Bull Dog – Everything You Need To Know

Bulldog belongs to the lineage of the ancient mastiff-type dogs. They are medium-sized companion dogs famous for their compassion and companionship. Bulldogs are amicable and fond of children. They are highly versatile companions who adapt to any living condition. They are often recognized by the wobbly skin of their head, bearing creases of brows with a shoved nose and small ears. 

Bulldog Pros and Cons 

Charming personalitySensitive to cold climate
Great companionsSeparation anxiety
Easy to groomProne to a number of respiratory ailments
Less barkingStubborn

Bulldog Basic Information 

  • Name: Bulldog
  • Origin: England
  • Group: Non-sporting
  • Size: Medium
  • Height: about 12 – 16 inches
  • Weight: Males 53 – 55 pounds Females 49 – 51 pounds
  • Coat: Short, smooth and glossy
  • Color: Brindle, fawn, fawn & brindle, fawn & white, fawn brindle & white, red, red & white, red brindle, red brindle & white, white, fallow. 
  • Energy: Medium
  • Activities: Companion dogs
  • Barking Level: Low
  • Shedding Level: Medium
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Litter Size: 2 – 4 puppies
  • Other Names: English Bulldog, British Bulldog, French Bulldog
  • Breed’s Original Pastimes: Bull baiting
  • Life Span: 11 – 14 years


This breed originated in England in the 13th century. In 18th century England, people used it for a bloody sport called bull baiting. Therefore, they were aggressive, courageous, and fierce while being taller and heavier in stature. Nevertheless, today’s Bulldog breed has evolved to be less fierce, friendly, and tranquil. This transformation in their nature can be attributed to the patience, knowledge, and vision of dedicated breeders who wanted to save the breed from extinction after banning bloody sports. Hence, they selectively bred only those canines with a docile temperament with attractive physical features and transformed them into the gentle companions we see today. 

Types of the Bulldogs

English Bulldog

The English Bulldogs are low-endurance canines, predictable, dependable, and don’t require excessive exercise. They are very friendly and do well with families and kids.

American Bulldog

The American Bulldogs are strong and tough and are part of American history and culture, used as cultural icons of the USA. These large breed dogs are used on animal farms, canine sports, and dog shows. 

French Bulldog

The French Bulldog, also called Frenchie, is one of the world’s popular small dogs. They are playful, alert, and adaptable. They are smaller than the standard Bulldog and resemble a miniature version. They are the most preferred family companions who excel in dog shows.

Bulldogs Highlights

1. Bulldogs are brachycephalic dogs; they have a characteristic flat face which makes it challenging for them to breathe.

2. These dogs are gourmands who grab the chance to overeat. This attitude, coupled with an inability to exercise, renders them prone to obesity. 

3. Bulldogs find it challenging to give natural birth to their puppies. Hence, they often have to undergo cesarean. 

4. These dogs are sensitive to cold weather as well as heat. Hence, it is best to accommodate them in an air-conditioned room during hot summer afternoons.

5. These canines are sensitive to anesthesia.

6. Due to their shorter noses, Bulldogs are prone to breathing difficulties and sleep apnea. 

7. Bulldogs can be stubborn and laid back. However, they are joyful when you walk them over every day. 

8. The pinched nostrils of Bulldogs may require a surgical correction to help them breathe easily. 

9. They are prone to developing flatulence. 

Bulldogs Personality

Bulldogs are medium-sized canines with a sturdy build and shorter snouts. They are short and are endowed with a square and massive head. Their shoulders and chest are broad to support their large heads. Their large heads constitute cheeks extending to the sides of their eyes with dense wrinkles on their foreheads. They are endowed with enormous and robust jaws with a droopy upper jaw and protruding lower jaw that makes their lower teeth stick out. His muscular and well-defined body contains four stocky legs at its corners, giving him a distinctive gait.  

Friendliness Overview

Affection levelMedium to high
Kid-friendlyMedium to high

Adaptability Overview

Good for apartment livingHigh
Good for new ownersMedium to high
Sensitivity levelMedium to high
Tolerates being aloneMedium
Cold toleranceLow 
Heat toleranceLow 

Bulldogs Physical Features 

Head: Bulldogs have a massive head, accommodating moderate-sized round eyes of a darker shade. The rose-shaped ears are placed wide apart and high on the skull. His large, broad nose is placed between the eyes with a black tip. 

Neck: His short, thick neck is deep, well-arched, and intense.

Topline: The back curves along the shoulder, rises again to curve, and ends in the tail suddenly. This gives an arched appearance, a distinguishing feature unique to this breed. Hence, they are said to have roach back or wheel-back.   

Body: Bulldogs have well-rounded ribs, giving the dog a low and short-legged appearance. 

Tail: Bulldogs have a shorter tail that is either “straight” or “screwed.” However, it is always hung low.

Forequarters: They have broad shoulders, rendering stability and power to the animal. Their forelegs are widely apart with well-developed calves. Their feet are moderate-sized, compact, and firm. 

Hindquarters: The hind legs are longer than the forelegs. Further, the hind feet are outward and well-pointed. 

Coat: They have straight, short, smooth, and glossy skin with a fine texture. 

Color: The coat color is usually pure and brilliant with different shades such as red, white, fawn, fallow, or any combination of the previous. There are also other patterns and markings like piebald, black tipping, black masks, ticking, brindle, and a little amount of solid black in piebalds. 

Gait: His gait is more of a waddle than a walk–a peculiar characteristic of this breed. 

Bulldogs Temperament 

Bulldogs are friendly, gentle, and sweet companions. They are very fond of children and make excellent family pets. However, they are pretty dignified and are unyielding at times. However, early socialization classes instill in them the necessary behavioral skills. Bulldogs are very kind and are rarely aggressive. They have outstanding courage that makes them excellent watchdogs.

Bulldogs Training

Bulldogs are pretty tenacious and intelligent. However, their stubborn nature can make training sessions pretty challenging. This is because they prefer to think and act independently without listening to commands. Therefore, it is vital to plan shorter sessions for them. This will help them retain what they have learned. These canines are known to remember a skill forever once they acquire it. In addition, their training sessions must include repetition, and positive reinforcement, primarily through food and praise. Early socialization classes are essential to avoid any undesirable behaviors. Further, it is good to enroll your canine in puppy training classes at an early stage.

Trainability Overview

Easy to train Medium
Intelligence Low
Mouthiness tendencies Medium
Barking and Howling tendencies Medium to high 
Prey drive Low
Wanderlust tendencies Low

Bulldogs Exercise Needs

Bulldogs are pretty laid back and don’t require much exercise. However, you must keep them physically active with moderate exercise to prevent weight gain. On the other hand, they must not be subject to intensive exercise as this can lead to breathing difficulties owing to their shorter snouts. They are often excited by a stroll down your street or can walk a mile. Additionally, they can enjoy being in shallow water and should not be left alone in elbow-deep water due to their lack of swimming ability.

Exercise Needs Overview

Energy levelLow
Exercise needsMedium
PlayfulnessMedium  to high 

Bulldogs Grooming

Bulldogs don’t shed much as their coat is short-haired and smooth. Hence, you can brush them twice or thrice weekly with a soft brush to maintain his overall appearance. Nevertheless, ensure to groom them with a rubber curry brush during the shedding season. Furthermore, since Bulldogs can accumulate dirt or moisture between their dense cheeks, you must clean them with peroxide and dry them with cornstarch. This will prevent the occurrence of any infection. However, if you think your pet’s skin is infected, seek a vet’s help to suggest a soothing ointment. Additionally, you must care for your pet’s nails, teeth and ears in the following ways: 

Nails: Your dog’s nails are subject to breakage if they grow too long. Since broken nails are very painful, trim your pet’s nails regularly.

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Teeth: Regular brushing of your dog’s teeth with a dog-formulated toothpaste can prevent tartar buildup and periodontal diseases in dogs. Additionally, you have to schedule an annual appointment with the veterinarian. 

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Ears: Your dog’s ears accumulate wax that must be removed using a cotton ball dipped in pH-balanced ear cleaner. However, ensure not to damage his ear canal and check for signs of ear infection during the annual appointment with the vet. 

Grooming Overview

Easy to groomHigh
Drooling tendenciesHigh 
Amount of sheddingMedium

Bulldogs Health 

Bulldogs are susceptible to a lot of health issues. Hence, you must buy a Bulldog from a reputable breeder with the necessary health clearance certificates. However, health clearance certificates are not issued for dogs below two years of age, as specific health issues don’t appear until they reach two years of age. In addition, Bulldogs are prone to a  list of specific health conditions. Therefore, although not all diseases occur in a single dog, it is vital to know this information as a pet parent.

Health Overview

Basic healthMedium to high 
Weight gain possibilitiesHigh 

Dry Eye: A condition in which the eye doesn’t produce enough tears.

Symptoms of dry eye in dogs:

  • Eye irritation causing redness
  • Squinting
  • Excessive Blinking
  • A tendency to keep their eyes closed

Chronic dry eyes may lead to ulcers.

Treatment: Depending on the severity, artificial tear drops or surgery may be prescribed. 

Entropion: Entropion is a condition in which the eyelid rolls inward, irritating the eyeball from eyelashes rubbing on the surface. In critical cases, entropion can cause a corneal ulcer. The treatment for this disease is surgical.

Inverted Or Reverse Sneezing: Reverse or inverted sneezing is a condition wherein dogs rapidly suck air instead of blowing it out. It occurs due to irritation of the nose, sinuses, or back of the throat. Some of the irritants that cause this condition include nasal mites, secretions, foreign bodies such as seeds, pollens, or grasses, allergies, smoke, odors, masses, or an elongated soft palate.

Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS): As the nostrils are short, they often experience breathing difficulty. Although all pugs suffer from breathing difficulties, some pugs are more affected than others and show various symptoms such as:

Symptoms of BOAS in dogs:

  • Loud breathing and snoring
  • Intolerance to exercise or heat.
  • Collapse
  • Gagging
  • Regurgitation
  • Vomiting

Treatment: Surgery is the only option available.

Head Shakes: Head shackles are similar to seizures. The cause of its occurrence is unknown. However, you need to visit your vet if you find your canine’s head shaking with scratchy or irritated ears. 

Demodectic Mange: Red or Demodectic mange is an inflammatory disease caused by the microscopic parasites called Demodex mite.  

Hip Dysplasia: Hip Dysplasia is a heritable condition that occurs when the thigh bones don’t fit aptly into the pelvic socket of the hip joint. 

Other Causes of Hip Dysplasia: 

  • Injuries 
  • Excessive weight gain 
  • Wrong exercises

Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia: This condition can exist with or without symptoms, and some notable signs may be present on one or both rear legs. They include:  

  • Pain  
  • Lameness

Treatment: X-ray screening for hip dysplasia, medication, and hip replacement through surgeries may also be preferred. This condition, if ignored, can be life-threatening.

Patellar Luxation: This disorder is the slipping of the knee cap from the position in their legs. Some obvious indications include the dog kicking to set the kneecap back in its place while walking or running. Vets can cure this condition if the symptoms are mild or only one leg is affected. 

Cherry Eye: The gland below the eyelid will swell, looking like a cherry. This condition might need surgery to eliminate the infected gland. 

Tail Problems: Bulldogs are prone to the malformation of their vertebral tail bones. This condition is termed tail pocket dermatitis. The pain intensity of this condition varies with the variety, shape, and form of the malformation. 

Recommended Tests for Bulldog 

  • Orthopedic Foundation for Animals for hips, elbow, and knees.
  • Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) certifies that the eyes are normal.

Bulldog Diet and Nutrition

Bulldogs are high-bred dogs and need a large quantity of high-quality food. They should eat 1/2-2 cups of food every day. Each puppy is distinctive, and the correct amount and quality of food depend on age, weight, activity level, health, and more. You can split the meals into two 2 cups daily. Bulldogs can be given dry food, wet food, or both. High protein dog food helps the dog stay fit and healthy, improves digestion, and maintains a shiny coat. Adding nutrients, supplements, and vitamins helps a dog live a long, healthy, and happy life. Since they are prone to obesity, overfeeding must be avoided and minimized treats. Since Bulldogs are greedy eaters who don’t stop eating until you divert them, it is essential to maintain a strict diet schedule for their well-being.

Further, their diet must contain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, chondroitin, and glucosamine. Additionally, the inclusion of fruits and vegetables is vital for their health. Never hesitate to consult a vet to meet your pup’s dietary requirements to keep them happy and healthy.

Bulldog Living Condition

Bulldogs are lovable companions who love to be around their humans. They are adaptable dogs who can adapt to apartments and homes with bigger yards. They are pretty laid back and love being indoors and relaxing with their pet parents on the couch. Therefore, they suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long. They are fond of kids and other pets. They are intolerant to heat and are sensitive to cold temperatures.

Did You Know?

  • The Bulldogs are the fourth most popular dog breed in the United States. 
  • Tillman, the English Bulldog, was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2009 for the fastest 100 meters on a skateboard by a dog.
  • The reason for the Bulldog’s wrinkles was to keep the blood away from its eyes during bull baiting. 
  • In 18th century England, they were bred to fight bulls.
  • In Rome, a law prevented walking down a Bulldog even with a leash owing to their ferociousness. 

Bulldog Club Recognition

  • CKC = Continental Kennel Club
  • FCI = Fédération Cynologique Internationale
  • AKC = American Kennel Club
  • UKC = United Kennel Club
  • KCGB = Kennel Club of Great Britain
  • CKC = Canadian Kennel Club
  • ANKC = Australian National Kennel Club
  • NKC = National Kennel Club
  • NZKC = New Zealand Kennel Club
  • APRI = American Pet Registry, Inc.
  • ACR = American Canine Registry
  • DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
  • NAPR = North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
  • ACA = American Canine Association Inc.

Adding a Bulldog  to Your Family 

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KIPRITII Dog Chew Toys
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Bulldog Rescue Groups 

The Bulldog Club of America Rescue Network

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