Continental Bulldog: Discovering a New Family-Friendly Breed

Continental Bulldog standing on path

The Continental Bulldog may not be as well known as its cousin, the English Bulldog, but it’s definitely a breed worth getting to know. This robust and athletic dog was developed in Switzerland by Imelda Angehrn, who noticed the health issues plaguing the English Bulldogs and aimed to create a healthier, more vigorous breed. Due to her efforts, if you’re considering adding a stunning bulldog to your family, Continental Bulldog puppies could bring the perfect blend of playful energy and gentle companionship to your home.

Envision a pet that embodies the classic Bulldog’s friendly demeanor but is also spry enough to join you on your day-to-day adventures — that’s what the Continental Bulldog brings to the table. Not too big and not too small, these puppies grow up to be medium-sized dogs that fit well into various living spaces, from apartments to houses with yards. Your experience with a Continental Bulldog puppy can be filled with joyous moments as they are known for their affectionate nature and love for human interaction.

So, What Is A Continental Bulldog? Breed Overview

The Continental Bulldog, or “Conti,” is a breed developed to preserve the Bulldog’s characteristics with improved health. It is medium-sized, muscular, and has a more athletic build than the English Bulldog, designed for better breathing and fewer skeletal issues. Contis are known for their friendly, calm, and loyal demeanor.

Coat and Colors:

  • Hair Texture: Short, dense, smooth, and shiny topcoat. An undercoat is present but can sometimes be absent.
  • Color: A broad range of colors is allowed, as long as they have a black nose. They can be solid, brindled, or combined with white, with or without a black mask. However, blue is not a preferred color for this breed.

Size Guide:

  • Males: Height at withers is usually between 42-46 cm.
  • Females: Slightly smaller, with a height of 40-44 cm.
  • A tolerance range allows for variation in size but aims to maintain medium-sized proportions.

You might appreciate knowing that the Continental Bulldog originated from a breeding experiment in Switzerland. They were carefully developed to fulfill the demands of a sturdy, medium-sized dog suitable for families. This breed is notably distinct from the English Bulldog and boasts higher resilience and a better health profile.

The creation of the Continental Bulldog importantly centered on enhancing general health attributes. Goals included eradicating birth difficulties, respiratory issues, and increased tolerance to heat. The breed was also designed to excel in mobility and stamina, broadening the gene pool for better overall wellness.

Finally, the Continental Bulldog perfectly fills the gap for bulldog enthusiasts longing for a family-friendly pet of the Molosser type that promises both endearing character and robust health.

Continental Bulldog History and Origin

dog owner walking Conti Bulldog in field

The Continental Bulldog’s story begins in Switzerland, born out of a necessity for healthier bulldogs and a concern for animal welfare. Imelda Angehrn, known for her English Bulldogs, initiated a breeding program to address health issues prevalent in the English Bulldog. 

This endeavor aimed to create a robust medium-sized canine that still embodied the cherished characteristics of the Bulldog breed. With considerations from the Swiss Kennel Club and guidance by the Swiss cynologist Dr. Hans Räber, the Continental Bulldog was carefully crafted to be more agile and healthier while keeping the breed’s friendly demeanor.

The Continental Bulldog emerged as a response to regulations about pet breeding and animal welfare. The nascent breed, approved by the Swiss Cynological Society, marked a decisive step towards healthier dog breeding practices. The inaugural Continental Bulldog litter was a significant milestone in the journey towards a new Bulldog variant that could meet the needs of families seeking a sturdy, medium-sized companion.

With contributions from English and Olde English Bulldogge lineage, the Continental Bulldog distinguishes itself as a separate breed known for its resilience. In Germany, as well as across Europe, the breed’s popularity grew, appreciated for its moderate size and ability to adapt to family life. The breed eventually gained recognition and has elated canine enthusiasts worldwide.

Below, you’ll find the prescribed size measurements for the Continental Bulldog, as established by breed standards:

GenderHeight at Withers (cm)Tolerance (cm)
Males42-46+/- 4
Females40-44+/- 4

Remember, a well-built Continental Bulldog should exhibit these size traits to align with breed standards. For further exploration into the history of bulldogs and their evolution, the story of the Victorian Bulldog shares similarities in the revival of old bulldog traits and charm. Through careful breeding and a passion for the Molosser type, the Continental Bulldog fills the gap for those needing a hardy, medium-sized family dog.

Physical Characteristics

Continental Bulldog fawn standing

The Continental Bulldog is a breed that radiates strength with its muscular build and distinctive appearance. It’s important for you to understand the breed’s unique characteristics to appreciate its physical attributes.

Size and Weight

Your Continental Bulldog will likely have a robust physique. Here’s a breakdown of typical size measurements:

Height16-22 inches15-21 inches
(40-56 cm)(38-54 cm)
Weight55-66 pounds44-55 pounds
(25-30 kg)(20-25 kg)


When you look at a Continental Bulldog, you’ll notice its strong, compact body that exhibits power and agility. Its face features a prominent, broad head with a square and short muzzle. The ears are set high on the head and are neither too long nor too large, complementing their firm facial expression. A key characteristic is their clear, expressive eyes that reveal a friendly demeanor.

Coat and Color

Your dog’s coat will be smooth, short, and close fitting, which is easy to maintain and feels pleasant to the touch. As for colors, you might see anything from brindle to white or combinations thereof. Some dogs also have a distinctive black mask, adding to their expressive appearance. Pied patterns are also common, making each Continental Bulldog’s coat unique.

When considering a Continental Bulldog as a pet, understanding these physical standards is crucial. Not only does it give you an idea of what to expect in terms of size and care, but it also helps you recognize the breed-specific traits that make this dog so special.


The Continental Bulldog is known for its balanced temperament, exhibiting a friendly and sociable nature that makes it a great family pet. You’ll find that this breed, while muscular and energetic, tends to be affectionate without being overly aggressive.

Average Lifespan

The Continental Bulldog typically enjoys a lifespan of around 10 to 12 years. Proper care and a healthful lifestyle can influence their longevity. Regular vet check-ups and a nutritious diet play a crucial role in helping them reach their golden years.

Suitability With Children & Other Animals

Continental Bulldogs are known for their loyal and playful character, which makes them a suitable companion for children. They are affectionate enough to be gentle with kids, and their intelligent nature makes them adaptable to living with other animals. However, early socialization is essential to promote confident and relaxed behavior around other pets.

Behavioral Training Tips

  • Consistency is Key: Start training your Continental Bulldog early, using consistent commands and positive reinforcement.
  • Energetic and Agile: Keep training sessions short and playful to match their energetic spirit. This will help maintain their attention and prevent boredom.
  • Social Skills: Introduce your pup to various environments, people, and other animals to develop a well-rounded behavior. It’s important to teach your Continental Bulldog that making new friends is a fun and rewarding experience.

By offering your Continental Bulldog regular opportunities to exercise their body and mind, and by reinforcing good behavior, you’ll ensure your pet’s temperament remains as affable and accommodating as it is naturally inclined to be.

Health and Lifespan

When you’re considering a Continental Bulldog as your pet, understanding their health and average lifespan is crucial. This breed can bring joy to your life, but it’s important to be aware of their specific needs to ensure they live a healthy and full life.

Average Lifespan

Continental Bulldogs typically enjoy a lifespan slightly longer than some other bulldog breeds, with estimates ranging from 8 to 12 years. This can vary based on numerous factors including diet, exercise, and genetics.

Common Health Issues

Just like any other breed, Continental Bulldogs are prone to certain health issues. It’s common for them to face hip dysplasia, a genetic hip malformation that can lead to discomfort and mobility challenges. They may also contend with skin infections due to their wrinkles, so regular cleaning is important to avoid these problems. Overweight dogs may risk a shorter lifespan, so maintaining a healthy weight is essential.

Preventative Care Tips

To keep your Continental Bulldog healthy, you should focus on several preventative care strategies:

  • Diet and Exercise: A balanced diet is key. Feed your Bulldog quality food that meets their energy requirements. Regular exercise helps prevent obesity and keeps them energetic and fit.
  • Veterinary Care: Regular check-ups with the vet can help to catch and manage health problems early on. Ensuring they stay up-to-date with vaccinations will help to prevent common infections.
  • Genetic Testing: If possible, conduct DNA testing to be aware of any inheritable conditions that might affect your dog’s health.

By staying informed and proactive about your Continental Bulldog’s health, you can help your pet lead a happier and longer life.

Exercise and Housing Needs

Daily Exercise Requirements

You’ll want to ensure your Continental Bulldog gets enough exercise each day. Aim for at least 30 minutes of brisk activity, like walking or playing fetch. Keeping them active is crucial since they can be prone to obesity.

  • Morning: A quick 10-minute walk
  • Afternoon: Playtime in the yard
  • Evening: A 20-minute walk or a play session

Space Requirements

Your Continental Bulldog doesn’t need a huge backyard, but they do appreciate some space to roam. An apartment can be just fine as long as you commit to daily exercise to burn off their energy.

  • Indoor: Enough room for stretching and play
  • Outdoor: A secure area for them to explore safely

Suitable Living Conditions

Continental Bulldogs thrive in loving homes where they’re part of the action. Keep their space cool and comfortable — their short muzzle makes them sensitive to heat.

  • Keep them cool: Use fans or air conditioning during hot weather.
  • Sleeping quarters: A cozy bed away from drafts or noise.
  • Family interaction: Regular engagement with you and family members.

Remember, your Continental Bulldog’s happiness depends on the right balance of exercise and a comfortable home environment.

Training and Socialization

Training and socialization is vital for any dog, but let’s look at what we need to know about it for a Conti puppy.


Continental Bulldogs are known for their obedient personality, making them excellent candidates for training. They’re intelligent and catch on quickly. You’ll find that consistency is key — stick to a routine to see the best results. Remember, these dogs are athletic and have a good energy level, so mixing mental challenges with physical activity will keep training engaging for your pet.

Socialization Needs

Your Continental Bulldog benefits greatly from early socialization. Exposing them to different people, pets, and environments will help them to become well-adjusted adults. Despite their active nature, they can adapt well to living in an apartment as long as they receive enough exercise. Socializing your dog early also ensures they’re calm and gentle around children.

Behavioral Training Tips

  • Start Early: Begin training and socialization as soon as you bring your Continental Bulldog home.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Reward good behavior with treats and praise to encourage your dog.
  • Set Boundaries: Teach them what’s acceptable and what’s not in your home.
  • Social Circles: Regularly introduce your dog to new faces and fellow canines to build their confidence.

Keep in mind that while Continental Bulldogs are smart, each dog is unique. Your dog’s personality may affect how they respond to training. If you’re planning on breeding, it’s crucial to socialize and train both parents, as their behavior will influence their puppies. With the right approach and patience, you’ll enjoy the companionship of a well-behaved and socialized pet.

Dietary & Nutrition

Dietary Needs

Your Continental Bulldog requires a balanced diet to support its health and vitality. Like all dogs, they need a mix of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Protein is particularly crucial for muscle maintenance, while carbs provide energy and fats are essential for a healthy coat and skin. Ensure that their diet contains:

  • Proteins: Chicken, beef, lamb
  • Carbohydrates: Brown rice, sweet potatoes
  • Fats: Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

Feeding Schedule

You should feed your Continental Bulldog twice a day — once in the morning and once in the evening. Puppies under six months may require three to four smaller meals. When determining portion sizes, consider your dog’s age, weight, and activity level. Be aware of their:

  • Age: Puppies have different caloric needs than adult dogs.
  • Activity Level: Active dogs require more calories.
  • Size and Weight: Overfeeding can lead to obesity.

Special Dietary Considerations

Some Continental Bulldogs may have special nutritional needs or food sensitivities. Pay attention to signs of allergies or digestive issues, which might manifest as skin irritations or gastrointestinal upsets. They might benefit from:

  • Grain-free options if they have allergies
  • Probiotics to aid with digestion
  • Limited-ingredient diets for sensitive stomachs

Remember to provide fresh water at all times and consult with a veterinarian for personalized dietary advice.

Grooming Needs

When you’re a proud parent of a Continental Bulldog, maintaining their neat appearance and health is straightforward with regular grooming. Your Bulldog’s grooming routine will address their coat, teeth, ears, and nails.

Grooming Frequency

Your Bulldog’s short hair makes brushing a weekly affair to minimize shedding and keep the coat shiny. Bathing is a periodic task, primarily when your pup gets dirty; every few months is often enough, unless advised otherwise by your vet.

Grooming Tools

Arm yourself with the right tools: a rubber grooming mitt or a soft bristle brush and a canine shampoo. For dental care, a doggy toothbrush and vet-approved toothpaste are key to fighting plaque. Don’t forget cotton balls for ears cleaning and doggy nail clippers.

Grooming Tips

  • Eyes: Wipe away any discharge daily with a soft, damp cloth.
  • Ears: Check and clean them weekly to prevent infections.
  • Brushing: Use your grooming mitt to remove loose fur and distribute natural oils.
  • Dental care: Brush your dog’s teeth several times a week.
  • Nails: Trim them regularly to avoid overgrowth and splitting.
  • Skin allergies: Consult your vet if there are signs of irritation after grooming.

Remember, your Continental Bulldog counts on you for their grooming – it’s not just about looking good, but also feeling great and staying healthy!

Cost of Ownership

So, how much are Continental Bulldog puppies?

Initial Cost (Continental Bulldog Puppy Price)

When you decide to bring a Continental Bulldog into your life, the purchase price is your first financial consideration. Prices may vary widely depending on factors like the breeder’s reputation and the lineage of the puppy. On average, you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000 for your new furry friend.

Ongoing Costs

Once your puppy is home, it’s important to budget for the ongoing costs that come with dog ownership. Here’s a breakdown to guide you:

  • Veterinary Care: Routine check-ups and vaccinations are crucial for your dog’s health. Set aside around $500 to $700 annually.
  • Food: A healthy diet is essential. Quality dog food expenses range from $30 to $50 per month.
  • Grooming: Your bulldog will need regular grooming sessions, costing approximately $30 to $50 every few months.
  • Insurance: Pet insurance can help with unexpected medical expenses, typically $200 to $600 per year.
  • Miscellaneous: Toys, beds, training, and emergency expenses can add up, so it’s wise to plan for an extra $100 to $300 yearly.

Adoption and Buying Tips

Where to Adopt/Buy

You might be thinking about adding a Continental Bulldog to your family. To start, decide if you want to adopt or buy. For adoption, check out local shelters and rescue organizations. Sometimes, purebreds like the Conti end up there. For buying, you’ll want to connect with reputable breeders. The AKC offers resources to find breeders who meet high standards.

What to Look for in a Breeder

When considering breeders, it’s important to find someone who prioritizes the health and well-being of their dogs. Look for breeders who:

  • Provide health clearances;
  • Welcome your visit to their facility;
  • Are knowledgeable about the breed; and
  • Demonstrate ethical breeding practices.

Choosing the Right Puppy/Dog

When selecting your puppy or dog, consider the following:

  • Temperament: You want a pup that’s friendly and a good fit for your lifestyle.
  • Health: Check for clear, bright eyes and a clean, shiny coat.
  • Socialization: Ensure the breeder has started socializing the puppies with people and other dogs.

Ethical Breeding Practices

Ethical breeders will be transparent about their breeding practices and the puppy’s medical history. They should be committed to the health of the breed and offer guidance for care. Ask to see the parents of the puppy to get an insight into the puppy’s future temperament and health.

Remember, whether you adopt or buy, you are choosing a new family member. Take your time to research and select a Continental Bulldog that will thrive in your home and be part of your life for many years to come.

Breed-Specific Considerations

Let’s look at some other key points to consider before you look for Continental Breeder.

Climate Suitability

You’ll find your Continental Bulldog is pretty adaptable to different climates. However, they do have an undercoat that can help with colder temperatures. Keep an eye on them during extreme weather as they appreciate moderate climates the best.

Compatibility with Lifestyle

If you live in an apartment, you’re in luck. Continental Bulldogs often have a calm nature, making them good companions in smaller living spaces. They’re also known for being affectionate with family members, and they tend to get along well with children and other pets.

  • Exercise: Moderately active, requiring regular walks.
  • Space: Comfortable in an apartment if exercised.
  • Families: Great for families; affectionate and protective.
  • Children and Pets: Usually good but supervise early interactions.

Special Needs

Unlike Bullmastiffs, Continental Bulldogs are a smaller and less intimidating breed. It’s important for you to know they do have some breed standard health checks to watch for. A routine that includes keeping their folds clean will help prevent skin issues.

  • Grooming: Regular grooming to manage their coat.

Energy levels in Continental Bulldogs are moderate. You’ll find them enthusiastic for playtime, yet they’ll shift back to a chill companion. As a newer breed, developed from the Old English Bulldog, the Continental variety aims to retain some of the classic qualities while mitigating health problems through responsible breeding.

Remember, while the Continental Bulldog is easier to care for than some breeds, they still thrive on your love, attention, and a stable environment.

50 Best Names For A Continental Bulldog

When you’re naming your Continental Bulldog, you want a name that reflects their sturdy, affectionate nature. Here’s a compilation of names that could be a perfect fit for your new companion.

Male NamesFemale NamesNeutral Names
1. Baron1. Bella1. Bailey
2. Duke2. Daisy2. Cody
3. Axel3. Ruby3. Frankie
4. Harley4. Lucy4. Morgan
5. Buster5. Lily5. Peyton
6. Tyson6. Zoe6. Reese
7. Tank7. Rosie7. Sam
8. Max8. Emma8. Taylor
9. Oscar9. Sadie9. Jordan
10. Gus10. Mia10. Casey
Male NamesFemale NamesNeutral Names
11. Bruno11. Chloe11. Quinn
12. Rocky12. Maggie12. Alex
13. Thor13. Penny13. Skylar
14. Louie14. Olive14. Jamie
15. Caesar15. Lola15. Robin
16. Rocco16. Willow16. Rory
17. Apollo17. Grace17. Devon
18. Jack18. Stella18. Parker
19. Hank19. Ivy19. Dakota
20. Chase20. Hazel20. Lee

The right name for your Continental Bulldog should suit their charismatic personality. Whether you pick a name from this list or use it as inspiration, your Bulldog’s name will be a great fit for their loyal and loving disposition. Happy naming!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The Continental Bulldog is a distinct breed with its own temperament, physical characteristics, health considerations, and recognition by international kennel clubs. Understanding these facets can help you decide if a Continental Bulldog is right for you.

What are the distinct characteristics of a Continental Bulldog compared to other bulldogs?

A Continental Bulldog is notably more athletic with a less wrinkled face than the English Bulldog. Its build is sturdy and muscular, but not as stocky, allowing for greater mobility.

What should potential owners expect from the personality and temperament of a Continental Bulldog?

Expect a friendly, loyal, and calm disposition with a moderate activity level from a Continental Bulldog. They fare well with families, showing patience and affection.

How large can a Continental Bulldog grow, and what are its physical proportions?

Continental Bulldogs typically reach 16-23 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 50-70 pounds. They possess a balanced physique with a proportionate head and body.

Can you outline the health profile of Continental Bulldogs and common issues to watch for?

This breed is generally healthier with fewer breathing issues than other bulldogs, but you should watch for hip dysplasia and skin infections. Regular check-ups can help maintain a Continental Bulldog’s health.

What is the typical price range for Continental Bulldog puppies and what factors influence their cost?

Prices for Continental Bulldog puppies vary from $1,500 to $2,500. Factors influencing cost include pedigree, breeder’s reputation, and availability.

How does the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) recognize and categorize Continental Bulldogs?

The FCI recognizes the Continental Bulldog under Group 2, Section 2.1: Molossian type, mastiff-like dogs. This highlights their origins and breed characteristics.

Final Thoughts

When you’re considering a Continental Bulldog, remember that this breed is a dedicated companion. They’ve got a moderate energy level, perfect for your daily walks, but also appreciate cozying up next to you at home. Their medium size and friendly demeanor make them well-suited for a variety of living situations, from apartments to homes with yards.

Your Continental Bulldog will thrive with regular exercise and mental stimulation. Think of incorporating fun games and training sessions into your routine. These activities not only keep them fit but also strengthen your bond.

Additionally, it’s important to stay on top of your dog’s health. Regular check-ups with the vet and staying alert to any skin conditions — a concern highlighted in a study on Bulldogs — can help your buddy lead a long and happy life.

Tamsin de la Harpe

Tamsin de la Harpe, with a lively spirit and 15 years of experience in dog training and behavior, brings a unique flair to the team. Based in South Africa, she is deeply engaged in rehabilitating dogs, focusing on their mental and nutritional health. Tamsin's approach to dog behavior is hands-on and heartfelt, shaped by her life with her own dogs and horses. Her journey in canine behavior is ongoing, as she continues advanced studies in this field.

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