When you think of a bulldog, you probably picture the original bulldog: the short, stocky, flat-faced breed that many people call the English bulldog. Although the bulldog is the most popular bulldog type breed, several other breeds fall into the bulldog family. Most bulldog breeds are wonderful for families, including families with kids. However, it’s important to teach children how to safely and respectfully interacted with any dog. That means no pulling on ears or tails, no attempts to ride the dog, and giving the dog personal space when it needs it. Additionally, an adult should always supervise all interactions between kids and dogs of any breed.
If a pup's personality is your priority, bulldog-type breeds are the way to go! From sweet and snuggly French Bulldogs all the way up to brave and bold Dogue de Bordeauxs—every size between included—there's bound to be one that suits you. Plus, when it comes down do training these faithful canines, they often exhibit what we lovingly call "bullheadedness," so get ready for some extra challenge in addition their endless love.
Bulldog (English Bulldog)
The bulldog, often called the English bulldog, is like no other dog. It’s beloved for its low-swung, heavy-set body, massive head and trademark scowl. For hundreds of years the bulldog was used in England for bullbaiting, a gruesome sport that was outlawed in early 1800s. Back then the bulldog larger and more ferocious than the mellow couch potato we know and love today. The transformation came about when breeders sought to remake the bulldog into a sweet family pet rather than a fierce fighter. Today’s bulldog is dignified and peaceful. The breed is a popular school mascot and family dog. They are famous for their friendships with children, making the bulldog an excellent companion for families.
The French bulldog is descended from the English bulldog. In the mid-1800s, some toy-sized bulldogs were being bred in England, and they were brought to France with their emigrating owners. In France, these small bulldogs were bred with other breeds, possibly pugs and small terriers, and transformed to the French bulldog we know today, a small bulldog with large bat ears and a huge personality. This new Bouledogue Français, was a huge hit in Paris, and eventually spread to Europe and the United States, where they remain immensely popular. French bulldogs, or Frenchies as they are affectionately known, are exceptional companions, particularly with children. They are adaptable, active and playful with very steady temperaments.
When British immigrants came to America in the 1800s, they brought their dogs, including bulldogs, with them. Back then bulldogs were much larger and taller than the short, stocky bulldogs we know today. In the New World, farmers and ranchers put these bulldogs to use as working dogs, where they were especially good at guarding the homestead, herding, catching livestock and hunting feral pigs. The breed evolved and was eventually renamed White English Southern Bulldog, and later, American Bulldog. American Bulldogs are loyal, affectionate and known for being great with kids.
Olde English Bulldogge
The olde English bulldogge is the result of an attempt to recreate the original athletic English bulldog that was used for bull baiting, before it evolved into the smaller, stocky, roach-backed breed we know today. The olde English bulldogge should mirror the looks of the bull baiting bulldogs of the early 1800s. The Olde English bulldogge possesses the drive, temperament and agility to perform for sport or working purposes, but is confident, friendly and alert—never vicious. They are excellent companions for both adults and children.
Dogue de Bordeaux
The proud, noble dogue de Bordeaux is a true testament to its French heritage. This ancient breed has endured many changes over the centuries - from highly regarded fighting and war dogs during Medieval times; protectors of large estates in post-Revolution France; all the way up until their use as livestock drivers today. Despite this long history, they remain loyal guardians who are affectionate with their beloved family members yet also fiercely protective against strangers. The Dogue de Bordeuax may be an excellent companion for children but due to their size and strength it should always be an adult walking them
Breeds to Avoid
Families with children should focus on breeds known to do well with kids. Most bulldog breeds are considered good with children, but this is provided the dog is well bred and well socialized and trained as a puppy and beyond. Some large, assertive breeds that resemble bulldogs are not the best choices for families with kids, including the cane Corso and dogo Argentino. The bullmastiff, which was created by breeding mastiffs with bulldogs, can be good with kids if well socialized to them, but their massive size can be intimidating for small children.