Bulldog Standards

While you are looking for a bulldog, remember that just because a bulldog appears to be at or near standard it does not mean it is a healthy quality bulldog. All that means is that the dog may have been closely line bred to conform to standard and the health problems may far surpass the standard looking appearance of the dog.

Stop and compare every dog on a website to the standard. If you see sub standard traits like bow legged, jutted jaws, boxer type noses, or they fail to answer your questions about line breeding, or show you their facilities you should not buy from them.

Everyone loves the X-Man as he is near perfect in standard as are nearly every dog and bitch we own. ALL conform without line breeding. Let’s look at each part so you know what to look for, especially if you intend to show your bulldog.

Xman bulldog

The English Bulldog Head

Never buy a puppy if you do not see pictures of Mom, Dad, and Grandpa. If possible check even farther back in the history of the puppy. If you see several generations of bulldogs that are NOT line bred and they are conforming to standard that is what you are looking for.

1. Notice the far left picture, look for eyes that are low in the head. In the USA many line breeders will have bulldogs where the eyes are round looking like the typical stuffed toy. The skull will have a crease or what appears to be a crack. There is actually an indentation in the skull when the dog is full grown and it will not appear in puppies this is why it is important to look at the Genetic History of the dog. The mask (nose & muzzle) should be black any other color is not acceptable. Young puppies will often be two toned until they mature.

Conformation       Conformation_Bulldog_11

2. The chops are to hang down but are not to be over-blown and sagging out of proportion to the rest of the head. The bottom jaw is not to protrude way past the face and never should you by a puppy where the parents have both bottom teeth showing all the time as the jaw looks jutted to far out.

Bulldog standards jaw line

3. Most important is the side angle of the bulldog. This is called a “Brick” meaning that the face lays back from the bottom jaw to the top of the head at about a 45 degree angle. A nosey bulldog that has a boxer appearance is not what you want. In fact it probably has some boxer creme in the coffee somewhere.

bulldog brick side view


The ears will turn off and down to the side of the head. No ears that stand up, or tulip over like a Lab, the ears must turn down and from the side of the head. A young bulldogs ears will look different and will not fully mature in looks until around 18 months. Make sure you examine the parents ears and Grandpa as well.

English Bulldog Body Information

There should be a nice slope in the back, and a nice arch in the rear butt portion near the tail, a good brisket or chest, the tail can vary but long is better and must face down when relaxed. Never should a bulldog appear tall or leggy. Low to the ground in the front is preferred. If they look tall there is Boxer creme in the coffee somewhere.

Freddie bulldog posture

Legs and Chest Of An English Bulldog

When you look between the front legs you should see a square. Not a big rectangle but a SQUARE from the inside parts that are closest. NO Bow-legged bulldogs like in the cartoons. The feet can turn out a little but when standing the square should be obvious even in most puppies. If you see parents that are bow legged or their chest appears abnormally large or small this is not good. If the rear is to small that is not good as well. Remember low to the ground and square in the front. A tall bulldog will appear to have a tall box between his front legs.

Xman bulldog

I hope this really helps you in your journey to find that one special bulldog just for you. Remember that above the standard keep the health and personality of the bulldog foremost in your search. I am a genetic breeder and not a line breeder and our dogs will beat all others hands down on Health, Personality and conformity to the bulldog standard.