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One might think that the information on this page should be on the history page but we believe it should be on  the "standards" page for the passionate student bulldogger to comprehend how the standard shapes the breed, a fact well understood by KC managers but not by the rank and file bulldoggers and true lovers of the breed worldwide ,who just want today's bulldog to remain as he is today. (June 2009) but who are all agreed that we must all aim to breed healthy bulldogs eliminating faults which have crept into the breed through emphasizing and breeding undesirable  exagerated  characteristics.

In our opinion any breeder, judge or just a lover of the breed must read up on the history of this exclusive breed  and especially read , digest and thoroughly understand the first, very thorough and comprehensive ,bulldog standard which was compiled by men who truly were matching form to function and were extremely careful in their choice of words while understanding that dogs do not come off a perfect production line and thus words like "could" "should" "must" or "about" demonstrably conveys the thoroughness in the use of the English language by the authors of the time in describing this most quintessential British Breed 

 

The Bulldog Club Inc. Original Bulldog Standard

 

STANDARD DESCRIPTION OF THE CORRECT APPEARANCE AND THE SEVERAL POINTS IN DETAIL OF THE PERFECT BULLDOG

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The following description of the Pure-bred old English  Bulldog has been compiled and adopted by "The BULLDOG CLUB (1875) as the correct standard type of excellence in the breed after carefully comparing all obtainable opinions                                            

  -In forming a judgement on any specimen of the breed ,the general appearance ,which is the first impression a dog makes as a whole on the eye of the Judge, should first be considered. Secondly, should be noticed it’s size, shape and make, or rather it’s proportions in the relation they bear to each other. (No point should be so much in excess of others as to destroy the general symmetry or make the dog appear deformed, or interfere with it’s powers of motion etc.) Thirdly, his style, carriage, gait, temper and his several points should be considered separately in detail, as follows, due allowance being made for the bitch, which is not so grand or as well developed as the dog.                                                                                               

(1)The general appearance of the Bulldog is that of a smooth-coated, thick-set dog, rather low in stature but broad, powerful and compact. It's head strikingly massive and large in proportion to the dog’s size. It's face extremely short. It's muzzle very broad, blunt and inclined upwards . It's body short and well knit, the limbs stout and muscular. It's hindquarters high and strong but rather lightly made in comparison with it’s heavily made fore parts. The dog  conveys an impression of determination , strength and activity, similar to that suggested by the appearance of a thick-set Ayrshire or Highland Bull.                                                                                                      

(2)The skull should be very large-the larger the better- and in circumference should measure (round in front of the ears ) at least the height of the dog at the shoulders. Viewed from the front it should appear very high from the corner of the lower jaw to the apex of the skull and also very broad and square. The cheeks should be well rounded and extended sideways beyond the eyes. Viewed at the side ,the head should appear very high, and very, short from it’s back to the point of the nose. The forehead should be flat, neither prominent nor overhanging the face: the skin upon it and about the head very loose and well wrinkled .                                              

  (3)The temples or frontal bones should be very prominent , broad, square and high, causing a deep and wide groove between the eyes. This indentation  is termed the “stop”. and should be both  broad and deep and extend up to the middle of the forehead, dividing the head vertically being traceable to the top of the skull.                                                                                                                                     

(4)The eyes seen from the front should be situated low down in the skull, as far from the ears as possible. Their corners should be in a straight line at right angles with the stop, and quite in front with the head. They should be as wide apart as possible, provided their outer corners are within the outline of the cheeks . They should be quite round in shape of moderate size, neither sunken nor prominent , and in colour should be very dark - almost, if not quite black, showing no white when looking directly forward. 

  (5)-The ears should be set high on the head- i.e. the front inner edge of each ear should (as viewed from the front) join the outline of the skull at the top corner of such outline, so as to place them as wide apart and as high and as far from the eyes as possible. In size they should be small and thin, The shape termed “rose ear” is the most correct .The "rose ear" folds inwards at it’s back, the upper or front edge curving over outwards and backwards, showing part of the inside of the  burr .                                                                 

(6)The face, measured from the front of the cheekbone to the nose, should be as short as possible, and it’s skin should be deeply and closely wrinkled . The muzzle should be short, broad turned upwards and very deep from the corner of the eye to the corner of the mouth. The nose should be large, broad and black it’s top should be deeply set back almost between the eyes . The distance from the inner corner of the eye (or from the centre of the “stop” between the eyes) to the extreme tip of the nose should not exceed the length from the tip of the nose to the tip of the underlip. The nostrils should be large, wide, and black with a well defined ,vertical straight line between them.    

(7)The flews ,called the “chop” should be thick, broad, pendant and very deep hanging completely over the lower jaw at the sides (not in front) They should join the under lip in front and quite cover the teeth which should not be seen when the mouth is closed             

(8)The jaw should be broad ,massive  and square, the canine teeth or tusks ,wide apart .The  lower jaw should project considerably in front of the upper and turn up. It should be broad and square, an have the six small front teeth between the canines in an even row. The teeth should be large and strong.                                                                                                                                                                                            

(9) The neck should be moderate in length (rather short than long), very thick, deep and strong.  It should be well arched at the back , with much loose, thick and wrinkled skin about the throat, forming a dewlap on each side from the lower jaw to the chest. The chest should be very wide latterly, round, prominent, and deep, making the dog appear very broad and short legged in front                        

(10) The shoulders should be broad, sloping and deep, very powerful and muscular,                                                                                                                                                  

(11)The brisket should be capacious, round and very deep from the top of the shoulders to the lowest part where it joins the chest, and be well let down between the forelegs. It should be large in diameter and round behind the forelegs (not flat sided, the ribs being well rounded) The body should be well ribbed up behind, with the belly tucked up and not pendulous.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

(12)The back should be short and strong, very broad at the shoulder and comparatively narrow at the loins. There should be a slight fall to the back close behind the shoulders (it’s lowest part), whence the spine should rise to the loins (the top of which should be higher than the top of the shoulders ). Thence curving again more suddenly to the tail , forming an arch- a distinctive characteristic of the breed-termed “roach back”  or more correctly wheel back.                                                                                                                                                                                      

(13) The tail, termed the “stern” should be set on low, jut out rather straight, then turn downwards, the end pointing horizontally It should be quite round in its own length , smooth and devoid of fringe or coarse hair. It should be moderate in length- rather short than long- thick at the root and tapering quickly to a fine point. It should have a downward carriage (not having a decided upward curve at the end or being screwed or deformed), and the dog should from its shape not be able to raise it over it’s back.  

(14)The forelegs should be very stout and strong, set wide apart, thick , muscular and straight, with well developed calves, presenting a rather bowed outline but the bones of the leg should be large and straight, not bandy or curved. They should be rather short in proportion to the hind legs, but not as short as to make the back appear long, or detract from the dog’s activity, and so cripple him. The elbows should be low and stand well away from the ribs The ankles or pasterns should be short , straight and strong. The forefeet should be straight, and turn very slightly outwards, of medium size and moderately round. The toes compact and thick ,being well split up ,making the knuckles prominent and high.                                                                                                                                       

(15)The hind legs should be large and muscular, and longer in proportion than the forelegs, so as to elevate the loins. The hocks should be slightly bent and well let down, so as to be long and muscular from the loins to the point of hock. The lower part of the leg should be short, straight and strong The stifles should be round and turned slightly outwards away from the body. The hocks are thereby made to approach each other and the hind feet to turn outwards. The latter , like the forefeet, should be round and compact with the toes well split up and the knuckles prominent. From its formation the dog ha a peculiar , heavy and constrained gait , appearing to walk with short , quick , steps on the tip of its toes, its hind feet not being lifted high, but appearing to skim the ground and running with the right shoulder  rather advanced ,similar to the manner of a horse in cantering.                                            

(16) The most desirable size for the bulldog is about 50 lbs. (this was later amended to 50lbs for a bitch and 55lb for a dog)                  

                                                                                                                                                                       

(17) The coat should be fine in texture, short, close and smooth (hard only from the shortness and closeness, not wiry) Its colour should be whole or smut (that is, a whole colour with a black mask or muzzle). The colours should be brilliant and pure of its sort . The  colours in their order of merit if bright and pure,are, first whole colours and smuts  viz; brindles ,reds , white (with their varieties),as whole  fawns, fallows, etc.,  second pied and mixed colours. 

The following 100 points show the relative value of the properties mentioned in the foregoing Standard Description.

 

General  Appearance                                                                                                                                                                         10

Skull and Head   ........ size 5, Height 1, breadth and squareness 3 , shape 2,  Wrinkles 4                                                            15        

Stop  .......Depth 2, Breadth 2, Extent of furrow 1                                                                                                                              5

Eyes........Position 2, Size 1, Shape 1, Colour 1                                                                                                                                   5   

Ears......  Position 1, Size 1 1/2, Shape 1 1/2, Thinness 1                                                                                                                    5 

Face........shortness 1, breadth 1, depth 1, shape and upward turn of muzzle 1, wrinkles 1                                                              5

Chop.......Breadth 2, Depth 2,   Complete covering of front teeth 1                                                                                                  5

Mouth.....Width and Squareness of Jaw 2, projection and upward turn of lower jaw 2 Size and condition of teeth 1                     5

Chest and Neck... ..Length 1, Thickness 1, Arch 1 Dewlap 1,Width |depth and Roundness of chest 1                                           5

Shoulders.....Size 2, Breadth 2, Muscle 1                                                                                                                                             5

Body.....Depth and thickness of brisket 2, Capacity and Roundness of ribs 3                                                                                   5

Back (Roach) Shortness 2, Width of shoulders 1.Shape strength and arch at loin 2                                                                         5

Forelegs..Stoutness 1 I/2 , Shortness 1, Development 1, Feet 1 1/2                                                                                                   5 

Hindlegs .....Stoutness 1  , Length 1, Shape and Development 2, Feet 1                                                                                            5    

Size                                                                                                                                                                                                           5

Tail                                                                                                                                                                                                           5

Coat                                                                                                                                                                                                          5       

Total                                                                                                                                                                                                     100

Note by 1884 the club decided that Dudleys were highly undesirable and the standard was amended 1n 1909 by te addition that Dudleys, together with blacks and black and tans are disqualified source Mr.R.H.Voss Bulldog magazine Sept 1948.

The above 1875 Inc standard was slightly  modified after the first world war when the Allied Clubs who had their own standard met with the INC and they mutually agreed the revisions at the KC request. This was then adopted by the Kennel Club who in 1949 requested certain minor amendments take place then  "modernised" and somewhat amended it in 1987 and later, with input from The Bulldog Breed Council emphasising health requirements ,  further amendments were implemented  in 2003 .

THE KENNEL CLUB STANDARD (2003)

GENERAL APPEARANCE  -Smooth -Coated, thick set, rather low in stature, broad, powerful and compact Head` fairly large in proportion to size, but no point so much in excess of others as to destroy the general symmetry , or make the dog appear deformed or interfere with it’s powers of motion. Face short, muzzle broad, blunt and inclined upwards. Dogs showing respiratory distress highly undesirable. Body short , well knit, limbs stout, well muscled and in hard condition. Hindquarters high and strong but somewhat lighter in comparison with heavy foreparts. Bitches not so grand or well developed as dogs.                                                                                                                                        

CHARACTERISTICS- Conveys impression of determination, Strength and activity.                                                    

TEMPERAMENT-Alert, bold, loyal, dependable, courageous, Fierce in appearance but possessed of affectionate  nature.                       

HEAD AND SKULL-Skull Large in circumference .Viewed from the front appears very high from corner of lower jaw to apex of skull, also very broad and square. Cheeks well rounded and extended sideways beyond eyes. Viewed from side , head appears very high and short from back to point of nose. Forehead flat with skin upon and about head, loose and finely wrinkled , neither prominent nor overhanging face. Projections of frontal bones prominent, broad, square and high ; deep, wide indentation between eyes. From stop , a furrow , both broad and deep extending to middle of skull being traceable to apex. Face from front of cheekbone to nose , short, skin wrinkled., muzzle short broad turned upwards and very deep from corner of eye to corner of mouth . Nose and nostrils large, broad and black, under no circumstances liver colour, red or brown top set back towards eyes. Distance from inner corner of eye (or from centre of stop between eyes) to extreme tip of nose not exceeding length from tip of nose to edge of under lip. Nostrils large , wide and open with defined vertical straight line between. Flews (chops) thick, broad. pendant and very deep , hanging completely over lower jaw at sides, not in front , joining under lip in front and quite covering teeth. Jaws broad, massive and square, lower jaw projecting in front of upper and turning up. Nose roll , if present, should not interfere with line of layback. Viewed from front, the various properties of the face must be equally balanced on either side of an imaginary line down centre.                                                                                                                                               

EYES-Seen from front, situated low down in skull, well away from ears. Eyes and stop in same straight line, at right angles to furrow. Wide apart, but outer corners within outline of cheeks. Round in shape, of moderate size, neither sunken nor prominent, in colour very dark- almost black-showing no white when looking directly forward. Free from obvious eye problems.                                                                                                                                                                 

  EARS-Set high- i.e. front edge of each ear ( as viewed from front) joins outline of skull at top corner of such outline, so as to place them as wide apart , as high and as far from eyes as possible small and Thin. “Rose ear” correct, i.e. folding inwards at back, upper or front inner edge curving outwards and backwards, showing part of inside of burr.                                                      

MOUTH -Jaws broad and square with six small front teeth between canines in an even row .Canines wide apart Teeth large and strong not seen when mouth closed When viewed. from front under jaw. directly under upper jaw and parallel                        

NECK -Moderate in length (rather short than long), very thick, deep and strong. Well arched at back, with much loose, thick and wrinkled skin about throat, forming dewlap on each side, from lower jaw to chest.                                           

FOREQUARTERS-Shoulders broad ,sloping and deep, very powerful and muscular giving appearance of being “tacked on “ body. Brisket capacious, round and very deep from top of  shoulders to lowest part where it joins chest. Well let down between forelegs. Large in diameter, round behind forelegs (not flat sided , ribs well-rounded , Forelegs very stout and strong, well developed, set wide apart thick muscular and straight , presenting rather bowed  outline but bones of legs large and straight not bandy nor curved and short in proportion to hind legs, but not so short as to make back appear long, or detract from dog’s activity and so cripple him. Elbows low and standing well away from ribs. Pasterns short, straight and strong.                                                        

BODY =Chest wide , latterly round , prominent and deep Back short, strong broad at shoulders comparatively narrower at loins. Slight fall to back close behind shoulders (lowest part) whence spine should rise to loins (top higher than top of shoulder) curving again more suddenly to tail forming arch (termed roach back) - a distinctive characteristic of t breed. Body well ribbed up behind with belly tucked up and not pendulous.                                                                                                 

HINDQUARTERS -Legs large and muscular, longer in proportion than forelegs, so as to elevate loins. Hocks slightly bent, well let down , legs long and muscular from loins to hock, short, straight , strong lower part. Stifles round and turned slightly outwards away from body. Hocks thereby made to approach each other and hind feet to turn outwards.                                             

FEET-Fore, straight and turning very slightly outward of medium size and moderately round.                                            

Hind, round and compact. Toes compact and thick, well split up, making knuckles prominent and high                              

TAIL-Set on low, jutting out rather straight and then turning downwards, Round smooth and  devoid of fringe or coarse hair Moderate in length - rather short than long- thick at root , tapering quickly to a fine point. Downward carriage (not having a decided upward curve at end) and never carried above back                                                                              

GAIT/MOVEMENT Peculiarly heavy and constrained appearing to walk with short ,quick steps on tips of  toes, hind feet  not lifted high, appearing to skim ground, running with one or other shoulder rather advanced.  Soundness of movement of the utmost importance.                                                                                                                                           

COAT-Fine texture, short, close, and smooth (hard only from shortness and closeness, not wiry).                                                       

COLOUR- Whole or smut (i.e. whole colour with black mask or muzzle ), Only whole colours (which should be brilliant and pure of their sort ) viz., brindles, reds with their various shades, fawns, fallows etc., white and pied (i.e. combination of white with any of the  foregoing colours ).Dudley, Black and Black with Tan highly undesirable.                                                                                     

SIZE-Dogs 25 kg  (55 lbs ) Bitches 22.7 kg ( 50 lbs.)                                                                                                                                              

FAULTS- Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with  which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.                                                                                                                 

NOTE- Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

DOUBLE CLICK TO MAXIMISE DRAWING    

 

The Breed Council  fully approved the above but requested in early 2008 that the following be included in its literature for aspiring 

Judges and stated it equally applies to breeders:

u    There has been intensive public debate over several years about the health of pedigree dogs and in our case BULLDOGS. Both breeders and judges have a share in the responsibility of ENSURING that our dogs are at their peak of physical and mental health.

u    As a judge ,you can of course only have a share of this responsibility exercised when you go over the dogs presented to you. The Breed Council asks you to be very conscious of this responsibility when you judge.

u    It is a fact that highly prized dogs are used for breeding more often so it is important  to be very careful  not to give awards to dogs showing any evidence of serious defects or other faults that may affect their welfare or their descendants if used for breeding.

u    We cannot emphasize enough how you as a Judge can significantly contribute to the breeds future welfare by awarding prizes only to evidently healthy specimens  

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2009 KENNEL CLUB STANDARD

 We have endeavoured to demonstrate below our interpretation of the current standard in word and pictures

  General Appearance

Smooth-coated, fairly thick set, rather low in stature, broad, powerful and compact. Head, fairly large in proportion to size but no point so much in excess of others as to destroy the general symmetry, or make the dog appear deformed, or interfere with its powers of motion. Face relatively short, muzzle broad, blunt and inclined upwards although not excessively so. Dogs showing respiratory distress highly undesirable. Body fairly short, well knit, limbs stout, well muscled and in hard condition with no tendency towards obesity. Hindquarters high and strong. Bitches not so grand or well developed as dogs.

 

 

 

Characteristics

Conveys impression of determination, strength and activity.

Temperament

Alert, bold, loyal, dependable, courageous, fierce in appearance, but possessed of affectionate nature.

 

 

 

Head and Skull

Skull relatively large in circumference. Viewed from front appears high from corner of lower jaw to apex of skull; also broad and square. Cheeks well rounded and extended sideways beyond eyes

 

 

 

 

 

Viewed from side, head appears very high and moderately short from back to point of nose. 

  

Forehead flat with skin on and about head slightly loose and finely wrinkled without excess, neither prominent nor overhanging face .From defined stop, a furrow extending to middle of skull being traceable to apex. Face from front of cheek bone to nose, relatively short, skin may be slightly wrinkled. Muzzle short, broad, turned upwards and deep from corner of eye to corner of mouth. 

 .

 

 

 

 

correct jaws.jpg (3829228 bytes)

Nose and nostrils large, broad and black, under no circumstances liver colour, red or brown. Distance from inner corner of eye (or from centre of stop between eyes) to extreme tip of nose should not be less than distance from tip of nose to edge of underlip. Nostrils large wide and open, with well defined vertical straight line between. Flews (chops) thick, broad and deep, covering lower jaws at sides, but joining underlip in front. Teeth not visible. Jaws broad, strong and square, lower jaw slightly projecting in front of upper with moderate turn up. Over nose wrinkle, if present, whole or broken, must never adversely affect or obscure eyes or nose. Pinched nostrils and heavy over nose roll are unacceptable and should be heavily penalised. Viewed from front, the various properties of the face must be equally balanced on either side of an imaginary line down centre.

 

Eyes

Seen from front, situated low down in skull, well away from ears. Eyes and stop in same straight line, at right angles to furrow. Wide apart, but outer corners within the outline of cheeks. Round, of moderate size, neither sunken nor prominent, in colour very dark – almost black – showing no white when looking directly forward. Free from obvious eye problems.

 

 

 

Ears

Set high – i.e. front edge of each ear (as viewed from front) joins outline of skull at top corner of such outline, so as to place them as wide apart, as high and as far from eyes as possible. Small and thin. ’Rose ear‘ correct, i.e. folding inwards back, upper or front inner edge curving outwards and backwards, showing part of inside of burr.

 

FAULTS

 

Mouth 

Jaws broad and square with six small front teeth between canines in an even row. Canines wide apart. Teeth large and strong, not seen when mouth closed. When viewed from front under jaw directly under upper jaw and parallel.

FAULTS

Neck

Moderate in length, thick, deep and strong. Well arched at back, with some loose, skin about throat, forming  slight dewlap on each side.

 

 

 

 

Forequarters

bulldog front.jpg (65529 bytes) Shoulders broad, sloping and deep, very powerful and muscular giving appearance of being ’tacked on‘ body. Brisket round and deep. Well let down between forelegs. Ribs not flat-sided, but well rounded. Forelegs very stout and strong, well developed, set wide apart, thick, muscular and straight, bones of legs large and straight, not bandy nor curved and short in proportion to hindlegs, but not so short as to make back appear long, or detract from dog’s activity. Elbows low and standing well away from ribs. Pasterns short, straight and strong.

 

 

 

 

CORRECT FRONT                                               TERRIER FRONT                      VERY POOR WEAK FRONT

 

Body

Chest wide, prominent and deep. Back short, strong, broad at shoulders. Slight fall to back close behind shoulders (lowest part) whence spine should rise to loins (top higher than top of shoulder), curving again more suddenly to tail, forming slight arch – a distinctive characteristic of breed. Body well ribbed up behind with belly tucked up and not pendulous.

 

 

 

FAULTS

 

Hindquarters

Legs large and muscular, slightly longer in proportion than forelegs. Hocks slightly bent, well let down; legs long and muscular from loins to hock. Stifles turned very slightly outwards away from body.

 

FAULTS

 

Feet

Fore, straight and turning very slightly outward; of medium size and moderately round. Hind, round and compact. Toes compact and thick, well split up, making knuckles prominent and high.

Tail

length – rather short than long – thick at root, tapering quickly to a fine point. Downward carriage (not having a decided upward curve at end) and never carried above back.

 

Lack of tail, inverted or extremely tight tails are undesirable.

 

Gait/Movement

Appearing to walk with short, quick steps on tips of toes, hind feet not lifted high, appearing to skim ground, running with one or other shoulder rather advanced. Soundness of movement of the utmost importance.

Coat

Fine texture, short, close and smooth (hard only from shortness and closeness, not wiry).

Colour

Whole or smut, (i.e. whole colour with black mask or muzzle). Only whole colours (which should be brilliant and pure of their sort) viz., brindles, reds with their various shades, fawns, fallows etc., white and pied (i.e. combination of white with any of the foregoing colours). Dudley, black and black with tan highly undesirable.

Size

Dogs: 25 kgs (55 lbs); bitches: 23 kgs (50 lbs).

Faults

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.

Note

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.