English Bulldogs vs French Bulldogs: What Are the Similarities and Differences?

You’ve finally decided to get a bulldog. Now comes your next difficult decision: get an English bulldog or a French bulldog? If it was based solely on cuteness, well, it would still be a difficult decision! But, there are differences and similarities within these breeds. So to make the decision easier, we’ll compare and contrast the two breeds in this post, providing clear differences between the two breeds.

Physical differences

English and French bulldogs differ in appearance, size, and personality. English bulldogs have floppy ears and French bulldogs have erect ears. On average, English bulldogs weigh about 22 pounds more than French bulldogs. English bulldogs are less energetic and more relaxed than French bulldogs.


The average height of a male and female bulldog varies across both English and French bulldogs

For females:

  • The average height of a female English bulldog ranges between 11 to 15 inches
  • The average height of a female French bulldog ranges between 11 to 12 inches
  • A difference of 0 – 3 inches

For males:

  • The average height of a male English bulldog ranges between 12 to 16 inches.
  • The average height of a male French bulldog ranges between 11 to 14 inches
  • A difference of 1 – 2 inches

As you can see both male and female English and French bulldogs only vary in height a few inches, with the English bulldogs taller by 1-2 inches, on average.


The average weight of a male and female bulldog varies across both English and French bulldogs as well:

For females:

  • The average weight of a female English bulldog ranges between 39 to 51 pounds
  • The average weight of a female French bulldog ranges between 17 to 29 pounds
  • A difference of 22 pounds

For males:

  • The average weight of a male English bulldog ranges between 50 to 56 pounds
  • The average weight of a male French bulldog ranges between 19 to 31 pounds
  • A difference of 25 to 31 pounds


The color of these two breeds of bulldogs varies. The American Kennel Club (AKC) approved color options for English bulldogs are:

  • Red
  • Brindle
  • White
  • Piebald (having irregular patches of two colors)
  • Red & brindle
  • Fawn & white

The AKC approved color options for French bulldogs are:

  • Brindle
  • White
  • Fawn
  • Black


In addition to physical characteristics, English and French bulldogs also have different life expectancies. The English bulldog has an average life span of 8 to 12 years. The French bulldog has an average life span of 10 years to 12 years.

To ensure your dog, whether English or French bulldog, reaches its full potential of living a long and healthy life, make sure to exercise them regularly and only feed them high-quality food.

How much do English and French bulldogs cost, and why?

Both English and French bulldogs are expensive breeds. Upfront, English bulldog puppies cost on average between $1,500 and $4,000 and French bulldog puppies between $1,500 and $3,000. High costs associated with both of these breeds are driven in large part due to three factors:

  • Small litter sizes compared to other breeds
  • Need for artificial insemination to impregnate the dogs
  • Need for cesarean (c-section) for birthing

While many other popular breeds produce between 5 and 13 puppies per litter, English bulldogs on average produce six and French bulldogs produce three.

Both breeds have a difficult time mating naturally so often artificial insemination is used to impregnate the dog. Each attempt at artificial insemination costs between $500 – 1000 and is needed for 75 percent of English bulldogs and an estimated 80 percent for French bulldogs. Success rates of pregnancy using artificial insemination are around 50 – 80 percent, depending on if the semen is fresh or frozen.

An additional cost that makes both breeds expensive is the need for cesarean (c-section) to facilitate the birthing of the puppies. Around 95 percent of English bulldogs and 80 percent of French bulldogs require c-sections. Each c-section can cost between $500 – 2,000 depending on the quality of the facility and the geographic location.

When buying either an English or French bulldog, we recommend that you do a lot of research on the breeder you’re interested in and not go cheap. The less you pay for your English or French bulldog, the higher the likelihood they aren’t getting proper care throughout the breeding, pregnancy, and birth process since these costs to a breeder are generally high. the lower the costs might also imply that it might not be a breeder, but a puppy mill, and someone you should probably avoid buying a puppy from.

What are English and French Bulldog Breed Temperaments

Both English bulldogs and French bulldogs share similar temperaments and traits. These include:

  • Loyalty
  • Intelligence
  • Friendliness

When it comes to differences:

English bulldog traits:

  • Calm and relaxed
  • Occasionally playful
  • Content with being near friends and family but not all over them
  • Dignified and conflict adverse

French bulldog traits:

  • Energetic
  • Need to be close to friends and family
  • Lapdog tendencies
  • Stubborn and independent
  • Susceptible to separation anxiety

Which breed is good for families, and why?

Both English and French bulldogs are great family dogs. Both are kid friendly and will alert you when strangers are at the door. Choosing which breed is right for your family will depend on your family’s lifestyle.

English bulldogs have comparatively lower energy levels, and therefore you need not spend as much time being physically active with them. So, if your family is pretty active and you want a dog to match that energy level, then an English bulldog might not be the best fit for you.

On the other hand, French bulldogs have much higher energy levels and can indulge in physical activities and play all year-round. You’ll still want to be careful not to over-exercise them as they are brachycephalic and therefore can’t breathe as freely as other breeds, but they will definitely be more active than their English cousins.

Thus, the choice of dog for your family will depend on your requirements and physical expectations of your dog.

What type of dog owner suites each breed, and why?

If you’re a laid-back person and do not often indulge in physical activity or outings, then the English bulldog is perfect for you. They only require around 20 to 40 minutes of activity a day, and are quite content to spend the rest of the time lazying around or napping, and eating of course!

French bulldogs are not that that much more active, but they do need at least 60 to 90 minutes of activity per day. They are generally a bit more needy than English bulldogs, and tend to get a but lonely, if left to their own devices. They are generally more social beings, and need some kind of companionship, human or otherwise, to keep them happy.

Which breed is better for the city

Well, they both are, so you can’t go wrong here!

As you might have noticed in our comparison above, English bulldogs require less physical activity than French bulldogs because of their lower energy levels. Since they prefer to lounge around most of the day and don’t need space for running around, they make great city dogs where apartment living is frequent.

French Bulldogs also make great apartment dogs due to their small size. If you ever visit NYC, you’ll notice them everywhere which is a testament to what great city dogs they are!

Cost of lifetime care: English vs. French bulldogs

We have already discussed the cost of an English and French bulldog puppy above. However, purchasing your puppy is just the upfront cost. There are many recurring costs that you’ll have to support over the life of your dog.

English bulldogs are susceptible to a lot of diseases and ailments. That is why the cost of pet insurance ranges from $60-130 per month for English bulldogs. Do your research carefully, since even expensive dog insurance isn’t guaranteed to cover 100 percent of any medical cost. Make sure to read the fine print on your pet insurance policy.

Another thing which you need to keep in mind is that most of the insurance companies require you to pay the bill upfront, and you usually get reimbursed later.

Due to all these factors, the lifetime cost of owning an English bulldog is around $28,000.

You might be thinking: French Bulldogs must be more affordable?

Well, not quite. French bulldogs are prone to a lot of problems like breathing issues in humid weather, cherry eye, skin allergies, and autoimmune disorders. While English bulldogs can be susceptible to these diseases and ailments as well, the probability is slightly lower. With these ailments in mind, the lifetime cost of French bulldogs is slightly higher and comes in at around $31,000.

If you’re looking for an affordable option, neither breed can be classified as such. Make sure to build up a rainy-day doggy fund in case an unexpected cost arises because at some point it surely will.

Which breed has fewer medical issues?

While both these breeds are susceptible to various diseases, the probability of French bulldogs suffering from them is slightly higher. This is why the cost of health insurance for French bulldogs is slightly higher than that of their English buddies.

What are the common medical issues for each breed?

Unfortunately, both breeds often suffer from diseases and ailments. The likelihood of your English or French bulldog having a health issue at some point is quite common and evident in the high pet insurance costs. Below are the most common medical problems :

French bulldogs can suffer from:

• Von Willebrand’s disease (a genetic disorder caused by missing or defective clotting protein)

• Thyroid problems

• Hair loss

• Cherry eye

• Autoimmune disorders

• Respiratory problems

• Brachycephalic syndrome

• Hip and elbow dysplasia

English bulldogs can suffer from:

• Autoimmune disorders

• Brachycephalic syndrome

• Respiratory problems

• Hair loss

• Hip dysplasia

Fortunately, most of these can be treated once detected. However, you will have to foot the bill until the pet insurance reimburses you.

Which breed is more trainable?

Training any breed of the bulldog is not easy. however, there are differences between training English and French bulldogs.

As we stated above, French Bulldogs can be more stubborn than the English ones, so English bulldogs are comparatively easier to train.

Pro tip: You might want to consider getting a professional trainer for either of these breeds, since neither of them are particularly easy to train.

Which breed does better alone?

English and French bulldogs are companion dogs, which means that they always like to be around their owners. Due to this reason, leaving either dog alone at home for long hours is not recommended.

That being said, English bulldogs generally will handle being alone better than French bulldogs. Many breeders of French bulldogs recommend picking up two so they can keep each other company and are less likely to suffer separation anxiety when they have a brother or sister with them.

Which breed is more active?

French bulldogs are more active than English bulldogs. They require playtime of 60 to 90 minutes each day, since they have higher levels of energy.

On the other hand, if you’re short on time and want a breed that requires you to spend no more than 20 to 40 minutes a day on physical activity, the English bulldog is the right choice for you.


Both English and French bulldogs are great breeds of dogs. They share similarities and differences across the board, but you can’t go wrong with either breed as they are loving, caring dogs. Our four-legged friends can add charm and excitement to our lives. The only condition is that you choose the right breed for you, and we hope that the above guide helps you with that decision.

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