English Bulldogs Good with Kids?

Updated on June 28, 2013
M.G. asks from Coolidge, AZ
10 answers

I Just wanna know.My husband and I were thinking on getting an English Bulldog.Are they good with kids?

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answers from Honolulu on

It depends on the kid/their age.
The kid.
Not all kids, are good.... with dogs. Or any pet.

Not all dogs, regardless of breed, like kids.
Ditto AKmom below.

And you all should "meet" the dog you have in mind. First. Not just for 10 minutes. But for as long as you can.

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answers from San Francisco on

Of course being good with kids is only one factor to consider, and yes, other than being stubborn and sometimes food aggressive they are known to be good family pets.
We considered one many years ago (my husband really wanted one) but decided against it because of all their health problems.
And unless you live in the mountains of AZ please don't even consider this breed, they can't take the heat. That would just be cruel.
Know that this kind of dog WILL cost you thousands of dollars, so be prepared!
Here's some important info, in a nutshell, below (copied from this link, if you want to learn more)


Serious health problems. Make no mistake about it, English Bulldogs are grossly deformed. It's been said that if you feel like supporting your vet with great chunks of money, get an English Bulldog. They suffer from hip problems, heart problems, and skin problems. Their compromised respiratory system makes it very risky to anesthetize them.
Many Bulldogs can't even walk normally, or run without gasping for breath. Many of them struggle to breathe in hot or humid weather. In the summer they should be kept in air-conditioning and supervised during outside activity so they don't over-exert themselves and become overheated.

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answers from Detroit on

As a very broad generalization, yes. But there are always those dogs that don't have a great temperament, even amongst a breed that is known for being laid-back and even-keeled. So much of it depends on where you get the puppy from and how you raise, train and socialize them. Any dog of any breed can be the best dog in the world, or a total nightmare.

That being said, like others have pointed out, English Bulldogs are not the soundest, healthiest dogs out there. From a quality breeder, hopefully genetic issues are kept to a minimum, but expect to pay big bucks, since there is a lot of work and research that goes into breeding from the best bloodlines. Also, the vast majority of English Bulldog puppies are born by c-section, because their heads are so big compared to the mother's relatively narrow pelvis. So they are priced more expensively so that the breeder can recoup some of their costs. Then as adults they are prone to skin allergies, secondary skin infections and ear infections, eye problems, orthopedic issues, respiratory issues. Sometimes they require corrective surgery for elongated soft palpates and narrow nasal passages if they restrict their breathing too much. I've seen a couple of bulldogs too that needed tail amputations because they had a "screw tail" that was twisted in a position that it pushed right up against the anal opening, creating an area for chronic fecal contamination and skin infections.

So if you have a thousand or a couple of thousand dollars a year to spend on the dog taking it to the vet, by all means go ahead. Otherwise you are better off probably getting a mixed-breed from the pound that needs a home and may be put to sleep if he doesn't find one. All dogs need medical care and owners who are willing to spend a reasonable amount on the basics as well as problems as they crop up - but Bulldogs end up being more than average.

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answers from Anchorage on

any dog from any breed can be good with kids, or bad with them, depending on the individual dogs temperament, and how it was raised and socialized.

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answers from Milwaukee on

There is a "right" breed for every family, and the best way to know if a particular breed will work for you is by talking to the people who are involved. I strongly recommend talking to one or more breeders (preferably at least one in your climate area) and asking specific questions, sharing information about your family & lifestyle, and meeting the dogs in person.

As a breeder, we appreciate when "puppy people" contact us well in advance of planning on bringing home a pooch (because honestly, we don't have litters of puppies laying around waiting for homes, we breed when we have homes waiting for puppies!). A responsible breeder will welcome your questions, invite you to their home to meet their dogs, point you in the direction of resources for more information, & be open/honest about their breeding program.

Doing your own research online is a great place to start, but truthfully, a lot of information can be misleading. For example, my breed (Rhodesian Ridgebacks) seems to have a rap for being counter surfers & needing a ton of exercise. In truth, I can leave my dinner on the sofa for a minute & return with it still there, & they tend to sleep 25 out of 24 hours a day, because they are hounds, not sporting dogs! What you find online will tend to be stereotypical behavior, & folklore that gets passed on from site to site as people copy information to post.

All this being said, the number one most important thing to consider is that no matter what breed of dog your family welcomes, you will need to do basic obedience & manners as a puppy (or even an adult in a new household), and there will need to be socialization & supervision with children. For ANY dog! Some breeds can be more problematic than others - herding dogs like shepherds can be mouthier, because of their original purpose. Toy dogs like Cavaliers will be less likely to bowl over a little child than a large dog, like a Doberman.

English bulldogs are a great breed for the right family. As Mamazita pointed out below, they do have a list of health issues... some more prevalent than others when careful breeding & pedigree analysis is not followed. So please, if you are considering getting a specific breed, do make sure to research your breeder & only get a puppy from someone who is responsible with health clearances, temperament awareness (not breeding ill-tempered dogs) & is a member of/follows the code of ethics of their breeds parent club.

You can get started with this link, for more information on the breed & a list of registered breeders:

I do not know any E.B. breeders personally, but if you have ANY questions about contacting a breeder, what to ask, what to be wary of, etc... I welcome you (& anyone) to send me a private message.

Good luck!
T. (Breeder/Owner Handler/Trainer Rhodesian Ridgebacks since 2000)

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answers from Sacramento on

It's hard to generalize about a breed because there can be so many variations. For instance, we have a German Shepherd and she's excellent with kids. However, her brother was determined as a puppy to be better suited to police work. A good breeder can tell you early on what the puppy will be like temperament-wise. Ours flat-out told us her brother wasn't right for us and that ours had all of the right qualities for a family dog. She was 100% right. Ours is super sweet.

My in-laws are big on bulldogs. The one my husband grew up with was a sweet one. The one they had when I first met them many years later was evil. That dog would nip at your feet and snarl at you. I'm a dog lover and even I couldn't stand it. Again, variations with the same breed. DVMMom is right ... she reminded me that my in-law's newest bulldog required surgery as a puppy. They can be very expensive with all of their medical issues.

My recommendation would be to get a list of breeders (AKC may have one). Ask around for recommendations (social media is awesome for this). Check to see if there's a rescue group for this breed. In any case, talk to people who really know English Bulldogs and find someone who will be able to match you to one that's ideal for a family.

First idea, though, is to consider adopting. We only went with a breeder because a friend fostering one of the breeder's dogs presented the situation to us. Otherwise, I'm big on saving a dog through a shelter.

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answers from Lansing on

My brother has one and its very good with my kids. But its also a beast. Pure muscle. It still likes to jump up on people and sometimes if you aren't expecting it could knock you over. In the beginning I was worried he would jump on my girls and knock them over and hurt them. But its like he knows better....he'll go running up to them but never attempts to jump on them. My girls just love him as we babysit him on occasion. :)



answers from Houston on

My neighbor always had Staffordshire bull terriers, and they were very good with children. They are very very heavy and solid though, I probably wouldnt have them with a very young kid. I would rather a bulldog, than something snippy like a jack russel or a pom


answers from Columbia on

They're great with older, STURDY kids. Not kids that whine and cry when pushed or knocked over. They're sweet dogs, love to play, but also don't know their own strength. So the kids around them need to be tough and okay with a shove every so often.

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