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American Bulldog Breed Summary

Active, protective, strong, loving

It may have its roots in fighting and working, but the American Bulldog is a big old softie at heart. Now, you’ll find him as a much-loved companion in many households around the world. He’ll keep a watchful eye over the family and work his tail off all day, but he’s just as content to curl up at your feet on the couch.

Lifespan 10 - 16 Years
Height (at the withers) Males and Females 50cm - 71cm
Weight Males and Females 27kg - 54.5kg
Coat Short and straight
Colour Brown, Black, Brindle, Fawn, Red, White
Eye colour Blue, Hazel, Amber, Brown
Common health issues Hip And Elbow Dysplasia

Muscular, athletic, and undeniably powerful, the American Bulldog may be an intimidating looking breed, but they have a heart of gold and a huge penchant for playtime. They come in two types, the Johnson (aka the Bully or Classic type) and the Scott (aka the Standard or Performance type), the prior having a larger, heavier build and a shorter muzzle more similar to the English Bulldog, the latter being more athletic with a longer muzzle and more squarish head, but many now are a combination of the two.

Although confused with the often-vilified American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Bulldog is a different breed entirely and like the breed that shares some of its namesake, have a variety of characteristics that make them not only great working dogs, but excellent family dogs. Despite their tough-looking exterior, they are actually highly-emotional dogs that are sensitive to their surroundings, which is one reason they make exceptionally good family dogs. They are a gentle, affectionate breed with a high level of overall confidence, a combination that often translates into loyalty, obedience and a strong protective nature. Because of these characteristics, they can be shy towards strangers and even other dogs, so training early on will help to ensure they make good company in all social circles. They are also a high energy breed and generally do best with an open garden to run around in, but are able to adapt to apartment living as long as their owners have an active lifestyle they're able to join in on.

Making its way into the United States in the 1800s, immigrants brought their working Bulldogs with them in order to make life in the new country easier. This breed was especially popular in the Southern States, thanks to its ability to bring down and catch feral pigs. As the working dog of farmers and ranchers, the American Bulldog was also used for bull, buffalo and bear-baiting. During WWII, the breed almost died out, but could still be found as cattle and livestock dogs and farm protectors in the south-east. Thanks to a man named John D. Johnson of Summerville, Georgia, he saved the breed from extinction by selecting the best of the breed he could find and started a selection program.