Search Menu
  • Temperament: Friendly, Courageous, Calm
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 4 of 192
  • Height: 14-15 inches
  • Weight: 50 pounds (male), 40 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 8-10 years
  • Group: Non-Sporting Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Bulldog
Bulldog by the fence
Bulldog
Bulldog
Bulldog asleep on couch tongue out
Bulldog Christmas Tree
Bulldog looking up portrait closeup
Bulldog- mom with three puppies
Bulldog on skateboard grinning
Bulldog puppy asleep on couch
Bulldog puppy playing with small toy
Bulldogs greeting on street
Three Bulldogs
Bulldog

Find a Puppy: Bulldog

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
Find Bulldog Puppies

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The perfect Bulldog must be of medium size and smooth coat; with heavy, thick-set, low-swung body, massive short-faced head, wide shoulders and sturdy limbs. The general appearance and attitude should suggest great stability, vigor and strength. The disposition should be equable and kind, resolute and courageous (not vicious or aggressive), and demeanor should be pacific and dignified. These attributes should be countenanced by the expression and behavior.

HEAD

The skull should be very large, and in circumference, in front of the ears, should measure at least the height of the dog at the shoulders. Viewed from the front, it should appear very high from the corner of the lower jaw to the apex of the skull, and also very broad and square. Viewed at the side, the head should appear very high, and very short from the point of the nose to occiput. The forehead should be flat (not rounded or domed), neither too prominent nor overhanging the face.

BODY

The brisket and body should be very capacious, with full sides, well-rounded ribs and very deep from the shoulders down to its lowest part, where it joins the chest. It should be well let down between the shoulders and forelegs, giving the dog a broad, low, short-legged appearance. Chest – The chest should be very broad, deep and full. Underline – The body should be well ribbed up behind with the belly tucked up and not rotund. Back and Loin – The back should be short and strong, very broad at the shoulders and comparatively narrow at the loins.

FOREQUARTERS

Shoulders – The shoulders should be muscular, very heavy, widespread and slanting outward, giving stability and great power. Forelegs – The forelegs should be short, very stout, straight and muscular, set wide apart, with well developed calves, presenting a bowed outline, but the bones of the legs should not be curved or bandy, nor the feet brought too close together. Elbows – The elbows should be low and stand well out and loose from the body. Feet – The feet should be moderate in size, compact and firmly set. Toes compact, well split up, with high knuckles and very short stubby nails. The front feet may be straight or slightly out-turned.

COAT

Coat – The coat should be straight, short, flat, close, of fine texture, smooth and glossy. (No fringe, feather or curl.) Skin – The skin should be soft and loose, especially at the head, neck and shoulders. Wrinkles and Dewlap – The head and face should be covered with heavy wrinkles, and at the throat, from jaw to chest, there should be two loose pendulous folds, forming the dewlap.

HINDQUARTERS

Legs – The hind legs should be strong and muscular and longer than the forelegs, so as to elevate the loins above the shoulders. Hocks should be slightly bent and well let down, so as to give length and strength from the loins to hock. The lower leg should be short, straight and strong, with the stifles turned slightly outward and away from the body. The hocks are thereby made to approach each other, and the hind feet to turn outward.

1
2
3
4
5
6
Bulldog

About the Bulldog

You can’t mistake a Bulldog for any other breed. The loose skin of the head, furrowed brow, pushed-in nose, small ears, undershot jaw with hanging chops on either side, and the distinctive rolling gait all practically scream “I’m a Bulldog!” The coat, seen in a variety of colors and patterns, is short, smooth, and glossy. Bulldogs can weigh up to 50 pounds, but that won’t stop them from curling up in your lap, or at least trying to. But don’t mistake their easygoing ways for laziness—Bulldogs enjoy brisk walks and need regular moderate exercise, along with a careful diet, to stay trim. Summer afternoons are best spent in an air-conditioned room as a Bulldog’s short snout can cause labored breathing in hot and humid weather.

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Bulldog

Find a Puppy: Bulldog

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
Find Bulldog Puppies

Care

NUTRITION

The Bulldog should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

GROOMING

An all-over brushing with a soft brush for 10 minutes two or three times a week will keep the Bulldog looking his best. During periods of heavier shedding, it can help to first use a rubber curry brush. The wrinkles on the Bulldog’s face need to be regularly checked to make sure the skin is clean and dry, as food or moisture can get trapped and cause irritation or infection. A cotton ball dipped in peroxide can be used to clean the wrinkles, and cornstarch can be applied afterward to aid in drying—although neither should be used near the eyes. The ears and the area under the tail should be kept clean, and the dog’s nails trimmed every two weeks or so.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
2-3 Times a Week Brushing

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Regularly

EXERCISE

Bulldogs are mellow and are happy to relax next to their owner’s feet, but they also enjoy an occasional romp and going on walks. Moderate exercise will help the dog to stay trim. Very warm days are best spent in front of an air-conditioner, however, as the Bulldog’s short muzzle can make breathing difficult in heat and humidity. Stairs and pools also present major safety hazards. Bulldogs enjoy wading in very shallow water, but they should never be allowed in water that’s more than elbow deep unless supervised closely.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Regular Exercise

TRAINING

Bulldogs are sweet, devoted, and easygoing, and they want to please their owner. As with all breeds, early socialization is vital to help give the dog a good start in life. Puppy training classes are highly recommended as well and allow the owner to learn how to curb any undesirable behaviors. Bulldogs love to chew—most will enjoy chew toys their entire life. They also love to play tug-of-war, but it is important to teach the dog when he is young to release what’s in his mouth on command. From the start the young Bulldog should also be taught to accept having people take food from his bowl while he is eating, so that he does not develop a habit of being protective of his food.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Agreeable

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Friendly

HEALTH

Bulldog owners should be vigilant to ensure their dog does not become overheated. A Bulldog should not be left out in the hot sun unsupervised or without access to shade and water, and of course no dog should be left in an enclosed car in even mildly warm weather. If a Bulldog is overexcited or breathing too hard, his tongue will hang out unusually far and have a bluish cast instead of the normal pink. Immediate soaking with cool water and giving ice can help to cool the dog. The Bulldog Club of America provides additional detailed advice on Bulldog health and care.

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

No recommended health tests.

Read the Official Breed Club Health Statement.

Bulldog
Bulldog
Bulldog
Bulldog
Bulldog
Bulldog

History

Historical evidence suggests that Bulldogs were created in 13th-century England, during the reign of King John, for the “sport” of bullbaiting, in which a staked bull fought a pack of dogs while spectators bet on the outcome. The dogs used in this grisly pastime, the ancestors of today’s Bulldog, were ferocious brutes with huge jaws, unbelievably brave and seemingly impervious to pain.

A turning point in Bulldog history came in 1835, when England banned blood sports with animals. Blood sports went underground, literally, as bullbaiting gave way to pit-dog fighting in cellars. This illicit activity required quicker, more animated dogs than the plodding Bulldog of the early 19th century. Gamblers created their fiery, four-legged gladiators by crossing various terriers with Bulldogs, and in so doing put forth early prototypes of the Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and other bull-type terrier breeds still popular today.

With bullbaiting obsolete, the Bulldog faced extinction. In response, Bulldog admirers began the long process of transforming the breed from brawler to companion. They refined the physical contours to make the dog more attractive, and they also tamped down the Bulldog’s ferociousness and reconceived the breed as a sweet and mellow pet who is especially fond of children. By 1886, Bulldog fanciers on both sides of the Atlantic had done their work well enough to see the breed recognized by the AKC.

The Bulldog has long since been the national symbol of England. During World War II much was made of the similarities between the jowly, tenacious Bulldog and the jowly, tenacious Prime Minister Winston Churchill. In America, the breed is the mascot of myriad sports team, including those representing Yale University. Yale’s Bulldog mascot, Handsome Dan, was said to be the first animal mascot in all of sports. Another famous Bulldog football mascot is Uga, who enjoys the exploits of the University of Georgia Bulldogs from the comfort of an air-conditioned doghouse on the sidelines. The Bulldog also serves as the wrinkly face of the Mack Truck company and the U.S. Marine Corps.

Did You Know?

President Calvin Coolidge owned a Bulldog named "Boston Beans."
Despite their small size, Bulldogs can weigh up to 50 pounds.
The word "bull" appears in "Bulldog" due to the breed's historical connection with bullbaiting, a popular sport in medieval Europe that is now illegal.
President Warren G. Harding owned a Bulldog named "Old Boy."
Hanna-Barbera's animated film series "Tom and Jerry" features a Bulldog named "Spike," who made his first appearance in 1942.
The Bulldog originated in the British Isles and is also known as the English Bulldog.
Ivy League university Yale was the first university in the U.S. to adopt a mascot, a Bulldog, known throughout its history as Handsome Dan.

The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The perfect Bulldog must be of medium size and smooth coat; with heavy, thick-set, low-swung body, massive short-faced head, wide shoulders and sturdy limbs. The general appearance and attitude should suggest great stability, vigor and strength. The disposition should be equable and kind, resolute and courageous (not vicious or aggressive), and demeanor should be pacific and dignified. These attributes should be countenanced by the expression and behavior.

HEAD

The skull should be very large, and in circumference, in front of the ears, should measure at least the height of the dog at the shoulders. Viewed from the front, it should appear very high from the corner of the lower jaw to the apex of the skull, and also very broad and square. Viewed at the side, the head should appear very high, and very short from the point of the nose to occiput. The forehead should be flat (not rounded or domed), neither too prominent nor overhanging the face.

BODY

The brisket and body should be very capacious, with full sides, well-rounded ribs and very deep from the shoulders down to its lowest part, where it joins the chest. It should be well let down between the shoulders and forelegs, giving the dog a broad, low, short-legged appearance. Chest – The chest should be very broad, deep and full. Underline – The body should be well ribbed up behind with the belly tucked up and not rotund. Back and Loin – The back should be short and strong, very broad at the shoulders and comparatively narrow at the loins.

FOREQUARTERS

Shoulders – The shoulders should be muscular, very heavy, widespread and slanting outward, giving stability and great power. Forelegs – The forelegs should be short, very stout, straight and muscular, set wide apart, with well developed calves, presenting a bowed outline, but the bones of the legs should not be curved or bandy, nor the feet brought too close together. Elbows – The elbows should be low and stand well out and loose from the body. Feet – The feet should be moderate in size, compact and firmly set. Toes compact, well split up, with high knuckles and very short stubby nails. The front feet may be straight or slightly out-turned.

COAT

Coat – The coat should be straight, short, flat, close, of fine texture, smooth and glossy. (No fringe, feather or curl.) Skin – The skin should be soft and loose, especially at the head, neck and shoulders. Wrinkles and Dewlap – The head and face should be covered with heavy wrinkles, and at the throat, from jaw to chest, there should be two loose pendulous folds, forming the dewlap.

HINDQUARTERS

Legs – The hind legs should be strong and muscular and longer than the forelegs, so as to elevate the loins above the shoulders. Hocks should be slightly bent and well let down, so as to give length and strength from the loins to hock. The lower leg should be short, straight and strong, with the stifles turned slightly outward and away from the body. The hocks are thereby made to approach each other, and the hind feet to turn outward.

1
2
3
4
5
6
Bulldog

Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
Fallow Check Mark For Standard Color 540
Fawn Check Mark For Standard Color 082
Fawn & Brindle Check Mark For Standard Color 084
Fawn & White Check Mark For Standard Color 086
Fawn Brindle & White Check Mark For Standard Color 089
Red Check Mark For Standard Color 140
Red & White Check Mark For Standard Color 146
Red Brindle Check Mark For Standard Color 148
Red Brindle & White Check Mark For Standard Color 149
White Check Mark For Standard Color 199

Markings

Description Standard Markings Registration Code
Black Mask Check Mark For Standard Mark 004
Black Tips Check Mark For Standard Mark 053
Brindle Check Mark For Standard Mark 051
Piebald Check Mark For Standard Mark 025
Ticked Check Mark For Standard Mark 013
White Markings Check Mark For Standard Mark 014
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at enewsletter@akc.org
https://www.akc.org/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php
https://www.akc.org/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php
https://www.akc.org/subscription/thank-you
TOP