Breed Organization United Kennel Club (UKC) Website: http://www.ukcdogs.com Native Country United States Of America Other Names Old Country Bulldog Life Expectancy Approximately 10-16 Years Litter Size Average 7-14 Puppies Breed Group Mastiff
Breed Appearance The very muscular, sturdy and powerful, yet compact frame of the American Bulldog remains higher on the leg, more agile and swifter than its English counterpart. Some
individuals are reportedly able to leap six or more feet into the air. Males are characteristically stockier and heavier boned than the more refined females.
Breed Description Head: Medium in length and broad across skull with pronounced
muscular cheeks. Eyes: Medium in size. Any color. The haw should not be
visible. Black eye rims preferred on white dogs. Pink eye rims to be
considered a cosmetic fault. Muzzle: Medium length (2 to 4 in.), square and broad with a
strong underjaw. Lips should be full but not pendulous. 42 to 44
Standard-type: tight undershot (reverse scissors) preferred.
Scissors and even bites are considered a cosmetic fault. Structural
faults are a muzzle under 2 inches or longer than 4 inches,
pendulous lips, less than 42 teeth, more than 1/4 inch undershot,
small teeth or uneven incisors.
Johnson-type: definite undershot, 1/8 to 1/4 inch preferred.
Scissors or even bite is a disqualification. Structural faults are a
muzzle under 2 inches or over 4 inches. Nose color: black or grizzle. On black nosed dogs the lips
should be black with some pink allowed. A pink nose to be considered
a cosmetic fault. Ears: Cropped or uncropped. Uncropped preferred. Neck: Muscular, medium in length, slightly arched, tapering
from shoulders to head, with a slight dewlap allowed. Shoulders: Very muscular with wide sloping blades, shoulders
set so elbows are not angled out. Chest, Back and Loin: The chest should be deep and moderately
wide without being excessively wide as to throw the shoulders out.
The back should be of medium length, strong and broad. Loins should
be slightly tucked which corresponds to a slight roach in the back
which slopes to the stern. Faults: sway back, narrow or shallow
chest, lack of tuck up. Hindquarters: Very broad and well muscled and in proportion
to the shoulders. Narrow hips are a very serious fault. Legs: Strong and straight with heavy bone. Front legs should
not set too close together or too far apart. Faults: in at the
elbows or excessively bowlegged. Rear legs should have a visible
angulation of the stifle joint. Movement: The gait is balanced and smooth, powerful and
unhindered suggesting agility with easy, ground covering strides,
showing strong driving action in the hind quarters with
corresponding reach in front. As speed increases the feet move
toward the center line of the body to maintain balance. Ideally the
dog should single-track. The top line remains firm and level,
parallel to the line of motion. Head and tail carriage should
reflect that of a proud, confident and alert animal. Feet: Of moderate size, toes of medium length, well arched
and close together, not splayed. Pasterns should be strong, straight
and upright. Tail: Set low, thick at the root, tapering to a point. Tail
should not curl over back. Docked or undocked. Coat: Short, close, stiff to the touch, not long and fuzzy. Color: All white, pied, or up to 90% color [brindle or red
patches, (red is defined as any shade of tan, brown or red)], with a
portion of the white on the head.
History The original bulldog was preserved by working class immigrants who brought their working dogs with them to the American South. Small farmers and ranchers used
this all-around working dog for many tasks including farm guardians, stock dogs and catch dog. These dogs were not an actual breed as considered by today's standards but were a
generic bulldog type. There were no recorded pedigrees or records and breeding decisions were dependent on the best working farm dogs despite breed or background. Several separate
strains of the "bulldog" type dogs were kept by ranchers as utilitarian working dogs.
Perhaps the most important role of the bulldog and the reason for its survival, and
in fact why it thrived throughout the South, was because of the presence of feral pigs, introduced to the New World and without predators. The bulldogs were the settlers' only means of
sufficiently dealing with the vermin. By World War II, the breed was near extinction until John D. Johnson and his father scoured the backroads of the South looking for the best specimens
to revive the breed. During this time a young Alan Scott grew an interest in Mr. Johnson's dogs and began to work with him on the revitalization process. At some point, Alan Scott began
infusing non-Johnson catch bulldogs from working southern farms with John D. Johnson's line creating the now Standard American Bulldog. At another point, Mr. Johnson began crossing his
line with an atavistic English bulldog from the North that had maintained its genetic athletic vigor.
American Bulldogs are now safe from extinction and are enjoying a healthy
increase in popularity, either as a working/protector dog or as a family pet. All over the world, they are used variously as "hog dogs" (catching escaped pigs or hunting razorbacks), as
cattle drovers and as working or sport K-9s. American Bulldogs also successfully compete in several dog sports such as dog obedience, Schutzhund, French Ring, Mondio Ring, Iron Dog competition
and weight pulling. They are also exhibited in conformation shows in the UKC, NKC, ABA, ABRA and the SACBR (South Africa).
Behavior The American Bulldog is loyal, reliable, brave and determined. Not a hostile dog. Alert and self-confident, this breed genuinely loves children. It is known for its
acts of heroism toward its master. It has strong protective instincts, and needs a firm, confident, consistent pack leader. Well-socialize and obedience train them at an early age, to
prevent them from becoming reserved with strangers. Without that strong-minded pack leader who can tell the dog what is expected of it, it may be aggressive with other dogs. They need to be
around people and know their place in their pack to be truly happy. This breed tends to drool and slobber. Without enough daily mental and physical exercise they will become high strung
and may become hard to handle.
Health Some health problems in American Bulldogs are often found within certain genetic lines, and are not common to the entire breed, while others, such as neuronal ceroid
lipofuscinosis (NCL), Ichthyosis, disorders of the kidney and thyroid, ACL tears, hip dysplasia, cherry eye, elbow dysplasia, entropion, ectropion, and bone cancer are more common to the
general population of American Bulldogs. There are DNA tests available to help breeders screen breeding animals for NCL (neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis) and Ichthyosis. It is highly
recommended to spend time to research your breeder information, including your American Bulldog's family history. A Penn Hip (Pennsylvania Hip Improvement project) or OFA (Orthopedic Foundation
for Animals) screening is recommended for all potential breeding animals. Some breeds of American Bulldog are prone to allergies. Symptoms like a runny nose or a rash are examples of signs
of allergies. Some vets recommend dog owners to give 25mg of Benadryl per day; in most cases it helps.
Advice The American Bulldog will do okay in an apartment if it is
sufficiently exercised. They are relatively inactive indoors and
will do best with at least an average-sized yard.