American Bulldog: Ultimate Dog Breed Guide 
Photo Credit: Lucas Ludwig
Having a dog as a pet is a very lovely thing, as they bond easily with humans. Compared to other pets they are loyal breeds, and they could offer some protection to the family.
One of such lovely dogs is the American bulldog. They are affectionate and intelligent, and this is why they make great protective dogs for the family. They are muscular and stocky, and require a lot of exercise.
Do you wish to own an American Bulldog, or you have one already? We have prepared a comprehensive guide for American Bulldogs. This will enlighten you on everything you wish to know about this dog breed.
What are the Characteristics of American Bulldogs
Generally, the American bulldogs have a low adaptability level of 2 out of 5. They do not adapt properly to apartment living, and for this, they are rated 1 out of 5 stars.
They are not great for novice owners as well, and concerning this, they are rated 1/5 stars.
They have a high sensitivity level, with 4 out of 5 stars rating here. This is because they are assertive and they think independently.
When it comes to leaving them alone, they are rated 1 out of 5 stars. Leaving them all alone could make them panic and lead to separation anxiety.
They can’t tolerate both the hot and cold weather and for this, they are rated 2 out of 5 stars.
All Round Friendliness
American bulldogs are rated 3 out of 5 stars when it comes to all round friendliness.
This dog breed showers the family as a whole with so much affection. They bond easily when made to live around people because they feel more comfortable.
They are gentle and do well around children, but don’t bond well with other dogs, as they may dominate or attack other dogs.
Health and Grooming Needs
American bulldogs are rated 3 out of 5 stars when it comes to health and grooming needs.
This dog breed is very easy to groom. Also, they shed very little. They are drool-prone dogs.
Generally, minimal care and grooming are necessary for the short and fine coats of the American bulldog.
Typically, then enjoy grooming, and by brushing them weekly, their shedding is significantly managed.
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As regards trainability, they are rated 3 out of 5 stars.
It is highly recommended to socialize American Bulldogs earlier and enroll them young for puppy training classes. This is very important to channel their energy.
Routines and rules should be set early enough, and ensure that this dog breed adheres to it at a very early age.
It is necessary to use a strict but loving hand to help them retain and establish proper boundaries.
The more you expose them to people, other dogs, and good training practices, then be assured of achieving more success both outside and inside the environment.
The American Bulldog Physical Needs
Regarding the physical needs of American bulldogs, they are rated 4 out of 5 stars.
Dogs with high energy like the American Bulldog are usually set for action. This is because they were bred to engage in retrieving games for herding livestock or hunters. They have the strength and stamina to work throughout the day.
They require mental stimulation and much exercise, and they may spend much of their time playing, jumping, and investigating smells and new sites.
They need much exercise because without this they could put on so much weight. It is also necessary because of their daily, vigorous exercise.
Vital Stats About American Bulldogs
The American Bulldog was bred to be a working dog. Their height usually falls between 50.8 cm to 71.1 cm, and its weight falls between 27.2 kg to 54.4 kg. Their lifespan is long enough, as it can live between 10 and 16 years.
More about the American Bulldog Breed
Though this breed was one utilized for bull baiting, they have suddenly transformed into family companions and working farm dogs. In modern times, they come in multiple types and most of the time, they are white in color. They also come in different colors and patterns.
They don’t like being left all alone in the apartment for a long time period. They can become bored and end up destructive if their mental and physical stimulation needs fail to be met.
The pet parents of this dog breed have to be experienced enough and have to be patient during the training process. Also, socialization has to begin early. If this can be done, this dog breed will get along with other pets and children.
History of the American Bulldog Breed
Photo Credit: David Taffet
The American bulldog originated in England, where it served as a working dog. This dog breed was used by farmers and ranchers for many tasks such as catch dogs, farm guardians, and stock dogs back in the 17th century and till date. He is known for his courage and strength, this dog engaged in several battling contests with wild animals like bears, bulls, and buffaloes.
This dog breed almost became extinct immediately after World War II, but it was later revived by a veteran known as John D. Johnson. Alan Scott was also interested in Johnson’s dogs and started working with him to revive the breed. In the 17th century, this dog was engaged in bull-baiting, a sport that requires dogs to fight bulls. However, this sport was eliminated and bulldogs won the heart of families across England.
The old English bulldog was used for cattle-droving, bull-baiting, and served as butcher’s dog in the 17th and 18th centuries. One of the reasons the American bulldog survived and thrived across the south was as a result of the presence of feral pigs. At a particular point in time, Scott started to infuse non-Johnson bulldog s from working with Johnson’s lines and as such, created the Scott type American Bulldog. In the year 1999, the American bulldog was recognized as a distinct breed by the United Kennel Club (UKC).
What is the Size of an American Bulldog
This dog breed comes in a wide range of weight and height. The normal standards are more athletic and appear leaner, while bullies look more powerful and thicker. The male American bulldogs are larger in appearance with more muscle and heavier bone than their female counterparts. However, both sexes should appear balanced. The adult male height ranges from 55.88 to 68.58 cm while that of the adult female is from 50.8 cm to 63.5 cm.
The weight of the American bulldog should be proportional to his height. The adult male weighs between 31.8 kg to 54.4 kg while that of the adult females ranges from 27.2 kg to 45.4 kg. The weight of the American bulldog puppy ranges from 10.4 to 52.8kg.
What is the Personality of American Bulldogs
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The American bulldog is an active, brave, loyal, and friendly dog. This dog breed can be very loyal to their masters and it takes pride in protecting his human family. This dog breed finds it easy to bond with their human family and make friends. However, this dog can be hostile to strangers. American bulldogs need to be socialized at an early stage to avoid aggression. These dogs are great swimmers and can jump from a high distance due to their muscle build.
They should never be left alone for too long as they tend to suffer from separation anxiety. These dog breeds are attention seekers and if they don’t get enough attention from their masters, they can resort to destroying things around them. An American bulldog needs to be trained on how to react to strangers. When this breed is well-socialized and trained, it can be left with children. The American bulldog is a great companion when loved and cared for.
This dog breed is lovable and loyal to a fault. Due to the American bulldog’s agility, he is considered as a good playmate. This dog loves to be in the midst of children and can be left alone with them if properly socialized. This dog responds well to training but needs to be guided firmly in order to keep him on the right track.
What are the Common Health Problems That Could Affect American Bulldogs
The lifespan of the American bulldog ranges from 10 to 16 years. There are some health problems commonly associated with this dog breed. This dog suffers from allergies that are a result of an overactive immune system. Some health problems like disorders of the kidney, hip dysplasia, neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, and bone cancer are common health issues experienced by this dog breed. However, some health problems are a result of genetics.
Hypothyroidism is a health issue that is common among this dog breed. This disease is caused by a lack of thyroxine in the body. The thyroid hormone controls the way calories are burnt in the body. When thyroxine is inadequate, the metabolism rate becomes slower which results in a lack of energy.
Another health problem commonly experienced by the American bulldog is ichthyosis, a hereditary condition that causes thickened, greasy, and scaly skin.
3. Viral and Bacterial Infections
These dogs are vulnerable to viral and bacterial infections; however, these infections can be prevented through regular vaccination.
Obesity is a common health problem you will need to watch out for in an American bulldog. This is a serious health issue that can cause joint problems, back pain, and digestive disorders. Owners should ensure that these dogs pay regular visits to a veterinarian.
5. Dental Disease
Dental disease is a health issue frequently experienced by almost all dogs at age two. The American bulldog is more susceptible to dental disease than other dogs. This disease begins with the build-up of tartar on the teeth which gradually develops to infections on the roots and gums of the teeth. Such a disease needs proper attention; otherwise, your bulldog will lose his teeth. Therefore, regular cleaning of the American bulldog’s teeth is very important to maintain good dental health.
Some of these health problems can be prevented. For instance, to prevent elbow or hip dysplasia, it is important you include supplements like omega-3 fatty acids in their diet to support and maintain healthy joints. Some health issues can only be diagnosed with a genetic test. The American bulldog can be allergic to some food; this can be detected through red and itching skin.
What Care Should You Give an American Bulldog
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The American bulldog needs to be cared for and groomed properly. Regular exercise is required by this dog breed to maintain healthy living. This dog breed should engage in exercise frequently in order to burn off energy, without this, the American bulldog may become destructive. To help this dog stay healthier and happier, you can design a routine care and include it in your schedule.
This dog breed loves to run a lot, hence, they can engage in some sport activities. This dog also needs a lot of mental stimulation to maintain its mental health. To take proper care of these dogs’ coats, owners should bath them once a month. Too much bathing can strip away the natural oil of the skin. Proper care also involves a good diet and frequent visits to the hospital. Some nutrients should be included in the American bulldog’s diet to maintain good health.
Much care should be given to the American bull dog’s nail and ear. American bulldogs should visit the veterinary regularly so as to easily detect any health issues. Worms, bugs, ticks, and fleas can invade this dog’s body if proper care isn’t taken. As a dog owner, you can also care for your American bulldog by buying a pet health insurance policy. This policy will help you take care of your dog’s medical tests and cover those costs.
How Should You Feed American Bulldogs
An agile dog like the American bulldog will need the right proportion of nutrients to maintain healthy living. Some nutrients shouldn’t be included in this dog’s diet as they can cause some health issues like obesity, bloating, vomiting, etc. It is very important to seek the advice of a veterinarian to ensure your bulldog is fed the essential diets. This dog breed loves to feed on kibbles, but you need to ensure the right type of kibbles is given to him.
Since these dogs are very active, they require a diet with lots of protein. Meat protein should be included in their diet to maintain good health. It is advisable you seek a veterinarian as regards the nutritional requirements of your dog. The American bulldog’s diet needs to be consistent enough to maintain growth and development.
These dog breeds always experience allergies to certain foods, therefore, such food should be excluded in their diet. On average, the American bulldog will require about 4 cups of circa daily, but ensure you follow the recommendation provided by the manufacturer.
American Bulldog Coat Color and Grooming Needs
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This dog breed has a short and fine coat that sheds throughout the year. Brushing and grooming this coat will help to maintain their coat. The American bulldog’s coat is very easy to maintain and care for. With regular brushing, you can keep the coat in good condition. The nails should be trimmed on a regular basis and the ear should be cleaned every month to prevent an ear infection.
The American bulldogs have different coat colors ranging from white to brown, and black. Some bulldogs have a brown or red coat. Their coats can also come in a combination of colors, this is also acceptable. However, colors such as solid black, merle, tricolor, solid blue and white having patches of tan and black are not acceptable.
The coat of this dog breed is short; it could be stiff or soft when touched. The coat shouldn’t be longer than one inch, else it would be disqualified. The coat can be brushed with a bristle brush once in a week, this will help to distribute oils and get rid of dead cells on the skin. The teeth need to be brushed at least thrice a week.
Children and Other Pets (How Does American Bulldogs Relate With Them?)
Just like most dog breeds, the socialization training of American Bulldogs should start very early. If they are properly trained, they do well with children and they remain loyal to all the family members of that home.
Another important point here is that children need to be trained on how to treat and handle pets properly to avoid any negative incidents. Even when they are with well-trained dogs, it’s very important that you supervise them at all times, and ensure things stay in place. This dog breed is large and much energetic play could lead to some injuries.
This also links to their interaction with other pets. If American bulldogs are trained and socialized properly, they can live with other dogs without any problems. You must supervise their play closely, most especially when with smaller dogs, as they could get injured easily in the process.
Generally, this dog breed is very friendly, but when they wish to play in a rough way or don’t know how much their strength is, then injuries could be the result.
Australian Breed Organizations
There are Australian breed organizations for the American bulldog. This is where potential buyers or inquisitive pet parents go to, to learn more, and acquire additional information regarding the American Bulldog. Some of the well-known breed organizations of Australia and their contacts include:
The Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC)
Australian Association of Pet Dog Breeders
Canine Control Council of Queensland
Tasmanian Canine Association
Australian Rescue Groups to the American Bulldog
At times, American bulldogs are purchased without any proper understanding of what is required before owning one, and the result of this is that these dogs are taken into rescue groups and cared for, waiting to be fostered or adopted.
Some other bulldogs eventually find themselves in rescue groups because something negative happened to his or her owners like death or divorce. There are lots of benefits that come with adopting an adult American Bulldog. One reason for saying this is that these adult dogs are house trained already and have already acquired some obedience training. They have also successfully passed through the puppy stage, which is usually destructive.
Some Australian Rescue Groups to the American Bulldog include:
Werribee bulldog rescue
351 heaths road, Werribee, Vic 3030 Australia
Pit bull Rescue Australia
18, Hughes Street, Taree, NSW 2430 Australia
Concluding Lines on the American Bulldog
American Bulldogs are a special dog breed. They are muscular and stocky, but built and agile for getting stray cattle and assisting with farm work. Also, they are affectionate and intelligent; for this reason, they are protective and great family dogs.
With all these great features, you are surely ready to own or adopt one. Now is the time. Get your American bulldog immediately and see the great difference it brings to your home.