12 Slobbering Fun Facts About English Bulldogs
Do you like your dogs short, wrinkly and with big heads? Then you're in the right place! We've got the best ever selection of interesting and fun facts about Bulldogs - so read on to find out what makes English Bulldogs English, why they're so wrinkly, and whether or not they can skateboard. Yes, really!
But if you'd rather learn about a different kind of animal, we have plenty more facts where this one came from! We've got these legendary leopard facts, these fantastic fox facts, and even these epic elephant facts!
1. They have a gory history
Bulldogs are called bulldogs because they were originally bred to fight bulls, in the old English sport of bullbaiting. Bullbaiting is now very illegal, and it was a really horrible sport that usually ended in tears. Bulldogs were bred to have large heads so they'd be better at fighting bulls. Thankfully there is a silver lining - which is that this cruel sport ended up creating a breed of very lovely dogs!
2. They almost disappeared
When bullbaiting was made illegal in 1835, people stopped breeding bulldogs. This almost led to all the bulldogs dying out, but thankfully some bulldog fans carried on looking after them and kept the breed going. Because they no longer had to fight bulls they stopped being bred for their ferocity and strength, and they were bred to be gentle instead. And now they're the soppy things we know and love today.
3. They're rubbish at swimming!
Most dogs can swim, but bulldogs are one of the few that can't - or at least shouldn't risk it! Bulldogs have giant heads and quite stubby back legs, which makes it very hard to keep their head above water. Bulldogs can be heavy too! Some might be able to paddle for short distances, but it's always safer to keep them out of deep water.
4. They're known as "the Churchill dog"
Bulldogs are often compared to Winston Churchill, Britain's leader during WW2. This is because both Churchill and bulldogs are said to symbolise Britain's bravery and determination. Churchill did also look a bit like a bulldog, with his wrinkly big head! Despite these things, Churchill actually never owned a bulldog, and was in fact a big fan of poodles!
5. They're also quite Presidential
Churchill might be famous for bulldogs, but actually 2 American Presidents were fans of these pooches! Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge both owned them, and named them Oh Boy and Boston Beans. So you might ask - what's so English about these English bulldogs, then? The answer is maybe... not that much!
6. Bulldogs are popular mascots
Lots of American sports teams also have bulldogs as their mascots. And 39 Universities have a bulldog as their mascot too - which actually makes bulldogs the most popular University mascot in the USA! These include very prestigious places like Princeton and Yale. Again, this is probably to do with them being related to bravery - but they also look pretty funny as a big bulldog costume too!
7. They have REALLY big heads
You might guess this just by looking at them, but really bulldogs have absolutely massive heads. They're so big from being inbred for so long that actually they can cause bulldogs a lot of problems. In fact, the vast majority of bulldogs are born by Caesarean section, because their heads are too big to be born naturally. It can also cause bone issues and other things - and really, us humans should try to breed them to avoid these problems!
8. Their heads are also very flat
The bulldog head problems don't stop at size either, unfortunately. Like pugs, bulldogs have been bred to have really short noses which stops them breathing properly. This means they get puffed out easily, and can have other breathing difficulties. This condition is called being brachycephalic and is the reason why they make all those snuffling and snorting sounds.
9. They're wrinkly for a reason
A bulldog's wrinkles don't just look cool, back in the day they served an important purpose. When bulldogs were bred for bull fighting the wrinkles actually helped protect their eyes, and even though none of them fight bulls any more, the wrinkliness is one of their most well loved features. This wrinkliness has been preserved by dog breeders - and even made even wrinklier!
10. They've very independent
More so that many dogs, bulldogs are very capable when it comes to looking after themselves. They can happily be left alone for a little while and are much better at solving problems on their own than many dog breeds are. This may well be a result of their fighting history!
11. They like a good road trip
A bulldog was one of the first living things to go on a big American road trip! Dr Horatio Nelson Jackson set off on the first drive across America in an automobile in 1903, and was accompanied by his loyal bulldog, Bud. Both Horatio and Bud wore goggles to keep the dust out of their eyes, and although they got lost a few times they proved that the USA could be driven across in a car!
12. A bulldog holds a Guinness World Record
And no not for fighting bulls, being cute or being wrinkly - it's actually something you wouldn't expect... skateboarding! Otto the skateboarding bulldog broke the Guinness World Record for "Longest Human Tunnel Traveled Through by a Skateboarding Dog." The talented doggo scooted under the legs of 30 people in Lima, Peru, in 2015! What a good boy!