The English Bulldog breed, as the breed is commonly referred to, is actually recorded as simply "Bulldog" by the American Kennel Club, America Pet Registry, and the American Canine Association. The reason for the "English" designation is the fact the Bulldog as we know it comes from Britain. In its background is very probably found the large, strong and broad-mouthed war dogs of the early Britons. The English Bulldog of the present is a far different dog than the first so-called "Bulldogs."
As the name suggests, English Bulldogs were originally bred for "bull baiting", an unpleasant "sport" where the Bulldog would attempt to grab the bull by the ears. I am unaware of any Bulldog owners currently using their Bulldogs for bull baiting, as bull baiting was outlawed in England by 1835. (Bull baiting is also illegal in the United States.) After bull baiting was outlawed, bulldog breeders focused on breed out the aggressive nature. The result is today's English Bulldog breed is laid back, sociable, and very unlikely to be interested in chasing Bulls.
After bull baiting was outlawed, the Bulldog breed almost become extinct. A fellow by the named of Bill George was responsible for generating interest in, and reviving the breed. He had a well known English Bulldog named "Bill George's Dan."
The first show classes for the breed were held in Birmingham, England, in 1860, and they appeared in London shows a year or two later. Old King Dick was a famous outstanding Bulldog of that time, as well as another Bulldog by the name of Champion Crib. Descendants of Champion Crib can be found far, far back in the pedigrees of some of the dogs today.
The first English Bulldog truly representative of the modern breed as we know it, shown in the United States, was "Donald", a lightweight which had done considerable winning in England. He was sent over to the New York show in 1880 by the Irish fancier, Sir William Verner. There is none of the old fighting, bull baiting dog in the present day English Bulldog. Formidable in appearance, with the look of great strength and courage, the English Bulldog is docile in manner and affectionate by nature. He has long since lived down the stigma of the "sport" in which he gained his name. The breed has long since been established in the United States and is a popular mainstay today in American families.
English Bulldog puppies are typically the most expensive puppies listed on LancasterPuppies.com. The reason for this is simple: If a human mother treated their newborn the way an English Bulldog mother did, the human race would soon be extinct. It is difficult, trying, and very time consuming to raise English Bulldog puppies. The mothers (called Bitches) tend to walk on the young puppies and lay on them. The result is the puppies need to be removed from the mothers at whelping, and put back in the with the mother every two hours for nursing, day and night! Most English Bulldogs are unable to give birth naturally, and as a result, the puppies are delivered via C-section operation. These operations typically start at $700, and can easily skyrocket if there are complications.
Local English Bulldog breeder, Carolyn Rissler, of Reinholds, Pa, reports English Bulldogs have a fun and quirky personality, which is one reason she raises them. On one occasion she was "dog sitting" an English Bulldog for a friend. Wanting to make sure the Bulldog would be comfortable, and unable to run off, she put it in the living room. When she came back to check on it a while later, she discovered it had jumped out the window and ran off. This, of course, caused no small mayhem until the Bulldog was safely found at a neighbors house.
Full grown English Bulldogs weight from 40-55 pounds. They need exercise just like any other dog, but not nearly as much as some other breeds. This makes them a desirable breed for urban living. One drawback with the English Bulldog, they tend to have shorter lifespans than other dogs. If an English Bulldog lives to be 11 years old, it has outlived most of its counterparts. There are, however, records of English Bulldogs living much longer than 11 years. Diet and exercise can make a big difference in this area.