Why English Bulldog Puppies Are Not For Everyone

english bulldog puppy

Why Not Bulldogs? Bulldog puppies are undoubtedly the cutest among all dog breeds (no bias here ;). Even as adults, their charm and appeal make them irresistible. However, many bullies end up abandoned or left at shelters after their cuteness wears off and the time comes to take responsibility for their care.

We’ve heard many heartbreaking stories of bulldogs taken into rescue after being abandoned by their guardians for “financial reasons”. Even the most well-meaning pet guardians can become overwhelmed and exhausted with all that’s required to care for a bulldog. One of our goals at Better Bully is provide enough information so that people can make an informed decision before bringing a bulldog into their family.

Bulldogs are genetically predisposed to a long list of health conditions that are costly and take a lot of time to treat. They are brachycephalic (a technical way to say they have smashed faces), commonly referred to as brachy, which makes them susceptible to brachycephalic respiratory syndrome.

Brachycephalic respiratory syndrome means:

  • Small nostrils, making it hard to move air in and out of the nose
  • An abnormally long soft palate (the flap of skin at the back of the throat), causing the characteristic snoring and snorting in bulldogs
  • A small trachea, making it hard to breathe-kind of like sucking air through a straw. It also makes them susceptible to tracheal collapse and can cause problems if the dog has to undergo anesthesia

As you may know, dogs pant to cool down since they do not have sweat glands like humans. Brachycephalic respiratory syndrome makes it difficult for bullies to pant well enough to cool themselves down, increasing their risk of heatstroke.

Bulldogs must be kept in temperature controlled environments in order to avoid having a heatstroke and can NEVER be a left in a car on a warm day.

There are surgical options that partially address the physical aspects of brachycephalic syndrome and can provide some relief to bullies struggling with breathing issues. However, because they are intentionally bred to have smashed, wrinkly faces, no surgery can completely correct their brachycephalic abnormalities.

Speaking of wrinkles, bulldogs have lots of them. They also have skin folds that require daily or even sometimes twice daily cleaning in order to prevent infection and the overgrowth of yeast that can cause the bulldog serious discomfort and need medical attention.

Common fold areas that require attention are

  • The wrinkle or “rope” above the nose
  • The skin fold above the tail
  • Folds in the skin under the chin.

Bully puppies have more (adorable) wrinkles to clean, but are less prone to infection and yeast than adult bulldogs.

It may seem ridiculous to want a bulldog when considering the burden of their care, but we can truthfully say that there is no dog like the bulldog. From their wit and intelligence to their quirky personalities, they more than make up for the cost and time it takes to care for them.

For guardians who are aware of the responsibility and FULLY committed to the daily maintenance of a bulldog, there is no greater blessing than a soft, squishy bully by your side.

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance and Foundation.


  1. I knew none of this when I got my first one – 12 years ago this past September. I have spent so many thousands on Moose that I lost count. Constant allergies, skin issues, dry eye, throat surgery, tail amputation, bladder stones, ear infections – he is still getting things that I never knew existed. This was his first year for a staff infection all over his back that I am still battling. So what did I do? 3 yrs. ago I got another one! Molly – yes she has some issues too – cherry eye, skin, weight. I am sure there are many more to come. I wouldn’t trade these bullies for all the other kinds of puppies put together. Their sweetness and cuteness and funny behavior and loving nature and stubbornness (for sure) trumps everything else! I will always be a Bullie Momma!

  2. Hi Cheryl, that is one of the most articulate and funny pro-bulldog arguments I’ve ever heard. Bravo!

    It reminds me of a New York Times article about Bulldogs that quoted Dr.
    Sandra Sawchuk, DVM, the chief of primary-care services at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. She was referred to as “the rare veterinarian who owns a bulldog.”

    Her reply to the writer when he asked her about why she has not one but two English bulldogs in spite of treating bulldogs for health problems in her practice daily she replied “I should know better, but I’m a sucker for this breed,”

    I can’t even paraphrase the next part, I just have to give it to you raw and uncut because it’s too darn good

    From the NYT writer:

    “On the day of my visit, Sawchuk’s two bulldogs — Bulldozer, an 8-year-old male, and Vanna WhiteTrash, a 7-year-old female — were alternately sleeping and meandering around one of the veterinary clinic’s indoor dog runs. I had wondered what kind of person names her pet Vanna WhiteTrash. But then I met the dog. She is overweight, arthritic and missing part of her left jaw, a result of an operation to remove a tumor. She also has an inverted screw tail that needs daily cleaning, a bald spot and eye issues.”

    Long live Mouse and you’re a great Bullie Momma, it takes so much compassion and love to go to the distances you went to take care of your dog. Too often Bulldogs are left at shelters or worse, when their health care costs become too large of a burden. I’ll include a photo of mine (gatsby, male, 5 & Daisy, female, 2) Post a photo o fMoose and Molly if you have one! I’d love to put a face to Moose’s story. Thanks for sharing, – Ryan


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