10 Bodacious Facts About Bulldogs
While not the oldest dog breed in the world by any means, the Bulldog’s short snout and strong stance are usually the first characteristics a person will recall when remembering this lovable dog. April 21st marks “Bulldogs are Beautiful” day and to get your day started on the right track, we’ve found some riveting information that may make you think twice about your beloved Frenchie’s origins and capabilities! (Photo credit: arlo/Flickr)
1. Off to a Fighting Start
If you’ve ever wondered where the “bull” part comes from, here’s a history lesson. In the 13th century, this dog was originally used in England in the gruesome sport of bull baiting. Essentially, a bull was tied to a post or in a large hole in the ground (somewhere where they could not escape) and the English bulldog’s job was to immobilize the bull. The bulldog was the “perfect” animal to do this because of their stocky build and strong jaws. The practice was eventually banned in England in 1835 with the Cruelty to Animals Act and the Bulldog took on the role of a human companion. (Photo credit: Yuri_Arcurs/iStock)
2. Bulldogs Originated in Asia
Bulldogs are actually a mix between Mastiff and Pug, and once you look at them, you see the resemblance! They have the short snout and large head of a Pug, and the Mastiff’s stocky body and strong jaw. The Bulldog is believed to have originated in Asia, making their way to Europe via nomads. Today, there are three types of popular Bulldogs: English, French, and American. (Photo credit: Dakotaslegacy/Bigstock)
3. Frenchie “Frog Dogs”
When French Bulldogs lay down, they don’t tuck their hind legs in like other dogs. Some of them stretch out their hind legs, and from a bird’s eye view, this makes them look like a swimming frog… hence the nickname “Frog dog.” Funnily enough, while this behavior is first seen in French Bulldog puppies, it’s not uncommon for adults to continue this hilarious way of relaxing. (Photo credit: Dmitry Kalinovsky/iStock)
4. They Can’t Swim
Because of their massive torso, short legs and large heads, it’s quite dangerous to put a bulldog in water, even with a life vest. If your bulldog wants to take a dip, make sure to stick by their side like glue, use a life jacket and be vigilant in case they can’t hold their head up over the water’s surface. (Photo credit: Annette Shaff/Shutterstock)
5. They’re Popular Mascots
The Bulldog has a long and noble history as a team mascot. Back in 1922, the U.S. Marine Corps first used the Bulldog as its mascot, and remains to be their furry face to this very day. The Bulldog also graces the jerseys of school and professional football, basketball, baseball, and hockey leagues in the United States, Canada, Australia, and United Kingdom.
6. Celebrities and Politicians Love Them
President Warren G. Harding was one of the first Presidents of the United States to have a Bulldog when he served in office from 1921 to 1923. Calvin Coolidge had a Bulldog named Boston Beans, paving the way for other animals in the White House. These days, celebrities who have their adorable bulldogs in tow include Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Lady Gaga, John Legend, Reese Witherspoon and Leonardo DiCaprio.
7. Special Delivery
It’s a well-known fact that over 80 percent of bulldog litters are born by Caesarean section. Bulldogs’ heads are so large (even as puppies), that they cannot pass through their mother’s pelvic canal. In order to keep both puppy and mother safe, a Caesarean section is performed. (Photo credit: tkatsai/iStock)
8. Popularity Counts!
Bulldogs became the fifth most popular dog in the United States in 2013 and since then, they’ve moved up on the list! Since then, this pooch has hit the No. 4 position both in 2014 and 2015! French Bulldogs aren’t far behind – they were the 11th most popular breed in 2013, but in 2014 they jumped to number 9 and last year, they are the sixth most popular breed in America. (Photo credit: Johnny Dao/Shutterstock)
9. No Fly Zone
Many brachycephalic dog breeds have been banned from airlines because of their respiratory issues, including the Bulldog. Being brachycephalic means the dog has a short nose and squishy face, and because of that, they will find it hard to breathe when they overexert themselves due to exercise, heat or stress. More than half of the pet deaths that occurred between June 2005 and June 2011 during flights were brachycephalic dogs breeds. Because of this, Bulldogs are not allowed on board most commercial aircraft. (Photo credit: Tatiana Katsai/iStock)
10. They Break Records!
To end this list on a bad-ass note, meet Otto, a three-year-old English Bulldog who is a skateboarding sensation! Just last year, he set the world record for longest human tunnel traveled through by a skateboarding dog. Thirty people stood in a straight line as Otto zipped between their legs on his trusty skateboard. Sigh – he’s way more adorable than Tony Hawk!
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