Among those breeds of dogs that do not come under the classification of "toy," the bulldog undoubtedly holds first place in popularity. Nor is the reason for this difficult to find. Possessing, as he does, an affectionate disposition, a marvellous evenness of temper, and being gifted with a number of other lovable characteristics, the bulldog has for long held a high place in the estimation of lady dog-owners.
Being a short-coated dog, he is not difficult to keep clean, and dwellers in populated districts also find it a very considerable advantage to keep a dog that is not noisily inclined.
At all dog shows of importance bulldogs are very largely in evidence, and a glance at a catalogue will prove that probably fifty per cent, of the dogs present are owned and exhibited by ladies.
Bulldogs are of all sizes and weights, from the miniature of less than twenty-two pounds weight to the dog that scales sixty and sometimes even seventy pounds. It is generally agreed that the most suitable weight for a fully grown dog should be about fifty pounds.
There is, too, a great variety in colour. Brindles are very popular, so also are whites, or whites with brindle markings. In the opinion of the writer, the brindle-pied - that is, the white dog with brindle markings - has the smartest appearance. Some fanciers prefer fawns or reds; with these usually one finds black muzzles. From a show point of view, dogs that are absolutely black, or black with tan markings, similar to the Manchester terrier, are entirely disqualified, as are also dogs with liver-coloured, or, as they are called, "Dudley" noses.
"Points" of the Bulldog:
In choosing a puppy one should be guided mainly by the following points:
Bone and Substance. - Great bone is essential in a first-class bulldog, for no bulldog can be a good specimen unless he is possessed of very heavy bone.
Skull. - The skull of the adult bulldog should be practically flat on the top. A flat skull, however, should not be looked for in young puppies, for those possessing distinctly dome-shaped skulls usually finish with a larger and flatter skull than those which have flat skulls in extreme youth.
Underjaw. - The underjaw of the adult bulldog should project very considerably in advance of the upper jaw. It should be wide, with the six small teeth set in an almost even row, and not only should it project but also have a distinct upward sweep. In the case of young puppies of six to eight weeks old great development of the underjaw must not be expected. If possible, it should be ascertained whether the puppies are bred from parents possessing the correct underjaw, but in any case there should be a slight inclination, at least, to projection of the lower jaw.
Ears. - The ears should be small and fine. The mature dog carries his ears in a manner peculiar to his breed. This style of ear is called the "rose ear," and its shape can be recognised from an examination of the accompanying photograph of a typical prizewinner. It is not, however, until the puppy is about three months old that he carries his ears in this manner. During the first weeks of his existence he carries them lving close to the skull, very much as does the fox terrier.
Tail. - The tail should be short, set on low, and never be carried gaily - that is, in an elevated position, as this is a grave fault. Some bulldogs possess screwed or twisted tails, which are permissible; others nave cranked tails, or tails that appear to have been broken in one or more places and then badly set. Indeed, many who know little or nothing of the dog believe that it is customary to break bulldogs' tails! This is very far from the truth, since the most desirable tail a bulldog can possess is a short straight one, set on low, rather thick at the root, tapering to a fine point, and carried always straight downwards.
Nose. - Should be large and black, with the nostrils well open.
It is very popularly supposed that the bulldog should possess bandy legs. This is absolutely incorrect; the fore legs of the bulldog should be as straight as possible, with a well-rounded muscular calf. They are set wide apart, by reason of the immense width of chest and depth of brisket. Unlike the fox terrier, who stands up on his legs, the body of the bulldog swings between his forelegs, and the shoulders are set on outside the body. This peculiar formation gives to the dog a rolling gait. Another peculiarity about the walk of a bulldog is that he generally progresses with his left shoulder in advance of the rest of his body.
Those who desire to make a more exhaustive study of the dog, I would advise to apply to the honorary secretary of the Bulldog Club (Incorporated), Mr. W. P. Dando, of Haydn House, Titchfield Road, Regent's Park, London. The club publishes a standard description of the bulldog, which was drawn up in the year 1875, and which has been the guide of all breeders of the variety until the present time.
The famous bull bitch. Champion Hazelwyn, the property of Mr. J. Cooper
Mott. of New York, for whom her owner has refused an offer of nearly £2,000.
Her record in America is an unbeaten one
The Bulldog in Health and Sickness
It is often said that bulldogs are extremely delicate, and it is true that they are so during the first few months of their existence. In maturity, however, if well kept and cared for, they are not more liable to contract disease than any other breed of dog. Good feeding, cleanliness, and exercise are the three things of the most account.
A bulldog should not be kept on a chain attached to a small kennel. If he is not to be kept in the house, his kennel should be a roomy one, with a covered-over run attached to it. The floor should be of wood, and, for preference, removable, so that it may be easily cleaned. I prefer the floor of the run to be of wood, though asphalte is good. Ordinary concrete is liable to be too cold and damp. Cold and damp are the two greatest enemies the bulldog can have.
As an illustration of the increased value that a really high - class dog obtains as it matures may be cited the case of the celebrated bull bitch Cham-pion Hazelwyn, now the property of a friend of the writer's, Mr. J. Cooper Mott, of Great Neck, Long Island, U.s.a. Hazelwyn was sold by her breeder at a few weeks of age for a small sum, about four to five pounds.
She was purchased by the writer when seven months old for the sum of fifteen pounds. At twelve months of age she was sold by him to an American fancier for fifty pounds; who, in turn, sold her to Mr. Cooper Mott, her present owner, for six hundred pounds. Mr. Mott has since then refused an offer of close on two thousand pounds for this wonderful bitch, who holds an unbeaten record in America.