How Much Exercise Does An English Bulldog Need?

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The English Bulldog has long been a very popular breed, thanks to their distinctive, grumpy, yet funny looks, and their gentle characters. And they bring a lot of warmth, happiness, and love to their homes.

But the English Bulldog is also famed as a rather lazy breed, and combine this with health conditions they are prone to, keeping them well exercised is key. 

This breed more than most others has a high level of importance on getting the exercise amount just right! And you may be surprised just what amount of exercise is needed for your Bulldog. And too little, or too much can cause problems down the road.

Why Exercise is important for English Bulldogs

Exercise is important for all dog breeds of course, and for English Bulldogs, in particular, it has the following benefits….

Fact 1 – Muscle tone is improved which gives proper support around their hips and knees. The English Bulldog is a solidly built breed and can get hip and elbow dysplasia, so this is very beneficial. 

Fact 2 – Reduces the chance of heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. 

Fact 3 – Plays a crucial role in an English Bulldog not becoming obese. 

Fact 4 – Releases energy, instead of venting it through, chewing or destruction. This is especially true for puppies.

What’s the Right amount of exercise for an English Bulldog?

The English Bulldog is not a breed that needs an epic amount of exercise, it is no Border Collie, I think we all know that. For the most part, it is an exercise lite breed.

But they are notoriously lazy for the most part, and are happy to laze around and chill out contentedly. But if many Bulldogs had their way they would not go for walks at all. But just going out for ‘business’ isn’t enough.

At the absolute minimum, an English Bulldog should have two 15-minute sessions of exercise per day. This doesn’t just mean walking, but at least half of it should be. Ideally, 45 minutes or so of exercise per day is a good rule of thumb.

Exercise should be light or moderate cardio that increases the heart rate slightly and keeps the Engish Bulldog’s body moving. Such as walking, very light faster walking, fetching, or playing. 

Top Tip – We have mentioned that the English Bulldog tends to be lazy. This isn’t true for every single dog, some can be livelier than others. And if you have a bouncier English Bulldog you may need to limit the amount of exercise they want to do, so they don’t overwhelm themselves. 

How much exercise does a Bulldog puppy need?

While an English Bulldog puppy may want to play a lot and have more energy than an adult, their exercise needs are actually lower than that of an adult. This is especially true as they are growing and you don’t want to put a strain on their little legs.

Here is a rough guide of exercise per day, until 3 months of age this can be just play time, and then slowly introduce short walks. For 4 months of age onwards, the time listed can be 50% walking.

Age        Amount per Day

8 Weeks 10 minutes

3 Months 15 minutes

4 Months 20 minutes 

6 Months 30 minutes 

9 Months 40 minutes 

Of course, every Bulldog is different, and if your pup tires sooner, don’t worry. And if they enjoy a little more without looking overly tired that is fine too. But it really must be just a little more, as a lot of care goes into keeping an English Bulldog healthy….

Why too much, or the wrong exercise, is dangerous for English Bulldogs

Every English Bulldog owner has to face the fact that this breed comes with several health considerations. 

Though a properly bred puppy, from a professional English Bulldog breeder, will have the perfect conformation of the breed, and be in good health, the very shape, size and structure of the English Bulldog does make it prone to future issues. 

They are a brachycephalic dog. This is because of their flat faces, and flat nose. The smallness in the muzzle and facial bones makes the nostrils smaller, and therefore air intake becomes more of an effort. 

So any owner has to take care when exercising their English Bulldog, especially in hot and cold conditions. So always, always keep walks and playtime to a minimum during extreme weather, especially in summer, a walk at the start and end of the day when it is coolest is ideal. Your English Bulldog is unlikely to wish to be active during this weather anyway

Any strain on an English Bulldogs breathing can lead to serious consequences, so if your Bulldog starts panty or breathing heavy during exercise, STOP right away.

What type of exercise is good for an English Bulldog?

A little walk out twice a day will probably be enough for the average Bulldog. As we have said, they are a low exercise demanding breed, and a little under an hour a day would be more than enough to keep them calm and cool in the home. 

Your English Bulldog may still want to play during the day. You can have a toy tug with them, and a throw about with a ball, so they can have a little run-around. A couple of playtimes per day would be fine for most Bulldogs and is a great way of interacting with them.

Some Bulldogs love to be in the water, and a little paddling can be fun for them. 

Jogging, running or going on a steep walk are not going to be suitable for your English Bulldog. Any walk, under any circumstances, of over an hour in one go, is just overwhelming for an English Bulldog’s health and happiness. 

So if you thought your English Bulldog was a layabout that just needed a quick walk or a play in the garden each day, well you are not far off. But when you choose a English Bulldog, you must resist their common desire to be lazy and get walks in every day, and some fun play periods are ideal too. As long as you don’t push the limits, and overdo the amount of exercise, then you will have a healthier and stronger Bulldog in your home.

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