English Bulldog: appearance, character, health, grooming


Let’s find out everything there is to know about this affectionate and child-friendly dog.

English bulldog is one of the symbolic dogs of Great Britain, he immediately won the sympathy of all. It is a very affectionate, lazy and reserved animal, despite its distant origins as a fighting dog in the arenas. Let’s find out its main characteristics.


English Bulldog : the origins

The  English bulldog  is a  small breed dog  and absolutely  not dangerous , despite the ‘tough’ look and its not glorious past. It should not be confused with the French Bulldog .

It belongs to the group of dogs of the Pinscher and Schnauzer type , Swiss Molosser and Cattle Dogs.

The history of this dog has a rather unhappy beginning: in Great Britain it was used as a fighting dog against bulls .

The aim of these meetings was to make the meat of the bulls tastier. In fact, tradition wanted intense physical activity before killing to significantly improve its quality.

The origins of the breed can be traced back to the Asian mastiffs, which in turn were used by the Romans to fight in the arenas. The appearance of the name ‘bulldog’ there was only in 1632 , thanks to  Preston Eaton who, once hearrived in Spain, compared them with the local specimens.

Around the mid-19th century these dogs risked extinction, as they were not very welcome. It was not until  1864 that the first official club was born . With the beginning of the 20th century, the perception of the English bulldog drastically changed and the first competitions were organized.

The breed actually seems to have been the result of a genetic anomaly , then carried on by the breeders thanks to a series of selections that have determined the current standards, very different from those of the dark times to which it owes its name. Starting from the English bulldog, the American Bulldog breed was then selected in America .


Characteristics of the English Bulldog

Originally, the English bulldog was an athletic dog , strong and well prepared for the grip and fight against bulls and oxen.

Hence its name, as bull means “bull”. Its aggressive and fierce temperament , too potentiated at some point in its development, has been softened to obtain an animal with a very good character , which has made it one of the companion dogs or pets par excellence.

It is a strong-looking, brave and almost fierce-looking dog, but it actually has a very affectionate character . It feels a great attachment to his owner and to his entire family, with whom It is somewhat dependent and extraordinarily loyal.

Of appearance very particular it has the short and very wide body , short legs and robust, and large head in proportion to the body.

Very compact, massive and of heavy complexion, it is very wide seen from the front. Despite his appearance being that of a rude and ferocious animal, he is actually affectionate and friendly.If you want to know what the character of the English bulldog is like and what its physical characteristics are , then we are going to describe them in detail:


English Bulldog Character

Although the appearance of the English bulldog can sometimes be intimidating to the layman, the truth is that it is one of the most sweet and affectionate dog breeds in the world .

With a temperament very attached to his master , funny, playful, affectionate and extremely dependent on his family, he is patient and an accomplice with children , of whom he immediately becomes an inseparable playmate .owever, it is important not to forget its natural behavior , it is already an animal with an excellent instinct for guarding and protection , which does not hesitate to show as soon as it is given the opportunity. In general, it is a dog that is a bit stubborn and very sure of itself

This can make his education somewhat difficult, so to train him and teach him the basic life routines it is necessary to arm himself with a good dose of patience and prepare a varied, entertaining and constant work plan.

Therefore, it is not a suitable breed for families that have a very busy and stressed rhythm of life , who are forced to leave their dog alone for many hours a day, as it needs to have the company of its family and share your time with them.

Some specimens have a reputation for being unclean, that they like to dirty the place where they live or that they eat compulsively. There have also been cases of destructive animals, especially with furniture and other objects in the house.

But all these behaviors usually only appear in dogs that are subjected to strong social isolation. In those who are well socialized and establish almost permanent contact with their family, these deviations in behavior are very rare.

  • Energy : medium level. It is a calm and collected animal that loves a sedentary life. Even so, to be in shape you must do some moderate exercise every day.
  • Temperament : this dog has a brave, intrepid demeanor, very self-confident and with great determination. It is an affectionate and loyal dog by nature
  • Adaptability : high. He lives well in any habitat, as long as he has his family, for whom he feels devotion. It does not tolerate very hot climates very well.
  • Sociability : high. Very affectionate, he gets along very well with children, he tolerates strangers without problems and does not usually confront other dogs.
  • Health : normal. You are prone to some respiratory and heart conditions.
  • Longevity : low. Live between 8 and 10 years.
  • Utility : versatile. It was originally a fighting dog, but today it is used more as a guard and protection animal and, above all, as a companion pet.
  • Use : guard, protection, defense and companion dog.

Physical characteristics English Bulldog

  • General Appearance : Heavy built, short, broad and powerful, with a very compact figure, with short legs and a large head.
  • Size and size : medium / large.
  • Height at the withers: between 30 and 40 cm for males and between 28 and 38 cm for females.
  • Weight : between 23 and 25 kg for males and between 22 and 24 kg for females.
  • Origin : United Kingdom.
  • Body : the figure of this dog is very peculiar and characteristic. It is solid, robust and short. The upper line is not straight, but descends from the withers and then rises to the loin, even exceeding the height of the withers. Then it falls again and suddenly towards the tail, forming a characteristic and distinctive arc of the breed.
  • Head : seen from the side, it is very tall and short, with a flat forehead and covered with loose, wrinkled skin. The bones are prominent, broad, square and tall, and the face has wrinkled skin. The cheeks are well rounded and extend laterally beyond the eyes.
  • Skull : large in circumference, seen from the front is tall, wide and square.
  • Muzzle : short, wide and upturned, from the corner of the eye to the corner of the lips it is very deep. A prominent wrinkle forms on the nose that does not interfere with the line descending from the skull. The flews are thick, wide and hang to the sides over the lower jaw but in the center they meet and almost cover the teeth, but do not hang down.
  • Nose : large, wide and black. With the nostrils wide, wide open and separated by a vertical groove in the center. The highest part is inserted towards the eyes giving the impression of being very flat.
  • Eyes : Rounded and of medium size, they are set quite low on the skull and well separated from the ears, at the same height as the stop and at right angles to the frontal furrow. They are also widely separated and are very dark in color, almost black, reflecting a look between sad and threatening.
  • Ears : they are in pink, that is, they have internal wrinkles falling backwards, so that the pinna curves outwards and backwards, showing part of the inside of the ear canal. Small and thin, they set very closely together, high on the top of the skull and away from the eyes.
  • Naso-frontal depression (stop): it is deep and wide between the eyes.
  • Jaws : wide, thick and square, their canines are well separated from each other and, between them, six small front teeth in a row. The lower jaw projects in front of the upper jaw and curves upward.
  • Neck : of moderate length, very thick, deep and strong, well arched at the top. It has abundant loose, thick and wrinkled skin around the throat that forms a double chin on each side of the neck.
  • Chest : broad, laterally rounded, prominent and deep, with well defined ribs towards the back. It falls quite low between the front legs and has a large diameter. The belly is retracted, not hanging.
  • Back : short and strong, broad at the shoulder blades and comparatively narrow at the back.
  • Forelimbs : very stocky and strong, they are thick, muscular, straight and well developed. Quite apart from each other, they have a rather arched profile, but their bones are large and straight, not warped or curved. Their shoulders are broad, with deep and inclined shoulder blades, very powerful and with strong muscles, they seem to be glued to the body. The elbows are quite low and well separated from the ribs.
  • Hindquarters : large and muscular, they are a little longer than the forelimbs, so that they raise the loins. The legs are long and muscular. His knees are rounded, they deviate slightly out of the body. The hocks are set low, and are short, straight and strong; they approach each other and have a slightly inclined metatarsal.
  • Feet : straight, of medium size and moderately rounded, slightly turned outwards. They are robust and compact, with thick, compact fingers and high, prominent knuckles.
  • Tail : set low, rises rather straight but then curves down. Rounded, smooth and devoid of fringes or hard hair, it is not too long. Thick at the base, it tapers rapidly towards the tip and is carried down by the dog.
  • Skin: very present throughout the body, it presents wrinkles in certain places.
  • Hair : its coat is fine in texture, short, close and smooth. If it gives the appearance of being hard it is only because of its shortness and glue, not because it has a wire texture.
  • Color: it usually has a solid or sooty coat (that is, a single base color but with a black muzzle or mask) and is very bright, in a brindle tone, red, in all its shades, bay, fawn or be of white color, sometimes combined with any of the aforementioned colors.
  • Movement : Peculiarly heavy and somewhat restricted in movement, the bulldog’s steps are short and quick, and the hind feet appear to brush the ground, as they are not raised too high, but they advance with a solid gait. When he runs, his shoulders are quite forward.
  • FCI Classification: FCI n- ° 149 Group 2: Pinscher and Schnauzer, Molossian, and Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs. Section 2 Molossians

English bulldog puppy

If you are thinking of buying an English bulldog puppy or, better yet, you want to adopt one, you should take into account some aspects about this breed.

For example, when he is young he has a very effusive demeanor, full of activity, with an overflowing energy. But with the passage of age, little by little it calms down.

If you have children at home you will not have problems since it is a breed that gets along very well with the little ones in the house .

In the same way, it tolerates very well living with other pets, but requires some education from a very young age to avoid future “accidents” or fights.

In summary, with an affectionate and sweet character, the English bulldog is a great companion dog that loves to live surrounded by his family and, in addition, does not usually present serious problems of coexistence with other dogs.


Bulldog education and training

In general, it is a dog that is a bit stubborn and very self-confident , and this can make his education somewhat difficult , so to train him and teach him the basic life routines it is necessary to arm himself with a good dose of patience and prepare a varied, entertaining and constant work plan.

The relationship he establishes with other pets is usually quite good , but even so, it is possible that he will be quarrelsome with other dogs, especially if they are of the same sex, although it is not a difficult breed to control .

When he is young, he behaves in a very effusive way, he is full of energy and has an overflowing energy , but these symptoms diminish with age.

The bulldog can be a very good choice for families with children and for owners without much experience . To get the best out of it, you just need to arm yourself with patience and love, and work consistently and consistently.

And if you do not have much experience or you lack information about the ownership and training of dogs , the most advisable thing is to go to a professional in the field or join a work group where you can share experiences with other owners.


British Bulldog feeding

It is very important to take care of the diet that is given and the exercise that it performs, both to guarantee a correct muscular and skeletal development and to prevent it from being obese , a condition that if it is already negative for any canine breed, this can result even fatal.

In addition, in relation to the food that must be of good quality , the daily intake must be divided into two or three servings, since there are often cases of stomach torsion and digestion and flatulence problems are widespread in the breed. .

Despite its chubby appearance, the bulldog is a strong and active dog that likes to go out into the fields, accompany its owners on long walks and even carry out some sporting activities, as long as these are adapted to its particular physical conditions. And it is very important to keep him fit and in good health subjecting him to daily doses of exercise adapted to his age and condition.

For the rest, these small needs for exercise are covered, the lifestyle of this breed is quite calm and what they like the most is spending time with their family, so it is no problem for them to live in a small apartment in the downtown or in a house in the middle of the country, the important thing for him is to be with his family.


Health and disease

Let us now address this aspect as well.

This dog has earned an undeserved reputation as a sickly and unhealthy animal, due in part to the trend observed since the late 1980s to breed spectacular looking dogs but with some problems that have become too common in the industry. race.

Such as respiratory difficulties or heart conditions, which have caused their longevity to fall below ten years, although there are individuals who live much longer and in better conditions.

The best way to control its health is to act preventively, going regularly to the veterinarian to complete the relevant vaccination and deworming programs, as well as submitting the animal to basic checks and controls.

Life expectancy

In good health he lives just under 10 years. Today the breeders have been able to refine the physical characteristics, allowing to  keep at bay the diseases of the cardiovascular system  that until a few years ago often caused their death.

Problems and potential diseases

Problems with giving birth: Due to the large size of the disproportionately large head with the other limbs, most English Bulldog females cannot give birth easily. As a result, Caesarean delivery is very common in this breed and they are usually planned in advance.

Other health problems that can affect this breed are:

  • Vision problems
  • Deafness : total or partial lack or loss of the sense of hearing.
  • Cancer (various forms)
  • Cryptorchidism : physical absence of one or both testicles

English bulldog: how to take care of it

Let’s start with nutrition.

How to best feed your dog

The English bulldog is a very greedy dog. Often we would not resist his languid glances to the point of giving him all the sweets he wants during the day. I recommend, do not do it , it could suffer from an overweight problem and, even if it seems strong and robust, it is quite delicate and a weight problem could be very dangerous harmful.

The dog’s nutrition must be well measured: rice, vegetables, meat and dry food. The important thing is that they are food for large breeds , as they share the same nutritional needs.

Let’s go into detail now

How to feed puppies (English Bulldog)

If you bring a bulldog puppy less than six weeks old home, you should feed him mostly puppy-specific milk with a bottle . This type of milk is available at your veterinarian or veterinary pharmacies.

  • For a one week old puppy it will be necessary to have him suckle every three hours, for two weeks every four hours, for three weeks every five hours, for four weeks every six hours, for five weeks every eight hours but by the sixth week you will need to give him some puppy food.
  • Always give the puppy milk until the age of two months, but leave it in a bowl . For food, give him kibble rich in vitamins and minerals so that he can develop an effective immune system and that he can grow without being obese or stunted. As for the frequency of his dishes, it will be four a day and a bowl of milk. Don’t forget to give him water to drink. When she is six months old, reduce her meals to three a day.

How to feed an adult dog (English Bulldog)

The bulldog is considered an adult when it reaches 18 months of age. From then on, it is advisable to feed him only twice a day. Of course, don’t forget to give him to drink frequently

To vary the diet:

  • you could give him kibble in the morning and dog food in the evening. It is possible to mix sugar-free yogurt with the croquettes.
  • You can also add chicken broth to the croquettes.
  • Specific cookies are also allowed but do not exceed the amount of eight per day.

To compensate for his desire to eat out of hours, you can give him a toy to  nibble on.

If you want to have a healthy English bulldog, you need to control their diet from the first weeks, respect meal times well and favor the quality rather than the quantity of meals.

Also, don’t forget to  worm your bulldog puppy as early as four weeks of age. Don’t forget to do your bulldog’s routine health checks as well.

English Bulldog : Physical activity

He needs to exercise to counteract his laziness and help him not gain too much weight. But be careful with temperatures that are too high : if you notice intolerance, cool it immediately with water and avoid leaving it around during the hottest hours of the day.

Too hot  could even lead to death , due to respiratory problems.

English Bulldog : Grooming

This breed doesn’t require a lot of grooming .

  • Regular brushing is required to keep the coat silky and shiny.
  • Bathing should only be done when the dog has been playing in the mud, or when it starts to smell bad.
  • The folds of the muzzle must be cleaned and dried regularly to avoid the proliferation of bacteria and must be dried after bathing.

For more information, ask your veterinarian for advice.


Cons of English Bulldog

  • he is very stubborn
  • he is very very lazy and snores when he sleeps
  • tends to make flatulence
  • loses drool
  • does not tolerate the heat, if you love going to the beach in warm places you will make him suffer

Does a non-pedigreed English bulldog puppy cost less?

Attention, you must be wary of pseudo breeders who offer you purebred dogs without pedigree. It is a document that certifies the origin and purity of the dog, it must absolutely be issued regardless of whether or not you want your puppy to participate in beauty exhibitions.


Are English bulldogs aggressive?

No, but it can happen that they tend to nibble, grab and bite the feet, calves and hands of their masters up to in rare cases even more “serious” bites.

This type of attitude appears especially in young specimens. In their first few months of life, these dogs tend to want to test their owners to see what limits will exist in their relationship. It is also a relatively normal game for puppies who naturally want to play and do not yet know what they can or cannot do.

We must not confuse puppy attitude with real aggression, it is a normal phase in the growth and education of any dog.

There are many ways to correct this attitude, although there is no quick fix.

  • Under no circumstances should you hit the animal but neither should you let it know that you are overwhelmed by its attitude.
  • A relatively effective first solution is to isolate your dog until he calms down. It is also important to keep in mind the stubbornness of these puppies, and the operation must therefore be repeated many times to get results.
  • One technique is also to move the dog ‘s kennel or pillow to a not very central place in the house. In fact, it is necessary to avoid that the animal does not consider itself the master of the situation. We must therefore give him a place that is that of a dog and not that of a human being, it is not he who decides !
  • Ignoring the dog also works quite well.

In any case, it is very important to frame the puppy firmly , otherwise he could grow up with an aggressive temperament in adulthood.

If all of this fails, it is also possible to consult a behaviorist who is truly experienced in these problems.


Why does the English bulldog stink?

Puppies have a tendency to flatulence and you’ll have to get used to it. It is a dog that needs to spend a lot of time outside and, if possible, roll around on the grass. If he spends too much time indoors, his coat will not get air.
Shampoo is not an optimal solution, you will exasperate the sweat glands, and you risk an even worse smell.

A tip is to put talcum powder inside the folds, to absorb excess sebum, which can generate a very strong unpleasant odor. This is typical of dogs with pleated fur such as the shar-peï or the dachshund dog.


Is losing hair and drooling normal for English Bulldog?

Like all dogs, even the English Bulldog does not escape the rule, it loses its coat. It is natural and inevitable. So it will be necessary to remedy by regularly passing a vacuum cleaner suitable for dog hair to have a clean home.

As for drool, he actually loses a lot of it mainly when he drinks, due to his particular jaw.


Is English bulldog child friendly?

There is no incompatibility with children, even at an early age. The dog is very kind and affectionate with the little ones but do not hesitate to call him to order if necessary, he will quickly correct his behavior. However, you will also have to educate the children to respect your dog, which I remind you is not a large living soft toy.


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