Bulldogs are a beloved breed of dog that has captured the hearts of many dog lovers around the world.
They’re known for their distinctive appearance, friendly temperament, and affectionate nature.
Among the various types of bulldogs, the English Bulldog and the American Bulldog are among two of the most popular.
While you may think the English & American Bulldog are almost the same dog — this is far from the truth…
Despite their similar names, they have many distinct differences and are far from being “twins”.
From their appearance to their temperament, and from their exercise needs to their intelligence, each breed has unique characteristics that potential owners should be aware of before making a decision.
In this article, we will delve into the various aspects of these two breeds to provide a comprehensive comparison, helping prospective owners to make an informed decision about which breed is right for them.
Appearance & Size
English Bulldog Appearance & Size
The English Bulldog is known for its flat & squishy face and wrinkles/folds.
They’re a smaller and more compact breed when compared to the American Bulldog — but they’re not exactly tiny.
How big are English Bulldogs?
With males typically weighing between 50 to 55 pounds (23 to 25 kg) and females weighing between 40 to 50 pounds (18 to 23 kg), they’re considered a medium sized dog.
They typically stand up to 16 inches (41 cm) tall at the shoulder.
They have a short coat that doesn’t require too much maintenance.
They come in a variety of colors and are generally considered to be a more compact and stocky breed.
American Bulldog Appearance & Size
In contrast, the American Bulldog is a larger breed with a more athletic build and a thicker coat that sheds more.
They are typically white or brindle in color and are known for their muscular and powerful appearance.
How big are American Bulldogs?
In contrast, the American Bulldog is a larger and more muscular breed, with males typically weighing between 70 to 120 pounds (32 to 54 kg) and females weighing between 60 to 100 pounds (27 to 45 kg).
They can stand up to 28 inches (71 cm) tall at the shoulder.
Colors & Markings
Both the English & American Bulldog come in a variety of different colors. But as with any breed, only certain colors are “officially recognized”.
English Bulldog AKC Recognized Colors
- Fawn & White
- Fawn Brindle & White
- Red & White
- Red Brindle
- Red Brindle & White
- Fawn & Brindle
English Bulldog AKC Recognized Patterns
- Black Mask
- White Markings
- Black Tips
As you can see, the English Bulldog comes in a bunch of different colors.
You may also see English Bulldogs in colors such as Merle or Blue but it’s important to note that these colors are not officially recognized by the AKC as being in the English Bulldog breed standard.
American Bulldog AKC Recognized Colors
American Bulldog AKC Recognized Markings
- Black Markings
- Brindle Markings
- Tan Markings
- Brown Markings
- Red Markings
Yep, that’s right…
White is the only color officially recognized for American Bulldogs.
So if you see an American Bulldog in any other color, they wouldn’t be considered a “purebred American Bulldog” by the American Kennel Club as it does not fit the Breed Standard.
When it comes to temperament, English Bulldogs are often described as lazy and low-energy, making them better suited for indoor living.
They are also friendly and outgoing, making them great family pets.
On the other hand, American Bulldogs are more active and require more exercise than English Bulldogs.
They are also protective and territorial, which makes them well-suited for outdoor environments where they can guard their territory.
What they have in common
- Both breeds are known for their loyalty & being great family pets
- Known for being stubborn
- Protective of their families & can be wary of strangers
- English Bulldogs are lazier, while the American Bulldog is higher energy
- American Bulldogs have a higher prey drive making them not ideal for families with smaller pets
- English Bulldogs need less mental stimulation than the American Bulldog
- American Bulldogs are more independent, while English Bulldogs are more sensitive & like to stick by their owner’s side
English Bulldog Personality Traits
- Affectionate: Bulldogs are known to be extremely affectionate and loyal to their owners.
- Stubborn: Bulldogs can be stubborn and sometimes require a firm and consistent hand in training.
- Calm: They are generally calm and laid-back, making them great companions for apartment living.
- Friendly: Bulldogs tend to be friendly and social, enjoying the company of both people and other animals.
- Playful: Despite their relaxed nature, Bulldogs are playful and enjoy engaging in activities like fetch or tug-of-war.
- Protective: Bulldogs have a strong protective instinct and will defend their owners if they perceive a threat.
- Lazy: Bulldogs are known to be quite lazy and will often prefer lounging around over exercise.
- Easygoing: Bulldogs are generally easygoing and adapt well to new environments and situations.
American Bulldog Personality Traits
- Loyal: American Bulldogs are known for their loyalty and devotion to their owners.
- Protective: They have a strong protective instinct and will defend their family and territory.
- Confident: American Bulldogs are confident dogs and have a strong sense of self.
- Active: They have a lot of energy and require regular exercise and playtime.
- Friendly: American Bulldogs are generally friendly with people and other animals, especially if they are socialized from a young age.
- Independent: They can be independent and self-reliant, but they still enjoy spending time with their owners.
- Intelligent: American Bulldogs are intelligent dogs and respond well to training.
- Stubborn: They can be stubborn at times, so consistent and firm training is important.
English Bulldog vs American Bulldog — Health
English Bulldog Health
Unfortunately, English Bulldogs aren’t known for being the healthiest dogs…
They’re especially notorious for their breathing issues due to their flat & squished faces.
Other health problems common in English Bulldogs are hip dysplasia, skin allergies, and eye issues.
Common English Bulldog Health Problems
- Breathing Problems: English Bulldogs have a short snout which can lead to breathing difficulties, especially in hot or humid weather. This condition is known as Brachycephalic Syndrome.
- Skin Infections: The wrinkles on an English Bulldog’s face and body can be prone to infection, especially if they are not kept clean and dry.
- Hip Dysplasia: This is a genetic condition where the hip joint does not form properly, leading to arthritis and pain.
- Cherry Eye: English Bulldogs are prone to a condition where the third eyelid gland protrudes from the eye, causing a red, inflamed lump in the corner of the eye.
- Ear Infections: The shape of an English Bulldog’s ear can make it difficult for air to circulate, leading to bacterial and yeast infections.
- Spinal Cord Problems: English Bulldogs are prone to a condition called intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), where the discs between the vertebrae in the spine can herniate and compress the spinal cord.
- Heart Problems: English Bulldogs can develop heart problems such as pulmonic stenosis, which is a narrowing of the pulmonary valve in the heart.
American Bulldog Health
American Bulldogs, on the other hand, are generally healthy…
But they are still prone to their own set of health issues.
Common American Bulldog Health Problems
- Hip Dysplasia: This is a genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to arthritis and pain.
- Elbow Dysplasia: This is similar to hip dysplasia but affects the elbow joint. It can cause lameness and pain.
- Skin Problems: American Bulldogs may develop skin allergies or infections, which can be itchy and uncomfortable.
- Eye Problems: They are prone to developing entropion, where the eyelids roll inward and irritate the eye, as well as cherry eye and cataracts.
- Bloat: This is a life-threatening condition where the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself. It is more common in large, deep-chested breeds like the American Bulldog.
- Thyroid Problems: Some American Bulldogs may develop hypothyroidism, which can cause weight gain, lethargy, and skin problems.
- Cancer: American Bulldogs may be susceptible to various types of cancer, including lymphoma and bone cancer.
English Bulldog vs American Bulldog — Training
Training is an important aspect of owning any dog, and both English Bulldogs and American Bulldogs have their own unique training needs.
English Bulldog Training
English Bulldogs can be stubborn and difficult to train.
Can take a while to learn new commands
They may take longer to learn new commands and can be resistant to training methods that use negative reinforcement.
They need positive reinforcment
Positive reinforcement techniques, such as using treats and praise, work well with this breed.
English Bulldogs are affectionate and crave attention, which can be used to your advantage during training.
Be patient & consistent
It’s important to be patient and consistent with training an English Bulldog, as they may be slow to pick up on new commands.
Potty training may also be a challenge, as English Bulldogs can take longer to housebreak due to their stubborn nature.
American Bulldog Training
American Bulldogs, on the other hand, are generally easier to train.
Intelligent & eager to please
They are intelligent and eager to please, making them responsive to positive reinforcement training methods.
You’ll still need consistency
Consistency is key with American Bulldogs, as they need to understand that their owners are the pack leaders.
Socialization is needed as they can be over-protective
They can also be protective, which can be managed through proper socialization and training.
Training is a great form of mental stimulation
It’s important to provide plenty of exercise and mental stimulation for American Bulldogs to prevent boredom and potential destructive behavior.
English Bulldog vs American Bulldog — Sociability
English Bulldog Sociability
English Bulldogs are known to be sociable and generally get along well with other dogs and pets.
They are not usually aggressive towards other animals and can be quite friendly towards them.
However, due to their natural tendency to be protective of their families, they may be wary of strangers, particularly if they perceive them as a threat.
As with any breed, proper socialization from an early age can help to minimize any potential behavioral issues.
American Bulldog Sociability
American Bulldogs, on the other hand, can be more challenging when it comes to socialization.
Without proper training and socialization, they may become aggressive towards other dogs and animals, particularly if they perceive them as a threat to their family or territory.
This is due to their strong protective instincts, which can sometimes be mistaken for aggression. It is important to note that early socialization is crucial
English Bulldog vs American Bulldog — Exercise
Exercise needs are an important factor to consider when choosing a dog breed.
While you might be in love with one breed, they might not be the best fit for your lifestyle — if you’re not highly active & prefer to stay indoors, you should pick a dog that enjoys the same lifestyle. That way both you & your dog will be happiest.
Overall, the exercise needs of English Bulldogs and American Bulldogs differ significantly, with English Bulldogs requiring moderate exercise and American Bulldogs needing more intense physical activity.
English Bulldog Exercise Needs
English Bulldogs are a brachycephalic breed, meaning they have a short snout and a flat face.
Not the biggest athletes
This anatomy makes them less suited for intense physical activity.
Keep an eye on them
Due to their shortened airways, English Bulldogs may have difficulty breathing during intense exercise, making it crucial to monitor their activity level.
Prone to overheating
They are also prone to overheating in hot weather, and this can be a serious health risk.
They don’t need a ton of exercise to stay happy & healthy
English Bulldogs only require moderate exercise, such as short walks, indoor play, or low-intensity games, to keep them happy and healthy.
American Bulldog Exercise Needs
American Bulldogs have a more athletic build, making them better suited for physical activity.
They are much more active than English Bulldogs
They require daily exercise and plenty of room to run.
They are muscular and strong, and they thrive on regular physical activity such as running, hiking, and playing fetch.
They need enough exercise or they might develop bad behaviors
Providing enough exercise for an American Bulldog is important to prevent them from becoming bored and potentially developing destructive behaviors.
They enjoy working & being active
They enjoy having a job to do, and this breed can excel at activities such as agility, obedience, and even weight pulling.
English Bulldog vs American Bulldog — Grooming
English Bulldogs and American Bulldogs have distinct grooming needs.
Both breeds are low-maintenance and shed moderately.
As with any breed, they have typical grooming needs such as having their nails trimmed, ears cleaned, and dental care.
What they have in common
- Low maintenance: Both breeds have short, smooth coats that shed moderately and are low-maintenance.
- Typical grooming needs: They both require regular nail trimming, ear cleaning, and dental care.
- Brushing can reduce shedding: They both benefit from weekly brushing to remove loose hair and distribute natural oils.
- Wrinkles: English Bulldogs have more wrinkles and folds in their skin than American Bulldogs, which require regular cleaning to prevent infection.
- Skin issues: English Bulldogs are prone to skin infections, while American Bulldogs may develop skin allergies.
- Drooling: English Bulldogs have a tendency to drool and may need more frequent face wiping.
- Lifestyle: American Bulldogs are more active than English Bulldogs and may require more frequent baths and brushing to keep their coats clean and shiny.
English Bulldog Grooming
English Bulldogs have minimal grooming needs due to their short coats.
However, they may need regular cleaning of their skin folds to prevent infection.
American Bulldog Grooming
American Bulldogs have moderate grooming needs due to their thicker coats and may need regular brushing to prevent matting and shedding.
English Bulldog vs American Bulldog — Shedding
Both English Bulldogs and American Bulldogs have short, smooth coats that shed moderately year-round.
- They may shed more heavily during seasonal changes, typically in the spring and fall.
- Regular brushing can help remove loose hair and minimize shedding.
English Bulldog vs American Bulldog — Lifespan
English Bulldog Lifespan
English Bulldogs have a lifespan of 8-10 years on average, but may have health problems that shorten their lifespan.
They aren’t known for being the healthiest and are notorious for having breathing issues.
American Bulldog Lifespan
American Bulldogs have a lifespan of 10-12 years on average and generally have fewer health problems than English Bulldogs.
English Bulldog vs American Bulldog — Intelligence
English Bulldog Intelligence
While English Bulldogs are known for their affectionate and loyal nature, they are not typically considered one of the most intelligent dog breeds.
Not the fastest learners
English Bulldogs may have difficulty learning new commands and can be slow to house train.
Can be stubborn
This may be due to their stubborn nature and independent streak.
That doesn’t mean they can’t learn, though!
However, English Bulldogs can still be well-behaved and affectionate companions with proper training and socialization.
Positive reinforcement is best for English Bulldogs
It’s important to use positive reinforcement training methods with English Bulldogs, as they may be sensitive to negative feedback.
American Bulldog Intelligence
American Bulldogs are generally considered to be more intelligent than English Bulldogs.
They are a breed that is eager to please and typically responds well to positive reinforcement training methods.
They learn quickly
American Bulldogs can learn commands quickly and are generally easy to train.
However, as with any breed, consistent training and socialization is important to ensure that they become well-behaved and obedient companions.
Socialization is very important
It’s important to keep in mind that American Bulldogs can have a strong protective instinct, and this behavior may need to be managed through proper training and socialization to prevent any undesirable behaviors.
History of Both Breeds
Both English Bulldogs and American Bulldogs have a fascinating and rich history.
English Bulldog History
- Bred for bull-baiting but became a companion animal after the sport was banned.
- Popular in England as a symbol of resilience and determination.
- Experienced decline in popularity but revived by breeders.
Originally bred for bull-baiting
English Bulldogs were originally bred for bull-baiting, a brutal and bloody sport where dogs were pitted against bulls in a fight to the death.
They originated from England in the 1600s.
The breed was prized for its strength, tenacity, and courage in the ring.
Then they became beloved companions
Thankfully, bull-baiting was banned in the 19th century, and the breed’s role shifted to that of a companion animal.
Over time, English Bulldogs became popular pets and were especially beloved in England, where they were seen as a symbol of the country’s resilience and determination.
They almost went extinct
The breed’s popularity eventually waned, and by the mid-20th century, it was in danger of dying out.
However, dedicated breeders worked to revive the breed, focusing on improving its health and temperament.
Today, English Bulldogs are once again a beloved family pet, known for their loyalty, affection, and unique appearance.
American Bulldog History
- Ancestors used for farm work and some bull-baiting.
- Shifted to a working dog role after bull-baiting was banned.
- Experienced decline in popularity but regained status as a beloved family pet.
- Now used for roles beyond farm work, including therapy and law enforcement.
Originally bred for farm work
American Bulldogs, on the other hand, were originally bred for farm work.
American Bulldogs were developed in the United States in the 1800s from various bulldog and mastiff-type breeds.
The breed’s ancestors were used for a variety of tasks, including hunting, herding, and guarding livestock. American Bulldogs were also used for bull-baiting, although they were not as heavily involved in the sport as their English counterparts.
Became working dogs
After bull-baiting was banned, the breed’s role shifted to that of a working dog, and it was used for a variety of tasks on the farm.
Like English Bulldogs, American Bulldogs also experienced a decline in popularity, but have since regained their status as a beloved family pet.
The breed’s loyal and protective nature, combined with its intelligence and athleticism, make it a popular choice for families and individuals looking for a devoted companion.
Today, American Bulldogs are used for a variety of roles, including therapy dogs, search and rescue dogs, and even law enforcement dogs.
English Bulldog vs American Bulldog — Affection
Both breeds are highly affectionate and make great family pets.
English Bulldogs are known for their loyal and affectionate nature and enjoy spending time with their owners.
American Bulldogs are also loyal and affectionate to their owners, but may be more independent and enjoy having their own space as well.
English Bulldog Affection
- Loyal to their owners: English Bulldogs are known for being very loyal and affectionate towards their owners.
- Big lap dogs: They are often described as “lap dogs” and enjoy cuddling and spending time with their families.
- Can be clingy: They may follow their owners around the house and want to be close to them at all times.
- Sensitive & emotional: English Bulldogs can be sensitive and emotional dogs, and may become attached to their owners and home environment.
American Bulldog Affection
- Loyal but independent: American Bulldogs are also known for their loyalty and affection towards their owners, but they may be more independent than English Bulldogs.
- Enjoy their alone time: They may enjoy spending time alone or having their own space to relax.
- Don’t need as much attention: American Bulldogs are confident and self-assured dogs, and may not require as much attention or reassurance from their owners as English Bulldogs do.
- Loving & protective: However, they still form strong bonds with their families and can be very loving and protective.
English Bulldog vs American Bulldog — As Family Pets
Both breeds can be good family pets. However, potential owners should consider the age of their children and the breed’s size and strength.
English Bulldogs and American Bulldogs may need supervision around very young children due to their size and strength.
English Bulldogs As Family Pets
- Good with children & seniors: English Bulldogs are known for their calm, friendly, and affectionate personalities, making them great companions for families with children or seniors.
- Great apartment dogs: They have low exercise requirements and are generally content with short walks and indoor playtime, making them suitable for apartment living.
- You’ll need patience to train them: English Bulldogs can be stubborn and may require consistent training and socialization to prevent behavior problems.
American Bulldogs As Family Pets
- Active dogs: American Bulldogs are known for their loyal, protective, and active personalities, making them great companions for families with active lifestyles.
- Need a strong leader: American Bulldogs are confident and independent dogs that require firm and consistent training and socialization from a young age.
- Not the best around small animals: They have a higher prey drive and may not be suitable for households with smaller animals.
- You’ll want a big yard for them to run around in: They are energetic dogs that require regular exercise and playtime, making them suitable for families with a yard or access to outdoor space.
American Bulldogs may also need supervision due to their protective instincts.
In conclusion, English Bulldogs and American Bulldogs have many differences in terms of their appearance, temperament, history, health, training, sociability, exercise needs, grooming, lifespan, intelligence, affection, and sociability with children.
Potential owners should carefully consider these factors before choosing a breed to ensure that they select a dog that fits their lifestyle and personality.