Bulldog Showdown: French Bulldog vs English Bulldog

The English and the French Bulldogs are both wonderful breeds that families would love and adore. They look quite alike and some people might find it difficult to tell them apart. This is because the two breeds have common origins. For those who want to acquire a bulldog and are having the English vs French bulldog debate, this article will provide all the information that is available on both breeds. This will help you make an informed decision on which bulldog to acquire. Maybe you are a French bulldog owner and you want to know more about your dog, this is the perfect place for you.

The French and the English bulldog have many features in common especially because of their common origins. However, they have a number of differences in their appearance, size, temperament, life span, and care requirements. The decision to choose either the French or English Bulldog depends on your specific expectations and preferences in a pet. But you cannot regret choosing either of the bulldogs. As someone who has been blessed to have both an English Bulldog and a French Bulldog in my life both breeds are amazing and I will dive in to share my personal experiences with both.  

English vs French Bulldog: A Historical comparison

Both the French bulldog and the English Bulldog are English. Contrary to the popular belief, the French bulldog is not French. It is because of the name that most people assume that it is a French breed. In fact, the French bulldog hails from England and is a descendant of the English bulldog. Besides the English bulldog, the French bulldog also resembles the Boston Terrier quite closely.

The French bulldog found its way to France during the industrial revolution. The lace makers moved with them to northern France. Gradually, the French bulldog gained popularity in other parts of France and became a part of most households.

english bulldog sleeping

Comparison by Appearance

The other distinguishing feature between the two breeds is the appearance. The English Bulldog has a bigger and meatier head with more skin flowing down their face. On the other hand, the Frenchie has a smaller head and a longer and thinner neck compared to the English counterpart. The English has smaller eyes located further apart than the Frenchie’s rounder eyes.

The shape of the ears is also different in the different breeds. The English bulldog is known for having ears that drop down forming a rose shape. The french bulldog has erect ears that take the shape of a bat. These distinctive features make it easy to tell the two breeds a part at first glance.

Fun fact; there were breeds of the french bull dogs which had rose shaped ears but the American Kennel Association decided that only the frenchies with the bat shaped ears qualify for the breed standard.

Both breeds have a similar coat that is short and smooth. However, the English bulldog has a wider variety of coat colors. They also tend to have curly tails like that of a pig. On rare occasions, you might come across some English and french bulldogs that have a cork screw tail. Most breeders avoid breeding the cork screw tail variety because they are prone to spinal problems.

english bulldog and a French Bulldog

French bulldog vs English bulldog Size

It is also easy to tell the English bulldogs from the french bulldogs based on the size. Generally English bulldogs are bigger than French bulldogs. English bulldogs are a few inches taller and heavier than French bull dogs. The Frenchies measure 11 – 13 inches whereas the English bullies measure 14 – 15 inches. English bulldogs could weigh up to 60 pounds while the French ones usually weigh up to a maximum of 28 pounds.

English bulldog vs French bulldog; comparison of character

Both the French bulldog and the English Bulldog portray similar temperaments. Both breeds are friendly to people, babies and other dogs if properly socialized. They tend to be highly intelligent and are considered Velcro dogs. Velcro dogs are those that demand attention from their owners. They are clingy and they like being with people all the time. When left alone, these dogs may suffer from dog separation anxiety. Dog separation anxiety is triggered when the dog is separated from its guardian. Consequently, the dog might start to make escape attempts leading to self-injury and or destruction of household items. Therefore, if you will not be around to give it attention, you better get them the appropriate interactive toys for them to play with. Some of the best toys for the bulldogs include an automatic tennis ball launcher, treat ball interactive food egg, snuffle mat and the self-rolling interactive ball.

Generally, the English bull dog is friendly and calm while the French bulldog is playful and adaptable.  My English Bulldog Noble, a female, was much more calm and “chill” than my French Bulldog Augie, a male.  It’s not an apples to apples comparison as one was a female and one was a male but those are some differences I noticed.  

french bulldog in a field

Which one of the bulldogs eats more?

The English Bulldog tends to eat slightly more than the French Bulldog. For instance, while a French bulldog eats one to one and a half cups of food in a day, the English Bulldog eats two. Both dogs are greedy eaters and therefore it is important to monitor their food intake to prevent obesity and other health issues.  Both breeds are food driven love treats, and enjoy meal time quite a bit.  

It is also important to note that both breeds are prone to food allergies. You should consult your veterinarian on which foods are safest for these dogs.  I personally had food allergy issues with both Noble and Augie so be aware of that for sure.  

French bulldog vs English bulldog care requirements

French bulldogs do not shed much fur so they do not require much brushing in a week. The English bulldog sheds a bit more and require 2-3 times a week brushing. Both the French bulldog and the English Bulldog tend to be prone to skin allergies. Therefore, you should not wash them using harsh product as they might damage the natural coat oils and the sensitive skin of your dog. Also avoid washing more times than it is recommended to maintain a healthy shiny coat.

English bulldogs have many folds on the face and require frequent folds cleaning.  My English Bulldog’s folds were a bit more pronounced that my Frenchie’s are.  

Use peroxide to clean and corn starch to keep dry. Trim nails every fortnight. Ear area and under the tail should be kept clean.
When it comes to exercise needs, both the French bulldog and the English Bulldog are low energy pups. both breeds require 20 – 30 minutes of exercise daily. It doesn’t have to be intense exercise, a walk around the block would be good for them to stretch their legs and to take a toilet break. Both dogs tend to be stubborn hence difficult to train.

What are some of the health concerns?

They are all potentially susceptible to some bulldog health problems. French bulldog and the English bulldog are at risk of getting Brachycephalic airway obstructive syndrome. This is a condition that affect short nosed dogs leading to severe respiratory distress. These dogs do not cope well with heat and humidity and they find it difficult to breathe during high temperatures. Therefore, their exercise routines have to schedule for the morning and the evening when it is cool. During warm days you should keep an eye on them to ensure that they are well hydrated and that they are in a place with adequate circulation of air.

Other health issues that are common in these breeds include skin allergies, cherry eye, hip dysplasia, and pododermatitis. Pododermatitis is an inflation on the paws of dogs that is caused by various disorders including infections and allergies. Hip dysplasia is a deformity in dogs that occurs when the ball and socket of the hip joint does not develop properly. Consequently, they rub and grind and eventually this results in the loss of function of the joint.

english bulldog Noble
My beloved English Bulldog Noble

Which bulldog lives longer?

The French bulldog tends to have a longer life span than the English Bulldog. the French bulldog lives for an average of 10 to 12 years, while the English bulldog lives for around 8 – 10 years. Both dogs lives for a fairly long time and the difference is small.

Price comparison

The French bulldog has increased in popularity over the years compared to the English bulldog. As a result, French bulldogs are slightly more expensive than English bulldogs. On average, the price of a French bull dog starts at $1800 while that of the English Bulldog starts at $1500. I paid $5,000 for my English Bulldog Noble back in the early 2000’s and I paid $4,500 for my French Bulldog Augie in 2019.  The cost of a Frenchie and an English bully can be pretty pricy so be fully aware of this.  Other factors such as the age and the place where you are buying from will further influence the price.

I Have Had Both and English Bulldog AND a French Bulldog – My Personal Take

As I have mentioned I have owned both English Bulldogs and French Bulldogs and I love them both.  My English Bulldog Noble since passed away a few years ago and I loved her with all my heart.  My little male French Bulldog Augie is a very different dog and than Noble was in many ways but they are both adorable and lovable.  You really can’t go wrong either way it just depends on what you are looking for.  

Conclusion – French Bulldog Vs English Bulldog

Both the English bulldog and the French bulldog are adorable family friendly dogs. Having highlighted the similarities and differences between them, it is now easy to make a choice based on your preferences. For instance, if you want a more playful dog, the French bulldog will fit you perfectly. But if you want a more laid back one then the English Bulldog is the dog for you. Also if size is an important factor to you, then with the information provided about their sizes, you can make a decision based on that. The solution to the English bulldog vs French bulldog dilemma is to consider the traits that you want in a dog and choose one that suits you best.  I have some more information on types of Bulldogs in this article.  

PS – Interested in other Dog comparisons?  Check out this French Bulldog vs Pug article or this Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog comparison.  

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