Behavior of a Bulldog

Behavior of a Bulldog

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The bulldog is a sturdy, fun-loving breed that is perfect for all family sizes. Find more about this breed here.

The Bulldog is a medium-sized dog with a powerful body and a strong will. Although bulldogs look intimidating, they are known for their gentle temperament. Bulldogs make excellent family pets and can be great with children. Much of a bulldog's behavior is dictated by the dog's body. The shortened muzzle of this breed makes breathing difficult, interfering with the bulldog's ability to exercise. Consequently, the breed is low-energy, and a bulldog will quickly become lethargic and sick after too much exercise. These dogs can be excellent companions, but are not good choices for people with highly active lifestyles.


Bulldogs are a low-energy breed because of their relatively weak respiratory system. However, bulldogs still need exercise and will thrive when given one or two 10-minute walks each day. Owners should not take their dogs on walks in temperatures above 80 degrees. Bulldogs also tend to have short bursts of impressive energy, and may charge at visitors, chase balls and ram into furniture. This behavior is less likely to occur when the dog has lots of attention and stimulation.


Bulldogs are tenacious and a bit domineering. They may obsess over objects they can't reach, such as hidden food, and may use their strong bodies to plow into things that interest them. Because of their domineering nature, they require strong leadership and early training. Without proper training, the breed may become stubborn and destructive. However, bulldogs are notoriously gentle and are unlikely to exhibit aggressive behavior.


Bulldogs are frequently ranked among the dumbest dogs, according to the book "Bulldogs for Dummies." However, this ranking may be undeserved and may be because bulldogs are stubborn and difficult to train. They can learn to do things that interest them and frequently devise novel solutions to problems. For example, a bulldog who wants to be on the other side of a fence might just plow through the fence. This breed typically requires more practice at learning basic commands because they are easily distracted, but with proper training bulldogs can learn an impressive array of skills.

Behavior Problems

Bulldogs are highly food-motivated and may guard their food, even when they've been trained to do otherwise. Consequently, bulldogs should not be fed around children or other dogs. Most of the bulldog's other behavior problems are actually a result of health issues. Lethargy is common among bulldogs when they are too hot or have had too much exercise. Drooling, snorting and loud breathing are also hallmarks of this breed. According to "Bulldogs for Dummies," bulldogs can become anxious and restless, and typically will chew on inappropriate objects well past puppyhood. They may also dig excessively.

More on Behavior

Dog Behaviors
Aging And Old Dog Behaviors
How To Know If Your Dog Has Anxiety

References & Resources

Canine Behavior; Bonnie Beaver D.V.M.
Bulldogs for Dummies; Susan M. Ewing
The Bulldog Information Library: Behavioral Problems in Bulldogs

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