American Bulldog is not a type of Pitbull. The Pitbull Terrier
has some bulldog blood in it, but the American Bulldog has
no Pitbull in it. Left is the 1800s American
Bulldog as it was bred for a time in the American rural
south. This is the dog which pre-dates what we call the
English Bulldog (before it was shrunken into a lap dog).
This dog is also the model for John D. Johnson who sought
to save the breed from extinction throughout the 1960s through
Bulldog is a breed of traditional American working dog.
It is a stocky, well built, very strong dog, with a large
head and a muscular build. Its coat is short and smooth
coming in many colors, white and pie'd being the more common,
but brown, brindle and black with or without white markings
also being accepted by most kennel clubs' breed standards.
The adult American Bulldog can range in size from as small
as approximately 70 pounds and 18 inches tall at the shoulders
to over 125 pounds and over 27 inches tall at the shoulders.
This gives rise to accusations against the
dog by some show dog fanciers (particularly in the AKC)
that the American Bulldog has "no set type or standard."
Such arguments show a complete misunderstanding of working
dogs in general - their histories, uses and various phenotypes,
as well as total ignorance of the American Bulldog breed.
In fact the American Bulldog has historically
been so highly proficient at so many different tasks
(and still remains so) that different purebred strains have
developed to serve in various specialty roles - many people
still using the dogs for actual working duties to this day.
Among other things American Bulldogs are sporting
dogs. They compete and do exceedingly well in Iron Dog competitions,
weight pull, their most traditional uses as hog dogs and
professional herding and livestock protection dogs and as
personal protection family dogs.
The American Bulldog, pound-for-pound is one
of the strongest, if not the strongest dog in the
world. It is not uncommon that a 100 pound American Bulldog
skilled in the popular sport of weight pull will pull 2,000
to even 3,000 or more pounds; i.e., the weight of an
automobile. They are also known for their speed, their
jaw strength and for being the most tenacious dogs on
earth. These are characteristics required in combat
against wild hogs (and men) and the management of cattle.
American Bulldogs can also often perform standing jumps
of well over six feet.
Healthy, well loved American Bulldogs are confident,
social and active dogs, very much at ease with their families.
Forming unusually close bonds with their owners they are
incredibly loyal and display a special, gentle affinity
for the children in their families. It has often been said
that while many dogs tolerate children and will protect
children in their families the American Bulldog actually
prefers the company of children. This is very much
the case for our boy Camo snuggling with my daughter to
American Bulldogs are also territorial and
naturally confrontational against threats (whether animal
or man). They are known for great acts of courage and feats
of strength and will. These are dogs, many of which to this
day will not hesitate to grab an unruly 2,000 pound bull
by the nose if the bull is giving the American Bulldog's
owner some difficulty. It is also typical that American
Bulldogs are highly protective of their human families without
any protection training whatsoever. As such it is important
they be well socialized, trained and that they know who's
boss - recognizing the humans in their households as
proper "pack leaders" who make and enforce the
early American Bulldog (back
before it was called an "American Bulldog," but
then simply called a "bulldog") was preserved
mostly by working class immigrants who brought their working
dogs with them to the New World primarily from England.
Small farmers and ranchers used the bulldog for many tasks
- especially as farm guardians protecting homesteads
both from dangerous men and wild animals. The original
bulldog was also employed as stock or catch dogs, sight
hounds and herding dogs. These bulldogs were not an actual
"breed" of dog as defined by today's kennel club
standards but were a generic bulldog type. There
were few recorded pedigrees or records and breeding decisions
generally favored the best working farm dogs despite breed
or background. Several
separate strains of the "bulldog" type dogs were
kept by ranchers as working dogs. American Bulldogs
have been used to drive, herd and protect cattle and flocks,
as Personal Protection dogs and homestead guardians and
as hunting dogs on large game. They continue to be used
in all three working venues to this day.
American Bulldog Registries
The American Bulldog is not a breed registered
by the American Kennel Club (AKC). The majority of more
knowledgeable American Bulldog breeders point to harm AKC
Breed Standards have done to many other AKC registered breeds
and hope the AKC never registers the American Bulldog.
The primary registries for the American Bulldog
are the National
Kennel Club (NKC); The United
Kennel Club (UKC); the American
Bulldog Association (ABA); and the first registry to
ever register the American Bulldog, the Animal
Research Foundation (ARF). In all cases the American
Bulldog is recognized as a working dog. Most registries
also recognize two different types, the slimmer, more streamlined
Scott type and the larger, heavier Johnson type. The American
Bulldog has also recently been registered with the ABKC,
but only what they call the "Bully" type, having
a breed standard which disfavors some of the dog's original
To learn about what you
can expect from your own CBRK
American Bulldog read about our American Bulldog Coffelt's
Camouflaged Warrior here.
No Purebred Breed of Dog is Perfect
The Downsides of the American Bulldog
American Bulldog Olfactory:
The olfactory sense (the ability to smell/scent) is not
strong in most American Bulldogs. Their compressed, shorter
nosed head type robs them of sharper olfactory and in many
it also causes breathing issues. At the time of this writing
only FOUR American bulldogs are IPO 3 titled, their below
average olfactory being the main reason.
I started working with Camo on scent work at 3 months old.
He impressed me from day one and still does. I hide anything
from bones, to food, to favorite toys under leaves and Camo
finds them quickly. While it is unlikely Camo could ever
pass IPO 3, his head type with the just slightly longer
nose not only allows him to breath freely (no breathing
issues at all), but also very much improves his olfactory.
CBRK loves the American Bulldog's
other fantastic working qualities, but the olfactory issue
is part of the reason why we breed Bandogges. This allows
us to develop the much desired American Bulldog tendencies
into dogs with dramatically better olfactory.
American Bulldog Dog-on-Dog Aggression:
Most working dogs tend to be dominant with other dogs.
Some American Bulldogs are a great deal less dog-dominant
than others, but it is an issue within the breed to be aware
of. American Bulldogs require thorough socialization with
other animals, especially other dogs and even more especially
other dogs within the household. And of course, strict training
is a also a requirement of the American Bulldog, as with
any working breed.
With good dog-socialization and a bit of no-nonsense training
the dog-dominance of the very worst of American Bulldogs
is reigned in fairly easily. However, not doing that may
(depending upon the dog) result in an American Bulldog being
sharply dog-dominant. CBRK begins
socializing our puppies early and we are pleased to give
all buyers directions on exactly what to do and not do to
ensure your purebred American Bulldog accepts other dogs.
American Bulldog Illnesses:
The American Bulldog when bred correctly tends to be a
pretty healthy dog compared to many other large breeds.
However, as with most large breeds of dogs and many smaller
also, hip and elbow dysplasia is a known issue within the
breed. The American Bulldog as most other breeds of dog
is also known for various cancers and upper airway issues
related to noses being too short.
Cancers and dysplasia litter the dog gnome with nearly
all breeds affected. An American Bulldog is no more likely
to be affected than most any other breed of dog. However,
the upper airway issues particular to American Bulldogs,
English Bulldogs, Olde English Bulldogges and other similar
very short nosed breeds are avoidable and you want to know
what to look for.
Avoid American Bulldogs with noses that clearly favor the
typical English Bulldogs. Even a Johnson or Bully type American
Bulldog's nose should be a minimum of 2 ½ inches
long (3 ½ to 4 is even better), and you should prefer
a smoother transition between nose and skull than the sharp
"stop" often seen. It is a popular fad for breeders
of the American Bulldog to purposefully breed American Bulldogs
with shorter noses and more "bully" faces featuring
a sharp nasal stop between snout and skull. Avoid that.
If you look at our American Bulldogs you will notice this
is a fad that CBRK does not
follow. All CBRK American
Bulldogs are "free breathers," all have slightly
longer noses and smoother transitions between the snout
and skull, specifically to provide you a better American