Be prepared by being well informed. This section contains all the information that you'll need if you currently have, or are considering purchasing, an English Bulldog.

Have questions that aren't answered in this section? Feel free to drop us a line by e-mail or phone, we'd be glad to assist you.

English Bulldog Breed Profile

Breed Name:English Bulldog.

Description: The English Bulldog is today a friendly and lovable dog that adores its family, and is unsurpassed in its relations with children. The English Bulldog loves with the depth of its heart and never tires of doing things with its owners. It usually gets along well with other animals. Playful and high-spirited as a puppy, the Bulldog grows up to be a calm and dignified adult. The English Bulldog is not for those who expect absolute obedience from their dog, though the claim that Bulldogs think more slowly than other dogs is not true.

History: Said to have originated in the British Isles, the name "bull" was applied because of the dog's connection with bull baiting. The original bulldog had to be ferocious and courageous, and almost insensitive to pain. When dog fighting became illegal in England, fanciers set to the task of preserving the breed by eliminating the fierce characteristics. Within a few generations, the Bulldog became one of the finest physical specimens with an agreeable temperament.

Height: 12 - 14 inches.

Weight: 50 - 55 lbs.

Colors: Uniform in color, red brindle, fawn brindle, red, white, fawn. Also various markings such as black mask, brindle markins, white markings.

Coat: Short and smooth.

Temperament: Affectionate, but sometimes stubborn; great with kids!

Category: Non-sporting.

Registries: AKC, CKC, FCI (Group 2), KC (GB)

Bringing your new Bulldog Baby Home

When you arrive home with your puppy, remember - your puppy is a baby is an English Bulldog. Like all babies, he needs lots of love and cuddling, lots of rest and sleep, lots of good nourishing food and more love and cuddling. Remember your baby is moving to a new home, and leaving his dam and litter mates and the only humans he has ever really known. This is a very traumatic experience for the puppy, so try to make the move as easy as possible for him.

For the first couple of weeks, try to change his life as little as possible. Your puppy should eat at the same time, have the same amount and the same brand of food that we feed here at Rolling Hills. We will provide you with a bag of food when you leave and recommend that you continue to feed your puppy that same food. Some of our favorite foods are Orijen, Taste of the Wild, and Royal Canin puppy. Feed him in the same place at each meal. We recommend that you feed your bulldog from a metal or ceramic bowl, and wash the bowl daily. Provide fresh water daily for your puppy and always have it available.

Be sure he has a special area all his own for his bed. Give him lots and lots of cuddling and petting. Do not let him play so long and hard that he becomes exhausted. Sometime during the first week, you should take him to your veterinarian for a check up. Take along the record of his immunizations, wormings, and a stool sample. We will provide you with a detailed record to take to your vet. Once the puppy is settled securely into his new home, you can begin to introduce him to your way of doing things. If you want to change the brand of puppy kibble he is eating, the change should be slow and gradual. Substitute a small amount of the old food with the new brand and slowly increase the ratio of new to old until the old brand is completely replaced with the new.

Getting Ready

We recommend that you have your puppies area all ready for him when he first arrives at his new home. Here is a list of a few things to have ready for your new baby:

  • Food Dish with straight sides and flat bottom. The best material is stainless steel - avoid plastic.
  • Water Dish. Stainless steel is best.
  • Collar. We recommend using a harness when walking your puppy, it gives you good control without excessive tugging on the neck. Remember a bulldog puppy is special and you must take extra care to protect him from injury! Bulldog pups can sometimes slip out of a collar because their necks are larger then other breeds.
  • Wire Crate. It is much easier to house train a puppy if he sleeps in a crate. If you travel at all with your dog, he is safer and happier riding in a crate and if you are staying overnight he has a place of his own to sleep in. It is just as important for your dog to be in a crate in the car as it is for you to wear your seat belt. If you do not have a crate, or one will not fit in your car, get him a dog safety car harness. English Bulldogs do better in wire crates than the Veri-Kennel type because the air circulation through the wire crates is so much better. Dogs like to have a special "my place" so If you don't have a crate, try one, you and your Bulldog will like it.
  • A Good Brush. You can use almost any brush on an English Bulldog but the best ones have flexible rubber bristles. You want one small enough to fit your hand comfortably.
  • Lots of Toys! You should have toys available for your baby to play with, and some chewies too, but as with any baby there are precautions that need to be taken. Never ever give your English Bulldog a rawhide toy. Even Bulldog puppies can tear a piece off the rawhide and choke on it. Many like to play with balls, but be sure the ball is too big to lodge in the throat. We recommend interactive toys, and tough toys such as the KONG. Bulldogs also like cotton stuffed toys, they will chew on them and cuddle with them. Always inspect toys daily! Toys that are ripping and have the stuffing coming out must be thrown away. Stuffing can be ingested and cause bowel obstruction. Toys can break and cause trauma to your puppy if swallowed. The only real difference between the toys for a puppy and the toys for an adult Bulldog is size. The puppy gets a fairly small Gummabone, the adult gets a big one. Just be sure the toy is too big to swallow. Throw a Nyla or Gummabone etc. away before it gets so small the dog can get the entire piece in its mouth.

English Bulldog Medicine Chest

  • Vaseline. Use this on his nose, on his eye wrinkles, any place you need to soothe and waterproof but don't need to medicate. Use it also on the thermometer when you take his temperature.
  • Plastic Real Lemon. If he gets phlegm in his throat and chokes on it, a couple squirts of juice from the plastic lemon will help clear it out.
  • A good rectal thermometer.
  • Clear Eyes, Duolube, etc. for irritated eyes.
  • Panalog Ointment. A good all purpose ointment for minor skin afflictions. Also good for cleaning wrinkles, tail pockets and ears. Do not put in his eyes.
  • Bag Balm. Also useful for minor skin afflictions.
  • PeptoBismol. For minor stomach upset (as directed by your veterinarian)
  • Cotton balls. Use for applying medication, for cleaning and to keep ears dry while bathing.

A few things to consider about the weather...

English Bulldogs can not tolerate extreme temperatures. During the summer they should not be left outdoors for long periods of time, and must have access to shady areas. It is best to keep them indoors with air conditioning. If they must be outside, it is good to have a fan in a shady sheltered area. Remember to always watch your Bulldog when he is outside, and if he seems to be panting, bring him in to cool down and rest. Bulldogs are very prone to heat exhaustion, which can lead to heat stroke and even death.

Due to their short hair, English Bulldogs also must have a good heat source in the winter.


An English Bulldog that receives frequent brushings and rubdowns does not need frequent bathing. Most Bulldoggers bathe their dogs when the dog is dirty - when it obviously needs a bath. Of course, if you are exhibiting your English Bulldog he needs a bath before he goes to the show. A show dog in the ring should be a squeaky clean dog in the ring. Where do you bathe a Bulldog? Any place you want to and can! Some Bulldoggers have a big deep sink, some use the bath tub, some use the kitchen sink, in the summer some wash the dog on the lawn. You need a place where you can control the dog, where you can easily control the water supply and where you can rinse the dog thoroughly. It's a good idea, especially with a puppy, to take the dog outside to "do his thing" just before you bathe him. Gather up all the things you will need before you start. You will need: puppy shampoo, any rinses you plan to use, cotton balls, eye ointment or mineral oil, Vaseline, wash cloth, towels. You will want a mild, no tears shampoo. Wet the dog thoroughly from just behind the ears to the tips of the toes on his hind feel. Be sure his underside is wet, too, not just the top and sides. Apply the shampoo starting at his neck and working back. Wet the wash cloth and use it to dampen the dog's face and ears. Put some shampoo on the washcloth and wash the dog's face. Wash in the wrinkles over the nose, on the forehead, around the nose and under the eyes. Wash his nose. Wash his ears, inside and out. Now rinse. Rinse until you are sure every bit of the dog, especially in the wrinkles and tight places, is thoroughly rinsed and there is no shampoo any place. If you are applying a rinse, do it now, following the instructions. You can use a dog conditioner rinse like Oster Creme Rinse, Oster Coat Conditioner or Francodex Oatmeal Creme Rinseconditioner like L'Oreal Creme. Dry the dog with towels. Take the cotton balls out of the dogs ears, and rub a dab of Vaseline onto his nose to help keep it soft. You can then let him air dry or use a hair dryer to finish the drying. It's best to keep the dog inside until it is completely dry - about two hours.

About the wrinkles....

English Bulldogs tend to have messy face wrinkles. The older they get, the messier the wrinkles. How often you clean these wrinkles depends on the dog. Some do very well if you clean the wrinkles a couple of times a week. Some need it on a daily basis. When you clean the wrinkles, wash his nose and apply a good rub of Vaseline to keep it soft. It's better to clean more often than you think you need to than not often enough. You can clean the wrinkles with a soft, damp cloth and then dry. Or you can wash them using the shampoo you use to bathe the dog. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and dry thoroughly. One of the best ways is to wipe the wrinkles clean with Baby Wipes with lanolin and aloe. Whatever method you use, be sure to get the deep nose wrinkle clean. You may need to put a soothing ointment in the deep nose wrinkle. If it is irritated Panalog will help to heal. Diaparene Ointment will soothe and dry the wrinkle. This contains zinc oxide, so before you apply it, rub Vaseline into the dog's nose. It is not uncommon to see English Bulldogs with "tear stains" of varying degrees of color. If the stain is bad, in addition to cleaning you may want to try to remove the stain. There are many treatments, you may have to try several before you find one that works for you. Some of the commercial products used are Showes "Pretty Eyes" Stain remover, Bio-Groom cream (to prevent re-staining) and Diamond Eye. You can make a paste of I Tbs. Hydrogen Peroxide and enough corn starch to make a thin paste (some Bulldoggers add I Tbs. Milk of Magnesia to the hydrogen peroxide and mix the cornstarch into that mixture). Apply to the stain, let dry, brush off excess. Apply on a daily basis until the stain in gone, then weekly to keep stain from returning. Another method is to rub the stain with a cotton ball soaked in Boric Acid. Daily until the stain is gone, then weekly. Another remedy is rubbing a dab of Desitin into the stain to help dry it.

House Training

The key here is consistency. Take the pup outside, preferably to the same area each time, as soon as he wakes up, about ten minutes after each meal, about every hour when he's awake, just before his nap or night bedtime. The puppy must empty bladder and bowels before he goes to bed for the night. Always praise the puppy as he is going, and move away from the area as soon as he is finished. Very few dogs will soil their beds, so it is best to keep him confined at night and any time you cannot watch him. If you see the pup "hunting" (sniffing and circling) take him outside immediately. If you see him urinating or defecating in the house, say "NO, NO" and take him outside at once. Do not scold him unless you catch him in the act. Praise for correct behavior works much better than punishment for "incorrect" behavior. Remember, a puppy is a baby, his capacity is small, his muscle control limited. Be consistent, be patient, and you will succeed in training him to go outside not inside.

Lead Training

The earlier you start the better, but, if your puppy has not had any lead training before you get him, wait a week or so until he's settled comfortably into his new home before you begin. The collar should be long enough to slip over his head with ease and have some room for growth, but should not be more than six inches longer than the circumference of his neck. Put the collar on the puppy so that it goes over his neck from his left to right. Fasten the lead to the collar and let the puppy lead you around. If he doesn't move, move a bit and coax him to move after you. Do not ever pull on the lead and drag or choke the puppy. This should be a happy experience for the puppy so give him lots of praise. As he becomes used to walking about with the collar and lead, begin to give little tugs and encourage him to follow you rather than you following him. Always keep him on your left side. Keep his lessons short. Several five to ten minutes sessions a day are better than one half hour session. Do not play with the puppy during his lesson, but do praise him often when he follows you. Once he is following you with consistency you can begin taking him on walks around the neighborhood. You will probably need to give him several gentle tugs the first few times to keep him with you rather than exploring on his own. You may need to stop and talk to him a few times. Again, do not pull on the lead and drag or choke him. A quick jerk and immediate release on the collar is the way to control him. Do not try to rush this. A few minutes a day, every day, lots of praise when he does it right, a quick jerk and release to correct when he doesn't, lots of praise, patience and consistency and he will soon be walking nicely at your side. If you plan to exhibit your puppy, you will also need to train him to stand still and let you hold his head. Start this training along with the lead training as early as possible.

Common Problems and Treatments

The very best advice is to know your English Bulldog. Check the entire dog daily. Know if he isn't eating, if he isn't playing, if he doesn't seem quite right. Know immediately if something is wrong so you can take appropriate action. TDo not keep trying various methods of home medication. The second best medical advice any one can give you is, "Find a veterinarian who knows and likes English Bulldogs." This is one of the reasons why it's a good idea to join your local English Bulldog Specialty Club. The members can usually refer you to a veterinarian who is familiar with Bulldogs and who likes them. Believe it or not - some veterinarians don't like English Bulldogs. If that is the case, no matter how good a veterinarian is, he's not a good one for your Bulldog.

  • Liquid Medications - The easiest way to give a liquid medication is with a syringe. You can get them from your veterinarian or most drug stores. You want at least a 2cc size. Discard the needle. Pull the proper amount of liquid into the syringe, open the dog's mouth and "shoot" the liquid onto the back of his tongue.
  • Pills and Capsules - Open the dog's mouth, push the pill or capsule as far down his throat as possible, then hold his mouth shut and stroke his throat until he swallows. This has been known to work. Or wrap the pill or capsule in a bit of ground beef or cheese and feed it to the dog. This usually works.
  • Vomiting - For minor upset stomach Pepto Bismol or a similar medicine works best. Your veterinarian will dose is according to the dog's weight.
  • Diarrhea - Kaopektate is most usually prescribed for minor diarrhea. Dose amount depends on the dog's weight. If the diarrhea continues longer than 24 hours or if there is blood in the stool, take the dog to the veterinarian.
  • Hot Spots - These are red, weepy, itchy spots. No one seems to really know what causes them. It could be fleas, food, allergies, etc. Clean the area thoroughly. You can wash with shampoo, rinse and dry. Your vet can prescribe an ointment to treat locally. Clean and apply medication daily.
  • Interdigital Cysts - This is another problem that no one seems to be sure what the cause is, you'll know one when you see an angry red swelling pop up between the dog's toes. First examine the paw carefully, especially the underside between the pads to be sure there is no foreign matter (a thorn or such). If there is, take it out. Clean the area. One remedy is soaking the paw in warm water and Epsom Salts solution, dry and rub in Panalog. Your vets will help you decide waht is the best treatment for your dog.
  • Fungus Spots - These are somewhat like hot spots, but they are not weepy. Be sure you clean away all the "scabby" material. Wash the area and treat with Malaseb, Panalog, or any good anti-fungal ointment. You can use Denorex shampoo or a sulfur based soap for the washing.
  • Facial Acne or Eczema - English Bulldogs are forever putting their faces into all kinds of strange places. Some are susceptible to topical bacterial infections. The dog gets pimples on his face and chin. Usually you can clear these up just by washing and rubbing in an anti-biotic ointment. Or you can try OXYIO (benzoil peroxide) which you can purchase at a drug store. If they persist, you will need to get an oral anti-biotic medication from your veterinarian.
  • Eyes - Dust, wind, pollen, the things that make your eyes burn and water have the same effect on your English Bulldog. You can rinse the eyes out with a solution such as Clear Eyes. If the eyes are badly irritated, use a contact lens ointment such as Bausch & Lomb Duolube. For any other eye ailment, take the dog to your veterinarian.
  • Cherry Eye - The gland which normally resides under the lower eye lid at the inside corner of the eye will sometimes "pop" out. This is not as horrible as it appears to be and does not require emergency treatment. It does require treatment at the earliest possible time by a veterinarian recommended for "Cherry Eye'. The quicker the dog gets treatment the better the chance for successful treatment without removing the gland. Removal of the gland often results in a "dry" eye.
  • Tail - Some English Bulldog's have their tail set in a pocket. If yours does, you will need to make a special effort to keep that pocket clean and dry. Wipe it out frequently. You may need to use cotton balls rather than a wash cloth if the pocket is tight. Be sure to dry it thoroughly and apply an ointment such as Panalog, or a drying powder.
  • Temperature - You take his temperature just as you take a small baby's - rectally. Use a good rectal thermometer, lubricate generously with Vaseline, insert gently, hold onto the thermometer dogs have been known to "suck" them in, wait about five minutes, pull out and read. Normal temperature for most dogs is from 100.5 to 101.
  • Ice - Start giving your English Bulldog pieces of ice to eat when he is still a small puppy so that he learns to like it. Luckily, most Bulldogs do. This is a great way to cool down a hot dog. Blocks of ice make a great summer time toy. A pan of ice in or on top of his crate helps keep him cool.
  • Insect Stings - If your English Bulldog is stung by a bee or other insect, give him Benadryl (either capsule or liquid) and watch him closely for the next half hour. (Always talk to your vet for dosing!) You may also apply an ice pack to the area where he was stung if you know where it is. If the area around the sting swells and hardens, if hives appear, if he seems to have difficulty breathing - rush him immediately to the veterinarian. This is no time to dally, your dog's life depends on quick treatment.