BREED SPOTLIGHT

Breed Spotlight: English Bulldog

Four Minutes Sep 28, 2022

English Bulldog: Quick Stats

Lifespan: 8 – 10 years

Weight: 40 – 50 lbs.

Height: 14 – 15 inches

Do I shed?: Yes, minimally

Personality: Friendly, calm, brave, stubborn

Common health problems: Obesity, patellar luxation, heart disease

English Bulldog: How Do I Look?

An English bulldog is a medium-sized, muscular dog with a wrinkled face and a pushed-in nose. A former fighting dog, the modern English bulldog is an excellent companion dog prized for their grumpy expression and low-maintenance coat.

The English bulldog size varies based on their sex. Female bulldogs tend to be shorter and smaller at 14 inches tall and 40 pounds, while the males can weigh up to 50 pounds and are approximately an inch taller. The result is the same: a relatively short dog with a wide stance.

Coat Type and Colors

There are many English bulldog color combinations and markings recognized by the American Kennel Club.³ You can find an English bulldog in the following fur colors:³

  • Fawn
    • Fawn and brindle
    • Fawn and white
    • Fawn brindle and white
  • Red
    • Red and white
    • Red brindle
    • Red brindle and white
  • White
  • Fallow (a pale yellow)

Markings include:³

  • Ticked: Flecks or spots on white areas
  • White markings or piebald: White patterns that aren’t symmetrical
  • Black mask: A black or brown pattern around the eyes that looks like a mask

Several of these patterns can spin together, creating a unique furry friend.

Shedding and Grooming

Do English bulldogs shed? Yes, but it’s manageable with regular brushing for 10 minutes twice a week. English bulldogs tend to shed more heavily twice a year, so you may want to invest in two types of brushes: a soft one and a rubber curry brush.

Take this grooming time to clean the wrinkles around the dog’s face with a cotton ball or wash cloth soaked in a mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide. Wiping down these areas should be done daily to avoid bacteria growth and skin infections, with deeper cleanings during grooming sessions. You can use cornstarch to keep these areas dry, but be sure to keep it out of their eyes. Also, be sure to trim their nails twice a month, and keep their ears and under-tail area clean with regular grooming.

Ears

Accordinging to the The Bulldog Club of America, a bulldog’s ears should have rose ears: folds inwards, the upper part curbing over so you can see into the ear.⁴ Make sure to keep their ears dry and clean to avoid ear infections.

Drooling Level

English bulldogs do tend to drool more than the average dog. They also tend to snore and wheeze due to their narrow noses and underbite. If this is a problem, this may not be the breed for you.

English Bulldog: Personality Traits

What My Adoption Bio Would Say:

Don’t let my sour face fool you. I am a chubby, docile bundle of love waiting for a lap to curl onto. I hope you enjoy balls as much as I do because I’m always ready to chase them when I’m not napping!

Behavior

The modern English bulldog is a peace-loving breed, who make excellent companions for children and elderly. Some tend to be very stubborn, a trait they inherited from the breed’s days of bull baiting (hence the name “bulldog”), but most are funny and entertaining to be around.

Trainability

Generally, the average English bulldog is easy to train. They’re eager to please their owner but don’t expect an athlete. These dogs aren’t huge fans of running or hikes. Instead, take the time to teach them tricks and other commands to keep their mind sharp.

Some bulldogs can be extremely stubborn which requires obedience training to get them to curb bad behavior. If you find yourself with a particularly stubborn pup, consider training courses to get them to cooperate.

Exercise Needs

An English bulldog will need moderate amounts of exercise to keep their body and mind healthy. Make sure to take them on regular walks throughout the day or give them time to chase balls at the dog park. This breed tends to be on the heavier side, but it’s important not to let them exceed 50 pounds. Obesity can lead to major health complications that, without dog insurance, can cost pet parents thousands to treat.

Are English Bulldogs Good With Kids?

English bulldogs are great family dogs who enjoy the company of children. But whether a dog is good with kids depends on the temperament of the individual pet. Are English bulldogs aggressive? No, but some may not have the patience for playing with very small kids. It’s important to check the history of the individual dog before you bring them home.

Are English Bulldogs Good With Other Pets?

English bulldogs can make great companions with your other family pets. Proper socialization is critical, so take your time introducing your new dog to the rest of the gang.

Barking Level

English bulldogs don’t bark often except to alert their family. However, they do make a series of noises like snorts, snores, and “gruffs.”

English Bulldog History

Bulldogs were created in 13th century England for bull baiting, a grizzly sport where bulls were tied to a stake to fight a pack of dogs.³ The result was a huge dog with big jaws who was brave and extremely tolerant of pain. After bull baiting was banned in 1835, the breed almost went extinct if it weren’t for a handful of admirers who decided to tame this beast.

Today, the modern English bulldog is attractive, sweet, and mellow. This breed is the national symbol of England, and a mascot for many sports teams and companies around the world.³

Common English Bulldog Mixes

Looking for an English bulldog with a bit more pizazz? You’re in luck because there are dozens of options. Here are a handful of mixed breeds for you:

  • Beabull: A beagle and English bulldog mix
  • English BullCorgi: A Corgi and an English bulldog mix
  • Bulloxer: A boxer and an English bulldog mix
  • Bullador: A Labrador and English bulldog mix
  • English Bullhuahua: A Chihuahua and an English bulldog mix

English Bulldog Health Issues

English bulldogs may experience a variety of health issues, including3,5:

  • Overheating
  • Obesity
  • Brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome (BAOS): This is the obstruction of the airways caused by a shortened snout.
  • Patellar luxation: This is the dislocation of the knee cap.
  • Hip and Elbow dysplasia: This is the dislocation of joints.
  • Tracheal hypoplasia: This is the malformation of the trachea.
  • Congenital deafness: This is inherited partial or full deafness.
  • Cherry eye: This is an eye infection caused by bacteria.
  • Thyroid disease: This is a disorder affecting hormonal regulation, like metabolism.
  • Congenital heart diseases: This can include malformed heart valves.

Many of these diseases are hereditary. If you’re adopting, you may want to get your pup’s DNA tested. If you have the benefit of buying from a breeder, they should be forthcoming with the litter’s medical history. Your vet will use this information to treat your dog’s conditions properly.

How Pet Insurance Can Help Your English Bulldog

Like most purebred dogs, English bulldogs may inherit a host of medical conditions. These include heart diseases or deafness. Some of these issues present themselves while the dog is still a puppy, but others may show up later in life. Getting a MetLife dog insurance policy may help cover the cost of diagnosis or treatment for whatever may occur.¹,²

Brachycephalic Dogs and Overheating

Bulldogs and boxers are considered brachycephalic breeds, categorized by their shortened snouts or faces. This bred selection may be cut, but it leads to a host of issues besides BAOS. An English bulldog’s shortened snout prevents them from panting enough to cool themselves off.⁶ This genetic selection makes airplane rides, exercise, and summer days extremely dangerous situations that could land the dog at emergency veterinary clinic.

Check out our guide on how pet insurance works if you’re unsure how it will fit in your financial toolbox. If your bulldog is still a puppy, you can get coverage before something becomes a preexisting condition.

Protect your English Bulldog

Enroll in 3 Easy Steps

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal, or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.

³ “Bulldog,” American Kennel Club

⁴ “Ears: Bulldog Health,” The Bulldog Club of America

⁵ “Raising Awareness About English Bulldog Health Issues,” Pet Helpful

⁶ “Brachycephalic Dog Breeds: A Guide to Flat-Faced Dogs,” American Kennel Club

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