While they’re fairly closely related, there’s clearly a world of difference between French and English Bulldogs. Both make fantastic pets, of course, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that either one would be a great fit for you and your household.
In the guide below, we’ll explore some of the key differences between the two breeds so that you can be sure to adopt the perfect one for your family.
You can tell the two breeds apart at a glance, and Frenchies are more often mistaken for Pugs or Boston Terriers than they are their British cousins.
A Quick Overview
The French Bulldog and the English Bulldog have a lot of similarities, but they do have their set of unique characteristics. Let’s break it down.
English Bulldogs are much bigger. They can weigh twice as much as Frenchies, and they’re considerably taller. This makes them a heavy load to keep on your lap, but don’t worry — they won’t let that deter them.
Frenchies only weigh in at about 25 pounds or so, making it easy for you to carry yours around the house. They also have pointy, bat-like ears, whereas the English Bulldog’s are more traditional and dog-like.
In terms of color and markings, though, they’re remarkably similar.
Both breeds have their fair share of health issues, but the English Bulldog dwarfs his Gallic cousin in this category.
Both have short, brachycephalic noses, which can lead to respiratory issues and may cause overheating after strenuous exercise. They also have screw tails that can create spinal issues later in life, which is why the breeds often have their tails docked.
They are also prone to eye and joint problems. The latter is especially problematic for English Bulldogs, as they’re more prone to obesity. Many English Bulldogs can’t give birth naturally, either, due to their big heads and narrow hips.
If you choose either one of these breeds, you’ll need to expect a few costly vet visits in your future. Adopting an English Bulldog will likely be much more expensive, though.
Frenchies and British Bulldogs both have short, bristly coats. As a result, you won’t need to brush them very often, and shedding isn’t much of an issue.
However, you will need to clean out the skin folds on their face regularly, as these can be a breeding ground for bacteria if left unattended. If you let them go too long, an infection can result.
Neither breed needs much in the way of bathing, so you can get away with only scrubbing them down a couple of times a year.
These are two low-maintenance dogs, and they’re roughly equal in their grooming requirements.
We thought long and hard about even including this category, as requiring exercise is largely a foreign concept to these two breeds.
They’re both excellent dogs for apartment dwellers, as they’re low-energy and only require a leisurely walk or two a day. Like any other breed, they can get the “zoomies,” but theirs are usually pretty short-lived before they need to stop and catch their breath.
While they’re not exactly Olympic marathoners, it’s still critically important that they get their exercise. Obesity is a problem for both breeds, so giving them at least a little bit of physical stimulation is important.
However, you also need to be careful with the gym sessions. Both breeds are prone to overheating, so limit their activity during the heat of the day.
If you know anything about bulldogs, then you know that they’re famously stubborn, and these two breeds definitely live up to that reputation.
They’re not bad, per se, but if they get it in their heads to do something, it’s tough to talk them out of it. As a result, it’s essential to train and socialize them early and often.
Both breeds respond very well to positive reinforcement, and English Bulldogs will do anything for treats (just use them sparingly, because of that whole obesity thing).
They tend to be friendly and outgoing dogs, and they generally get along well with both humans and other pets.
One common issue you’ll likely have to deal with is separation anxiety. Both types of dog bond very strongly to their owners, so they’ll likely have issues with you being gone all day. Training them to deal with their fears is essential, or else you’ll come home to a destroyed house every day.
As noted above, you’ll likely have to spend more on vet bills over your pet’s lifespan if you adopt an English Bulldog. They’re notorious for having expensive health problems (but they’re also worth it).
If you decide to try to defray those costs by investing in pet insurance, expect your premiums to be much higher if you adopt a British pup.
In addition to medical costs, English Bulldogs are likely to be more expensive on a day-to-day basis as well. They’re twice as big, so they eat quite a bit more than Frenchies do.
They also love to destroy toys, so you’ll need to buy new ones periodically to keep them entertained.
Which One Should You Adopt?
While you might think that Frenchies are the clear choice based on some of the information we gave you above, there’s a reason why English Bulldogs are so beloved. They’re incredibly adorable, and they make fantastic companions. We can pretty much guarantee you won’t regret getting one.
That being said, if money is an issue, Frenchies can offer many of the same benefits that English Bulldogs do at a more budget-friendly price. They’re also about half as big, which may be enticing if you’re living in a cramped apartment.
Chances are you’ll be thrilled with whichever dog you pick, so there’s not really a wrong answer here. The important thing to remember is that, regardless of which one you choose, you should buy lots of air freshener, because they’re both capable of clearing a room.