In the past, English bulldogs were known for their persistence and ferocity. They were primarily used in a sport known as bull baiting, but when bull baiting became illegal in England in 1835, bulldog lovers began breeding the dogs for friendlier, more docile traits. According to D. Caroline Coile in Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds, this practice led to the English bulldogs transformation into a house pet and companion animal.
Despite their brutal history, English bulldogs have calm, affectionate and gentle personalities. They have a sense of humor (as humans would say) and they often behave in comical ways.
Bulldogs are known for their bravery and are protective of their families and their territory. Bulldogs are also stubborn dogs, which sometimes makes them difficult to train.
Bulldogs and Children
The English bulldog's calm temperament gives her incredible patience with children. Bulldogs are very protective of children. They have even been known to interfere when a parent scolds a child.
Bulldogs and Strangers
English bulldogs are friendly dogs and do well when they meet strangers.
Not all English bulldogs are aggressive toward other dogs. This is a common problem, however, so its important to socialize bulldogs and watch for signs of dog aggression.
Bulldogs and Pets
Despite a tendency to show aggression toward strange dogs, bulldogs are patient with other household pets. Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds awards English bulldogs four out of five points for friendliness toward other pets.