It’s hard to mistake a Bulldog. With their wrinkly skin, stumpy legs, large heads and undershot jaw, Bulldogs have become a staple breed in America. In fact, the Bulldog ranks the 5th most popular breed in the country (2018).
Even the smaller cousin of the Bulldog, the French Bulldog, cracks the top 5 list for popularity. Bulldogs are everywhere, and it’s easy to see why. However, did you know that there are many more variations of the prevalent Bulldog?
Through crossbreeding the Bully-type dogs with various breeds, the world had seen at least two dozen Bulldog breeds. While some may be extinct, many more have thrived in our modern-day society. Read on to learn more about the different Bulldog types.
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Table of Contents
- What’s a Bulldog?
- 1. American Bulldog
- 2. English Bulldog
- 3. French Bulldog
- 4. Australian Bulldog
- 5. Olde English Bulldogge
- 6. Catahoula Bulldog
- 7. Victorian Bulldog
- 8. Ca de Bou
- 9. Alapaha Blue-Blood Bulldog
- 10. Serrano Bulldog
- 11. Alano Español
- 12. Continental Bulldog
- 13. Valley Bulldog
- 14. Bullmastiff
- 15. Campiero Bulldog
What’s a Bulldog?
Bulldogs, both American and English, may be the two most popular bulldog-types outside of the French Bulldog. While the two may slightly differ in looks, the temperaments are relatively the same. As such, they’re often confused for one another.
However, bulldog-type breeds have undeniably similar physical characteristics seen all across the board. For example, you’re always going to get a similar build and frame, that is, wide and short with plenty of heft.
And while height and weight varies among bulldog-types, the breed’s signature wrinkled skin is often visible on the face and body. Other defining characteristics of these dogs are the short snout and flat face. We call them, brachycephalic dogs.
Bulldogs are wonderful dogs and they are not lazy. They’re very smart but also very stubborn. Mine is also very treat-motivated, so you can get him to do just about anything you want with food.– Dogpaw (City Data)
Bulldogs were once aggressive and brave dogs, bred for bull-baiting. But in time, they evolved into the docile and friendly companion dogs we see today. They’ve come a long way since their days as fighters, and the modern Bulldogs are proof.
It’s not unusual to see a sweet-tempered Bulldog with a gentle disposition. They’re as loving as any other breed with their people-oriented personalities. As such, they’re great with kids and do well with other dogs if socialized.
Because of their past, Bulldogs still retain the courageousness and alertness that these dogs once needed. It’s why they make some of the best watchdogs today. While they can be sweet to family, they’re likely be aloof with strangers.
There are so many types of Bulldogs, each with their own unique characteristics and charm. In fact, plenty have unfortunately already gone extinct. We’ve compiled a list of the most popular and/or unique Bulldog types.
1. American Bulldog
Highlights: Loyal, Confident, Friendly
The American Bulldog is the classic all-american canine that demonstrates superb endurance, strength and agility. They’re direct descendants of the English Bulldog, though they’re slightly bigger and stronger than their ancestors.
Back in the early 19th century, oversea Bulldogs first arrived in the United States. However, few historians estimate that they’ve been in the country since the 17th century. Eventually the breed was developed to have qualities more in-line with farm work.
The American Bulldogs had several jobs as companions for farmers and ranchers. These multi-purpose working breeds guarded livestock, caught feral pigs and also did some herding. They were essential to farms in the 19th century.
But as farming became less popular in the country, the American Bulldogs once again had to evolve into companion pets. However, with their favorable even-tempered personalities, the transition was smooth and widely successful.
American Bulldog Temperament
American Bulldogs have all the top qualities you’d want in a companion dog. For starters, they are as loyal as dogs come – always having your back in any situation. Along with their sky-high confidence, they aren’t afraid to defend their owners.
While tough and courageous workers, American Bulldogs are calm and gentle in the home. In other words, they can make good playmates for older children if properly trained and socialized. Though, the stubbornness can make training difficult.
The American Bulldog will need a firm and consistent leader of the pack. After all, they’ll likely have dominant personalities that needs to be kept in check. But with a loving home and some good exercise, they’ll be the perfect dog.
2. English Bulldog
Highlights: Friendly, Docile, Outgoing
The English Bulldog is where it all started. Historical evidence points to these dogs first being developed in the 13th century in England. Back then, they were primarily used for the blood-sport, that is, bull-baiting.
Once ferocious, fearless and tenacious dogs, English Bulldogs were thrown into a pit of angry bulls to battle it out. In fact, that’s where they got their name, bull dogs. With their strong jaws, a Bulldog would taunt and pin down the animals in front of spectators.
It was truly a grim sport that’s fortunately banned all over the world. Today, English Bulldogs are not the same dogs as they once were. After the ban, there were still many Bulldogs all around the country. So, breeders started breeding for temperament.
The more gentle and calm English Bulldog became a hit with families in England. As such, the breed gained international attention and eventually made its way outside the country, where the dog was further developed into all the Bulldog-types we have today.
English Bulldog Temperament
Few dog breeds are as sweet and docile as the modern English Bulldog. Despite their looks, the English Bulldog isn’t aggressive nor fierce. Rather, these dogs have a bit of silliness with a soft spot for members of the family.
With children of the home, they’re great companions due to their special affinity towards kids. Not only are they durable enough to handle the rough play of children, but they’re outgoing and love to be the center of attention among the little ones.
From the past, English Bulldogs still retain their courageous nature. With that said, these dogs are a great second pair of eyes on your children. Even so, we suggest parent supervision and a lot of socializing and training before trusting these dogs.
3. French Bulldog
Highlights: Fun-loving, Adaptable, Smart
As great as American and English Bulldogs are, the French Bulldog has been the most popular bulldog-type breed. Also known as the Frenchie, these dogs were bred down in size to serve as attractive companions suitable for most families.
It was during the Industrial Revolution in England when Frenchies first started popping up. They were popular toy-sized companions that could easily live in the small apartments of lace makers in Nottingham, England.
However, as the hub for the lace-making industry shifted to northern France, many of workers had to relocate. As such, they brought their toy-sized bulldog companions with them. And in the rural areas of the lace factories, Frenchies became a huge hit.
Through the next decade, the old Frenchies were crossbred with other popular toy companions to develop the modern French Bulldog. It’s believed that they were crossed with Pugs and other terriers, thus, developing their signature bat-like ears.
French Bulldog Temperament
French Bulldogs are the most popular bulldog-type breeds for a reason. It’s their playful nature, combined with a cheerful attitude, why Frenchies have infiltrated millions of homes around the world. There are few dogs as lively and optimistic as them.
Given their history as companion dogs in all types of environments, French Bulldogs are some of the most adaptable breeds. They were developed for small enclosures, such as apartments and small homes. However, they’ll thrive in rural areas and suburbs too.
Frenchies are the ultimate companions and lap dogs. These dogs love to lounge around with their owners, though they don’t mind playing hard as well. Whatever you’re up for, they will be happy to come along for some fun.
4. Australian Bulldog
Highlights: Affectionate, Loyal, Sociable
Though the Australian Bulldog resembles his English cousin, there are obvious influences of other breeds, such as Boxers. And as the name says, this bulldog-type originated from down under, in Australia circa 1998.
Australian Bulldogs were first developed by Noel and Tina Green, the founders of an Australian breeding program. Their goal was to develop a functional bulldog that was more suited for the harsh environment of Australia.
Of course, the main breed used for this bulldog was the English Bulldog. However, other breeds such as the Boxer, Bullmastiff and Staffordshire Bull Terrier were used. The result was a bulldog with less wrinkles and longer limbs, at least physically.
Australian Bulldog Temperament
The Australian Bulldog, like other bulldog-types, is a sweet-natured and affectionate dog, bred to thrive in family environments. Not only are they extremely devoted dogs, but they also have high intelligence, thus making training easier.
They were developed for the Australian lifestyle and they match perfectly. In the home, expect to see a laid-back dog willing to adapt to various lifestyles. Whether in an apartment or your rural farm, these adaptable dogs will do well.
Exercise is still crucial for the Australian Bulldog. After all, they were bred to be better athletes than their English cousins. Even so, there’s no much you need to keep this breed happy. Their most important necessity is love and attention.
5. Olde English Bulldogge
Highlights: Adaptable, Brave, Docile
Originally developed in the 1970s by David Leavitt, the Olde English Bulldogge was meant to be a throwback to the 18th century Bulldog. Leavitt wanted to breed a Bulldog that retained the looks, health and athleticism of the old bulldogs.
Leavitt began to crossbreed the English Bulldog with the Bullmastiff, the American Pit Bull Terrier and American Bulldog. The result provided an athletic bulldog that had all the physical qualities of the past bull-baiting dogs, but a sweet temperament.
In order to distinguish his line from others, Leavitt called his dogs the “Leavitt Bulldogs.” Though they were often misspelled as “bulldogges.” However, when the UKC finally recognized these dogs in 2014, they officially named them Olde English Bulldogges.
Given the many parent breeds of the Olde English Bulldogge, you can probably already guess the temperament of these dogs. Bulldogges were courageous, confident and proud dogs. But in the home, they still retained the friendliness of modern bulldogs.
It’s worth noting that they’re highly protective of the family, making them some of the top guard dogs among the bulldog-types. They’re fearless dogs and won’t back down to any intruder that approached the owner’s property.
As Leavitt intended, Bulldogges will be very energetic and enthusiastic dogs. Their surplus of energy will be a problem if it isn’t channeled into work or exercise. With a dominant personality, the last thing you’d want is a destructive Bulldogge.
6. Catahoula Bulldog
Highlights: Energetic, Devoted, Agile
Sometimes referred to as the American Mastahoulas, the Catahoula Bulldog is the hybrid of the American Bulldog and Catahoula Leopard Dog. And despite being a crossbreed, this bulldog-type has been around for over 100 years.
Catahoula Leopard Dogs originated from Louisiana. As such, the bulldog version has become a popular breed in America’s southern states. These bulldogs were developed for popular jobs in the region, such as hunting large game and herding cattle.
Catahoula Bulldogs had become a hit. And while few people have heard of them, they’re much more popular than you think. Unfortunately, there currently are plenty bulldogs living in shelters around the southern states. If you want one, that’s where you should look.
Catahoula Bulldog Temperament
From the Catahoula Leopard Dog side, this bulldog will be energetic and active. You will need to regularly exercise them to prevent them from developing destructive tendencies. And without it, they will become less controllable.
However, Catahoula Bulldogs are very loyal dogs with the typical bulldog protective instincts in them. They don’t play well with strangers and caution is advised when bringing new people into your home. Though, in due time, they’ll adjust to the unfamiliar.
Even so, they’re extremely affectionate with family members. They tend to get along better in homes with older kids, but supervision is still highly recommended. They’re not aggressive by nature, but may unintentionally injure a smaller child.
7. Victorian Bulldog
Highlights: Loving, Gentle, Friendly
The Victorian Bulldog is a friendly bully-type largely credited to Ken Mollett in the 1980s. These dogs have had a long history, dating back to the Victorian era. Because of this, Mollett wanted to bring back the bulldogs of the iconic era.
He used a combination of the English Bulldogs with Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and the Bullmastiffs. Not only did he develop a breed that appeared similar to the old Victorian dogs but also created a much healthier bulldog.
Victorian Bulldogs are slightly taller, thus not as wide than the typical bulldog-type. They have fewer breathing problems, which is a concern for many brachycephalic breeds, such as your traditional bully. Plus, the corkscrew tail isn’t so obvious anymore.
Victorian Bulldog Temperament
There are few dog breeds as trustworthy and dependable as the Victorian Bulldog. They’re all about loyalty, and it really shows when they’re adjusted to your family. They’re cheerful dogs that enjoy every moment they have with family members.
We’d like to call the Victorian Bulldog the ultimate and complete family pet. Not only are they excellent with children, but tend to get along with other pets in the family. Still, they’ll need to go through proper training, as they tend to assume leadership.
As with most Bulldogs, the Victorian is protective of the family. However, that doesn’t mean they’re aggressive. With familiar people, there’s not a single aggressive bone in them. However, with strangers, they’ll be cautious and aloof around.
8. Ca de Bou
Highlights: Intelligent, Brave, Quiet
The Ca de Bou is a bulldog-type breed that hails from the island Majorca, off the eastern coast of Spain. Like their distant relatives, they’re muscular and large Bulldogs that were originally bred for bull-baiting and guarding.
Today, the modern Ca de Bou is primarily a family companion, often used as a guard dog in the home. These dogs had a rough past, though. Historians believe that the ancestors of these dogs were on the brink of extinction after World War II.
In fact, there were only a few Bulldogs left on the island. Eventually, they were crossbred with other Spanish bullies, such as the Perro de Pastor Mallorquin and the Alano Espanol to create the modern Ca de Bou, which made its mark as a top working dog.
Ca de Bou Temperament
Although the Ca de Bou is highly intelligent, they need a firm and consistent owner to handle their dominant personalities. Obedience training and socialization is essential with the Ca de Bou. Without it, they may be very difficult to deal with.
However, once you’ve introduced proper obedience training, they’re typically calm and relaxed dogs in the home. In fact, they’re some of the quietest dogs you may encounter. And because of this, they make formidable watchdogs and guardians.
The Ca de Bou isn’t very trusting of strangers. They’ll approach them with much caution and can instantly turn into fearless guard dogs at the slightest sense of danger. They’ll always be looking for guidance from their owners, as the best guardians do.
9. Alapaha Blue-Blood Bulldog
Highlights: Adaptable, Alert, Loving
No, the Alapaha Blue-Blood Bulldog doesn’t have blue blood, though that would be something spectacular. Rather, they’re called “blue blood” dogs because they were believed to represent a noble breed, at least according to the original breeder.
The breeder, named Papa Buck Lane, is responsible for the blue blood Bulldog. He began by breeding his favorite dog, named Otto, through several generations (all named Otto). Even as Buck Lane passed away, his granddaughter continued the tradition.
Physically, the Alapaha is bigger and stronger than the English Bulldogs. Plus, they were bred to have excellent work ethics. In the southern states, the Alapaha Blue-Blood Bulldogs served as herding dogs, hunters and guard dogs.
Alapaha Bulldog Temperament
The Alapaha Bulldog is a proud and hardworking bulldog. They’re very attentive of their work and their high intelligence makes them efficient workers. But off the field, the Alapaha Bulldogs are naturally great watchdogs and guardians.
They can be a little over-possessive due to their territorial instincts. They’re suspicious of all strangers that enter the property, but loves the family. In fact, they take their role as a member of the family more seriously than most dogs.
They’re best suited for families with one dog, but they tend to play well with older children of the pack. Alapaha Bulldogs are surprisingly tolerant and can handle the rough play of kids if they’re familiar with them. Overall, they’re great family pets.
10. Serrano Bulldog
Highlights: Loyal, Mild-tempered, Proud
The Serrano Bulldog is a stunning Brazilian dog breed developed for tough work. Not only do they make excellent guard dogs, but they’re also great with moving cattle. However, their origins and history is a murky one.
Historians believe that the Serrano was developed from dogs brought to the south of Brazil in the 1800s by immigrants. Because most of the immigrants at the time came from Europe, they brought along their Bulldogs, which were popular at the time.
We don’t know for certain which breeds were used in the exact development of the Serrano, but it’s suspected that they were developed with the Bullenbeisser and the Old English Bulldog. In fact, some believe the Alano Espanol had a role in it too.
Serrano Bulldog Temperament
Unfortunately, there isn’t much information on the temperaments of the Serrano Bulldog, though we believe they have fairly bulldog-like personalities. As a guard dog, the Serrano is certainly a confident and courageous breed.
For the most part, they’ll be calm and gentle dogs – at least with the familiar. They don’t show unnecessary aggression, as all intelligent and excellent guard dogs tend to do. It’s only when they’re provoked or feel threatened that they’ll fight back.
It’s well documented, however, that the Serrano Bulldog is extremely loyal. They will always submit to their owners when properly trained. And with their strong work ethics, they’re fit for nearly any canine job, especially involving cattle.
11. Alano Español
Highlights: Energetic, Sociable, Brave
Also called the Spanish Bulldog, the Alano Espanol originates from Spain, like the Ca de Bou. They were bred to be catch dogs, hunting companions and guard dogs. In the past, they even served as bullbaiting dogs in Spanish bullfights.
Alano Espanol dogs are believed to have arrived from the Iranian tribe, called Alani. They were a nomadic tribe that migrated to Spain during the 5th century. As such, they brought these dogs with them on their journey out west.
It didn’t take long for the Spanish Bulldog to become highly sought after in Spain. Shortly after, the Alano Espanols became widely used by Spanish explorers. In addition, Alanos became war dogs during the subjugation of native Indians.
Spanish Bulldog Temperament
The Spanish Bulldog is a highly outgoing and sociable dog. Not just with people, but also with other dogs and pets in the pack. After all, they were bred to hunt in packs. Thus, many Spanish Bulldogs retain their pack-dog mentality.
Due to the sheer size of these dogs, they must be socialized and properly trained. They’re not at all aggressive, but they can get a bit rowdy when excited around humans. So, they’ll need to learn how to properly interact with other people.
As multi-purpose working dogs, the Spanish Bulldog has a lot of energy. Even more than other bulldog-type breeds on this list. To remain healthy and happy, they’ll require regular exercise and training throughout all their lives.
12. Continental Bulldog
Highlights: Friendly, Confident, Attentive
The Continental Bulldog, also known as the Conti, is a relatively new bulldog-type developed in Switzerland during the mid 2000s. And like many of the modern Bulldogs, the Continental was developed to reduce the number of health problems in these dogs.
The famous Swiss breeder Imelda Angehrn, now called the “Grand Old Lady of Bulldogs,” is responsible for the creation of the Continental. Her family had been breeding English Bulldogs all her life. However, there were problems she wanted to fix.
Not only did she want a more agile Bulldog, but also one with fewer breathing problems. She tried crossbreeding with many similar dogs. Though it wasn’t until 2001 that she succeeded by crossbreeding the Olde English Bulldog with the English Bulldog.
Continental Bulldog Temperament
The Continental Bulldog is a friendly and affectionate dog, despite having high confidence on the field. These Bulldogs are bursting with energy. As a result, they’re highly active dogs that need constant exercise and movement.
Continentals are more intelligent than you think. Because they’re such attentive bulldogs, they are exceptionally good at reading human emotions. When you’re down, they’ll be at your side. And when you’re excited, they’re just as happy.
With proper training and socializing, the Continental Bulldog will have a mild temperament. It’s unlikely they’ll become too aggressive, nor too shy. In fact, you can call them the Goldilocks of bulldog-type breeds. They’re just all-around excellent pets.
13. Valley Bulldog
Highlights: Active, Energetic, Affectionate
Technically the Valley Bulldog is a bully hybrid. To be specific, they’re the cross of the English Bulldog with a Boxer. However, they’ve become so popular in recent years that they’ve been named as the Valley Bulldog.
Some believe that Valley Bulldogs naturally existed without the need of deliberate designer dog crossbreeding. Even so, breeders have started to purposely breed these bulldogs due to the demand for the friendly yet well-tempered companion.
These great bulldogs were first popularized in the mid 1900s in Nova Scotia, Canada. Quickly, they grew out onto the international scene due to their favorable personalities. And while they’re still excellent dogs, many of them still end up in shelters.
Valley Bulldog Temperament
From the Boxer parent, the Valley Bulldog inherits their fun-loving personalities. In fact, owners will tell you that they’re silly and comical dogs. Their cheerful vibe is contagious and they’re able to brighten up your day without much effort.
Valley Bulldogs are more active than your typical English Bulldog, mostly thanks to the Boxer parent. But like any other bulldog, they’ll need to be exercised and provided with socialization for a mild-temper. And for the most part, they’re easy-going dogs.
Always curious and playful, they’ll love to play with their owners. Valley Bulldogs are naturally affectionate dogs, so being the center of attention is most ideal. These dogs thrive on human interaction and their people-oriented personalities prove this.
Highlights: Loving, Devoted, Courageous
Believe it or not, the Bullmastiff is a bulldog-type. In fact, it’s right there in their names. They’re a cross between the English Mastiff and now-extinct Old English Bulldog. As a result, they have retained all the best qualities of both parents.
These dogs were called “The Gamekeeper’s Night Dog” because of their past jobs. In the mid 19th century, the English elites owned many game preserves, which were large lands of game where hunters could safely hunt in a “controlled” environment.
This meant that the game preserves were high targets to poachers. The aristocracy needed a dog that would fiercely protect their property from outsiders. So, that’s exactly what Bullmastiffs did for them. Needless to say, they were excellent at their jobs.
There are few dogs as loyal and brave as the Bullmastiff. They aren’t ordinary Bulldogs, but a Bulldog specifically developed for protection. Their physical prowess makes them excellent at hunting and tracking down intruders. Plus, few dare to mess with one.
Bullmastiffs are always calm and confident, but more importantly, they’re dependable dogs. If you’re looking for a reliable guard dog, look no further. However, Bullmastiffs have some of the most dominant personalities and are reserved for experienced owners.
In the household, they’re loving and gentle. In fact, many owners will call them reserved. They are intelligent enough to know when to be energetic and when to mellow down. After all, these dogs needed to understand situations to be effective guardians.
15. Campiero Bulldog
Highlights: Loyal, Protective, Energetic
The Campiero Bulldog is another Brazilian bulldog-type breed often confused with the Serrano Bulldog. And while they’re closely related, they’re a completely different type of Bulldog with a similar history and origin.
However, they have a even murkier history than the Serranos. Most historians believed that the Campiero Bulldogs are descendants of the extinct Old English Bulldogs. After the immigrants brought them to Brazil, they may have bred with local dogs.
Another theory is that Campiero Bulldogs are actually the evolution of the Terceira Mastiff, a landrace dog. No one knows for certain. Nonetheless, Campieros developed into highly sought-after cattle and guard dogs in Brazil.
Campiero Bulldog Temperament
The Campiero Bulldogs are all about devotion and loyalty. The reason why they’re willing to work so hard is solely because of their owners. They take a lot of pride in being part of your pack and they’ll stand by you no matter what.
On the other hand, Campiero Bulldogs make great guard dogs. It’s not just because they want to guard the pack, but also because they have the qualities for it. They’re attentive, intelligent and vigilant – all the best qualities of guardians.
Not surprisingly, they’re great with children. They absolutely love the chaos that kids bring to the table. But even so, you’ll want to supervise interactions and properly socialize them. Some owners say they’re protective and can become jealous, though.
Did we miss a type of Bulldog that deserves to be on this list? Also, let us know in the comments section, which is your favorite Bulldog breed?
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