English bulldogs first arrived on the scene in the 1600s and were bred specifically for the English sport of bull baiting -- a fight-to-the-death contest where trained dogs attacked a tethered bull while spectators wagered on whether the dog or the bull would survive. As countries began banning bull baiting in the 1800s, English bulldogs transitioned from fighters to companion pets. Today, with routine veterinary care, English bulldogs will live, on average, between 8 and 10 years.
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Genetic Health Problems
Despite their reputation as fierce, strong warriors, bulldogs are vulnerable to several health conditions that could impact their overall life expectancy and quality of life. According to Vet Street, bulldogs commonly develop brachycephalic airway syndrome, a respiratory condition that causes a dog's airway to narrow making it difficult for the dog to breath. This condition is particularly dangerous in the summer as it may cause a bulldog to overheat and suffer heat-related injuries. While bulldogs are highly recognized for their wrinkly skin, this trademark look also can contribute to health complications. Because of the wrinkles and folds, bulldogs are highly susceptible to skin infections and require regular grooming. Despite these potential health conditions, bulldogs are widely regarded as lovable, gentle and good family companions. With proper veterinary care, bulldogs and owners can enjoy many happy years together.