fearing solitude more than anything. It is necessary to surround him with tenderness and to seek very soon to bloom his excellent character, educating him gently and appealing to all the resources of his intelligence.

With children, he is one of the most complacent and the most patient. This heavyweight knows perfectly how to dose his power; it is only necessary to beware that the games do not go so far as to exhaust it. If he plays the clowns without condescending in the intimacy of his family, he also knows how to be serious and dignified when the circumstances require it: a stranger arises, he will become a determined and vigilant animal (without aggression, however); and that this stranger is welcomed by his master, then he will not be outdone to express his friendship, in his own way, that is to say, grumbling and frowning. The Bulldog is still a patient animal, kind and peaceful but by no means servile, proud or obsequious. He is one of the dogs with a sense of humor. He also knows how to be calm, never noisy, barking little but always wisely, and being tolerant with his congeners as long as they do not attack him.

As much as his amazing physique; some grant him the beauty of the ugly; Bulldog enthusiasts value his sure temperament, in turn debonair or vigilant. During the French National Breeding Club, there is a test of character, to check and preserve the balance of the dog, which consists in attacking his master by a stranger: without showing any fear, on the contrary, the animal must show authority. Finally, the Bulldog is endowed with an endearing temperament and, if only for that, he deserves all our respect. It has been denigrated, almost always wrongly, but it is also because it arouses passions. The owner of a Bulldog, who must be warned of the peculiarities of the breed, must let him exercise, without forcing or overworking him, respecting his rhythm, so as to strengthen his muscles and allow him to increase its respiratory capacity. It is necessary to avoid this dog to excite himself excessively; stress is frequent for him; and especially to expose him to heat, his main enemy against whom he is not armed. In a word, it's a dog for connoisseur.

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