The English Bulldog is well-loved throughout the United States and continues to remain a favorite breed by many. These dogs are known for being goofy, gentle, and sweet despite their intimidating appearances. The English Bulldog’s calm personality and love of lounging make it a great pet for families with kids or apartment dwellers. Keep reading to learn more about this mellow and affectionate breed.
English Bulldogs have been traced back to the 13th century when they were used in bullfighting and bullbaiting. In the 1830s, animal blood sports were banned and dogfighting grew into a popular underground activity. After this change, Bulldogs were no longer a match for the new dog breeds dominating fighting rings. Although they were used to create new breeds for fighting, Bulldogs began to decrease in numbers as they were no longer taking part in fights themselves.
Lovers of this breed kept English Bulldogs from going extinct by taking over their breeding and evolving them into friendly companion dogs. As the English Bulldog’s temperament was calmed over the years, this breed became a beloved family dog and was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in the late 1880s. Today, the English Bulldog is a popular breed in the United States known for its laid-back and attention-loving personality.
English Bulldog Characteristics
Appearance & Coat
English Bulldogs are stocky and muscular dogs with short legs, large heads, broad shoulders, stubby tails, and short triangle ears that hang down. These dogs weigh around 40 to 60 pounds and stand around 15 to 16 inches tall. English Bulldogs generally have coats and markings that are tan, white, black, and/or brindle. This breed’s fur is often described as short, straight, and smooth.
The English Bulldog’s smushed-in face and wrinkly skin are defining characteristics of the breed that many people immediately recognize. Likewise, the Bulldog’s underbite and droopy jowls have transformed into endearing characteristics and trademarks of the breed.
English Bulldogs are gentle, calm, loyal, and social dogs that love making new friends. They’re known to do very well with children and other pets while still being protective if they feel their families are threatened. The English Bulldog is a good-natured breed with a goofy personality that brings bounds of joy and laughter to its family.
These dogs love attention from their owners and strangers, actively seeking out affection whenever they can. Even though they enjoy being social, English Bulldogs tend to be couch potatoes. These dogs adore curling up on the couch with their owners for a relaxing evening.
These dogs are known to have many health problems, especially issues with breathing and overheating as a result of having flat noses. Additionally, their wrinkly skin and skin folds can lead to skin problems if not cleaned properly. Sadly, because of their numerous and frequent health issues, these dogs have a short lifespan of 8 to 10 years. Health issues English Bulldogs are susceptible to include brachycephalic syndrome, skin allergies, obesity, hip dysplasia, eye conditions, heat stroke, cardiac issues, and joint problems.
English Bulldogs must also be born by C-section as natural deliveries are very high-risk to dams and puppies. It’s important to buy an English Bulldog from a breeder that's reputable and an expert in English Bulldogs. Reputable breeders do health checks and ancestry evaluations before breeding dogs to ensure they can produce healthy litters. Breed experts recommend that English Bulldogs be given cardiac exams, patella evaluations, and tracheal hypoplasia evaluations to keep them healthy and catch any issues early on.
Caring for an English Bulldog
The English Bulldog’s Ideal Home
English Bulldogs are great fits for homes with children and other pets as they are gentle with children and generally do well with other animals. That being said, not all Bulldogs will get along with dogs of the same gender or cats. Owners should always be cautious when introducing new pets and should follow recommended guidelines for introductions to keep everyone safe.
The English Bulldog isn’t a good fit for someone looking for a workout or hiking companion as these dogs can easily overheat and have trouble breathing. Likewise, their low energy means they’d rather relax at home and won’t have the stamina to keep up with intense activities. An English Bulldog’s ideal home is one where its owners are educated on its health issues and limitations so it can live a healthy, comfortable life.
Training Best Practices
Like other dogs, English Bulldogs need early socialization and training to ensure they are well-adjusted and easy to handle as they grow. These dogs can have a stubborn streak but overall aren’t very hard to train.
Consistent and firm training is needed for English Bulldogs to learn. That being said, punishment for misbehavior doesn’t work on dogs and will only make them mistrust their owners. Training your Bulldog will be easiest when you stick to a training schedule and give your dog plenty of love, praise, and positive reinforcement.
English Bulldogs generally have low energy levels and prefer relaxing indoors over romping around the yard. Because they aren’t very active and don’t need tons of space to run around, English Bulldogs are great pets for apartment and city living.
Despite their low energy, these dogs still need daily exercise to maintain their weight and prevent obesity. This can be done with quick daily walks that last around 20-30 minutes. Too much exercise can actually be dangerous for this breed as it’s very easy to overextend an English Bulldog’s breathing abilities. With a short daily walk or light play, your English Bulldog will easily meet its exercise requirements.
Grooming & Hygiene
These dogs are light to moderate shedders throughout the year and are not considered hypoallergenic, however, their short coats are fairly easy to maintain. English Bulldogs should be brushed a couple of times a week to keep their coats healthy and collect loose fur.
Their folds and wrinkles do require extra care to avoid infections. Owners need to routinely wipe down their Bulldog’s skin folds and wrinkles to ensure all dirt and moisture are cleaned out. This breed needs to be regularly bathed and shouldn’t go more than 6 to 8 weeks without a bath. After bathing or letting your English Bulldog get wet, you need to dry in between their wrinkles and skin folds to remove moisture and prevent bacteria growth.
Does the English Bulldog sound like the perfect fit for your family? Find English Bulldog puppies for sale near you! For more information on different dog breeds, check out our breed spotlight series.