A cold and windy day in Ballarat was hardly tailor-made for marking forwards, but English (three goals and nine marks), Aaron Naughton (two goals and eight marks) and Josh Bruce (one goal) still combined for the bulk of the Bulldogs' tally in the 10.13 (73) to 8.6 (54) victory.
The Bulldogs had the better of the early going on Saturday. But they only led by eight points at the first change after Laitham Vandermeer was hit with a 50m penalty for moving on the mark, allowing Harris Andrews to slot a late goal.
The Lions briefly threatened to get back into the contest in the third quarter when they kicked successive goals for the first time through Zac Bailey and Eric Hipwood.
The Dogs were able to steady through the impressive English, who kicked a difficult set shot into the wind after being paid a contentious mark, allowing the home team to hold a 22-point lead at the final change.
The Lions kicked the first two goals of the fourth term - including a remarkable dribbling effort by Joe Daniher from outside the 50m arc near the boundary line.
But as they had done for the most of the day, it was the Bulldogs who had the last laugh with Tom Liberatore landing a long-range goal with just eight seconds left on the clock.
Onballers Jack Macrae and Marcus Bontempelli, and defenders Alex Keath and Bailey Dale played well for the Bulldogs, while the Lions were well served by ruckman Oscar McInerney, midfielder Hugh McCluggage and backman Daniel Rich.
It was a familiar sight watching McCluggage collect disposals on the Ballarat deck. The former GWV Rebels best and fairest winner was a silver lining for the Lions, collecting 25 touches.
Another highlight was electric Lion Eric Hipwood and his feature in the mark of the week after his stunning effort in the second quarter. With a pack brewing on centre wing, Hipwood took a ride over Dog Bailey Williams and hung in the air majestically before hanging on to the cracking mark.
WESTERN BULLDOGS 3.3 7.6 9.10 10.13 (73)
BRISBANE 2.1 3.4 6.6 8.6 (54)
Western Bulldogs: English 3, Naughton 2, Hunter, Bruce, Macrae, Smith, Liberatore
Brisbane: Hipwood 2, Andrews, Fullarton, Lyons, Bailey, McCluggage, Daniher
Western Bulldogs: English, Treloar, Macrae, Dunkley, Naughton, Dale
Brisbane: McCluggage, Lyons, Andrews, Rich, Neale,
Western Bulldogs: Nil
Western Bulldogs: Lipinski replaced in the selected side by Young
Western Bulldogs: Lipinski (unused)
Brisbane: Ah Chee (unused)