9 Bulldog Breeds That Are Totally Adorable

These stout bully breeds will surely steal your heart.

by Wendy Rose Gould, Readers Digest


Puppy Love

From their plump and stout stature to their wrinkly skin and cute, droopy faces, bulldog breeds are undeniably adorable. You’ll find dozens of different breeds out there—each with a slightly distinct personality and look—but not all are formally recognized by professional canine associations. If you love short-legged dogs or flat-faced dogs (or both!), the bulldog is the breed for you.
For such loving creatures, bulldogs don’t have the most joyful of histories. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the dogs were specifically bred for the English sport of bullbaiting. It’s just about as awful as it sounds: Englishmen would tie a bull down and coax the dogs to bite the bull. These days, the sweet and stocky snuggle muffins are known for being gentle, loyal family pets.
Before you adopt one, know that bulldog breeds have some known health issues associated with overbreeding. For instance, their short snouts give them a propensity for breathing problems, specifically brachycephalic syndrome. And a study in Canine Genetics and Epidemiology explains how a lack of genetic diversity among bulldogs has led the breed to have skin conditions and even skeletal issues. They also tend to have eye problems, overheat easily, and often struggle with mating naturally and giving birth without C-section. It’s important to consider all the above when choosing the best type of bulldog for your family.
If you’re up to the task of caring for these lovable canines, browse our list of nine common bulldog breeds (all of which are considered bully breeds). When you’ve wrapped up here, fall in love with the cutest lazy dog breeds and calm dog breeds.

1. English Bulldog


When your pal tells you he just brought home a bulldog, chances are he’s talking about this pup. There’s only one type of English bulldog, but people often drop the “English” from the name when talking about this popular breed. English bulldogs date back to the 13th century, when they were bred specifically for bullbaiting. The sport was outlawed in the 20th century, at which point the breed faced extinction, according to the AKC. But breeders loved the beefy pup so much that they strove to keep it around. Today, bulldogs are among the most-stolen dog breeds, a sad testament to how beloved the wrinkly little guys are. They’re known for their affectionate and docile disposition, fierce loyalty, and courageousness.

Breed Information• Height: 14 to 15 inches• Weight: 40 to 50 pounds• Life expectancy: 8 to 10 years

2. French Bulldog


French bulldogs (“Frenchies”) are similar in appearance to English bulldogs, but at only a foot tall, the playful breed clearly comes in a much tinier package. Their perky, bat-like ears are one of their most distinguishing (and adorable) features, as are their tiny heads and legs. This petite, always-alert pup is a descendant of the toy-sized English bulldog and was bred with other French dog breeds. Though the French bulldog originally found fame in the French countryside, it eventually became very popular among Parisian city slickers before achieving worldwide fandom. Bright, affectionate, and adaptable, this breed is a popular pick for many reasons.

Breed Information• Height: 11 to 13 inches
• Weight: Under 28 pounds
• Life expectancy: 10 to 12 years

3. American Bulldog


As a descendant of the English bulldog—which is itself a descendant of the alaunt and possibly the mastiff—the American bulldog shares many of the same physical and personality characteristics. The biggest difference is that they’ve been bred to be more of a large, workhorse-type pup. A loyal and confident guardian, this medium dog breed has a muscular stance, athletic build, and is easy to train. These dogs were particularly popular in the South in the 1800s, notes the AKC, where they worked on farms and were strangely gifted at catching feral pigs. Today, they do a lot less pig-catching and a lot more snuggling.

Breed Information● Height: 20 to 25 inches● Weight: 60 to 100 pounds● Life expectancy: 10 to 12 years

4. Australian Bulldog


Developed in the late 1990s, the Australian “Aussie” bulldog is one of the newest bulldog breeds on our list. Its appearance and personality are quite similar to the English bulldog, but it’s been bred to be more heat adaptable. This Australian dog breed is highly intelligent and happy-go-lucky. The dogs are known for their unwavering loyalty to their humans and are even good child companions. Their muscular build and bark make them a great watchdog too.

Breed Overview• Height: 17 to 20 inches• Weight: 50 to 78 pounds• Life expectancy: 10 to 12 years

5. Victorian Bulldog


Victorian bulldogs are another breed descended from the English bulldog. Like the Aussie variety, they’ve been bred to be healthier while still maintaining the charm of their brethren. The name’s a hat-tip to the healthier bulldogs of the Victorian era, and the breed is a mix of English bulldog, bull terrier, bullmastiff, and Staffordshire bull terrier. The result is a sturdy build and a higher quality of life, including a potentially longer lifespan. Appearance-wise, these gentle pups are short and stocky with adorably downturned faces. If you’re concerned about lifespan, these are the dogs that live the longest.

Breed Overview• Height: 16 to 19 inches• Weight: 55 to 75 pounds• Life expectancy: 10 to 12 years

6. Olde English Bulldogge


Don’t let the name of this pup mislead you! The Olde English Bulldogge isn’t quite so old in the scheme of things. The United Kennel Club (UKC) says the breeder’s goal was to revive the appearance of the Regency-era bulldog—complete with a healthier build—for our modern-day world. The breeding project began in the 1970s, and in 2014, the breed was formally recognized by the UKC. Compared to its predecessor, this bulldog breed is bigger, has a flatter face, and tends to have more energy. Though slow in gait, it’s a mighty protector (a good choice if you’re looking for a smaller guard dog!) and sweetly affectionate with its owners.

Breed Overview• Height: 17 to 20 inches• Weight: 60 to 80 pounds• Life expectancy: 9 to 14 years

7. Bullmastiff


If you’re a lover of big dogs, the hefty bullmastiff is bound to make you say, “aww!” This bulldog breed easily tops 100 pounds, making it a formidable—but oh so sweet—type of beast. A cross between the giant mastiff and squat bulldog, they’re known for being ultra-loyal family companions and top-notch protectors. Speaking of differences among bulldog breeds, did you know that dogs bark in different languages?

Breed Overview• Height: 24 to 27 inches• Weight: 100 to 130 pounds• Life expectancy: 7 to 9 years

8. Ca de Bou


Hailing from Spain, the Ca de Bou is a medium-sized, muscular breed that’s believed to be a cross between the English bulldog and local Spanish dogs. Also known as the Mallorquin bulldog or Majorca mastiff, this mixed-breed dog was also originally bred in the 1200s for dogfighting. Over the years, the breed has become less popular, though there’s a sizable interest in both Russia and Poland. Today, Ca de Bous have a somewhat softer disposition and are known for being social creatures that love to play.

Breed Overview● Height: 20 to 23 inches● Weight: 66 to 84 pounds● Life expectancy: 10 to 12 years

9. Catahoula Bulldog


What do you get when you cross an American bulldog with Louisiana’s beloved Catahoula leopard dog? Why, the Catahoula bulldog, of course. These ultra-energic pups are agile and eager for adventure, and they often require a dose of patience because they’re not the easiest dogs to train. They can be notably tricky to manage and require a lot of exercise. Unfortunately, many of them end up in shelters. But with love and a firm approach, they are incredibly loving and loyal dogs. If you’re considering pet adoption, this is a great bulldog breed to bring home.

Breed Overview● Height: 24 to 26 inches● Weight: 75 to 100 pounds● Life expectancy: 10 to 14 years

●  American Kennel Club: “9 Things to Know About Bulldogs”
● Canine Genetics and Epidemiology: “A genetic assessment of the English bulldog”
● Science Line: “The (de-)evolution of the bulldog”
● Kellyville Pets: “Aussie Bulldog”
● Dog Breeds List: “Australian Bulldog”
● All Things Dogs: “The Complete Victorian Bulldog Breed Information & Buyer’s Guide”
● United Kennel Club: “Olde English Bulldogge
● Dogs Planet: “Ca de Bou”
● Dog Time: “Catahoula Bulldog”