The words Dog Breed Info with the letter D inside of a black paw print

The Purebred English Bulldog

Information and Pictures

Champ's Boss the Bulldog standing outside in grass and looking at the camera holder

Champ's Boss, a 2-year-old male white English Bulldog, photo courtesy of Champ Bulldogs

Other Names
  • English Bulldog
  • British Bulldog

BUHL-dawg speaker


The English Bulldog is a wide, medium-sized, compact dog with short legs. The body and head are massive with extra skin on both the skull and forehead falling in folds. The cheeks extend to the sides of the eyes. The muzzle is wide, short and pug with a broad, deep stop. The black nose is broad with large nostrils. The dark eyes are deep set. The rose ears are small, thin and set high on the head. The jaws are massive, very broad, and square with hanging upper lips. The teeth should have an under bite. The tail is either straight or screwed and carried low. The short, flat coat is straight, smooth and glossy. Coat colors include red brindle and other shades of brindle, solid white, solid red, fawn, fallow, piebald, pale yellow or washed-out red or white or a combination of these colors.


Although the English Bulldog's appearance can be somewhat intimidating, it is among the gentlest of dogs. Just the same it will see off any intruder, and few would risk a close encounter with a dog brave enough to bait a bull. It is described as a very affectionate and dependable animal, gentle with children, but known for its courage and its excellent guarding abilities. Bullheaded and determined, this breed can be very persistent. They do not give up easily. Bulldogs are very much a people's dog, seeking out human attention and loving every bit it can get!! A lot of human attention is required for the breed's happiness. Some English Bulldogs can be a bit dominating and need an owner who knows how to display strong leadership and understands alpha canine behavior. A Bulldog who understands its place in the human pack is nice to, and reliable with all people. This breed is good with family pets, but some can be combative with strange dogs if they do not see themselves as followers in their pack. When Bulldogs are young, they are full of energy, but slow down as they get older. They snore very loudly, most have drool and slobber tendencies and are messy eaters. Bulldogs that display guarding behaviors, such as guarding furniture, food, toys, or other spots in the house, or that are dog aggressive do not have humans who are being the dog's pack leader. This behavior only happens when dogs are allowed to take over. These behaviors can be corrected when the owners start displaying the proper leadership. Dogs that feel they need to run the home are not as happy as dogs that know they are human followers, as it is very stressful for a dog to need to keep "his" humans in line.

Height, Weight

Height: about 12 - 16 inches (31 - 40 cm) (there is no prescribed height, but shorter Bulldogs are more prized when being shown)

Weight: Males 53 - 55 pounds (24 - 25 kg) Females 49 - 51 pounds (22 - 23 kg)

Health Problems

Prone to breathing problems; some have small windpipes as well. Also poor eyesight, cherry eye, very susceptible to heatstroke in warm weather or hot rooms and cars. Very cold sensitive. Prone to mast cell tumors. Birth defects are common in some lines. Susceptible to skin infections, hip and knee problems. Prone to flatulence, especially when fed any other type of food other than their regular dog food. Puppies are often delivered by caesarian section. Some say it is because of the dogs' large head size, however others claim you can hardly tell the difference between the head size of a Bulldog with the head size of other breeds when the pups are first born; claiming not enough dams are given the opportunity to try and deliver naturally because of the large head myth. A lot of Bulldogs do run the risk of having weak labors and this could increase the risk of a caesarian.

Living Conditions

The English Bulldog is good for apartment life. They are very inactive indoors and will do okay without a yard. This breed is an indoor dog. Bulldogs do best in temperate climates as the breed can chill easily in cold weather and have trouble cooling off in very hot weather.


The English Bulldog needs to be taken on a daily walk to fulfill its primal canine instinct to migrate. Those individuals that do not get this need met are more likely to have behavior issues. While out on the walk the dog must be made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead, as in a dog's mind the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human. Teach them to enter and exit all door and gateways after the human. English Bulldogs that are in good shape are capable of moving very quickly for short periods of time.

Life Expectancy

An average of 8 years. Some live longer while others live shorter lives.

Litter Size

4 - 5 puppies; as a result of this breed's large head they are prone to needing a caesarian section


The smooth, fine, short-haired coat is easy to groom. Comb and brush with a firm bristle brush, and bathe only when necessary. Wipe the face with a damp cloth every day to clean inside the wrinkles. This breed is an average shedder.


The English Bulldog originated in the British Isles, descended from the ancient Asiatic mastiff. The dog was given the name "bull" because of its use in bull baiting and for its robust look of a little bull. They were aggressive, ferocious and courageous with the power to attack full grown bulls, which they did in arena combat before the practice was banned by law in the 19th century. Bulldogs would attack from the bottom up going underneath the bull and aiming for the neck, making it hard for the bull to fight back. Today's Bulldog has a very different temperament from those of his ancestors, but still retains a strong determination.


Mastiff, AKC Non-Sporting

  • 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.
A tan with white and black wide, thick-bodied, well muscled, wrinkly puppy with ears that hang down to the sides and a black nose with pink on it sitting on the lap of a person in a blue shirt and blue sweat pants. The pup has a lot of extra skin.

An English Bulldog puppy

A thick wide chested, extra skinned, white with tan English Bulldog sitting outside on a blacktop surface

Sofi the English Bulldog at 9 years old

Diesel the English Bulldog walking along a fence line with its mouth open and tongue out wearing a black harness

Diesel the brown brindle English Bulldog at 5 years old

Bruno Flores the English Bulldog sleeping on a rug

"This is Bruno Flores. He is a 9-month-old English Bulldog. He likes chasing his ball in the yard and hanging out with the fellas."

Major Payne the English Bulldog is standing nose to nose in front of another English Bulldog who is laying in the grass

"Our Major Payne playing with his bud."

Duke the English Bulldog laying on a plastic blue and yellow stepping stool that is on a reclining chair

"This is Duke, our English Bulldog at 2 years old. We decided to put the kids' step stool on the armchair to keep Duke from getting up and sleeping on it. Well, as determined and stubborn as Duke is, he decided nothing was going to stop him from sleeping on "his" chair :) Duke is a great dog. We have 3 small boys and Duke is great with them. We live on a farm and Duke has no problem being a farm dog, per se. He loves outdoors and chasing the barn cats and helping with the horses. We have had no health or skin problems with him with proper diet and lots of outdoor activities. Duke seems to be quite an active member of the farm."

Close Up head shot - Thabo the English Bulldog laying on a bed and looking at a camera holder

Thabo the English Bulldog at 8 months old—"He is such a wonderful son. He loves to have his daily walks and is great with kids. He does have a problem with farts! LOL He loves to sleep and play with his toys, especially with his bones. Despite his angry or mad face he is such a ball full of pure love"

Dooley the wrinklely English Bulldog Pup standing outside in grass

"Dooley the English Bulldog Pup at 8 weeks old going for his afternoon walk. He loves posing for the camera!"

McKenzie the English Bulldog Puppy standing on a hardwood floor and looking at the camera holder

McKenzie at 9 weeks is one of Si-D-Di's Something Special's puppies, photo courtesy of Anne Dampier The Si-D-Di Collection

Close Up - Spike the English Bulldog sleeping on a carpeted floor with his tongue hanging out to the side

If you have ever had an English Bulldog, you know this look! This dog’s name is Spike.

See more examples of the Bulldog