First used by butchers for bull holding, this then progressed to the use of the breed for bull baiting. Quite rightly, the sport was banned in Britain and therefore the breed fell out of favour. The Bulldog was however, subsequently develop into a smaller version of its’ predecessors to be used predominantly in shows. This has given us the gentle and loving breed that we are used to in modern days and the dog’s loyalty and quirky characteristics make it an attractive proposition for breeders and dog lovers.
Head and Skull
The head should be square and broad when viewed from the front. The forehead should be flat and not rounded or domed, not overhanging the face. The frontal bones, or temples, should be square, high and broad, with a deep furrow that extends to the middle of the skull. The stop will be a deep, wide indentation between the eyes. The cheeks are well rounded and protrude sideways and outward beyond the eye area.
Round and moderately sized, the eyes should be very dark in colour, without bulging or appearing sunken. The eyelids cover the whites of the eyes when the dog is looking forward, with no haw showing. The eyes are low in the skull and distanced from the ears when viewed from the front. Stop and eyes are set in the same straight line.
The muzzle will be slightly upturned, whilst remaining deep from the corner of the eye to the corner of the mouth. Jaws are particularly square shaped and broad. The flews or chops, are deep, completely overhanging the lower jaw and, in front, joining under the lip and covering the teeth. Distance from bottom of stop to tip of nose should not be less than the distance from the nose tip to the edge of the under lip.
The ears are rose and set high upon the head. They are wide apart and set well away from the eyes.
The dogs have a decidedly large nose which will be broad, and coloured black, with the tip set back between the eyes. Large open and wide nostrils, with the nose roll not extendingover the nostrils.
Well arched, strong, deep and wide. Skin fairly loose whilst being thick and well wrinkled, forming a dewlap from lower jaw to chest on each side.
Well muscled and very broad shoulders exhibiting a good spread to reflect strength and power. The forelegs are reasonably short, but straight and noticeably muscular. Set wide apart, the legs should not appear curved. Pasterns short, straight and strong, and low elbows show free movement.
As with the forelegs, the hind legs should be large and strong, whilst being slightly longer than the forelegs. The legs must be long from hip to hock, but short from hook to ground. Stifles rounded and turning very slightly out and away from the body.
The breed has a relatively short body showing stout legs with good musculature. Both body and brisket are capacious with a deep chest. Ribs are well rounded with a prominent forechest and the bdy well ribbed behind the forelegs. The back is wide behind the shoulders, short and strong and noticeably narrower at the loin. The topline is distinctive and should fall off slightly behind the shoulders to the beginning of the back, which is where the topline is lowest. It will then rise to the loin, being higher than the shoulders. An arch is created by the croup curving downward to the set of the tail. When viewed from above, the outlone of the breed should appear pear shaped.
Should not be flat, nor with splayed toes. Moderate in size with the toes having high knuckles and being well split up. Both rear and front feet may point forward or slightly out.
The tail of this breed is set low and thick rooted with a fine tip. The tail should be either straight or screwed, without being curved or curly. If the tail is straight, it should be cylindrical and carry a uniformed taper. If screwed, the tail should exhibit clearly defined bends but the tail should not be higher than the root.
There will be a noticeable roll to the gait. The breed will move with short, fast steps walking on the tips of the toes.
The coat of this breed lies close and flat, is smooth and glossy, and finely textured. No cirls, feathers or fringes.
The various breeds with have typical colours which are, in order of preference – red brindle, all other brindles. Solid white, solid red, fawn or yellow. Piebald. The coat colour should be bright and uniform.
The breed should appear fit and healthy, showing no excess weight. Males from approximately 22.5 kilos to 25 kilos, females from 20.5 kilos to 22.5 kilos.
· Teeth or tongue showing when the mouth is closed.
· Pinched nostrils.
· Over-nose wrinkle, even if broken, that covers any part of the nose.
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid.
Viciousness or extreme shyness.