Adventures with Bula the Backcountry Bulldog

Story and photos contributed by Leda Olmsted

Meet Bula, a sassy, her-way-or-the-highway kinda gal. Bula is a 5 year old active English Bulldog. She spends her time hiking, camping, leading the way for mountain bikes, attempting to steal and destroy skateboards, paddle boarding and of course, snoring.  The last hobby may not surprise you, as most people think of English Bulldogs as fat and lazy, but a healthy bulldog should have energy to get outside and romp just as much as other breeds.


When most people meet Bula, they are instantly amazed at how trim she is. A lot of people bring bulldogs into their family because they want a dog that doesn’t need constant exercise and who will make for a good couch potato partner. While Bula is extremely skilled at hard core chillin’, she also absolutely loves adventuring in the great outdoors. She is just as physically capable as many other medium breed dogs, but due to her iconic smooshed face (also known as brachycephalic, but most people refer to her face as smooshed) she is at a higher risk of overheating in warmer weather. On top of issues related to their flat faces, bulldogs are know for a plethora of other health related issues, which just makes it even more important for them to maintain a healthy weight and an active lifestyle. In cool weather, it seems as if she has energy to romp through the woods for days on end, but on warmer days she needs to be careful to not overheat. It doesn’t help that she may be one of the most stubborn and motivated pups in the world and will not slow down even if she is running a little too hot. On top of staying lean and drinking plenty of water, on the hot days Bula is able to keep up with the pack by rockin’ her Ruffwear Swamp Cooler vest.

This thing was made for bulldogs (well not really, but Bula thinks everything is made just for her). It’s perfect for all dogs who like to charge hard on the trails. Just wet the vest with cold water, wring it out, and put it onto your hard working dog. As the water evaporates it pulls heat away from the dog’s body and keeps them cool. It even conveniently fits well over large-chested ladies like Bula.


Bula is one motivated pooch, and it’s her mission to inspire other smooshed-faced friends like her to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. To follow her adventures on social media, check out her Instagram page @backcountry_bulldog. If you have a motivated bully breed at home, be sure to share their adventures by using the hashtag #backcountrybulldog to help inspire dogs and their humans of all shapes and sizes to get outside, stay active, and have fun!

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