10 Different Bulldog Breeds to Consider

These bully breeds have come a long way

English Bulldog

Jason Nastaszewski / Getty Images

 

When you hear the term "bulldog," you might automatically think of the iconic English bulldog often featured in movies, TV, and advertising like Spike from Tom and Jerry or Rubble from Paw Patrol. When the bulldog was first developed, this strong, formidable dog was a cattle driver. Sadly, it eventually found its way to bullbaiting or the bullfighting arena. So much has changed since its bloody history; they're a gentle, loving breed that's great for families with kids. Unfortunately, a lot of overbreeding has led to significant health issues, such as heart and respiratory problems. Responsible breeding programs to strengthen the bulldog lineage—like newer Continental and Olde English bulldogge types—are helping the overall bulldog family recover.

Tip

Rarer, but newer bulldog breeds, such as the Australian bulldog and the continental bulldog of Switzerland, have physical traits that match their climate and terrain. These lesser-known breeds are not currently recognized by American dog registry organizations such as the American Kennel Club or United Kennel Club. 

Breed Characteristics

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.

Take a look at 10 bulldog types that might interest you.

  • 01 of 10

    English Bulldog

    Adult English Bulldog

    Alvarez / Getty Images

    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.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Non-sporting (AKC)

    Height: 14 to 15 inches

    Weight: 40 to 50 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short, fine-textured, smooth, and glossy coat colored red, white, fawn, or fallow (pale brown) with or without patterns and markings, such as brindle, piebald, ticking, black masks, or black tipping

    Life Expectancy: 8 to 10 years

  • 02 of 10

    French Bulldog

    A French Bulldog sitting on a chair

    The Spruce / Kevin Norris

    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.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Non-sporting (AKC)

    Height: 11 to 13 inches

    Weight: 19 to 28 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short, smooth coat in brindle, fawn, white, or combination of brindle and white or fawn and white

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

  • 03 of 10

    American Bulldog

    American Bulldog

    Aleksandr Zotov / Getty Images

    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.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Guardian (UKC), not recognized by the AKC

    Height: 20 to 28 inches

    Weight: 60 to 120 pounds

    Coat and Color: Sturdy, stocky, and muscular build; large, box-like head with powerful jaws; ears that may be cropped, slightly pricked, or droopy

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 15 years

  • 04 of 10

    Olde English Bulldogge

    Olde English Bulldogge

    Westend61 / Getty Images

    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.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Guardian (UKC), not recognized by the AKC

    Height: 16 to 19 inches

    Weight: 50 to 80 pounds

    Coat and Color: Muscular, medium-sized dog of great strength; large head with stocky, wide neck, square muzzle, undershot bite, and wide nostrils

    Life Expectancy: 9 to 14 years

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Australian Bulldog

    Australian Bulldog

    clogwog / Flickr / CC by 2.0

    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.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Not recognized by any international registries

    Height: 17 to 20 inches

    Weight: 50 to 78 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short and smooth coat; shades of the fawn, apricot, orange, red, mahogany, white and brindle pattern

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

  • 06 of 10

    Buldogue Campeiro

    Buldogue Campeiro

    André Lage Freitas / Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons

    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.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Not a recognized breed

    Height: 19 to 23 inches

    Weight: 77 to 99 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short and smooth coat usually with fawn, brown, and brindle coloring with white markings

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

  • 07 of 10

    Ca de Bou

    ca de bou

    Ca De Bou Love / Wikimedia Commons

    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.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Molossoid/mountain (FCI); Guardian (UKC); not an AKC-recognized breed

    Height: 20 to 23 inches

    Weight: 66 to 84 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short and rough coat usually with brindle, fawn, and black coloring

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

  • 08 of 10

    Continental Bulldog

    continental bulldog

    Pixabay

    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.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Not an internationally recognized breed

    Height: 15 to 21 inches

    Weight: 48 to 66 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short and smooth-coated; fawn or brindle, with or without black mask, with or without white

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Valley Bulldog

    valley bulldog

    Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 / Wikimedia Commons

    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.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Not an internationally recognized breed

    Height: 14 to 18 inches

    Weight: 40 to 80 pounds

    Coat and Color: Soft, smooth, short coat is white with brindle, tan, fawn, red, or black

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

  • 10 of 10

    Bullmastiff

    bullmastiff
    Anat0ly / Getty Images

    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.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Working (AKC)

    Height: 24 to 27 inches

    Weight: 100 to 130 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short coat in fawn, red, or brindle

    Life Expectancy: 8 to 10 years

Breeds to Avoid

If you are a first-time dog owner, most bulldog breeds and dogs closely related to bulldogs like pit bulls are not the best choice. These breeds usually require a rigorous amount of training, socialization, and patience from their adopted families. Bulldog breeds or their close relations are also not well suited for runners or as companions in the water. Their flatter faces make them more sensitive to heat, exercise, and stress. Most bulldogs cannot swim due to their facial anatomy and big, muscular body, and shorter legs.