The Continental Bulldog: All You Need to Know

The Continental Bulldog, popularly known as Conti, is a newly developed dog breed developed in Switzerland and recognized by the FCI in 2022.

In this article, we will review the Continental Bulldog breed in an effort to spread the word about its presence in the dogdom and increase its popularity.

History and Origin of the Continental Bulldog

The development of the Continental Bulldog can be attributed to a single person – Imelda Angehrn of Switzerland, now popularly called the “Grand Old Lady of the Bulldogs.”

Imelda grew up in a mixed farmer-veterinarian home and devoted herself to breeding Bulldogs. She was aware of the many health issues affecting the breed and wanted a Bulldog that could be healthier.

To ensure better breathing, easier mobility, and natural birth-giving (which are unlikely in regular Bulldogs), she bred lighter breed members and eventually crossed the with the Olde English Bulldogge. Her first successful cross was born in 2001.

Breed Recognition

In 2004, the Swiss Kennel Club allowed the new mix to be recognized as a separate breed under the name Continental Bulldog and in 2005, it announced its standard.

Today, the Continental Bulldog is allowed to enter the Swiss Studbook and can participate in international and national dog shows in Switzerland. However, the breed is very rare outside its native Switzerland.

Physical Characteristics and Appearance

Size and Weight

The Continental Bulldog is considered a medium-sized breed. Males stand 16.54 to 21.26 inches tall and weigh 55 to 66 pounds. Females are smaller – 15.75 to 17.32 tall and 48.50 to 59.50 heavy.

Overall, Continental Bulldogs are compact dogs with stocky builds. Despite their looks, they are surprisingly agile and can move quickly when they need to. Plus, they are exceptionally strong.

Coat and Colors

The Continental Bulldog has a short, smooth coat that is easy to maintain. The coat is either fawn or brindle. Breed members can have black masks and/or white markings.

The Conti is not a heavy shedder, which makes it a great choice for people with allergies. Weekly brushing and occasional bathing are enough to keep the coat in check.

Distinctive Features

The Continental Bulldog has a broad and muscular body, a large head, and a flat to slightly domed forehead. The wrinkled face and underbite, which are prominent in the regular Bulldog, are less pronounced in the Conti.

The Conti has a short, wide muzzle with a less prominent underbite and facial wrinkles. Its eyes are large, warm, and endearing, while the floppy and large ears hang down on either side of the head.

Temperament and Personality Traits

The Continental Bulldog’s appearance may catch your eye, but its temperament and personality are a real gem. This breed has a friendly disposition and affectionate nature, making it a great addition to any family.

General Disposition

The Continental Bulldog is a friendly and affectionate breed. It thrives on human interaction and is great with children. It has a calm and patient demeanor and is also very loyal and protective of its owners.

Despite their muscular build, breed members are not aggressive. On the contrary, they are very gentle. They enjoy spending time with their owners and will often follow them around the house.

Last but not least, Continental Bulldogs are also very adaptable and can adjust to different living situations, whether it be a small apartment or a large house with a yard.

Interaction with Children and Other Pets

The Continental Bulldog is an excellent choice for families with children. It is also great with other pets, particularly if they are socialized at a young age. The breed has an outgoing demeanor and makes friends easily. 

However, it’s important to supervise their interactions with smaller pets, such as rabbits or guinea pigs, as their natural instinct to hunt may kick in. It’s also important to teach children how to properly interact with dogs.

Trainability and Intelligence

The Continental Bulldog is a highly intelligent breed and can be easily trained with positive reinforcement. They are eager to please their owners and enjoy learning new tricks.

Breed members respond well to praise and treats, making training a fun and rewarding experience for both the dog and the owner. However, it’s important to establish yourself as the pack leader early on, as they can be strong-willed at times.

Health and Lifespan

Like all breeds, the Continental Bulldog is susceptible to certain health issues. It’s important to be aware of these issues so that you can provide the best care possible for your pet.

Common Health Issues

One of the most common health issues that the Continental Bulldog faces is hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is a genetic disease that causes the hip joint to develop abnormally, resulting in arthritis and pain.

Preventative Care and Regular Checkups

Preventative care is essential for ensuring the health and longevity of your Continental Bulldog. It’s important to feed them a balanced diet, provide regular exercise, and maintain their hygiene. Checkups with a veterinarian are also necessary to catch any potential health issues early on.

Expected Lifespan

The Continental Bulldog has a lifespan of around 10 to 12 years. With proper care and attention, many breed members can live long and happy lives.


The Continental Bulldog is a unique and fascinating breed that makes an excellent family pet. They are friendly, affectionate, and full of personality.

If you’re considering getting a Continental Bulldog, do your research beforehand and make sure you’re ready for the responsibility of owning a pet.

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