English Bulldog

English Bulldog
English Bulldog pictures
English Bulldog suitability

In my own words

How do you do, charmed I’m sure. You’ll be charmed too, when you meet me for the first time. I am the quintessential English Gentleman (or Lady), though I say it myself. I may look as though I would happily bite your leg off (your hand is too far off the ground, and I can’t jump) actually I’d rather lick you to death. Har har har – lick you to death – harrumph, sorry, did I tell you I have a great sense of humour? Seriously now, let me tell you a little about myself, because we Bulldogs are often misunderstood. I am gentle, friendly and don’t like to walk too far (just two half hours will do). I like nothing better than cosying up on the sofa or sleeping the afternoon away on a nice soft beanbag. I don’t like going in the garden on my own, ‘cos I’d miss you too much, but I love to play with children and can be very patient with them. I do confess to snoring a bit, but hey, nobody’s perfect. One look at me and in a couple of licks, you’ll forgive me anything.

My ideal owner(s)


People who hate jogging

People who prefer short walks

Apartment dwellers

Older couples


What they say about me


Wrinkly but gorgeous

Fierce and tough looking





Laid back

Please read on to find out more about me, and whether I will be someone you can be happy with.

Is this Bulldog for you?

Test your knowledge about the Bulldog

Information essential about the English Bulldog


Kennel Club Group: Utility

Size: Medium. Weight 40 – 50 lb (16 – 20 kg), Height 12 – 16” (30 – 40 cm)



Everybody in the UK loves Bulldogs. As the National dog of Great Britain, his character is associated with British determination and stubborn courage, as well as with the legendary John Bull. The Bulldog is used as a mascot in hundreds of sports clubs and businesses. A certain British motor insurance company even has a nodding Bulldog as its “front man” in advertisements. The Bulldog is the official mascot of the United States Marine Corps, together with 39 American universities. They may be ugly, but you only have to meet one and once bitten (or licked), forever smitten, as they say.


Other Bulldog breeds:

American Bulldog, Olde English Bulldogge, French Bulldog.

Breed History:


The Bulldog, has been around for 600 years of recorded history, probably a lot longer. In the 17th Century, they were used in packs for bull-baiting, at a time when, although immensely strong, they were of a more athletic build, with a longer jaw with formidable gripping power. Bull baiting was banned in 1835, and from then on Bulldogs were bred to be gentler, heavier and more laid back. Often crossed with Pugs, they eventually developed the flat faced, pugnacious look we know today. Ultimately, they became very popular in the show ring as well as making excellent pets.



Sturdy and strong willed, your Bulldog is also naturally friendly, with a pack instinct that makes him easy to bond with. If you have space, two dogs of the opposite sex (spayed and neutered!) are ideal. Although they don’t need much exercise – two 30 minute walks are enough to stay slim and active – they love to meet with other dogs, especially other Bulldogs, because they are very playful. Despite his bulk, when excited, he is prone to sudden bursts of extraordinary speed for a dog of his build and will tear around like a mad thing. The pack instinct makes them easy to train, though they can try to dominate, especially when puppies, so a firm hand is needed to maintain the status quo. Your Bulldog will not like very hot or very cold weather. Somewhere in between is perfect, with a nice cold kitchen floor to flop on in summer. Because of his flat face, your Bulldog will tend to snort and snore, so perhaps he isn’t the ideal bedroom companion. However, give your Bulldog a lap to snooze on and a good cuddle, and he’ll be your friend for life.



Your Bulldog is a wonderful mixture of comic and lazybones. He is also reliable, loyal and obedient (except if upset, when he will show that stubborn streak.) He gets on happily with children and other pets. If you live in a flat, that’s fine by him, and if you don’t like going to the gym, nor does he. He likes nothing better than snuggling down to watch the afternoon film on a wet afternoon, and Sunday spent reading the newspapers is his idea of bliss. However, he will rush around and play with the children, as long as he has a nice lie down afterwards. He is a terrible guard dog because although he might put off an unwanted visitor with that pugilistic visage and bark a bit, he is actually a total pushover and would probably make friends with the burglar. His persistent nature will show up when he tries to get your attention. Subtle hints to go for a walk or have a game soon escalate into quite a performance and he won’t give up until you give in. Bulldogs love to chew, so to protect your slippers from being shredded, heavy duty toys are essential.



A good Bulldog should be short and stocky with a broad chest, and short, sturdy limbs. The flat, wrinkled face has a tough, intimidating expression. He should have a fairly wide head with cheeks that draw back behind the eyes so that when he pants he looks as if he is grinning. Deep folds of skin on the forehead lead to a short muzzle with another fold across it. These folds are known as “rope”. The nose should be broad and black. He has a hanging upper lip and an undershot lower jaw, though this should not be extreme.



The Bulldog’s coat is short and sleek, and comes in many colours, including chestnut (red), fawn, brindle (mixed brown and fawn, often striped) or any of the above with white. Many Bulldogs are pure white, but should still have a black nose.



Your Bulldog is perhaps not the brightest card in the pack, (actually coming second last in Stanley Coren’s book “The Intelligence of Dogs”) but is very biddable and likes to please. They are quite voice sensitive, so training is pretty easy, but it might take a little time for things to sink in permanently. Youthful exuberance can become annoying, so an early start to training is important. The only time his natural obedience deserts him is if he is very agitated, then he will need a firm hand and a strong arm to keep him in check. A determined Bulldog can pull like a small pony, so early lead training is essential.


Your Bulldog needs little grooming, about once a week is fine. However, those ropes, or skin folds on his face and nose do attract dirt and become moist from sweating, encouraging infection, so it’s important to keep them clean. A mild doggy disinfectant in water and a wipe with some cotton wool will do the trick. Sometimes the same needs to be done to the tail, if it is particularly tightly curled. A little ointment used here can help too. If this is done regularly, no problems should arise



Not a long lived breed, the lifespan of a healthy Bulldog is normally around 10 - 12 years, showing the first signs of age at around six. The most common clinical causes of death are cardiac problems and cancer. Hip dysplasia is quite common, especially in overweight dogs. Some suffer from luxating patellas, where the patella, or knee cap, keeps slipping in and out of place, but this is rare. Like all short faced breeds, Bulldogs are extremely sensitive to heat, and can easily suffer from hyperthermia, or overheating. On hot days, keep your Bulldog out of standing heat and provide as much shade as you can, with access to water. Bulldogs sweat mostly through their feet, so a cool floor is appreciated, and some may appreciate a shallow paddling pool in a shady spot in the garden. Bulldogs gain weight easily, causing breathing problems and heart failure. Something else you should know is that fat Bulldogs fart – so be warned! To keep the air fresh, keep the weight down! In 2009, the Kennel Club UK revised the breed standard. A smaller head, fewer skin folds, a longer muzzle and a taller, thinner frame is now considered desirable to combat breathing troubles and to aid easier births. Under the original standard, puppies were invariably produced by Caesarian Section, as the heads and shoulders of the pups were too big for the birth canal. So our dear Bulldog is not as tough as he looks, though if you buy from a reputable breeder, bearing in mind the new KC breed standard, your Bulldog should give you more than a decade of adoring, companionable, amusing fun.

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The following grid gives a fast track review which covers all breeds. You can apply it to help you decide if a Bulldog is suitable for you, the environment where you live, your personality and your lifestyle. On the grid, 1= strongly disagree, and 5= strongly agree. For example, if you are looking for a dog that likes to swim, look down the list under Activities, and you will see that Bulldogs love a paddle but are not good swimmers, scoring 2. If you want a playful companion, look down the same list, and you will see that Bulldogs love to fetch, and score 5. You might like to save or print off this section and keep it for reference while you check some other breeds before making your final choice.

Be the first to rate this breed »

Noahs Breed Rating | Community Breed Rating

Good jogging companion1/5
Good walking companion5/5
Likes water/swimming2/5
Likes learning new tricks4/5
Likes to hunt1/5
Likes to fetch5/5
Good gundog/retriever1/5
Barks a lot2/5
Gets easily jealous1/5
Friendly with strangers5/5
Expensive to insure1/5
Expensive to feed1/5
Happy to sleep outside1/5
Prefers countryside5/5
Suits urban environment5/5
Prefers temperate climate5/5
Prefers hot climate1/5
Prefers cold climate4/5
Moults a lot3/5
Requires lots of grooming2/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly5/5
Ideal for singles5/5
Ideal for couples with no children5/5
Ideal for family with children5/5
Good watch dog2/5
Good guard dog1/5
Good with other pets5/5
Good with other dogs5/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs1/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs1/5
Requires lots of exercise1/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners4/5
Good for experienced owners5/5
Good recall4/5
Easy to train5/5
Good jogging companion0/5
Good walking companion0/5
Likes water/swimming0/5
Likes learning new tricks0/5
Likes to hunt0/5
Likes to fetch0/5
Good gundog/retriever0/5
Barks a lot0/5
Gets easily jealous0/5
Friendly with strangers0/5
Expensive to insure0/5
Expensive to feed0/5
Happy to sleep outside0/5
Prefers countryside0/5
Suits urban environment0/5
Prefers temperate climate0/5
Prefers hot climate0/5
Prefers cold climate0/5
Moults a lot0/5
Requires lots of grooming0/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly0/5
Ideal for singles0/5
Ideal for couples with no children0/5
Ideal for family with children0/5
Good watch dog0/5
Good guard dog0/5
Good with other pets0/5
Good with other dogs0/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs0/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs0/5
Requires lots of exercise0/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners0/5
Good for experienced owners0/5
Good recall0/5
Easy to train0/5

*PLEASE NOTE: All our breed profiles are general, and all dogs are individuals. Always talk to the breeders and meet the owners you are buying from. Try to meet the dog and its parents if it is a puppy in their home environment.

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English Bulldog Pictures & Videos



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