Why Are Bulldogs So Ugly? 7 Common Problems with Bulldogs

It’s no secret that some people consider Bulldogs to be ugly. Before we get all defensive, we need to know that everything in the universe can be identified as beautiful or ugly, and everyone has different perspectives.

So naturally, people will have different opinions about Bulldogs as well; in this article, we will go through their points of view.

So, why are Bulldogs so ugly? Bulldogs have flat faces that many researchers consider it’s due to genetic mutations; breeders used to select particular dogs with this genetic mutation to breed bulldogs so they could look this way because dogs with flat faces were popular when they first started to appear.

There is more to that answer; keep reading to learn more about this breed.

Why Are Bulldogs So Ugly?

Bulldogs may be ugly, but it’s part of their charm; we Bulldogs owners love how our puppies look; their flat faces and dark bulging eyes make them so unique, besides their goofy personality.

Some Bulldogs owners even use the famous quote that Bulldogs are so ugly they are cute; cuteness in dogs doesn’t only come from wide puppy eyes and furriness.

Bulldogs were bred to be muscular; the breeders initially used them to bait bulls, so the breed had to be muscular to do the job. They have wrinkles on their face, and their cheeks extend to the side of their eyes; they have broad heads, small short noses, and thin small ears.

When it comes to dogs, every person has their preference; some prefer large energetic dogs such as Golden retrievers, some prefer elegant, quiet dogs such as Poodles, and some people even prefer cats!

We choose our pets based on many things and not just the looks; whether you are looking for a pet to guard and protect you or a best friend for life, the only thing that matters is that our pets provide company and unconditional love, and we love them for it and care for them as our children.

So, as long as you never mistreat an animal based on your thought of them, it’s okay to think that they are ugly.  

Why Should Bulldogs Not Exist?

a photo of a bulldog to show why are bulldogs so ugly

Many people believe that bulldogs should not exist, and it’s because they have many congenital disabilities.

They are also prone to many health problems, so let’s break them down in more detail

  1. Joint Disorders
  2. Dry Eye
  3. Tail Problems 
  4. Brachycephalic Syndrome
  5. Skin Infections
  6. Eyelid Problems
  7. Cherry Eye

Joint Disorders 

Bulldogs are at high risk of hip and elbow dysplasia which occurs when their joints don’t develop properly. They are also prone to degenerative joint disease; however, some joint disorders can be treated, but some are permanent. 

Here are the signs of a joint disorder in Bulldogs:

  • Loss of appetite 
  • Lethargy 
  • Excessive licking of the affected area 
  • Irritability 
  • Limping 
  • Biting wherever they feel pain
  • Slipping while moving often
  • Depression 

Dry Eye

Dry eyes, also known as Keratoconjunctivitis sicca happen when their eyes don’t produce the average amount of tears, so naturally, their eyes become dry, which could lead to eye infections.

Signs of dry eye in Bulldogs:

  • Irritated eyes 
  • Reduced tear production 
  • Red eyes 
  • Excessive blinking 
  • Try to keep their eyes closed 
  • Squinting 
  • Thick goopy discharge 

Tail Problems 

Bulldogs are prone to tail problems because sometimes their tails don’t form properly, so their tail can get inverted and it may lead to issues in the nerves around their tails, they may also need a surgical correction.

The skin folds around their tails can also get infected, so you should wipe the skin folds of your bulldog regularly to prevent any infection. Learn more about Bulldog tails here.

Signs of tail problems in Bulldogs:

  • Swelling 
  • Holding their tail low
  • Excessive chewing at the tail 
  • Limp tail 
  • Pain when their tail is touched 
  • Wounds on or around their tails 
  • No tail wagging or lesser
  • Bumps on the tail

Brachycephalic Syndrome

The brachycephalic syndrome is the medical term used to describe a mix of primary and secondary anatomic abnormalities that are usually found in breeds such as Bulldogs.

It’s common in flat-faced dogs to have upper airway abnormalities such as narrowed nostrils that can lead to difficulty in breathing and too much exercise can make it worse for them. That also explains why Bulldogs snore so much; however, there are treatments, and in some cases, they may need surgical management.

Symptoms of Brachycephalic syndrome:

  • Snoring 
  • Noisy breathing 
  • fainting
  • Nasal discharge 
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Blue gums 
  • Exercise intolerance 
  • Blue tongue 
  • Gagging 

Skin Infections 

Since Bulldogs have extra skin, it can lead to many skin infections if not properly taken care of, if the folds aren’t cleaned at least twice a week, there will be a bacteria build-up.

You can use a hydrogen peroxide water solution to clean the skin folds of your Bulldog make sure to apply a small amount of the solution on a cotton ball and wipe gently the skin folds on their face and body, then wipe off any excess with soft tissue.

You should make sure that their skin is absolutely dry afterward because the moisture can also lead to bacteria.

Signs of skin infections in Bulldogs.

  • Musty odor 
  • Hyperpigmentation 
  • Thickened skin 
  • Redness
  • Bald spots
  • Scaly skin 
  • Itchiness 
  • Flaky or crusty skin 
  • Recurrent ear infections 

Eyelid Problems 

Eyelid problems can occur due to the excessive skin over their eyes and face, it causes the skin around their eyelids to make it droopy and it can lead to irritation in their eyes.

Signs of eyelid problems in Bulldogs:

  • Squinting 
  • Sores on the cornea 
  • Holding their eyes shut 
  • Formation of scars 
  • Abnormal coloring 
  • Inflammation of the eyelid
  • Excessive tearing 
  • Excessive involuntary blinking 
  • Pawing their eyes 
  • Itching of the eyes 

Cherry Eye

Cherry eye is when your dog has a third eyelid and it usually occurs in puppies; however, with surgery, it can be treated.

Signs of cherry eye in Bulldogs:

  • Dry eye
  • Excessive tear production 
  • Oval swelling 
  • Inflamed conjunctiva 
  • Excessive squinting

It can occur in one or both eyes. If you noticed one or a few of these signs, it would be best to take your Bulldog to the vet right away.

Breeding Problems

One of the main reasons people think that bulldogs should not exist is that they can’t breed naturally, they need the assistance of humans because their pelvis is narrow and the puppies’ heads and shoulders are too wide.

They need a cesarean section to give birth and also due to their breathing problems, the stress can put the mother’s life in danger.

If you ever feel that your Bulldog is suffering from any of the health issues mentioned above, you should consult your vet immediately, and they will find the right treatment for your pup. 

Reading this article can make you wonder about a few things about bulldogs, so if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us, also, if you liked this article and found it useful you can share it with your friends and family.

Related Questions

Are Bulldogs Smart?

Bulldogs are not smart, they are hard to train as well, but it’s not just due to their intelligence; they don’t obey quickly, and you have to repeat the commands multiple times so they can finally understand it when training a bulldog. You will have to be patient and consistent.

What Dogs Can’t Breed Naturally?

There are some dogs that can’t breed naturally, such as Pugs, Boston terriers, French Bulldogs, and English bulldogs, because they have broad shoulders, large heads, and narrow pelvis, and the mother can have breathing problems due to stress. Hence, they often need a cesarean section to give birth.

Can Bulldogs Be Left Alone?

Bulldogs can be left alone after proper socializing and good training; however, you should never leave bulldogs alone for long periods even if they are trained because they may display destructive behavior. So consider doggy day care if you are going to leave them for a long time.

Helpful Resources

Bulldog Breed Information

Our Picks for English Bulldogs (Tested by the bulldogs themselves)

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