English bulldogs are a gorgeous breed. When one looks at an adult they should see a massive large head, massive chest, low heavy barreled body, short and low to the ground with nice wrinkles for the breed.
As a breeders one of the most difficult things we run in to is the lack of understanding and knowledge by the general public as to how this breed develops over the course from a young puppy in to adulthood.
When English Bulldog puppies are born many dont understand or realize that puppies are born without pigment, teeth and that their ear canals and eyes are closed. They usually weight anywhere from 8 pounces to one pound at birth and usually do not have wrinkles at this age. As they grow they start to get pigment in at about one week of age and this fills in gradually over the course of time, not all at once. Ear canals and eyes start to open as soon as two weeks but some a bit later. Eye color is almost always a grey blue at first. and changes over time gradually.
At about 4-5 weeks old bulldog puppies start to get enough fat under their skin to have some wrinkles. Because they are so short in height and length they tend to look like fat little balls of puppies. They look cute as buttons and will continue to grow and look more fat and adorable until about the age of 9 weeks old. At about 9-10 weeks of age they start to go into what we call their gangly phase. This is when the buyers and novice people to the breed start to complain and panic. English Bulldog puppies will start to get a leggy and gangly look about them. This intensifies at its peak at about 16-24 weeks of age. Most buyers then wonder what they have bought. The puppy looks leggy, too tall, it will likely have a narrow head which can makes ears look big and floppy at this time. Puppies at this age will have also shed any wrinkles that once had. The new owners not understanding that this is a normal phase of development for the breed will start to create havoc for their breeder most of the time. This is teh most common timeframe of complaints, mostly from first time owners of the breed.
One needs to understand that all species go through an awkward phase while they undergo great bodily transitions and growth. Including human children usually starting around teh age of 7 and many times it goes in to the teen years before teh ugly duckling becomes the swan. One also has to know how their bloodline develops. If you buy two English Bulldogs understand that each bloodline may go through a completely different magnitude of this phase than another bloodline. sometimes the larger the English Bulldog will be as an adult, means the more the phase will take its toll.
It is not until about 10 months of age that you will start to see the Swan appear from the Ugly Duckling phase of teh gangly phase. Even still it is a growth process over months not all at once. Bulldogs dont truly complete the entire growth process until about 2-3 years of age. At about 6-12 months you will see teh English Bulldog jaw shoot out and turn up, the head start to spread and grow wider, the brisket or bottom of the chest drop, the width of the bosom spread, the bone thickness will get thicker and last but not least the lovely wrinkles start to fill in again. This is when you start to see the end product appear.