A complete guide to the bulldog

Advertiser Links for Bulldog
[what's this?]

The bulldog is a strong, stern, dignified dog with three major recognized variants. The English bulldog is small in height but wide, thick and strong. Its stateside cousin, the American bulldog, is taller with a more slender build and narrower head. The French bulldog, commonly called the Frenchie, is considerably smaller than either the English or the American bulldog; it was bred for show and companionship, and is closer in size to a Yorkshire terrier than an English bulldog.


Height: An English bulldog should range between 12 and 16 inches in height when fully grown. Interestingly, and unlike with many other breeds, dogs at the shorter end of the spectrum receive higher marks in dog shows. The American bulldog should grow much taller than this, roughly 20 to 28 inches at the withers in adulthood. French bulldogs are the stoutest of the three, standing at least a couple of inches shorter than their English counterparts.

Weight: A full-grown English bulldog should weigh roughly 50 to 55 pounds. A French bulldog that weighs more than 28 pounds will be disqualified from any American Kennel Club dog show. The American bulldog, being the tallest, is also the heaviest – an adult weighs between 75 and 125 pounds. This breed, much like the Boston terrier, is thickly muscled and strongly built, so these dogs often weigh more than they look like they should.

Coat: All bulldog variants have a short, fine, glossy coat. American bulldogs are usually white, fawn-and-white or fawn-and-brindle in color. English and French bulldogs are red, fawn, brindle, pale yellow, white or any combination of these colors. Black is not acceptable by AKC standards.

Ears and Eyes: The ears of both American and English bulldogs should be rose-shaped, thin, folded and relatively small. French bulldogs have sharper, taller ears, which are held erect. In all breeds, eyes are spaced fairly far apart, are round in shape and vary in color from light to dark.

Tail: English bulldog puppies show very short, low-hanging tails. Their French cousins have stubby tails, but American bulldogs have long, thin, whippet-like tails.


English bulldogs are determined, persistent and territorial. While energetic in their youth, they tend to become inactive as they age. English bulldog breeders stress that these dogs can be quite aggressive with other animals, so they don't make good choices for multi-pet households. Their gruff tendencies make them a poor choice for homes with young children.

French bulldogs, having been bred for companionship, need considerable attention from their human friends. Gentle and happy-go-lucky, the French variant's only common behavioral issue is sexual aggression.

The American bulldog is gentle and friendly to known companions and outsiders who do not pose a threat. However, they can be testy towards cats and smaller dogs, so early socialization in multi-pet households is highly recommended.

AKC Group: Non-sporting (all variants)

Training: It's important that the owner of any bulldog establish superiority over the dog very early in the animal's life, as behavioral issues will result if the dog considers itself the pack leader. Again, socialization with other animals and children from a young age is considered a wise practice.

Ideal Environment: Since they get cold easily and have a hard time staying cool in hot weather, English bulldogs are best suited to temperate climates. Despite their relatively large size, they prefer the indoors and make a good choice for apartment dwellers. French bulldogs are also excellent choices for apartment-dwelling pet owners.

American bulldogs, though, are larger and more energetic than the English and French variants, so they need a lot more room. A home with plenty of outdoor space is the best environment for these active animals.

Health and Care

Feeding: Feed your bulldog a diet that matches its activity level. Inactive bulldogs should have their food scaled back to prevent weight gain.

Grooming: The folds of a bulldog's face need to be wiped daily to release the germs and dirt that get trapped in them. Otherwise, this is a low-maintenance breed, requiring only brushing and the occasional bath.

Exercise: English and French bulldogs dogs are fairly inactive, though a good daily walk will help prevent weight gain. American bulldogs have a lot more energy and need, at minimum, a healthy burst of outdoor exercise each day.

Health Problems: Every dog breed faces specific health concerns. English bulldogs are susceptible to temperature extremes, skin infections and hip and knee problems. Breathing problems are also common, and English bulldog puppies and grownups alike tend to snore very loudly. Overweight, older adult dogs are at increased risk for diabetes and arthritis.

Many French bulldogs suffer from a hemophilia-like condition known as Von Willebrand's disease (VWD). French bulldogs also show a higher-than-average rate of thyroid problems.

Enlarged hearts, kidney disorders and thyroid troubles can plague American bulldogs. Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and bone cancer also occur with significant frequency.

Average Lifespan: An English bulldog has a relatively short life expectancy, averaging about 8 years. Good dog nutrition can help extend your pet's life. The French bulldog has a life expectancy of about 12 years, and American bulldogs enjoy the greatest average longevity of the three variants, living 12 to 14 years.

Find Bulldog Puppies or Adult Dogs to Adopt

Breeders with English bulldog puppies for sale should be prepared to show certification of parentage and proper credentials. However, given the often exorbitant sale prices, bulldog adoption through a dog rescue center makes a good cost-cutting alternative. Expect breeders to charge between $750 and $1,000 for dewormed bulldog puppies that have had their first canine vaccinations.

Don't do business with puppy mills. These farms treat their animals poorly, subjecting them to living conditions that range from uncomfortable to awful.

Posted by Lana on March 27,2013 at 10:31 PM
There's a reasons there's 1000's of animals euthanized everyday.. ppl that can't afford to feed the poor animal, spay them or vaccinate them. Owning a dog is not cheap or with out work! The majority of rescues are working to try and save these dogs from high kill shelters. Most shelters are so full they can only keep the animals for 2 days before killing them. They are beautiful healthy dogs ditched by jerks who never should have had them to begin with. Stop begging for free dogs , if your ready to be a responsible pet owner go down to one of your high kill shelters or look up local rescues and pay the money to save one. Stop encouraging breeders who are making the issues worse. Dogs are a life long commitment and are not disposable.
Posted by norm ludwig on December 11,2012 at 08:08 PM
hi my name is norm i"am a 44 yr old disabled male whos a stay home mom with a wife and 5wonderful children and had bread american bulldogs aswell as my best friend of 14 yrs was my male i kept and diddent stud out.i all ways wantted a english i feel they are special breed of dog not for just anyone and i can handle the job of taking great care of him or her if i was aloud the chance well i hope to here from somone about this thank you for your time
Posted by Bon on January 09,2013 at 09:15 AM
Hi Norm, I have a three year old male. He is very well trained. Need to find him a home since we have been traveling in the last year. Where are you located? Regards, Bon
Posted by Harley C on December 08,2012 at 09:46 AM
Me and my family have been looking for an English bulldog for along time we found a bunch to buy just never had enough money to buy one we would love to adopt one we have two other dogs a white lab and a German shepard and they are two great dogs and they love to have other dogs around if any body knows where we could find one to adopt that would be great we have a great home for one and would have plenty of love to show for the dog.
Posted by Amy on November 24,2012 at 12:01 PM
For all the people looking for a cheap bulldog - I really don't think you understand the cost of breeding these dogs. First, you have to either have two healthy bulldogs, or a healthy female and pay a stud fee. You then must pay for all pre-mating health checks, artificial insemination, pregnancy vet visits, a cesarian section for the bitch, food, vet visits, and shots for the puppies. Nobody is going to give you a 'cheap bulldog' without some pretty severe consequences (severe defects, a puppy mill puppy which will cost more to own and medically treat than you will probably spend by just buying a healthy dog from a breeder in the first place).
Posted by Ellyn on December 23,2012 at 10:01 AM
Amy is right. The cost of a bulldog isn't even close to the cost of owning one. My last well-breed (expensive) bulldog has a monthly yet visit, 2 knee surgeries before she was 2 and an eye surgery at about 8. She was wonderful and worth every penny, but trust me, the money doesn't stop after you buy one. She died one day before her 10th birthday. I have insurance on the one I have now. She is almost 4 and we've only had to deal with allergies. Buying a cheap bulldog is really a bad idea.
Posted by Sherron J. on November 17,2012 at 06:32 PM
My mom has been looking for me an english bulldog male puppy for a really long time now , but they all are unreasonallby priced. We just dont have that kind of money and I was wondering do anybody know where we could get one for a really cheap price in dallas TX or close by there.
Posted by Claudia on December 02,2012 at 08:55 AM
Hi, I just came across this comment while doing a search myself. I just got an English bulldog pup, but my landlord has gone back on my being able to have him, so I have to get rid of him. I paid $1500 for him, he's incredibly healthy, and I have everything for him including training classes. I'd be okay giving him for $1000, but we can negotiate. I just want him to go to a good home. Email me, and we can meet halfway (I live in Houston).
Posted by Heather on October 09,2012 at 10:40 AM
Hi my name is Heather my husband and i have looked for an Englishbull dog forever and have been unable to find one we can afford. I know they are expensive dogs to own vet bills if they had pups they have to be delivered through c-section skin problems hip and breathing problems all this i know and understand but dont want to pay thousands of dollars on one would rather use that money if something where to happen. If any one out there knows where i can find or adopt an unfixed male or female puppy please let me know i would be the greatest wife ever if i could find one for my husband. We do have a young son and a two year old chocolate lab misx so must like kids and other dogs thank you so much.email is heatherbohanon@yahoo.com.
Posted by Sophia Gibson on September 28,2012 at 06:32 AM
My daughters want an English bulldog but they are too expensive and I'm a single mom. Where can I find one for cheap. Please help!
Posted by Englsh Bull Dog on September 23,2012 at 01:17 PM
Hello my name is Mario Hernandez i would like to know where i can adopt a English Bull dog for my son who lives with a room mate and really would like a english Bull dog but cant afford one i myself have three dogs terrier a lab and a australian shepard. my son Anthony loves dogs a whole lot .My son has lived with room mates in collage and after collage his room mates allways had dogs of their own my son get attached to them and then looses them when his roomates move on now he now he wants one for himself so he can have please let me know if any one is giving one up for adoption thank you so much.
Posted by BILL on August 13,2011 at 11:24 AM
I have free male and female french and english bulldog puppies for free adoption. Contact me directly at:billkly@gmail.com if interested.
Posted by Debi on November 17,2012 at 04:15 PM
I would be interested in finding out more about your puppies. We are looking for a rescue english, but so far have not found one. We have been owners to 3 English bulldog's and are very knowledgable of the care they require. If you still have puppies available please let me know.
Posted by sandy borys on November 12,2012 at 10:35 AM
looking for a pup for my son and daughter in law for christmas. he was just diagnosed with histiocytosis n would love to give him something very special.
Posted by kim terry on October 19,2012 at 10:44 AM
i've always wanted a english bulldog puppy since i was really young . i would really love to be able to adopt one of yours for free it will be at a good home it will stay in the house and have its own room.
Posted by David Weil on September 26,2012 at 10:37 AM
Do you still have any of the dogs left and if so can i see a picture of them
Posted by Patti Hogan on September 20,2012 at 07:23 PM
Hello:) im looking for an english bulldog, preferably a female. Do you still have any dogs left? Please email me and let me know.
Posted by brenda manzanares on September 17,2012 at 01:05 AM
i would love the famale i just lost my best friend she was 13 years old ;( said it was old age
Posted by kim knorr on September 03,2012 at 12:17 PM
im looking for a min english bull dog for my husband. if you have any little one's i would be interased or a puppy. im in the sacramento area. thank you kim
Posted by Holly Evanson on June 28,2011 at 10:36 PM
I am a single mother to a five year old son. I am in search of an English Bulldog puppy for my son. He wants one so bad and when I showed him the other dog pictures online he chose that one. I do not make a lot of money because I have no job from moving from PA to WA just this past May. I would love to buy him one but I just can not afford it. His birthday is coming up and I was wondering if anyone had a female English Bulldog puppy that they would be willing to let us have for free for my son's birthday present. If you would please contact me through my email, I would greatly appreciate being able to make my son's day come this August. Thank you
Posted by cheryl on June 24,2011 at 06:15 PM
im looking for an english bulldog female puppy for my son he has always wanted one but they cost to much for a single mom income so we are looking for a free one or one to buy but cheap..please help
Posted by Kensie on June 12,2011 at 12:51 PM
arent french bulldog puppies so so cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by debbielabee on May 30,2011 at 09:03 PM
hi i have a old english bull dog.shes been fixed i thought it would clam her down a little.she would be your best friend .but gelish of kids .only in doors that shes thinks its hers,out side shes good.if you can help trian her i need help,or have to get reed of her i have too many people in and out of my house.
Posted by Jamey Bolton on April 21,2011 at 10:44 PM
Have been looking for a very long time to adopt an English Bulldog - we love LoVe lOvE the breed but they are beyond our price range. My son left for the army this past year and his little sister and I promised him we would keep trying while he's gone & I'm hoping we can find one to adopt sometime before he comes home - would be a nice home-coming surprise ;)
Posted by Cindy Ward on April 04,2011 at 12:40 PM
Attn Cindy Mozingo or Lou Green I have a purebred English bulldog who bites. I would like to find a handler or trainer to evaluate and hopefully help our dog so that we can keep him. Thank you
Posted by Kensie on June 12,2011 at 01:10 PM
bring your dog to pets mart they will train your dog really good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by mark on March 22,2011 at 04:47 PM
Hi, we are in saugas/agua dolce and I just found two very sweet English bulldogs.. I need to wash them before I put them in my car to go check for chips. They are both still intact and may have been breeder dogs.. I feel they were abondoned as we are in a area where they couldnt have walked to. we have checked with all the neighbors already and Im going to do it again.. they are very sweet and wont leave my side. I would take them with out thinking twice about it but I have a french mastiff and a chuaua. the dogs look like they were raised together and are very happy together. I would hate to see them split up. Please call with any questions or suggestions thank you Mark 323 eight six eight five six four nine.
Posted by joyce on March 18,2011 at 04:58 PM
im been looking for a english bulldog all over still waiting for some to respond to me wanting to know if theres any left and how much they cost hes for my nephews birthday gift so could you please contact me as soon as you can thank you
Posted by Daisy Brown on March 11,2011 at 12:11 PM
Hi my name is Daisy I'm looking for a english bull dog- puppy for my neighbor ,his little son to adopt
Posted by B. Wells on March 10,2011 at 12:10 PM
Hi, I am looking for a english bulldog for my husband. In my research they are very expensive, so im looking for one to adopt or if the price is right, I will buy. Please let me know we are located in ther country and have plenty of room to play. We are close to cleveland,ohio Thanks
Posted by michelle kozee on January 31,2011 at 05:20 PM
I have two pups i got as gifts,one is an english bulldog he is now ten months old with a mind of his own.one is a english massiff she is now six months old and one big baby.i would not take anything for them.But if there any more babys out there that need a home we would love to have them......
Posted by nickey on January 07,2011 at 03:34 PM
id love a baby(ish) bulldog that needs a home i have plenty of love to give but am on a fixed income so i feel adoption is a better idea for me if there are dogs out there that need homes please email me back if with in the nh area ty.
Posted by millar on December 18,2010 at 01:08 PM
hi i would like to adopt a english bulldog or a puppyi just love those breed of dogs i had one and he died at only 4 years old with a heart attack i sure would like to get a another one if there is any one let me know phone at 902.894.9586.or email me thank you millar
Posted by Bubba on December 12,2010 at 09:40 PM
we just got a 4 month old female for christmas, we are absolutely in love with her!!!! Her name is Dayzie Mae. We plan on getting her fixed and microchipped. She is awesome!!!!
Posted by peace on June 12,2011 at 12:47 PM
even no I havent seen your dog yet I can tell its so so cute
Posted by jeanell harrelson on December 10,2010 at 10:55 PM
me and my family have been wanting a english bulldog for a long time. we dont have the money to buy one so weve been lookin for one to adopt. i would appriciate it if i could get more info on this. we may not have alot of money but we have alot of love to give. we would love to add an english bulldog to our family. thanks
Posted by boone on December 22,2010 at 03:08 AM
Hello, ive been doing some very heavy searching looking for a male english bulldog. I ran across your add you have posted and thought i would tell you about one that i found in an animal shelter in borger, tx. Hes two years old and they said he would have to be neutered at your expence in no more than 30 days. They said there would be about a $45 fee for purchasing him. If your interested you can call the animal shelter directly at 806-273-0973. Hope this helps, good luck.
Posted by Tony Guyton on December 06,2010 at 09:57 PM
Hello im a southern gospel music artist and im looking for a free english bulldog to tour with me on my tour bus and make new friends and play with all the kids at my concerts and churches i would like to have female if you could donate one to me and my ministry it would be a blessing if you dont want to email me please call 404-520-7459 thanks and god bless you all
Posted by Travis Jordan on November 28,2010 at 10:20 AM
Ive always wanted a english bulldog. And with this economy the way it is, i believe this would be the perfect thing for me to receive a companion and to also provide a good home for the dog. I just recently lost my mother and filling one of these dogs void in life would fill my void also. Just the thought of my dog in the boat with me or just riding in my truck on those sundays to town gives me a really good feeling. Mama use to snore so loud, and lil things like that would bring me so close to the dog. The english bulldog is so ugly its beautiful. Awaiting some much needed response. TYVM and may god bless you for this awesome service. Travis Jordan, Pensacola Florida.
Posted by gerri on November 24,2010 at 03:37 PM
I would like to adopt a french bulldog for our family. Thanks
Posted by Melissa Hartnett on November 03,2010 at 08:29 PM
I am lookin for an english bulldog pup for my 12 year old but all I seem to come across is scam if anyone know of any in the area of Marlton N.J I;d appreciate.Thank you so much Where I can actually go and view this puppy
Posted by Nina Stewart on October 31,2010 at 11:49 AM
Posted by Deb Polczynski on October 19,2010 at 05:24 PM
I am looking to adopt or rescue and english bulldog, I have one of my own, he is 10years old, as you know the life expectancy for them is not to long after that. Would like very much to have another one.
Posted by Kim on October 19,2010 at 03:40 PM
I Have 4 Canadian Kennel Club registered english bulldog pups forsale.# males and one female.the pups are ready now.I live in Chatham-Kent Ontario.Pups are Champion sire by one of Canada's top bulldog's.Price is 2000.00 to $2300.00 depending on pup.
Posted by chasity clemens on August 22,2010 at 06:18 PM
our english bulldog is a girl and we would like to know when they come into heat and how long they stay in heat, she backs up and rubs her strawberry (previte) on everything even our shoes,so if you have any answers please let me know.
Posted by alex on July 12,2010 at 06:10 PM
im looking to buy a bulldog puppy for cheap in sioux city if i can find one around that area that would be great
Posted by j on October 06,2010 at 02:48 PM
will never happen unless the dog is unhealthy. No one wants to giv away a 1000 bucks. I do know a breeder @ bonefampets.com she has old english bulldogs for around $600 thats the cheapest iv found. I bought two of them a year ago n they r the cutiest. White wit big brown spots all over and she was already potty trained and knew how to come sit and stay
Posted by Jessica Stevens on June 11,2010 at 12:42 PM
I am trying to find a english bulldog puppy that has had all its shots nutered and is in a money range of free and 60 dollars. this dog would be for my daughter she has wanted one forever an it is goin to be her 13th birthday and i really want to get her one. If you have any information on where i can get one please contact me. I also live in Harrisonburg, VA
Posted by Steve smith on March 13,2010 at 05:05 PM
I'm wanting to breed my two Bulldogs. I have a male and female. Can anybody explain how I get the male inside the female. I have tried before to help them. What is the best way? Thanks Steve
Posted by Maureen Mallon on March 06,2010 at 08:40 PM
I am looking for an English Bulldog for my son-in-law's birthday. He has wanted one for a long time but they are unaffordable. We would like to rescue one but a purchase would be okay if the price was right. If anyone can help me, please reply. We live in Charlotte, NC. Thanks so much for your help.
Posted by Laura Crane on March 20,2010 at 11:28 PM
I have an older english bulldog (5 yrs) that I am trying to place. He has been an excellent breeder but is now related to all of my females and is ready to retire. I have him listed for $850, and can arrange shipping for $300 via air or ground for a little less. He is social with people, and will follow you anywhere. He is dually registared with AKC and UABR, microchipped, and up to date on shots. Due to our careful breeding and selection process we have added additional years to the standard 8 years of life. Laura and Melissa 417-483-0025
Posted by hailey jean rush on February 16,2010 at 08:56 PM
You'r bulldog is soooo cute and I would love to have her or him.I would take good care of him or her.I love bulldogs and I have wonted one senset I was 4 years old please give him or her.It is the cutes bulldog I have evry seen.please oh please give him or her to me.I won't a girl bulldog so if it is a girl I would love her to death and I would get her eanything she would wont so please give her to me.
Posted by calvin carr on February 01,2010 at 09:02 PM
im looking to adopt an english bulldog. can anyone help me out?
Posted by kensie on June 12,2011 at 01:01 PM
well heres a little tip english bulldogs turn out to be really big! also some of them do not get along with children
Posted by Jennifer Brown on December 12,2009 at 02:40 PM
Hey i'm looking to adopt a English bulldog for my husband we live out in the country and have 2 acre for him or her to run on and 6 kids for it to play with
Posted by s. Nibert on January 02,2010 at 10:44 PM
You are really in for a treat. We have 2 bullies and we think our female is preg.,cross fingers. #1 you wont need any acres to run on, after 10- 15 minutes of play the buggers drop over like they are dead, and take a nap! Both of mine LOVE kids, they do not like loud noises, your voice is the only thing you need to train your dog, they hate to get in trouble also. Good luck, keep your baby about 75 degrees, with lots of clean water and keep your camera handy.
Posted by Patrick Colburn on August 25,2009 at 11:13 AM
i would like to adopt a English bulldog or a rottweiler thanks.
*Are You Human?
Share on Facebook
*Are You Human?
Share on Facebook