Why Do English Bulldogs Have Different Faces? 4 Reasons Explained

You can’t pass by an English Bulldog and wonder what breed it is; English Bulldogs are one of the most distinctive dog breeds, with their squishy, wrinkly, and flat faces that make them iconic and popular almost everywhere.

So, Why do English bulldogs have different faces? English Bulldogs have different faces due to genetic mutation;  Because the flat face was popular, bulldog breeders utilized severe breeding methods, selecting only dogs with this mutation to breed. Bulldogs are classified as brachycephalic dogs, which means they have flat faces.

This article contains everything you need to know about English Bulldogs Face, why they are different, and how to take care of them, so keep reading.

Why Do English Bulldogs have different faces? 

The flat-shaped face of canine breeds like bulldogs is due to genetic mutation and selective breeding, according to researchers and veterinarians. Dogs with the gene had flatter faces than dogs without the mutation. As a result, the more the mutation holds back the SMOC2 gene, the flatter the dog’s skull is.

4 Reasons why the faces of English bulldogs can vary from one dog to another 

english bulldog head to show why Do English Bulldogs have different faces

Let’s explain what are the 4 reasons why the faces of bulldogs can vary so distinctly from one dog to another, unlike almost any other dog breed;

They were bred to bull-bait

Bull-baiting was the bulldog’s duty in the 18th century. Pepper was put up the bull’s nose to annoy and upset the bull, who was tied to a post with roughly 30 feet to move.

It was the bulldog’s responsibility to put the bull to sleep. The bulldog would grasp the bull’s nose and pounce on him, pinning him to the ground.

Bulldogs have a flat nose and short jaw, which they use to clamp down and draw the muscle in their jaw (and the rest of their body).

Genetic Mutation

Breeders wanted to keep bulldogs around, but they wanted them to be less aggressive, and they wanted to mimic that beautiful squishy face.

A genetic mutation has been found that causes a flattened face and a shorter nose. Dots with flat faces and shorter noses have this mutation. Brachycephaly is the medical term for this disorder.

Breeders gradually began to choose dogs with flatter faces for reproduction, and the popular English bulldog we see today was born.

There are various bulldog variants

Here are all the breeds that look like English bulldogs with slight differences: 

Olde Boston Bulldog

Developed as a pit-fighting dog in the 1800s as a mix between an English Bulldog and a Bull Terrier.

This cross resulted in two types of Olde Boston Bulldogs: one with a thick and wide face and another with a long and thin face. The Boston Terrier, which bears little similarity to the original 

Olde Boston Bulldog was also created via breeding in the early twentieth century.

While the dogs have had most of their hostility bred out of them, they still have the capacity to fight but are primarily loyal and kind.

Olde English Bulldog

The Olde English Bulldog, despite its name, is a very new breed. In 1971, a new breed of dog was created to approximate the physical skills of a traditional English bull-baiting English Bulldog from hundreds of years ago while also having the disposition of a current English Bulldog.

This target breed is a bigger and more athletic version of a current English Bulldog based on historical photos, statues, and drawings. These dogs are brave and determined, but not excessively hostile.

Campeiro Bulldog

One of the few natural descendants of the English Bulldog is the Campeiro Bulldog. They were first introduced to Brazil in the 16th century and have since proven to be reliable working dogs. They are powerful, courageous, devoted to their owners, and obedient.

Because they retain much of their forebears’ height and temperament, these dogs can be more hesitant around strangers than many other bulldog breeds.

These dogs are robust, nimble, and athletic, with a calm and attentive disposition that makes them ideal for guarding families and herds.

Unethical breeding practices for a flat-faced look

A bulldog’s physical characteristics set it apart from other dog breeds. Unfortunately, these characteristics render it vulnerable to unscrupulous breeding methods. 

The desire to possess these flat-faced beauties has sadly led to unethical breeding to increase the marketability of this brachycephalic breed.

The issue is that certain bulldog breeding has resulted in more extreme characteristics like as larger and flatter faces. Some bulldog breeding has concentrated on growing the dogs’ heads bigger over time in order to preserve a marketable and desired appearance.

How should a purebred English Bulldog’s Face look like?

A purebred English Bulldog’s Face should have a massive, short-faced head and a lower jaw that projects substantially in front of the upper jaw and turns up, according to the American Kennel Club’s breed standard.

Something like this:

The circumference of the skull is relatively big. From the front, it seems high from the corner of the lower jaw to the peak of the skull, as well as broad and square. Cheeks that are nicely rounded and extend sideways past the eyes. 

From the side, the head seems to be quite high and fairly short from the rear to the tip of the nose. The skin on and around the head is slightly loose and delicately wrinkled without being excessive, and the forehead is neither prominent nor overhanging. 

A furrow stretching from a definite stop to the center of the cranium is traceable to the apex. The face is somewhat short from the front of the cheekbone to the nose, and the skin may be slightly wrinkled.

From the corner of the eye to the corner of the mouth, the muzzle is short, wide, curved upwards, and deep. Nose and nostrils should be big, wide, and black, not liver, red, or brown in color. 

The distance between the inner corner of the eye and the extreme tip of the nose should not be less than the distance between the tip of the nose and the border of the underlip.

 Large, open nostrils with a well-defined vertical straight line between them. Flews (chops) are thick, wide, and deep, and cover the lower jaws on both sides, but join the underlip in front. 

The teeth are not visible. Jaws are large, robust, and square, with the lower jaw, protruding somewhat in front of the upper and a modest tilt up.

If there is a wrinkle across the nose, it must never influence or conceal the eyes or nose, whether it is entire or fractured. Pinched nostrils and excessive over-nose roll are both undesirable and should be severely punished. The different characteristics of the face must be equally balanced on each side of an imaginary line through the center when viewed from the front.

Eye, When viewed from the front, it is located low in the skull, far away from the ears. At right angles to the furrow, eyes, and stop are in the same straight line. Widely spaced, yet with the outside corners falling inside the contours of the cheeks. When gazing directly forward, it is round, of average size, neither sunken nor conspicuous and of a very dark – nearly black – color with no white. There are no visible eye issues.

Bulldogs’ faces can vary in size a bit, but that’s a whole other topic. You can check out my guide to why some English Bulldogs’ heads are smaller here.

Ears set high – the front edge of each ear (as seen from the front) joins the outline of the skull at the top corner of such shape, allowing them to be as far apart, high, and distant from the eyes as feasible. Small and slender. Correct ‘Rose ear,’ i.e. top or front inner edge curving outwards and rearward, revealing part of the interior of the burr.

Jaws are wide and square, with six tiny front teeth in an equal row between the canines. Canines spaced widely apart. Teeth are big and robust, and they are not visible when the mouth is closed. When viewed from the front, the lower jaw is immediately beneath the upper jaw, and the two jaws are parallel.

How to care for your bulldog’s face  

Because dirt may gather more easily inside the creases of your bulldog’s flat face, it’s critical to take proper care of it. The creases on a bulldog’s face can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria and other potentially dangerous pathogens.

As a result, a bulldog’s face should be washed on a frequent basis to avoid infections. As a result, cleaning the face creases many times a week is essential. To minimize irritations and skin infections, it’s necessary to wipe a bulldog’s face more frequently throughout the summer.

Start by cleaning each face fold to remove germs and debris as you clean. Make careful to wipe each face fold clean to avoid spreading bacteria and other germs. To avoid irritation, make sure you eliminate excess moisture from your bulldog’s flat face.

In the same spirit, don’t scrub your face too hard because this might irritate the skin.

Related Questions 

Why do Bulldogs have short snouts? 

Bulldogs have short snouts, under-developed hindquarters, and slightly jutting lower jaw Bulldogs as they were originally bred to fight bulls. Every distinctive feature they have was developed to help them survive the fight and kill the bull.

Why do English Bulldogs have wide heads? 

English Bulldogs have wide heads due to their very large skull, and circumference, measuring at least the height of the dog at the shoulders. Viewed at the side, the head appears very high, and very short from the point of the nose to occiput with a flat forehead.

What’s the difference between American and English Bulldogs? 

The difference between English and American bulldogs is their size and temperament. English bulldogs are smaller, shorter, and have more distinctive wrinkly and droopy faces and so calmer than American bulldogs, which are longer, more energetic, are relatively more active, and thrive outdoors.

Helpful Resources 

English Bulldog Standards – AKC

The de-evolution of English Bulldogs

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