If you’ve ever seen an American and an English Bulldog side by side, you might not believe they’re related because they appear to have so little in common.

You might be astonished to hear that both dogs share a common ancestor: the Old English Bulldog, a now-extinct breed.

The Old English Bulldog should not be confused with the Olde English Bulldogge, a newer breed created to remedy some of the problems that modern English Bulldogs have.

We’ll compare English and American Bulldogs in this article so you can have a better understanding of each of these beautiful breeds.

American Bulldog Vs English Bulldog: What's The Difference?
American Bulldog Vs English Bulldog: What’s The Difference?

A Few Words on Bulldogs

When it comes to bulldogs, not every one is the same. Bulldog breeds, contrary to common opinion, come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

For most people, the phrase “bulldog” conjures up images of a powerful, big dog with a wrinkled face.

Do you know what an English Bulldog, an American Bulldog, a French Bulldog, and an Olde English Bulldogge are?

These distinct breeds of Bulldogs have different backgrounds, appearances, and even temperaments.

Bulldogs, on the other hand, all have one thing in common: their forebears were once used for “bull baiting,” which is how they got their name “bull.”

What is the definition of bull baiting?

Tethering a bull while a “bulldog” grabbed the bull by the snout and pinned it to the ground was known as bull baiting.

Dogs with large heads, stocky bodies, and strong jaws were developed specifically for this duty.

Furthermore, these canines have a stubborn and stern demeanor.

In early modern England, it was customary practice to bait a bull’s flesh before slaughtering and selling it.

There was a time when baiting was thought to help improve the flesh.

Unfortunately, bull baiting was also considered a recreational activity, and it was thankfully outlawed in 1835 when Parliament approved the Cruelty to Animals Act.

This act made “blood sport” illegal in the United Kingdom for good.

Bulldogs were suddenly unemployed as a result of the ban on bull baiting, and their numbers began to dwindle.

When dog fanciers formed dog clubs like the bulldog club amongst other association like the National Kennel Club, American Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club, the Bulldog’s numbers began to rise again, and the breed was able to resuscitate in some ways.

Many of today’s bulldogs are descendants of this resurrection.

So, keep in mind that the phrase “bulldog” can imply a lot of various things to different people!

Let’s look at some of the numerous sorts of bulldogs that are currently popular.

  • The English Bulldog
  • The French Bulldog
  • The American Bulldog
  • The Olde English Bulldogge/Old English Bulldog/Olde English Bulldog

Some other sorts of bulldogs:

  • Victorian Bulldog
  • British Bulldog
  • Australian Bulldog
  • Miniature English Bulldog
  • Scott American Bulldog
  • Johnson American Bulldog
  • Leavitt Bulldog

The English Bulldog 

English Bulldogs, often known as British Bulldogs or just “bulldogs,” evolved into a shorter form of its forebears after the deadly pastime of bull baiting was abolished in England, and this became the expected look in the show ring.

Characteristics Physical

The English Bulldog is a medium-sized dog with a silky coat, short-faced head, wide shoulders, and sturdy, short limbs that contribute to the breed’s trademark shuffling movement.

This breed’s eyes are unusually black (blue or green eyes are means for disqualification in the show ring). “Rose ears” are favored, with the lower edge of the ear folding inward.

The nose should be broad and black with wide nostrils, and the flews should be pendulous and overhanging from each side of the mouth.

Because the huge jaws are overshot, the lower jaw protrudes in front of the upper jaw.

This is known as a defective malocclusion in other breeds.

It is regarded as a breed standard in the English Bulldog.

Another characteristic of the breed is the “roach back,” or “wheel back,” in which the back makes an arch toward the tail.

The chest is broad, and the shoulders are wide; due to the width of their puppies’ shoulders, female bulldogs frequently have C-sections.

The broad shoulders allow for a low center of gravity, which was advantageous in the past for bull baiting because they crawled close to the ground to avoid the bull’s horns.

The front foot can be either straight or slightly out-turned.

The elbows protrude from the rest of the body. The back feet are outward facing.


The English Bulldog should have a friendly, passive, and courageous personality, but never be aggressive.

While the English Bulldog’s appearance is pleasing, the much-loved characteristics (wrinkles, short snout, overshot mouth) are the primary reason for the breed’s high health problems and short longevity.

The American Bulldog

The working-style bulldog was generally replaced with shorter examples that were less athletic and resembled the English Bulldog we know today when the violent pastime of bull baiting was abolished in England.

When they emigrated to the American South, however, some working-class immigrants were able to bring working bulldogs with them.

Ranchers and farmers found these dogs beneficial for a variety of chores in this area.

However, following World War II, the species became nearly extinct. Mr. John D. Johnson, a soldier returning from war, is responsible for the breed’s survival.

The American Bulldog was revitalized with the help of Alan Scott and other breeders, and unlike the English Bulldog, which was selectively selected primarily for looks and the show ring, the American Bulldog puppy health and working qualities were prioritized.

Physical Characteristics

The breed has been compared to historical bull baiter pictures. The best lines are still referred to as “the Johnson and Scott sorts” today.

The appearance of American Bulldogs can differ significantly from that of English Bulldogs.

There may be some variation depending on the lines.

Scott dogs are known as “standard” dogs because of their athletic and sleek appearance, which includes lighter bones, longer muzzles, and a less pronounced undershot bite.

Johnson-type dogs, sometimes known as “bully dogs,” have higher muscular mass, shorter muzzles, more prominent undershot bites, and heavier bones than other breeds.

The American Bulldog is still utilized as an all-purpose working dog today.

The breed is used for guarding, farm work, hunting (as hog and cattle catching dogs), and companionship.

This breed should be considered a working dog when appraised.

Exaggerations that jeopardize the capacity of this breed to work should be severely punished.


This breed has a sweet, caring, and brave temperament.

The breed may be wary of people at first, but once it reaches maturity around 18 months, it should gain confidence.

Violent behavior or severe timidity will not be allowed.


As previously stated, both dogs are descended from the Old English Bulldog, a breed whose origins are contested.

Some believe this dog was a big, Mastiff-like beast used in ancient Greek battle, while others claim it was descended from war dogs used by Caucasus Mountain tribes.

We know the breed was utilized for bull baiting in England as early as the 17th century C.E., regardless of where it originated.

Bull baiting is a cruel pastime in which dogs attempt to pin a bull by its nose to the ground; thankfully, humanity came to its senses and outlawed the practice.

After the bull baiting was finished, some Old English Bulldogs were sent to the newly discovered American continent and put to work on farms.

They guarded ranches, herded animals, and, most importantly, pursued feral pigs and is termed as a guard dog, a farm dog and a family dog..

Because the Old English Bulldogs that remained in the United Kingdom were mostly kept as pets, they no longer required the huge bodies and violent temperaments that made them such formidable bullfighters.


The reason that they had to be huge enough to hunt down wild hogs explains why American Bulldogs are significantly larger than their British counterparts.

These pups can reach up to 130 pounds and are quite powerful.

The noses of American Bulldogs are stubby in comparison to many other breeds, yet they aren’t so pushed in that they create respiratory difficulties.

These dogs are still capable of working for an entire day.

English Bulldogs, on the other hand, have been bred primarily for their cuteness.

They’re no longer capable of bringing a bull to its knees (or anything bigger than a large pizza, really).

They have problems breathing since their noses are so short, and they have very little stamina.

Both breeds have wrinkly faces and tend to be bow-legged with wide chests (although English Bulldogs tend to have more loose skin).

Their coats come in a variety of colors, and their faces have multicolored markings.


Temperament is another area where the two dogs might be drastically different.

However, because American Bulldogs are more active, if you don’t give them enough exercise, they may take their frustrations out on your home.

They enjoy playing, and they respond well to instruction (though they will attempt to put you to the test, so be tough and constant).

The English Bulldog, on the other hand, is a natural couch potato.

If they don’t get enough exercise, they can still be disruptive, although “enough exercise” for them could be a walk around the block.

They’re also quite easy to train, despite not being as bright as their American counterparts.

Both are amiable and ready to spend time with their masters, yet both have a mile-wide obstinate streak. Both require much training and socializing from the time they are puppies.

Both work well with children if they’ve been properly taught and socialized. English Bulldogs get along well with other dogs and pets; American Bulldogs aren’t as good, although they still take a lot of socialization and training.

Bulldog Health

This is one area where their disparities in breeding procedures are obvious.

Modern British Bulldogs were primarily bred to be cute, but American Bulldogs were developed to be hard workers.

However, their obsession with adorability has taken a toll on their health.

Simply told, English Bulldogs have terrible health problems, to the point where an entirely new breed, the Olde English Bulldogge, was created to treat them.

While their stubby noses are cute, they make breathing difficult for them, and the breed is prone to respiratory disorders.

Their little round bodies, too, have joint and bone difficulties, and they’re more prone to fat and cancer.

Meanwhile, because of their enormous heads, most English Bulldogs are unable to give birth normally and must be delivered via C-section.

They have a short lifespan of roughly eight years and are prone to overheating.

Although American Bulldogs are more healthier (and live roughly twice as long as English Bulldogs), they are not without flaws.

They frequently suffer from hip dysplasia and other joint problems, and if they are not adequately exercised, they might become overweight.

American Bulldogs, on the other hand, are considerably healthier dogs in general.

Requirements for Grooming

Both dogs have short coats that don’t shed excessively, so they don’t require much care.

Bathing isn’t a big deal either, and you can probably get away with only one or two baths every year.

Both, however, must have their wrinkles cleansed on a regular basis to avoid infection.

Two Extremely Distinct Canines

While both English and American Bulldogs have the same name, they are totally distinct canines.

They are, however, comparable in one key way: they are both adorable, loyal, and fun-loving.

In the end, if you’re seeking to adopt one or the other, an American Bulldog will give you more bang for your buck (both in terms of cost of ownership and lifetime).

They are, however, more high-maintenance, which may not be a trade-off you are ready to make.

The good news is that neither dog will let you down.

Whichever one you choose, you’ll have a friend for as long as you’re together, and one that will give back to you as much as you give back to it (and we’re not just talking about flatulence).

(FAQ) American Bulldog Vs English Bulldog

Is an American Bulldog the same as an English bulldog?

Appearance. The reason that they had to be huge enough to hunt down wild hogs explains why American Bulldogs are significantly larger than their British counterparts. Both breeds have wrinkly faces and tend to be bow-legged with wide chests (although English Bulldogs tend to have more loose skin).

Which Bulldog is the best?

You might find that the American Bulldog is the best Bulldog breed for you. Do you have any idea how English Bulldogs used to look before they were bred for their extreme physical appearance? According to many dog experts, the American Bulldog is as near to the original English Bulldog as you can get.

Is an American Bulldog a pitbull?

Is a Pit Bull an American Bulldog? The American Bulldog is not the same as a Pit Bull. They may appear to be the same, yet they are not. While both breeds are descendants of the Old English Bulldog, the American Pit Bull Terrier is a mix of the Bulldog and Terrier.

What is the largest Bulldog?

What is the largest Bulldog breed? The Bullmastiff and the Old English Bulldogge are the two largest Bulldog breeds today, weighing in at roughly 130 pounds each.

Which bulldog breed is the healthiest?

The continental bulldog, sometimes known as the “conti,” is a healthier, more athletic version of the English bulldog. The Olde English Bulldogge, an American-designed breed, was outcrossed to create this breed.

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