It is those plush, fleshy, adorable wrinkles that attract us to Bulldogs, but why do they have them in the first place?
In 18th century England, the sport of bull-baiting was very popular. Bulldogs were bred to “bait” already agitated bulls and then tear them apart with their teeth. Most of the time bulldogs came out of the bloody battle victorious, but there were those times when the dog lost.
The bulldog was bred to be short in stature, for stability, and to have short snouts so they could easily breathe while their mouths were full of bull. The numerous thick, fleshy wrinkles on the bulldog served two purposes: First, the body wrinkles reduced the probability of impalement by a bull horn (the horn would often slide away from the body of the bulldog) and second, the facial wrinkles allowed for drainage of blood (from the bull) away from the dog’s eyes and nose.
Thankfully, the Cruelty to Animals Act was passed in 1835 and the sport began to disappear. The bulldog seemed to lose popularity for many years until it is alleged that a group chose to reinvent the breed as a family pet. Today it is one of the five most popular dogs owned.
One of the best methods of cleaning the folds of a bulldog is to use unscented baby wipes and then sprinkle on a little corn starch afterward, Bulldogs are prone to fungal infections in between those wrinkles so it is important to keep the skin dry.