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American Bulldog


American Bulldog Facts

  • Group
  • Working
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • 20" - 26" (50.8 - 66cm)
  • Weight
  • 60 - 120lbs (27.2 - 54.4kg)
  • Lifespan
  • 12 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • Moderate - This breed enjoys typical daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • A Quick Learner
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Easy
  • Colors
    • Various Colors
    • White / Tan
    • White / Red
    • White / Brown
    • White
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Can be trained as a watch dog or guard dog
    • Can be trained for defense
    • Good with children
    • Should sleep indoors

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

There are no alternate names for the American Bulldog.


The American Bulldog originated in Great Britain.

Date Of Origin

The American Bulldog is said to have originated in the 1700's.


The American Bulldog was originally created to be a cattle drover and guard dog. Later he was used in blood sports, fighting bulls and bears and other dogs. The breed's strength, courage, and familiarity with livestock led to its popularity in the brutal sport of bull baiting. When this sport was outlawed in England, the original type of Bulldog disappeared from Britain and was replaced with the shorter, stockier, less athletic dog we now know as the English Bulldog.

The original Bulldog, however, was preserved by working class immigrants who brought their working dogs with them to the American South in the 1800s. These dogs were used for a variety of tasks on farms and ranches such as guarding, hunting, and sometimes even herding, but the American Bulldog came close to extinction by the end of World War II.

Mr. John D. Johnson, a returning war veteran, decided to resurrect the American Bulldog. Along with Alan Scott and several other breeders, Johnson began to carefully breed American Bulldogs, keeping careful records and maintaining the breed's health and working abilities. Due to the many different types of work the American Bulldog can do, several distinct lines evolved, each emphasizing the traits needed to do a specific job. The best known lines are usually referred to as the Johnson and Scott types. Today, however, many American Bulldogs have crosses to two or more of the original lines and are considered to be hybrid in type, with characteristics of more than one of the original lines of bulldogs.

The American Bulldog was recognized by the United Kennel Club on January 1, 1999.


The American Bulldog is large, powerful and well boned. The head is large and broad with a wide muzzle, powerful jaws, and strong chin. The large nose can be of any color and the ears are small to medium sized and can be drop, semi-erect, tulip, or cropped erect. It has large, round eyes, a muscular neck, and a tail that can be docked or left long. The short smooth coat comes in any color, pattern, or combination of colors. The only colors not permitted are solid black, solid blue, or tricolor.


The essential characteristics of the American Bulldog are those which enable it to excel in work as a hog and cattle catching dog, and a protector of personal property. These tasks require a powerful, agile, confident dog with a large head and powerful jaws. The American Bulldog is an assertive but gentle dog that is a loving family companion who is also fearless enough to face an angry bull or a human intruder. It is intelligent, sensitive, and generally quite calm.


Throughout history, the American Bulldog has been used for bull baiting, dog fighting, working on farms and ranches, guardian of people and property, and companion. Today, the modern American Bulldog continues to serve as an all-purpose working dog, a fearless and steady guard dog, and a loyal family companion.

Health Concerns

Potential health concerns for the American Bulldog include eye problems (blindness and other eye problems due to poor breeding), hip dysplasia, and skin allergies.

Additional Information

The American Bulldog is very active and enjoys long, brisk walks and games. He will also benefit from a job, which can include pulling wagons / carts or even agility course time.

The American Bulldog requires very little grooming and is easily maintained. Brushing with a soft-bristle brush twice per week is sufficient to remove dead hair. The American bulldog is an active breed and requires a dog experienced owner with time for training and socialization. This breed can be good with older children (if well socialized), but may be too rough for younger children. Given the dog's history of use, the American Bulldog can be dog-aggressive without the proper training and socialization.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

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