The Cross-Channel Bulldogs: What is the Difference between British and French Bulldogs?

A Bulldog is a wonderful little animal with a wonderful character and a determined attitude. The usual image is that of a short nose, diminutive stature and enough folds of skin around the neck to hide several collars. Both are derived from the English Bulldog. The French type was brought into existence around the 1800s when Bulldogs were taken from England to France and made to breed with local ratters.

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Whilst there are some characteristics common throughout all bulldogs there are a number of breeds within the family including those closely related cousins, the English and French Bulldogs.

Size

The first and most obvious difference is size, with purebred French Bulldogs being significantly smaller than their cross-channel relatives, often less than half the weight. English Bulldogs are normally born with short tails and will normally weight with the 50-60 lb (25-30 Kg) range.

When buying a French Bulldog One must always be aware that there are a number of breeders who do not take care when breeding and the result is a larger animal. If in doubt, always make sure that the Kennel Club registration documents are available.

Character

Whilst both breeds make great pets, French Bulldogs are noted for their calm and quiet nature. However, perhaps due to their heritage from French ratters, they can tend to be less receptive to children, other dogs, and other animals.

They take their companionship to another level, being quite protective of their family and sometimes finding it difficult to be away from their owners, even to go to the yard. However, as endearing as this may seem, long periods without their family around during the day can lead to depression and anxiety, making them less ideal as a home alone dog.

English Bulldogs are considered very friendly to both their owners and other breeds of dog they are a true companion animal. They are equally good with children and other people and are known for taking things in their stride. In this respect, they require less socialisation than their French cousins and care should always be taken when exposing a dog to new surroundings or people, but they are usually less of a headache for the owner.

Features

English Bulldogs have distinctive rose shaped or folded ears. In contrast, French Bulldogs have larger more pointed and upright ears which give them a slightly disproportionate look to their face.

Both can be found in an array of similar colours including white, fawn, and brindle. However, the English Bulldog can have a more unique pure white colour or piebald effect. The piebald colouring is usually in large white patches with red, brown or black and probably feeds into the stereotypical image of an English Bulldog.

Training

Whilst both are more than capable of becoming well trained, there is a clear difference between their adoption of skills. The French Bulldog will require more effort to imbue with positive traits, including knowing where and when to go when nature calls.

In contrast, the English Bulldog is a more noticeably intelligent animal and extremely eager to please. This is evident in the relative ease with which they are housetrained and their willingness to try new tricks.

Whilst neither animal is built for great sporting exertion, they do make loyal companions whose individual natures more than make up for any lacking they may have in physical abilities.