red, fawn, brindle, white, piebald, yellow or any combination of colors. Solid black color is not considered acceptable in the breed.
12-16 inches (31-40 cm) with shorter dogs preferred
53-55 pounds (24-25kg)
12-16 inches (31-40 cm) with shorter dogs preferred
49-51 pounds (22-23kg)
Indoors, good in apartments and small spaces.
It is hard to mistake the classic image of the English Bulldog. This square and stout looking dog is very wide and broad, giving the appearance of power and strength even though it is not very tall. The overall impression when looking at an English Bulldog is one of power and dignity, along with maturity and sensibility.
The face of the English Bulldog is just as distinctive as its body. The face is brachiocephalic, which means that the muzzle is very short and compressed. The lower jaw is noticeably undershot, and longer than the upper jaw and nose. The lips of the upper jaw hang down below the lower jaw, and are loose to the mouth. The cheeks are very noticeable, and are obvious when viewed from the front as well as the side. The eyes are round and set well off the center of the face. They are always dark in color, and lighter colored eyes are not characteristic of the breed. The ears are very small and thin, held close to the head. A rose type fold in the ears is most desirable. The skull is broad and wide, and should never appear narrow. The forehead and skull area should be covered with deep folds of skin, forming large "wrinkles" across the forehead area.
The neck of the English Bulldog will be thick and massive, matching the base of the broad skull. The short neck flows into heavyset front shoulders that are slightly sloped outwards. The front legs should be thick and well boned, while appearing proportional and muscular. The elbows should be loose from the body of the dog, and the feet may be slightly turned out when viewed from the front. The chest is deep and significant, moving in to a well-developed rib cage. The topline of the body is considered a "wheel-back" - often mistakenly called a "roach-back". This means that the center of the back is slightly higher than either the shoulders or the tail.
The hindquarters are very substantial and balanced-looking. The hind feet will turn out slightly and the hocks will turn in slightly. The hind legs are longer than the front legs, but are in proportion. The tail is either short and straight, or short and somewhat kinked or bent in appearance. The tail will be wide, and the base and will taper to a fine point that is always held lower than the broad base of the tail.
The coat is very fine and short, and is the same length across the entire body. There may be folds of skin on the neck and around the tail. The breed is also known for its distinctive dewlaps under the jaw.
The English Bulldog has a very short, fine and smooth coat that is of uniform length on the body. This breed has no furnishings on the legs, belly or chest area but folds in the skin on the head, around the tail and on the chest are desired.
The English Bulldog has a rather disturbing history, as it was originally bred from the Asiatic Mastiff for its aggressiveness in baiting bulls and bears in ancient times. It was in the year 1209 that bull baiting, or having a dog grab onto the bull by the nose and hold on until the bull was killed, was first introduced in England. The Bulldog was bred to be a ferocious dog, that would hold on to the bull's nose despite the pain that the bull would inflict on the dog. In 1835 the terrible "sport" was outlawed and owners of the Bulldogs tried to use the breed to fight in dogfights, but thankfully they did not fare well in this venue. Through the concentrated effort of dog lovers in the United Kingdom, the English Bulldog was bred to maintain their body shape and size, but remove the aggressiveness and replace it with the qualities of an excellent companion dog.
The English Bulldog is a very serious, devoted and loyal breed of dog. They are a very attention-seeking dog and are not considered appropriate for homes where they would be left alone for extended periods of time. The English Bulldog has been bred as a companion dog, and really does desire and require constant attention from its owners. The breed is typically a very calm and well-behaved dog, although they are considered a dominant breed and must learn that the humans are in charge in the household. The English Bulldog will bond very strongly with its family, and often has difficulty in re-homing after that bond has been established.
The English Bulldog loves to please, and will quickly learn what the owners are requiring of it. Highly intelligent, they do best with some repetitive training but also lots of variation. They are an excellent companion dog for both other dogs as well as non-canine pets. Proper socialization is important with this breed, as they can be somewhat dog-aggressive, especially the intact males. Neutering and training, as well as constant interaction with other dogs, can prevent this from becoming problematic. Most English Bulldogs make wonderful pets for families with younger or older children, and the breed has a natural patience with children and the elderly. A slow moving breed, they are not ideal for kids that want a pet that is running with them all day, but they are very loyal, loving and protective of children.
The English Bulldog has a unique temperament. People can mistake their often slow response to commands as laziness, but those that know the Bulldog breed know that the dogs like to consider the command before simply jumping up and doing it. A problem solver, the Bulldog likes a mental challenge, and will approach new activities and events in a thoughtful and consistent manner. They are very good travelers, and typically love to go for a ride in the car.
The English Bulldog is a natural protector of the home and property. While not a problem barker, they will let you know when strangers approach. Their appearance is often enough to warn off intruders, but the Bulldog will use its strength to defend its property if required.
Potential owners of English Bulldogs should know that the breed is prone to digestive problems, resulting in some flatulence issues. Controlling the diet can eliminate this issue to a large extent. They are also a snoring breed, and are prone to drooling.
The English Bulldog does have several Health concerns that owners should be aware of. As with most breeds, buying from a reputable breeder will eliminate most of the worries associated with any possible health conditions of the breed. The major health issues include hip and elbow dysplasia, stenotic nares, internalized tail and eye problems such as Cherry Eye, Entropion and ectropion and KCS or dry eye. In addition, the breed may have respiratory problems and an elongated soft palate, which will result in obstruction of the airways and leading to breathing difficulties. The skin is prone to infections, but this can easily be managed with proper Grooming and regular cleaning of the skin folds.
The English Bulldog will usually require assistance with whelping, and frequently puppies are delivered by cesarean section because of their broad heads. It is very important to closely monitor a Bulldog whenever anesthesia is being used, as they can easily have significant and serious respiratory complications.
The short and very smooth coat of the English Bulldog is very easy to care for on a regular basis. A stiff bristle brush is all that is needed to gently groom the dog two or three times per week. It is important to keep the skin folds on the face, neck and tail carefully cleaned with a damp cloth to remove any debris and dead hair that may become trapped. This debris can cause irritations, leading to lesions and other infections in the folds of the skin. When cleaning the folds, be sure to wipe first with a slightly damp cloth then follow with a soft towel or dry cloth. Never leave the folds wet or use any type of soap or cleanser, as this can cause irritations and potential allergic reactions.
The English Bulldog should only be bathed when required, and never frequently. Bathing too often will dry out the skin and can lead to itchy, flaky and irritated skin. A soft, damp cloth can be used to gently and easily wipe down the dog should he or she become muddy or dirty. Check the nails regularly, and clip to keep them short and free from splinters or sharp points. The teeth can routinely be brushed using a finger sleeve or dog toothbrush and toothpaste.
The English Bulldog is considered an average shedder, and does not shed seasonally.
The Bulldog, while square and rather squat, is still a very active dog when provided with regular exercise. Since they are prone to rapid weight gain and some obesity, regular walks and opportunities to get out and about are very important with this breed. Naturally very sedate, an English Bulldog is not good at self-exercising, and may need some prompting to move about and exercise.
They are fast for their size and shape over short distances, and many English Bulldogs will play and romp for short periods with other dogs given the opportunity. They are equally accepting of longer, more sedate walks. An English Bulldog should never be exercised in very hot or cold conditions. In cold conditions, the Bulldog's short coat will provide little if any protection to the temperatures, and in hot conditions their brachiocephalic or short muzzle head formation will lead to overheating and heatstroke very quickly. Only exercise in the coolest times of the summer months, and provide lots of shade and water for these dogs if they are being left outdoors.
While not a playful breed when full grown, they are very playful as puppies. Some of the adult Bulldogs retain a more playful attitude even as they mature, but this is not considered typical of the breed.
The English Bulldog requires an owner that understands how to work with a dominant breed of dog. This is critical, as owners that don't understand how to positively and appropriately teach the dog that they are not the boss will soon have a dog that simply does what he or she wants, rather than listening and obeying commands. The owner must establish that he or she is the "alpha dog" or leader in positive and gentle ways, without punishing or harshly treating the dog. A Bulldog is very sensitive to punishment, and will rarely be intentionally disobedient once they have outgrown their puppy stage. Occasionally some Bulldogs will be stubborn and difficult to train, and a puppy obedience class is highly recommended for the breed.
An English Bulldog is a very intelligent breed and is a thoughtful dog, not typically jumping into new situations or activities without giving them some consideration. Since the older the Bulldog gets the slower it tends to move, it is important to keep in mind that this dog will take a few seconds or more to respond to a command. In addition, the Bulldog likes to contemplate his or her options before jumping up to respond to a command. They are not a dog that does something on the spur of the moment; rather they seem to study the situation before deciding what action to take. A Bulldog does best with repetitive training in very short time frames, rather than one long training session. Typically, they love to please their owners, and will work very well for praise as well as treats and rewards. Limit food rewards, as the breed has a tendency for rapid weight gain.
A well-trained and well-socialized English Bulldog is an excellent companion dog. The natural protective instincts of the breed mean that they require little training to become expert watchdogs. Typically the English Bulldog has few destructive behaviors, although chewing can occasionally become a problem if they are not provided enough attention. They can be somewhat dog-aggressive with strange dogs, so ensure proper socialization at an early age. Most English Bulldogs get along well with cats and other pets, and socialization will increase these positive attributes as well.