English bulldogs may look tough, but they tend to be among the most agreeable of their breed. While taunting and teasing can arouse some aggression, it takes quite a lot to do so. That said, English bulldogs know their family well, and can be an intimidating force for intruders to their home. These dogs tend to be very stubborn and persistent, with one of its most determined activities being human attention and affection seeking. This dog’s owner should give him plenty of attention to keep him happy, and maintain strong dominance to ward off guarding behaviors.
English bulldogs sport a characteristically wide head along with formidable shoulders and many adorable thick folds of skin along its brow. Folds along its nose are referred to as the “rope” and many bulldogs also have skin folds on their necks. An underbite, while looking menacing, is not uncommon and generally not a cause for alarm. Other appearance characteristics of the English bulldog include:
- Round, black, wide-set eyes
- Short muzzle
- Short, flat sleek coat
- Coat colors of red, fawn, white, brindle, and piebald
- 45-50 pounds for mature males; 40-45 pounds for mature females
- Naturally short tail, either straight or screwed
English bulldogs, when well trained and socialized, are generally kind, dignified pets that love the attention of both children and adults in their household. They can become very attached to their human family, and are generally patient and friendly. Most English bulldogs have moderate energy and are very fond of naps and cuddling on the couch with their owners. English bulldogs can get along quite well with children, other dogs, and pets, but they do need a dominant owner who establishes clear boundaries and expected behavior. Some male English bulldogs may become aggressive with other male dogs.
Health and Hygiene
English bulldogs have a rather variable life expectancy, anywhere between 6 and 11 years. Leading causes of death include cardiac-related issues (20%), cancer (18%), and old age (9%). English bulldogs tend to be healthy and moderately active, but there are some health concerns to be on the watch for. In particular, hip dysplasia is quite common among English bulldogs. Other health concerns to watch for include:
- Patellar luxation
- Interdigital cysts
- Respiratory problems
- Cherry eye
The folds around your bulldog’s head should be cleaned regularly to ward off infection that can occur from too much moisture. Tightly coiled tails may also need regular cleaning and occasional application of a moisturizing ointment.
Keep in mind that English bulldogs may slobber, snore, and snort. It’s part of their charm, and what makes an English bulldog an English bulldog.
English bulldogs are very temperature sensitive and great care should be taken to keep them cool in the summer months and warm in winter.
Exercise and Activity Requirements
English bulldogs should get plenty of daily exercise to stay fit and ward off heart and lunch problems. Most of these pets will prefer leisurely strolls with their owners, as they prefer the close companionship to independent play. Given the English bulldog’s temperature sensitivity, walks in the shade or in the morning or evening, as well as occasional games of fetch will be good for your pet. Keep in mind that English bulldogs cannot swim, so be sure to keep your pet close by you when walking near any bodies of water to keep him safe.