How Long Do English Bulldogs Live? Everything You Should Know About the English Bulldog’s Lifespan

Weighing an average of 40–50 pounds, the English Bulldog — also called the British Bulldog — is proof that looks can be deceiving.

Fierce-looking on the outside but an absolute sweetheart on the inside, English Bulldogs have long been a preferred companion for households looking for an easy-going, affectionate, devoted dog with a sense of humor and a soft spot for kids. This loveable breed traces its origins to England, where they were initially bred for the ruthless blood sport of bull baiting.

Back then, the English Bulldog was viewed as a courageous, no-nonsense fighter. It wasn’t until the government banned the sport that dedicated breeders shifted their focus to transforming this breed into the charming, family-friendly canine that many dog owners today love.

English Bulldog’s Lifespan

English Bulldogs — considered descendants of ancient mastiff-type dog breeds — give people serious heart eyes, thanks to their distinct looks. Their wrinkled faces, undershot jaws, drooping lip folds, large heads, broad chests, and stocky build make them one of the most easily distinguishable dog breeds.

Oh, did we mention that English Bulldogs are well known for their stubbornness and tendency to test their owners’ boundaries? As any Bulldog owner will tell you, this breed is not easy to train. For this reason, they’re best suited for an assertive owner who has the patience to keep up with consistent training. 

If you’re smitten by the English Bulldog and are thinking of welcoming one into your home, chances are, your mind is swirling with thoughts such as “lifespan of an English Bulldog,” “lifespan of Bulldogs/English Bulldogs,” “old English Bulldog lifespan,” or “lifespan of an Old English Bulldog.”

We hear you. Read on as we uncover everything you need to know about the English Bulldog’s lifespan, including ways to extend this adorable breed’s longevity. 

Average Lifespan of English Bulldog Revealed 

Close up of an English Bulldog lying on the floor, the English Bulldog's lifespan is between 8-10 years
(Photo Credit: Creative Workshop | Pexels)

According to the American Kennel Club, the English Bulldog’s average lifespan ranges between 8–10 years. Ever wondered how long the English Bulldog lives in humans years? Well, as per findings by WebMD, eight years for a medium-sized dog is equivalent to 51 human years, whereas 10 dog years equals 60 human years. 

One of the main reasons behind the English Bulldog’s short lifespan is their flat faces — scientifically termed brachycephalic — which makes them prone to numerous health complications earlier in their lifetime. In fact, a recent study established that brachycephalic dog breeds like English Bulldogs have a 40% higher risk of dying sooner compared to other dog breeds with a normal face shape. 

While one of the downsides of owning an English Bulldog is their unimpressive longevity, giving them a good quality of life can increase their chances of living much longer.

“My female was 12 when she passed, and my old man will be 13 in July,” shared Reddit, user @ice_princess50 in a threaded discussion on the lifespan of English Bulldogs.

Common Health Conditions that Affect the English Bulldog’s Lifespan

An English Bulldog standing on a pavement with tongue out, the English Bulldog's lifespan is between 8-10 years
(Photo Credit: Craig Adderley | Pexels)

Unfortunately, English Bulldogs are among the most unhealthy breeds out there. This is mostly a result of decades of extreme selective breeding practices to enhance this dog’s overall distinct features; practices that comprised their health in the process.

That said, here are six common health problems that contribute to the Bulldog breed’s short life span:

1. Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) 

English Bulldogs are highly susceptible to Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS), a life-threatening respiratory condition common in short-nosed dogs with flat faces. These Dogs have abnormalities in their airway anatomy, which makes them prone to severe breathing difficulties. In addition, BOAS causes the English Bulldog to have a high intolerance for heat and intense exercises.

English Bulldog’s Lifespan

2. Skin and Ear Infections 

Due to their numerous ear and facial folds, English Bulldogs are at increased risk of serious skin and ear infections that can significantly lower their quality of life. 

3. Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia, a degenerative orthopedic condition characterized by malformations of the hip joint, is prevalent in English bulldogs. In fact, findings show that English Bulldogs have the highest risk (72%) of hip dysplasia among all other dog breeds.

English Bulldog’s Lifespan

Hip dysplasia causes lameness, and an increased intolerance to exercise, among other symptoms. Elbow dysplasia, on the other, is characterized by elbow joint development abnormalities. If not medically addressed, these two conditions can worsen your dog’s overall health and quality of life. 

4. Obesity 

Bulldogs are prone to obesity since their compromised physical features make it difficult for them to exercise. Obesity further worsens the severity of BOAS and joint issues in English Bulldogs and triggers the occurrence of other serious health problems.

5. Eye Abnormalities

Like other brachycephalic breeds, English Bulldogs are increasingly susceptible to painful eye problems such as Brachycephalic Ocular Syndrome, conjunctivitis, cherry eye, and dry eye. These eye issues put English Bulldogs at risk of poor quality of life and, ultimately, shortened lifespans.  

English Bulldog’s Lifespan

6. Heart Problems

Sadly, Bulldogs are prone to a myriad of debilitating heart issues, from Dilated Cardio Myopathy to Pulmonic Stenosis, heart murmurs, and congenital heart disease. These heart conditions shorten their lifespan dramatically.

7. Dental Diseases

Similar to other flat-faced breeds, English Bulldogs are at great risk of developing serious dental issues due to their unusual mouth shapes that often lead to misaligned, tightly packed teeth. Without proper dental care, these issues can interfere with your dog’s overall health and quality of life. 

8 Tips to Prolong Your English Bulldog’s Lifespan 

Close up of an English Bulldog standing on a wooden floor, the English Bulldog's lifespan is between 8-10 years
(Photo Credit: | Pexels)

Luckily, you have a bit of control over how long your English Bulldog lives. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as an English Bulldog owner to increase their chances of sticking around longer:

  • Take your English Bulldog for regular vet check-ups
  • Ensure they’re on a healthy, well-balanced diet, and be keen on portion control.
  • Although Bulldogs have low energy levels, strive to meet your furry friend’s daily exercise needs to help them maintain a healthy weight. Incorporate mental stimulation into their daily routine, too. 
  • Be careful not to over-exercise your dog, and always keep them safe from heat during hot weather. 
  • Talk to your vet about joint supplements to add to your English Bulldog’s diet.
  • Be intentional about cleaning their ears and skin folds regularly.
  • Ensure they’re on a proper, regular dental care routine. 

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