Pets

Bulldogs: What to know before adopting

Getty Images Author: Linda Cotrina

Pets

Bulldogs: What to know before adopting

American, English and French bulldogs are all popular breeds with unique traits. Here's what you should know before adding one to the family.


Wrinkled faces, chubby builds and laid-back attitudes: What's not to love about bulldogs? 

In spite of all those loveable characteristics, there's still a lot more to the American, English and French bulldog varieties than meets the eye. Here's what you need to know about the most common types of bulldog.

American bulldog
These muscular bulldogs are usually calm and self-possessed; however, they are best suited to pet owners who live active lifestyles, as the breed requires plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay fit and happy. If they don't get a good amount of exercise, they can become rowdy and bored, which may result in barking and destructive chewing. Their strong temperament allows them to be versatile working dogs, capable of learning new things, but they are also fiercely independent and are not pushovers to raise or train.

An American bulldog's life span ranges from 10-15 years and males can weigh anywhere from 70 to 120 lbs, while females are a bit lighter at 60 to 100 lbs. Unfortunately, hip and joint problems are quite common in American bulldogs, as is animal aggression.

English bulldog
Although their appearance can be somewhat intimidating, English bulldogs are among the sweetest of dogs. They are fit for apartment life and only require a daily walk. English bulldogs are very affectionate and require a lot of attention to maintain their happiness. However, they are also known to be stubborn and are not easy to train, though food rewards help a lot.

A male English bulldog can weigh 53 to 55 lbs while a female's weight ranges from 49 to 51 lbs. Unfortunately, their life span can be quite short, only 8 to 10 years, and they are prone to various health problems such as trouble breathing, as well as hip, heart and skin problems. Because many of them struggle to breathe in hot or humid weather, it's best to keep bulldogs in air-conditioned spaces. If you do let them outside, keep an eye on them so they don't over-exert themselves and become overheated. As a result of their numerous health problems, they are known to be expensive dogs to own.

French bulldog
This friendly bat-eared beauty, also referred to as a Frenchie, is an excellent companion that thrives on human contact. Like their English cousin, they require very little exercise (only a daily walk) and make the perfect apartment dog. In spite of their chunky figures, Frenchies are frisky and are super passionate about chasing their favourite ball toy. They can also be stubborn when it comes to training but respond well to early, patient and persistent attention with food as motivation.

Because of their smallish figure, Frenchies weigh a lot less than English and American bulldogs with males weighing 20 to 28 lbs and females weighing 16 to 24 lbs. They can live to be anywhere from 11 to 14 years old. As a result of poor breeding practices and their short face, Frenchies suffer more than their share of health problems, which include joint diseases, spinal disorders, eye diseases, heart disease and more. Like the English bulldog, it's important to minimize their outdoor activity in hot or humid weather and keep them in an air-conditioned home. 

 

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For more on dog breeds, check out what you need to know about pugs.
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Bulldogs: What to know before adopting

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