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English Bulldogs vs. American Bulldogs — What's the Difference?

By Fiza Rafique & Urooj Arif — Published on March 15, 2024
English Bulldogs are smaller, with a distinctive pushed-in nose and a stockier build, while American Bulldogs are larger, more athletic, and have a longer muzzle.
English Bulldogs vs. American Bulldogs — What's the Difference?

Difference Between English Bulldogs and American Bulldogs


Key Differences

English Bulldogs are renowned for their distinctive appearance, characterized by a broad, squat frame, short legs, and a wrinkled face with a pushed-in nose. This breed is medium-sized, with a gentle and friendly demeanor, making them excellent companions. On the other hand, American Bulldogs are larger and more muscular, with a strong, athletic build that reflects their working-dog heritage. They have a longer muzzle, which contributes to fewer breathing issues compared to their English counterparts.
The coat of an English Bulldog is short, fine, and smooth, and they come in a variety of colors and patterns. Their grooming needs are relatively low, although their wrinkles need regular cleaning to prevent skin infections. Conversely, American Bulldogs also have a short coat but are generally easier to groom due to the lack of facial wrinkles. They are also known for being somewhat more adaptable to different living conditions, including outdoor environments, because of their higher activity levels and sturdier build.
In terms of health, English Bulldogs face more challenges, including respiratory problems, hip dysplasia, and skin conditions, largely due to their distinctive physical traits. Their life expectancy tends to be shorter, typically ranging from 8 to 10 years. American Bulldogs, while also prone to certain health issues like hip dysplasia, generally enjoy a longer lifespan of 10 to 15 years, thanks to their more proportionate build and fewer inherited health problems.
Culturally, both breeds have a rich history, with the English Bulldog symbolizing British tenacity and having a storied past that includes being a mascot for many institutions. American Bulldogs have a history of being used on farms and in working roles, known for their versatility and strength.
Choosing between an English and an American Bulldog often depends on potential owners' lifestyle, space, and the ability to meet the breeds' health and exercise needs. English Bulldogs are better suited for a more sedentary lifestyle and smaller living spaces, while American Bulldogs thrive in more active environments with space to run and play.

Comparison Chart


Medium, stocky build
Larger, athletic build


Short, pushed-in
Longer, more pronounced

Energy Level

Low, suitable for indoor living
High, requires regular exercise

Health Concerns

More prevalent, shorter lifespan
Fewer, longer lifespan

Coat and Grooming

Short, needs wrinkle maintenance
Short, easier grooming


Gentle, friendly, stubborn
Active, loyal, confident

Ideal Environment

Indoor, low-activity
Adaptable, benefits from space


8-10 years
10-15 years

Cultural Symbolism

British tenacity
Versatility and strength

Compare with Definitions

English Bulldogs

Requires low exercise, making it suitable for indoor living.
A short walk is sufficient for my English Bulldog, as he prefers lounging around the house.

American Bulldogs

Highly adaptable with a high energy level.
Whether in an apartment or a house with a yard, my American Bulldog adapts well to both environments.

English Bulldogs

Symbolizes British tenacity.
The English Bulldog is often used as a mascot for its tough yet amiable image.

American Bulldogs

Possesses a longer muzzle, contributing to fewer health issues.
The American Bulldog's longer muzzle helps reduce breathing problems.

English Bulldogs

Known for its gentle and friendly nature.
Despite his stocky build, my English Bulldog is incredibly gentle with children.

American Bulldogs

Known for versatility and strength.
Historically, American Bulldogs were valued for their working abilities on farms.

English Bulldogs

Prone to respiratory and skin conditions.
Regular vet visits help manage my Bulldog's respiratory issues and skin folds.

American Bulldogs

A larger, more athletic breed compared to its English counterpart.
My American Bulldog thrives on long walks and active play sessions.

English Bulldogs

A medium-sized breed with a distinct pushed-in nose.
The English Bulldog's face is easily recognizable due to its unique wrinkles and nose.

American Bulldogs

Generally healthier with a longer lifespan.
With proper care, American Bulldogs can enjoy a long and healthy life.

Common Curiosities

Can American Bulldogs live comfortably in apartments?

Yes, with sufficient daily exercise, American Bulldogs can adapt to apartment living.

Which breed is better for families with small children?

Both breeds can be great with children, but English Bulldogs are often preferred for their more laid-back nature.

Why do English Bulldogs have more health issues?

Their distinctive physical traits, such as the short muzzle and stocky build, contribute to various health problems.

How much exercise does an American Bulldog need?

They require regular, vigorous exercise, including walks, play sessions, and mental stimulation, to maintain their health and happiness.

What are common activities American Bulldogs enjoy?

They often enjoy activities that involve running, fetching, and agility training, benefiting from both physical and mental exercise.

How can I keep my English Bulldog healthy?

Regular veterinary check-ups, proper diet, moderate exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight are key factors.

Are English Bulldogs good for first-time dog owners?

Yes, their lower energy levels and gentle temperament can be a good match, though potential owners should be aware of their health needs.

Is it true that English Bulldogs cannot swim?

Due to their heavy front and short snout, English Bulldogs generally do not swim well and should always be closely monitored near water.

What is the average cost of owning an English Bulldog?

English Bulldogs can be expensive to purchase and maintain, especially considering their health issues and the need for potential veterinary care.

Can English Bulldogs handle hot weather?

Their short muzzle makes it difficult for them to regulate their temperature, so they should be kept cool and hydrated in hot weather.

Do English Bulldogs shed a lot?

They have short coats that shed moderately, and regular grooming can help manage it.

What diet is best for an American Bulldog?

A balanced diet suited to their age, size, and activity level is best, with some benefiting from diets formulated for active breeds.

Are American Bulldogs easy to train?

They are intelligent and can be trained effectively, but they also require a consistent and firm handler to channel their energy positively.

Are American Bulldogs aggressive?

With proper training and socialization, American Bulldogs are generally loyal and protective, not aggressive.

Can English Bulldogs be left alone for long periods?

While they enjoy human companionship, they can be left alone for a few hours if they have water and a comfortable place to rest.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.

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