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Health Obesity

Weight does matter!

According to the bulldog breed standard, the ideal weight of an adult male is 55 lb, and a bitch 50 lb, yet I believe, that if an average was  taken on the dogs of today, we would be looking at about 60 - 65lb  and in some cases 70 lb. I also believe that if you put a standard  weight dog in front of most judges, they would invariably consider it too small or light. So why is it that a good big bulldog always seems to beat a good standard sized one??? When in theory it should be the other way around!

The answer I think is simple! There are just more big ones around, the judges are so used to seeing them, that when one is faced with a standard dog it just appears small, and so is penalised for it! It seems everyone is obsessed with substance.

The bulldog is far too often accused of being unhealthy and various reasons are given for this, such as pinched nostrils, and long pallets etc, but no one ever mentions obesity. Most doctors would agree that this is the most common cause of heart disease in humans. So why should a dog be any different. Modern feeding methods, and lack of exercise are probably the main cause for this, so the problem is not yet incurable, but if these overweight dogs continue to be rewarded top honours then breeders will continue to aim for bigger and heavier dogs. I have spoken to many other breeders, and all though many agree with me, that this is becoming a problem, others have a different opinion. Some even suggested that we need to change the standard weight to suit, with the view that as long as a dog is in proportion it's ok. Well, in my opinion that attitude is an insult to every bulldog specialist past and present, that has striven to achieve a standard weight bulldog.

We all as breeders should know where are beloved breed originated from and we also know that most of our major characteristics of the bulldog were written into the standard for a reason - including the weight!!!

We must appreciate the importance that weight has played in the history of our breed and it is certainly not a point to be taken lightly, as every part of the standard is geared around a 45-55 lb, so if you then increase it by 30% as we are now seeing in some cases it is bound to cause problems, I am certain that if we all put greater emphasis on breeding standard weight dogs, it would be beneficial to the breed !!

Why limit table scraps?

Most of us are guilty of sneaking a tasty table scrap to our bulldog during or after dinner. While the isn't anything inherently wrong with giving your bulldog an occasional morsel left on your pate, there are some good reasons to limit these handouts.


  • Once a Moocher always a Moocher. Once you reward begging behaviour with something off your plate, you can expect to see the same hopeful eyes looking up at you at every meal. Some dinner guests do not appreciate a tongue wagging drooling bulldog while they are trying to eat their meal


  •  Finicky eaters. If your bulldog develops a taste for your food, he may stop eating his own. After all, what would you prefer, dry dog food, or a juicy steak or hamburger every night?


  • Weight problems. most table scraps are nothing more than empty calories. And since you probably save that sweet morsel, you know your bulldog will like, he gets all wrong food for a fit body shape. As you just read above, OVERWEIGHT BULLDOGS ARE AT A GREATER RISK FOR HEALTH PROBLEMS!!


  • Digestive disorders. The rich food we eat is not good for out bulldogs digestive system. A simple, consistent diet keeps their systems functioning as it should. Throw in your very different foods and spices then don't be surprised if you bulldog has gas, bad breath, loose stools etc.


  • Into temptation. Bulldogs that are used to eating human food are more likely to devour the turkey leftovers you left unattended on the kitchen table. Or bury their heads in the garbage can to get at that fish you 'Forgot' to give them. As you know, chicken and turkey bones are highly dangerous, they can splinter and puncture the stomach or intestines. Forget chocolate which can be poisonous to you bulldog, as well as alcohol and nuts. All these can cause stomach pain and diarrhoea. 


To read about common problems within

the bulldog breed