Are English Bulldogs Strong?


Whenever someone first comes across an English bulldog, they might initially have some fear. After all, they certainly look fearsome just going off of their appearance. They were also initially bred to handle some pretty dangerous tasks, fighting freaking bulls, so it’s understandable why some people might be afraid of them. Even though all English bulldog enthusiasts know that under that tough exterior, is really a teddybear hidden inside.

English bulldogs are a strong, heavyset, and compact breed. The original purpose of the breed was to bait bulls, so strength was a key consideration when breeding. Today, English bulldogs are one of the strongest breeds, which is not hard to believe given their muscular and stout physique.

Although bulldogs are no longer used for baiting bulls, the characteristic strength of the breed still exists. The question is just how strong is the English bulldog compared to other dogs? Is it easy to build up strength for them as they age? Here is a closer look at the overall strength of this breed.

Breed origins

In order to understand the build and strength of any bulldog, it helps to know a little bit about the origin of the breed. Hundreds of years ago, bulldogs were originally used to draw bulls out and hold them by the nose. In order to do this, the breed had to be very strong and powerful. That is why they have extremely strong necks, jaws, and bodies to handle this work.

They are no longer used for these purposes, so breeders began to work on taking the aggressiveness out of the breed. It’s a lot easier to do that than to remove their strength. Modern-day bulldogs like the English bulldog are still very strong, but getting them to use their strength is a little bit more difficult.

Just how strong are English bulldogs?

For many years, the English bulldog has been rated as one of the strongest dog breeds. This is based not just on reputation, as bulldogs do excels in protection, as well as surprisingly in agility at dog shows.

Their body is built for handling heavy weights and they have the perfect build to move their things around the house to place them exactly where they like them to be.

These dogs are not known to be aggressive, and when properly trained and socialized, they are very good around people, children, and even other animals. However, as with all animals, they can get aggressive and defensive if they sense any danger, so it is always best to supervise them when they are interacting with strangers.

How strong are they compared to other breeds?

There are not a lot of dog breeds as strong as the English bulldog overall, but there are some that have pretty heavy builds as well. For example, the Siberian husky is built not only to pull heavy weights, but do so much more efficiently without having to stop for rest. Their overall durability makes them stronger in comparison to bulldogs.

For dogs who can provide protection, Rottweilers and Pitbulls usually do a better job than bulldogs. A bulldog might be relatively the same as far as raw strength is concerned in certain areas, but they lack the aggression or the explosiveness of these two breeds.

Pitbulls, in particular, have the perfect legs to give them a low center of gravity. This helps with pulling and climbing. This is something that the English bulldog simply can’t do as well, with its relatively shorter and stouter legs.

When looking at strength only, breeders have not done the breed much of a favor. In the early days, the dogs were pretty lean and athletic. The current day bulldogs are going to be a little bit smaller, their joints are not going to be as tight, and their build is not as powerful. The breed has definitely lost overall strength throughout the years, even if they are still one of the strongest options.

Can you train an English bulldog to get stronger?

Bulldogs are notorious for being difficult to train, so building up muscle is going to be pretty difficult to do without some patience. An owner can focus on making their bulldogs as active as possible, but they can be pretty stubborn if they simply do not feel like being active.

Another obstacle to making your bulldog is stronger is their inability to do well in the heat. Their body can heat up pretty quickly, even in cooler environments . Exercising in the middle of the day is simply not something an owner should do in warmer climates, because their body will simply overheat.

Bulldogs do have some hereditary health problems as well. Along with the overheating issue, respiratory issues are also pretty prevalent. Exercising too much and pushing them to a certain extent like an athlete could really do some long-term damage for the animal.

As far as the body is concerned, hip dysplasia and ligament injuries are the most common issues. Pushing the dog too much can lead to these issues popping up even when they are relatively young.

This breed of dog usually does not reach their full maturity until after the age of two, but then by five or six years old they already begin to show some significant signs of aging. Since they have a short lifespan in the first place, there is no reason to put more stress on them.

Most are going to be as strong as they need to be without any additional focus on strength training. It is more important to train them properly so that they can use their natural strength responsibly. Just remember that bulldogs are very stubborn, and that sometimes works against people trying to train them. They like to think for themselves instead of always listening to commands.

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Ollie the English bulldog

The English bulldog that people know today certainly looks and acts differently than in the past. Gone are the days when they need to stand up to bulls and bears. Instead, they are a breed that still has a lot of strength, but has an extremely gentle temperament.

Most trained bulldogs know how to use their body and when to be very gentle. That is why they have turned into very good family pets, especially around children. Parents do not have to worry about them becoming aggressive around children. Spend the proper amount of time training them, and they can be extremely strong pets that can provide protection and love throughout their life.

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