The 16 Most Popular Bulldog Breeds

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Bulldogs are among the most popular dog breeds with a history going back to medieval times.

Back then, they bred bulldogs for their aggression, a trait crucial for their use in grisly sports, and war.

Today, the English, French, Spanish, and other bulldogs are great family companions devoted to their owners. Although they are social, confident, and lively, they are excellent guard dogs.

In this post, we take a look at 16 types of bulldogs.

1. French Bulldog


Group

Non-sporting

Height

12 inches

Weight

16 to 28 pounds

Personality

Easy-going, adaptable, sociable

Energy Level

Low to moderate

Shedding Level

Shed twice a year

Low/Med/High Maintenance

High

Official Colors

Cream, white, fawn and their variations

Coat Type

Smooth, short coat

Life Expectancy

10 to 12 years

Sociable and easygoing, the French Bulldog first appeared in Paris in the mid-19th century. The stocky compact dog came about as a result of crossing Toy Bulldogs from England and local Parisian ratters. Lace workers from Nottingham brought the Toy Bulldogs to Paris.

This one-of-a-kind French Bulldog has large bat ears and resembles a miniature Bulldog. It has a large and square head with heavy wrinkles above its short nose. Under its smooth and brilliant coat is a compact and muscular body.

While the French Bulldog is playful, alert, and adaptable, they don’t bark a lot. However, they’re excellent watchdogs. Perfect for singles, couples, and even families, French Bulldogs do not require lots of outdoor exercises. They get along with other breeds and even enjoy making new friends.

2. American Bulldog


Group

Non-sporting

Height

20 to 25 inches

Weight

60 to 100 pounds

Personality

Social, confident, and lively

Energy Level

Medium

Shedding Level

No shedding

Low/Med/High Maintenance

Low

Official Colors

Solid white, black, white and black, white and brown, white and tan, lilac, blue

Coat Type

Smooth

Life Expectancy

10 to 15 years

Muscular and powerful, the American Bulldog is a descendant of the English Bulldog. The American Bulldog arrived in the US as early as the 1700s. Many of them arrived with their owners during the 17th and 18th centuries. As a farm utility dog, the American Bulldog was popular for its ability to catch feral cattle and pigs. In fact, it became a useful tool for ranchers and farmers.

In WWI and WWII, the breed almost died out. However, John D. Johnson and Alan Scott brought the breed back with only two surviving dogs. The well-balanced athletic dog has great strength, agility, a friendly attitude, and endurance. Stocky and well built, the chest and shoulders are the most muscular parts of the American Bulldog.

Its coat is short and smooth but requires little maintenance. The American Bulldog has light pigmentation on the eye rims and nose. Eye color is brown, but heterochromia also occurs. The dog is well known to drool. However, it’s social, confident, and lives. Great for families, couples, and singles.

3. English Bulldog


Group

Non-sporting

Height

14 to 16 inches

Weight

40 to 50 pounds

Personality

Sweet, dependable, predictable, docile

Energy Level

Low endurance

Shedding Level

Average

Low/Med/High Maintenance

High

Official Colors

Fawn, fawn and brindle, fawn and white, red, red and white, red brindle, white, fallow

Coat Type

Short, smooth, and glossy

Life Expectancy

8 to 10 years

Kind but courageous, the English Bulldog was first bred in 13th Century England during the reign of King John. They bred the dogs for bull-baiting, where a staked bull fought a pack of dogs while spectators bet. The dogs used in this grisly event were ferocious brutes with huge jaws. 

In 1835, England banned bloodsport. This led to Bulldog admirers taking steps to transform the dog from a brawler into a loving companion. Since then, the English Bulldog has become the national symbol of England.

Also known as the British Bulldog, it’s of medium size with a wrinkled face and a pushed-in nose. It has a muscular body whose characteristic crablike walk exudes vigor, stability, and great strength. The English Bulldog has small ears and an undershot jaw with hanging chops on either side. However, never mistake its easygoing ways for laziness. The English Bulldog is docile, loyal, courageous, and tenacious.

4. Australian Bulldog

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Group

Non-sporting

Height

17 to 20 inches

Weight

50 to 80 pounds

Personality

Intelligent, loving, fun-loving, and easygoing

Energy Level

Low

Shedding Level

Low to moderate

Low/Med/High Maintenance

Medium

Official Colors

Fawn, brindle, apricot, mahogany, orange, red

Coat Type

Short, fine with a smooth texture

Life Expectancy

10 to 12 years

The Australian Bulldog is a great family dog that came about as a result of two breeding programs – Pip Nobes and N&T Green. These programs began separately. But they later merged to breed a more functional bulldog adapted to the Australian environment.

They introduced the first Australian Bulldog in 1998, a dog with strength and endurance. Named by Tina and Noel Green, the founders of the two breeding programs, the Australian Bulldog is a medium-sized dog. 

It has a good thickness of bone with males being compact, solid, and muscular. The female Australian Bulldog has a nice long body with a square head structure with good depth and width of the muzzle. They have a pronounced stop between the eyes and ⅓ folds of wrinkles across the nose. The Australian dog is loving, intelligent, and loyal with a sound temperament.

5. Olde English Bulldogge

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Group

Guardian/Non-sporting

Height

18 to 25 inches

Weight

60 to 130 pounds

Personality

Loyal, docile, bold, and protective

Energy Level

Low

Shedding Level

Moderate

Low/Med/High Maintenance

Low

Official Colors

Fawn, black, black and white, red

Coat Type

Short and coarse

Life Expectancy

9 to 14 years

The Olde English Bulldogge is a designer dog breed developed by David Leavitt in 1971. Basically, Leavitt crossed an English Bulldog with a Bullmastiff, Pitbull, and an American Bulldog. His goal was to create a new and unique breed rather than re-create the centuries-old breed.

He also wanted to ensure that the dog had the personality of a modern English bulldog and the looks of an 18th-century English Bulldog. While the dog breed is a cross between a purebred English Bulldog, an American Bulldog, Pitbull, and Bullmastiff, it’s not a recognized breed.

Nevertheless, the Olde English Bulldogge is a strong, attractive, loyal, and protective canine. Strong, big-boned, and muscular, the dog has a bulky head with furrowed brows and a broad muzzle. The ears are perky or hanging while the legs are stock and the neck is thick and powerful. This creates a somewhat “cobby” body. 

6. Catahoula Bulldog

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Group

Working

Height

24 to 26 inches

Weight

75 to 100 pounds

Personality

Laid back but alert and aggressive

Energy Level

High

Shedding Level

Low

Low/Med/High Maintenance

High

Official Colors

Black, brown, white, black and brown, black and white, brown and white, black with tan, white with grey

Coat Type

Short, and smooth

Life Expectancy

13 to 15 years

The Catahoula Bulldog is a cross between the American Bulldog and the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog. Over a century ago, ranchers and hog hunters kept the Catahoula Leopard dog for herding cattle and catching dogs. However, when it came to carrying the catch home, the Catahoula Leopard dog was small and weak.

They decided to cross an American Bulldog, which was stronger and more aggressive, with the Catahoula Leopard Dog. The result was the Catahoula Bulldog, an incredibly loyal, calm, and strong dog. It has a strong jaw, uniquely wide skull, broad in the shoulder, and muscular frame with tighter skin.

These dogs have two different shapes of ears – button and rose-shaped. The tail can either be long or bobtailed, and it’s not uncommon for puppies of the same litter to have unique appearances. While it’s misunderstood as aggressive because of its muscular look, it’s affectionate and loyal.

7. Victorian Bulldog

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Group

Non-sporting

Height

16 to 19 inches

Weight

55 to 75 pounds

Personality

Loyal and reliable

Energy Level

Low

Shedding Level

Heavy

Low/Med/High Maintenance

Low

Official Colors

Brindle, solid white, solid red, fawn, fallow

Coat Type

Short and smooth

Life Expectancy

12 to 14 years

The Victorian Bulldog is a rare breed. Why you may ask. It’s because the Victorian Bulldog is a cross of four breeds. It all started when Ken Mollet, a breeder, wanted to revive the old-time Bulldogs. These dogs were robust, healthier, and stronger than the Bulldogs of that time. 

He started a breeding program in London in 1985. The program crossed an English Bulldog, Bull Terrier, BullMastiffs, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. But this was after years of several attempts and no results.

By crossing the four breeds, he created a new breed depicted in Victorian times using statues, engravings, and old photos. He named the new breed the Victorian Bulldog. It became popular, leading other breeders to develop their own strains of Bulldogs.

The Victorian Bulldog has a large head, short face, and broad muzzle, which does not interfere with breathing. The hindquarters are high but not heavy as the foreparts, while the cheeks are round and extend sideways. Its ears are button or rose-shaped, while the neck is thick, strong, and arched.

8. Ca De Bou

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Group

Working

Height

20 to 23 inches

Weight

66 to 85 pounds

Personality

Self-confident, and courageous

Energy Level

High

Shedding Level

Minimal

Low/Med/High Maintenance

Low

Official Colors

Red, black, or auburn

Coat Type

Short but rough

Life Expectancy

10 to 12 years

The Ca de Bou is a Spanish bulldog from Majorca. Also known as the Perro de Presa Mallorquin, they used the dog breed for dog fighting and bull baiting. Its believed the breed was likely created during the Catalan period between 1270 and 1570 AD. Their ancestors were the mastiff-type dogs that the islanders used to control cattle.

By the 20th century, the island outlawed bloodsport, and with that, the Ca de Bou lost favor, and their numbers dwindled. In fact, they almost became extinct. But enthusiasts of the breed from Spain began exhibiting the dogs in conformation shows and saved the breed.

The Ca de Bou is a muscular canine with powerful jaws that are slightly undershot. The eyes are large and oval, while the ears are rose-shaped and relatively small. Their tail tapers to a tip, but the base is broad. Their fur is short and dense, while their skin is thick. The Ca de Bou is quiet and calm. As a superb watchdog, it’s comfortable in the companionship of people and will form strong bonds with its family. However, it’s territorial and will not hesitate to defend its home.

9. Arapaho Blue Blood Bulldog

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Group

Working

Height

20 to 25 inches

Weight

50 to 100 pounds

Personality

Loyal, dutiful, and courageous

Energy Level

Medium

Shedding Level

Moderate

Low/Med/High Maintenance

High

Official Colors

Brindle, chocolate, solid blue, red fawn, fawn merle, seal, red merle, tri-colored

Coat Type

Short

Life Expectancy

12 to 15 years

Predominantly used as a guard dog, the Arapaho Blue Blood Bulldog is a rare breed. Its believed to have descended from Old English Bulldogs brought to the US in the 18th century for use in bull-baiting and bear-baiting. 

For many generations, the Lande family of Rebecca, Georgia has been breeding the Arapaho Blue Blood Bulldog. Later, they established a breed registry with a dog called Otto. Occasionally, they used the dog’s name as a nickname for the breed.

The Arapaho Blue Blood Bulldog has a broad head and natural drop ears. It has a prominent muzzle covered by loose upper lips. The eyes are set well apart and come in glass eyes (blue) or marble eyes. Its body is very muscular and sturdy with well-muscled hips narrower than the chest. Also, it has a straight back and long as the dog is high at the shoulders.

10. Serrano Bulldog

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Group

Non-sporting

Height

19 to 22 inches

Weight

55 to 88 pounds

Personality

Loyal, intelligent, and active

Energy Level

High

Shedding Level

Moderate

Low/Med/High Maintenance

Moderate

Official Colors

White, black, fawn, tan, and brown

Coat Type

Short and smooth

Life Expectancy

10 to 12 years

The Serrano Bulldog originates from dog breeds brought from the southern Brazilian states by Europeans in the 1800s. They used the dog breeds mainly in slaughterhouses where the dogs dragged pigs by their ears. They were also used to subdue cattle.

However, by the 1900s, slaughterhouses and butcher shops stopped using the Serrano Bulldog. This was because of hygienic issues. The dog breed became “unemployed” after butcher shops implemented hygienic measures in the 1970s. As a result, the dog breed started moving towards extinction. But bulldog lover, Cynophile Ralf Schein Bender rescued the Serrano Bulldog from extinction in 2001.

Like other bulldogs, the Serrano Bulldog has a strong and muscular body. They have a wide head proportional to their bodies. Because of their muscular bodies, the Serrano Bulldog may appear aggressive. However, they are calm and intelligent. They are also energetic, agile, and courageous. Although they have a balanced temperament, they will not hesitate to attack or bite when provoked.

11. Alano Español

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Group

Non-sporting

Height

22 to 25 inches

Weight

55 to 88 pounds

Personality

Sociable

Energy Level

High

Shedding Level

Moderate

Low/Med/High Maintenance

High

Official Colors

Brindle, fawn, Wolf-sable, red, black

Coat Type

Short and smooth

Life Expectancy

11 to 14 years

The Alano Español is a Spanish dog breed used for bullfighting, as a war dog, guard dog, and for cattle management. In Medieval times, the Alano Español was commonly used for hunting deer, and boar.

The origin of the Alano Español is unclear, but it’s hypothesized that Alani, a nomadic pastoralist people from Central Europe, brought them. They brought the dog breed to Spain during the migration Period in the 5th century.

After the use of the dogs in the bull ring got prohibited, their numbers started to dwindle. Their numbers fell almost to the point of extinction at the end of the 19th century. They drew a breeding standard after they identified a breeding population in the mountains of Enkarterri in the 1980s.

Today, the Alano Español is a large bulldog with a large and strong head. The head is cube-shaped, while the muzzle is short with a very broad black nose. The lower jaw is slightly concave while the ears are set high. Around the neck, there are folds, and wrinkles that also appear on the face.

12. Continental Bulldog

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Group

Non-sporting

Height

15 to 22 inches

Weight

48 to 66 pounds

Personality

Friendly, attentive, confident, and energetic

Energy Level

High

Shedding Level

Moderate

Low/Med/High Maintenance

Low

Official Colors

Brindle, fawn, black, white

Coat Type

Short, smooth, dense, and shiny

Life Expectancy

10 to 12 years

Developed in Switzerland in 2005, the Continental Bulldog is a counterpart of the English Bulldog, which is one of its parent breeds. The other is the Leavitt Bulldog. Imelda Angehrn, a Swiss breeder crossed the English Bulldog and the Leavitt Bulldog. The result was the Continental Bulldog.

Imelda, nicknamed the Grand Old Lady of the Bulldogs, grew up in a farmer and veterinarian household. She started breeding bulldogs in 1966 but became distressed after finding out the dog breed has many health problems. She started breeding lighter dogs, but they could not win at shows. After research, she decided to create a new breed by crossing the English Bulldog and Leavitt Bulldog. By 2017, she had 8 bloodlines.

The Continental Bulldog or Conti is a medium-sized athletic dog. Well built and muscular, it’s agile and has a healthy body that allows the dog to breathe and run freely. The Continental Bulldog is a loving partner to humans. The four-legged friend is self-confident, attentive, and never aggressive or shy. Due to the dog’s good-natured character, it’s suitable as a beginner’s dog.

13. Valley Bulldog

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Group

Non-sporting

Height

12 to 25 inches

Weight

50 to 125 pounds

Personality

Loyal, intelligent, and affectionate

Energy Level

High

Shedding Level

Moderate

Low/Med/High Maintenance

Moderate

Official Colors

White, brindle, fawn, brindle and white, tan, red

Coat Type

Short and soft

Life Expectancy

10 to 12 years

Loyal and intelligent, the Valley Bulldog originated in the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia, Canada. Medium in size, this mixed breed dog is a cross between an English Bulldog and Boxer. Breeding of the Valley Bulldog goes back to the 1900s. Named after the Annapolis Valley, the dog breed is still popular in Nova Scotia, Canada.

The Valley Bulldog looks taller than an English Bulldog but shorter than a Boxer. It has a muscular and sturdy build, thick neck, broad head, chest, and shoulders. The Valley Bulldog has round eyes with a pushed-in snout just like its ancestor the English Bulldog. Its ears are button or rose-shaped, while the feet are sturdy and thick.

Perfect as an apartment dog, the Valley Bulldog has an excellent temperament. It gets along with all other breeds of dogs plus humans. Also, the Valley Bulldog is gentle and may occasionally act playful and silly. 

14. Bullmastiff

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Group

Non-sporting

Height

25 to 26 inches

Weight

100 to 130 pounds

Personality

Calm, easy-going, gentle, and affectionate

Energy Level

Low

Shedding Level

Low

Low/Med/High Maintenance

Moderate

Official Colors

Fawn, red, and brindle

Coat Type

Short and flat

Life Expectancy

8 to 10 years

In the mid to late 19th century, the vast country estates in England were targets of poachers. Despite the severe penalties, poaching continued because gamekeepers could not protect themselves. The gamekeepers decided to respond by breeding dogs that were brave, swift, and big to pursue poachers. They crossed Mastiffs and Bulldogs at a ratio of 60% Mastiff and 40% Bulldog.

The result was a new breed smart enough to work on command and big enough to scare intruders/poachers. The Bullmastiff is a firm and fearless dog breed with a soft spot for its loved ones. Also called the silent watchdog, the dog breed is a protective companion happy to join on your adventures.

Large and muscular, the Bullmastiff has a broad head, dark eyes, high set V-shaped eyes, and a broad muzzle. All these characteristics combine to present the Bullmastiff popular as a guard dog.

15. Campeiro Bulldog

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Group

Non-sporting

Height

19 to 22 inches

Weight

63 to 93 pounds

Personality

Calm and courageous

Energy Level

Medium

Shedding Level

Moderate

Low/Med/High Maintenance

Moderate

Official Colors

Brown, Fawn, and brindle with white markings

Coat Type

Short, fine coat

Life Expectancy

10 to 12 years

The Campeiro Bulldog is a rural bulldog from southern Brazil with origins from Bulldogs brought by Europeans to Brazil. Some say the Campeiro Bulldog is a cross between the Old English Bulldog and a local breed. Others say it’s a mix between an extinct Portuguese breed and a Terceira Mastiff.

In the early 20th century, Brazilians used the Campeiro Bulldog as a catch dog for catching and holding cattle in slaughterhouses. However, in the 1970s, they banned its use in Brazilian slaughterhouses. This led to a decline in its numbers to the point of extinction. The situation was further exacerbated by the growing popularity of imported breeds. A breed program to save them started in the 1970s, and since then, the Campeiro Bulldog numbers recovered, and today, it’s recognized by CBKC.

The Campeiro Bulldog is a medium-sized dog with a large and muscular body. It has triangular ears, short and wide muzzle. The head is broad and holds an imponent posture. Despite having an aggressive look, the Campeiro Bulldog is calm, and courageous. As such, it’s an excellent guard dog.

16. Bordeaux Bulldog

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Group

Working

Height

23 to 30 inches

Weight

120 to 145 pounds

Personality

Patient, loyal and devoted

Energy Level

Low

Shedding Level

Moderate

Low/Med/High Maintenance

Low

Official Colors

Fawn, mahogany, red

Coat Type

Fine, short, and soft

Life Expectancy

10 to 12 years

The Bordeaux Bulldog’s history stretches back into ancient times. One theory hypothesizes that the Dogue is a local French breed developed thousands of years ago. Other theories state that the Neapolitan, Greek, and Tibetan Mastiffs are ancestors of the Bordeaux Bulldog.

For years, the Bordeaux Bulldog was commonly used as fighting dogs. However, they outlived their usefulness and became guard dogs on the nobility’s vast estate. During the French Revolution, the use of the Bordeaux Bulldog as a guard dog ended. However, the dog breed survived the bloodshed and started working as livestock drovers.

Today, the Bordeaux Bulldog is a short stocky mastiff with a broad wrinkled head and a wide muzzle with a pronounced stop. The nose is large with open nostrils with thick and loose skin on the neck. The ears are small, the legs are muscular, and the chest is broad and deep. As a guard dog, the Bordeaux Bulldog is extremely loyal, patient, and devoted. However, it’s fearless and confrontational with strangers.

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