Types of Bulldogs

Mar 15,2022

What words do come to your mind when you hear “Bulldog”- fear, aggression, ferocity, or maybe cuddling, loyalty and affection? Some people feel uncomfortable around Bulldogs and bully breeds, while others are quite into them and appreciate their qualities. The Bulldog and the various breed types are very popular among dog owners worldwide, that is why we decided to take a look at the breed variations and their characteristics. If you are a Bulldog lover or just want to learn more about the Bulldog types worldwide, this article is just for you.

Bulldog - Origin

The first time someone referred to the word “Bulldog”, was in the 17th century. The name of the breed, and the first part in particular: “bull”, can be traced back to the time when these dogs were used for bull-baiting.  The dog who managed to grab a tethered bull by the nose and hold it down was the winner. Many dogs were seriously injured or killed during this fight. Over time, Bulldogs developed the features typical for the breed- muscular bodies, large heads, and massive jaws. Bull-baiting had a negative impact on the dogs’ temperament as well- they became aggressive and feral. Luckily, this type of “sport” was officially prohibited in England and declared illegal by the Cruelty to Animals Act 1835. From then on, Bulldogs and their personality changed a lot. Many people opt for a Bulldog when choosing a dog breed, based on their loving, sometimes a bit goofy personality, and gentle disposition. We will list several popular types of Bulldog and their characteristics, so that you can have a better idea of what type of Bulldog would suit you best.

Types of Bulldogs

Bulldog types have common physical features, that distinguish them- a short muzzle, strong jaw, wrinkled face, muscular physique. Despite all similarities, the types of Bulldog popular today have different origins and unique characteristics (we can say this about all dogs as individuals, as well), which are worth checking.

1. English Bulldog

This is maybe the oldest type of Bulldog, that is assumed to have been bred in the 13th century. The English Bulldog can reach up to 14-15 inches / 36-38 cm in height and 40-50 lbs/ 18-23 kg in weight. Their coat is short, shiny, and smooth and can be available in the following variations: white, fawn, red or pale brown known as “fallow” color. There can be patterns on certain body areas as well. The lifespan of this type’s representatives is expected to be 8-10 years. Although they may look a bit scary to some people, these dogs are actually loving and affectionate. They are also good with children, which makes them popular among families. Due to their strong physique, they will be able to handle the clumsiness of a child, which may play a bit rough sometimes. These dogs are great guard dogs, not only due to their appearance but due to their great loyalty and ability to stop intruders. It is still recommended that you socialize your English Bulldog at a young age and supervise the interactions between them and your children, at least at the beginning. Due to over-breeding, English Bulldogs are prone to breathing problems. Also, they are predisposed to heart disorders, cancer, and infections.

2. American Bulldog

The American Bulldog (not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC)), was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1999. These dogs are known as big lapdogs and are very gentle and affectionate. They are bigger than the English Bulldogs, as they can reach up to 20-28 inches/ 51-71 cm in height and 60-120 lbs/ 27-54 kg in weight. The lifespan of these dogs is approximately 10-15 years.

They are considered healthier than their counterparts. Their body is quite muscular and their jaw is strong. The ears of the breed’s representatives can be seen in three versions- droopy or pricked (some owners crop the ears of their dogs as well). Having an American Bulldog means that you always will be able to rely on a loyal friend as needed. These dogs attach to their family and protect them. They get along with children as well, which makes them a good choice as family dogs. English Bulldogs have a calm and balanced temper, however, they can be a bit stubborn sometimes, so you may need to prove your patience when training them. Also, you should remember to regularly exercise your paw friend. 

3. French Bulldog

Frenchies (as these cute little fellows are known) are one of the most popular types of Bulldogs. During the Industrial Revolution when the lace industry thrived, they used to be companion dogs for the lacemakers in England. Due to their small size, they are suited to apartment living. Once the industry related to lace making, was relocated in France, these lovely dogs, were brought there by their owners. The cute form of Frenchies’ ears is likely to have to do with their presumed cross-breeding with Pugs and terriers. These cuties provide great companionship, they are loving, playful, and gentle. You can raise them in both apartments and spacious houses with backyards or adjoining rural areas. They are likely to reach 11-13 inches / 28-33 cm in height, and 19-28 lbs/ 9-13 kg in weight. The French Bulldog has a short coat that is colored in white, fawn, and brindle or mixed-colored. The lifespan of these dogs is about 10-12 years.

4. Olde English Bulldogge

These canines are a breed developed after crossing the following three breeds:  The American Bulldog, the American Pit Bull Terrier, and the Bullmastiff. You may wonder if this crossbreeding had a purpose. Yes, it had. In mid 20th century David Leavitt decided to develop a new breed that combines the physical appearance and health of the old bulldogs from the 18th century. Luckily, the new breed, stood out with its loving personality, despite its athletic look and impressive physique. These canines reach up to 16-19 inch/ 41-48 cm in height and 50-80 lbs/ 23-36 kg in weight. The average lifespan of this type of Bulldogs is 9-14 years. The representatives of the Olde English Bulldogge are highly energetic, so you should exercise them enough so they can spend an excessive amount of energy. Otherwise, they may become destructive. However, they are friendly (a feature of the modern Bulldogs), and will protect your family at all costs! Also, these dogs are quite adaptive. 

5. Australian Bulldog

As the name of the type indicates, it originates in Australia. The Australian Bulldog was bred as part of a breeding program with the purpose to develop healthier Bulldog, that suites the weather conditions in Australia. The new breed, created in the 1990s (it is a relatively new breed), is supposed to be a good companion dog that gets along with children. The English Bulldog was the main breed used for the creation of the Australian Bulldog, so there is no wonder that the similarities between both breeds are so apparent. However, this type of Bulldog has less wrinkles and relatively long limbs. The Aussie Bulldog has a loving temperament, and the breed representatives are very affectionate and loyal. Due to their friendly personality, these doggies are not considered the best guard dogs. However, they make great watchdogs and will develop a strong bond with their family. Aussie Bulldogs are very intelligent, adaptable and desire to be loved. These canines can reach up to 17-20 inch/ 43- 51 cm in height and up to 50-78 lbs/ 23-35 kg in weight. Their lifespan is about 10-12 years. Their wonderful smooth coat can be available in different colors- orange, red, fawn, mahogany, apricot, white, and brindle.

6. Ca de Bou

This type of Bulldog originates in Spain and the island of Majorca in particular. The name “Ca de Bou” means “Bulldog” in Catalan. Other names used for this type of Bulldog are Majorca mastiff and Mallorquin bulldog. It is assumed that the Ca de Bou was created after local mixed breeds (developed from the Majorca Shepherd Dog, the Old Spanish Alano, and the Spanish Mastiff) were crossbred with English Bulldogs. The main purpose of creating this type of Bulldog was bull-baiting. These dogs can reach up to 20-23 inch/ 51-58 cm in height and 66-84 lbs/ 30-38 kg in weight. Their average lifespan is 10-12 years. Despite the reason for the breed’s creation, the modern representatives of the Ca de Bou are wonderful family companions that make great guard dogs as well. Proper socialization and training at an early age are recommended, as otherwise, they may become territorial.

7. Alapaha Blue-Blood Bulldog

A dog with blue blood- quite interesting, isn’t it? Actually, the name of these canines is supposed to be a sign of their nobility. Papa Buck Lane is considered the creator of the breed. The Alapaha Blue-Blood Bulldog has an impressive physique, and the representatives of the breed surpass the English Bulldog in strength and size. The Alapaha dogs shine out in areas like guarding, herding and hunting. These canines are loyal and devoted to their family and can be very playful as well. Negative features, that they can develop are territoriality and possessiveness. It is usually recommended that you have more experience in raising and training a dog, prior to getting an Alapaha. You may need to train and socialize with your paw friend at a young age. The weight that these dogs can reach is 66-99 lbs/ 30-45 kg. Their maximum height can reach up to 19-26 inches / 48-66 cm. Their lifespan is about 11-13 years. 

8. Bullmastiff

These impressive dogs were cross-bred from the Old English Bulldog and the English Mastiff in order to inherit the best characteristics of both breeds. These canines were quite popular among the aristocracy in England in the 19th century as they were used to protect their preserves from poachers raids. Despite the job, these dogs used to do earlier, their personality changed over time and nowadays they are known as loving and affectionate canines. When properly trained and socialized, they can get along with other animals and kids. You may need to monitor them when interacting with small children or seniors, as they may not realize how big they are, and accidentally injure someone. They are likely to reach up to 130 lbs/ 59 kg in weight 24-27 inch/ 61-69 cm in height. Their lifespan is about 9-10 years. Their coat is quite short and can be available in red, brindle and fawn.

9. Campiero Bulldog

It is assumed that this type of Bulldog is a mixed breed from the Old English Bulldog (an extinct breed, that originated in Europe, (should not be confused with the American breed “Olde English Bulldogge”) and local Brazilian dogs after being brought to Brazil by immigrants. According to other theories, the Terceira Mastiff has also something to do with the creation of the Campiero Bulldog. The main purpose that these canines were used for was to be cattle dogs in rural areas. It may be a bit controversial whether these dogs are good companions or not. They may not be so gentle as some owners may hope for them to be, however, they are very loyal, they will protect their family, thus can become wonderful watch and guard dogs. Also, these dogs are very adaptive. Their lifespan is approximately 10-12 years, they are likely to reach up to 99 lbs/ 45 kg in weight and 19-23 inch/ 48-58 cm in height.

10. Continental Bulldog

This type of Bulldog originates in Switzerland in the 2000s as a mixed breed between the Olde English Bulldogge and the English Bulldog. The main purpose of developing this breed, as well as of many others, was creating a breed with fewer health issues (mainly breathing problems) and physically stronger than the English Bulldog. The representatives of the Continental Bulldog are highly energetic, so you should provide them with enough exercises and walks. These canines are known as affectionate and balance-tempered. Also, they are likely to attach to their owner and sense any behavioral changes in them, which makes them good service dogs, when properly trained. They tend to reach 15-21 inch/ 38-53 cm in height and 48-66 lbs/ 22-30 kg in weight. Their lifespan is approximately 12-14 years.

11. Victorian Bulldog

This breed was created in the late 20th century by Ken Mollett as a sign of appreciation to the their ancestors in the Victorian era. The new breed, developed through crossbreeding of the Bull Terrier, the Bullmastiff and the Staffordshire Terrier, was healthier (less breathing issues) than the original Bulldogs from the Victorian era. This type of Bulldog is considered very loyal and trustworthy. These dogs can become great family pets, as they are good with other pets and children. Of course, proper training should be considered at a young age. They are suspicious towards unknown people, which makes them great guard dogs. Their approximate lifespan is 12-14 years, they are likely to reach 16 – 19 inches / 41- 48 cm in height and 55-75 lbs 25-34 kg in weight.

12. Serrano Bulldog

Another wonderful Brazilian type of Bulldog is the Serrano Bulldog. These Bulldogs were created to be guard and cattle dogs. It is assumed that these canines were cross-bred from the Old English Bulldog and the Bullenbeisser. According to other theories, the Bulldog type Alano Espanol also was one of the breeds involved in the Serrano’s creation. The Serrano Bulldogs are known as smart and loyal guard dogs, who do not show aggression when unprovoked. They are affectionate to their family members and excel in performing various tasks. They can reach up to 68–88 lbs/ 31–40 kg in weight and 20–22 inch/ 50–56 cm in height. Their lifespan is about 10-12 years.

Other types of Bulldogs

Other types of Bulldogs are also:

Alano Español, American Bull Dogue de Bordeaux, American Bully, American Staffordshire Bully, American Pit Bull Terrier, Amitola Bulldog, Bando Bull, Banter Bulldogge, Bonsai Bulldogge, Colorado Bulldog, Dorset Olde Tyme Bulldogge, English Boston-Bulldog, Faux Frenchbo Bulldog, Free-Lance Bulldog, Italian Bulldogge, Leavitt Bulldog, Larson Lakeview Bulldogge, Mammut Bulldog, Mountain Bulldog, Mallorquin Bulldog, Miniature Australian Bulldog, Miniature Bulldog, Miniature English Bulldog, Mollett Victorian Bulldog, Old Anglican Bulldogge, Olde Boston Bulldogge, Olde Staff Bulldogge, Olde Pit Bulldogge, Olde Staffybull Bulldogge, Olde Victorian Bulldogge, Otto Bulldog, Pakistani Bull Dog (Gull Dong), Red-Tiger Bulldog, Titan Bull-Dogge, Valley Bulldog, Vanguard Bulldog, Victorian Boston Bulldog, Victorian Bulldog, White English Bulldog.

Please keep in mind that some types of Bulldogs are not recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Feared by many, loved by plenty, the Bulldog (and all-breed variations) tends to be one of the most controversial breeds. However, it gradually proves that its representatives can be very gentle and affectionate and become great family pets.