English Bulldog - Appearance & Grooming

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015


English Bulldogs are short, compact, incredibly muscular and broad dogs. Their short legs have a bowed appearance, but are in fact straight. Bulldogs have large heads with a distinctly sour expression that is created by their seriously undershot jaw, large drooping jowls and wrinkled, flat faces. They have broad chests and heavy, wide-set shoulders. The eyes of this breed are low and set wide apart, the ears are rosed and their noses are wide and black. They have soft, loose skin and short coats that come in colors of brindle, white, fawn, red or piebald. Their gait is characteristic of the breed and is described by the standard as rolling, but never lumbering.

The bulldog is a short, broad, compact, massive dog, with sturdy legs that appear bowed (although the bones of the legs are straight). Its head is large and features a large sour expression that is created by a pronounced undershot jaw (with no teeth showing), hanging jowls, and a flat, wrinkled face. The body is very broad and low with a deep, capacious chest and rounded ribcage. The abdomen is tucked up. The heavy shoulders are set far apart and slant outward for great stability. The circumference of the skull (measured in front of the ears) should be at least as great as the dog's height at the withers. The eyes are set low and wide apart. The ears are "rosed" and the large nose is wide and black. The upper lips completely cover the lower jaw. The tail either hangs down or can bend in kinks. The skin is soft and loose, covered with a smooth, short coat that comes in several colors including brindles, white, fawn, red or piebald. Bulldogs tend to run 5 to 10 pounds heavier than the average weight listed in the AKC standard. The Bulldog has a characteristic-rolling gait.

Size and Weight

Male English Bulldogs average about 50 pounds for males and 40 pounds for females. Female Bulldogs look less “bulldogish” than males, as their features are not as exaggerated. Proportion and symmetry is of higher value for show dogs than the actual size or weight of the dog.

Coat and Color

The English Bulldog's coat should be short, straight, glossy and fine. They have soft, loose skin, especially on the head, neck, and shoulders. The head is covered with heavy wrinkles and there are two loose folds at the throat to form a dewlap.

English Bulldogs come in a variety of colors: brindle (all shades), solid white, solid red, fawn, or fallow (pale cream to light fawn, pale yellow, or yellow red; and piebald. Solid black is uncommon and frowned upon per breed standard.

Grooming Needs

This breed is relatively low maintenance on the grooming front. Regular brushing can keep their moderate, year-round shedding from becoming unruly and baths only need be given when the dog has gotten himself into a bit of muck, or he begins to smell. The wrinkles of the face should be wiped and dried regularly in order to prevent bacteria from developing and care should be taken to dry the wrinkles after bathing, as well. Many owners use baby wipes infused with lanolin to keep the wrinkles healthy. They are prone to bad breath, so weekly or even daily tooth brushing is a must to keep bacteria from building up and causing tooth loss later in life. Regular cleaning of the ears with a veterinarian-approved cleanser can keep infections from forming. Active Bulldogs will wear their toenails down naturally, but if you can hear nails clicking on the floor, a trim is in order. Puppies feet should be handled from an early age to prepare the Bulldog for nail trimmings later in life.

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