American Bulldog Breed Card

American Bulldog Breed Overview

Group

Mixed Breed Dogs

Height

20-24 inches tall

Breed Recognition

No

Weight

60-100 pounds

Country of Origin

United States

Personality

Alert, Energetic, Confident

Lifespan

10-15 years

Shedding

Low

American Bulldog History

Historically the American Bulldog was bred to be a “farm utility dog” and is known as the “old country bulldog or English Southern Bulldog” that was used for farm work. These working dogs were also family dogs and instrumental in protecting property, ranches, and farms.

The American Bulldog is a result of the selective breeding of Bulldogs and Bull Terriers that British, northern European, and Spanish colonists brought to America in the 1600s and 1700s. This breed is known as a guardian, watchdog, and gentle giant. American Bulldogs are often confused with American Pit Bull Terriers.

Cost ✅

COST LEVEL

Low End: $1500

High End: $3500

American Bulldog Physical Traits

General Appearance💡

American Bulldogs are well-balanced athletic dogs with a muscular build that demonstrates great strength, endurance, agility, and a friendly attitude. They have intelligent facial expression and short coat that is soft to the touch.

The American Bulldog is not an official breed as it is not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Therefore, there are variations in physical characteristics. For example, there is the Bully, the classic type or Johnson type, and the standard or performance type, also known as the Scott type.

The American Bulldog is a well-balanced, short-coated, muscular and athletic animal. The overall physical appearance of the American Bulldog displays well-formed muscles and strength. Males are characteristically larger, and heavier-boned than females.

Brown eyes are preferred, and the ears should be set high on the head. The eyes should be almond-shaped to round. And this breed should have a deep and wide chest.

The short coat is typically dense and smooth. A breed standard fault in the show ring is a long and fuzzy coat, as this is not how the coat should look. There are also five common coat colors – solid white or any tan, brown, black, brindle, or red pattern.

Size & Weight ❤️

Height: 22-25 inches
Weight: 75-100 pounds

Height: 20-25 inches
Weight: 60-80 pounds

Coat & Color

Eye Color

Brown

Coat Color

Solid white, black, red, brown, fawn, and all shades of brindle

Coat Length

Short

Coat Texture

Smooth

American Bulldog Temperament and Personality

American Bulldogs should be outgoing, energetic, and confident. This breed is also categorized to be agile and highly dominant. The breed is an excellent family member but needs a strong pack leader.

Assertiveness toward other dogs is not considered a fault, but in the show ring, dogs may be dismissed at the judge’s discretion for acting out in their class.

Kid Friendly?

GOOD WITH KIDS

Bad Idea

Excellent Nanny

Yes, American Bulldogs are generally known to be good with children, as their number one characteristic is loyalty.

History shows they were also very much a part of the family and instrumental in protecting property as well. The breed is known to be a kid-loving dog, but the American Bulldog should be supervised when playing with young children like any canine breed.

Good with Other Pets?

GOOD WITH PETS

Bad Idea

Friendly Socialite

Yes, the American Bulldog has the potential to be good with other larger dogs, but it may need to be watched carefully as you introduce a dog into the family.

Yet this breed has a strong prey drive, which can control your dog’s behavior. Use extreme caution when introducing a smaller dog to an American Bulldog. Do not try to have cats with this breed.

Note that this breed’s strong drive may cause them to be aggressive toward other dogs. If you do plan to have more than one dog, you may want to bring in a trainer. Experts say that socializing while young is beneficial.

Barks a Lot?

BARKING LEVEL

When Neccessary

Noise Maker

No, the American Bulldog is a breed that doesn’t vocalize as much as others!

This breed doesn’t bark a lot, but they do slobber. This breed is active and confident but also very emotional and sensitive. This dog requires attention, and this may result in excessive barking. Pet owners must be strong pack leaders.

Can Be Left Alone?

LEFT ALONE

Likes Being Alone

Sepration Anxiety

Yes, American Bulldogs can be left alone.

You can safely leave your dog if they are crate trained; however, American Bulldogs, like many breeds are social animals, and being left alone may make them uncomfortable and anxious.

So crate training must be done very slowly, and working with a trainer will help make sure you set your dog up for success. Exercising adequately before you start the crate training process will help this go smoothly.

American Bulldog Training

Effective training is vital with this breed, and the owner needs to be the pack leader to ensure their dog is a happy and loyal family companion. This dog was bred to be a guard dog!

With this breed, pet owners need to be in control, as Bulldogs have dominant personalities. American Bulldogs are large and highly assertive dogs, so investing in professional training (that embraces positive reinforcement!) is essential from the beginning.  

If you live with this breed, you must be proactive. Obedience training is a proactive approach to avoid any trouble down the line.

American Bulldog Needs

This muscular, powerful breed is well suited to an active and athletic lifestyle. The American Bulldog is high maintenance when it comes to exercise and when it comes to cleaning slobber, as this dog drools a lot. They’re good dogs when well-trained and socialized. Training will help drain their overwhelming energy.

Nutritional Requirements

FOOD MOTIVATED

Picky Eater

Voracious Eater

Obesity is a common issue with this breed; they also eat too fast. A regular feeding schedule and limited & healthy treats are good rules of thumb with American Bulldogs. Investing in a good slow-feeder is also beneficial.

Don’t free-feed this breed, either. Feed your dog a set amount two to three times a day, pending on their age. These dogs will wolf down their food if allowed.

The breed is predisposed to joint disorders, including hip and elbow dysplasia, and obesity worsens both conditions. This hard-working breed needs high-quality food formulated for athletic dogs.

Exercise & Activity Levels

ENERGY LEVEL

Couch Potato

Go-All-Day Stamina

Every dog needs at least one daily walk as it exposes the dog to smells and sights which helps lower their blood pressure.

In addition, your American Bulldog needs to always stay on a leash as this breed may make poor choices regarding other dogs. Chance encounters can go wrong, so keep your buddy on a leash.

Your “guardian breed” must be under control at all times. They’ll rush to your aid as this is their instinct, which always ends badly.

Grooming Needs

SHEDDING LEVEL

No Shedding

Shedding Machine

This breed has a short coat and smooth fur. The good news is their coat is very easy to groom and low maintenance.

Brushing, nail trims, and bathing are all important aspects of their grooming routine. The more you brush their coat, the more it glows. This is an excellent way to bond with your dog.

American Bulldog Average Lifespan

The average lifespan of an American Bulldog is 10-15 years. The American Bulldog is prone to several medical conditions, and some of them are more serious than others.

Commom Health Problems

  • Ichthyosis: This genetic skin disorder can cause your dog discomfort, and typically the condition worsens with age.
  • ACL Tears: American bulldogs can suffer from a torn cruciate ligament. This injury is similar to a torn ACL in a human.
  • Deafness: Congenital deafness surfaces in American Bulldogs and 84 other dog breeds. Typically hearing loss progresses to total deafness.
  • Bone Cancer: This breed is susceptible to bone cancer, and osteosarcoma is most often associated with the wrist on the front leg.
  • Elbow and Hip Dysplasia: Many heavy breeds suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia. The condition is caused by a genetic malformation of the ball and socket joints.
  • Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (NCL): All of the NCLs have two things in common: pathological degenerative changes occur in the central nervous system. Retrievers are also known to be diagnosed with NCLs.
  • Cherry Eye: This is a condition in which the third eyelid (nictitating membrane) and the tear gland it covers prolapse. The prolapse looks like a red cherry in the interior corner of the dog’s eye, hence the name.

Recommended Health Tests

  • Hip evaluation
  • Ichthyosis testing
  • Testing for the NCL link
  • DNA tests

Tips for New American Bulldog Owners

Being a responsible American Bulldog parent is challenging. To make parenting easier, follow these tips.

Tip 1

Find a Reputable Breeder: Looking for a local breeder is easier than finding a dog at a distance. A reliable breeder will test both parents for genetic diseases and will provide the certificate from those tests. Plan on visiting the kennels to determine whether you enjoy the breeder. You can always reach out to the American Bulldog Rescue in your region.

Tip 2

Get Puppy/Dog Products in Advance: Always have a long list of puppy-safe products ready and set up in your home before you bring your dog back to the house. This list includes a crate, X-pen for a safe puppy area, puppy food, toys and bones to chew on, and a harness, leash, and collar. Is your yard fenced in? These dogs can jump!

Tip 3

Get a Trainer: There are specific things to consider when bringing an American Bulldog into your life and one area we’ve discussed is training. American Bulldogs are strongly driven by their instincts. Never try to integrate your American Bulldog with a cat or a smaller breed. You’ll need professional training help regardless, and obedience training should begin at less than six months of age. You want to avoid destructive behavior!

American Bulldog Similar Breeds

– American Staffordshire Terrier, a.k.a. American Pit Bull Terrier
– Boxer
– English Bulldog
– Bully type breeds and mixes

American Bulldog Supplies You Need

First-time pet owners should research some special supplies. Consider exceptional dog food to manage obesity, tools to help with exercise, and elevated or orthopedic dog beds to help as your pet ages.

American Bulldogs tend to struggle with obesity, and working with your vet to determine the best food will help pet owners manage this issue as they get older. You want your best friend to stay lean!

When it comes to their exercise needs, you’ll want to consider the appropriate gear for vigorous walks and hikes. This is a high-energy breed! Tug-of-war is a slippery slope as this breed is already known for its prey drive. Find more appropriate ways to burn energy. Socialization is imperative, so determine how to work this into exercise too.

Best Dog Beds for American Bulldogs

Snoozer Luxury Overstuffed Microsuede Pet Sofa

Snoozer Luxury Overstuffed Microsuede Pet Sofa

$214.95 Get it on Amazon
Big Barker 7″ Pillow Top Orthopedic Dog Bed

Big Barker Orthopedic Dog Bed with Pillow-Top

$279.95 Get it on Amazon

Best Dog Food for American Bulldogs

The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Limited Ingredient Turkey

The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Limited Ingredient Turkey

$114.99 Get 30% Off The Honest Kitchen
Just Food for Dogs Sensitive Skin & Stomach Daily Meal

JustFoodForDogs Sensitive Skin & Stomach Daily Meals

$80.65 Get it on JustFoodForDogs

Best Dog Supplements for American Bulldogs

Honest Paws Turkey Tail Mushroom

Honest Paws Turkey Tail Mushroom

$26.06 Get it on Amazon
PetLab Co. Joint Care Chews

PetLab Co. Joint Care Chews

$32.36 Get it on Amazon

American Bulldog Fun Facts

If you’re considering an American Bulldog, here are some unknown facts about this breed:

Fun Fact 1

The American Bulldog’s true ancestors were mastiffs from Asia brought to England as early as 800 B.C.

Fun Fact 2

John D. Johnson crossed his dogs with English bulldogs to improve the breed’s strength.

Fun Fact 3

American bulldogs have skulls longer than their snouts.

Fun Fact 4

The American bulldog is a guardian breed.

Fun Fact 5

This stocky animal can easily execute vertical jumps of more than 7 feet. Oh my!

Why Trust Us?

This article was written by pet parents, for pet parents, and reviewed by our expert veterinary panel. We understand you want to ensure you are only using the best products to support your pet’s health and happiness. At veterinarians.org our mission is to provide you with the most up-to-date information and resources you need on the products you buy for your pet.

Our specialized content team of writers, reviewers, and veterinarians analyzes all of the information for you and presents it in an easy-to-understand format. We independently research and test the best products so you can make an informed decision since your pet only deserves the best.