Characteristics of a Bulldog

Learn about bulldogs - inside and out.
Learn about bulldogs - inside and out. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

If you are considering acquiring a bulldog as a pet, it is important and useful to learn about the breed's temperament, appearance and other characteristics. Learn key details of the sturdy, medium-size dog breed that is known for its "tough" facial expression. The term "bulldog" generally refers to the English bulldog, although other breeds are also known under the bulldog tag, such as French and American bulldogs.


English bulldogs tend to live between seven and 10 years. In some cases, English bulldogs make it to up to 12 years old. The breed is prone to brachycephalic syndrome because of the shortness of their faces. This respiratory condition leads to difficulty breathing, particularly in times of humid or hot weather. As a result, it is important for bulldogs to remain in air conditioning during hot weather. When they are outside in warm climates, supervise them closely to prevent heatstroke. Other common health problems with the breed include hyperthyroidism, eye issues (such as corneal ulcers), kidney disease, head tremors and allergies.


English bulldogs are both compact and wide, with notably short legs. The dogs have wide muzzles and deep, broad snouts. In terms of color, the coats tend to be red brindle, red, white, fawn, light yellow, fallow or a blend of several of these colors. English bulldogs have broad, large jaws with hanging top lips and distinct underbites. The nose is black in color with large nostrils. In general, English bulldogs grow to between 12 and 16 inches in length, with weights of between 49 and 55 pounds. Males tend to weigh slightly more than females.


Although many people might find that English bulldogs have an imposing appearance, they generally are very laid-back and even-tempered animals. English bulldogs typically are gentle and affectionate dogs. The dogs also are very stubborn, persistent and determined, and they do not easily give up on things that they want. The breed works well with young children, and has a courageous spirit (the dogs can be effective in guarding). Young bulldogs are highly energetic and vivacious, although that gradually tapers off with age.


In general, English bulldogs are easy to care for. They thrive in confined living spaces, including apartments and condominiums. As a rule, most English bulldogs are inactive and tend to stay in the same spot all day. The dogs are prone to obesity, however, because of their natural stockiness. It is crucial to give English bulldogs regular and frequent exercise in the form of outdoor walks several times a day.


When considering taking on an English bulldog, one important factor to be aware of is the slobbering. Compared with other dog breeds, English bulldogs slobber and drool a lot. This is particularly true right after they drink or eat. When bulldogs shake their bodies and heads, it is not uncommon for spit to appear everywhere from the walls to your outfits.


English bulldogs are not big barkers. However, they are definitely not quiet dogs, either. Because of their short faces, they often grunt, wheeze, snuffle and snort. During the nighttime, English bulldogs are also extremely loud snorers.

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