The Friendly English Bulldog

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English Bulldog
Weight: 40 — 50 lbs
Height: 12” — 14”
AKC Rank 2008 #8
Lifespan: 8—10 yrs
Group Non-Sporting
Origin England

Dog Breed Info - The English Bulldog

Very playful bulldog
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Breed Overview

The Bulldog’s purpose was to attack and get a bull mad by grabbing it by the nose and hanging on for dear life This was considered entertainment. In 1835, baiting was outlawed and a new phase began for the Bulldog. Bulldogs became extremely amiable characters with personalities not at all like their sourpuss appearance might suggest.

The English Bulldog’s friendly, clownish personality belies its’ appearance and the dog has become a highly popular pet. Colors: black, tan, liver, white or a mix of any of those.


Not very trainable. A mind of their own. They learn, but in their own time. Use clicker training for this dog, as it works very well for stubborn cases and is super-simple to use. Dogs love the method.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Bulldog? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

The Bulldog puppy can be difficult to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.

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"Bulldog" - A 144 page hardcover book that includes a 30 minute DVD showing how to train this specific breed. "Packed with full-color photographs, this fun and practical guide gives you everything you need to make your relationship with your best friend even better. Inside, you'll find:

  • Characteristics to look for when choosing a Bulldog,
  • A list of supplies you'll need before you bring him home,
  • Advice on grooming, feeding, and training,
  • A reproducible pet-sitter chart to keep track of important information,
  • A 30 minute Training DVD.
    Bulldog: Your Happy Healthy Pet


    Quiet dog, laid back, people friendly as a rule.

    If you happen to get a Bulldog with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

    Friendly Toward Other Dogs

    Can take ‘em or leave ‘em. (We meet an English Bulldog on a dog walking trail and she it totally bored with our dogs. She can’t even be bothered to sniff them!)

    Friendly Toward Other Pets

    Yes, if introduced on common turf.

    Friendly Toward Strangers



    Not really. They sleep a lot and chew on rawhide.


    Highly devoted to family and will snuggle next to you on the couch.

    English Bulldogs love affection and have a lot of affection to give.

    Young English Bulldog
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    Good with children

    Yes, great family pet. Tolerant with kids.

    Good with seniors over 65?

    Yes! The English Bulldog is an excellent choice for seniors. Low energy and low exercise requirements make this dog ideal for seniors. They want love and affection and petting, something seniors can do all day.

    Living environment

    Excellent for apartments, good on the farm and fine in the big city condos. This dog does not need a big yard. They can do fine with walks and some play time around the house.

    6 year old English Bulldog
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    Energy level

    Very low.


    Exercise needs, daily

    A short walk is enough. May some play time to bond and have fun.


    Yes. The English Bulldog will alert you if he hears any strange sounds.

    Guard dog

    No, but his appearance is intimidating and he can growl and bare his teeth.


    Short hair, sheds some.





    Suggested Reading For The English Bulldog

    The book on the right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog emergencies, illnesses and injuries. It's a valuable reference manual for all dog owners to keep close at hand.


    English Bulldog Breeders

    In the event you decide to go looking for English Bulldog puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been well socialized and started in obedience training.
    English Bulldog Breeders with puppies for sale.

    English Bulldog Rescue

    In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an English Bulldog and are looking for an English Bulldog rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
    Petfinder - Dog Rescue - (Nationwide) When adopting, try to find out about dog health problems in the past, kind of a history profile on the selected dog.
    Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site that may give you some ideas. You can also surf for Bulldog Rescue and check your local dog pound or rescue kennels.

    Dog Health Issues For The English Bulldog
    Below: The dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the English Bulldog by various vets.

    This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog illness and medical issues this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

    The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

    • Facial fold dermatitis - Skin problem that occurs when the facial folds retain moisture and dirt. Infection can occur. Need to be cleaned daily with a cotton swab and water and maybe even disinfectant. In humid climates, be sure the folds are DRY. In case of infection, see your vet for the correct medications.

    • Heat illness - The English Bulldog is not able to dissipate heat quickly enough when exposed to excessive temperatures, causing breathing and other difficulties. Keep your dog in a cool atmosphere in the summer.

    • Ventricular septal defect — Is a hole, or defect in the muscular wall of the heart (the septum) that separates the right and left ventricles. Occurs at birth and not a great idea. Common to English Bulldogs.

    • Hip dysplasia - Hind end limping, back legs act lame. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing great pain and difficulty walking. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

    • Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca—(Keratitis) A fancy way of saying “dry eye.” Inadequate tear flow causes painful eye infections of a chronic nature. Causes vary from distemper to certain medications to removing the third eyelid tear gland.. Often treated with cyclosporine drops. or an ointment called cyclosporine topical therapy.

    • Stenotic nares—Brachycephalic dogs such as those with smashed in faces tend to have very narrow nostrils. The narrow nasal openings can make it difficult for the dog to breathe. This can only be corrected by surgery and only if the problem is severe.

    • Hemivertebrae—Congenital abnormality of the spine causing an angle in the spine, possibly due to inadequate blood supply in the womb. The tail is most often affected in which case there is no problem. However, it is serious when the spine itself is affected. When the spinal cord becomes twisted or compressed, the English Bulldog will show incontinence and weakness in the rear legs. Mild cases may require no action. Moderate cases might require an injection of corticosteroid to reduce inflammation and severe cases could require corrective surgery.

    • Elongated Soft Palate—Brachycephalic dogs like those with short, smashed-in faces have a soft palate that separates the nasal passage from the oral cavity flaps down into the throat which creates snorting sounds. All brachycephalics suffer from this except in Bulldogs, breathing distress is rare. Excess barking ore panting can cause swelling in the throat and lead to more trouble breathing.

    • Shoulder luxation—"Luxation" means "out of place." When the shoulder muscles are stretched and the limbs are not seated in the shoulder correctly, it's called a dislocated shoulder and that's very painful for the dog. Fortunately, the vet can fix it.

    • Hypoplastic trachea - Hereditary. Abnormal growth of the trachea. A windpipe, smaller in diameter than normal, results in difficulty breathing in short-faced dogs with short heads. It is usually found in Boston Terriers and English Bulldogs around 5 months old when they exhibit coughing, difficulty and noisy breathing and possibly come down with bronchopneumonia. Your vet will diagnose by x-ray and treat the dog, but you MUST not let the dog become overweight, as this adds to the breathing difficulties.

    • Atopic dermatitis's—Hereditary. Shows at 1 to 3 years age. Skin allergy triggered by dust mites, pollen, poor quality foods and other garbage we put into the dog’s environment. Many breeds are prone to this. The English Bulldog will lick, rub, chew and scratch the infected areas. Allergens can also come from fleas, bacteria and yeast infections. See your vet. There are many treatments ranging from medicines, antihistamines, diets, bathing, cleansing the house of dust mites and so on.

    • Entropion—Eye irritation caused by the eyelids and lashes rolling inward. The problem is usually inherited and found in young, adult dogs. It can come from an eyelid spasm. Affected eyes will be held partially shut and tear excessively. Both eyes will usually be affected the same. Treatment for the condition requires eye surgery.

    • Ectropion—A hereditary medical problem. The lower eyelid grows outward leaving a gap between the eye and the eyelid. Excessive tearing and conjunctivitis are common signs of the disease but some dogs will have no symptoms. Blunt trauma and/or nerve damage can also cause the problem. If the cornea becomes damaged or if the conjunctivitis becomes chronic, surgery will be necessary.

    • Hypothyroidism—An underactive thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone which reduces the dog's metabolism level. Hypothyroidism stems from the dog’s immune system attacking the tissues of the thyroid gland. Bottom line is the dog becomes symptomatic. The cause can be a predisposition for thyroid problems, air pollution and allergies. A FEW symptoms of the disorder include lethargy, weight gain, skin infections, dry skin, hair loss, slow heart rate, ear infections, depression. See your set right away.

    • Aortic stenosis—Hereditary heart defect. A narrowing of the aorta inhibiting blood flow in the heart, causing the heart to work harder in the English Bulldog. If the condition is mild, the dog may never show symptoms and live a long life. If severe, the dog will object to exercise, possibly faint at times or experience sudden death. In 90% of the affected dogs, the condition of the heart would not change from around 1 to 2 years on through it’s life. The dog’s most affected by this condition are the Newfoundland, Rottweiler, Boxer, and Golden Retriever..

    • Distichiasis—An eye condition involving the cornea. Eyelashes, growing improperly on the inner surface of the eyelid cause corneal ulcers due to the constant rubbing and irritation. The problem is fixed by having the vet remove the lashes if the ulcers don’t heal.

    • Brachycephalic syndrome—Difficulty breathing in dogs with a short face and head such as the English Bulldog. They have a soft, fleshy palate, narrowed nostrils and larynx. Dogs with this will snort, cough, have a low tolerance for exercise, possibly faint easily, especially in hot weather, and breath noisily. This puts a strain on the heart. There can exist a lack of coordination between trying to breathe and swallow. Gastrointestinal problems can follow. Heat stroke is highly possible so keep your English Bulldog COOL.

    • Interdigital dermatitis - An infection occurs between the "toes" of the dog and sacs fill with pus which bothers the dog. She licks and bites at the bothersome infections and after a few days, they break open and drain, giving relief to the dog. Al;l you will see is the dog limping around. Clean and cleanse the infected feet well, see a vet for medication to prevent returning infections and that should do it.

    • Mast Cell Tumors—Mast cells are found throughout the body of the English Bulldog and help maintain the dog’s normal immune response, health and body functions. The tumors in question are CANCEROUS and spread through the body. There is no known cause for mast cell cancer and no cure, other than surgery for early-detected, low degree tumors that haven't spread too far. The best formula is to keep the dog as healthy as possible and be aware of any signs of tumors or poor health. Whether the dog survives or not depends on how advanced and fast moving the malignant tumor is.

    • Elbow dysplasia - This, as with hip dysplasia, is something the dog is born with. Wear and time in the front legs (elbow joints) cause lameness by the time the dog is roughly a year old. If you have a dog prone to this disease, have an early x-ray to see if surgery to the joints will stave off further damage to the joints. Typically, there has been no cure, but recently doctors have come up with some ideas. 1) Keep the weight of your dog down. 2) Use anti-inflammatory medication. 3) Look into injections of stem-cells to help regenerate bone-covering cartilage to cause the bones to line up properly again. (This is new research and some vets may not know about it so ask around.)

    • Cherry eye—One of a dog’s tear glands is in the third eyelid. The gland contributes a significant amount of fluid to lubricate the eye so it can not be removed. A congenital defect, breed related, allows the gland to bulge out because it is not held strongly in place. Thus, the gland prolapses out to a visible position as a reddish mass. Out of position, the gland does not move blood properly and so may swell. Since the gland is needed for lubrication in the eye, vets now do a “tuck and stitch” procedure that pouts the gland back in place and preserves the original function of tear production.

    • Patellar luxation—Limping, Hind Leg Held Up, Back Leg Problems. Can’t straighten back leg. Caused by an unusually shallow spot on the femur, weak ligaments and misalignment of tendons and muscles that align the knee joint and allow the knee cap (patella) to float sideways in and out of position. This can be caused by injury or be present at birth and can affect both rear legs. It’s most common in dogs like the English Bulldog and other small and toy breeds. If your dog has trouble straightening the leg, is limping, or is walking on three legs and holding one hind leg up, look for patellar luxation. Several of my dogs have had the problem and all I’ve done is reach down, massage the knee a little until they drop their leg, and we’re good to go for another 3 or 4 months. Severe cases require surgery for a fully lame leg.

    • Lymphosarcoma—Cancer of the lymph glands which amounts to “cancer everywhere in the body.” Middle age and older dogs are the likely candidates. No appetite, weight loss, no energy and increased thirst and urination are signs of the disease. When a lymph node become cancerous, you can begin to feel the hardness of the node at the angle of the jaws and in front of the shoulder blades, for example because the nodes become enlarged. There are many other nodes you can’t feel. With chemotherapy, the dog may have a year to live. Without chemotherapy, she has up to 6 weeks to live. About 45% of all dogs in the USA will die of cancer by age 10 and only a third will die of old age. (Current statistics) Common to the Flat-Coated Retriever, Golden Retriever English Bulldog and Rottweiler.

    • Deafness—Hereditary or caused by: Excessive loud noise, Intolerance to anesthesia, drug toxicity, and Otitis (middle ear infection), In some English Bulldogs, one ear can have no hearing from birth and the other ear can be losing the ability to hear over time, undetected, then suddenly one morning the hearing is totally gone. There is no reversing once that happens.

    • Demodicosis—A skin disease known as “Red Mange.” Loss of hair, itching, reddening of skin and areas can become crusty. Sometimes cured with topical creams. May spread. Treatment is in the form of medications.

    Other health problems could occur with the English Bulldog. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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