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English Bulldogs have stocky legs and compact muscular bodies. They have massive thick heads with cheeks that extend to the sides of their eyes. Their muzzles are short and pug-nosed with large nostrils. Their eyes are very round and set far apart. Their ears are small, thin and folded back. Bulldogs have coats of red, fawn, brindle, pale yellow, washed out red, washed out white, or and can be combined with any of these colors. Black is not acceptable for show dogs. Their deliberate gait has evolved into a waddle.

Despite their intimidating appearance, these dogs are absolutely reliable and are among the gentlest or dogs. They can run off intruders who do not want to risk a face-to-face encounter with a dog that is brave enough to bait a bull. English Bulldogs can be described as affectionate, dependable, courageous, and gentle with children. They are people dogs that thrive on human attention and love. Most of these dogs are nice to people but some may be aggressive at times. Young Bulldogs are full of energy but slow down as they age. They tend to snore loudly and drool frequently, which may offend some people. These dogs make good pets and watchdogs.

Male Bulldogs are typically 14 to 16 inches (36-41 cm) tall and weigh from 45 to 55 pounds (20-25 kg). Females are typically 12 to 14 inches (30-36 cm) tall and weigh 35 to 45 pounds (16-20 kg). These dogs are best suited for indoor living with temperate climates. Bulldogs chill easily and have difficulty cooling off in very hot weather. Regular exercise is recommended to keep these dogs fit. They are capable of moving quickly for short periods of time when they are kept fit. The average life expectancy for Bulldogs is 8 years or so.

Some of the health concerns that Bulldogs may face include, chronic respiratory problems, poor eyesight, skin infections, hip and knee problems, and sensitivity to hot and cold temperature extremes.

Daily brushing is recommended for the Bulldogs smooth, fine short-haired coat. Bathe only when necessary. It is also important to clean the face each day with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or other residue from within the wrinkles and folds of the face. There are no special dietary restrictions for Bulldogs but be careful not to overfeed them as they have a tendency to become obese very easily. They may also be very possessive of their food.

Originally, Bulldogs were bred as fighting dogs that would take on opponents such as bears, bulls, badgers, or other dogs. After blood sports became unpopular, breeders began developing dogs with non-ferocious traits. This breed descended from the ancient Asiatic Mastiff but it was entirely developed in Great Britain. The name bulldog is of medieval origin and refers to the robust appearance as well as the powerfulness of the dog.