Andrea Arden: They have such a tenacious temperament and they're so confident that oftentimes they get into situations where sort of the typical pet dog would kind of be looking to their owner for guidance and support. And the Bulldog basically is like, “Whatever, I don't need you.”
Jonathan David: Now this dog has been completely 100% man-made. They've been bred to have these really strong heads and these powerful shoulders and this tight little rear. There's nothing that looks this way naturally.
Narrator: Don't ask a bulldog to swim, they're heavy bodies and short legs aren't built for the water.
Dr. Sophia Yin: I love Bulldogs because they're funny. I like all the funny sounds that they make and the funny look they have. I like dogs that you can look at and they just make you laugh.
Narrator: While lovable today ancient Bulldogs were so fierce they were banned on the streets of Rome. In 13th century England the breed earned its namesake by bringing down bulls.
Jonathan David: So these dogs have got a lot of power behind them and when they want something they'll knock everybody out of the way to get to what they want.
Narrator: When bull-baiting was outlawed in 1835 to breed nearly went extinct. Luckily a group of Bulldog admirers rescued the breed.
Andrea Arden: Breeders then started to breed the dogs with temperament that were more appropriate for companion animals.
Narrator: Look closely and you'll see what made this dog so menacing. Start with the undershot jaw.
Jonathan David: There's a protruding under jaw actually sticks out and shows their teeth.
Narrator: Loose skin actually help the dog in a fight. Even if gripped by an adversary it still had maneuverability ability.
Jonathan David: They've got these smoochy faces with these wrinkles and these gels. But don't be fooled, these dogs are actually pretty tough.
Narrator: So tough the face wrinkles help draw blood away from the eyes in a fight. Wide shoulders and a large head give this dog its stocky look.
Andrea Arden: It's a dog with a massive head and a little tiny rear.
Narrator: Because of that shape Bulldogs are often unable to give birth without vet assistance.
Andrea Arden: They don't pass through the birth canal easily which means they're usually whelped via cesarean section.
Narrator: Bulldogs are also brachycephalic, which means the nose and head are pushed back.
Dr. Sophia Yin: Some of them have a very small nostril. It's like taking your nose and pinching it close. And the other thing is because they're breathing with their mouths open and they're gulping a lot of air they fart a lot.
Andrea Arden: So you have to either be tolerant of that or get lots of air-fresheners.
Narrator: So they may not be the most polite dogs, but English Bulldogs know how to capture the imagination. They remain the national dog of England. During World War II Bullies were referred to as the Churchill dog because they exemplify the courage and strength of England. Churchill own Poodles though not Bulldogs. Generally the English Bulldogs does not do well in the heat.
Andrea Arden: If you live in a warmer climate, a Bulldog might not be the right dog.
Narrator: These dogs don't exactly toe the line when it comes to training.
Jonathan David: They want to do things their way and they've got the muscle and the power to do. If you want to do it on your terms you're not going to get anywhere.
Narrator: Grooming Bulldogs is a daily chore for owners. You really need to get in there and clean those folds.
Dr. Sophia Yin: These folds are areas where moisture can collect, and when that happens it can cause a skin infection.
Narrator: The English Bulldog is considered one of the least healthy breeds.
Dr. Sophia Yin: One thing about Bulldogs is they get many, many congenital or hereditary diseases. They can get a number of different heart diseases as well as diseases involving the orthopedic system.
Narrator: The English Bulldog is not for those offended by slobber and smell, but when the dog fits in its instant love.
Jonathan David: They love to be in the company of their family and they do really well with children.
Narrator: Bulldogs do well in apartment, but not so well in heat. The breeds life expectancy is low and there are a lot of health concerns. Those wrinkly folds require daily attention. Bulldogs do what they want, so training can be a challenge. It takes a special kind of person to care for this dog but in the right kind of family the Bulldog is a loving dog.
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