You’ve settled on adopting an English Bulldog and bringing one into your home, but there is still one thing you have not decided yet: “Should I go for a boy or a girl?”
Well if that’s your dilemma, then you’ve come to the right place. We are here to settle the male vs. female English Bulldog debate once and for all and cover all the differences between the two genders. Once you’ve read this article, you will have a better understanding of which one is the better fit for you.
Generally speaking, Bulldogs are an awesome dog breed. Throughout their 900-year history, these wrinkly-faced canines have been bull baiters, fighting dogs, and working dogs, and now they are lovable family pets and companions.
According to the official AKC ranking, Bulldogs are the sixth most owned dog breed in the world, which is a testament to their enduring popularity. It’s really no surprise because anyone who has ever owned one will tell you how endearing, affectionate, and friendly they are.
But are there any differences between male and female English Bulldogs? Aside from the obvious ones in their physical appearance, size, and breeding, are there variations in their temperament and personality?
Let’s find out!
Male Vs. Female English Bulldog: An Overview
|Characteristics||Male English Bulldogs||Female English Bulldogs|
|Average adult height||14 to 16 inches (35.6 to 40.6 cm)||12 to 14 inches (30.5 to 35.6 cm)
|Average adult weight||50 to 55 pounds (22.7 to 25 kg)||40 to 44 pounds (18.1 to 20 kg)
|Lifespan||8 to 10 years||8 to 10 years
|Average puppy price||$1,500 to $3,000||$2,500 to $4,500
|Dog food daily intake||3 to 4 cups||3 to 4 cups
|Personality traits||Male English Bulldogs||Female English Bulldogs|
|Aggression||more aggressive||less aggressive
|Behavior||playful and affectionate||protective and territorial|
|General demeanor||friendly and playful||sedentary and laid-back
|Level of affection||very affectionate||less affectionate, especially to strangers|
|Trainability||easier to train||harder to train|
|Motivation sources||positive reinforcements||food|
Male Vs. Female: Appearance
After listing all the differences between male and female English Bulldogs, it’s now time to talk about each of them in more detail.
We are starting off with the most obvious category, which is their appearance. Their looks and physicality are the first things everyone notices. If you show a male and a female English Bulldog to someone who doesn’t know much about the breed, they would probably be able to guess which is which based on their size.
Generally, English Bulldogs stop growing in size around 12 months of age, whether they’re male or female.
Male English Bulldog Appearance
Male Bulldogs tend to be noticeably bigger than their female counterparts, both in height and weight.
Once they reach their full adult size, they can be up to 16 inches tall at the withers and weigh up to 55 pounds. Bear in mind, even though they typically stop growing around one year of age, they can still continue to gain muscle and fill out their chest.
This is slightly more common in males than females, which is another visual difference between the two.
When it comes to coat color, there aren’t many distinctions between the genders. Both male and female Bulldogs tend to come in shades of fawn, red, white, black, and more, with occasional markings of brindle or merle.
Female English Bulldog Appearance
Like in the majority of dog breeds, female Bulldogs are smaller and leaner than males. Physically mature British Bulldog females are just under 14 inches tall at the withers and weigh around 40 to 44 pounds.
They are actually not much bigger or heavier than Mini English Bulldogs!
They are only an inch or two shorter than males on average, but the weight discrepancy can go up to 15 pounds in some cases. This is because female Bulldogs generally have a more slender frame and less developed muscles, particularly in the chest area.
They are still short and stocky, but their frame is slightly less solid and square than that of Bulldog males. Another important distinction is the head size. Females have visibly smaller heads than males.
Male Vs. Female: Temperament
Usually, when we speak about a dog breed’s temperament and various personality traits, we tend to generalize and imply the same for both genders.
However, that isn’t always correct, as there are differences between the way that males and females act. If we’re being completely honest, there are differences between every single dog, let alone two opposite genders.
Talking generally about a dog breed’s characteristics is just easier and saves a bit of time, but that’s why we have articles like this: to clear up all the subtle variations that can sometimes be unknown to the casual dog owner.
Male English Bulldog Temperament
Male Bulldogs are generally thought to be the more aggressive of the two genders. They are mostly the reason why we listed them as number six on our list of 29 most aggressive dog breeds.
They are highly energetic during their puppyhood, and that’s why you need to start socializing them very early on.
There will be some growing pains as they will probably not get along with other dogs immediately. However, it will definitely be worth it in the long run because they will get it out of their system early and learn to be friends with other dogs, as well as cats, other animals, and humans.
Speaking of humans, there is an important distinction to be made between the dog’s owners and strangers. English Bulldogs, particularly the males, quickly grow attached to their owners and can sometimes even get a bit clingy. They just love to cuddle, and they don’t care if they get drool all over you!
They’re not so fond of strangers though, at least not in the beginning. That’s where the importance of early socialization lies because it gets them used to strangers and makes your daily walks more tolerable.
Female English Bulldog Temperament
Female English Bulldogs are not as aggressive as males in the sense that they are less likely to bark at strangers in the park or chase cats up trees.
They do have quirks of their own, however, and the biggest one is probably the fact that they are extremely territorial. If she is out and about in your yard and sees a car driving by, she will get alert and start barking at it.
It’s slightly different from the male Bulldog’s aggression because it tends to be localized to what she considers her turf. She might not be aggressive during walks, but if the mailman comes through your gate without you around, he might be in for a surprise.
Other than that, they are fairly similar to males in terms of playfulness and the affection that they show toward their families. They are perhaps even more affectionate toward children, who they absolutely adore despite what all the myths might tell you.
Male Vs. Female: Training
Training is a hugely important aspect of a dog’s development, and any time you’re choosing a dog to adopt, it’s good to know how receptive the breed is to instructions and commands.
As a breed in general, English Bulldogs are kind of stubborn and require a lot of patience during the process of training. Sure, they are cute and have a way of getting under your skin, but they simply aren’t very good when it comes to doing what they are told sometimes.
It’s no surprise why a lot of Bulldog owners opt to have their pooches trained professionally. It can simply be too frustrating sometimes.
But which gender of Bulldog is easier to train? Is there a difference at all?
Male English Bulldog Training
We have established that Bulldogs as a breed are tough to train. With that in mind, we can say that male Bulldog puppies are slightly easier to train and more receptive to commands than females.
Because of their friendly and loving nature, it’s a bit easier to capture their interest and sort of trick them into training. It will still be a long and tedious process, but it will be a little less frustrating once you get it going.
We recommend that you start training them early in their puppyhood, keep the training sessions short because your Bulldog might get bored or distracted otherwise, and try to stick to a schedule as much as you possibly can. Dogs are creatures of habit, and if you sneak training into their routine every day, they will eventually get used to it.
Female English Bulldog Training
Training a female English Bulldog is a lot more challenging than training just about any other dog. Basically, it comes down to two things: their independent spirit and their extremely territorial nature.
Female Bulldogs are typically not attention-seeking and less interested in constantly socializing with people. They want to do their own thing, and you’ve got to respect them for that.
But when it comes to training, it can be hard to get them interested in the first place. If they are chilling on the patio or scoping out sparrows in the backyard, trying to engage with them will only make them grumpy.
Furthermore, even if you get their attention and somehow manage to get the training session started, it can be a chore to keep it going for any length of time. We’ve mentioned how territorial they can be, and that means that they won’t be able to focus on the training 100% of the time because they will constantly be looking out for possible intruders.
One thing that you should definitely consider is always having a treat nearby. Female Bulldogs are much more food-motivated than males, so bribing them with a snack might be the way to keep them going.
Just make sure that you don’t give them too much food.
Male Vs. Female: Health
Sadly, health issues are all too common in British Bulldogs as a breed. Centuries of guided breeding have resulted in a dog breed that is very sensitive and prone to illness.
Possibly the biggest evidence of that is their very short life expectancy. Even though it is officially listed as being eight to 10 years, the realistic average is closer to six, which is heartbreaking. However, that is the sad truth for a lot of similar breeds.
In fact, constantly recurring health problems are one of the reasons why breeders have been mixing Bulldogs with a bunch of other breeds with the hopes of keeping their personality but dropping the health risks.
Some of the most common health problems that these dogs face are overheating, skin infections, chondrodysplasia, eye and ear problems, pelvic deformities, and all sorts of respiratory issues.
Both male and female English Bulldogs are equally susceptible to all of these medical conditions, but there are also other conditions that are more likely to appear in one gender over the other.
Male English Bulldog Health
Male English Bulldogs have been known to experience all of the health issues listed above, but there are a couple that we want to talk about in particular.
Brachycephalic airway syndrome (BAS) and overheating are two serious conditions that frequently affect male Bulldogs.
Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome
Brachycephalic is a word that describes the unique face shape of a Bulldog. Their flat, scrunched-up face narrows their nasal cavities, making it very difficult for air to pass through. It often results in inflammation, which can be painful and dangerous for the dog.
The reason why brachycephalic airway syndrome is slightly more common in males than in females is that they are a little more active and playful, which means they get out of breath more often.
Aside from Bulldogs, this condition can also be found in other similar breeds, such as Pugs and Pitbulls.
Another health problem that arises from the combination of playfulness and brachycephalic head shape is overheating. Since not enough oxygen can get into the Bulldog’s body in a quick enough time, they’re unable to cool themselves properly, especially during months of hot weather.
If you notice any symptoms of your dog overheating — for example, his head getting hot — contact your vet immediately.
Female English Bulldog Health
Just like with males, we are going to highlight two health issues that affect female English Bulldogs in particular.
You’d think that their lower levels of physical activity would result in them having fewer problems with health, but it turns out that they can suffer from a lot of issues that aren’t related to brachycephalic airway syndrome.
Two of those issues are dystocia and obesity.
Dystocia is a condition that exclusively affects females, and it is related to the process of birthing puppies. Because of their stocky and somewhat disproportional build, English Bulldog females have a narrower birth canal than most dogs, and that makes it very hard for them to give birth.
This is why a lot of English Bulldog litters are delivered using the C-section method. Doing it that way significantly reduces any health risks for both the mother and the puppies, but it’s a very complicated and sensitive procedure.
English Bulldog females are much more susceptible to gaining weight than males. Their sedentary, territorial lifestyle doesn’t provide enough physical stimulation for them, which means that pounds can pile up pretty quickly.
Obesity in and of itself is a big problem because it takes a toll on the Bulldog’s bones and joints and makes it harder for them to move. But there are even bigger risks related to obesity; it can often lead to other more serious issues, such as diabetes, kidney disease, or heart disease.
Because of this, you need to pay extra attention to the diet and portion sizes of your female English Bulldog. Make sure to only give them the highest-quality food that doesn’t have any unhealthy fats and additives because those are usually the main culprits for unnecessary weight gain.
Male Vs. Female: Cost
Cost is one of the most important factors that wannabe dog owners consider before buying a puppy. There are, of course, various factors that determine the final cost of a puppy. Some of them are age, health, purity, and gender.
When it comes to English Bulldogs, they are typically valued between $1,500 and $4,500 at most reputable breeders and kennels.
That price alone is really toward the high end of the range when it comes to purebred puppies. For comparison, German Shepherd puppies and Golden Retriever puppies normally sell for similar amounts of money as the Bulldog, but both of those breeds are much healthier and have longer lifespans.
That’s not to mention that you can get a Labrador Retriever puppy for less than half the price!
Anyway, circling back to the Bulldog genders, there are some differences between the price of male and female puppies, but that partially depends on what you actually intend to do with the pups.
Let’s get into more detail so that you better understand what we mean by that.
Male English Bulldog Cost
As you can see in the male vs. female English Bulldog differences overview right at the start of this article, the average price for a male English Bulldog puppy is between $1,500 and $3,000.
When buying an English Bulldog puppy, make sure to only do so from the most reliable breeders. We have a great list of the best five from their home country — the United Kingdom.
But that is only the beginning, as Bulldogs are notoriously expensive to maintain and care for, with expenses that put them among the costliest dog breeds in the world. First-year expenses alone can add up to over $5,000, with subsequent years costing around $1,000 to $1,500.
Female English Bulldog Cost
If you intend to buy a female English Bulldog only as a pet, then the price will most likely be the same as you would pay for a male.
However, if you plan to use her for breeding, then you should expect to pay 20-25% more. Since females can produce multiple litters in their lifetime, you as the Bulldog breeder are expected to make a profit on her, so the initial price is obviously higher.
This is unless you buy a female English Bulldog that has been bred for dog shows. These will probably cost you less because they are unable to perform at these shows during their pregnancies.
As with males, females will also require a significant amount of money on care during their lifetime. Even without the cost of spaying and even in the best of times, you can expect a lot of medical expenses.
During the course of their lifetime — typically eight to 10 years — you should probably have a budget of around $15,000 to $16,000 in total. That is no small amount, especially when you remember how little grooming they actually need. Imagine if they had the hair of a Golden Retriever…
Male Vs. Female English Bulldog: FAQ
Are Male Or Female English Bulldogs Better?
There is no universal answer that tells you whether male or female English Bulldogs are better. Males are better in some ways, and females are better in others. At the end of the day, the question is what exactly suits you more.
If you want a calmer, more laid-back watchdog that will not necessarily constantly endear itself to your family members, then a female dog is probably the right choice for you.
However, if you would prefer a slightly more active and playful family dog, then perhaps you should go for a male dog.
What Is The Friendliest Bulldog?
In terms of friendliness, English Bulldogs aren’t exactly the prime specimen coming from the Bulldog breeds. That title would definitely go to the lovely French Bulldog!
However, when it comes to English Bulldogs, males are usually friendlier than females. They exhibit a higher tendency for endearing themselves to their owners and even strangers if they have been properly socialized in their early days.
Females are slightly more laid-back, independent, and standoffish, which makes them better watchdogs than males but slightly less suited to being a cuddly, playful family companion. Sometimes you might think that there is a specific reason she wants to be alone, but it’s usually just their natural tendency.
Are Bulldogs Better In Pairs?
Absolutely! Despite their long history of bull baiting and fighting, Bulldogs have been bred exclusively for companionship in the last couple of hundred years.
This means that they now really enjoy the companionship of their humans and other Bulldogs. If you have two of them in your home — a male and a female — they can keep each other out of trouble and entertain themselves.
Additionally, if they happen to be from the same litter, raising them together will be less stressful for both of them as they will have someone to cling to early on. This is a great help in socialization and training as they can sometimes be resistant to that.
What Is The Best Type Of English Bulldog For A First-Time Owner?
Both male and female Bulldogs make decent pets for first-time owners. Their generally laid-back demeanor makes them relatively easy to take care of, which is a big plus for somebody who hasn’t had a dog before.
However, there are some challenges you will face when raising a Bulldog. Their stubbornness, low trainability, and health issues are all things that you need to be prepared for.
Adopting a dog is only the beginning of a commitment that lasts for its entire lifetime, and in the case of English Bulldogs, that is about eight to 10 years. During this time, it is your responsibility to care for the pooch and tackle any issues it might encounter.
If you think that the challenges involved with owning a Bulldog are too much, perhaps consider adopting a different breed of dog, one that is more suited for first-time owners, like a Labrador Retriever or a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Should I Neuter/Spay My English Bulldog?
English Bulldogs are notorious for the numerous health issues that trouble them. Things like cherry eye, heatstroke, and various infections are just some of them.
Spaying Bulldog females and neutering Bulldog males has been proven to reduce the risks of many of these issues, including breast cancer and testicular cancer.
However, desexed Bulldogs can occasionally struggle with unwanted weight gain, so you need to be very careful when deciding whether or not to neuter/spay and also when choosing the right time.
These procedures are always a hotly debated topic in the world of dog owners, with strong arguments on both sides. If you are unsure of which way to go, we recommend that you get in touch with your vet and ask them for an expert opinion.
Your usual vet is in the unique position of knowing your dog personally and understanding all the medical facts behind the sterilization procedure. There is probably nobody more qualified to offer advice on that front.
Male Vs. Female English Bulldog: The Conclusion
So there you have it, the full breakdown on the differences between male vs. female English Bulldogs.
If you were dead set on adopting an English Bulldog for your household but were unsure which gender to pick, this article conveniently lays out all the differences between males and females. By carefully weighing the pros and cons of each, you should be able to have a good understanding of which one is the better fit for you personally.
But remember: Whichever you pick, you need to shower it with all the love and care that it deserves. That is true for any dog but for Bulldogs especially. They are a very sensitive breed that is prone to getting sick a lot of the time, so you will need to be patient and careful.
There is not much left to say other than I wish you good luck with your new English Bulldog companion!