Breed review: English Bulldog

Posted by Cyril. November 17th 2014.

An instantly recognisable breed with an interesting history and a firm place in our hearts, the English Bulldog is a much-loved breed.

History of the English Bulldog

English Bulldogs – also known as British Bulldogs or just Bulldogs – are a specific type of breed characterised by their short, stocky and strong build. The breed was actually developed over a number of years by the sport of ‘bull-baiting’ which was popular in England in the 17th and 18th centuries.

In the sport, dogs were pitted in competition against one another to seize a bull by its nose and pin it down. Unsurprisingly, this was a dangerous sport for the dog and it was made illegal around the middle of the 1800s owing to the fact that it was regarded as being cruel – something which stands true to this day.

It was this sport that caused the English Bulldog breed to be created and a special Bulldog Club was established in England in 1878 followed by official recognition of the breed by the American Kennel Club in 1886.

English Bull Dog


There are few dogs as distinctive to look at as the English Bulldog! Its wide head, dark round eyes, cute droopy eyelids and lips and, above all, hanging folds give it an unmistakable look which is both endearing and dignified.

A short, sleek coat can appear in white, fawn, red, piebald or brindle colours and while males tend to weigh about 45 pounds, females are a little lighter at about 40 pounds.

Incidentally, the straight, short tail of the English Bulldog is entirely natural – an unusual characteristic in dogs.


With a lot of stringent work on the part of breeders over the years, any aggressive tendencies have been reduced or removed from these dogs – creating a friendly, calm and patient dog that is such a good companion to people today.

The English Bulldog gets on well with other pets and children so is ideal for a family. In fact, they get very attached to their owners so will tend to prefer spending time in their company over racing around in the garden!

Exercise and health

This affectionate dog does not typically have a great life span compared to other dogs. They are likely to live for a maximum of 8-10 years with the average lifespan being 6.5 years. From about age 5 or 6 years, English Bulldogs will start to show signs of aging which you’ll need to pay close attention to and ensure they get the healthcare and support they need.

Daily exercise is especially necessary for English Bulldogs as otherwise they will gain weight quickly; potentially causing heart and lung troubles and joint stress.

The breed is also particularly sensitive to heat and can’t keep themselves cool as well as other dogs. So in the summer owners need to make sure they have plenty of water and are not left exposed to heat for long periods of time.


The English Bulldog’s wrinkly face needs to be cleaned with a damp cloth everyday so that all the folds are kept clean. It doesn’t shed fur excessively so a regular brush should be sufficient for care of its coat.

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