American Bulldog vs. English Bulldog: 6 Key Differences Explained

Written by Justin Zipprich
Updated: August 7, 2023
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If you’re torn between an American bulldog vs. an English bulldog, then we are here to help. We cover the similarities and differences between these two awesome breeds, as well as what you can expect down the road if you adopt one today. 

American Bulldog vs. English Bulldog: What Are The Differences?

TraitEnglish BulldogAmerican Bulldog
Lifespan0-10 Years0-16 Years
Family FriendlyYesYes
Average Height11-15 Inches22-28 Inches
Average Weight50-16 Pounds70-125 Inches
TrainabilityModerateModerate to High
Exercise20-25 Mins Per Day40-50 Mins Per Day
Grooming NeedsModerate to HighLow to Moderate

Size and Strength

When it comes to American bulldogs and English bulldogs, you’ll find that both breeds are very powerful and relatively large. However, the American bulldog is typically the larger and much more athletic of the two breeds. 

There are two types of American bulldogs: standard and classic. The standard breed is noticeably smaller, and it may sometimes resemble a pit bull. Its nose tends to be longer, and the jowls are less pronounced. 

Both weigh up to 125 pounds when fully grown and can stand between 24-16 inches tall at the shoulders. Due to their girth, American bulldogs are typically bulkier and a bit more ferocious than English bulldogs. Part of this is due to the fact that they were originally bred to be working farm dogs.

You can typically identify an American bulldog by its strong body, long legs, and clean and short coat. 

The English bulldog grows to about half the size of his American counterpart. On average, they’ll grow to about 60 pounds. When compared to the American bulldog, the English has a heavier frame, shorter legs, wrinkled skin, and a pronounced underbite. They are not an athletic breed, but they’ll get around just fine.

Both of these breeds can be found in different colors, from brown to black to red. Their coat type can also vary.

Energy Level

American bulldog puppy laying down

The American bulldog is an energetic breed.

©Zanna Pesnina/

When choosing between an American bulldog vs. an English bulldog, consider energy levels. You’ll find that the American bulldog has the most energy out of the two. Again, the fact that this breed was introduced as a working farm animal means that they naturally have high energy. When compared to other dogs, American bulldogs have a medium to high energy level. 

English bulldogs also have energy, but not as much as the American bulldog. Still, both enjoy running outside with the kids and playing at the park.


American bulldogs and English bulldogs feature different temperaments and personality traits. With that said, both breeds make great pets!

Due to their breeding, many American bulldogs have a working dog attitude.

Temperament all depends on training. When trained properly, American bulldogs are fun, social, confident, and active. But, as you may imagine, if they are treated poorly, are improperly trained, or have a past traumatic experience, there’s a chance they can become destructive, fearful, and aggressive on occasion. 

An American bulldog requires an owner who will be proactive and offer proper training, while also showering their pup with love and attention.

The English bulldog is less sporadic because this breed has been a standard house pet for longer. Also, over time, breeders have worked to reduce aggression. English bulldogs are great in families because they are very kid-friendly and patient. This breed is so mild tempered that they can even get along well with other pets in the home. With that said, your English bulldog will still require plenty of training.

Proper Grooming

Both breeds have similar grooming habits. They both have shorter coats, so you only have to brush them periodically. Since the American bulldog is larger, occasional grooming may take a little more finesse. 

You may see shedding from time to time, with the English bulldog shedding more than the American breed.

Both breeds tend to drool a lot, which may be a turn-off to some potential owners. It’s not uncommon to find a puddle of drool on the floor or couch.


english Bulldog puppy and adult dog

English bulldogs are amazing pets, but they can have health complications down the road.

©Liliya Kulianionak/

While both breeds are generally healthy, there are some serious health factors to consider. While the American bulldog can experience similar issues to other breeds, the English variety can have more health complications that are tied to their appearance. Some conditions you may see include:

  • Infected skin folds
  • Inability to properly pant, which may lead to overheating
  • Possible protrusion of the inner eye
  • Hip dysplasia is a result of having more weight on the front legs
  • Knee problems
  • Health issues associated with giving birth

Sadly, English bulldogs won’t typically live as long as American bulldogs. You can expect a lifespan of eight to 10 years. Plus, you’ll likely have more frequent veterinary bills than with other breeds. Are you and your family ready for this type of commitment?

On the other hand, American bulldogs tend to live closer to 16 years, though they may have similar issues, like hip dysplasia and eye problems. 

Training Needs

You’ll need to properly train both the American and English bulldogs, though both may test your patience in different ways. Typically, an American bulldog is much easier to train than the English variety. The American breed is very intelligent and will generally learn quickly, but it can be stubborn at times.

When training either breed, you’ll need to be patient. Give a command, allow your dog to do it, and then give him a treat. Always provide positive reinforcement when he does a good job. You’ll likely be training your bulldog for at least a few months before he’s completely obedient.  

There are several tips that can make training your bulldog much easier:

  • Start by crate training your dog
  • Make the crate feel like home with toys and blankets
  • Select a predetermined outdoor bathroom spot
  • Establish a regular bathroom schedule
  • Have short obedience training sessions
  • Give your bulldog plenty of water

American Bulldog vs. English Bulldog: Which is Ideal?

As you can see, there are several differences between American bulldogs and English bulldogs, but both breeds make for great pets. Either breed will bring joy to you and your family. Consider the facts presented here and decide which breed will work better for your specific situation, then adopt away!

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Olga Aniven/

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About the Author

Justin Zipprich is a writer at A-Z Animals, where his primary focus is travel, state facts, pets, and mammals. Justin has been writing and editing animal content for over 7 years, though he holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Instructional Technology from Western Illinois University, which he earned in 2005. As a resident of Texas, he loves discovering local animals and spending time with his wife and two kids.

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