Are Bulldogs Friendly? How Bulldogs Deal with People and Animals

Bulldogs may look grumpy, but they are a perfect example of why you should not judge a book by its cover. Bulldogs have a surprisingly lovely personality, which is one of the main reasons behind their popularity today.

So, are bulldogs friendly? Bulldogs are very friendly dogs, one of the friendliest dog breeds around. Bulldogs are friendly with people, dogs, and other animals, but male bulldogs tend to be aggressive with other male bulldogs. Bulldogs are also possessive of their food bowl, so avoid feeding them around other dogs or kids.

I know this may come as a surprise to many, but Bulldogs are truly one of the most amiable dogs you can get. To explore more about why Bulldogs are so friendly and when are they not so friendly, keep reading.

Are Bulldogs Friendly?

smiling bulldog to show how are bulldogs friendly

Before we continue, It’s important to note here that I’m discussing English Bulldogs in particular, but people will refer to English Bulldogs as Bulldogs, so we are assuming we are discussing English bulldogs when we are just mentioning “Bulldogs”.

People think that bulldogs are not as friendly as other dog breeds because of their famous grumpy look, but the truth is far from this. Bulldogs are actually very friendly and sociable dogs.

In fact, the AKC standard says the disposition of English Bulldogs should:

Kind but courageous, friendly but dignified, …

equable and kind, resolute and courageous…. demeanor should be pacific and dignified.

AKC

But bulldogs are not friendly in the way that other dog breeds are friendly. They are friendly in a dignified, more cautious way than other dog breeds. They may be okay with strangers, but they will not trust them as easily as, say, a golden or a Labrador will.

Let’s take a moment to understand how bulldogs interact with different people and pets;

Are Bulldogs Friendly with people?

Bulldogs are usually friendly with people and strangers, and sometimes they will be politely reserved with strangers, but it’s very rare for bulldogs to be aggressive with people, even strangers. Bulldogs are loving and affectionate with their owners and make for great family pets.

This is probably why they don’t make such great guard dogs but make such good family dogs. Bulldogs are usually

Bulldogs can take a bit of time to warm up to new people, at least a bit more than other friendly dog breeds, but they will eventually warm up to new people without much trouble.

Bulldogs can be stubborn, but this stubbornness stems from their independence and is often countered by their desire to please their humans.

They are also very affectionate with their owners, sometimes a little bit too affectionate, to the point where it becomes a bit problematic. You can learn why some bulldogs are clingy here.

Are Bulldogs friendly with children?

Bulldogs are very friendly with children. They are patient, loving, and gentle with kids, and they have maternal instincts that make them watchful and protective of young children. Bulldogs are also compassionate, empathetic, and loyal, making them perfect family pets for any family with children.

Although English Bulldogs were bred to be fighting dogs, through the years of selective breeding, most of their aggressive instincts and tendencies were weeded out. This changed the Bulldog’s personality significantly and turned them from fighting dogs to gentle and amiable family pets.

Bulldog puppies are also energetic and affectionate, making them superb companions to young kids. They are also very empathetic and will be able to tell when your child is feeling down or having some troubles, and they will do everything they could to cheer your child up, and they will be successful most of the time.

Bulldogs are also more tolerant to children’s abuse of them than other dog breeds, although you should absolutely do your best to teach your children to never do that to a dog, but at least if it happens, you will have the comfort of knowing that Bulldogs will be less likely to turn on the child than other breeds.

Here is a story that’s a great example of how Bulldogs can friendly and protective with young children and babies:

Are Bulldogs friendly with other dogs?

Bulldogs are usually friendly with other dogs, but male bulldogs can be aggressive with other males to show dominance. Bulldogs are playful and sociable with other dogs with the exception being feeding time. Bulldogs will be possessive with food and won’t share with other dogs.

Bulldogs must eat in their own bowls, and you should try your best to give them a dedicated time and place for feeding where they won’t be interrupted by other dogs or even by kids. Bulldogs can be quite possessive and aggressive with their food and will be more aggressive than Joey Tribbiani if someone approaches their food.

Are Bulldogs Friendly with Cats?

Bulldogs are friendly with Cats and will get along with cats in your house just fine. Bulldogs can be stubborn, and this can clash with some cat’s stubbornness sometimes, but they will eventually become friendly. Bulldogs are accepting of other family pets, and are good for multi-pet households.

Bulldogs are laid back and calm. They are open to other pets and don’t mind them because they are not as territorial as other dog breeds. This makes them accepting of cats and their behaviors, and Bulldogs tend to become friends with cats very quickly.

They are also very gentle and protective with kittens and other baby animals in general. This makes Bulldogs one of the best dog breeds to get if you want to live in a multi-pet household that won’t have the pets fighting all the time.

Just look at this beautiful Friendship of a Cat and a Bulldog:

The one thing you have to remember, of course, is to give them their own feeding spot and time. Otherwise, you will be just fine.

Why are Bulldogs so friendly?

Once you understand the temperament and personality of Bulldogs a bit more, you will understand why they are just so friendly with everyone;

Confident

Bulldogs are muscular, strong dogs that know they are more than able to handle all that life will throw at them with ease. They also know that they are loved by everyone, which adds another layer of confidence.

Not Territorial

Unlike most other dog breeds, English Bulldogs are not very territorial and do not mind sharing the space with people and other animals. They are totally fine living with kids and other pets in the same household and don’t see the house as their territory.

Social

Bulldogs are Social and love interacting with others. They love being the center of attention, and they get to be just that most of the time.

Empathetic

Bulldogs are empathetic and emotionally intelligent. They can tell what others are feeling from their body language and their scent. They can easily tell when someone is being aggressive or when someone is frightened.

Affectionate

Bulldogs are surprisingly affectionate and loving. Bulldogs can grow to be 50 pounds or heavier, but they will still curl up in your lab and cuddle, and they will take every chance they get to be affectionate with their humans.

Maternal and Protective Instincts

Bulldogs have maternal instinctive towards any younglings around them and feel like they need to take good care of them.

This can even include animals that are not particularly younger but are still smaller in size, like cats, rabbits, and hamsters. This also makes them watchful and protective of human children.

Related Questions

Are Bulldogs Dangerous?

English Bulldogs are not dangerous, and they rarely bite or harm people. Males can be aggressive with other male bulldogs but they will rarely escalate to the point of danger. Bulldogs are easy to train and socialize with, and a properly trained and socialized bulldog will be one of the friendliest, most docile dogs you can have.

Do English Bulldogs Bite?

Bulldogs bite and their bite can be strong and harmful, however, Bulldogs will only bite when they feel threatened and provoked. British Bulldogs are rarely involved in attacks, and it’s very rare for them to turn aggressive.

Do Bulldogs Like to Cuddle?

English Bulldogs Like to cuddle very much. Although grown Bulldogs can weigh more than 50 pounds, that won’t stop them from curling in your lap whenever they have a chance. Think of them as very big and heavy cuddle buddies.

Helpful Resources

Bulldog Breed Information

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