When you think of a bulldog, chances are you’ll conjure up an image of a strong looking dog with a short, stocky stature. This common image is one of an English Bulldog and it’s often portrayed as ‘the tough dog’ in TV and film, but did you know there’s more than just one bulldog breed?
The original bulldog breed was English and there’s a number of others that descended from these who all served a similar purpose including cattle moving, fighting and guarding. Of course, each individual is unique and their personality cannot be guaranteed by breed stereotypes. However, dogs of specific breeds may be more likely to display certain behavioural traits, depending on what they were bred for in the past. Keep reading to learn more about the most popular bulldog breeds.
7 most popular bulldog breeds
1. English Bulldog
The English Bulldog is a strong looking pup with a sometimes grumpy looking face, but they’re the very definition of why you should never judge a book by their cover. Underneath their bruiser façade, this bulldog breed is often calm with a loving personality and they love nothing more than spending all day long with their human family members.
The breed is super popular but unfortunately this has led to a number of health problems as a result of overbreeding. Some of the health issues that commonly affect the breed include: brachycephalic syndrome (associated with a shortened skull), eye problems and respiratory issues, which also puts them at an increased risk of heatstroke, so they’re not best suited to warm countries. If you want to add an English Bulldog into your home, we highly recommend finding a responsible breeder that carries out all the necessary health checks on both parents.
2. French Bulldog
Affectionately called the Frenchie, this bulldog breed is one of the most popular small dog breeds in the world and if you have the pleasure of meeting one, you’ll soon see why. French Bulldogs are generally incredibly playful and possess wonderfully loving natures which makes them perfect lapdogs. They’re also known to act a bit clownish to keep their humans entertained! Interestingly, they were originally much larger and were bred down in size by using the Pug and small terrier types, which is where their adorable bat ears came from.
Similar to the English Bulldog, overbreeding has caused its fair share of issues with the breed and they’re prone to a number of health issues including brachycephalic syndrome. If you’re looking for a French Bulldog puppy, always ensure you buy from a reputable breeder.
3. American Bulldog
The American Bulldog is the quintessential all-American dog. Direct descendants of the English, this bulldog breed is larger in size and much stronger and were considered to be essential on farms and ranches in 19th century America. Their role encompassed everything from guarding livestock, to catching feral pigs, to herding – they were the ultimate farmhand!
As they were required less for farm work, they transitioned to companions which was easily done thanks to their kind and gentle temperaments and loyal natures. Due to their history as working dogs, they are known to be quite stubborn and may not be suited to new owners as they can be rather dominant. Again, this breed can have varying degrees of brachycephalic syndrome.
However, due to their enormous size they will require proper training as they can become less bullmastiff and more bulldozer if left unchecked. This breed also has a shortened muzzle and is considered brachycephalic.
Known as ‘the Gamekeeper’s night dog’ in the mid-19th century, the Bullmastiff was used by the aristocracy to protect game preserves from poachers and as they’re incredibly brave and loyal, they excelled in this role. This guarding instinct very much still remains in the breed and as they can be very dominant, they’re best suited to experienced owners.
5. Australian Bulldog
The Australian Bulldog is an adaptation of the English Bulldog and as such, they possess very similar personalities but appear taller and less wrinkly. Developed in the 1990s using the English Bulldog, Boxer, Bullmastiff and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the aim was to create a hardier bulldog breed that could withstand the hotter temperatures of Australia. However, it can be prone to the same kinds of health concerns as the breeds it was developed from.
Super smart with charming personalities, the Australian Bulldog is incredibly loyal to their people and make fantastic companions.
6. Old English Bulldogge
Many think the Old English Bulldogge is the same as the English Bulldog, but they’re actually two distinct breeds. This breed was created using the English Mastiff, American Bulldog, English Bulldog and Pit Bull Terrier in a bid to throwback to the bigger and stronger 18th century Bulldog.
Due to the breeds involved in its make-up, the Old English Bulldogge is brachycephalic, very dominant and can become highly protective of their home and owners. This bulldog breed isn’t very well suited to new owners. But with this being said, once in a stable, loving home, they can be very sweet with their people.
7. Ca de Bou
Translating from Catalan to literally mean ‘bulldog’, the Ca de Bou comes from Majorca in Spain and is also sometimes known as the Mallorquin Bulldog or Majorca Mastiff. Very strong and large in size, this breed was originally used for bull-baiting and guarding, but today they make fantastic companions as they’re extremely loving and highly intelligent.
The Ca de Bou does require early training and thorough socialisation as they can be quite dominant and strong, but once settled in an experienced home, this bulldog breed can be very calm and sweet.