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American Bulldog vs English Bulldog – Related Breeds With Nothing In Common

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This might come as a surprise, but these two are related. Yes, when you look at the American Bulldog versus English Bulldog comparison, it is hard to believe they originate from the same dog. But they do share a common ancestor and similar history. But other than that, they have little to nothing in common.

Their common ancestor is the Old English Bulldog, a breed that has gone extinct since. Do not mistake it for the Olde English Bulldog, a new breed designed to address some of the issues with modern English Bulldogs.

But let’s get back to the debate between the American and English bulldog breeds.

Breed History

We said before that these dogs have a common ancestor. They are both descendants of the Old English Bulldog, a now-extinct breed. Historians believe that the canine was a large, Mastiff-like creature. Even the English Mastiff has something in common with that breed.

Now, as for the English Bulldog, it was a breed that was used for bullbaiting back in the day. The terrible sport required dogs to bring a bull down by its nose and pin it to the ground.

Once the sport was banned in Britain, people brought their bulldogs to the United States of America and continued the sport there. Yet, they needed a bit stronger dog, which is how the American Bulldog was created.

Nowadays, however, the American Bulldog is considered a part of the umbrella term Pitbull. That term also includes American Staffordshire terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, and American Bully. Eventually, the American Bulldog changed its purpose to being a family dog.

And the English Bulldog stayed in Britain, where it received a new purpose, being a pet dog. They no longer needed large bodies and ferocious temperaments.

We have to note that The American Kennel Club doesn’t recognize the American Bulldog as a separate breed. They recognize a Bulldog breed, but that is the English Bulldog.

Appearance Breed Comparison

As you can assume, because of their different history, these two have a different appearance. The standard American Bulldog is taller and more athletic. The standard size of the American canine is between 23 and 26 inches, weighing up to 130 pounds.

You can also differentiate them by their distinct long legs, robust build, and smooth and short coat. They are a lot more athletic compared to their English counterpart. But that is understandable, given that American Bulldogs were used as farm dogs at one point.

On the other hand, the English Bulldog puppy weighs up to 60 pounds and stands 16 inches tall. They are a non-sporting breed with short legs, wrinkled skin, and a robust build.

Both canines are available in different colors, including hues of red, black, brown, and fawn. You can also find brindle. The English Bulldog is usually tri-colored, with shades of white, black, and brown.

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Temperament is another area where you can see the difference between American Bulldog and English Bulldog. It is all due to their different history.

American Bulldog puppies are more active, they are athletic, love to play, and are eager to please their owner. On the other hand, the English Bulldog is a lap dog and a couch potato.

Americans will try to test you, so you need to be firm and consistent. Yet, both are friendly and eager to spend time with their respective dog owner. They do well with children when properly trained and socialized.

As with other animals, the English Bulldog does better with other dogs and pets, including cats. American Bulldogs can do well too, but they need a lot more training and socialization for that to work.


When it comes to training standard American Bulldogs, you need to pay attention to their prey drive. This dog looks intimidating and may chase an animal. And when you combine that with their athletic body, they can be a handful outside.

If not trained properly, the American Bulldog is a notorious wanderer. You will quickly find out this canine loves to explore and run around outside. So make sure to spend a lot of time training and improving your bond. The trick is to make sure your canine loves spending time with you and playing with you.

To train an American Bulldog, play lots of games and add them to your training session. This will make your pet eager to stay by your side instead of wandering around. After all, the fun is right next to you, not away from you.

On the other hand, English Bulldogs are easier to train. They do have a small dose of stubbornness in them but are more likely to stay by your side. They will not go chasing animals or anything else.

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Exercise Needs

As we mentioned before these two are quite different when it comes to their energy level. One is a sporty and athletic canine, and the other is a couch potato.

American Bulldogs are mid to high-energy dogs. Provide plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy. Between 45 and 60 minutes per day is a must.

On the other hand, if you have an English Bulldog, you can do well with short walks around the block. They do not need more than 30 minutes of exercise per day. Your English Bulldog puppy is more than happy to stay in bed the whole day.


This is where you might reconsider whether you should get an English Bulldog. This puppy is a brachycephalic breed, meaning they have serious breathing issues.

American Bulldogs were bred to be hard workers. They are sporty and healthy. They might suffer from issues like joint ailments and hip dysplasia, but that is about it.

With a British Bulldog, you have breathing issues. These dogs were bred to be cute and adorable. And while you might find that wrinkled skin cute, it is also the cause of many issues. Mainly, these are breathing issues, but also eye issues, and skin allergies.

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Life Expectancy

We talked about health issues and problems. And it is obvious that the American Bulldog is the healthier breed. As such, they live between 10 and 16 years. On the other hand, the life expectancy for an English Bulldog dog breed is between 8 and 10 years.

Which One To Get?

It really comes down to your preference. When it comes to the American Bulldog versus English Bulldog debate, they share nothing in common but their ancestor. Other than that, they are completely different dogs.

One is an athletic companion that you can take on hiking trails and do some dog sports, while the other is a cuddly couch potato.

Choose the one that fits your lifestyle and needs.

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