The Bulldog sure has come a long way. Originally bred for the gruesome jobs of dog fighting and bull baiting, the original Bulldogs were fierce and exceptionally tough. Today, thank goodness, they're bred not as fighters but as lovers. The Bulldog is just about the sweetest family dog you’ll ever meet.
Their distinctive face, body style, and temperament also make them a favorite at the Westminster Dog Show. Are you wondering if your Bulldog could make the show? Maybe—just maybe—he or she can!
The Bulldog Look
Almost nobody would mistake the Bulldog for any other breed. These pups are about as distinctive as they come, what with their funny wrinkled faces and stout, robust bodies.
Given this oh-so-Bulldog style, what the Westminster judges will be looking for is the Bulldog appearance in spades. After all, if you are going to be a Bulldog you might as well go for broke.
To begin with, the Bulldog face must be wrinkled -- really wrinkled. As stated by the American Kennel Club, the dog’s head and face should be covered by many heavy folds of skin. Two of these folds, called the dewlaps, which extend from the jaw to the chest, should be downright pendulous.
At the same time, the head of the Bulldog must be big -- really big. In fact, the size of the head in front of the ears should be as big as the dog is tall at the shoulder. Also, the skull of your prize winning dog is going to be massive and thick. And oh yeah, their nose is going to be squished, super squished, like someone pushed it in with their thumb.
As for the body, the Westminster judges want to see some brawn. The chest will be deep and broad and the neck powerful and muscled, with these muscles extending all the way down to the tail. The fact that the Bulldog gets points for having their hind ends sit higher than their front ends gives this breed their characteristic “jacked up” look, like a souped up sports car.
The Bulldog Attitude
Considering the look of the Bulldog, you might believe they should have a disposition to match. You might think that the dog who would win Best in Show should be kind of a grump, or fierce even. But this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Ever since dog fighting became illegal in England (thank goodness), the Bulldog has been bred to be loving and gentle, patient with both children and adults. As such, this gentle patience is what the judges will look for in your pet. They’ll want to see a dog that is calm, dignified, and kind.
One Bulldog No-No
If you are wondering what would disqualify this noble beast from appearing at Westminster, you only have to look at the nose.
Is it black? Great! Is it brown or liver-colored? Uh oh, not so good. That’ll keep this breed from competing.
More on Bulldogs and Show Dogs
Grooming a French Bulldog for the Show Ring
Could Your German Shepherd Be a Show Dog?
Could Your Beagle Make the Show?