Is a Bulldog a Good First Dog? Complete Guide

Bulldogs make excellent pets. There are a few different breeds of Bulldog, but you usually think of the English Bulldog when you think of the Bulldog.

English Bulldogs are short and broad, with that signature squishy-looking face. They are adorable and would make an ideal dog for someone who wants a dog but does not wish to spend hours a day walking and exercising the dog.

Is a bulldog a good first dog?

A bulldog could be an excellent first dog. Many people who get dogs do not realize that many breeds require a ton of exercise and care to keep them happy. A bulldog is an excellent choice for a dog if you want a furry companion but do not have the time or desire to spend many hours exercising your dog daily.


Bulldogs are generally low maintenance when it comes to daily exercise and care. They require just a short walk per day and are happy to be couch potatoes other than that.

This is not the case for all breeds and is an essential factor to consider when choosing a dog. You want to make sure that the dog matches your lifestyle and that you will mesh well together.

Great temperament

Bulldogs are also known for being loyal and gentle, making them a great choice as your first dog. When you are considering getting a dog but have little experience with them, you want to choose a gentle breed.

English Bulldogs may look tough, but they are big softies and will love to cuddle up to you on the couch and relax with you!

Sweet, but can be stubborn.

English Bulldogs are very sweet but can be stubborn.

This means that training can end up being a little bit tough. Bulldogs naturally want to please their owners but also want to do what they want!

This being said, they are still an excellent choice for a first dog. If you decide to get an English Bulldog as your first dog and don’tdon’t have any experience training a dog, make sure that you sign up for obedience and puppy training classes.

With a bit of help, you should be able to train your English Bulldog without any issues. As long as your English Bulldog is well trained and socialized, they will make an excellent first dog!


English Bulldogs are great with people and will seek out human interactions.

This means that your English Bulldog should never have an issue with meeting new people or having people come into your home.

With any dog, though, it is essential to socialize them as early as you can. Let your English Bulldog puppy meet as many people as you can so that they become comfortable being around unfamiliar people.

English Bulldogs are not often aggressive with other dogs, but it is still essential to get them used to other dogs early on so that they do not become aggressive later in life.

What should I know before buying an English Bulldog?

before buying an English Bulldog

There are many things to consider before bringing any dog into your home. Outlined below are many things you should know before getting an English Bulldog.


English Bulldogs generally have an excellent, laid-back temperament.

They are gentle and calm and absolutely love to interact with people. In general, English bulldogs are not aggressive.

It is still important to properly socialize English Bulldogs when they are puppies not to develop any issues or aggressions later in life.

In general, English Bulldogs are excellent with children and are very loving.

English Bulldogs do not like to be left alone for long periods. They can become destructive when they get bored, so if you do need to leave them alone when you are at work, then it is a good idea to have toys that they can play with.

There are many “”boredom buster”” toys available that can help dogs with boredom and frustration when left alone.

Life Expectancy

The English Bulldog has a life expectancy of about 8-10 years.

This is relatively short for a medium-sized breed and is partly due to the many health issues that can affect English Bulldogs.

All of their health issues will be outlined later in this post. Make sure to check out that section if this concerns you!

Cost of an English Bulldog

An English Bulldog puppy can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000.

This all depends on where you are getting the puppy from. Different breeders will charge different amounts based on their reputation and the puppy’spuppy’s parents.

It is important to do your research before selecting a breeder.

English Bulldogs are a popular breed, and for the most part, the females have to give birth via C-section because the shape of the Bulldog’sBulldog’s body makes it hard to give birth.

These two factors contribute to the puppies being expensive. If you come across an English Bulldog puppy sold for very cheap, proceed with caution. This could be because the breeder is not reputable, doesn’tdoesn’t know much about the parents’parents’ health or lineage, or runs a large for-profit company.

Though many people want puppies, it is always a great idea to adopt an adult dog. People often buy puppies and then surrender them once they are adults because the people don’tdon’t find them as cute anymore, or the novelty has worn off.

Whether you buy an English Bulldog puppy or adopt an adult English Bulldog, they are sure to make an excellent addition to your family.

Lifetime costs

When buying any dog, you need to think of expenses that occur throughout the dog’sdog’s lifetime.

Due to all the health issues that may plague an English Bulldog (see below), you may end up paying for medications and surgeries throughout your dog’sdog’s lifetime.

This can happen with any breed of dog but may be more likely with an English Bulldog than with some other species.

Anything can happen at any time with your pet. This is not to say that having an English Bulldog will automatically result in paying for expensive surgeries, but rather that this breed is susceptible to many health issues, and it is crucial to have a plan in place.

It may be worth looking into pet insurance if you plan to get an English Bulldog or any pet!

English Bulldog Health Issues

English Bulldog Health Issues

English Bulldogs make sweet and loyal pets, but this breed does tend to have many health issues.

If you really love the breed, these issues should not deter you from having an English Bulldog as a pet, but it is good to be informed and know what you are getting into.

Fold Dermatitis

The most common health issue for English Bulldogs is fold dermatitis.

They have a lot of folds in their skin, particularly around their faces. Moisture and bacteria can get trapped in these folds and cause discomfort and infection.

This is easily preventable. It would be best if you wiped your English Bulldog’sBulldog’s facial folds daily with a damp cloth and then make sure to dry the areas thoroughly.

Symptoms of fold dermatitis include:

  • Swollen, foul-smelling mouth area
  • Blisters or sores on the skin
  • Scratching, rubbing, biting, and licking affected areas

Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome

English Bulldog’sBulldog’s characteristic squishy face can give them breathing problems.

The Bulldog has small and narrow nasal passages. This can cause loud or difficult breathing and contributes to their low exercise tolerance.

Because of this breathing issue, English Bulldogs are also at an increased risk for heatstroke.

Some symptoms of Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome are:

  • Noisy breathing while inhaling
  • Snorting sounds while breathing
  • Gagging when swallowing
  • Blue gums or tongue from lack of oxygen
  • Fainting after exercise or excitement

If you notice that your Bulldog has any of these symptoms, it is vital to get them checked over by a vet. A vet may recommend surgery if this condition is diagnosed.

Cherry Eye

Bulldogs are prone to getting cherry eye, where the white of the eye turns red.

This occurs when the third eyelid becomes inflamed or prolapses.

There are no preventative measures that you can take, but if you notice this, take your English Bulldog to the vet right away.

Usually, the vet will prescribe an anti-inflammatory cream, but sometimes surgery is necessary to fix this issue.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is prevalent in English Bulldogs. This disease is usually seen more in larger breeds, but it frequently occurs due to the English Bulldogs’ heavy stature.

Hip dysplasia occurs when the socket does not form properly, and the ball of the femur does not correctly fit into the socket.

The body then tries to form cartilage in the socket, which causes inflammation and even muscular atrophy or osteoarthritis.

Treatment for hip dysplasia usually includes exercise, anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery.


Most dogs are at risk for bloat, and the English Bulldog is no exception.

Bloat occurs when the stomach turns, blood vessels are cut off, and the stomach fills with gas.

This is a life-threatening issue and can be fatal if not treated immediately.

Bloat can occur in bulldogs after eating or exercise.

Some symptoms of bloat are:

  • The abdomen is enlarged or distended
  • Dry heaving
  • Restlessness
  • Salivating excessively
  • Pain when your press on the stomach

You can help your dog to avoid bloat by encouraging them to eat slowly. You can get special bowls or feeding mats that will encourage them to slow down their eating.

Make sure that you do not walk your English Bulldog or let them play right after eating. Allow them to relax and digest for at least an hour before exercising.

Is a bulldog a good family dog?

Is a bulldog a good family dog

While every type of Bulldog is a little different, English Bulldogs make excellent family dogs.

They are known for being calm, laid back, and loyal.

English Bulldogs are great with kids because of their laid-back nature.

English Bulldogs are known for being predictable and dependable. These are really important qualities to look for in a family dog because unpredictable dogs and kids often do not mesh well!

English Bulldogs can be high maintenance due to their health risks, but they are one of the most easy-going breeds you can get when it comes to daily exercise!

 This is great for families because your family can take your English Bulldog on a walk together, but you don’t have to worry about spending many hours every day exercising your dog.

Some breeds can end up being full-time jobs due to how much exercise they need, and this might not be ideal if you have a busy family or young kids.


English Bulldogs make a tremendous first-time dog due to their personality.

They are big softies, are loyal and predictable. They do not require (or want) much exercise, so they make a great choice of a dog if you are not much of an active person.

English Bulldogs need a short walk every day but will not be a good hiking or running partner. If you want a dog that will be active with you for several hours a day, then an English Bulldog will not be a match for you.

However, if you want a great family dog that is happy to laze around on the couch with you, then an English Bulldog is perfect!

 English Bulldogs, while very sweet, can be hard to train since they tend to be stubborn.

If you get an English Bulldog and are not familiar with training a dog, it will be important to enroll in some puppy training classes to get the help you need.

With proper training, your English Bulldog will do well with your family.

They are, in general, really excellent with kids and are not reactive to the loud noises or wild movements that come from children.

English Bulldogs are susceptible to many health issues, so it is vital to get regular checkups at the vet and make an appointment if you notice any symptoms of hip dysplasia, fold dermatitis, or eye conditions.

Good luck with your new pet – your English Bulldog will make a great addition to your family!