Bulldog (canis molossus) a variety of dog, of the division ferox, said to be peculiar to the British islands, and distinguished for its ferocity. The bulldog is low in stature, deep-chested, and strongly made about the shoulders, which, with the chest and neck, are enormously developed, as are also the muscles of the thighs behind, although generally the hind quarters are light as compared to the fore part, and the flanks hollow and tucked up, like those of the greyhound. He is remarkable for a short broad muzzle, and the projection of his lower jaw, which causes the lower front teeth to protrude beyond those of the upper. The condyles of the jaw are placed above the line of the upper grinding teeth; and it is this conformation which renders the bite of the bulldog so severe, and his hold when once taken almost immovable. The lips are thick, deep, and pendulous; the ears fine, small, and pendent at the tip; the tail thick at the root, but tapering to a point as fine as that of the greyhound. " He is the most ferocious and unrelenting of the canine tribe, and may be considered courageous beyond every other creature in the world; for he will attack any animal, whatever be its magnitude, without hesitation, either at his own caprice or at the bidding of his owner.
His most important quality, and that probably which causes all the others, is the diminution of the brain, which in the bulldog is smaller and less developed than in any other of the race; and it is doubtless to the decrease of the encephalon that must be attributed his want of intelligence, and incapacity for receiving education." So strongly marked is this peculiarity, that a recent writer considers the bulldog as a sort of abnormal canine monster, a dog idiot, yielding to uncontrollable physical impulses, now of blind ferocity, now of equally blind and undiscriminating tenderness. A thorough-bred bullpup of six months, the first time he beholds a bull, will run at the head, and, seizing him by the lip, tongue, or eye, hang on, in spite of every attempt to detach him, and will suffer himself to be killed or even dismembered rather than forego his hold. It was an old saying that one bulldog was a match for a bull, two for a wolf, three for a bear, and four for a lion. With the decline of bull-baiting the demand for the bulldog has ceased; although he is still found useful to cross with other dogs, to which he imparts courage, endurance, and tenacity of purpose.
There is a large cross of the bulldog in the greyhound, introduced by Lord Orford, to give certain valuable qualities; and the greyhound shows it by his always running at the head of large animals, as the deer. There is also a probable cross in the pointer, shown in the pendulous jowl and rat tail, as well as in the determined character.
Bulldog (Canis molossus).