bulldog standing on grass

Bulldog Dog Breed at a Glance


The stocky Bulldog dog breed is easily recognizable and is a favorite in America and around the world. With its short snout, small ears and loose head skin, this dog can be spotted a mile away. Courageous, yet friendly and calm, the Bulldog is also known as the English Bulldog and British Bulldog.

This affectionate breed might look intimidating but it happens to be one of the gentlest dogs around. Don’t let its kind and gentle manner foul you, though because it will scare off any intruder. This kid-friendly dog will protect its family any day.

Because some Bulldogs can be quite dominating, they’re better off with owners with some experience with dogs as they can be persistent and determined. These are also people dogs that need and enjoy lots of attention from their humans.

Breed Group: Non-sporting

History of the English Bulldog

According to historical evidence that exists, the bulldog was developed in England, in the 13th century. Its purpose was strictly for bullbaiting, and more particularly, for the sport of bullbaiting.

The dog we know and love today is different from its ancestors, who were shockingly brave, ferocious, fearless, and had huge jaws. But, in 1835, there was some good news as England banned blood sports that involved animals. Unfortunately, the whole sport went underground.

It is the Bulldog dog breed that brought about pit dog fighting. And this is what gave birth to the need for quicker dogs, which is also responsible for the Bull Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier early prototypes, among others.

Because the old Bulldog almost became extinct when bullbaiting became illegal, Bulldog admirers took on the challenge of transforming this dog into the loving companion we know and love. Not only did they make this dog breed more attractive, but they also reduced its ferociousness, producing a dog that loves children and has the sweetest disposition.

The Bulldog is even the national symbol of England, the mascot of numerous sports teams, the face of the US Marine Corps and that of the Mack Truck Company! And, let’s not forget “Spike” from the “Tom and Jerry” animated show.

Origin: England

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The Bulldog is easy-going, but never lazy. Although it is brave, makes an excellent guard dog, and seems intimidating from its looks, it is actually one of the most gentlest dogs around. It’s dependable, great with kids, loving and affectionate.

On the flip side, it can be dominating, stubborn, and quite persistent. Don’t expect this dog to give up easily. That said, it’s imperative that Bulldogs are not given the opportunity to take over. So, owners must lead and fully understand alpha dog behavior. This behavior is seen in Bulldogs that guard items from food to toys to furniture and more.

Physical Characteristics of the Bulldog Dog Breed

Its coat is short and smooth, flat and glossy. The colors of the bulldog are varied, as are the patterns, including red brindle, solid white, varying shades of brindle, and more.

bulldog dog breed

The English Bulldog is a medium-sized, stocky and compact dog with wide shoulders, as is its cousin, the American Bulldog. Physically, the difference between the two is that the American bulldog is taller, with longer legs and a more athletic build. Its head is large and wrinkly with a wide and short muzzle and massive jaws. The Bulldog should also have an underbite, deep-set eyes, small ears, and a broad nose with relatively large nostrils.

The Bulldog weighs between 49 and 55 pounds and stands at a height of between 12 and 16 inches.

When it comes to shedding, expect to vacuum regularly as Bulldogs shed continuously, which is increased during the spring and fall seasons. This is NOT a hypoallergenic dog breed. Also, expect bulldog to drool, slobber, and snore very loudly.

HEALTH and CARE Of the Bulldog Dog Breed

Life Expectancy

The life expectancy of the bulldog is between eight and 10 years.

Common Health Concerns

All dog breeds are susceptible to certain health issues; the bulldog is not exempt.

High Risk:

  • CHD (canine hip dysplasia)
  • KCS (keratoconjunctivitis sicca)
  • Shoulder Luxation
  • Ventricular septal defect
  • Stenotic nares
  • Elongated soft palate
  • Internalized tail

Medium Risk:

  • Urethral prolapse
  • Vaginal hyperplasia

Minor Risk:

  • Cherry eye
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Entropion
  • Patellar luxation
  • Ectropion
  • Demodicosis
  • Distichiasis


The Bulldog dog breed doesn’t require extensive exercise to burn off energy. As a puppy, it is more energetic, but that energy tapers off as it grows and matures. Daily moderate exercise involves only a short walk, so it’s a perfect breed for those living a sedentary lifestyle. These dogs are also great for apartment dwelling.

As all dogs with short-nosed faces, this dog breed has a difficult time with high heat and humidity. So, a comfy seat near an air conditioner is the best thing an owner can offer this dog.

Extra care must be paid to keeping Bulldog’s teeth clean because of the short snouts and compressed nature of its jaw. Daily brushing from puppyhood will get this dog used to this and other grooming habits. Also, daily cleaning of the facial and tail folds are necessary to avoid buildup and infection from occurring.


Feed your Bulldog out of a flat bottom bowl, about 2 cups per day, divided into two meals because they tend to eat too quickly, which can make them ill. They also gorge themselves when free-fed, so it’s best to split up the kibble.

Feed your Bulldog a high-quality dog food that’s age-appropriate. Keep treats to a minimum except for when training, which will come in handy. Otherwise, too many treats could lead to obesity.


The grooming needs of the Bulldog are minimal when it comes to its coat. Be sure to give it a good brushing about three times per week, which will reduce the amount of shedding. A rubber curry brush is ideal However, daily cleaning of the facial folds is essential to maintain healthy skin and avoid different dog skin problems ad moisture and food may become trapped within the folds. Simply dip a cotton ball in peroxide and wipe clean, followed by a dusting of cornstarch to dry quicker. However, be careful not to get products in its eyes. Also, the Bulldog has thick, fast-growing nails that require trimming every two to three weeks.

The Bulldog dog breed was recognized by the AKC in 1886.

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