Why Do Bulldogs Lick Their Nose



The Bulldog is a friendly, loving dog who enjoys being around people. His rather odd facial features, including his setback nose and small nostrils, are part of his character and to the fans who love Bulldogs they make him irresistible. The Bulldog was originally bred to fight bulls and his short head and muscular neck enabled him to have great strength whilst hanging onto a bull. The Bulldog’s squashed noses helped them to breathe when they were engaged in a ‘hold on to the bull stance’ and their muscular bodies put up a good level of resistance to the anger of the bull. It is surprising that this breed of dog has become a great family pet. He loves children and is not an aggressive animal. The bull fighting characteristics of old have been bred out of today’s Bulldog. 

The Root of the Behavior

The Bulldog, originally British, has become a worldwide favorite. He has some interesting physical attributes that make him the character he is. The Bulldog has a stance and way of walking that only a dog with his stocky square type of build could manage. His broad chest speaks of courage and for that feature, he is often used as a mascot for sports teams and colleges. The Bulldog’s nose always looks a bit compromised in his facial features, but his nose is a very important part of who he is. The Bulldog licks his nose often for several good reasons. He needs to keep that nose and its small nostrils clean all the time. A dry, cracked nose will not be able to pick-up all the interesting smells that dogs thrive on. The Bulldog’s characteristic nose helped him breathe while holding onto a bull in his bullfighting days and although he no longer takes part in such sports, the short nose, set high on his flat face, is part of his breed distinctions today. The Bulldog is prone to snorting, snuffling, and sneezing. He is also reported to be able to do a ‘reverse sneeze’ as moisture may slip down into his large, soft palate and cause an irritation. The result is an almighty sneeze. 

The Bulldog may need to clean his nose as a calming gesture. His face and grin that stretches broadly under his nose and across to his eyes get a great deal of attention. Too much attention could cause some anxiety and insecurity and some nose licking could have a calming effect. A dry or a runny nose will need your attention and a Bulldog owner should always take note of either of these conditions. The Bulldog is susceptible to Brachycephalic Syndrome because of his short head, narrow nostrils, and long soft palate. If his airways are obstructed he will breathe heavily and snort and snuffle. In addition, the Bulldog is likely to suffer from heatstroke if you keep him out in the sun and he gets too hot. Licking his nose will be a key indicator that something is not quite right, and your Bulldog may be overheating. You will always be able to notice if your Bulldog is struggling with any respiratory problems because you cannot miss his nose and his scrunched-up features. 

Encouraging the Behavior

The Bulldog is fondly known as a bully. Families who own bullies will testify to their sweet nature and good humor that they are not bullies or bullish in any way. The Bulldog is not overly excited about large amounts of exercise. He may start licking his nose before you go out to try to tell you that this is not on his list of things to do today. He is comfortable around children and has a friendly easy-going nature. The Bulldog’s grooming routine should consider that his nose and its wrinkles need to be kept clean. The Bulldog that gets a crusty nose will need help with cleaning the nose and treating it with a moisturizer. 

Bully Butter is a recommended product for your Bulldog or Vaseline can do the trick as well. Be prepared for a lot more nose licking as the moisturizer may taste good! Nose licking may be the result of allergies and strong household cleaning products as well. It is a good idea to check what you are using around the house and decide if the product is causing an allergic reaction and nose licking or sneezing. If you do apply medication, then take your Bulldog out for a walk immediately afterward to try and distract him from the applied medicine while it does its job of helping a dry or cracked nose. All dogs, including the Bulldog, need moist noses keep their sense of smell active and efficient. 

Other Solutions and Considerations

Bulldogs just love attention. Licking their comical noses with a large slurping tongue will surely get them lots of attention from family and friends. There are many Bulldogs that are companions to celebrities. They appear to be popular with singers and movie stars. Keeping their noses clean would be important for a movie star. Bulldogs have also made an entrance into the skateboarding sport scene. He manages to keep all four paws firmly on the board, scoot along a top speed, licking his nose when necessary. This is quite a feat of concentration and balance, but the Bulldog enjoys the action and the applause for his skill on a skateboard.


There is no doubt that the Bulldog is a popular breed. Brad Pitt, voted the world’s most attractive man, has a Bulldog called Jacques. Seeing Jacques and Brad in a photo together, one can see that this is a situation of ‘opposites attract!’ The famous Prime minister, Winston Churchill, was nicknamed the British Bulldog during World War II. His facial features and determination to succeed gave him the name fitting his character and his country, the original home of the British Bulldog.