English Bulldog

Canis lupus

Last updated: November 11, 2022
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
Image Credit iStock.com/bgsmith

Bulldogs were originally bred to “pin” bulls.

English Bulldog Scientific Classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Mammalia
Order
Carnivora
Family
Canidae
Genus
Canis
Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

English Bulldog Conservation Status

English Bulldog Locations

English Bulldog Locations

English Bulldog Facts

Fun Fact
Bulldogs were originally bred to “pin” bulls.
Diet
Omnivore

English Bulldog Physical Characteristics

Lifespan
8-10 years
Weight
49-55 lbs

English Bulldog as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Shedability
Trainability
Intelligence
Tendency to Chew
Size
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Low
Separation Anxiety
Moderate
Preferred Temperature
Average climate
Exercise Needs
Moderate
Friendly With Other Dogs
High
Pure bred cost to own
$1,600 to $2,500
Dog group
Non-sporting
Male weight
53-55 lbs
Female weight
49-32 lbs

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As the fifth-most popular purebred dog breed, English bulldogs are the top college mascot of the University of Georgia.

The English Bulldog is full of love and cuddles for the entire family, but don’t expect much more out of them. Though this dog breed was originally bred to participate in a spectator sport called “bull-baiting,” they have a much tamer role now – the family favorite. They seem quite aggressive from their physical appearance, but they’d be happy to simply lay around and fall in love with their family. Even just 15 minutes is enough physical activity to require a break. Though they are rather close to the American bulldog, identification of the English dog breed lies in two main differences – agility and size.

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The English bulldog is simply a working-dog-turned-lapdog at its finest.

3 Pros and Cons of Owning an English Bulldog!

Here are a few facts that may help you decide if a purebred English bulldog is the right pet for you.

Pros!Cons!
Loving and loyal: Despite their appearance, one of the most interesting facts about English bulldogs is how loving they are. They are perfect for a family.Many health issues: Even with a reputable breeder, this bulldog is prone to many health concerns, including cherry eye and entropion.
Calm: These dogs normally don’t become aggressive. In fact, they have been known to simply walk away if the energy in a room becomes too much for them to handle.Requires complicated grooming: Most dogs only need to be brushed and bathed on a regular schedule. The English bulldog, however, must have his wrinkles cleaned and dried daily to prevent irritation.
Quiet: If you want a dog that won’t wake the neighborhood with its barking, the English bulldog is an ideal choice.Can be territorial: You need to start training this dog breed as soon as possible to prevent aggression towards humans and animals.
English bulldogs are loyal and love to snuggle with their family members.

iStock.com/EnchantedFairy



Size and Weight

The identification between the English bulldog and the American bulldog is easy when you consider their size. English bulldogs range between 12-16 inches tall for both males and females. However, their weight is slightly different. Males tend to weigh more at 53-55 lbs. when they are full grown. Females, on the other hand, are 49-51 lbs.
An English bulldog puppy is nearly 75% of their adult height by the time they are just six months old.

Height (male):12-16 inches tall
Height (female):12-16 inches tall
Weight (male):53-55 pounds, fully grown
Weight (female):49-51 pounds, fully grown

Common Health Issues

For the most part, breeders focus on creating the healthiest puppies possible, though adopting from a rescue will not have the same outcome. Due to their history of genetic diseases, the English bulldog can be hard to take care of without the right medical care. For instance, mothers with the Demodex mite can pass it down to their puppies, causing demodectic mange.

Health and Entertainment for your English Bulldog

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When adopting from a breeder, check for health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and the Canine Eye Registry Foundation. These clearances aren’t provided to any dog under two years old because some of the issues they face will take that long to arise.

The eyes of an English bulldog have many possible complications. Cherry eye – or a protrusion in the corner of the eye – is the most common, but the gland that causes it can be removed. If the dog’s tear production is inhibited, they may also suffer from dry eyes. Entropion, which causes the eyelashes to turn towards and rub against the eye, is also common, requiring surgery to fix.

With their short head, long soft palate, and narrow nostrils, brachycephalic syndrome is rather common, due to the potential for obstructing the airway. Their build also puts them at risk for hip dysplasia and patellar luxation.

Overall, the health problems faced by the English bulldog include:

  • Demodectic mange
  • Cherry eye
  • Dry eyes
  • Entropion
  • Brachycephalic syndrome
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Patellar luxation

Temperament and Behavior

The temperament of the English bulldog is rather gentle, despite their intimidating physical features. With their affectionate nature, families are a great place for these pets, especially considering how they use their physical appearance to their advantage to protect their family. They are persistent, and they aggressively defend their family from intruders.

This dog breed thrives on attention from their humans, and they have a quite dominating personality. Their demand can lead the dog to assert dominance over their family, which is a behavior that needs to be trained out. The only way to prevent this issue is with early training that their owner is the dominant one in the house. Identification of alpha (i.e., you!) needs to happen as soon as the dog is brought home. Without this assurance, dogs will start to guard furniture, toys, and food as their own, becoming aggressive with anyone that comes near it.

One of the most well-known facts about these bulldogs is the way that they snore. The messy tendencies with their meals are a notable trait, and they tend to drool and slobber a lot. They tend to become lazier as they get older, so this messiness may worsen.

How to Take Care of English Bulldog

There are many considerations that you need to take to keep your English bulldog healthy. Their activity level, breeding, and age all play a role in the type of care you provide any rescue pet, even while he is still a puppy.

Food and Diet

The English bulldog is a girthy animal, requiring a diet that offers between 1.5 and two cups of high-quality dog food a day. To manage their intake, separate this total amount into two smaller meals. Still, this amount is simply a guideline – their metabolism, size, age, and amount of activity will play a role in the diet they require. Dogs that use more energy will need more food than lazier pups. Since this dog breed is at risk of obesity, don’t leave food out for them to graze on through the day.

Puppies have about the same routine in their diet, though you should seek out a dog food meant for puppies.

We have compiled a list of dog food suitable for your English Bulldog and invite you to have a look, here. The food that the A-Z-Animals review team recommends as the top food for your English Bulldog, is Royal Canin Bulldog Adult Dog Food. This was specifically formulated for the breed. It is easy to digest, reduce gas and the kibble is specially shaped so the dog will be able to pick it up easily.

Overall Best
Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Bulldog
  • Specially-shaped kibbles designed to be easier for Bulldogs to pick up
  • Designed to aid digestion and reduce gas production
  • Contains EPA and DHA to help support joint health
  • Supports a healthy weight
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Maintenance and Grooming

With a smooth and glossy coat, you should only need to brush them once a week, using a firm bristle brush that can remove the excess fur that they shed. They don’t shed much but brushing an extra time or two during the week will reduce this issue significantly.

Another notable feature in their identification is their wrinkled body. Despite minimal brushing, cleaning inside the wrinkles daily is crucial, drying completely after they wash. Using a wipe with lanolin and aloe vera can make this task much easier. They’ll also need to have their nose washed, moisturizing it with petroleum jelly to prevent dryness.

If you can’t brush your dog’s teeth every day, make sure not to brush less than three times a week.

Training

You must establish yourself as a pack leader for your dog as soon as possible. Without this sense of authority, these dogs will become aggressive with other animals and humans. They take a little time to learn commands, but it is worth the effort. Have a little patience and make sure to socialize with other animals and humans to prevent conflict.

Exercise

Though many dogs require a lot of physical activity to keep them from becoming restless, that is not true of the English bulldog. He’d much rather remain inactive indoors, relaxing the day away. Even just 15 minutes of activity is enough to exhaust them for their frequent naps. Since it doesn’t require much area to play around with, this dog breed is ideal for families in smaller living spaces like apartments. Even if you just take him on a walk around the block, he’ll be perfectly content.

Don’t take them outside for a long walk when weather conditions are uncomfortable. The heat is not their friend, and even half an hour of walking around when temperatures are 85 degrees or higher is potentially fatal. They also cannot swim due to the weight of their head, so they should be supervised outdoors if they have any pool or pond that they may fall into.

Puppies

Make sure to start grooming these puppies at an early age to get them used to brushing teeth, wiping wrinkles, and other tasks. A puppy cannot leave its family until it is eight weeks old, but it is never too soon to socialize them. To ensure a positive adoption experience, look for a puppy that is outgoing but not rough with littermates.

It is important to help English bulldog puppies get used to having their wrinkles wiped at an early age.

iStock.com/JLSnader

English Bulldogs and Children

Part of the reason that English bulldogs are so popular is that they love children and are quite gentle with them. Though every breed should be supervised with young kids, they tend to be patient with their maternal instincts. Socialization plays a major role in how comfortable the dog is with a child, but they will be wary of any stranger.

Dogs similar to the English Bulldog

If the English bulldog doesn’t have the temperament or size that you want from your pet, there are always other options. Some of the alternatives you might consider include the Staffordshire bull terrier, the American pit bull terrier, or the American bulldog.

Famous English Bulldogs

English bulldogs have easily found their way into the hearts of celebrities as their own pets and as companions on-screen. Adam Sandler, Olivia Wilde, Brad Pitt, Joe Jonas, and Ozzy Osbourne have all adopted English bulldogs for their families.

The presence of an English bulldog is so welcomed that they’ve been featured in many movies and television shows. They’ve made appearances in Van Wilder as Colossus, Sherlock Holmes as Gladstone, Mannequin as Rambo, and The Game Plan as Spike.

Some popular names for English bulldogs include:

  • Bruno
  • Butch
  • Lolita
  • Roberta
  • Jackson

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What's the right dog for you?

Dogs are our best friends but which breed is your perfect match?

X-Small
Small
Medium
Large
Xtra-Large

If you have kids or existing dogs select:

Kids
Other Dogs

Should they be Hypoallergenic?

Yes
No
How important is health?
Which dog groups do you like?
How much exercise should your dog require?
What climate?
How much seperation anxiety?
How much yappiness/barking?

How much energy should they have?

The lower energy the better.
I want a cuddle buddy!
About average energy.
I want a dog that I have to chase after constantly!
All energy levels are great -- I just love dogs!
How much should they shed?
How trainable/obedient does the dog need to be?
How intelligent does the dog need to be?
How much chewing will allow?
About the Author

AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

English Bulldog FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How much is an English bulldog?

English Bulldogs come with a higher price since they are a purebred dog breed. The average price falls between $1,600 to $2,500 from a reputable breeder. If you don’t want to pay this high price, check local animal shelters or rescues.

Is an English bulldog a good pet?

English Bulldogs are very popular as companion pets because of their agreeable temperament. They are generally described as gentle, playful, affectionate, sociable, sweet, easy-going, but also known to be courageous and protective.

Is an English bulldog an aggressive breed?

This breed is known to be very intimidating to intruders or threats and make perfect guard dogs. In reality, they tend to be so docile and laid back that even when bothered they would rather walk away.

Do English Bulldogs bark a lot?

English Bulldogs almost never bark unless to alert their owner, which even that is not a common occurrence.

Are Bulldogs lazy?

Since they do have a very limited energy level, English Bulldogs tend to get winded and tired after about 15 minutes of exercise.

Which bulldog breed is the healthiest?

All Bulldog breeds come with many health issues as the result of generations of inbreeding. These issues arise in both purebred and mixed dog breeds, so the decision comes down to which problems are you ready to handle.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

Sources
  1. AKC, Available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/bulldog/
  2. Hill's, Available here: https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/dog-breeds/english-bulldog
  3. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulldog
  4. dogtime.com, Available here: https://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/bulldog
  5. Dog Breed Info, Available here: https://www.dogbreedinfo.com/bulldog.htm
  6. Daily Paws, Available here: https://www.dailypaws.com/dogs-puppies/dog-breeds/bulldog

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