French Bulldog Vs English Bulldog (Similarities & Differences)

As a dog lover, it can be hard to decide between two different breeds, especially those as closely related as the French and the English bulldog.

In this article we’ve investigated the key points of similarity and difference when it comes to French bulldogs vs English bulldogs, to help you work out which breed is best for you.

Both breeds are alike in a surprising number of ways; from features of their appearance to health issues, there are many traits that they share.

Here are some key similarities and differences between the two:

French Bulldog Vs English Bulldog


English and French bulldogs share a common ancestry.

Originally descended from Asiatic mastiffs, they were bred for bull-baiting and later became household pets when this was banned.

In the 1800s, they were bred with rat-terrier dogs to make a toy version, which became the French bulldog.

French and English bulldogs are now both considered pure breeds and registered with the American Kennel Club.

Curly Tails

One physical feature which both English and French bulldogs have in common is their curly tails.

Unfortunately, this is a genetic deformity that can lead to a condition called hemivertebrae, where the spinal column becomes curved.

This, in turn, puts pressure on spinal nerves and can cause back leg weakness, incontinence and a twisted spine.

Distinctive Muzzles

Perhaps the most notable characteristic of the bulldog is its distinctive short muzzle.

While undeniably adorable, this can sadly lead to further health issues for both French and English bulldogs.

The shortened skulls exhibited by both breeds can lead to Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome, a condition where the nasal cavity is compressed, causing respiratory issues.

This means that both kinds of bulldog tire very quickly and risk overheating in hot weather.

All owners should be aware of the signs and symptoms of respiratory distress in their pets so that help can be sought if necessary.

Health Problems

Both French and English bulldogs can sadly suffer from additional health issues, including hip dysplasia, difficulty giving birth and eye problems.

Many of these result from the distinct characteristics of the bulldog; short, stocky bodies contribute to joint problems and shallow eye sockets lead to protruding eyeballs.

Both types of bulldogs are also, unfortunately, more likely to develop cancer than other breeds.

Good pet insurance is a necessity when it comes to owning either kind of bulldog.


Each type of bulldog makes an excellent companion. These are extremely friendly and loyal dogs.

They do require a great deal of attention, but in return, they will give you their unwavering love.


Both types of dogs are most suitable for an experienced dog owner, or at least somebody prepared to work hard at housebreaking and training.

One shared characteristic of English and French bulldogs is their tendency to be stubborn, which can make training tricky.

Both dogs need plenty of socialization to become accustomed to other dogs and to children.


French and English bulldogs both have voracious appetites, and you may need to restrict their food intake.

Each type of dog gains weight quickly and has a tendency towards obesity if left unchecked.

There are also several key differences between the two breeds.

These differences in French bulldogs vs English bulldogs are worth considering closely when deciding which dog to buy.

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Size is the primary difference between French and English bulldogs and the feature which most obviously distinguishes the two.

French bulldogs tend to be between 9 and 14 inches in height, whilst English bulldogs range from 10 to 16 inches.

There’s a big difference when it comes to weight too – a male French bulldog typically weighs 18 to 28 pounds but a mature male English bulldog can weigh anything from 50 to 60 pounds.


Another aspect of appearance which differentiates French and English bulldogs is the distinct look of their ears.

French bulldogs have pointy and bat-shaped ears that stand up, while English bulldogs have rose-shaped ears that fold over.

Energy Levels

While bulldogs, in general, require less exercise than other breeds of dog, English bulldogs are widely recognized as more docile and laid-back than French bulldogs.

French bulldogs are particularly playful and fun-loving, while English bulldogs tend to be more calm and dignified.


French bulldogs are sometimes considered more intelligent, quick-witted and alert than their English counterparts.

Despite their stubborn personalities, this may make the overall process of training them slightly easier.

Suitability for Children

Although both types of bulldogs are very affectionate, English bulldogs are more suitable as family dogs.

English bulldogs love children and other family pets and are very protective and gentle.

French bulldogs, by contrast, can be aggressive around strange dogs and can require more socialization to be comfortable around children.


French bulldogs tend not to have quite as many health problems and so often live longer, with a typical lifespan of 10 to 12 years as opposed to 8 to 12 years for the English bulldog.

Each breed is prone to their own individual health issues – dwarfism in the French bulldog and allergies and autoimmune disease in the English bulldog.

Breeding of French and English bulldogs is possible but is not recommended as this could result in additional health issues.


There’s a clear frontrunner in terms of which dog needs the least amount of grooming.

French bulldogs tend to shed much less than English.

Brushing just once a week should be enough to keep a French bulldog healthy, while an English bulldog will need brushing two to three times a week.

Both breeds require fold cleaning – with a cotton ball dipped in peroxide – but English bulldogs need this much more often, due to the distinctive folds on their faces.

This needs to be done regularly to prevent infection.

When it comes to French bulldogs vs English bulldogs, it’s clear there are as many points of similarity as there are of difference.

Both breeds make excellent pets and so the question of which to choose is best determined based on considering how the subtle variations in personality and care requirements outlined above will fit with your individual lifestyle and preferences.


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