American Bulldog

Beautiful, Strong but Adorable

American Bulldog

By Barry Gray - Last updated on March 17th, 2021

Everything You Need to Know About the American Bulldog

The American Bulldog is a direct descendant of the English Bulldog, but don’t make the mistake of believing that both breeds are the same. 

The American Bulldog is a true American icon. Full of fun, affectionate, and strong in body, this dog has had a rough time with how it is often depicted.

However, if you are looking for a family dog that will be loyal and protect its family and territory, this is the perfect breed.

Of course, if planning on owning an American Bulldog, you want to be sure that you understand how to care for them correctly. So, read on to learn everything about this stunning breed.

Fast Facts

Group - Working

Weight - 75-125 Pounds (male) 60-100 Pounds (female)

Height - 20-27 Inches(male) 20-25 Inches (female)

Hair Length - Short

Shedding - Moderate

Lifespan - 10-12 Years

The General Appearance of Your American Bulldog

From the moment you set eyes on American Bulldog puppies, it will be easy to identify the breed. The American Bulldog is an athletic dog that is well-built and gives off a sense of power. In saying that, they are not all about power.

This stocky build is enhanced by the breed having a massive, powerful-looking head. Both the shoulders and chest are well-defined and are generally the most muscular area of the breed. 

Talking of their head, American Bulldogs tend to have a short muzzle, which contributes to them drooling a lot. However, it’s not too short of causing severe breathing issues.

Bulldog’s nose is slightly upturned and sitting below is a robust jaw. Their ears tend to sit folded down on the top corners of their head.

The hips of Bulldog are not as well-defined as their shoulders. Their legs are strong, leading to relatively large paws. Bulldog has a long tail and it is often kept low down. It can be left natural or cropped.

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The Potential Colors of Your American Bulldog

The AKC is firm on what it deems as the correct colors for an American Bulldog. 

The predominant color is white, but they will also have patches in various colors. These include:

  • Black
  • Brindle
  • Fawn
  • Red
  • Brown

But then, there’s a lot more to an American Bulldog than its looks and colors. How about its temperament? Is this breed as scary as it’s sometimes made out to be?

The General Temperament of an American Bulldog

Here is the fantastic thing about the American Bulldog, while it appears aggressive, this breed can be a real soft touch. It surprises people to discover that they are often loving, affectionate, and devoted to their family.

The American Bulldog is wonderful even around young children. They will seek to protect their family and quickly realize they are not the home’s dominant ones. Your Bulldog will be quick to alert you to someone entering their territory.

This breed does not cope too well with being left alone for an extended time. While you may think they would enjoy exploring a backyard, it causes stress and anxiety in them. 

Do be prepared to keep on entertaining your Bulldog, as boredom can be an issue. This is an intelligent breed, and even though they do relish a bit of relaxing, they prefer playing and learning new tricks.

The American Bulldog can have some problems with strangers, so early socialization is necessary to stop this from developing into a bigger problem.

However, temperament can be changed depending on how you train your dog. So, is the American Bulldog easy to train?

Training an American Bulldog

The first thing to mention with training an American Bulldog is you need to be firm from the outset. This is to make sure the dog knows you are the leader of the pack and that it must remain constant throughout their training.

An American Bulldog puppy will be easier to train if you stick to rules and have a routine installed as early as possible. Even a puppy is going to chance its luck from time to time. 

Positive reinforcement works best with this breed, so be ready to praise them and offer a treat when they do something correctly. Also, be prepared to mix up their training and don’t spend too long on the same task. Repetition is boring for Bulldog, and it means they will lose interest.

As part of their training, seek to introduce your Bulldog to as many new situations and people as possible from an early age. American Bulldog does find it difficult to encounter strangers outside of the home, but working on this can reduce their anxiety.

Also, remember how we said they hate being left alone. That’s not to say it isn’t possible. Build up, leaving your dog alone slowly and reward it after each time. Eventually, you may leave your Bulldog alone for short periods without any problem.

How to Correctly Groom an American Bulldog

Even though the American Bulldog has short hair, don’t believe that this means you are not required to groom them regularly. A weekly brushing will often suffice to remove hair and some of the dirt while keeping the coat looking shiny and clean.

The constant shedding, which isn’t heavy but always happens, means the American Bulldog is not hypoallergenic. Bathing will only usually be required when the dog’s coat is dirty.

Aside from that, their nails will need trimming every few weeks. And brush their teeth regularly for health reasons. These can both be problem areas for the breed.

Talking of health, what are the common health problems associated with the American Bulldog?

The General Health and Nutritional Needs of the American Bulldog

Most experts view the American Bulldog as a relatively healthy breed, but that doesn’t mean that there will never be anything wrong with them. Instead, American Bulldog skin problems can be a recurring issue, but any veterinarian can deal with them.

The most common health problems associated with the breed include:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Thyroid Problems
  • Kidney Problems
  • Skin Issues
  • Allergies
  • Cherry Eye

The fact that they can have problems with their joints does mean it’s important to look after their weight. Regarding other issues, regularly checking their skin for any potential outbreaks is also vital.

From an exercise perspective, their high energy levels will translate into them, requiring daily exercise to allow them to burn off that energy. As such, American Bulldog is not suitable for apartment living.

It’s essential only to provide your puppy with light exercise and not to involve too much impact. This will reduce the chances of joint problems developing as they get older. 

It is recommended to feed your American Bulldog twice a day. They are best being given around four cups per day when fully grown. Avoid too much kibble as that is where they can start to put on weight.

You should give your puppy food specifically designed for large breeds during the first year of their life. It gives them the nutrients they require to allow their body to grow.

History of the Breed

The breed does appear to date back to the early days of America itself. It’s believed American Bulldog came over with the early settlers.

It was initially bred for its ability to chase down feral animals. This made them a popular dog for farmers and ranchers attempting to protect their own flock.

However, the breed went through a severe decline in the early part of the 20th Century. At one point, only a relatively small number of dogs were kept on farms in the Southeast part of the United States. Thankfully, their popularity rose once again, leading to them becoming one of the country’s favorite breeds today.

American Bulldog Mixes you would like to know about*

Dog crossbreeds or mixes are sometimes called designer dogs. The name fits since you are “designing” a new dog by mating two purebred dogs. It has become popular in recent times, and more and more breeds have several noteworthy crosses we could write about.

The thing with mixed puppies is that it is hard to know which characteristics they will inherit from their parents. You should research as much info as possible on the parent breeds to understand what you can expect. This way, you will find a mix that has all of the characteristics you want and love.

Read on to see the most popular American Bulldog mixes:

  • American Bull Staffy - American Bulldog & Staffordshire Mix
  • American Masti-Bull -  American Bulldog & Bullmastiff Mix
  • Bulloxer - American Bulldog & Boxer Mix
  • Bullypit - American Bulldog & Pitbull Mix 
  • American Bullhuhua - American Bulldog & Chihuahua Mix 
  • American Bullweiler -  American Bulldog & Rottweiler Mix 

*Not all breed mixes are equal in quality! neither condones nor endorses any example of unethical and unhealthy crossbreeding. We encourage everyone to research in detail before they choose to get a crossbreed. 

Questions people often ask about American Bulldog

  • +What is the Difference Between the American Bulldog and the English Bulldog?

  • +Are American Bulldogs Dangerous?

  • +Is an American Bulldog the Same Thing as a Pitbull?

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