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Country of Origin: Great Britain
Height: 12–16 inches
Weight: 40–55 pounds
Coat: Short, straight, flat, close, fine, smooth, glossy
Colors: Brindle (all varieties), piebald, red, fawn, fallow, white
Registries (with Group): AKC (Non-Sporting); CKC (Non-Sporting); KC (Utility); UKC (Companion)


These dogs were first classified by cynologists as “bulldogs” in the 1630s, although mentioned in earlier texts under the names “bandogge” or “butcher’s dogge.” Bulldogs and Mastiffs probably shared a common ancestor—a large butcher’s dog called the Alaunt. Between the 13th and 19th centuries, ancestors of the Bulldog were used for the heinous sport of bullbaiting. Fortunately bullbaiting was banned in 1835, after which time the Bulldog evolved into the shorter, squatter dog we are familiar with today. He was also bred to be a kind companion, and many consider him a symbol of courage and tenacity.



Despite his tough beginnings, the Bulldog is probably one of the gentlest breeds. He retains a strong protective instinct, though, and makes a wonderful watchdog. He is extremely affectionate with his family and craves their affection and attention. Gentle with children, agreeable with other pets (especially if socialized to them from an early age), today’s Bulldog wants to make those around him happy—and usually succeeds.


  • Exercise: His short nose and broad head make breathing somewhat difficult for the Bulldog, who shouldn’t be overstressed with exercise. A simple stroll or the workout he gets keeping up with his family will fulfill his needs
  • Grooming: His short coat is easy to care for—brushing with a soft brush a few times a week will keep him looking good. The wrinkles around his eyes and nose need regular attention, as they need to be kept clean and dry to ward off infection.
  • Life Span: 10 to 12 years.
  • Training: The Bulldog needs early training from someone who appreciates that it may take him a little longer to learn than some of the more obedience-oriented breeds. His charm and steady temperament win him friends and fans wherever he goes, so socializing him to people is no problem.

Find a Nylabone chew, treat, or toy for your Bulldog or large dog!

Excerpted from World Atlas of Dog Breeds, 6th Edition. © 2009 T.F.H. Publications, Inc. Used by Permission.

World Atlas of Dog Breeds Book

World Atlas of Dog Breeds

Other Books on this Topic:
Bulldogs (Animal Planet™ Pet Care Library)
The Bulldog (Terra Nova)

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