Bulldog has come a long way since its less-than-humane beginnings as a wager in the now outlawed sport of bull baiting.
Delightful, demure, determined and devoted (sometimes to the point of being stubborn), the English bulldog personality makes it a true blue companion for apartment dwellers and busy families alike.
These bighearted bullies with its squashed body and pryingly puckered face, poignant eyes, Snub nose, perky ears… might look like as if she didn’t recognize the glass door was closed and ran head-first into it, but they are irresistibly cute. Who can resist that adorable smudgy face?
She will be the most captive canine experience ever. She is a bulldog; it’s a strong start and it can’t go wrong with that. Bulldogs can be persevering and pertinacious, but they are so darn cute, it’s hard to be mad at them.
You do not own a bulldog, she owns you. Far from just being a nationalistic symbol, these smushy-faced, chunky bundles of love are quintessential malingerers and love to cuddle with you.
They seem to love moping around the house during their spare time and are just the best companions a human could want. And they flourish on your attention so if you’re always away, or busy, get goldfish, not English bully.
The Bulldog personality—in a nutshell, “think a chubby toddler with an old man’s wrinkles”
Yes, you guessed right, it’s all in the name. They appeared from an ancient line of Neopolitan Mastiff dogs.
They were used at first for entertainment purposes, specifically in the sport called bull baiting (bulls, bears, horses etc) which was a national blood sport in the UK from 1206 till it was outlawed in 1865.
Bulldogs, unfortunately, bred to be highly efficient bull baiting machines and their role was to pin down a bull so they could be slaughtered or castrated afterward.
This was on a belief that if bulls were to be slaughtered it should be bait so that the meat would be tender and delicious.
These resolute dogs would hold on for dear life—and the gamboling and curvetting bulls often tossed the dogs in the air over the heads of spectators.
Not surprisingly, many suffered serious injuries and death during the course of this “sport.” The Old English Bulldog possessed a strong, stocky body and a vice jaw that compressed with remarkable force, making it well-matched to the blood sport of bullbaiting.
Bulldog Breed Characteristics Sheet
- Origin: England
- Size: Small
- Dog Breed Group: Standard Group
- Purebred: Yes
- Lifespan: 8-10 Years
- Height: Males 31 – 40 Cm(12 – 15 Inches), Females 31 – 40 Cm(12 – 15 Inches)
- Weight: Males 24 – 25 Kg(52-55 Lbs), Females 22 – 23 Kg (48-50lbs)
- Coat Appearance: Soft Medium-Fine Coat
- Coat Colors: Brindle, Brindle & White, Fawn, White & Fawn, Fawn Brindle, White & Fawn Brindle, Red, White & Red, Red Brindle, White & Red Brindle, Red Fawn, White, Brindle & White, Fawn & White, White & Red
- Temperament: Affectionate, Alert, Charming, Docile, Easygoing, Friendly, Faithful, Gregarious Outgoing, Pleasant, Responsive
- Good With Children: Yes
- Intelligence Level: Average
- Good With Pets: Yes
- Hypoallergenic: No
- Grooming: High
- Shedding: Average
- Barking: Barks When Necessary
- Suitable For Apartments: Yes
- Need For Exercise: Low
- Easy To Train: Quick Learners But May Be Stubborn
- Good For First Time Owners: Yes
- Health Issues: Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome (BAOS), Hip And Elbow Dysplasia, Pulmonic Stenosis, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Distichiasis, Hemivertebrae, Hypothyroidism
- Litter Size: 4 Puppies On Average
- Average Price: $1500 – $4000 USD (USA), £1700 For KC Registered, £1500 For Non-KC Registered (UK)
Is Bulldog, The Right Dog For You?
If you want a dog who…
- Is moderately-sized, built low to the ground — not a subtle lapdog
- Has a short easy-care coat that comes in many colors
- Is easygoing and dependable with most of the world
- Doesn’t need much exercise and spends much of the day snoring on the sofa
- Has Low shedding and a sleek easy-care coat that comes in many colors
Get ready to be totally bow-WOWED!
If you don’t want to deal with…
- Tenacious stubbornness and overly possessive of owners and families
- Gluttonous food possessiveness
- Excessive Shedding
- Snorting, snuffling, some slobbering, loud snoring and drooling
- A multitude of health problems due to their ‘extreme physical features’ and a short lifespan
- Expensive dogs as a well-bred puppy from reputable breeders are costly
This English chomper may not be right for you.
Bulldog Size And Lifespan
- Height – Males 31 – 40 cm(12 – 15 inches), Females 31 – 40 cm(12 – 15 inches)
- Weight – Males 24 – 25 kg(52-55 lbs), Females 22 – 23 kg (48-50lbs)
The average bulldog life-span is about 8-10 years which is relatively moderate especially when compared to other small breeds. A lucky few owners have these dogs that live happy and healthy lives up to 12 years.
Bulldog Coat Color And Appearance
Bulldog Coat Color
- Brindle & White
- White & Fawn
- Fawn Brindle
- White & Fawn Brindle
- White & Red
- Red Brindle
- White & Red Brindle
- Red Fawn
- Brindle & White
- Fawn & White
- White & Red
An English bulldog’s medium-fine coat is smooth, glossy and short. English Bulldogs come in a variety of colors: brindle (all shades), fawn, solid red, solid white or fallow (light fawn to pale cream, yellow red or pale yellow); and piebald. Solid black is rare and not considered as a breed standard.
The Bulldogs are, perhaps, perfect in fortitude, but in the flesh, she’s a gloomy story.
They belong to Brachycephalics or “smushed-face, squished-in nose” dog breeds which have certain common anatomical traits that make them both incredibly cute but anatomically impaired.
Despite her grumpy looks, the bulldog is comical and dependably entertaining.
Bulldogs are small, compact yet really muscular and strong looking dogs. Heavy in bone compactly built and short legs have a bowed appearance but are in fact straight.
The head should be outsized and spherical with skin folds and wrinkles typically found around it.
Large and spherical head with extremely short muzzle with a well-defined stop. A Little mushed-in nose which is broad and black in color and (not liver-colored or brown) with wide nostrils.
Very pronounced undershot jaws (or “chops”) and the teeth are wide apart as well as they meet in an underbite. Round, medium-sized eyes are set wide apart and low down in the skull, far apart from ears.
Their eyes should never sunken or protrude and their ears are set high and wide apart which angle forward like flaps that frame the forehead.
The skin folds around their faces and noses are great with the noticeable folds called as ‘ropes’ above their black noses.
The skin near the mouth is droopy and hangs under the neck which gives the British Bulldog their renowned ‘sourpuss’ expression. Short snout but it should be never being too short as that will cause a dog difficulty in breathing.
She has a well proportioned, well arched, muscular and thickly set neck with wide, deep chests, broad shoulders and these dogs are quite short backed. One distinguishing feature of the breed is their slightly arched back.
The front view of the dog is wider than the back end, resembling a pear. Hind legs are markedly longer than the forequarters giving the look of a higher rump than withers. Their stubby tails are set low always and are either screwed or straight.
- Bulldogs have a lot of personalities and even more, love to give as well as they are a great dog for individuals and families. (Though they do snore, snort and drool!)
- Nothing much bothers the typical English bulldog but their character is often misunderstood, she may be laid-back but she is a good-natured dog who adores her people, she’s happy to hang out, she is really bold who is not afraid to stand its ground, she can be very protective of their owners and perhaps, territorial over their property.
- The best thing about having a bulldog is that they adore you a lot.
- Once you have an English bulldog in your life, you will wonder why you haven’t owned one earlier. There was no going back to any other breed after you’ve experienced an “English bond”.
- Despite her gloomy history as an aggressive bait dog for blood sports, latter-day English bulldog breeders have worked to reduce aggressive tendencies, and thankfully those efforts have proven fruitful.
- Nowadays, they look quite different from her bull-baiting ancestor. Despite their formidable appearance, English bulldog temperament is mild-mannered, calm, loving and gentle in general.
- This “Hard nut to crack” creature is rather like the prickly pears. A sweet, touching moment or true love reveals what a big patsy she really is under all that crumpled, craggy face…. In fact, a bellwether in bulldog’s clothing.
Properties below are those of English bullies
- Apartment Living – Yes
- Good For First-Time Owners – Yes
- Sensitivity Level – High
- Loneliness – Poorly Suited To Be Alone
- Cold Weather – Good
- Hot Weather – Low
- With Family – High
- Kids – High
- Other Dogs – High
- With Cats – Good, If Raised Together
- Strangers – Average, Reserved
- Independence – Poorly Independent
- Dominance – Moderate
- Combativeness – Bit Aggressive
- Indoors – Moderately Active
- Outdoor – Highly Active
- Territorial – Yes
- Easy Of Transportation – Medium
When it comes to eating, most bulldogs have greedy guts which are seemingly bottomless pits. They are one of the breeds most likely to suffer from weight or obesity problems and make sure that their diet matches their exercise levels to keep them at a healthy weight.
Bulldog puppies will need to eat 2-3 times per day but do not leave her food out for her because this usually results in overeating.
Keep in mind, every additional pound of body weight puts 50 lbs. of strain on her developing bones, joints, and muscles. Like humans, bulldogs are not conditioned to eat the same food at the same time every day.
When the type of food and eating time keeps changing, the dog becomes healthier in many unexpected ways.
Calorie considerations – A typical, healthy English bulldog should be fed about 20-50 calories worth of food per pound of body weight.
-The average adult English bulldog should get anywhere from 1000 to 1200 calories per day.
– A young bulldog weighing around 50 pounds may require at least 1500 calories per day.
– For Bulldogs a with a more sedentary lifestyle and for older bulldogs, they may need fewer calories -900 calories
Rough Feeding guide for English Bulldog
- Daily cost – $1.20 – $1.40 (average)
- Monthly cost – $39.00 – $52.00
- Pups between eight and 12 weeks old – 3 meals every 24 hours (220g- 340g).
- 3 to 6 months old – 3 meals every 24 hour period (340-450g)
- Feed puppies 6 months to 1 year – 2 bowls of food daily (400g)
Remember, the feedings depend on puppy’s build. Once a bulldog is 11 months old they can be fed adult dog food depending on their activity level and eating tendencies.
- Dogs weighing 15 kg = 175g to 200g
- 20 kg = 200- 340g
- 25 kg = 400g
- Protein content should be anything from 18 – 22%
- Carb content should be 30 to 65%
- Fiber content should be less than 4%
- Fat content should be less than 8%
- Calcium content should be 0.5 – 0.8%
- Phosphorous content should be 0.4 – 0.7%
- Sodium content should be 0.2 – 0.4%
- Exercise Needs – Average
- Intensity – Average
- Activity Level – Low
- Exercise Requirements – >30 Minutes/Day
- Walk Mileage/ Week – 5 Miles
- Playfulness – Low
- Grooming Needs – High
- Tendency To Drool – High
- To Snore – High
- Bark – Average
- To Dig – Low
- Social/Attention Needs – High
- Trainability – Easy
- Intelligence – Average
- Memory – High
- Mouthiness – Low
- Prey Drive – High
- Barking – High
- Wanderlust Potential – High
She always makes you smile with her antics but doesn’t let that highly amusing smile fool in training her.
Early training and proper socialization are of paramount importance. In the right hands, it is not as hard as it seems. All it takes is just a little time, uniformity, patience, little love and, quite a few laughs.
The Coren ranking of canine intelligence has stated that the English bulldog is not a fast thinker or fast mover. She is not dumb as bricks but this indicates that you should pick the commands that you do teach them carefully!
While your pooch can most definitely be trained basic and fundamental commands, they, perhaps, won’t comprehend a complex or a very wide range of commands initially.
English bulldogs are persnickety little toy pickers, and what’s more, they seem to be chewing machines. But, that doesn’t mean that you can keep the doggie toy-bin looking vacant.
It’s time to do a little shopping for chew toys, puzzle toys and plush toys that your bulldog can plan to pull down. Keep her happy and occupied: There’s a toy out there that will appeal to her every taste.
Did you know? Your bulldog’s lifespan can be significantly improved with a bit of play time each day. Once bulldogs do play, they tend to enjoy prancing around.
Though, their languorous behavior means that they hardly ever kick off playtime on their own. It is generally up to you to motivate her to get up and go. After all, your loveable buddy just wants to be loved. So, spend quality time with them whenever possible.
How Often Should Your English bulldog Exercise?
With her grumpy demeanor, hogshead chest and a waddling gait, the Bulldog is a breed that epitomizes robustness. But behind this medium-sized dog’s thug-and-tumble exterior is a cool pooch that likes to play. So it’s up to you to bring out her mirthful side!
They like to play with other dogs or are eager to go for walks. They require a brisk daily walk for at least 30 minutes to keep in shape.
Bulldog Grooming And Shedding
- Coat Density – Normal
- Length – Short
- Texture – Straight
- Brushing Frequency – Weekly
- Trimming/Stripping – No
- Hypoallergenic – No
- Shedding – Minimal
A bulldog needs regular grooming and, if possible, this needs to be done on a weekly basis. Moreover, pay special attention beneath a dog’s tail.
They have what is known as “deep tail pockets” which is indentation or dimple located underneath (or on top of) your dog’s tail.
Not every bulldog has a tail pocket but if your dog has one, you need to keep it clean of any dead skin, hair and other dirt and debris to prevent the area becoming irritated, inflamed, and infected with yeast or bacteria.
The best way to clean under a dog’s tail is to use a cleanser with medicated wipes, soothing anti-bacterial balms or Wrinkle Balms.
English Bulldogs have a fine, shiny, smooth, bristly, thick coat and these are all traits that would suggest that they don’t shed very much. English Bulldogs are average shedders and they shed one to two times per year.
Like most dogs, they blow their coat more during the spring and in autumn. Weekly brushing will not only keep their coats and skin in good condition, but it will help keep any shed hair under control.
If you’re going to own an English bulldog, you need to be well-informed about proper care for their adorable pudgy face. At grooming time, their faces need a bit of extra attention.
Make sure to wipe any dirt out from each facial fold with a mild germicidal shampoo or soap or alcohol-free baby wipe at least once a week. You can also apply a little bit of Vaseline in the folds after the wash.
Bulldog Health Problems
Major health problems seen in a Bulldog:
Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome (BAOS) – Being a brachycephalic breed, the English bulldog can experience a particular set of upper airway abnormalities due to shortened muzzles, the airways are squashed and obstruct a dog’s breathing especially when the weather is hot.
The main congenital abnormalities seen are excessively long soft palate in relation to head shape, stenotic nares (narrowed openings at the nose) and hypoplastic trachea (narrowed or underdeveloped windpipe), Tonsillar eversion and hypertrophy, Pharyngeal muscle hypertrophy, Acid reflux, and heart failure.
Hip Dysplasia – Hip dysplasia is caused by a malformation in the hip joint that affects one or both of the hips.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy – An inherited disease of the retina that includes several different genetic diseases that lead to the degeneration of the retina.
Pulmonic stenosis – The third most common canine congenital heart defect and occurs much more commonly in the English bulldog than on average for dogs.
Pulmonary valve stenosis is hereditary heart abnormality in which the pulmonary artery is poorly developed, leading to a congenital narrowness or constriction of the outflow from the right side of the heart where blood enters the lungs.
This disease can be inherited with different degrees of severity; some dogs may die very young while will others remain symptom-free for their whole lives.
Distichiasis – These are a sort of eyelash disorders that are found in Bulldogs in which extra hairs grow out of the eyelash area in an abnormal location on the eyelid or grow in an abnormal direction.
Hemivertebrae – These are common Vertebral and spinal abnormalities found in bulldogs. Breeds that have been bred purposely to have “screw tails” are at risk to this condition which can lead to pressure on the spinal cord resulting in progressive pain, incontinence and loss of hind limb function.
The commonest region of the spine to be affected by hemivertebrae in bulldogs is the thoracic region.
Hypothyroidism – Hypothyroidism is the most commonly diagnosed hormone disorders in the dog and usually, it is a congenital disorder of thyroid gland, causing slow physical and mental development.
Interesting Facts On Bulldog
- While the original members of this breed were ferocious and were originally bred for bull baiting. This explains the portly build (for a low center of gravity) and undershot bite (jaw).
- Modern Bulldogs have been bred to acquire a much more compliant personality, but they can still be stubborn! However, the modern Bulldogs are described as “cool, composed, compassionate, courageous and laidback.”
- Bulldog ranks as the fifth most popular
AKC dog breed in the United States.
- While not as distinct and well defined as the wrinkles on the Shar-Pei breed, the English bulldog’s facial wrinkles add to its character and actually had a purpose during times of yore.
- Those folds of skin of ancestors of today’s modern Bulldog effectively helped keep blood away from the Bulldog’s eyes and nose when in battle.
- Because of their large heads, almost 80% of bulldog pups are delivered by Caesarean section by Mama Bulldogs.
- Be it U.S. Marine Corps (and even a song to go with it) or the prestigious Yale University, the breed plays mascot for a number of legendary institutions.
- Almost 43 Universities in the US have the Bulldog as their mascot, and they cheer “Go, Bulldogs!” making it one of the most popular in the country….. That doesn’t even include smaller colleges, high schools or middle schools.
- Who could possibly deny the tenacity of that bow-legged pose?
- It’s again their awkward features (massive heads, short legs, and a wide body) makes them have a hard time swimming in the water. A bulldog near a pool is like a toddler, so it’s a good idea to not to allow the bulldog anywhere near the pool.
- They have Celebrity Owners –Celebrities such as Brad Pitt, David Beckham, Adam Sandler, Martha Stewart, Ashley Olsen, Reese Witherspoon, Zac Efron, and Hugh Jackman own or have owned bulldogs.
- And, Calvin Coolidge, 30thPresident of America had a bonding friendship with his Bulldog called Boston Beans!
Bulldog Price And Breeders
Average – $1500 – $4000 USD (USA), £1700 for KC Registered, £1500 for Non-KC Registered (UK)
The current median price for all English bulldogs sold is $2,500 USD. You should budget anywhere from $1,500-$4,000 for an English bulldog with top breed lines and a superior pedigree.
Of course, if you are lucky, you can always adopt an English bulldog for much less.
Check out who made our list for the most reputable English Bulldog breeders of America in 2018.
- Toby Tubby Bulldogs Oxford, Mississippi
- Ultimate Bulldogs New Milford, New Jersey
- Exact Classic Bulldogs Auburn, Indiana
- Low Rider Bulldogs Charleston, South Carolina
- Magic Valley Bulldogs Snohomish, Washington
- Winsome Bulldogs Kenosha, Wisconsin
- Peres Bulldogs on Broadway La Harpe, Kansas
- Cash’s Bull Babies Owingsville, Kentucky
- CMT Bulldogs Yorktown, Virginia
- Dulcinea French and English Bull Dogs Land O Lakes, Florida