The American Bulldog breed is quite a muscular, powerful and sturdy, yet it's frame is quite compact and the American Bulldog remains higher on the leg and much more agile and swifter than its English peer. The males are characteristically broad and heavy boned than the more elegant females. The American Bulldogs head is large with quite strong jaws. They are also quite agile and light on their feet, the chest is wide and moderately deep, giving the perception of athletic proficiency and power. It's coat is short and quite smooth, they comes in all shades of brindle which include varying degrees of red, white, brown, tan, fawn, red brindle and piebald.
The males are typically sturdier and heavier-boned than females. It has a square muzzle which is about a third of the head length. There is a characteristic furrow between the eyes and a sudden, deep stop. It has a black nose and black pigmentation on the eye rims and a strong jaw with reverse scissors bite. The ears set high in the head are either cropped, rose-shaped, half-pricked or pendant. A moderately deep, wide chest portrays athleticism and power. The front, straight and powerful legs are made up of heavy bones while the hind legs are very broad, thick and very muscular. It has a low-setting tail that starts thick at the base and tapers to a point. This medium-sized breed, sports a short, smooth coat which is predominantly white with patches of black, red, brown, fawn, and brindle patterns.
Males have a height of 55cm – 70 cm and weighs 32kg – 54kg while females are typically around 52cm – 65cm and can weigh between 27kg – 45kg.
Like many other dog breeds with no written historical records, the American Bulldog’s exact origin is also unclear. However, the most popular theory is that the American Bulldog is a result of selective breeding of English bulldogs and bull terriers brought to America by the settlers in the 17th and 18th centuries. These dogs provided the much-needed protection for the settlers as well as for the farmers in catching livestock that roamed in wide areas, hence the term “catch dog” came into prominence. This selective breeding created a dog that is not only strong and agile but courageous enough to bring down a livestock as large as a cow or a pig and hold on to it until the farmer is able to subdue the animal. These same abilities continue on in today’s modern American Bulldogs where they are used to hunt wild game. The existence of today’s American Bulldogs is owed through the efforts of John D. Johnson of Summerville, Georgia, who, after returning from service during the second World War, decided to gather the remaining breeds from American’s rural South and saved the breed from dying out. Today’s modern American Bulldogs are descendants from these strains.
The American Bulldog is a powerful, agile and athletic breed that is known to jump up to six feet high in the air. It is a brave canine breed, determined but not overly aggressive or shy. It is also somewhat dominant compared to other breeds, highly inquisitive, and can sometimes be comical when frolicking around. It is generally an obedient dog but it can also be stubborn and unpredictable at times. The American Bulldog is usually calm and composed especially if given the right amount of exercise. Attitude towards strangers vary, depending on socialisation – others are friendly while others are aloof, but one thing is guaranteed – the American Bulldog makes a very good guard dog.
This is a protective breed and should be given early socialisation and firm training preferably during the puppy stage. Exposing the American Bulldog as a puppy around people and other dogs is beneficial for this breed. It excels in canine sports such as weigh pulling, obedience, agility, hunting, or Schutzhund.
The short, smooth coat of the American Bulldog is very easy to maintain. A comb or brush with a firm bristle is sufficient to comb the coat and maintain its vibrancy. Bathe only when needed. This breed tends to drool
The American Bulldog is generally a sturdy and healthy breed, but like any working dogs, it is prone to canine hip dysplasia and skin problems. Natural home-prepared diet is an ideal feeding requirement for this breed given in equal proportion to the amount of exercise it gets. They have a lifespan of 15 – 16 years.
This muscular and strong breed needs plenty of vigorous exercise on a daily basis. Jogging on lead or alongside a bicycle is an ideal exercise. An inactive American Bulldog can easily gain weight which can lead to serious health issues. Without proper exercise to meet his mental and physical requirements, this breed can become high strung and hard to handle. It will do fine in an apartment setting if given enough physical and mental stimulation. It is relatively inactive indoors and will do best in a home with an average-size to a large, fenced yard.
The American Bulldog is not a breed for first-time pet owners. It needs an owner that can take control of any protective instincts and apply a positive and steady training program to raise a stable family companion. However, if properly trained and socialised, this breed is a perfect companion to children as well as other dogs.