When you hear the word “Bulldog,” your mind probably pictures the squat, square-headed, folded-skin English Bulldog featured in so many movies and pop culture. As it turns out though, Bulldogs are not all created equal – there are very many different types of Bulldogs.
Bulldogs 101: How many types are there? While it is hard to narrow down exactly how many types of Bulldogs exist because of mixed breeding, there are at least 11 main types of Bulldogs:
- Alapaha Blue Blood
- Banter Bulldogge
- Ca de Bou
- Olde English
To help you get familiar with all the many types of Bulldogs, we’ll walk you through each type’s origin, physical characteristics, size, personality traits, and lifespan. Further down, we’ll even introduce you to some surprising facts about Bulldogs.
Bulldogs 101: All the Different Types
Because of mixed breeding, very many new types and breeds of Bulldogs have come into existence. Bulldogs have been bred and mixed with other breeds like Mastiffs, Boxers, Terriers, Catahoula Leopard Dogs, and even other types of Bulldogs.
While only several types of Bulldogs like the English Bulldog and French Bulldog are officially recognized by the American Kennel Club, and only four types of Bulldogs are recognized by the United Kennel Club, there are many different types of Bulldogs in existence–about 11 major types.
Why So Many Breeds?
People have bred different bulldog breeds for several reasons. Some wanted a more muscular dog, while others wanted a bulldog that would be healthier or have more traits of a guard dog. Other reasons include appearance and even a desire to recreate an earlier breed.
To give just one example, the Australian Bulldog was bred to have physical traits that fit into the Australian working conditions, climate, and terrain.
Bottom line–there are a lot of different types of Bulldogs. Let’s take a look at the 11 main and popular types of Bulldogs.
Quick Reference Guide to the Different Types of Bulldogs
Eleven different types of Bulldogs is a lot – and that’s why we’ve compiled a quick reference guide to all of them.
Also, with all the different breeds of bulldogs, it’s hard to choose which kind of puppy you’d like to get. If you decide on an English bulldog, check out our guide for getting the best English bulldog puppy.
Don’t worry–we will discuss these wrinkly, stocky furry friends in more detail later on. First, take a look at our table below for the origin, physical characteristics, size, personality traits, and lifespan of each type of bulldog.
|Bulldog Type and Origin||Physical Characteristics||Size and Lifespan||Personality Traits|
| Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog|
Bred in the American South. No one is quite sure when.
|Square head |
Tall and muscular
Short coat in white, white and black, or brindle
|Males: 100 pounds Females: 80 pounds 12 to 15 years||Protective|
| American Bulldog|
Came to America in the 1800s. Originally farming dogs.
|White coat with patches of black, brindle or fawn|
|Males: 75 to 100 pounds Females: 60-80 pounds 10 to 12 years||Energetic|
Protective of women and children
| Australian Bulldog|
Relative of the British Bulldog. Bred in the 1990s for Australian conditions.
Longer legs and less squished face than British bulldogs
Short coat in white and tan, brindle or white
|Males: 60 to 78 pounds Females: 50 to 61 pounds 10 to 12 years||Calm|
| Banter Bulldogg|
Bred in the 1990s to resemble the Brabanter Bullenbeisser of 1700s Belgium
|A cross between a purebred Boxer and a Bulldog|
Short coat in brindle, white, fawn, black
|Males: 50 to 80 pounds Females: 50 to 75 pounds 12 to 13 years||Obedient|
Good with kids
| Campeiro Bulldog|
Appeared back in the 1600s as cattle dogs in Brazil. Also known as Brazilian Bulldog Blocky head
Short coat in brindle, black, white, fawn
|Males and females: 72 to 100 pounds 10 to 15 years||Calm|
A bit reserved
| Ca de Bou Bulldog|
Appeared in the early 1900s. Originated on the island of Mallorca
|Males have much larger heads than females|
Square head with a protruding stop
Short coat in tan, black or brindle
|Males: 77 to 84 pounds Females: 66 to 75 pounds 10 to 12 years||Courageous|
Distrustful of strangers
Protective, especially of females and children
| Catahoula Bulldog|
Originated in the American South in the early 1900s
|A mix between Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog and Bulldog|
Colors like merle or pure white
Bright eyes like green, blue and heterochromaticnatural Bob or long tail
|Males and females: 75 to 100 pounds 10 to 14 years||Protective|
Calm unless necessary
| English Bulldog|
First appeared in the 1500s for “bull-baiting” in England
|Thick, low-slung body|
Loose skin on the head
Short, glossy coat in a variety of color combinations
|Males and females: 45 to 55 pounds 8 to 12 years||Easygoing|
Friendly with children and other pets
| French Bulldog|
Bred in the 1800s in England
Ears that stand up Straight
Small and stocky
Short coat in a variety of color combinations
|Males and females 15-28 pounds 9 to 11 years||Attentive|
| Olde English Bulldog |
Breeding began in 1971 in Pennsylvania
Larger than the English Bulldog
Short coats in a variety of color combinations
|Males: 65 to 130 pounds Females: 60 to 120 pounds 9 to 14 years|| Loyal|
Eager to Please
Responsive to commands
| Valley Bulldog|
Originated from the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia, Canada in the 1990s
|A cross between an English Bulldog and a Boxer|
May resemble a tall English Bulldog or a short Boxer
Short coats in brindle, red, white, and fawn
|Males and females: 50 to 125 pounds 10 to 12 years|| Loyal|
Great with kids
Friendly towards strangers
More About All the Different Types of Bulldogs
As you can see, the different types of Bulldogs have traits and characteristics that vary pretty widely.
Take the French Bulldog versus the Olde English Bulldog, for example. French Bulldogs weigh in at 15-28 pounds, have ears that stand up straight, and don’t love much exercise, while Olde English Bulldogs can weigh up to 130 pounds, have floppy ears, and have an agile and active nature.
Let’s take a closer look at all the different types of Bulldogs.
Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog
The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog first made its appearance in the American South, although there isn’t conclusive evidence as to exactly when it first made its appearance.
Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs are said to have existed for at least the last 200 years, but before 1979, there wasn’t any official documentation about them – at least that we’ve been able to uncover.
Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs were first bred to be “catch dogs,” or dogs that capture or drive cattle, pigs, and other animals.
According to Vetstreet.com, this type of Bulldog resembles the classic English Bulldog, with a large, square head, a stocky neck, ears that flop down, and jowls that are less droopy than a lot of other Bulldog breeds. Their tails are long but can be docked.
The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog has a short coat, with colors that may come in white, tan, brindle, black, or a combination of those colors.
These working dogs are still great as pets and for families – while they’re highly dutiful, trainable and athletic, they’re also protective, loyal, and make great watchdogs.
The American Bulldog is a Bulldog breed that is officially recognized by the United Kennel Club and has been since 1999.
Another working Bulldog breed, American Bulldogs appeared in America in the 1800s. They were first bred and kept on farms to help drive cattle and catch bulls. Later on, after WWII, some American Bulldogs were bred for “iron dog” competitions and even worked as police dogs.
Vetstreet.com notes that American Bulldogs can greatly vary in appearance, size, and even energy levels because there are several different lines of American Bulldogs.
American Bulldogs generally have large, square heads and muscular, stocky builds, especially in the chest and shoulders. They have longer snouts than a lot of other Bulldogs, with wide muzzles and drooping ears.
The American Kennel Club notes you may see American Bulldogs’ short, smooth coats in white, black, brindle, brown, and tan with any combination of markings with those colors.
When it comes to the personalities of American Bulldogs, they’re great family companions – they love to be right next to their owners and can even be lap dogs (whether they fit on said lap or not).
American Bulldogs are intelligent, trainable, affectionate, and protective – especially of women and children.
We mentioned this unique Bulldog breed earlier, as it’s one of the more unique Bulldog breeds.
In the late 1990s, two breeders came together to craft a Bulldog breed that was specifically better suited to the Australian environment than other Bulldogs.
Like you’d expect, Australian Bulldogs are best suited for Australia’s climate, conditions, and working environment.
PetGuide points out that Australian Bulldogs physically look similar to their English Bulldog cousins, but there are still some differences.
Australian Bulldogs have large, blocky heads, with deep and wide muzzles. They have ⅓ folds of wrinkle across their noses, with widely spaced eyes. Australian Bulldogs have short, smooth coats in an array of colors, like:
- Five varieties of Brindle
Australian Bulldogs have unique personalities, too – they’re quirky, loyal, affectionate, and make great watchdogs.
The Banter Bulldogge is another unique Bulldog breed and is considered one of the “designer” Bulldog breeds.
A cross between a purebred Boxer and a Bulldog, Banter Bulldogges, were designed and bred by Todd Tripp of Southeast Ohio. According to Wagwalking.com, Banter Bulldogges were bred in an attempt to recreate the Brabanter Bullenbeisser of 1700s Belgium.
This breed has longer legs than a lot of other Bulldog breeds, thanks to its purebred Boxer heritage.
Banter Bulldogges also have boxy heads, deep chests, and short coats that come in colors like white, brindle, fawn, red and black. Some Banter Bulldogges have the black “mask” markings.
PetGuide regards Banter Bulldogges as great family dogs – they love children, they’re protective, and they love to play. Additionally, Banter Bulldogges are eager to please, affectionate, loyal, and friendly.
Campeiro Bulldogs, also called Brazilian Bulldogs, first made their appearance clear back in the 1600s in Brazil.
Campeiro Bulldogs were used as Brazilian cattle dogs, and are said to be descendants of English Bulldogs that were bred to suit the needs of Brazilian farmers.
The name Campeiro Bulldog translates to “rural bulldog” in homage to rural Brazil, where they originated.
This relatively rare type of Bulldog has a blocky head, a short nose, a very muscular neck, and a wide muzzle. Their short and smooth coats may be black, white, fawn, brindle, or a combination of those colors.
International Bully Coalition explains that Campeiro Bulldogs are protective of and loyal to their owners, but very calm with the rest of the family. They’re obedient, affectionate, and highly adaptable to just about any climate.
Ca de Bou Bulldog
Ca de Bou Bulldogs – try to say that five times fast!
Ca de Bous are a type of Spanish Bulldog that originated on the island of Mallorca in the early 1900s, though The Bulldog Information Library says they could have roots as far back as the 18th century.
Because of their place of origin, Ca de Bou Bulldogs are often called Mallorquin Bulldogs.
This type of Bulldog has an interesting physical trait: males have much larger heads than females, which distinguishes the sexes. Their heads have a protruding stop, large eyes, and a square appearance. Ca de Bous may have coats in tan, black, or brindle.
Ca de Bou Bulldogs are protective (especially of women and children), territorial, distrustful of strangers, independent, and obedient.
Catahoula Bulldogs may be one of the most interesting looking Bulldog types out there, thanks to their coat colors and markings.
A cross between the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog and the Bulldog, Catahoula Bulldogs originated in the American South in the early 1900s.
The Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog had a great work ethic and intelligence but was unable to successfully herd cattle and assist in hunts because of its small size. Thus, it was bred with the Bulldog, which was bulkier, more aggressive, and stronger.
The two breeds were bred together to become “the best of both worlds” for farmers and hunters in the American South.
Catahoula Bulldogs are one of the taller Bulldog types, with long legs and a wide stance. They’re still very muscular and Bulldog-like in appearance, but they’ve also got longer snouts than most other Bulldog types.
Their coats develop rainbow-like colors, and are often merle or pure white, with bright eyes like blue, green, gray. Some even have heterochromia, a condition where the dog has two different colored eyes.
Natural Dog Company explains that Catahoula Bulldogs are protective, loyal, attentive, active, and typically calm unless riled up.
It’s about time we get to the classic, widely-known English Bulldog.
According to PetHealthNetwork, this type of Bulldog has been around for more than 500 years! Unfortunately, English Bulldogs were often used for “bull-baiting” in England until the mid-1800s. This is where they got their name.
Thankfully, “bull-baiting” and other blood sports with animals were banned in England in 1835, and the English Bulldog morphed more into a working dog and a family companion.
English Bulldogs have a classic, memorable look that most of us have come to associate with the word “Bulldog:” their loose skin on their square heads, wrinkled brows, “smashed” nose and short, squat stance are just about unmistakable.
The short coat of the English Bulldog may come in a wide variety of colors, from fawn to red to brindle to white. The American Kennel Club has a full list of English Bulldog coat colors and markings that can be viewed at this link.
English Bulldogs are very laid-back and easygoing, and also tend to be on the stubborn side. They’re also very friendly with strangers and other animals.
French Bulldogs are very different from the Bulldog breeds we’ve discussed so far, especially when it comes to overall size.
French Bulldogs, despite their name, were originally bred in the 1800s in England. This breed is a cross between toy Bulldogs from England and Ratters in France.
These tiny Bulldogs were mainly kept as companions, and according to Vetstreet.com, many moved from England to France with their owners after the Industrial Revolution – which eventually led to the name French Bulldog.
French Bulldogs tend to look like a miniature, more slender version of an English Bulldog, but with a few distinct physical differences. Frenchies, as French Bulldogs are commonly called, have ears that stand straight up, flat and short faces, and only get up to about 28 pounds.
Frenchies are very attentive and affectionate and are a Bulldog breed that likes to be with its owner at all times. They very rarely like to be alone and can be prone to separation anxiety. French Bulldogs are social, stubborn, and sometimes destructive without adequate stimulation.
Olde English Bulldog
The name Old English Bulldog may sound extremely similar to the name English Bulldog, but the two types of Bulldogs are very different.
Ironically, the Olde English Bulldog is one of the newer Bulldog breeds.
Olde English Bulldogs made their first appearance in 1971 after being bred by Pennsylvania native David Leavitt. Leavitt set out to create a more “traditional” English Bulldog resembling those of the old days – when Bulldogs were healthier, more agile, and less intense than the Bulldogs of today.
The Olde English Bulldog is one of the largest Bulldog types, weighing in at up to 130 pounds for males and up to 120 pounds for females.
While they share the bulky, square heads, furrowed brows, and broad muzzles of their English Bulldog cousins, Olde English Bulldogs tend to be taller, have more powerful and elongated necks, and may have standing-up or flopping-down ears.
Olde English Bulldogs are very agile and athletic (unlike today’s English Bulldog), loyal, affectionate, eager to please, responsive to commands, easily trainable, and good with strangers.
Valley Bulldogs are another unique mixed Bulldog breed and are a combination of Boxers and English Bulldogs.
While the Valley Bulldog might sound very similar to the Banter Bulldogge, the two are very different, both in origin and physical characteristics.
According to Dog Breeds Expert, Valley Bulldogs are thought to have come from the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia, Canada, in the 1990s. However, this breed could have been around a bit longer than that.
Because the Valley Bulldog is considered a “50/50 mix” between the Boxer and the English Bulldog, it’s often said that they resemble either a tall English Bulldog or a short Boxer.
They typically still have the square, blocky heads consistent with Bulldog heritage, but their ears may stick up or flop down. Additionally, Valley Bulldogs have short, smooth coats in an array of colors, like red, white, fawn, brindle, tan, black, or a combination.
Many owners say that Valley Bulldogs are very affectionate with family, great with kids, friendly towards strangers, and overall social. Valley Bulldogs are also very loyal and obedient.
Fun and Surprising Facts About Bulldogs
You’ve learned a lot about the 11 main types of Bulldogs so far, but this diverse breed has even more to offer and even more to learn. To make sure you’re a pro on all the different types of Bulldogs, check out these fun and surprising facts about Bulldogs.
English Bulldogs Almost Went Extinct
How could these cute, wrinkly pups we know and see so much have almost gone extinct at one point? They’re so popular!
As it turns out, English Bulldogs almost went extinct when the practice of “bull-baiting” and other blood sports involving animals was outlawed in England in 1835. While the decision was a huge victory for English Bulldogs, it was almost also their downfall.
Once “bull-baiting” was outlawed, the English found little use for English Bulldogs.
No longer could these Bulldogs be used as bait for bulls or in the process of capturing bulls, and the people who engaged in those practices no longer needed them. Therefore, they no longer bred them.
Fortunately (and as you can see), English Bulldogs made a big comeback. The English, Americans, and Germans realized English Bulldogs were not only great for herding cows but made great companions – and after that, they stuck around.
Bulldogs Aren’t Good Swimmers
You may be able to tell by their build and body type, but Bulldogs really don’t make good swimmers.
Because they have heavy, wide bodies, large heads, and short legs, it’s very difficult for Bulldogs to keep their heads above water and effectively swim.
While Bulldogs may enjoy trotting around in very shallow water where they can still touch, they may have a very hard time swimming in deep water, especially if any currents are present.
Bulldogs Have Won Acting Awards
Ever heard of the Golden Globe Awards, which honors your favorite actors? Well, it turns out, there’s a version of those awards honoring the best canine actors, and it’s called the Golden Collar Awards.
Bulldogs have had no problem entering pop culture – you can see Bulldogs on TV shows, in movies, on social media, in books, and just about everywhere else.
However, believe it or not, Bulldogs have also had no problem becoming famous actors!
In 2012, Brigitte, a French Bulldog, was awarded a Golden Collar Award for “Best Dog in a TV Comedy.” Brigitte plays Stella in the uber-popular TV show, “Modern Family.” Talk about representing the Bulldog breed!
Bulldogs Are One of the Most Popular Mascots
Bulldogs are popular in another area, too – they’re one of the most frequently used mascots for sports and educational institutions.
For example, you’ve probably heard of the Yale Bulldogs, the Georgia Bulldogs, and the Butler University Bulldogs – and those are just three of the many in the United States.
Around the world, there are hundreds of sports teams, colleges, and other educational institutions that use Bulldogs as their mascot. For a comprehensive list, take a look at this link from Revolvy.com.
When you think of Bulldogs, you probably immediately picture some version of an English Bulldog.
As it turns out, Bulldogs come in many different types, varieties, shapes, and sizes. Bulldogs also have a wide variety of origins, from over 500 years ago to only a few decades ago, in areas all around the world.
Not all Bulldogs are created equal, and that’s part of what makes them so interesting.
Whether you’re interested in the small, up-eared, clingy French Bulldog or the heavy, tall, athletic Olde English Bulldog (or any Bulldog in between), you might just say there’s a type of Bulldog for everybody.
If you want to learn more about English Bulldogs or other types of Bulldogs, then consider checking out this Bulldog Handbook on Amazon.