Breed Group: Guardian Dogs
Height: 20 to 28 inches
Weight: 60 to 120 pounds
Lifespan: 10 to 16 years
The American Bulldog has a very sturdy and muscular build, weighing anywhere from 60 to 120 pounds at a height of 20 to 28 inches. This breed has a large head with strong jaws with ears that may be cropped, semi-prick, rose or drop. The coat is short and soft coming in any variation of colors, although solid black, blue, merle or tricolor is undesirable.
Though larger than the English Bulldog, the temperament of the American Bulldog is very similar. A gentle, affectionate dog that loves children and can be considered a big lap dog, the American Bulldog is alert, confident and loyal to its people. Brave and strong-willed, the American Bulldog will do best when trained from a young age on and with an owner that isn't afraid to establish themselves as a strong pack leader. A breed with strong protective instincts, Bulldogs are known for their acts of heroism towards their owners and can sometimes be reserved with strangers. American Bulldogs require plenty of regular exercise to prevent boredom and encourage it to be a well-trained dog during the day.
The short, fine coat of the American Bulldog requires minimal grooming and care, however, similarly to the English Bulldog, the American Bulldog has been known to drool and slobber. With a history as an all-purpose working dog and fearless guard dog, the American Bulldog is a good indoor/outdoor dog but does require sufficient outdoor exercise and activity, especially if it lives in an apartment setting.
The American Bulldog generally lives about 10 to 16 years and is considered a healthy breed. Some genetic issues common to the breed include neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (a nervous system disorder with swelling and/or changes in some retinal cells), disorders of the kidney and thyroid, ACL tears, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia (another common form of dysplasia in larger breed dogs), cherry eye (or a mass that protrudes from the eyelid of a dog), entropion (a condition in which a portion of the eyelid is inverted or folded inward) and bone cancer.
An older version of the Bulldog originated in England and was used as a work dog catching cattle and guarding property until it became the breed of choice in a brutal sport known as bull baiting. By the end of World War II, the breed was almost extinct, however, a few devote breeders decided to revive the American Bulldog. John D. Johnson, a returning war veteran, and Alan Scott began carefully breeding American Bulldogs after the war, keeping careful records of the breed’s health and working abilities.
Two different lines of Bulldogs appeared during this growth period; however, most of today’s American Bulldogs are a cross between the two. The American Bulldog was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1999.
Historically the American Bulldog was bred to be a “farm utility dog” that was used for farm work. They were also very much a part of the family, and were instrumental in personal and property protection as well.
In our experience American Bulldogs are an affectionate breed, with no concept of personal space. They are 75 pound lap dogs who would love nothing more than to snuggle up into your space. They tend to be very patient and tolerant with kids so long as they are raised with them from young. Some American Bulldogs can be aloof and reactive with strangers, however a strong handler relationship means that you should be able to introduce your dog to strangers without incident. American Bulldogs do tend to have a dominant and protective nature and fair well as a watch dog. The high prey drive of an American Bulldog means that this is not a dog for everyone, after all they are a working breed. Proper socialization, advocating and desensitization are imperative for the safety and success of your dog.