- Lifespan: 10-16 years
- Group: Not Applicable
- Best Suited For: Families with children, active singles, watchdog, houses with yards, farms/rural areas
- Temperament: Active, protective, strong, loving
American Bulldog Basics
It may have its roots in fighting and working, but the American Bulldog is a big old softie at heart. Now, you’ll find him as a much-loved companion in many households in North American and around the world. He’ll keep a watchful eye over the family and work his tail off all day, but he’s just as content to curl up at your feet on the couch.
If you’ve got enough energy to keep up with this active breed, as well as enough attention to give, the American Bulldog may be the perfect fit for your family. He does best in a household with no other animals, but will protect and guard his family with his life. Please read on to learn more about this wonderful breed.
It may have its roots in fighting and working, but the American Bulldog is a big old softie at heart.
Making its way into the United States in the 1800s, immigrants brought their working Bulldogs with them in order to make life in the new country easier. This breed was especially popular in the Southern States, thanks to its ability to bring down and catch feral pigs. As the working dog of farmers and ranchers, the American Bulldog was also used for bull-, buffalo- and bear-baiting. During WWII, the breed almost died out, but could still be found as cattle and livestock dogs and farm protectors in the south-east. But thanks to a man named John D. Johnson of Summerville, Georgia, he saved the breed from extinction by selecting the best of the breed he could find and started a selection program.
It is most likely that the American Bulldog is probably descended from Mastiffs and the English Bulldog that exists in America today. Others speculate that the breed can also trace roots back to the Boxer, Pointer, and Saint Bernard.
A hard working dog, the American Bulldog needs the right food to fuel his busy lifestyle. Start with a high-grade dog food, with meat as the first ingredient. Crude protein should be no less than 30 percent and crude fat no less than 20 percent. As well, the fiber content needs to be 4 percent or less.
A strong-willed dog, American Bulldogs can be a challenge to train until your leadership is established.
A strong-willed dog, American Bulldogs can be a challenge to train until your leadership is established. You’ll have to prove you’re in charge, so this is probably not the best pooch for a first-time dog owner. Training needs to be consistent and firm. Always approach training with a calm-assertive stance, and use plenty of positive reinforcement and treats for incentive. Once you’ve establish who’s in charge, your American Bulldog will be able to take on advanced obedience and agility training.
American Bulldogs stand 20 to 28 inches in height and tips the scales anywhere from 60 to 120 pounds.
Even though the American Bulldog got its start in bullbaiting, farming and hunting, this breed became the ideal companion for families. He keeps an eye out for his people and property to make sure no harm comes to them. You’ll find him to be playful and energetic, as well as an attention and affection hog. Even though he loves people, this dog may not get along with other dogs and should be kept away from cats. At the end of a hard day of running and playing, all this dog wants is a scratch behind the ear and a nice belly rub.
This is a dog-aggressive breed, so if you have other dogs in your household, you should bring an American Bulldog in as a pup. But even if you do, there may still be so problems with dogs of the same sex. This breed also likes to chase cats, so felines should keep their distance.
This breed loves people. They may bark when a stranger approaches, but once the alert has been raised, they will introduce themselves to this new friend. Know the history and genetics of your dog, so that you can carefully assess at-risk situations.
Common Health Problems
American Bulldogs have a few health issues. These may include bone cancer, congenital deafness, elbow and hip dysplasia, entropion and thyroid problems.
The American Bulldog can live anywhere from 10 and 16 years.
If you have an active family, the American Bulldog will fit right in. Expect to give you dog about an hour or two of outside exercise per day. If you don’t deliver these exercise requirements, the American Bulldog will take it out on your home. Activities can include walking, jogging, chasing balls, agility, farm work, and advanced obedience training.
Unless you can fulfill the outdoor activity requirements, apartments and condo dwellers should stay away from this breed. Houses with fenced-in yards or farms/rural areas are best suited for the American Bulldog.
Even though the American Bulldog got its start in bullbaiting, farming and hunting, this breed became the ideal companion for families.
The American Kennel Club doesn’t recognize the American Bulldog at this time. However, this breed is recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC), Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), America’s Pet Registry, Inc., American Bulldog Association, Animal Research Foundation, National Kennel Club, National American Bulldog Association, American Rare Breed Association, American Bulldog Club of Canada, All American Bulldog Club., Continental Kennel Club, American Canine Registry and the Dog Registry of America, Inc.
The grooming requirements of an American Bulldog are fairly simple, thanks to smooth and short coat. This coat comes in a variety of colors, including all shades of brindle, white, red, brown, tan, and fawn (white is the most common colors of an American Bulldog).
You should brush his coat on a regular basis in order to control year-round shedding. Baths are only needed if your dog becomes dirty. It is a good idea to wipe the folds of his face regularly, as bacteria can develop, leading to a host of skin issues.
Because this can be a dog-aggressive breed, American Bulldog puppies should be socialized as puppies to treat other dogs with respect.
Photo credit: Nikolai Tsvetkov/Shutterstock