Bulldogs, beautiful? Well, yes! French, American, or English — bulldogs portray glamour in their own special way. That’s why we present National Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day each April 21. (In case you’re wondering, our photo shows a very pretty French bulldog.)
True — people (as a rule) can’t get away with a lot of slobbering and wrinkles, but bulldogs make it an art form. They started popping up as furry companions in historical literature about five centuries ago. Today this sweet sidekick continually ranks as one of the most popular dog breeds in the U.S. French bulldogs currently sit fourth on the American Kennel Club’s list. (Bulldogs, technically a separate breed, are fifth.)
Here’s more on why we love them so much.
When is National Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day 2023?
Bulldogs are beautiful and they are celebrated on April 21 every year. The holiday is a chance for bulldog owners to shower their beautiful dogs in treats and love.
History of National Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day
Just like the pit bull, bulldogs were bred originally to assist butchers in controlling livestock. The history of bulldogs predates that of pit bulls, however, tracing back to 5th century England, to a breed called the Alaunt. In the 15th century, other than catching cattle and horses on farms, bulldogs were used in the barbaric activity of bull-baiting; in which dogs were pitted against bulls to fight until the bull was pulled to the ground or the dog was killed by the bull. Thankfully, bull-baiting was banned in 1835. Until this time, bulldogs were bred to be aggressive and a dog weighing 80 pounds could easily toss a bull weighing a ton down by corkscrewing its own body around its neck.
After bull-baiting ended in the U.K, it seemed that there would be no further use for bulldogs and that the breed would eventually become extinct. Luckily, the exportation of the breed to Germany and the U.S. expanded the line of work in which bulldogs were used. They continued herding cattle and hogs, especially in parts of the country where terrains were too rough for building fences. Bulldogs were crossbred in Germany to create the boxer breed. The aggressive bulldog was downsized in England, although it is uncertain whether this was accomplished by selective breeding of smaller dogs or cross-breeding with pugs.
The modern bulldog is gentle, affectionate, and stable both in terms of temperament and appearance. They may be small but are capable of great power and are super-loyal and brave when it comes to their human companions, especially children.
National Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day timeline
The first bulldogs sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to arrive in America.
Based in the UK, this is the oldest breed club in the world.
The American Kennel Club officially recognized bulldogs as a breed.
Jiggs, a bulldog, enlisted to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps
This annual event takes place at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa (Home of the Bulldogs!).
Traditions of the Day
Each year, people express appreciation and celebrate these adorable creatures on National Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day. Those who own bulldogs pamper them and treat them to their favorite snacks. Some owners buy cute outfits for their dogs and post pictures with them on social media.
Bulldog beauty contests are hosted, because bulldogs are in fact, beautiful. Those who didn’t appreciate bulldogs previously, take the time to read up on them and their history and consider getting one of their own.
By The Numbers
#4 – the ranking of bulldogs as the most popular dog breed in the U.S.
1886 – the year when bulldogs were officially inducted into the American Kennel Club.
4 – the number of different markings found on bulldogs.
55 – the weight in pounds of the average male bulldog.
50 – the weight in pounds of the average female bulldog.
8-12 years – the lifespan of a bulldog.
15 – the number of minutes walking before a bulldog is tired out.
40 – the number of universities in the U.S. naming their teams after bulldogs.
National Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day FAQs
Why are Bulldogs the best?
Bulldogs make great pets for both kids and adults because of their gentle nature. They are not demanding and are quite low-maintenance, so they also make wonderful companions for the elderly.
How smart is a bulldog?
Bulldogs aren’t very intelligent, ranking at 78 out of 80 on the intelligence spectrum. Reportedly, it takes up to 100 tries for bulldogs to follow the first command.
What are Bulldogs used for today?
The bulldog—American and English—has gone on to become a popular companion and working animal, as well as a very widely used mascot.
National Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day Activities
Volunteer at an animal shelter
It’s heartbreaking, but not every bulldog gets to celebrate National Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day in the comfort of their own forever home. Lend a helping hand to bulldogs — and every other dog breed — by volunteering some of your time to your local animal shelter. Your heart will be full afterward, and you’ll probably even get some puppy kisses to help sweeten the deal.
Visit a pet-friendly restaurant or bar
Pack up your bulldog and head out to grab some tasty food and drinks. Most pet-friendly restaurants set out water bowls for your pup to enjoy as they hang out with you, but if you do a little research, you may even find a spot that has a menu dedicated just to the hounds.
Indulge your pet
Stopping at the local pet bakery on a daily basis probably isn’t the best thing for your furry friend’s waistline, but today is National Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day, and that means ALL bulldogs are beautiful. Today is the perfect reason to indulge the bulldogs in your life—big and small. Yes, this also means you should stop by the human bakery and treat yourself as well.
5 Facts About Bulldogs
It’s in the name
Bulldogs were originally bred for bull-baiting. This explains their name.
The wrinkles are important
Back when bull-baiting was practiced, the wrinkles on a bulldog were significant for blocking blood from getting into the dog’s eyes during battle.
Everybody’s favorite mascot
Be it the U.S. Marines or Yale University, the breed is a mascot for many prestigious institutions.
A gastronomic experience.
Bulldogs have a condition called brachycephalic, which makes them snort and gassy.
Like owner, like pet
Bulldogs are couch potatoes and don’t need a lot of exercise, making them ideal for those who don’t want to do too much walking. ffa
Why We Love National Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day
They make drool cool
Acknowledging the beauty of everyday life is a sure way to elevate your mood. Bulldogs? They’re gorgeous just the way they are – drool hanging out of the corner of their mouth and bull-legged posture just add to the beauty.
Bulldogs are great for city dwellers and country folk. This breed is fairly low-energy, so they don’t require a ton of exercise. They'll be content whether sniffing around a huge backyard or are taking a nap on the floor of your apartment.
They make great watchdogs
They’re sweet-natured, but the staunch, muscular appearance of bulldogs can be intimidating. Although bulldogs are usually easygoing and lazy, when provoked, they're not afraid to make their presence known when necessary.
National Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day dates