Bulldog Breeds - the difference

Bulldog Breed Identification Site

Most Bulldogs and French Bulldogs who find themselves unclaimed at a shelter or surrendered to rescue are there for a reason. Many times owners buy from breeders, websites, or ads in the paper where they can get a Bulldog for less or get full registration for a price. Breeders who sell like this are not breeding for the right reasons and usually do not health test. Most, themselves, would not make it past the gate at a good breeder's home, so in turn they are forced to buy from people like themselves who do not properly health test or properly weed out breeding stock who end up with genetic or temperament problems. This leaves their offspring subject to the same issues and sometimes more since they can get the worst of both parents. Bulldogs are expensive most people do not spend the money just to leave them unclaimed at a shelter. Rescues are always happy to hear when a Bulldog is adopted from a shelter or from an all-breed rescue please remember that you do run the risk of taking on what the last owner didn't want to or taking care of a problem the old owner may have caused. Adopting a Bulldog from a breed specific rescue has it's benefits. The dogs are all cared for and seen by Bulldog knowledgeable people and vets. Not that Shelters or other groups do not care for them properly, but there is something to be said about any breed being evaluated, vetted, rehabilitated, rehomed by people who really know and understand that particular breed.

Most rescue groups will take in dogs who many people feel are beyond helping medically, please contact a rescue group and get a second opinion first before putting down a dog you or someone else feels is at the end of the line or because the medical may be too costly.

This site's information was compiled to help people learn and identify the differences in commonly mis-labeled Bulldog breeds. 

English Bulldog

The English Bulldog also known as the Bulldog (by AKC) and British Bulldog (which is an outdated name) is a short, thick, and very strong looking dog. They are Medium in size, and are usually around 50-60 lbs but will the number of people breeding them they can be anywhere from 40-70 lbs, but should still look compact. Bulldogs should be very flat in the face but also due to the number of poor breeding practices they sometimes have a slight muzzle, and some are not as compact or thick as others. Bulldogs generally do not have full tails, they should be naturally short at birth, but there are the occasional freak instances where one is born with a little length in the tail. Bulldogs come in a variety of colors, but if purebred will not have red noses. These dogs can be AKC registered because they are a purebred breed.

American Bulldog


The American Bulldog is a stocky, tall dog, large in size. They are usually, but not always, predominantly white with patches of brindle, fawn, and other colors. The Johnson variety is a larger dog with a shorter muzzle than the Scott type. However, many modern American Bulldogs are a combination of the two types. In general, American Bulldogs usually weigh between 70 to 125 lb and are around 20 to 28 in at the withers but have been known to greatly exceed that. The standard American Bulldog does resemble the pit bull-type breeds on many points. However, the pit bull's head is in the shape of a wedge coming to a more rounded point at the muzzle, whereas an AB's is generally box-shaped. The AB's ears are also typically uncropped, and its head is heavier and a little bulkier. These dogs cannot be AKC registered.   

MORE INFO:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_bulldog

Olde English Bulldog

The Olde English Bulldogge is commonly confused with the (English) Bulldog. OEB as they are often called, are mixes, they are not purebred Bulldogs. The original breeder who started this mix used English Bulldogs, Bullmastiffs, American Pit Bull Terriers, and American Bulldogs to create the "breed". Quite often other breeders who sell this mix, breed Pit Bulls with Bulldogs or Bulldogs with Mastiffs and sell them as OEB. OEB sometimes have full tails and sometimes not, due to the various mixing of breeds. Getting a Bulldog-like breed who looks more athletic does not automatically mean you will be getting a healthier dog. Just like with purebred breeding that all depends on the health of the parent dogs involved. These dogs cannot be AKC registered.

English Bulldog Rescue groups who only rescue purebreds cannot take this mix.

French Bulldog

The French Bulldog is the small cousin of the English Bulldog. Frenchie, as they are commonly called will be 18-28 lb, imported French Bulldogs or ones from imported parents are often larger in size do to the foreign standard being different than the US Standard and the large number of poor breeders everywhere. Frenchies are usually the size of a pug and can be mistaken for them, especially if the Frenchie had a deficiency during puppy-hood where the ears never grew into an erect position. These dogs can be AKC registered because they are a purebred breed.


Boston Terrier


Boston Terriers are one of the closest looking breeds to the French Bulldog. Especially Brindle Pied French Bulldogs which often have the same markings as the Boston Terrier. With the large number of people breeding mixes, it is especially hard telling the difference since Boston/Frenchie mixes are quite common.

Keys to telling the difference: A French Bulldog ear is round at the tip and the entire ear has thicker cartilage keeping it erect even while running. Boston Terrier ears are thinner causing them to flop as they play and run and many Bostons have ears where the very tip flops over a little. A Boston's ear is usually not round at the tip, but more of a point. A Frenchie ear should never point, unless damaged or cruelly cropped. Boston Terriers are also finer boned than Frenchies. The paws are smaller and feminine looking compared to a Frenchie.