Typically low-endurance dogs, English bulldogs have a sweet disposition, are predictable, dependable and excellent with children and need only moderate exercise.
English Bulldog At a glance
Male: 54 lbs.
Female: 50 lbs.
Height at Withers:
Male: 17 in.
Female: 16 in.
Thick neck, brachycephalic (short face), heavy wrinkles
Exercise Requirements: 20-40 minutes/day
Energy Level: Laid back
Longevity Range: 8-10 yrs.
Tendency to Drool: High Tendency to Snore: High
Tendency to Bark: Low
Tendency to Dig: Low Social/Attention Needs: Moderate
Colors: Brindle (subtle "tiger stripe" effect), piebald, solid red, fawn or white
Overall Grooming Needs: Low
AKC Classification: Non-Sporting
UKC Classification: Companion Dog
The wrinkles on the English bulldog's face should be wiped regularly to prevent skin infections.
The English bulldog is a brawny little powerhouse whose characteristic crablike waddle exudes great strength, stability and vigor.
The dog's head is large and spherical, and the muzzle is extremely short, giving the face a flattened appearance. The English bulldog's eyes are dark and set low and wide on the forehead in the frontal plane. The nose is black and slightly upturned. The jaws (or "chops") are massive, broad and undershot. The lower jaw juts out in front of the upper jaw to scarcely expose the lower incisors, producing a comical grin. The lips are fleshy and pendulous. The cheeks are well rounded and protrude sideways. The ears are thin, small and angle forward like flaps that frame the forehead.
The English bulldog's neck is short and thick; the shoulders are massive, muscular and broad. The chest is deep and full, and the back is barreled and slightly arched. His rounded hips protrude slightly above the level of the back. The stubby tail is thick and either straight or screwed. His short, stocky legs have great muscle definition. They are splayed out and slightly bowed at the elbows and hocks to form a sturdy, base-wide stance.
The English bulldog stands about 16 inches tall. The female weighs about 50 pounds (23 kilograms), and the male weighs about 54 pounds (24 kilograms).
The English bulldog's skin is loose and pendant with heavy wrinkles and thick folds on the face and a dewlap hanging from the throat. The coat is short and fine textured. The various color patterns are brindle, piebald, and solid white, red, fawn or fallow.
The English bulldog has a sweet, gentle disposition. Dependable and predictable, the bulldog is a wonderful family pet and loving to most children. People-oriented as a breed, they actively solicit human attention.
However, they have retained the courage that was originally bred into them for bull baiting, so they make fine watchdogs. Although they generally get along well with other family pets, English bulldogs can be aggressive to unfamiliar dogs.
English bulldogs make fine apartment pets and do not require a yard. Typically low-endurance dogs, they need only a moderate amount of exercise. They thrive best in temperate climates; they readily overheat and have breathing difficulties in hot weather, and they chill easily in cold temperatures.
Generally loud breathers, English bulldogs tend to snore and wheeze. Many drool as well. They are moderate shedders and their short coats require little grooming. However, the wrinkles on the face should be wiped regularly to prevent skin infections.
The bulldog's savage roots belie the friendly disposition of this dog as we know it today. Named for its use in the sport of bull baiting, the English bulldog seems to have originated in the British Isles sometime prior to the 13th century. One of the few references to the sport dates back to 1209, and talks about a butcher's dogs that chased a bull through the English town of Stamford. This pursuit so pleased the earl of the town that he inaugurated bull baiting as a sport in his domain.
Bred from a long line of fighting curs, these squatty dogs were feisty, courageous and almost impervious to pain. In 1835, dog fighting as a sport became illegal in England; the bulldog had outlived his usefulness.
Fortunately, a group of dog lovers who lamented the passing of the breed took on the task of preserving it. They bred out the undesirable traits, such as viciousness, and preserved some of the finer qualities, like solid stature and resolute will. Today, the English bulldog makes a fine family pet. The AKC recognizes the breed simply as the bulldog.