The English Bulldog is a medium sized dog with a very large head on top of wide shoulders/chest held up by thickly boned legs. It has a low body that is heavier in the front and lighter in the rear. The coat is smooth. The Bulldog is expressive in its look, appear stately and be courageous, but not vicious or overly aggressive in its behavior. Because of their brachiocephalic (pushed-in face) features, care must be taken to avoid overheating and providing shade in warm weather. They require minimal grooming, have a stable temperament and are trustworthy.
The head of the English Bulldog is the most distinguishing feature of the breed. The skull is very large in size. The circumference of the head should at least be equal to the height at the withers. It is wide, broad and square when seen from the front. The head should look tall and compact from the nose to the back of the skull when seen from the side. The forehead should be flat, not rounded or too prominent. The stop is the wide indentation between the eyes. There is a deep furrow that runs from the stop to the middle of the skull.
The English Bulldog muzzle should be extremely short and broad. It should turn upward and is deep from the corner of the eye to the corner of the mouth. The distance from the stop to the nose should not exceed that of the nose to the under lip. The jaws are square, broad and massive. It is undershot with the lower jaw turning up and projecting considerably considerably in front of the upper jaw. The flews or chops are deep and totally overhang the lower jaws. The teeth should be covered by the under lip and not be visible when the mouth is closed.
The English Bulldog eyes should be low down in the skull, as far from the ears as possible, and their corners should be in a straight line at right angles with the stop. They should be round in shape, moderate in size and dark in color. When looking forward, the lids should cover the white of the eyeball and the lid should show no “haw.” Oddly colored eyes that do not match is undesirable. Pigment around the eyes (eye liner) is preferred; lack of pigment is undesirable. Misshapen or bugged eyes is a serious fault. Crossed eyes and/or non-symmetrically shaped eyes are a disqualifying fault.
The English Bulldog ears should set high and placed wide apart on the skull. They should be small and thin. Rose ears are preferred, but dropped ears are acceptable as long they are not overly large. Cropped, buttoned or full pricked (erect) ears are considered a serious fault.
The English Bulldog cheeks should be well rounded, protruding sideways and outward beyond the eyes.
The English Bulldog temples should be very well defined, broad, square and high, causing a hollow or groove between the eyes. This indentation or stop should be broad, deep and extend up the middle of the forehead. It divides the head vertically and traceable to the top of the skull.
The English Bulldog nose should be large, broad and black, its tip set back deeply between the eyes. The distance from bottom of stop, between the eyes, to the tip of nose should be as short as possible and not exceed the length from the tip of nose to the edge of underlip. The nares (nostrils) should be wide and large with a well-defined line between them. The nose should be a solid color. Lacking some pigment is a fault. Lacking all pigment is a major fault.
The English Bulldog jaws should be massive, very broad, square and undershot where the lower jaw projecting considerably in front of the upper jaw and turning up.
The English Bulldog teeth should be large and strong, with the canines wide apart. The six small teeth in front, between the canines, should be in an even, level row.
The English Bulldog neck should be short, thick, deep and strong. It is well arched at the back.
There should be a slight fall in the back, close behind the shoulders (its lowest part), where the spine should rise to the loins (the top of which should be higher than the top of the shoulders), then curving again more suddenly to the tail, forming an arch (a very distinctive feature of the breed), termed “roach back” or more correctly, “wheel-back.”
The English Bulldog brisket and body should be very capacious, with full sides, well-rounded ribs and very deep from the shoulders down to its lowest part, where it joins the chest. It should be well let down between the shoulders and forelegs, giving the dog a broad, low, short-legged appearance.
The English Bulldog chest should be very wide, prominent, full and deep. The ribs should be well sprung or rounded (not flat) behind the forelegs. The depth of the chest should be at least to the elbows. Viewed from the front, the dog should look very broad. A hollow or narrow chest should be considered a serious fault.
The English Bulldog should appear very broad at the shoulders and taper to being comparatively narrow at the loins.
The English Bulldog shoulders should be muscular, very heavy, widespread and slanting outward, giving stability and great power. The forelegs should be short, very stout, straight and muscular, set wide apart, with well developed calves, presenting a bowed outline, but the bones of the legs should not be curved or bandy, nor the feet brought too close together. The elbows should be low and stand well out and loose from the body.
The English Bulldog hind legs should be strong and muscular and longer than the forelegs, so as to elevate the loins above the shoulders. The hocks should be slightly bent and well let down, so as to give length and strength from the loins to hock. The lower leg should be short, straight and strong, with the stifles turned slightly outward and away from the body. The hocks are made to approach each other and the hind feet to turn outward.
The feet should be moderate in size, compact and firmly set. The toes are compact, well split up, with high knuckles and very short stubby nails. The front feet may be straight or slightly turned out. The hind feet should be pointed well outward.
The English Bulldog tail may be either straight or screwed, but never curved or curly. In any case, it must be short, hung low, with a decided downward carriage, have a thick root and fine tip. If straight, the tail should be cylindrical and of uniform taper. If “screwed,” the bends or kinks should be well defined, and they may be abrupt and even knotty, but no portion of the member should be elevated above the base.
The English Bulldog style and carriage are peculiar, its gait being a loose-jointed, shuffling, sidewise motion which give the characteristic “roll.” The action must be unrestrained, free and vigorous.
Coat and Skin
Coat–The coat should be straight, short, flat, close, of fine texture, smooth and glossy. (No fringe, feather or curl.) Skin–The skin should be soft and loose, especially at the head, neck and shoulders. Wrinkles and Dewlap–The head and face should be covered with heavy wrinkles, and at the throat, from jaw to chest, there should be two loose pendulous folds, forming the dewlap.
The English Bulldog coat should be short, straight, smooth (not wiry) and fine in texture. Having a wavy or long coat or feathering on the legs or neck area are disqualifying faults.
Any color is acceptable, except merle, with no preference of one over another.
The English Bulldog is expressive in its look, appear stately and be courageous, but not vicious or overly aggressive in its behavior. Its demeanor should be pacific and dignified.