APPEARANCE - In forming a
judgement on any specimen of the breed, the general
appearance, which is the first impression the dog makes
as a whole on the eye of the judge, should be first
considered. Secondly should be noticed its size,
shape and make, or rather its proportions in the relation
they bear to each other. No point should be so
much in excess of the others as to destroy the general
symmetry, or make the dog appear deformed, or interfere
with its powers of motion, etc. Thirdly its style,
carriage, gait, temper and its several points should
be considered separately in detail, due allowance being
made for the bitch, which is not so grand nor as well
developed as the dog.
The general appearance of the Bulldog is that of a smooth-coated,
thickset dog, rather low in stature, but broad, powerful
and compact. The head strikingly massive and large
in proportion to the dog's size. The face extremely
short. The muzzle very broad, blunt and inclined
upwards. The body short and well knit; the limbs
stout and muscular. The hindquarters high and
strong but rather lightly made in comparison with its
heavily made foreparts. The dog should convey
an impression of determination, strength and activity,
similar to that suggested by the appearance of a thick-set
- (See under General Appearance and Gait/Movement)
- Should convey an impression of determination.
AND SKULL - 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 its 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. The projections of the frontal
bones should be very prominent, broad, square and high,
causing a deep and wide indentation between the eyes
termed the "stop". From the "stop" a furrow both
broad and deep should extend up to the middle of the
skull, being traceable to the apex. The face,
measured from the front of the cheek-bone to the nose,
should be as short as possible, and its 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, and under
no circumstances should it be liver coloured or brown;
its 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 edge of the under
lip. The nostrils should be large, wide and black,
with a well-defined vertical straight line between them.
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.
The jaws should be broad, massive and square, the lower
jaw should project considerably in front of the upper
and turn up. Viewed from the front, the various
properties of the face must be equally balanced on either
side of an imaginary line down the centre of the face.
- The eyes seen from the front, should be situated low
down in the skull, as far from the ears as possible.
The eyes and "stop" should be in the same straight
line, which should be at right angles to the furrow.
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.
- 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 correct, and folds inwards at its back,
the upper or front edge curving over outwards and backwards,
showing part of the inside of the burr.
- The jaw should be broad and square and have the six
small front teeth between the canines in an even row.
The canine teeth or tusks wide apart. The teeth
should not be seen when the mouth is closed. The
teeth should be large and strong. When viewed
from the front, the underjaw should be centrally under
the upper jaw to which it should also be parallel.
- 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 shoulders should be broad, sloping and deep, very
powerful and muscular, and giving the appearance of
having been "tacked on" to the body. 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 forelegs. It should
be large in diameter and round behind the forelegs (not
flat-sided, the ribs being well rounded). The
forelegs should be very stout and strong, set wide apart,
thick, muscular and straight, with well-developed forearms,
presenting a rather bowed outline, but the bones of
the legs should be large and straight, not bandy or
curved. They should be rather short in proportion
to the hind-legs, but not so 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 pasterns should
be short, straight and strong.
- The chest should be very wide, laterally round, prominent,
and deep, making the dog appear very broad and short-legged
in front. The body should be well ribbed up behind,
with the belly tucked up and not pendulous. The
back should be short and strong, very broad at the shoulders,
and comparatively narrow at the loins. There should
be a slight fall to the back close behind the shoulders
(its 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".
- The 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 the 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 hind feet, like the forefeet, should be round
and compact, with the toes well split up and the knuckles
prominent. The forefeet should be straight and
turn very slightly outward, of medium size and moderately
round. The toes compact and thick, being well
split up, making the knuckles prominent and high.
- The tail, termed the "stern", should be set on low,
jut out rather straight, then turn downwards.
It should be round, 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 curve at the end), and the dog
should not be able to raise it over its back.
- From its formation the dog has a peculiar heavy and
constrained gait, appearing to walk with short, quick
steps on the tips of its toes, its hindfeet not being
lifted high, but appearing to skim the ground, and running
with the right shoulder rather advanced, similar to
the manner of horse in cantering.
- Should be fine in texture, short, close and smooth
(hard only from the shortness and closeness, not wiry).
- The colour should be whole or smut (that is, a whole
colour with a black mask or muzzle). The only
colours (which should be brilliant and pure of their
sort) are whole colours - viz., brindles, reds, with
their varieties, fawns, fallows etc., white and also
pied (i.e. a combination of white with any other of
the foregoing colours). Dudley, black and
black with tan are extremely undesirable colours.
- The most desirable weight for the Bulldog is:
25 kg (55 lbs.) for a dog and
22.7 kg (50 lbs.) for a bitch.
- 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.
- Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles
fully descended into the scrotum.
Non-Sporting Group A.N.K.C.
© January 1998