French Bulldog vs. English Bulldog

Last Updated on March 6, 2023 by Becky Roberts

Quick Summary: The classic Bulldog is the English Bulldog, whereas the French Bulldog has a modified and more beautiful version. The English Bulldog and French Bulldog are social animals who love human attention and make great family pets. Because of their small size and gentle nature, they can be easily handled by children learning to care for dogs. These breeds of dogs suffer similar health issues. Because of his erect ears that can easily catch a lot of dirt, the French Bulldog is known to suffer from ear infections, and the English Bulldog is known to suffer head tremors. They have average life spans, with the English Bulldog capable of living anywhere from 8 to 10 years and the French Bulldog between 10 to 12 years. Both are more likely to have more health issues than the average dog, so it is important to consider this if you’re thinking of welcoming one.

The French Bulldog is very similar to the English Bulldog, but there are some notable differences. Their similarities as siblings are obvious. With their adorable wrinkly faces and sociable nature, they make great family pets that everyone will love. The French Bulldog is smaller and more compact than the English Bulldog.

The French Bulldog’s most distinctive feature is its tall, bat-like ears. The English Bulldog’s best feature is his rolled, drooping skin on either side.

So, whether you’re trying to decide between the small-sized French Bulldog and the English Bulldog of medium size, you can read on to learn the details that will help you make the right decision.

French Bulldog vs. English Bulldog

Breed History and Background

The French Bulldog is a descendant of the larger English Bulldog. However, their history was separated when the French Bulldog moved to France for a warmer climate.

French Bulldog Overview

Despite his name, the French Bulldog is not French; he hails from England. In the mid-19th Century, smaller English Bulldogs became very popular with the lace traders in central England, particularly around the markets of Nottingham. The traders set sail across Channel with their pups to France when the demand for their lace declined in England. The smaller Bulldog was a hit almost as soon as he arrived.

He was crossed over many decades with smaller breeds like the Pug and possibly other Terrier-type canines. He eventually found his way to Paris, where he was welcomed by the French aristocracy. He is commonly mistaken for the Boston Terrier.

Towards the end of the 19th Century, he spread his wings and became popular across Europe and America. It was the Americans who insisted that he keep his iconic bat ears. His popularity in England was not as strong, however, because the English nation was extremely protective of their Bulldog and felt that the French Bulldog’s popularity could threaten their national symbol.

However, he is still very popular. Thanks to his adorably alternative features and playful persona, the American Kennel Club (AKC), in 2019, ranked him as the 4th most popular dog breed in America.

English Bulldog Overview

It is believed that the English Bulldog was developed in the 13th Century in England for the purposes of Bull Baiting. The English Bulldog in those days was ferocious, and their jaws were tremendously strong, and it seemed that he could never be injured in the ring.

In 1835, this cruel blood sport was made illegal, and the fighting went underground. The spectators desired a stronger dog, and so they crossed English Bulldogs with Terriers. American Pitbull Terriers were created.

The English Bulldog was unemployed. To save it, fanciers crossed them to be more tender and more friendly in their temperament.

The once-tough canine quickly became a loving rogue and makes a great pet. While he is the face of many famous companies and sports teams around the globe, he is most well-known for his close association with Sir Winston Churchill. Many nations knew him as “The British Bulldog,” a bulldog who was tenacious and unrelenting in his courage. His main traits were a stern, droopy smile.

Size and Appearance

The classic Bulldog is the English Bulldog, whereas the French Bulldog has a modified and more beautiful version, with its delicate features. The Bulldog’s head is larger and meatier than the French Bulldog’s, which is supported by a longer and stronger neck. Although the Bulldog’s eyes appear smaller, they are more distinct than the French Bulldog’s rounder eyes.

The most noticeable difference between them is in their ears and skin. The French Bulldog has tall ears, which resemble a bat. The ears of the English Bulldog are on the side and fall into a rose shape

English Bulldogs more closely resemble a pug, while French Bulldogs do not. The skin of the French Bulldog is tighter and has fewer folds, with some located just above his nose and eyes. The droopy chops fall from his nose and hang over his lower jaws on both sides.

The most striking difference between the two breeds is their size. The French Bulldog measures 11 to 13 inches in height, whereas the English Bulldog measures 14 to 15 inches. The French Bulldog also weighs much less, with 28 pounds being the maximum weight in both males and females.

The English Bulldog weighs anywhere between 40 and 50 pounds, which means he can weigh almost double compared to the Frenchie. The English Bulldog stands taller and is more stocky than the French Bulldog.

They share a short, smooth coat. However, the English Bulldog can have a wide range of colors. The curly tail is similar to that of a porcine. They may have a corkscrew tail that is slightly longer than curly, but they are not allowed to be bred together by reputable breeders as this type of tail can lead to spinal problems.

Despite their differences, they look kooky, and their flat faces with large puppy dog eyes are what win hearts around the world.

Nutrition and Food Requirements

The French Bulldog will consume around 1 1/2 cups of food daily, whereas the English Bulldog will eat around two cups of food a day. You should keep food away from them as they will eat anything that is in their sight. You should also be aware of their treats intake, especially the English Bulldog. They can become overweight.

Because of their many skin allergies and other health problems, it is important to ask your veterinarian what food to give them. They may need a special diet or a specific kibble to relieve their symptoms.

Grooming Requirements

The grooming requirements of the English Bulldog and French Bulldog are similar. Both dogs only need to be bathed occasionally, as long as they aren’t getting too dirty from exercising. Once every 2 and 3 months is sufficient.

Remember to use gentle products as you could harm their natural oils and sensitive skin.

The English Bulldog and French Bulldog have short coats. They only need to be brushed once a week. This is just to keep their shiny coats healthy. Both shed when the weather warms up.

Although they are relatively easy to take care of when it comes to bathing and brushing their skin, their skin folds or rolls require more attention than an average dog. If they are not properly cared for, they can emit a musty dog smell. While you should only use the recommended amount of shampoo, it is important to wash them well and dry them completely. To prevent sores or infections, clean between every wrinkle and fold using a special cleaning product and cotton buds.

Temperament and Behavior

The English Bulldog and the French Bulldog are both social animals who love human attention. Both love to lie on their master’s laps. They are both very social and don’t like being left alone for long periods of the day. Both have been known to suffer from separation anxiety.

The English Bulldog and French Bulldog make great family pets, because of their small sizes and gentle nature, they can be easily handled by children learning to care for dogs. As with all dogs, children must be supervised at all times.

The French Bulldog is a playful, affectionate dog who loves to be the center of attention. They love to be silly and show off their clown antics. English Bulldogs are much more relaxed than other dogs. It is safe to say that they are one of the most laid-back canine breeds. He loves having fun but will lay upside down, with his legs and belly in the air, waiting for his master to take care of all the work.

Exercise Requirements

The energy levels of the French Bulldog and English Bulldog are similar. They are both low-energy pups who have a great sense of humor. They will need only 20 to 30 minutes of exercise a day, all of which can be a walk around the block for a leg stretch and a toilet break. They are happy to chill out and take a nap all day.

Because they are both Brachycephalic dogs, neither of them copes very well with the humidity or heat, so be sure not to exercise them on warm days. They should be taken for walks only when it is cooler.

Training and Socialization

The French Bulldog is intelligent, and he will pick up commands quite easily. However, he is also known to be independent, so you must be consistent with your training. You must not succumb to his stubbornness. If you give up, you will lose the battle for training. If you plan to train walking with a harness, make sure the harness is the right size.

The English Bulldog is another breed that is a stubborn and lazy dog. A combination of lazy and stubborn can be difficult to master. This guy is not recommended for first-time owners.

If you are looking for a completely obedient dog, he may not be the right one. He will listen on some days, but not all the time. And, it is rare for owners to drag this dog along the sidewalk for more than a week because he has given-up walking. Bulldogs also need harnesses that fit them, or leash training can be difficult.

The French Bulldog and English Bulldog must be socialized early so that they can interact with all kinds of animals and people.

Health Issues and Lifespan

Brachycephalic syndrome is the most serious health concern for the English Bulldog and French Bulldog. Their flat faces and poor breathing structure can cause problems with their heat management as well as their breathing. During hot days, ensure they are supervised, kept cool, and hydrated.

While the English Bulldog National Breed Club does not recommend any particular testing, it is known that he suffers similar health issues to the French Bulldog, whose National Breed Club suggests that he is tested for the following:

  • Hip Dysplasia – A condition that causes an abnormal formation of the hip and elbow joints, leading to painful arthritis later in life.
  • Patella Evaluation – This is where the kneecap can pop out of place and can make it very painful to walk on.
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation – This evaluation screens for a list of eye issues, such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Entropion, and a defect known as ‘Cherry Eye,’ to name a few.
  • Cardiac Assessment – This screens for a listing of heart defects.

Both are known to have a long list of skin allergies like Demodectic Mange and Staph infection. The French Bulldog, because of his erect ears that catch a lot of dirt, is known to suffer from ear infections, and the English Bulldog is known to suffer from head tremors.

Overall, the English Bulldog lives between 8 to 10 years, whereas the French Bulldog lives longer, between 10 to 12 years. Both are more likely to have health issues than the average dog, so it is important to take this into consideration if you’re thinking of welcoming one.

Puppy Prices/Costs

The popularity of the French Bulldog has increased significantly over the past decade. This is more than the English Bulldog, whose popularity has been less stable. French Bulldogs are therefore slightly more expensive.

The average price of a French Bulldog will start from around $1,800, whereas the English Bulldog will start from around $1,500. You can expect to pay more for the most desirable characteristics and/or a lineage that has won awards, but you should not expect to pay a lot more.


While they may look quite different, it is clear that these two adorable dogs are inseparable. Although the French Bulldog is smaller, he is more playful and mischievous than the English Bulldog.

Whichever breed you choose or who suits your lifestyle best, they are both affectionate dogs that will be loved by everyone.

Becky Roberts

Becky Roberts

One of Becky's favourite things to do every morning is to browse the top pet-related forums, looking for issues and questions that people have. She then shortlists the most common ones, and turns them into blog posts for Fuzzy Rescue. She's had over 4 cats and 2 dogs over the past decade, so she does know a thing or 2 about raising/training, and more importantly, loving them. She's the only one on our team that doesn't like coffee, but it seems to us she really doesn't need more energy :). We're very fortunate to have her on board as she does most of the heavy listing for the site, outputting an insane amount of content each month. Read More

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