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The Asiatic Mastiff
This breed's origins lie in the Asiatic mastiff. The title bulldog refers to the medieval role of these dogs in attacking bulls before it was outlawed in the 19th century. The bulldog has a robust body which is thick and low to the ground. It's head is large and powerful looking . The average weight is 49-55 lbs and the height ranges from 12-14 inches. The width of the head should be broad with cheeks that extend to the sides of the eyes. The skin on the forehead should be dense and folded while the muzzle is rather short with an undershot jaw. This feature is called bracycephalic (meaning pushed in face) and can account for some of the breeds medical problems including snoring !!! The coat is short and soft in texture either tan and white or variegated white. Occasional brushing is necessary to remove the dead hair and keep the skin healthy and in good condition. The eyes should be situated far apart and should be dark in color. The ears are small, thin and are folded back on the head in what is described as a rose shape. The tail is very short and carried low.
Personality wise this breed is no longer the ferocious bull fighter of the medieval age. On average bulldogs are good natrued sweet and lazy companions. This is a dog that does everthing in slow motion and is definetly not a jogging partner, preferring the couch to a run anyday. Even as puppies bulldogs rarely pull on their leash for long, in fact, many owners try to figure out a way to speed them up rather than slow them down. This is not a very energetic breed and is perfectly content to follow it's owner around or sleep away the day. As far as training goes bulldogs can be difficult to motivate. They require patience, ingenuity and a highly motivated owner. As with most dogs the earlier training begins the easier it is to get your point across.
Medically these dogs can develop chronic problems. The most common being respiratory infections and skin problems. Bulldogs are born with enormous heads and are usually delivered by caesarian section. Some books say this is why it is hard to find a bulldog pupy and why they tend to be quite expensive.
As with any breed, careful research, a good breeder, temperment testing, proper socialization and early training are what make this breed a well adjusted family pet. For more information contact Barbara Mangini (203) 281-1409, Bulldog Club of America Rescue.