So, Bulldogs are your favorite chubby dogs? But do you want a best friend that likes intensive physical activity? Look no further, as we have the best one for you—the American Bulldog!
American Bulldogs are utility dogs built for demanding physical activity. These dogs are perfect if you need a cuddle-potato that’s also a good guard dog.
In this article, we will see if these dogs fit your lifestyle and the several points to keep in mind when getting one.
|30 minutes to 1 hour daily
|Energetic, Social, Loyal, Smart, Territorial
|United States of America
Origin of the American Bulldog
American bulldogs are a medium to large-sized muscular breed of dogs, originating in the United States in the 17th Century. Their history traces back to the colonial era when European settlers brought various bulldog-type dogs. Historically, bulldogs were mainly bred as a working breed of dogs for jobs such as farming, herding, hunting, etc. They also tend to be excellent guard dogs.
As time went by, they were bred more selectively for suitable traits that created what we know as the American Bulldog. These dogs are gentle, energetic, and loyal. That makes them a perfect companion for dog seekers looking for soft, giant buddies.
But a genetic software update does not mean they cannot do what their ancestors used to do. If you are a farmer and need a strong herding dog, these dogs are still a perfect match! This breed of dog is full of energy and possesses robust muscular strength.
Appearance of the American Bulldog
American Bulldogs are well-built and muscular dogs, with an athletic look. Their posture and composure gives them a dignified look. But what all features set it apart from other dog breeds?
1. Body structure
Bulldogs have broad shoulders and a sturdy frame, while their stance makes them look proud and strong. Keep a look out for their tails! While they’re usually short and taper at the end, it’s almost always hanging low unless alert.
2. Facial features
With a big and square-shaped head, you’ll have plenty of space for kisses. Their eyes are round and wide apart, which lets them be aware of their surroundings. However, despite the size of their head, it’s quite proportional to the size of their body.
American Bulldogs have coat a short and dense coat. Besides, these lovable dogs come in a variety of colors, including white, light brown, black and white, etc.
While American Bulldogs are a versatile breed who serve as guard dogs, they can quite gentle and affectionate with children despite their intimidating look!
Size Range of the American Bulldog
The average size of an American Bull Dog varies from medium to large. While adult males range from 22-27 inches, females can range from 20-25 inches.
These dogs have been developed into two lines: Scott and Johnson.
- The Johnson type resembles pitbulls a lot. It is larger, more muscular, heavier, and have a big head with a short muzzle.
- The Scott type is known as the more standard bulldog types. They have a relatively lean body type with a longer snout.
Personality and Temperament
Have you ever wondered why American Bulldogs are known to be so versatile and great utility dogs? And no, it’s not just their build. These dogs have a bunch of great traits that make them amazing pets. Here’s how:
1. Confident and smart
These dogs are highly confident, and cannot be intimidated easily. Plus, it helps that they are extremely intelligent as well, and enjoy mentally challenging tasks.
2. Territorial and protective
American bulldogs have natural territorial instincts. They are always weary of anyone new entering their space. True to their nature, these dogs are quite protective of their families and properties, making them excellent guard dogs.
Dogs are usually loyal to their owners. And this fact is proven true with the American Bulldog as well. Know that once these dogs bond with you, it’s for life. They will love you unconditionally and can go to any lengths to ensure your safety. What more can anyone ask for?
4. Playful and energetic
A well-socialized American bully can be playful and friendly, even with new people. They love interactive playtime and mentally engaging toys. However, they have a LOT of energy that can become destructive if not spent. Hence, they require extended playtime to prevent boredom.
5. Great family dogs
American bulldogs love physical touch and attention. You can equate them to never outgrowing the puppy phase. Despite an intimidating outlook, bulldogs are value familial bond and can be a great addition for homes looking for a lifelong playmate for their children.
Independence can be a positive and a negative trait in these dogs. Positive because it can help them make decisions about their priorities and not needy like most pets. However, they can also be quite stubborn if not trained properly.
Grooming Needs of the American Bulldog
Grooming dogs ensures good health and hygiene. American bulldogs have a short, dense coat that does not require much grooming. Brushing them with soft brushes once a week can eliminate loose hairs easily. They should be bathed only when they are dirty or smelly. Overbathing can dry out their skin rapidly.
Regular ear checkups for dirt, redness, and ear wax buildup are always recommended. Since they love being in a rugged environment, their nails are short. Although regular trimming and filing can help them maintain their athletic nature.
American Bulldog Health Issues
Unfortunately, American Bulldogs are prone to skin allergies. This is due to their overactive immune system. These may include:
- Itchy skin and scratching
- Fur loss
- Excessive Licking
- Skin infections.
American bulldogs also have cases of Demodex mites, especially as puppies. Consult your vet about medications that can treat irritations caused by mites and skin allergies.
Their facial shape makes them more susceptible to eye issues, like Ectrentropion and “cherry eye (nictitans gland prolapse).” Watch out for foreign particles or dust, anything that could damage their eyes. (article). American Bulldogs also have high rates of Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia due to genetic reasons.
“The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of 2100 American Bulldogs and found 36% dysplastic. Also, 20% of nearly 500 elbow X-rays were dysplastic.” (article)
Exercise and Training Needs
American Bulldogs are very energetic. They hugely benefit from daily physical activity. Lack of mental or physical stimulation will lead to boredom, aggressiveness, and behavioral issues. Some tips for a happy trooper:
1. Regular walks
Due to their size, they need ample space, so long and regular walks are advantageous. It can also help socialize them with newer people. American Bulldogs don’t do well in small homes and if not exercised properly, they can become destructive. Walking is one of the best ways to tire them out.
2. Extended playtime
They enjoy rugged and rough playtimes. To get them their necessary workout, you can take them swimming, hiking, running, etc. Additionally, they are strong dogs and can even engage in heavier tasks such as weight pulling.
You don’t always have to have these harsh play sessions if you do not have the time for it. Playing games such as fetch, treat or toy hunt, and tug of war helps in physical training and hone their agility.
3. Mental stimulation
These breeds are more than just brawn. American Bulldogs do great with both physical and mental stimulation. Try to incorporate puzzle toys and treat dispensers in their playtime. They enjoy challenging tasks and searching for their food.
3. Obedience training
Obedience training and socialization are crucial. American Bulldogs can have dominating tendencies if not appropriately trained. So, you must establish yourself as the pack’s leader to make them follow orders.
Are American Bulldogs Hypoallergenic?
American Bulldogs are not considered hypoallergenic. They shed moderately, and their fur can contain allergens such as dander and saliva. So, if you plan to get one, spend time with similar breeds to look out for allergic reactions.
So we can conclude that American Bulldogs dogs are great companions and protectors. They are dependable, affectionate, and highly alert to their surroundings. And chunky as well!
Make sure you spend enough time with your pup. You get to build your relationship with them and get them their required energy burn. Lack of these might cause obesity, mental issues, and behavioral problems.
Also, keep an eye on their allergic reactions because skin allergies are common in American Bulldogs. Talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s allergies. Choose prescribed doggy skin care products. Pay attention to ingredients in shampoos, soaps, toothpaste, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
American bulldogs can become stubborn and overconfident if not trained properly. This can make them aggressive. You must train them from an early age, so that they’re not hard to handle later in life.
American bulldogs shed moderately, more during shedding seasons. Brushing them once a week is enough to keep their coat healthy.
The physical differences in appearance do not determine much in this case, as American bulldogs are more muscular, but Pit bulls were originally bred as fighting dogs. So, this is more of an individual property different for each dog.
(*Even though we do not recommend letting your aggressive dogs go loose like that in the first place*)
They are very protective and territorial of their families. American Bulldogs are loyal and love physical affection. They are also great with children, but parents and dog owners should always be cautious.
Bulldogs can be extreme cuddle-bugs if socialized from a young age. They crave pets and cuddles from their loved ones.
Note: Strangers better keep their distance, as they might feel uncomfortable when meeting new people.