If you are undecided on whether an American Bulldog or an English Bulldog would be the best choice for you, there are certain differences between the two breeds which are worth knowing before making that final decision. One thing that is worth noting is that American Bulldogs are not recognised as a breed by The Kennel Club, whereas the English Bulldog has been for a long time and is one of the oldest native breeds.
American Bulldog origins
American Bulldogs came about when immigrants to the States took their Old English Bulldogs with them. Over time, they bred longer legged, more agile dogs to suit their needs both in farming, as guard dogs and to round up wild bulls.
English Bulldog origins
The English Bulldog is one of the UKs oldest breeds having been around in the 18th century and were once a popular choice in bull baiting, a sport that was eventually outlawed in the 19th century.
American Bulldogs are more agile than their English cousins, they are renowned for having kind and amenable natures. Loyal, courageous, active and social, American Bulldogs form strong ties with their owners and love being involved in everything that goes on in a household. They need to be well socialised from a young age and their training also needs to start early so they understand their place in the pack. In the right environment, American Bulldogs make for wonderful companions and family pets.
English Bulldogs are squatter than their American cousins and are thought of as the UKs national treasure throughout the world. They have shorter faces which gives them a very distinct look. Kind, loving, gentle, courageous and extremely loyal, the English Bulldog also boasts a fun-loving comical side to their characters which makes the breed all the more endearing. They can be a little wilful and stubborn when the mood takes them which means socialisation and training must start early and even then, an English Bulldog might choose to ignore you when they feel like it. They are not the best choice for first time owners, but in the right hands and environment, these national treasures make wonderful companions and family pets.
American Bulldog Coat
The American Bulldog has a short, close lying coat that can be soft or it can be a little coarser in texture.
English Bulldog Coat
The English Bulldog also has a short, close lying coat much like their American cousins.
American Bulldog Coat colours
American Bulldogs come in lots of colours and colour variations.
English Bulldog Coat colours
English Bulldogs also comes in a variety of colours which includes white, pied, red, brindles and all sorts of shades of them in between.
American Bulldog Shedding
As with many other breeds, the American Bulldog sheds steadily throughout the year only more so during the spring and autumn. As such the breed is considered a moderate shedder.
English Bulldog Shedding
Like their American cousins, the English Bulldog also sheds throughout the year only more so in the spring and autumn and they too, are thought to be moderate shedders.
American Bulldog Training
American Bulldogs are known to be highly intelligent, amenable dogs that learn new things very quickly. They strong, outgoing and confident characters that need to be well socialised and trained from a young age so they understand what is expected of them. They are not the best choice for first time owners, but make wonderful companions and family pets for people who are familiar with the breed. They respond extremely well to positive reinforcement training and it’s worth keeping training sessions shorter and more interesting to keep an American Bulldog focussed.
English Bulldog Training
Highly intelligent, but with a bit of a stubborn streak, the English Bulldog is not the easiest dog to train which is why, as previously mentioned, they are not the best choice for first time owners. With this said, in the right hands and with the right sort of socialisation and training, an English Bulldog learns new things quickly and they love to please. Like their American cousins they respond well to positive reinforcement, but it would be a mistake to use any sort of harsh handling because this would simply not work with an English Bulldog because although intimidating, they are very sensitive dogs by nature.
American Bulldog Exercise
Being more agile and active than their English cousins, the American Bulldog needs to be given the right amount of exercise and mental stimulation to be truly happy, well rounded dogs. As such they should be given anything from forty to sixty minutes exercise a day with as much off the lead time as possible, but only in a safe and secure environment.
English Bulldog Exercise
English Bulldogs are not quite as active or energetic as their American cousins, but they still need to be given the right amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation to be truly happy characters. It is worth noting that because of their shorter snouts, care must be taken as to when and how much exercise an English Bulldog is given when the weather is hot. The reason being that the breed is prone to overheat quickly which could put them in a life-threatening situation. With this said, an English Bulldog needs at least an hour’s exercise a day with as much off the lead time as possible in a secure place.
American Bulldog Children and Pets
American Bulldogs are known to be good around children although they can get a little too protective of them at times which means care needs to be taken when the kids have friends over to play. They are not the best choice for families with very young children being better suited to households where the kids are older. Providing an American Bulldog has been well socialised from a young enough age, they can get on with other dogs although care should always be taken when they meet any dogs for the first time. Care also must be taken when they are around smaller animals and this includes cats although if an American Bulldog grows up with a feline companion in the home, they tend to get on well together.
English Bulldog Children and Pets
English Bulldogs are known to be extremely good around children and this includes younger kids too. Like their American cousins they can be a little too over protective of children which means care also needs to be taken when the kids have friends over to play. If a Bully has been well socialised from a young age, they can get on with other dogs, but care needs to be taken when they meet any other animals for the first time. However, if a Bully has grown up with a cat in the home, they tend to get on well with them.
American Bulldog life expectancy
The average life span of an American Bulldog is between 10 and 15 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
English Bulldog life expectancy
The average life span of an English Bulldog is between 8 – 10 years although some dogs have been known to live longer especially when properly cared for and fed an appropriate, good quality diet to suit their ages.
American Bulldog health
The American Bulldog is prone to suffer from a few health issues some of which are hereditary whereas others are acquired. The health concerns that seem to affect the breed the most are as follows:
- Certain forms of bone cancer
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia
- Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL)
- Kidney disorders
- Thyroid issues
- Cherry eye
- Entropion (Eyelids folding inwards)
English Bulldog health
The English Bulldog is what is known as a brachycephalic breed as such they are prone to having difficulty breathing especially in hotter weather. Other health concerns that are known to affect the breed are as follows:
- Patellar luxation
- Interdigital cysts
- Cherry eye
- Fold dermatitis
- Muzzle pyoderma
- Demodicosis or demodectic mange
- Tail fold dermatitis
- Entropion (Eyelids folding inwards)
- Abnormal dentition
- Cleft lip/harelip
- Cleft palate
- Elongated soft palate
- Brachycephalic upper-airway syndrome
- Hypoplasia of the trachea
- Mitral valve defects
- Arteriovenous fistula (Abnormal Passage Between Artery and Vein)
- Pulmonic stenosis (Congenital heart problem)
- Von Willebrand’s disease
- Perianal gland tumour
A high percentage of English Bulldogs are born by caesarian section which must be performed by a qualified vet.