In the 1800’s, the English bulldog was introduced to the new world by farmers, who used them for work with cattle and sheep and to catch wild pigs. By the mid 1900’s the breed had nearly vanished. Two interested breeders, John Johnson and Alan Scott, managed to restore and develop the American bulldog as we see him now.
Because each line differed slightly we now have two American bulldog bloodlines, the Johnson Bully and the Classic Scott. Both are known for their devotion to their family and have been known to perform heroic acts to protect family members. Before bringing this dog into your home, however, there are some factors to consider.
Disposition: American bulldogs can be gentle and very protective of their family, but are also fearless and stubborn. Because of this, they must be socialized while very young. As puppies, American bulldogs should be introduced to a wide variety of people, situations, and other dogs. When well-trained and socialized, they become devoted family pets and are very good with children. They are high-energy dogs and need exercise, and training. They must be socialized with small animals as puppies to prevent problems.
Appearance: American bulldogs have a very short coat and seldom need grooming. They are a solid muscular dog with high set ears. They may be any color or pattern, but usually are white and may have brindle patches. They are larger than English bulldogs, weighing between 60 and 125 pounds. Although they look a great deal like the American Pit Bull Terrier, they have a few distinct differences. The American bulldog has a square head, while the pit bull head is shaped more like a wedge. The American bulldog’s ears are usually left natural, while the pit bull usually has cropped ears.
Exercise: The American bulldog needs activity, and you must provide opportunities to run, jump and play. If exercised enough, they will behave when indoors. If they do not get the exercise they need, they may do a lot of damage in your home.
Health: Because their coat is very thin, the American bulldog is prone to sunburn, and you will need to provide protection during very hot or very cold weather. This strong and very active dog is usually healthy and may live for twelve to fifteen years. However, some problems that may occur are an enlarged heart, kidney and thyroid disorders, bone cancer, hip dysplasia, eye problems, and allergies. Because there may be other health problems common to certain blood lines, you need to investigate your American bulldog’s background before bringing him home.
American Bulldogs can be valued additions to your family. You must be aware, however, of the added care they will need. Before bringing one into your home, consider the special care for possible health problems and the need to protect them from excessive heat or cold. Also, this high energy dog must have exercise. If you can provide the necessary exercise and training, the American Bulldog will be a calm and cherished member of your family.