The goofy, beloved bulldog is a gentle, loving breed that’s great for families with kids. Dating back to 5th century England, this breed has come a long way since its days of fighting bulls for sport. Now, bulldogs are typically characterized by their charming yet grumpy expressions and affectionate personalities.
Take a look at these 10 bulldog types that might interest you.
All bulldog breeds have pit bull and mastiff origins. They were initially bred for moving cattle, fighting, and their guarding prowess, and they look like tough guys. Their faces have a perpetual frown, an almost grumpy expression, and they have a barrel-like, squat, and muscular physique. Most have smooshed in faces with short snouts and are prone to brachycephalic syndrome. These dogs also have hanging jowls, an underbite, and tend to drool a bit.
The English bulldog is the oldest and most recognizable of the bulldogs. They are a popular choice as a family pet, known for being affectionate and calm. As a result of their popularity, they tend to be overbred and can suffer from more health problems than other bulldog breeds. As a flat-faced breed, they are particularly prone to respiratory, eye issues, and a tendency to overheat (they do not fair well in hotter climates). Monitor their weight closely; they are prone to obesity. Take extra care to find a responsible breeder that carries out rigorous health tests.
The Frenchie, developed from the English bulldog, has soared in popularity in recent years. Playful and loving, they often have entertaining and outgoing personalities. They are not without their problems, though, and like its English bulldog relative, it is another brachycephalic (flat-faced) breed that can suffer from breathing difficulties and can quickly overheat. As with the English bulldog, be meticulous with selecting a good breeder.
The American Bulldog evolved after its English counterpart made its way to the States. Recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1999, they are bigger, usually much healthier, and more agile. They have a very affectionate temperament, act like oversized lapdogs, and make good family pets. They are loyal and protective of their family. Due to their size and strength, these puppies need early and ongoing training and socialization. These high-energy dogs are best suited for an active, outdoorsy family.
Olde English Bulldogge
While immediately descended from the English bulldog, this American breed was developed to produce a more healthy and athletic dog. The United Kennel Club officially recognized it in 2014. They are larger, less flat-faced, and more agile and energetic than the English variety. They are strong-willed and formidable guard dogs and are usually gentle and affectionate towards their family.
The Australian bulldog is very similar in appearance and temperament to the traditional English bulldog. These dogs were first developed during the 1990s to produce a healthier, more heat-tolerant companion dog. It is intelligent, loyal, and good with children. This breed will enjoy playing with a ball and likes to romp in the water. A good watchdog but not a guard dog, its bullish look still helps serve as a deterrent.
The buldogue campeiro or Brazilian bulldog descends from the now-extinct Old English bulldog from Europe. It is a distinctly different breed than the recently American-engineered “Olde English bulldogge.” This dog has a long history of working in rural farm environments. These dogs are tenacious, loyal, protective, and full of stamina. They are not the affectionate, companion-type dog that many other bulldogs are.
Ca de Bou
The ca de bou, which translates from Catalan to mean “bulldog,” comes from the Spanish island of Majorca. It is also called the Mallorquin bulldog or Majorca mastiff. As its names suggest, it inherited its looks from both breeds. Bred for their working capabilities, they are not generally suited for novice dog owners. They can be independent and territorial.
Originating in Switzerland, the continental bulldog or “conti” is a healthier, more athletic counterpart to the English bulldog. This breed was the result of outcrossing the Olde English Bulldogge, the American-designed breed. It has been recognized as a breed in Germany and Switzerland since 2005, although it is not officially recognized in the U.S.
The Valley bulldog is a rare bulldog variety that Canadians developed in the Annapolis Valley of Novia Scotia, Canada. This breed is a hybrid of English bulldogs with boxers; they share characteristics of both breeds. They tend to be friendly, athletic, and sometimes even a bit goofy (likely inherited from their boxer side). These hybrids are working dogs for catching livestock and protecting rural property like ranches and farms. Boxer-bulldog mixes are effective guard dogs today, inheriting the boxer’s alertness and suspicion of strangers.
This large bulldog breed resulted from a cross between the Old English bulldog and mastiff. They are known for their sweet personalities and massive size. They also get along with children and other pets. Their imposing size makes them a good watchdog. But their grandiose size also makes a falling hazard for toddlers or seniors. They need proper training to curb their lumbering ways. Like most giant breeds, their life expectancy rarely reaches beyond 10 years or so.