English Bulldog


From 35 to 45 cm approx. in males and females.

Between 10 and 25 kg.

Short, smooth and fine hair.

Affectionate character / sociable / very faithful / calm / docile.

brindle, bay, fawn, red, white or split

Heat is a health risk for the English bulldog. It does not resist well the climatic variations. Estimated life expectancy between 8 and 10 years.

Origin of the English bulldog

The English bulldog is descended from dogs that were used to drive, round up and attack bulls and cows in Britain. Those customs gave origin to dog fights with bulls and other large animals, but fortunately this cruel “sport” was prohibited already in the 19th century.

When dog fights with bulls were prohibited, the bulldog lost popularity among the English and gradually disappeared. Some English immigrants living in the United States maintained the breed with few changes, giving birth to the ancestors of the American bulldog. However, in England, the original bulldog was crossed with smaller, less aggressive dogs, modifying its form to what it is today.

The English bulldog of today is not the aggressive dog capable of fighting bulls, but an animal that, although fierce in appearance, is a companion. His current size and morphology do not allow him to do intense work, and his affectionate character has earned him the position of pet in thousands of homes where he is one more in the family.

Characteristics of the English bulldog

The breed standard does not indicate a predetermined size, but the bulldog usually has a height at the withers close to 40 centimeters. The weight, which is indicated in the standard, is about 25 kilograms for males and 23 kilograms for females.

This is a heavy-bodied, short haired dog. At first glance you can see that it is a wide, powerful and compact animal. The bulldog’s head is large in proportion to its body and has subtle wrinkles on both forehead and cheeks. The stop is deep and wide. The neck, thick and strong, has abundant dewlap. The face of the English bulldog is undoubtedly its most distinctive feature. It is short and has a wide and blunt muzzle, which leans upwards with evident prognathism. In theory, this morphology helps the dog bite without releasing the prey, but it is unlikely to do so and, in fact, it is not a common morphology in natural predators. In any case, the myth is still valid. The round and medium sized eyes are well separated from each other and are very dark, almost black. They should not be sunken or bulging. On the other hand, the ears of high insertion, are small, thin and in the shape of a rose. The belfos of the English bulldog hang to the sides, but not in the front. The nose is wide and black. The jaws are wide, very strong and square, and the lower one extends in front of the upper one and turns upwards.

The short body and good structure should not present tendency to obesity. The posterior region is tall and strong, but clearly lighter than the anterior region that is very robust. The chest is wide, rounded and deep, and continues in a retracted abdomen, never hanging. The extremities are strong, muscular and robust. The females are less developed than males. The top line forms a smooth arc, the back being higher than the withers. It is called the back of a cockroach and is typical of this breed. The tail, of low insertion, is of moderate to short length, rounded, thick at the base and ending in a fine tip. It is generally carried low by the bulldog, and should never be carried above the level of the topline.

The fine, short, pasted and smooth hair of these dogs can be solid color (whole body of the same color) or blotchy (whole body of the same color, but with black mask and muzzle), brindle, bay, fawn, red, white or split (white with combination of the above colors).

The movement of the English bulldog is also very characteristic. The movement is heavy, with short and fast steps on the tip of the fingers. The back feet hardly rise and seem to brush the ground. According to the standard of the race “no part of the body of the bulldog must have an excessive size in relation to the others, thus breaking the general symmetry, making see the deformed dog or interfering with its capacity of movement”, but this is debatable. Although the English bulldog is a morphologically symmetrical dog, its structure can be considered by many as deformed and it can harm the capacity of movement to a certain extent.

English bulldog care

The bulldog is a determined, strong, alert, brave and loyal dog. According to the breed standard, it must also be an active animal, but adult bulldogs are usually quiet. This dog demands a lot of attention and is not an animal that should be left alone for long periods. It forms intense bonds with its human family and it is difficult (although not impossible) that it changes its owner.

Its fierce appearance usually gives the wrong impression. These dogs usually have an affectionate, calm and quiet character, although they are also tenacious when they want something. They are usually very patient with children and generally are excellent pets, but they are not very active dogs. Of course, you should not think that just because they belong to the breed, a dog will have all those characteristics. The character is variable from one individual to another and depends a lot on the conditions in which the dog lives and has lived.

When the bulldog gets angry however, it is an animal to be feared. When it defends its territory, its family or its possessions, it is a brave dog and capable of causing a lot of damage. For this reason, it is very important to socialize him from the time he is a puppy and to educate him in good manners and canine obedience. One of the aspects that can trigger the aggression of the bulldog is the competition for food and toys. These dogs have a tendency to be possessive, so it is necessary to prevent them from becoming guardians of resources. Obedience training and, especially, self-control exercises help a lot in this. On the other hand, that characteristic can be taken advantage of to make the English bulldog a good guardian of the house. Not being a compulsive barker, this dog can give the alarm when it is really needed, and its appearance can dissuade many. Nevertheless, its same physical structure makes it not a suitable protection dog.

Being an adult, the bulldog can be aggressive with other dogs, especially if they are of the same sex, and with other pets. However, when he has been correctly socialized, he can get along with other dogs and other pets. However, many owners of this breed prefer to sterilize their dogs to reduce the likelihood of fights.

English Bulldog Education

Heat is a health risk for the English bulldog. The extremely flattened face has an effect on the dog’s airway and makes breathing difficult when the bulldog is agitated and consequently when it is very hot. It is good for the bulldog to exercise moderately to stay in shape, but intense exercise can be a risk factor, especially in hot weather. Of course, you should never leave a bulldog or another dog in a closed car, because of the risk of thermal shock. This is not a dog for intense exercise. You are not going to win an agility championship with your English bulldog… unless only dogs of this breed compete. However, you do need daily walks to exercise and socialize with people and other dogs. On the other hand, the bulldog is not a dog to live in the garden. It does not resist well the climatic variations, so it must live inside the house. In addition, its great need for company makes it unsuitable for living in the garden. The good news is that it is a cleaner dog than other breeds and it is not very active. The bad news is that he can be very slimy.

This dog loses hair regularly, so it has to be brushed frequently. However, his coat is easy to maintain. Brushing two or three times a week is usually enough. In addition, the wrinkles and creases that form on the face, neck and tail should be cleaned with a soft, damp cloth or a soft, damp sponge. Then dry with a soft dry cloth.

Educación del bulldog inglés

The English bulldog learns easily when trained with positive methods, such as clicker training. However, when dog training is based on traditional techniques and dominance theory, a lot of conflict is created and the dog does not respond well. Whatever method is used to train the dog, one should not expect the bulldog to respond as quickly to commands as a more athletic dog (a boxer or a Belgian Malinois shepherd, for example) would.

English Bulldog Health

Due to the intense and not well planned artificial selection to which it has been subjected, this breed presents many hereditary diseases and other health problems. Among the diseases that are common in the English bulldog are hip and elbow dysplasia, keratoconjunctivitis, respiratory problems, entropion, ectropion, cataracts, elongated palate, inverted tail, skin problems and gastric torsion. Of course, other dog diseases can also occur, depending on the care each animal receives and its particular genotype.

A relatively frequent problem, derived from the flattened face of the English bulldog, is respiratory difficulty. The exaggerated shortening of the face has led to many current bulldogs having respiratory problems, even though the standard indicates that this is undesirable.

On the other hand, the difference in mass between females and males, added to the fact that the back of the body is light while the front is heavy, makes it difficult for these dogs to reproduce. Human assistance is usually necessary both during the crossing and during birth