English Bulldogs are renowned for not being the most active of breeds, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be given regular exercise. In fact, nothing further could be from the truth, as like all dogs, they need to be walked.
But how often exactly should you walk an English Bulldog, and how far should they walk on each trip? This is something I have had to consider myself as a dog walker, as two of my clients own English Bulldogs.
How often should you walk an English Bulldog? English Bulldogs should be walked once a day, possibly twice. Their daily exercise should be around 20 minutes on a walk, and never exceeding 40 minutes in total during the day. Any more than this can harm them.
Why English Bulldogs don’t need heavy exercise
You can have many enjoyable and memorable moments with your English Bulldog, but something you ought to be aware of is that despite their easy-going nature, they are quite fragile. They can have a plethora of health problems including respiratory issues, arthritis, hip dysplasia and various joint and ligament issues.
These health issues are commonplace in most English Bulldogs you come across today and are an unfortunate consequence of generations of irresponsible over-breeding, which means that English Bulldogs barely resemble their original ancestors.
However, although the number of health issues and associated risks are higher in English Bulldogs than they are in most breeds, it needn’t affect their quality of life. You just must handle them with extra-special care and be aware of their limitations in comparison to other dog breeds… particularly when it comes to how often English Bulldogs need to be walked.
However, I know from experience that the exercise regime for an English Bulldog is a lot more complex than a mere daily 20 to 40-minute walk.
Handy Hint: I’ve published guidance on how many cups of food you should be feeding your English Bulldog to keep him healthy and in trim in addition to his exercise and walks.
In this French Bulldog exercise guide, I will aim to not only teach you more about walking your English Bulldog, but also about their general fitness requirements and what is best for them in comparison to other dog breeds.
English Bulldog walking guide
Even though English Bulldog’s are a relatively inactive breed, they still need daily exercise as much as any other dog breed and do need regular walks at least once a day.
It is a primal, instinctive urge for all canines migrate, change scenery and socialise with each other; so, it is very important for your English Bulldog’s wellbeing that this need is met. I
If it isn’t, your dog might end up with behavioural issues as a result of their restlessness, so whilst it is worth it to be cautious of the exercise your English Bulldog is getting, it is important that it isn’t completely neglected. One extreme is no better than the other.
‘Short but sweet’ more or less encapsulates the ideal walking routine of an English bulldog. A gentle walk at your dog’s own pace for around half an hour each day is an ideal way to help them meet their needs without the risk of overexerting them.
It gives them fresh air, socialisation and a change of scenery from the house. Unless a vet has advised you otherwise, it is important that for your dog’s own wellbeing, they get that daily half-hour walk even if they seem too lethargic/disinterested at that moment in time.
Handy Hint: You should not over-exercise an English Bully as they are very prone to leg injuries leading to limping.
How often should I walk an English Bulldog puppy?
Puppies are different and are still developing. The general consensus is that you should walk an English Bulldog puppy for 2 minutes for every month old they are.
As some real-world examples, this means:
- 3-month English Bulldog puppy: 6-minute walks.
- 4-month English Bulldog puppy: 8-minute walks.
- 5-month English Bulldog puppy: 10-minute walks.
- 6-month English Bulldog puppy: 12-minute walks.
How far can I walk my English Bulldog?
When it comes to walking English Bulldogs, it is probably not wise to measuring it based on distance. Instead it should purely be based on time, and how they are reacting to the exercise.
Due to their height, short limbs, breathing issues and joint problems, they will probably walk a lot slower than the average dog, so what might be light exercise for a Golden Retriever may well be an incredibly harmful over-exertion for an English Bulldog.
Consequently, it is much better to measure an English Bulldog’s walk based on time to ensure optimum results.
We have previously discussed 20 to 40 minutes as the optimum timeframe for adult English Bulldogs to walk, with puppies based on the 2 minutes for every month of age rule.
If you want to take your dog to a new environment like a dog park or beach to do their daily activity, this is still possible – just don’t walk them there. It is better to take them to the desired location via car if you want them to make the most of a new location.
How do I tell if my English Bulldog is tired?
For both puppies and fully-grown Bulldogs, it is important to monitor them throughout their walk so you can ensure that they aren’t getting too fatigued.
Overexertion can lead to a plethora of health and development problems later in life for English Bulldogs, so it is your responsibility to stay vigilant in order to ensure that doesn’t happen. Signs that your dog might be fatigued on a walk include:
- Lagging behind.
- Lying down and refusing to walk.
- Excessive panting.
These are clear and unambiguous signs that your dog is tired, so if you spot any of these signs or have any other kind of indication that your dog might be worn out, it is strongly advised to terminate the activity immediately for their own wellbeing.
English bulldog daily exercise ideas
Walking isn’t the only exercise an English Bulldog needs. They also need mental stimulation which can be combined with physical play.
Although walks are undoubtedly the easiest way for your English Bulldog to get their allotted exercise time in, there’s no reason why you can’t be a little more creative than that!
As long as the activities aren’t excessively strenuous and don’t go beyond the recommended 20 to 40 minutes of activity per day, there’s quite a lot of scope for fun and creative exercise sessions for your English Bulldog that can also serve as a bonding experience for your both or an opportunity for their own personal development.
Below are some ideas:
- Give them the opportunity to socialise with other dogs.
- Play fetch with them.
- Play tug-of-war with them.
- Give them a ball to play with.
- Free-moving toys they can chase around (like a remote-control car).
However, it is more important than ever to remain vigilant in these scenarios to ensure that your English Bulldog doesn’t become too exhausted.
Also, if he’s playing roughly with other dogs (wrestling, for example), try to limit that kind of activity to around ten minutes tops due to its strenuous nature.
English Bulldogs are a fun and loving companion for many an owner. They have a sweet and gentle disposition and are incredibly sociable – they love being in the company of other animals or people!
Therefore, with their loving personality and penchant for people, it is no surprise that English Bulldogs are an incredibly popular companion for families big and small.
Part of their attraction is there reduced amount of required exercise.
Although English Bulldog’s need less exercise than other breeds, the benefits of exercise for them should not be overlooked.
It’s all about quality rather than quantity of them. As long as they get short bursts of high-quality exercise every day and regular daily walks, they are bound to lead a happy and healthy life.
Did You Know? I’ve listed the 16 ways in which you can tell if your English Bulldog is happy and loves you. Take a look and see if you can recognise any of the happiness signs that your own Bully displays.