American Bulldog Breed: Everything You Need To Know About This Dog
A good example of a dog breed that has the confidence, social grace, and emotional personality to bond with their owners, even when the owner is less than attentive at times, is the American Bulldog.
A well-trained American Bulldog that has interaction with other dogs and other people can be a great pet as well, as a strong and determined protector.
This gentle, alert, and affectionate dog can be a big lap dog, as well as a brave and energetic hero when a Bulldog owner needs help.
American Bulldogs are part of the Guard Dog Group because of their personality traits, their 60 to 130-pound weight and their 24 to 28-inch height.
Plus, this hard-to-ignore dog makes a formable foe when provoked, and a docile giant when they are in a loving environment.
American Bulldogs need lots of exercise, and they are not afraid to establish themselves as pack leaders when to opportunity presents itself.
The American Bulldog Isn’t An English Bulldog
The American Bulldog and the English Bulldog are genetically related, but the two breed are like night and day these days, thanks to mixed breeding.
Although both breeds tend to drool, the English Bulldog is closer to the ground thanks to its Pug genes. And the slow-moving and snore happy English bull is not as active.
It’s not uncommon for an American Bulldog to jump a three-foot fence and keep on going, while an English Bulldog would only smell the fence and go back to sleep.
However, the English Bulldog does play an important role in the character of the modern American Bulldog, according to bulldogsofnj.com.
If it wasn’t for the English Bulldog’s heritage and stamina, the American Bulldog would not live as long as it does, or have the large head and muscular build that sets this breed apart from other breeds like the Pit-Terrier, Pit-Bull, and the Mastiff.
Even though the American Bulldog has Mastiff, as well as Pit-Terrier and Pit-Bull and other Molossers in its DNA, the breed stands on its own now.
Two Types of American Bulldog Breed
In the 1970s, two breeders decided to develop two different “hybrid” American Bulldog types in order to prevent the dog’s extinction, which almost happened during the 1940s.
The Johnson type, named after breeder John D. Johnson, and the Scott type of American Bulldog named after breeder Allen Scott, have different temperaments. Although there is a slight physical resemblance, the dogs are different in several ways.
The Johnson type comes from the old “yard dogs” that people in the south kept on the farm for protection when strangers decided to make an unannounced visit.
The Scott type is a descendant of the cattle and hog catching bulldogs that the English used when a man riding a horse couldn’t catch them because of too much brush or in heavily wooded areas.
The Scott breed of Bulldog makes a great family pet, but some people still train them to be part of that inhumane fighting practice.
How Does An American Bulldog’s Personality Compare To Other Breeds?
Even though the American Bulldog has aggressiveness built into its genetic makeup, they can be lovable and extremely friendly around kids and strangers when they get the right training.
The American Bulldog has a lifespan of 10 to 16 years, and for most of those years, the dog’s personality is upbeat, active, and very playful. But they require a lot of attention because of their emotionally-charged personalities.
Young dogs can be aloof, but the aloofness goes away as they mature. Early training in and outside the home is essential for both types of American Bulldogs.
Without proper training, they can get anxious, irritable, and out of control in a heartbeat.
Even though the two types of American bulls have farm utility dog genes that gave them the energy to catch and hold cattle and wild hogs, as well as stand guard on the farm, they are personable and friendly family pets these days.
Do The Two Types Have The Same Coloring And Characteristics?
Both the Johnson and the Scott type of American Bulldogs are strong looking dogs.
Both types have a smooth but coarse short coat, and they don’t shed much hair. White is the preferred color for both types, but patches of brindle, red, black, brown, fawn and different shades of brindle are common these days.
A blue American bulldog will not have the pedigree of its white brothers and sisters. The NKC Breed Standard disqualifies blue bulldogs, but families have no problem loving them.
Black American bulls also are not welcome by NKC breed standards because that color is an undesirable cosmetic flaw.
Females tend to weigh 60 to 90 pounds while the males can weigh as much as 130 pounds. Females stand 20 to 24 inches tall, and males can reach 26 inches in height.
The female usually has a litter of 7 to 14 puppies. All the pups usually have brown eyes and a demeanor that screams “take me home.”
The Johnson type bulldog is usually a heavier dog with a shorter muzzle.
Both types have black pigmentation on their nose and their eye rims, but slightly pink look around those areas is also an acceptable color.
A Bulldog’s muzzle is square, deep, and it shows their power. The muzzle is about 35 percent of the head length, and the ears are rose or button form.
The tail must not go through the docking procedure. It should be long enough to reach the dog’s hocks. Bulldogs carry their tail above the back when they get excited or are on the move.
The Real American Bulldog History
In order to trace the history of the American Bulldog properly, we have to go back to days of the ancient Asian Mastiffs.
Nomads took Asian Mastiffs to Europe with them, and Phoenician traders brought a Mastiff strain to England in 800 B. C., so the Celts could catch wild boar and cattle with these brownish red or brindle big dogs.
The current English Mastiff and Bullmastiff have the same coloring and to some degree, they are direct descendants of Asian Mastiffs.
In 400 A. D. another breed of Mastiff, the Alaunt, hit the English shores. The British farmers and butchers get the credit for turning that Mastiff into the first English bulldog.
That bulldog was the first dog to develop the lock-jaw-grip that bulldogs are so famous for. Thanks to that strong grip, the early English bulldogs could throw a bull to the ground by twisting or corkscrewing his body when the bull was off balance in the middle of its stride.
English bulls were fighters back then, and when English coal miners crossed the dog with a scrappy terrier, they became gladiators in the English dog fighting rings.
Pure breed bulldogs were rare in England during the 19th century, but that didn’t stop the export of the dogs to the United States.
Today’s English bulldog is really a Pug-bulldog mix. The old working bulldogs went extinct in England during the beginning of the 19th century, but they survived in America’s old south.
But by the 1960s, the old south Bulldogs, which really are a mixture of different breeds, were almost at the end of their genetic road because the old farms and plantation became big agribusinesses.
A few Bulldog lovers were able to locate the last of the farm bulldogs, and they began to crossbreed them so the breed could survive.
In the early 1970s, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Scott decided to produce their own breed of American bulldog. The Johnson breed is a wider and larger dog with an undershot jaw, pendulous lips, facial wrinkles, shorter muzzle and heavier bone mass.
The Scott breed looks like a large leggy version of a white Pit Bull.
How Much Care Does The American Bulldog Need?
Like all dogs, the American Bulldog needs love and grooming and a diet that compliments their active lifestyle.
Bulldogs need a diet rich in protein along with a moderate amount of fat and carbs. Some owners feed them the new dog food products that have the vitamins, minerals and organic and wholesome ingredients large, active dogs need to stay healthy.
Bulldogs are prone to genetic abnormalities, so it always a good idea to check the family history of a puppy before taking it home.
Issues like kidney and thyroid disorders, as well as nervous system issues, dysplasia, and eye protrusions, can hinder the performance and the lifespan of a bulldog as it matures.
In terms of grooming, the short hair doesn’t need special care, but it does need frequent care. Exercise and love are also essential ingredients in the care and health of both types of American bulldogs.
Because the American Bulldog has that farm-based mentality it’s important to let them run and play daily. It’s also important to have them interact with other dogs.
To say these Bulldogs are social butterflies would be a stretch, but they do need to walk, run, and smell their way to a healthy life just like other breeds.
Are American Bulldogs Easy To Train?
You don’t have to call Cesar Millan to train your Bulldog, but it is a good idea to read what he has to say about training an American Bulldog.
Because Bulldogs have the fight instinct in their gene pool, its best to get professional help, according to Millan. You can try to train your Bulldog like people train a poodle or a small dog, but unless you know how to address the triggers that set a Bulldog’s emotions on fire, you could be an unhappy dog lover.
How Much Does A Dog With Proper Breeding Cost?
The American Bulldog is a powerful dog, and it has a powerful price tag. Both types of dog puppies can cost at least $1,000 in some parts of the country, but it’s not usual for a Bulldog to fetch $3,000 to $4,000 when the dog’s family history is champion quality.
The price has a lot to do with Vet care a Bulldog needs to have puppies. In some cases, a C-section is necessary, and that cost is part of the price tag.
People do find Bulldogs that sell for $700 to $800 in smaller cities and rural areas, but those dogs may not have the breeding you expect.
So if you don’t mind buying the runt of the litter, or a pup that doesn’t have championship qualities, you can pay below the average price of $700.
Obviously, backyard breeders and abusive breeders try to sell pups for less, so it is important to do research before you buy either type of bulldog.
There are people who look at the lifetime cost of owning an American Bulldog. If you are one of those people, plan to spend more than $100,000 over the next sixteen years to keep your Bulldog in top shape.
This figure includes doctor visits, dog supplies, food, flea and heartworm control, treats, doggy bones, collars, leashes, training, grooming, shampoo, grooming tools, waste disposal, boarding, training aids, car restraints, doggy care, and licenses.