English Bulldogs

English Bulldogs are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. They are known for their friendly and loyal personalities, making them great family pets.

The English Bulldog is a medium-sized breed with a muscular body and short legs. Their heads are large and round, with a broad muzzle and deep wrinkles on their face. They have small, dark eyes and ears that hang down close to their face.

English Bulldogs have a short, thick coat that can be a variety of colors, including white, fawn, and brindle. They are high maintenance when it comes to grooming. They need to be wiped down once or twice a day, but don’t need to be bathed often.

English Bulldogs are known for being gentle and affectionate with their owners. They love spending time with people and can be very loyal and protective of their family. They are somewhat intelligent and can be trained with persistence and with positive reinforcement.

English Bulldogs are not overly active, but they do need regular exercise to stay healthy. They enjoy going for walks and playing in the yard, but should not be over-exercised because this can cause health problems.

English Bulldogs are generally healthy dogs, but they can be prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia, breathing problems, and skin allergies. It is important to research the breed before getting an English Bulldog to make sure you are aware of any potential health issues.

Overall, English Bulldogs make great family pets. They are loyal and affectionate, and they don’t need a lot of exercise or grooming. They can be prone to certain health issues, so it is important to research the breed before getting one. With the right care and attention, an English Bulldog can be a loving and loyal companion for many years.

English Bulldog Information

  • Average Height: 16 inches
  • Average Length: 20 to 27 inches
  • Average Weight: 50 – 55 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: High
  • Shedding: Medium 
  • Brushing Requirements: Once a week
  • Sensitive to Touch: Yes sensitive in some areas like skin folds and wrinkles.
  • Excessive Barking: No
  • 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
  • Good for Less Experienced Pet Owners: Yes, but they need a lot of daily care
  • Training: They are slow learners but easy to train.
  • Exercise Needs: Low 
  • Weight Gain: High
  • Health Concerns: Cardiac and respiratory disease, hip dysplasia, cherry eyes, heat concerns and skin infections, hyperthyroidism, Pulmonary Stenosis, cancer, allergies, obesity
  • Allergies: Food and skin allergies.
  • Average Life Span: 8 to 12 years

Physical Appearance of English Bulldogs

English Bulldogs have a large and round head with a short snout. Their short snout makes their face look flat. They have a black nose with round and dark eyes. Their cheeks are loose and have a sagging appearance that hangs down from their face. English Bulldogs have short, thin ears that fold forward. Some dogs will have ears that fold far enough to have their ears rest on their head, and others will be folded but not long enough to lay on their head. 

The shape of their mouth makes it look like they have huge mouths. Their mouths aren’t any larger than any other dog, but the shape, and the way their skin sits makes it look that way. 

They have medium-sized bodies with a muscular and sturdy build. Their shoulders are thick and broad with a slight arc on their back. Bulldogs have a deep and full chest. Their legs are short and muscular. Their tail is thick and can be either straight or if they have a genetic mutation their tail can be a corkscrew shape. English Bulldogs with a corkscrew tail will need more grooming attention to prevent infections, more on this in the grooming section.

English Bulldogs have a short coat that is straight, smooth, and fine-textured. Their coat is loose and soft with their head, neck, and shoulders feeling spongy when touched. The front part of their face has large wrinkles with two folds on their throat. 

Their coat is one of a variety of colors, solid red, fawn (light or dark), white, and brindle are the more common colors. Another commonly found color is the piebald which is a combination of two or more colors. Bulldogs that have piebald fur have skin under their fur that is not the same color as the fur is.

Temperament of English Bulldogs

English Bulldogs are known for their friendly and loyal nature. They are usually very affectionate with their family and can be good with children if properly socialized. English Bulldogs can also be protective of their family, but they are not aggressive by nature.

English Bulldogs don’t bark very often, which might be because they are not very territorial. They only bark and become aggressive if someone treats them badly. Overall they are very predictable and easy-going pets making it a joy to have them in your home.

Training an English Bulldog

English Bulldogs, for as loving and loyal as they are, are less intelligent than most other dog breeds. They are known for being slow learners. The good thing is they aren’t stubborn, which will make training them easier, just longer than other breeds. Try not to be too aggressive in your training techniques, otherwise they can become frustrated and will take longer to train.  

Pay attention to your dog while training them. If they seem to be having difficulty following or are tired then consider ending the training. Use short training sessions that last for no more than fifteen minutes. Short training sessions should keep them from losing interest or running out of energy.

Obedience Training Classes

Obedience training classes are a great way to help your dog learn some basic instructions. Obedience training isn’t just for your dog, it also helps owners learn to teach and control their new dog. These classes can teach you as an owner the best ways to teach your puppy. 

Clicker Training

English Bulldogs need to be trained to understand what is good behavior and what is not OK. Clicker training will help them understand what is good behavior. Clicker training has you make a noise with the clicker when the desired action is done. In addition to the click you’ll give them a treat, at least while you train them. Every time your dog hears the click they’ll know they did a good job and you are happy. 

If your dog misbehaves, try not to punish them because it can discourage them. Instead, remember the clicker training and divert their attention to something else. You might have to do this several times to help your dog understand that they are not supposed to do the undesired activities.

Early Socialization Training

Early socialization is helpful for English Bulldogs. They need exposure to different sounds, places, people, other dogs, and pets right when they are a puppy. By being exposed to so many things it will help interact more confidently with others and teach them appropriate ways for them to interact with people and other animals.

Kennel Training

Kennel training works very well with English Bulldogs. If done right they will see the kennel as their safe space, and a place that they can relax and sleep. Most dogs enjoy small spaces and will find a sense of security while inside it. Getting them comfortable in a kennel early on will save you a lot of headaches. You know that they can’t get into trouble while you’re sleeping or at work if they’re in their kennel. It’s also a great place for them to dry off after they come into the house when it’s wet outside.

Their Compatibility with Children

English Bulldogs are friendly dogs and get along really well with children. They are a breed that loves to play with kids. They are very affectionate with children and will often show their love by licking them. 

Because English Bulldogs are smaller dogs there is a lower chance that they will accidentally hurt children while playing. No matter their size, they will be protective of children and will protect them from strangers.

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

Teach your kids the best ways to interact with your English Bulldog. Children should not disturb them when they are eating because they might get bit because your dog thinks their food is being taken away. Until you know how your children and new puppy will react its best to  have an adult supervise their interactions. Supervision is the best way to keep accidents from happening.

Best Climate for English Bulldog

English Bulldogs are most comfortable in a moderate climate. They can’t tolerate extreme cold or heat very well. If you stay in an area that experiences freezing temperatures, avoid taking your English Bulldog 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. A coat or sweater can help keep them warm when you exercise them for longer than 15 minutes. 

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

English Bulldogs have a short nose that does not allow them to pant efficiently. Because of their short nose, it makes it difficult to regulate their body temperature. They need a nice cool place in the shade when the temperature gets past 80 degrees, and plenty of water.

The Attention a English Bulldog Needs

English 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 a pet is that they are not very active. English Bulldogs are known to be a couch potato and can lay for a long time next to family. While they want to be with you, generally they don’t demand a lot of activity from their family. Time spent with their family doesn’t need to be active time, it can just be time spent together. 

Though the breed is somewhat lazy and less active compared to other dogs, they don’t like being left alone. Avoid leaving them alone for longer than necessary because over time it can lead to separation anxiety.

Health Issues

English Bulldogs are indoor dogs that have overall good health. But some of them can develop certain health conditions. English 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!

a close up of a dog with cherry eye

Cherry Eye

Cherry eye is a prolapsed gland of their third eyelid. Cherry eye is what happens after a tear gland in a dog’s third eyelid becomes inflamed. It’s usually not painful, but sometimes your dog will rub it like it’s itchy.

It’s called cherry eye because of a red sack that swells in the inner corner of their eye. Your dog will start to have some discomfort in their eyes because the gland isn’t able to produce tears as much as it should. If your dog doesn’t tear enough, it could lead to an eye infection.

As soon as you see indications of cherry eyes, contact your vet. They can surgically reposition the gland and fix the problem.

Dry Eye

Dry Eye (Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca, or KCS) is a common eye condition with dogs that occurs when their eyes don’t produce enough tears to keep them lubricated and healthy. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, environmental conditions, trauma, and certain medications.

Symptoms of Canine Dry Eye

  • Eye Redness
  • Eye Discharge
  • Squinting
  • Cloudy or opaque eyes
  • Corneal Ulceration (in severe cases)

Treatment for dry eye typically involves artificial tears or ointments to help lubricate their eyes and reduce inflammation. In more severe cases, medications such as cyclosporine could be prescribed to increase tear production.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a hereditary problem that can make walking, getting up or laying down difficult and painful. When a dog has hip dysplasia, their hip socket fails to fully cover the ball portion of their thigh bone. The looseness between the hip and leg bone leads to partial or complete dislocation of their hip joint and can cause pain and stiffness. In most cases, medication and exercise restrictions are advised by the vet. Over time the condition could become severe enough that your vet might recommend surgery to correct it.

Brachycephalic Syndrome

Brachycephalic Syndrome is a condition that affects dogs with short, or brachycephalic, muzzles. This syndrome can cause a variety of health problems due to the anatomical abnormalities associated with the shortened muzzle. Common signs and symptoms of brachycephalic syndrome include difficulty breathing, snoring, gagging, and exercise intolerance.

The most common breeds affected by this syndrome are Bulldogs, Pugs, Shih Tzus, and Boston Terriers.

The primary cause of brachycephalic syndrome is the shortened muzzle associated with these breeds. This shortening causes their airway to narrow, which can lead to difficulty breathing and other respiratory problems.

Their soft palate could be too long for their shortened muzzle and can obstruct their airway.

Head Shakes

Head shakes can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from medical issues to behavioral problems. Some common causes include ear infections, allergies, neurological disorders, and even anxiety or fear. In some cases, the cause might be unknown. It’s important to consult with your veterinarian if your dog has head shaking symptoms in order to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Head shaking can be a sign of pain or discomfort, so it’s important to rule out any medical issues before attempting to address the behavior. If your dog is shaking their head due to an ear infection, for example, your veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics or other medications to treat their infection. Allergies will need antihistamines or other medications to reduce the symptoms. Neurological disorders might need more specialized treatment, such as physical therapy or medications to control seizures.

In some cases, head shaking can be a sign of anxiety or fear. If this is the case, it’s important to identify and address the underlying cause of your dog’s distress. This can involve desensitization training, counterconditioning, or other behavior modification techniques. It’s also important to make sure that your dog has a safe and secure environment in order to reduce their stress and anxiety.

Periodontal Disease

Domesticated cats and dogs can get periodontal disease if their oral health is not taken care of. Periodontal disease is a tooth and gum condition that can become serious in a few ways. One of the biggest problems is that this disease can destroy the gums and teeth of your pet if left untreated.

Another major problem if the bacteria in the mouth enters the bloodstream. Plaque build-up in the mouth can damage the gums and let bacteria enter the bloodstream. If this happens it can cause kidney and liver diseases and narrow their blood vessels which can lead to heart problems.

One of the easiest ways to prevent periodontal disease is to regularly brush your pet’s teeth. More than likely they won’t like it, but regular brushing is the best way you can prevent plaque buildup in your pets mouth.

Dry Skin

Dry skin is a common problem for many dogs. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including environmental conditions, diet, and genetics.

Symptoms of Dry Skin

  • Flaking
  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Irritation

These can lead to secondary infections if they’re not treated properly.


Cancer is a leading cause of death in dogs, accounting for nearly half of all deaths in older dogs. While there are many types of cancer that can affect dogs, the most common include lymphoma, mast cell tumors, and osteosarcoma. 

Early detection and treatment of cancer is essential for a successful outcome. Regular check-ups with your veterinarian are important to monitor your dog’s health, as well as to detect any signs of cancer early. 

If your dog is diagnosed with cancer, there are several treatment options available. Surgery is often used to remove tumors or affected areas of their body, and chemotherapy can be recommended to help reduce the size of tumors or slow their growth. 

Radiation therapy might also be used in some cases. In addition to traditional treatments, many pet owners are now turning to alternative therapies such as acupuncture, herbal remedies, and dietary changes to help their dogs fight cancer.


Allergies are a common problem for dogs, just like humans. Dogs can have food allergies, environmental allergens such as pollen and dust mites, and even flea bites. Allergies can cause a variety of symptoms in dogs, including itchy skin, sneezing, coughing, and eye discharge.

Symptoms of Allergies

The most common symptom of dog allergies is itchy skin. Dogs can scratch, lick, or chew at their skin to try and relieve the itching. Other symptoms include:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Eye discharge

Some dogs might also have hair loss or bald patches due to excessive scratching or licking.


Obesity is a growing problem in the United States. It’s estimated that up to 40% of dogs in the US are overweight or obese. Obesity can lead to a number of health problems, including joint pain, heart disease, and diabetes.

The most common cause of obesity is overfeeding. Dogs need a balanced diet with enough protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. If a dog is fed too much, or given treats too often, they can become overweight.

In addition to overfeeding, not enough exercise can also contribute to obesity. Dogs need regular exercise in order to stay healthy and fit. Taking your dog for a walk or playing fetch are great ways to get them moving and burning calories. Having your dog running around is also great for their mental health.

If you think your dog might be overweight, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian. They can help you create a diet and exercise plan that is tailored to your dog’s individual needs. With the right diet and exercise plan, you can help your dog achieve a healthy weight and live a long, happy life.

Diagnosis of canine pneumonia syndrome.

Canine Pulmonic Stenosis

Canine Pulmonic Stenosis is a congenital heart defect that affects dogs. It’s caused by a pulmonary valve abnormally narrowing in their heart, which restricts blood flow from the right side of their heart to their lungs. This narrowing valve leads to increased pressure in the right side of their heart and reduced oxygen levels in their blood. Pulmonic Stenosis can occur in any dog breed, but is most commonly seen in small breeds such as Pugs and Chihuahuas. The disease is usually diagnosed through a physical examination, echocardiogram, and electrocardiogram.

Symptoms of Canine Pulmonic Stenosis

The symptoms of Pulmonic Stenosis can vary depending on the severity of their disease. Common symptoms include:

  • Rapid or abnormal heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Exercise intolerance

In severe cases, dogs could collapse or pass out due to low oxygen levels in their blood.

Bathing, Coat, and Cleaning

When it comes to cleaning, English Bulldogs have very high grooming needs. Because they have so many wrinkles and skin folds moisture can collect in a fold and lead to rashes or infections on their skin. If you are interested in having an English Bulldog in your family, you should be prepared to wipe their skin once or twice a day to remove moisture and prevent bacteria build up.

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

Use a wet cotton cloth to wipe their wrinkles once or twice a day. Baby wipes or antibacterial cloths work well to remove moisture and give them 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 their skin to keep it healthy and keep their skin from cracking.

To clean their ears use a moist cotton cloth.

They like to stay indoors and are 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.    

Because they have a smooth and soft coat, use a soft bristle brush while brushing them. Give them a bath once every two to four weeks. While bathing use an antibacterial and antifungal shampoo to gently rub their coat. When bathing them it’s important to move all of their skin folds so that their entire body is cleaned and not just the convenient parts.

Their nails should be trimmed once a week. Short nails will keep your English Bulldog from damaging the floor by scratching it or hurting your family while playing with them. 
Every week it’s important to check their nose, paws, and other areas of your dog while brushing them for signs of redness or other infections. If you see any signs of infection, call your vet immediately. English Bulldogs are prone to develop eye and skin diseases and need to be inspected thoroughly.

Special Needs of Corkscrew Tail Bulldogs

English Bulldogs with a corkscrew tail have extra grooming needs that straight tail Bulldogs won’t have. Many with the corkscrew tail will have what is called a “tail pocket” where the skin in the area around their tail creates an actual skin pocket. This pocket area is known to be moist and full of yeast and bacteria. Because of the yeast and bacteria in the pocket they will have regular infections. You’ll know they have an infection because the pocket will smell terrible.

In addition to the smell, the infection will likely be extremely itchy for your dog. Because English Bulldogs can’t lick this area they will usually drag their butt across the floor to satisfy their itch. 

To clean out their tail pocket you’ll want to use an anti bacterial wipe. Other products can help clean, but they won’t kill off the yeast or bacteria like the anti bacterial wipe will. You’ll need to lift the skin right above their tail, opening up the pocket. Using one or two fingers with the wipe around it you’ll want to insert your fingers in the pocket. Try to go all the way in and move the wipe around to get as much of the area cleaned as you can. 

Cleaning their pocket will need to be done twice a day to control the bacteria and the smell. Your dog is going to hate this, expect them to try to get away when you are cleaning them.

The bad news is, that was only the top tail pocket. The same thing will need to be done to clean the bottom side of the tail, which is actually known for being a lot more dirty. Because of how the skin folds are and how the tail sits many dogs will have problems pooping. Poop can actually collect in the skin folds under the tail, and needs to be cleaned out just like the top of the tail.

Feeding A English Bulldog

A close up of a pile of dog food.

English Bulldogs need 3 to 4 cups of dog food every day, split into two meals. Don’t leave their food out in the open so your dog can eat it whenever they want. If they don’t eat it all after it’s given to them, put the food away until their next scheduled feeding time.

Avoid feeding table scraps to your English Bulldog. If you want to feed them people food, consult your vet before giving them any. They’re not large dogs and they don’t need a lot of food. Eating more than what they are supposed to can cause them to put on weight or lead to negative health conditions.

Related Questions:

Are English Bulldogs Good Pets?

If you’re looking for a loyal, loving companion to add to your family, then English Bulldogs may be the perfect choice. These adorable and affectionate dogs are known for their gentle nature and willingness to please.

Are English Bulldogs Aggressive?

English Bulldogs are often thought of as aggressive dogs, but this is not always the case. In fact, English Bulldogs are known for being gentle and loyal family pets. They have a calm and laid-back demeanor that makes them great companions for both adults and children alike.

Do English Bulldogs Like to Cuddle?

If you’re looking for a furry companion to cuddle up with, an English Bulldog might be the perfect pet for you! These friendly and loyal dogs are known for their affectionate nature and make great family pets.

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Contributing Author & Social Media Expert

Maryna is an animal expert that has had dozens of animals in her life over the years. She has never found an animal that she didn't love immediately. It seems like every year she finds kittens that have been abandoned by their mom and she nurses them to health and finds homes for them. She contributes her vast knowledge about animals and family pets to our website and we're forever grateful to have her working with us. She's also an amazing graphics designer and has designed all of the social media images that we use across all platforms.