a bulldog looking at the lake from a dock


Bulldogs look like they are built for fighting. This presumption could not be further from the truth. Your Bulldog wants nothing more than to relax the day away. They have less than average intelligence, as far as dog breeds go. 

This makes them rather slow to learn, and they can be a bit uncomfortable around strangers. They are however, very protective, especially of children, so their loyalty shines in this respect. They are absolutely a companion dog.

Bulldogs tend to be lazy, preferring quiet times with lots of attention to exercise or activity. As they tend to overeat if allowed, their diet must be carefully supervised to avoid issues with excessive weight gain. The size and shape of their heads and their love of resting contributes to a lot of snoring. This is normal, and not a cause for worry.

Bulldogs Information

  • Average Height: 13 to 15 inches
  • Average Length: 20 to 27 inches
  • Average Weight: 40- 50 pounds
  • Coat Type: Short length
  • Coat Appearance: Smooth-coat that is glossy, soft, and fine-textured.
  • Coat Colors: Red; fawn; white; brindle and piebald.
  • Grooming Needs: Medium
  • Shedding: Medium 
  • Brushing Requirements: 2-3 times a week
  • Sensitive to Touch: Yes sensitive in some areas like skin folds and wrinkles.
  • Excessive Barking: No
  • Good tolerance to Heat and Cold: No
  • Good Pet: They are predictable, loving, and an amazing family member, so yes!
  • Safe with Children: Yes
  • Good with Other Dogs: Yes
  • Good with Other Pets: Yes
  • Suitable to live in an Apartment: Yes
  • Suitable for First-Time Dog Owners: Yes
  • Training: They are slow learners but easy to train.
  • Exercise Needs: Low 
  • Weight Gain: High
  • Health Concerns: Commonly occurring health problems include cardiac and respiratory disease, hip dysplasia, cherry eyes, and heat concerns.
  • Allergies: Food and skin allergies.
  • Average Life Span: 8 to 12 years

Physical Appearance of Bulldogs

Bulldogs have a large and spherical head with a short snout. This gives a flat look to their face. They have a black nose with round and dark-colored eyes. The cheeks somewhat have a sagging look and fall down from the face. Bulldogs have short and thin ears that gently flap forward on the head. They have jaws that look large and wide with the upper jaw being slightly longer than the lower.

Their medium-sized body has a muscular and sturdy build. The shoulders are thick and broad with a slight arc on the back. Bulldogs have a deep and full chest. The legs are short and muscular. Their tail is thick and can be either straight or slightly rounded. 

Bulldogs have a short coat that is straight, smooth, and fine-textured. The coat of the breed is loose and soft with the head, neck, and shoulder regions having a spongy feel on the skin. The front part of the face has large wrinkles with two folds on the throat. Their coat comes in a variety of colors. Coat colors include solid red, fawn (light or dark), white, and brindle are the more common colors. Another commonly found color is the piebald color which is a combination of two or more colors, and where the skin under the fur is not the same color as the fur is. 

Temperament of Bulldogs

a bulldog looking off into the distance

The Bulldog has a calm and loving temperament. They are also gentle and obedient. This makes them a great pet for families. Bulldogs rarely act aggressively and almost always are in a playful mood, meaning that they’re great with children and strangers. They are however protective of their family members and can be great watch dogs. 

Bulldogs do not bark very often, which might be because they are not very territorial.  They only bark and become aggressive if someone acts mean to them. Overall they are very predictable and easy-going pets making it fun to have them at your home.

a big bulldog sitting in the grass

Training a Bulldog

Bulldogs, for as loving and loyal as they are, are less intelligent than most other dog breeds. This makes them slow learners. The good thing is they are not stubborn which makes training them easier, just longer than other breeds. You should not be too aggressive in your training techniques, otherwise they can become frustrated and take longer to train.  

Pay attention to your dog while training them.  If they seem to be having difficulty following or are simply tired then consider ending the training. Use short training sessions that last for fifteen minutes. This should prevent them from losing interest or running out of energy.

Keep the duration of training sessions short – between 10-15 minutes. This will prevent them from becoming frustrated or losing interest while you train them. Reward them with praise and treats as they make progress to learning what you try to teach them.

Positive reinforcement techniques and obedience training should be used to train them. Send them for puppy training at a young age. The puppy training will give them a proper training regime and should help accelerate their learning of commands and give you a better idea how to control them.

Though they are naturally affectionate towards others you should give them socialization training. Expose them to other pets, different sounds, and people. This will make them more comfortable around strangers.

Their Compatibility with Children

Bulldogs are friendly dogs and get along really well with children. They are a breed that loves to play with them. The breed is very affectionate with children and often to show their love they will sometimes lick them. The smaller size of the Bulldog reduces the chances that they will cause any physical harm to the children while playing. On the other hand, they will be protective of the children and will protect them against strangers.

You can leave them alone unsupervised to play together without much worry. However, one thing to be cautious about is leaving small toys around. Bulldogs love to chew things and might occasionally chew your child’s toys. This could be harmful for their health. To prevent them from chewing things, always have an adult look over the area where they will play and remove anything that could be a problem. 

Also, teach your children not to approach the dog or try to play with it when it is eating as this can anger them.

Best Climate for Bulldogs

Bulldogs are most comfortable in a moderate climate. They can’t tolerate extreme cold or heat very well. If you stay in a city that experiences freezing temperatures, then you should avoid taking them outside for longer than necessary. If you must take them out for more than a potty break, try to keep the walk to less than 15 minutes or get them a coat or sweater to help keep them warm when you exercise them. 

Never leave them outside for more than half an hour in a hot temperature. The maximum temperature that they can tolerate is 85 degrees. Anything beyond that can be extremely dangerous for your Bulldog. Because of their breathing problems they are easily susceptible to heat exhaustion.  This can quickly lead to heatstroke which can kill them if you do not closely watch them in the heat. 

This is because Bulldogs have a short nose that does not allow them to pant. Because of this it makes it difficult to regulate their body temperature. You should always provide a nice cool place in the shade for them when the temperature gets past 80 degrees, and plenty of water.

a little bulldog resting after playing in a park

The Attention a Bulldog Needs

Bulldogs are affectionate dogs and require a lot of attention. They will want a lot of your time to play with them or be around them. One positive aspect of having them as home pets is that they are not very active. Bulldogs are known to be a couch potato and can sit for long durations beside you. So, while they want to be with you, generally they do not demand a lot of activity from their owners. This will let you relax without letting the dog occupy all of your time. 

Though the breed is somewhat lazy and less active in comparison to other dogs, it does not like being left alone. You should avoid leaving them alone for longer than necessary as it can lead to separation anxiety.

Health Issues

a small gray bulldog looking curiously

Bulldogs are indoor dogs that have overall good health. But some of them can develop certain health problems. Bulldogs tend to develop breathing conditions and have low energy. While this is not a disease, it is something to be aware of because of how their face is shaped, they may have breathing problems. They may even snore!

Cherry Eye is a common disease found in them in which one of the glands in the eye starts to protrude. You may have to get it removed by taking them to the vet.

Dry eye is another disease which results in inadequate production of tears in the eyes. If the eyes of the Bulldog have a hazy blue film or look dry you should get them checked to see if they have this disease. Other signs of this condition are a green discharge from the eye. Your vet will be able to prescribe medication to deal with it.

Like most other breeds, some Bulldogs can suffer from hip dysplasia, a disease in which the thighbone is unable to attach itself to the hip joint. Patellar luxation is also a condition found in some of them that can cause soreness in the leg. Both of these diseases can make it difficult for them to move. If your Bulldog is having difficulty walking, you should take them to a vet to check if they have these diseases.

Brachycephalic Syndrome is another disease that small dogs like Bulldogs tend to have. This happens when the airways are obstructed to varying degrees. It can cause difficulty in breathing. Possible treatments are oxygen therapy and surgery.

Head shakes are also a disease which Bulldog can have. It results in involuntary and violent head shakes from left-to-right or up-and-down. It is caused by low sugar levels or stress. Just giving them some honey or distracting the dog could help to stop it.

Other health problems found in Bulldog include respiratory, skin, and cardiac conditions.  If you think that your Bulldog has any of these health problems, contact your local vet to get them the health care that they need.

Bathing, Coat, and Cleaning Care Routine

When it comes to cleaning, Bulldogs have low grooming needs. The breed likes to stay indoors and is known to keep themselves fairly clean. They shed only moderate amounts of hair and brushing them once a week should be enough. The only thing you may need to do more often is to clean up any drool that they have.  

As they have a smooth and soft coat, you should only use a soft bristle brush to clean them. Give them a bath once every two to four weeks. While bathing use an antibacterial and antifungal shampoo to gently rub their coat.

Their nails should be trimmed once a week. This will keep your Bulldog from damaging the floor by scratching it or hurting the family members while playing with them. 

Taking care of their wrinkles in the warmer months is very important.  The folds can easily trap moisture and eventually crack the skin.  You have to take proper care of their wrinkles as they can become infected. 

Use a wet cotton cloth to wipe the wrinkles every other day. You can also use baby wipes to remove the moisture and provide some immediate cooling if they are warm. If you see that their wrinkles are too moist, you can ask your vet to suggest an ointment to apply.  Many people also apply aloe on the skin to keep it healthy and prevent cracking.

Check their ears, nose, and eyes once every week to check for any signs of infection. To clean the ears use a soft cotton cloth. If there is redness or rashes in these areas or anywhere on the body, take them to the vet. Bulldogs are prone to develop eye and skin diseases and you should inspect them thoroughly.

a big bulldog running to its owner
a pile of multi colored dog food

Feeding A Bulldog

Adult Bulldogs need to be fed 3 to 4 cups of dog food a day, split between 2 meals. The exact amount will depend upon their age and the activity they do during the day. Adult Bulldogs should be fed twice and puppies three times a day. You should give them high-quality dog food to keep them healthy and fit.

Do not overfeed them or serve them table scraps as they can gain weight easily. This can make them obese and very lazy. In addition to that, table food can also cause upset stomachs and digestive problems. Consult your vet before feeding them human food.

Related Questions:

Can a Bulldog Swim?

No, Bulldogs cannot swim and can drown within a few seconds. They have short legs with a heavy torso and large legs which makes it difficult for them to swim. If you are taking them near the beach or you want to take them swimming, they will need to wear a life vest to ensure their safety. 

Do Bulldogs sleep a lot?

Yes, Bulldogs have a reputation of being lazy and sleeping a lot. They need a minimum of 14 hours of sleep in a day. Even when they are awake, they generally tend to lounge and rest most of the time. 

Do Bulldogs snore?

The answer is a big yes! Some Bulldogs can be quiet while others can snore loudly. This is because of their short nose. You do not have to worry if your Bulldog snores as it is not a serious condition. It is a breed characteristic and difficult to completely stop.

Are there different breed types of Bulldogs?

Yes, there are English Bulldogs and French Bulldogs.

Are Bulldogs popular breed?

Yes, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC) they are the 5th most popular dog.

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