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Continental Bulldog

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The Continental Bulldog was bred in Switzerland and is a very new breed proving to be quite popular in Europe. It has recognition from some places in Europe like Switzerland and Germany, but has not received full recognition from the FCI as yet being in the status of provisional recognition. It is a medium to large purebred with a life span of 12 to 14 years and was bred solely for the purpose of companionship and as a family dog.

The Continental Bulldog at a Glance
Name Continental Bulldog
Other names Swiss Bulldog, Bulldog Continental
Nicknames Conti
Origin Switzerland
Average size Medium to large
Average weight 49 to 66 pounds
Average height 16 to 22 inches
Life span 12 to 14 years
Coat type Smooth, shiny, short
Hypoallergenic No
Color Brindle, fawn, white markings, possible black mask
Popularity Not yet a fully registered member of the AKC
Intelligence Average
Tolerance to heat Moderate – does not overheat as easily as other bulldogs but still needs watching
Tolerance to cold Moderate – coat does not offer it much protection from the cold
Shedding Average – will be some hair around the home
Drooling Moderate – not as prone to slobber or snoring as other bulldog breeds
Obesity Average to above average – measure its food and track its exercise
Grooming/brushing Average to high – will need brushing once or twice a week and the wrinkles need to be cleaned and dried
Barking Occasional – some barking but not constant
Exercise needs Somewhat active – more active than most other Bulldogs
Trainability Moderately easy – stay firm with it
Friendliness Very good to excellent – social and friendly dog
Good first dog Very good to excellent
Good family pet Very good to excellent with socialization
Good with children Very good to excellent with socialization
Good with other dogs Good to very good with socialization
Good with other pets Good to very good with socialization
Good with strangers Good with socialization but wary until introduced
Good apartment dog Moderate to good – better in a larger space with a yard but can adapt as long as it gets enough outside time
Handles alone time well Low to moderate – does not like being left alone for long periods
Health issues Mostly healthy, less breathing issues for example but other things to be aware of include joint dysplasia, eye problems and ear infections
Medical expenses $485 a year for basic health care and pet insurance
Food expenses $270 a year for a good quality dry dog food and dog treats
Miscellaneous expenses $245 a year for toys, basic training, miscellaneous items and license
Average annual expenses $1000 a year as a starting figure
Cost to purchase $1,700
Rescue organizations None breed specific, check local rescues and shelters
Biting Statistics None reported

The Continental Bulldog's Beginnings

The Continental Bulldog was bred in Switzerland by a breeder called Imelda Angehrn who was perhaps the best European breeder of Bulldogs at the time. It was developed by crossing the Leavitt Bulldog (also known as the Olde English Bulldogge) with the English Bulldog. The idea was to get a medium sized bulldog that had less breathing issues with a less flat muzzle, one who would have less troubles with whelping and was more like the original Old English Bulldog to be a loving companion. She wanted to make sure she met the requirements of the Swiss legislation for animal protection as well as creating a sound dog under European convention.

With the approval of the Swiss Kennel Club in 2001 Angehrn started the breeding program and called the first of the new breed Pickwick Bulldogs Old Type. When they saw how close the new breed was to the original Old English Bulldog the name Continental Bulldog was settled upon in 2004, so that people could differentiate clearly one from the other. At the time there had been over 70 dogs bred. In order to create a standard the FCI were also then consulted.

New Lease on Life

Since 2004 the Continental Bulldog has been recognized fully by the Swiss Cynological Society and in 2015 was also recognized by the German. It has not yet been recognized by the FCI though the process has been started. It is proving very popular in those two countries with people who enjoy the Bulldog type breeds but wanted one in a smaller category and one without certain health problems. It can not appear in shows yet until the FCI recognizes it.

The Dog You See Today

The Continental Bulldog is a medium to large dog weighing 49 to 66 pounds and standing 16 to 22 inches tall. It almost squared in shape with an athletic build in a compact body. It has an arched neck that is short but not so short that it looks like its head is on its shoulders, with some possible skin folds around the throat area. It has a straight or slightly curved tail that is never docked and a short but strong topline that should be mostly straight. Its stomach is somewhat tucked up and strong legs with straight front legs, broad shoulders, muscled back legs and compact and arched paws. It can have a single or double coat and is short, smooth and close and various colors including brindle, some white markings, a possible black mask. The skin is elastic and while there can be some wrinkles or folds around the throat and face there should not be any on the legs or body.

This breed has a largish head but certainly not as big as the English Bulldog. Its can have wrinkles but not as deep as other Bulldogs, and its broad muzzle is longer than most too which is what allowed better respiration. It does not have a pronounced underbite either. It has a broad nose with wide open nostrils and the nose is black in color. It has tightly fitting lower jaw flews and the upper jaw flews hang over the lower jaw. Its eyes are round and set wide apart but should not be bulging or sunk in. They are a dark brown color. The ears are small and thin and set high and can be folding or rose.


The Inner Continental Bulldog


The Conti is a confident, friendly, energetic and attentive dog. It is versatile too and alert so it will make a good watchdog that will bark to let you know of something like someone breaking in. Its barking is otherwise more rare to occasional, certainly not frequent. If bred and raised well this breed should never by overly shy and timid or aggressive. It can be quite a charming dog and it is certainly for affectionate and loving with its family, loyal and devoted to them.

It does have a playful side and it also has a sweet and gentle side. Its even temperament and other qualities make it a great family dog. It is certainly a trustworthy breed though it is important it knows you are the leader and that you are firm and confident with it. As friendly and social as it is it tends to be wary of strangers at first until it gets to know them, and it can have times where it is quiet, serious and focused. It is not an especially demanding dog though it does not like being left alone for long periods and needs attention from you. It should be included in family activities and can be fine for new owners as long as you do some homework and are consistent with it.

Living with a Continental Bulldog

What will training look like?

Training and socialization are an important part of being a responsible dog owner, all dogs should have at least basic obedience training and early socialization which will mean introducing it to different people, sounds, places, situations and animals so it learns to get used to them, and what are appropriate reactions. Dogs with these foundations are happier and easier to live with and to trust. When training it is important to be firm, calm, patient, positive and consistent. Do not use harsh methods of scolding and physical punishments, it does not respond well to this. Instead establish a trusting and loving relationship, be patient when it has its stubborn moments and encourage it with rewards, treats and praise.

How active is the Continental Bulldog?

The Continental Bulldog is more active then the English Bulldog that is for sure. It is still fairly inactive indoors though so can live in an apartment without a yard, if it gets each day still, but does best in a home with some space and a yard. It is best in temperate climates where it does not get too cold or too hot, but it also does not have the breathing and overheating issues as much as the English Bulldog. It should be given a couple of long walks a day, in fact this dog can walk for miles and it should also get a chance for safe off leash run time somewhere like a dog park. This is also a place you can do some physical play with it, but also make sure some of its play or training keeps it mentally active too. Make sure when walking that you have leash trained it as it does have a strong pull!

Caring for the Continental Bulldog

Grooming needs

Being a short and smooth coated dog the brushing itself is easy to do. Give it a brush and comb at least once a week, but also give the face a wipe daily in those wrinkles, and then dry them to prevent infections. It does shed an average amount so there will be some hair around the home. Only give it a bath when it is needed and only use a proper dog shampoo. Bathing too often or using a non canine shampoo can actually damage its natural oils that it needs and that can lead to skin problems.


Give its ears a check once a week for bad odor, redness, irritation or any other signs of infection. You can also clean them at this time by giving them a wipe using a damp cloth or dog ear cleanser. Never insert anything into the ears though as that can cause permanent damage and hurt them. Its teeth should be brushed at least two to three times a week and its nails will need to be clipped when they get too long. Use proper nail clippers and only cut as far down as the quick, not into it. There are blood vessels and nerves so that means clipping into that section will hurt your dog a great deal and cause bleeding.

Feeding Time

The Continental Bulldog will eat about 2½ to 3½ cups of a good to excellent quality dry dog food a day, split into at least two meals. Rate of metabolism, level of activity, age, health and size all have an impact on the amount. Make sure it also has access to fresh water.

How is the Continental Bulldog with children and other animals?

With socialization and especially when raised with them, this dog can be excellent with children. It can be playful, it is also gentle and sweet, it is affectionate and loving too. Make sure children are taught how to play and touch them in a kind and acceptable way. It also is very good with other dogs and other pets as well.

What Might Go Wrong?

Health Concerns

These dogs have a life span of about 12 to 14 years and are quite a healthy dog especially compared to a lot of other Bulldogs. It does not have the problems whelping that others have, so it can have natural litters without C-sections. It does not have the breathing problems either and does not snore as much or overheat as much. Things to look out for are usual dog issues like hip and elbow dysplasia, ear infections, eye problems and bloat.

Biting Statistics

When looking at reports of dogs attacking people and doing bodily harm over the last 35 years in North America there is no mention of the Continental Bulldog. It is however a very modern dog and is more well known in parts of Europe than either the US or Canada. It is not aggressive though, to people or otherwise so it would take unusual events for it to be drawn into or threatened into any such thing. Make sure you socialize, train and exercise your dog well. Give it the attention it needs and feed it properly. When a dog is bred and raised well it is less likely to have those off days.

Your Pup’s Price Tag

Being rare and proving popular so far in Germany and Switzerland it is quite an expensive dog at the moment, with puppies being priced at around $1700 from decent and experienced breeders. Avoid the inevitable puppy mills, backyard breeders and possibly even some pet stores where dogs are often neglected, mistreated or are just treated with ignorance. If you are not set on a purebred Conti and have some local shelters near you it is worth checking them out. There are so many poor dogs looking desperately to be adopted into loving forever homes. Mixed breeds have plenty to offer a home whether for a family, single or couple owner. Adoption fees tend to range from $50 to $400.


Once you have found your dog and are ready to bring it home there are some items you will need for it. A crate, carrier, bowls, collar and leash, bedding and such will cost about $240. Then when it is home you should get it to a vet for some tests, procedures and exams to check on its health. Things like blood tests, a physical, micro chipping, spaying or neutering, shots and deworming for example will cost another $290 or so.

There are also annual costs for ongoing needs your dog will have for its well being and care. Feeding it a good quality dry dog food and dog treats for example will cost about $270 a year. Miscellaneous costs like basic training, license, toys and miscellaneous items will cost another $245 or so a year. Basic health care like vaccinations, flea and tick prevention, check ups and pet insurance will be another $485 or more a year. This gives an annual starting figure cost of $1000.


Looking for a Continental Bulldog Name? Let select one from our list!

The Continental Bulldog is a very new breed not recognized by many major kennel clubs but with a lot of promise. If you are concerned about Bulldogs in terms of breathing and overheating this could be an option to consider. It is also possible that once they are no longer as new the price will drop to less than other Bulldog types who need C-sections to have puppies as that medical procedure pushes up their cost. So far it seems to be a great family dog and companion, very affectionate and loyal and gets along well with pets, other dogs and children.

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