American Bulldog

He is not recognized by the F.C.I.

Origin
U.S.A.
Translation
Francis Vandersteen
This breed is also known as
Am Bulldog
Old Country Bulldog

A brief presentation of the American Bulldog

The American Bulldog was developed as a general-purpose farm dog in the southern United States, with a specialty in catching pigs and cattle. The breed is a direct descendant of the old English Bulldog, now extinct, and is widely regarded as the modern breed in appearance, temperament and use closest to its ancestor. The American Bulldog was almost extinct by the middle of the 20th century, but was revived by the efforts of two breeders, John D. Johnson and Alan Scott, who subsequently developed two distinct lines that were named for them. In recent years, the American Bulldog has experienced a massive increase in popularity and is one of the fastest-growing breeds in the USA. Many have classified this breed as a type of Pit Bull, a member of a group of dogs collectively known as Bully Breeds, but this is totally inaccurate and regarded with great distaste by the vast majority of lovers of both American Bulldog and American Pit Bull Terrier. The two varieties of American Bulldog are sometimes referred to as the Southern White, Old Southern Whites and American Pit Bulldogs. The Scott type is also known as the Standard or Performance type, and the Johnson type is also called the Bully or Classic type.

History of the American Bulldog

Because the American Bulldog and its ancestors developed in an era before records of dog breeding were kept, there is still a great deal of mystery surrounding its origins. What is clear is that the breed's origins began with the English Mastiff or Bandog. Although the exact origin of the Mastiff is unknown, it has certainly been present in England for at least two thousand years. The Mastiff was first used as a war dog and guardian of noble estates, but English farmers soon discovered that the breed could also be used for agricultural work. At the time, it was common practice for English farmers to let their livestock run free on common land. Cattle and pigs raised in this way were half wild and almost impossible to work. The great strength and massive jaws of the Dogue enabled the dog to seize these beasts and hold them in place until they could be rounded up or killed. Eventually, the agricultural necessity of bull hunting became an incredibly popular sport. In bullfighting competitions, a bull would be chained to a stake in the middle of a ring or pit. Pepper would be forced up the bull's nose to enrage it, and dogs would be sent to fight it. The dog would have to guard the bull until it stopped fighting, a process that could last over an hour and often resulted in the death of one or both combatants. Bull baiting remained one of the most popular sports in England for many centuries.

Unfortunately, the Mastiff is not ideally suited to bullfighting. Its large size meant that it had a high center of gravity and was easily constrained by the bull's power, while offering a large surface for the bull to gore or kick. As most Dogue were bred to spend their lives at the end of a chain, the breed lacked ideal athleticism. Overtime, a distinct line of Mastiffs was developed that were smaller, more aggressive, more athletic and more energetic than the Mastiffs guarding the property. These lines were probably distinct for centuries, but regularly interbred. Until 1576, the famous dog writer Johannes Caius never mentioned the Bulldog, although he did mention Mastiffs. From the 1630s onwards, numerous references appear that clearly distinguish between the Dogue and the Bulldog, and it's highly likely that the two breeds were completely separate by this time. Some have suggested that the difference could be the result of the addition of Spanish Alano and/or German Bullenbeiser blood, but no one can say for sure. This is only the part of the history of the Dogue and the Old English Bulldog that most closely relates to that of the American Bulldog.

Due to the popularity of bull baiting, the Bulldog became one of the most popular and recognizable dogs in England. The breed's popularity first soared in the 17th and 18th centuries, just as the American colonies were being colonized. Many old English Bulldogs were brought to the New World by British settlers. Bull-baiting was never considered a sport in America, but these dogs were widely used. In the early 1500s, Spanish explorers released pigs and cattle in Florida and Texas to provide food and leather for future settlers. Unlike most domestic animals, which can't survive without human protection, these beasts returned to the wild and became wild hogs and Cracker and Pineywoods cattle. These creatures developed long horns and tusks and became extremely aggressive. Originally, English settlers regarded these animals as a valuable source of food, but they soon became agricultural pests. A few pigs could completely destroy an entire year's harvest in one night. This was a financial problem for the big plantation owners, whose crops were often worth the equivalent of several million dollars today, but risked starvation for the families who farmed for food. Old English Bulldogs were almost immediately put in charge of hunting and capturing wild pigs and cattle in America, as their ancestors had done for centuries in England. Scenthounds were used to locate the animal, then the Bulldogs were released to catch it and stay put until the hunters could kill it with knives or subdue it with ropes and chains.

Eventually, most of the cattle were captured and subjected to further gestation, but this was not the case with the pigs. Among the most intelligent, hardy and adaptable animals on the planet, feral pig numbers continued to grow at a rapid pace and spread northwards. At the time, the Bulldog was the only living dog in the USA capable of hunting hogs without a very high risk of death, and the breed was widely used wherever hogs were found. Until recent decades, feral hogs were almost entirely confined to the southern states, and working Bulldogs were almost entirely confined to the southern USA, although a much smaller number also worked as hunting dogs on Midwestern farms. Plantation owners eventually realized that their Bulldogs also made excellent guard dogs for their homes and estates, and the breed came to serve this purpose too.

Working Bulldogs were widespread in the southern USA until the 1830s, when a series of events began. During this decade, Bull and Terriers were introduced to America for the first time, almost immediately after their development in England. Bull and Terriers are the result of crossing old English Bulldogs with rat-killing Terriers. They are considered the ultimate competitors, as they combine the size, power, courage and tenacity of the Bulldog with the speed, intense aggression and ferocity of the dog, and the willingness to fight to the death with little provocation of the Terrier. In America, Bull and Terrier eventually interbred and became known as American Pit Bull Terriers. American farmers soon discovered that the characteristics that made the American Pit Bull Terrier an excellent dog fighter also made it a first-rate hog-hunting dog. The breed eventually became widely recognized as the best hog-hunting dog in the world, and began to replace the Bulldog. In addition, a very large number of working Bulldogs were used to develop the American Pit Bull Terrier, preventing them from perpetuating their own breed. Perhaps even more detrimental to the active American Bulldog was the American Civil War, which began in 1861. Although both sides still argue about why the war started, all agree that it ended with a decisive victory in the North. The war put an end to legal slavery in America and definitively destroyed the plantation system. In addition, countless farms were destroyed by fire in an attempt to destroy the South's will to war. The Bulldog suddenly found itself homeless and without masters, and the breed's numbers began to fall. Fortunately for the breed, traditions die hard in the American South, and many enthusiasts continued to keep their beloved Bulldogs, often at great expense to themselves and their families.

At the same time as the Bulldog was experiencing problems in America, the breed was undergoing a major transformation in England. After the Bulldog and Terrier had stabilized and no longer needed regular infusions of Bulldog blood, the breed began to disappear. A number of enthusiasts determined that this was unacceptable and began breeding Bulldogs for the ring and for companionship. The animal they created was so radically different from its ancestor that it is now considered a totally different breed. The modern English Bulldog quickly became very popular in the USA and began to replace the older type. In England, this process was completed shortly after the turn of the century and the old English Bulldog was lost forever. In America, it was never fully completed, and a number of older Bulldogs continued to work as farm and hunting dogs in the rural South and Midwest. The most popular show and companion Bulldog is known as the English Bulldog or simply Bulldog. Ironically, the Old English Bulldog was only found in rural America and was known as the American Pit Bulldog or Old Southern White.

Although the breed retained a number of breeders, the working bulldog continued to decline. By the end of World War II, the breed was on the verge of disappearing from the country. Fortunately for the breed, it found a champion in John D. Johnson. Johnson, who spent his entire life in Summersville, Georgia, with the exception of Word War II, owned his first American Pit Bulldog in 1927, at the age of three. Named Prince, the dog accompanied him on countless adventures throughout his childhood and definitely won his love for the breed. At that time, the breed was still well known in the region, even if it was becoming increasingly rare. Johnson acquired his first American Pit Bulldog at the age of 14 and began breeding the same year. Initially, he sold puppies for $5 each. The first sire Johnson used was Prince's brother from a later litter. Johnson continued to breed Bulldogs until he entered World War II, placing his dogs in the care of his family while he was away. On his return, Johnson realized that his beloved breed was in danger of extinction. He decided to save the American Pit Bulldog and began collecting what he considered to be the best surviving examples. He spent virtually all his money to do so, but with limited resources, he was only able to buy a limited number of dogs.

Johnson began breeding his dogs, trying to keep them as pure as possible. To maintain genetic diversity, he refused to breed dogs closer than half their siblings and never bred dogs sharing more than one grandparent if he could. After the Second World War, Johnson bred almost exclusively from his own bloodlines, although he did introduce one of Alan Scott's dogs and a single English Bulldog registered in the northern AKC, considered by Johnson to be atavistic. Johnson used his dogs for hog hunting, livestock capture, personal companionship and protection. By the 1960s, Johnson had inspired several other hobbyists to continue his work. Many of these breeders used Johnson's dogs in their bloodlines, but also collected their own working Bulldogs throughout the South. Alan Scott was perhaps the most famous and influential of these breeders. Alan Scott began his breeding efforts with two Johnson dogs, but soon acquired other animals from Georgia and Alabama. While Johnson preferred a more traditional Bulldog look, Scott favored a more muscular, long-nosed dog. Although the two men initially worked together, their relationship quickly deteriorated. Johnson claimed that Scott wasn't selective enough about the dogs he entered into his lines, and that many of them were heavily influenced by the American Pit Bull Terrier and other breeds such as the Great Dane. Scott and his supporters countered that Johnson had introduced the Bullmastiff and other breeds, which Johnson always denied. Scott also claimed that Johnson cared too much about appearance and not enough about working ability. Johnson replied that Scott didn't care enough about looks and purity. Both parties found enthusiasts to continue their work, and to this day, there are two main American Bulldog lines.

In the 1970s, John D. Johnson registered his breed with the National Kennel Club (NKC) under the name American Pit Bulldog. However, he soon became dissatisfied with this organization and transferred his allegiance to the Animal Research Foundation (ARF). After changing registries, Johnson decided to change the breed name to American Bulldog to avoid confusion with the American Pit Bull Terrier, which he considered a breed in its own right. Although he had no problems with his dogs entering the ring, and indeed entered many himself, Johnson's aim was always to maintain the American Bulldog as a working dog whose body and temperament matched. John D. Johnson remained a committed RAF breeder until the day he died, having bred his beloved American Bulldogs for over 80 years. His kennel continues to operate under the watchful eye of his many admirers. A few years before his death, John D. Johnson had provided David Leavitt with dogs that would become part of the founding stock of the Olde English Bulldogge.

Thanks to the work of Johnson, Scott and other dedicated breeders, the American Bulldog began a slow comeback in the 1980s. The breed built both population and reputation. Numerous bloodlines were founded and many different registries were formed for the breed. Not all breeders were as committed to purity as Johnson, and several other breeds probably entered American Bulldog lines unofficially at this time, such as the American Pit Bull Terrier, Bullmastiff, English Mastiff, Dogue de Bordeaux and Boxer, albeit very controversially. The American Bulldog continues to forge a reputation as a hard-working, willing, affectionate companion and fearless protector. By the end of the 1990s, the American Bulldog had dozens of different breed registries and even more breed clubs dedicated to these dogs. All the registries essentially treat the Johnson and Scott lines as different varieties of the same breed, and often include other lines. In 1998, the American Bulldog was fully recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC), the second largest purebred registry in Canada and the USA.

Unfortunately, the popularity of the American Bulldog has not waned. Although relatively large, the high value attached to purebred American Bulldogs means that some commercial breeders have used the breed in puppy mills. These commercial breeders care little for temperament, conformation or health, but only for the money they can make. Although generally better-intentioned, the inexperience of so-called backyard breeders has caused similar problems. In addition, many people have acquired American Bulldogs based on the breed's fame and reputation, without considering whether the dog is really right for them. The American Bulldog is very energetic, highly motivated and often dominant and indifferent. Many unprepared families decide to leave their American Bulldogs on the street or surrender them to animal shelters. More and more breed members are now being euthanized.

The American Bulldog is more concerned about breed-specific legislation, which places restrictions on the ownership of certain dog breeds or bans them altogether. Due to a series of high-profile, and often inaccurately reported, attacks allegedly committed by Pit Bull-type dogs, as well as a link to dog fighting and organized crime, Pit Bull-type dogs have acquired a largely unfair reputation for perverse legal scrutiny. At some point in the 1980s, the American Bulldog became closely associated with the American Pit Bull Terrier, although the two dogs are very different, as an owner and considering himself a fan of both breeds, the author personally attests to these differences . This connection is probably due to the fact that many unscrupulous Pit Bull breeders have crossed their dogs with American Bulldogs to develop guard dogs, and many Pit Bull owners have been forced to lie about their dog's breed to avoid punishment. As a result, the American Bulldog is often included in Pit Bull bans, and many supporters of such legislation insist that it is a type of Pit Bull, even though enthusiasts and breeders of both dogs strongly insist that the opposite is not true. When Pit Bull bans that include the breed are counted, the American Bulldog is now the second or third most commonly legislated breed in the USA, after only Pit Bull-type dogs and possibly the Rottweiler. In addition to legal bans, American Bulldogs are often expressly prohibited in apartment complexes, housing developments, airline flights, dog parks and by insurance policies.

Largely due to the immense and growing popularity of the American Pit Bull Terrier abroad, but also partly due to the breed's reputation as an exceptionally good animal for hog hunting and personal protection, American Bulldogs are becoming very popular internationally. American Bulldogs can now be found all over the world, in dozens of countries and on every continent except Antarctica, where all dogs are banned. The American Bulldog is now banned in many countries, even those where it has never been found, due to its link with the American Pit Bull Terrier. However, the breed is banned far less often than the Pit Bull, and its numbers continue to grow.

Over the years, the Johnson and Scott lines have become increasingly mixed and, with the possible exception of Johnson's Kennel, there are probably no purebred dogs left. There are also many hybrid lines between the two that are more or less recognized depending on the line and organization. The two types remain quite distinct, even if they continue to interbreed regularly. Although both types have their admirers, there is very little discussion of either division of the breed. Most enthusiasts believe that both types have good qualities that can benefit the other and, in any case, feel that a high degree of genetic diversity is always desirable. Until now, there has been virtually no interest in registering the American Bulldog with the American Kennel Club (AKC) on behalf of AKC or American Bulldog enthusiasts. The multiple varieties of American Bulldog mean that the breed could almost never have a unified standard that complied with AKC rules and guidelines. Moreover, American Bulldog enthusiasts, who are always primarily concerned with working ability and temperament, are among the most vocal and critical critics of the AKC, which many believe ruins the health, working, ability and temperament of breeds with breeding practices designed to promote appearance over conformation. Although no official poll has been conducted, it is virtually certain that a large majority of American Bulldog enthusiasts would strongly oppose AKC recognition, which is unlikely to happen in the near future.

The American Bulldog has proved extremely influential in the development of other dog breeds. From the 1800s onwards, it was used to develop the American Pit Bull Terrier, and consequently its descendant the American Staffordshire Terrier. In recent years, interest in Molosser-type dogs in general, and Bulldog-type dogs in particular, has risen sharply. Numerous breeding programs have sought to develop entirely new breeds or to recreate older ones. The American Bulldog is probably the most popular breed in these efforts, as it is widely regarded as the closest survivor of the old English Bulldog, in addition to its reputation as a hunting and protection animal. American Bulldogs have definitely embarked on the development of the Blue Blood Bulldog, Antebellum Bulldog, Olde English Bulldogge and Banter Bulldogge. American Bulldogs are also frequently crossed with Catahoula Leopard dogs to create Catahoula Bulldogs, which are now considered by many to be the ideal dogs for catching pigs. The breed is also one of the most commonly used species in the development of so-called specific crossbreed dogs, which are essentially just crosses between two purebred dogs. The American Bulldog is generally only crossed with other molossers to develop hybrid dogs, but has occasionally been crossed with other types of dog.

Although generally considered a rare breed because it is not recognized by the AKC, American Bulldogs are now considerably more popular and numerous in the USA than many AKC-registered breeds. The breed is currently one of the most dynamic, and perhaps even the fastest-growing, in the USA, and all indications are that growth is set to continue for the foreseeable future. At current growth rates, the American Bulldog is likely to become one of America's most popular breeds, although it probably won't overtake the likes of the American Pit Bull Terrier, Labrador, Golden Retriever and Beagle. Unlike most modern breeds, a very large number of American Bulldogs are still used for their original purpose, and countless members of this breed still catch pigs and cattle on the farm or in the field. However, the breed's primary purpose has almost certainly shifted to protecting people and property, tasks for which this dog is also very well suited. In addition, this highly intelligent and adaptable breed is increasingly employed in search and rescue, law enforcement, military and therapy. American Bulldogs have also competed successfully at the highest levels in a number of canine competitions, particularly weight pulling, schutzhund, competitive obedience, agility and conformation shows. Although the American Bulldog continues to be bred primarily for its working ability, more and more families are keeping members of the breed exclusively as pets or as companion and protection animals. For families able and willing to meet the substantial exercise and stimulation requirements of American Bulldogs, the dog is often a very affectionate and intensely devoted animal.

Appearance of the American Bulldog

The American Bulldog is one of the most variable breeds in terms of appearance. The breed varies enormously in size, shape, head size and shape, muzzle length and shape, and coloring. There are two distinct lines of American Bulldog, the Scott and Johnson types, but the two lines have been so mixed up that almost every member of the breed displays characteristics of both. In general, the Johnson type is taller, stockier, with a larger head and shorter muzzle, while the Scott type is smaller, more athletic, with a smaller head and longer muzzle. While many breed enthusiasts may not like the comparison, Johnson-type American Bulldogs are more like English Bulldogs, and Scott-type American Bulldogs are more like American Pit Bull Terriers.

Regardless of type, the American Bulldog is a very large dog. On average, male American Bulldogs measure between 56 and 69 centimeters in height at the shoulder, and females between 51 and 64 centimeters. It's far from uncommon for individual dogs to be up to 5 centimeters taller or shorter, and it's not uncommon for the difference to be as great as 10 centimeters. Both varieties of American Bulldog are extremely powerful and extremely muscular. The Johnson type tends to be much bulkier than the Scott type, but the individual dogs are robust, yet lean and dense. However, under no circumstances should any of these dogs appear overweight. American Bulldog weight is strongly influenced by size, sex, build and type, and varies more wildly than almost any other dog breed. Males generally weigh between 70 and 150 kilos, and females between 60 and 120 kilos. American Bulldogs' natural tail is long and whip-like. A significant majority of owners keep the dog's natural tail, as recommended by most standards, although some choose to shorten it.

The head and face are the main differences between the two main types of American Bulldog. The heads of both varieties are very large and broad, but not as large as the English Bulldog. The head is generally flat and fairly square in Johnson-type dogs, but often slightly wedge-shaped in Scott-type dogs. The muzzle and head connect very abruptly, almost at right angles. Muzzle and top of skull must be straight and parallel. The main difference lies in the muzzle. Johnson-type dogs have a very short muzzle, very reminiscent of the English Bulldog, about 25 to 30% of the length of the skull. Scott-type dogs have a considerably longer muzzle, more like that of the American Pit Bull Terrier, and should measure around 30 to 40% of the length of the skull. The lips of both varieties are thick and loose, but not too pendulous. Most American Bulldogs have a slight underbite which is considered preferable, but a little even is considered acceptable.

Both varieties tend to have a few facial wrinkles, although the Johnson type often has many more. The American Bulldog's nose is large with wide nostrils. Black is the preferred nose color, but some dogs may also have a red or brown nose. The American Bulldog's eyes are medium-sized and should not be hindered by wrinkles or hair. Although all eye colors are acceptable, dark brown is strongly preferred in written standards, but blue is preferred by many enthusiasts. Some owners choose to clip the ears of their American Bulldogs, but this is highly disadvantageous. The natural ears of this breed are small to medium-sized and extremely variable in shape and direction. They can be turned forwards, sideways or even almost backwards and present a rose, drop or semi-pitched shape. The general expression of most American Bulldogs is toughness, intensity, intelligence and courage.

The American Bulldog's coat is short, narrow and varies in texture from soft to spiny. Ideally, the coat should be 2.5 centimeters or less in length. American Bulldogs can come in all colors and patterns, with the exception of solid black, solid blue, all merle colors and three colors, white with tan markings and black. All these dogs must have some white on their coat, at least 10% of the total body surface. In addition, a full black mask on the muzzle is a disqualification. In practice, most breeders and owners prefer dogs as white as possible, and most breed members are strongly or entirely white. Occasionally, an American Bulldog will be born with inappropriate coloration. These dogs are either penalized or disqualified in the show ring and should not be bred, but make equally suitable working dogs and pets.

Temperament of the American Bulldog

American Bulldogs are bred primarily as working dogs, and have the temperament you'd expect from such an animal. American Bulldogs are intensely devoted to their masters, with whom they tend to form very close bonds. This is a breed of incredible loyalty, and one that would unhesitatingly give its life to its loved ones. When raised in an individual home, American Bulldogs tend to become one-person dogs, but when raised in a family, they generally form bonds as strong as any member of the family. This dog wants to be in the constant company of its family, which can often lead to separation anxiety. American Bulldogs are generally big softies with their loved ones, and can even be incredibly gentle. Many of these dogs think they're rabbits, which can be a problem if someone doesn't want a 70-kilo dog on their lap. When properly socialized, most American Bulldogs are trustworthy around children. However, members of a breed that have not been properly introduced can be nervous around children or mistake them for a potential threat. What's more, most American Bulldogs never realize that young children can't play as roughly as adults, and may accidentally injure a small child during boisterous play.

American Bulldogs are very protective and most breed members are very wary of strangers. Good socialization is absolutely vital for this breed, otherwise they may come to regard any new person as a potential threat and develop aggression problems. Once socialization is complete, most of these dogs will be polite and tolerant of strangers, but will generally remain aloof and wary. This breed often takes some time to prepare for a new partner, such as a spouse or roommate, but usually comes to form close friendships. American Bulldogs make excellent guard dogs because they are protective, alert and territorial, and their appearance is more than enough to deter most would-be wrongdoers. This breed also makes an excellent watchdog that will not allow any intruder to enter their territory unchallenged. Although this breed generally offers a very persuasive display in an attempt to intimidate intruders, they are certainly willing to use force if they deem it necessary. Under no circumstances would one of these dogs tolerate physical harm to a family member, and this breed is totally fearless and absolutely relentless in its defense. American Bulldogs don't generally do well with other animals. In particular, breed members of both sexes frequently exhibit very high levels of dog aggression. These dogs suffer from all forms of canine aggression, including territorial, possessive, dominant, prey-pulling and same-sex. Very carefully trained and socialized from an early age, most American Bulldogs will have fewer aggression problems, but some members of the breed are never reliable with other dogs. Most American Bulldogs do best as a single dog or with a single member of the opposite sex. Owners should be aware that even the least aggressive American Bulldogs will certainly never back down from a confrontation that finds them. American Bulldogs are even more aggressive towards non-dog animals. This dog has been bred to bite down hard on some of the world's most dangerous animals and never let go. Most members of the breed are highly prey-driven and will pursue any creature brought to light. If left alone in the yard for any length of time, an American Bulldog will likely bring its owner gifts of dead animals ranging in size from cockroaches to raccoons. This breed has a well-deserved reputation as a cat killer, but most won't bother the individual cats they've been raised with, although strange or new pet cats probably won't be safe.

Needs and activities of the American Bulldog

American Bulldogs are extremely intelligent dogs, and many who own them swear they are the most intelligent dogs they've ever known. This intelligence can be very problematic, as it's not uncommon for a 12-week-old puppy to discover how to open a door or jump on a counter. It also means that this breed gets bored very quickly. Many of these dogs get bored so quickly that they become destructive within minutes of their family's departure. American Bulldogs have such a high need for mental stimulation that they perform better at tasks such as hunting, competitive obedience or regular Frisbee games.

This high intelligence, combined with a strong will to work, means that American Bulldogs are highly trainable dogs. This breed excels at the highest levels of many dog sports such as schutzhund, competition and agility, and is probably capable of learning any task a dog is capable of, other than those requiring a total lack of dominance and defense. The American Bulldog is generally thought to be one of the most trainable of Molosser-type dogs. However, inexperienced owners will find this breed very difficult to train. American Bulldogs are generally very dominant and will absolutely not obey anyone they feel is weaker in the package than themselves. Owners who are unable to maintain a position of constant, firm dominance will probably end up with an uncontrollable dog. This can create a tricky situation where the dog completely obeys one owner and totally refuses to respond to another.

This breed is perhaps the most energetic and athletic of all Molosses, and is one of the few that can perform hours of vigorous activity. Consequently, American Bulldogs have very high exercise requirements. This breed should have at least 45 minutes to an hour of vigorous physical activity every day, but would preferably have more. This breed tends to want to exercise in short bursts and will run madly for 15 minutes and then collapse completely. An under-used American Bulldog will almost certainly develop behavioral problems such as destructiveness, excessive barking, hyperactivity, over-excitability, nervousness and aggression. Once an American Bulldog gets the exercise it needs, this breed tends to be very relaxed at home and will spend hours hanging out.

Potential owners should be aware that this breed is among the doggiest of all dogs and that they can have a handful. American Bulldogs love to dig in the dirt and will destroy a garden in a matter of moments. They'll drop a tennis ball in your lap for hours, bark loudly, chase cars, knock over the trash can, snore, whip your legs with their tail and have regular episodes of flatulence. This breed is an excellent companion for the good family, but is certainly not a refined, gentle aristocrat.

Maintenance of the American Bulldog

American Bulldogs have very few grooming needs. This breed should never need to see a professional groomer, only regular brushing is necessary. These dogs shed, and many of them shed very heavily. Many members of the breed leave an avalanche of white hair in their wake throughout the year, and this dog would be a very poor choice for allergy sufferers or for those who simply hate the idea of cleaning their hair. The stiffer hair of some American Bulldogs clings elastically to fabric, even after vacuuming, and can even stick to the foot like a chip.

Due to the large number of American Bulldog registries, it's virtually impossible to conduct accurate health surveys on the breed. As a result, it's difficult to make generalizations about the breed's health. Most sources seem to believe that the breed is relatively healthy compared to other Molosser breeds. However, due to the lack of genetic testing and screening by many American Bulldog breeders, hip dysplasia has become a major problem in the breed. It's impossible to know what percentage of American Bulldogs suffer from this disease, although it's probably very high.

Hip dysplasia is caused by a malformation of the hip joint that prevents the connection between the leg bone and the hip. Over time, this problem causes discomfort, pain, arthritis, difficulty in moving and sometimes even lameness. Although hip dysplasia is genetically inherited, environmental factors can influence the timing and severity of its onset. Hip dysplasia is not a commonly accepted treatment, but there are a number of treatments available for its symptoms. As most of these treatments are lifelong and expensive, they can become tedious. There are several screening tests for hip dysplasia, and responsible breeders are beginning to use them in an attempt to reduce the prevalence of the disease.

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    Puggat He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin China <> U.S.A. -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the Puggat The Puggat is a specific cross between the Pug, an ancient Chinese pet, and a feisty exterminator known as the Rat Terrier. These little dogs are quite energetic and playful, sometimes even clownish in their...
  • Pugese -- Pug X Chinese Crested Dog

    Pugese He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin China -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the Pugese The Pugese is a designer hybrid between the Chinese Crested Dog, a dog originally used as a ratter on ships around the world, and the Pug, a companion of royalty for thousands of years. These small dogs are generally...
  • Pug-Coton -- Pug X Coton de Tuléar

    Pug-Coton He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin China <> Madagascar -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the Pug-Coton The Pug-Coton is a hybrid breed. Its parent breeds are the Pug and the Coton de Tuléar. It's a friendly, loyal pet. A rather small dog, even at maturity, the Pug-Coton will weigh no more than 9...
  • Pug-a-Mo -- Pug X American Eskimo Dog

    Pug-a-Mo He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin China <> U.S.A. -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the Pug-a-Mo The Pug-a-Mo is a hybrid dog. Its parent breeds are the Pug and the American Eskimo Dog. It's a small dog, weighing no more than 11.5 kilos at maturity. He's great with children and other pets. He's...
  • Pugairn -- Pug X Cairn Terrier

    Pugairn He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin China <> Great Britain -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the Pugairn The Pugairn is a specific cross between the Cairn Terrier and the Pug. With an average weight of between 4.5 and 8 kilos, this small dog is energetic and social, a blend of an active outdoor breed and...
  • Pugador -- Pug X Labrador Retriever

    Pugador He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin China <> Canada -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the Pugador The Pugador is a hybrid in which the Pug is crossed with the Labrador Retriever. Although there isn't much information available on the hybrid, we can consider the traits of the two parent breeds to get...
  • Presa Dane -- Presa Canario X Great Dane

    Presa Dane He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin Spain <> Germany -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the Presa Dane The Presa Dane is a mixed breed dog. Its parent breeds are the Presa Canario and the Great Dane. Probably a giant-sized dog, the Presa Dane is in fact a gentle giant. He's loyal and affectionate...
  • Presa Bulldog -- Presa Canario X English Bulldog

    Presa Bulldog He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin Spain <> Great Britain -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the Presa Bulldog The Presa Bulldog is a strong, well-built hybrid breed created from the combination of the Presa Canario and the English Bulldog. As you might imagine, a Mastiff breed and an English...
  • Powderpap -- Chinese Crested Dog X Continental Toy Spaniel

    Powderpap He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin China <> France and Belgium -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the Powderpap The Powderpap is an equal hybrid of the Continental Toy Spaniel and Chinese Crested Dog breeds. As a small dog, the Powderpap is an excellent companion for anyone looking for a lively but small...
  • Poshies -- German Toy Spitz / Pomeranian X Shetland Sheepdog

    Poshies He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin Germany <> Great Britain -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the Poshies A cross between a Sheltie (Shetland Sheepdog) and a German Toy Spitz / Pomeranian, the Poshies is a highly energetic, independent and loyal hybrid breed that's sure to steal your heart. The Poshies is...
  • Poovanese -- Poodle X Havanese Bichon

    Poovanese He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin France <> Western Mediterranean -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen This breed is also known as Hava-Poo Island Mini Doodle Havanoodle Havadoodle Havanesepoo A brief presentation of the Poovanese The Poovanese is a hybrid pet that combines the traits of the Havanese Bichon and the Poodle. It's a small to...
  • Poo-Ton -- Poodle X Coton de Tuléar

    Poo-Ton He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin France <> Madagascar -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen This breed is also known as Doodle-Ton Cotondoodle Cotonpoo A brief presentation of the Poo-Ton The Poo-Ton is a cross between a pure-bred Coton de Tuléar and a miniature Poodle or pure-bred toy. They are small but full of energy and make...
  • Pootalian -- Poodle X Italian Sighthound

    Pootalian He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin France <> Italy -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen This breed is also known as Italian Greyhoundoodle A brief presentation of the Pootalian The Pootalian is an equal cross between the Poodle and the Italian Sighthound. It is a small dog with a rough, stiff coat, button eyes and floppy...
  • Poo-Shi -- Poodle X Shiba

    Poo-Shi He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin France <> Japan -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the Poo-Shi The Poo-Shi is a small to medium-sized hybrid breed and is a cross between a Shiba and a Poodle. They are also known as Shiba-poo, Shibadoodle or Shibapoo and are loyal, affectionate dogs that make...
  • Poochin -- Poodle X Japanese Spaniel

    Poochin He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin France <> China -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen This breed is also known as Chinpoo Chindoodle Doodlechin Poo-Chin A brief presentation of the Poochin The Poochin has many variations of names linked to its lineage, and is recognized by four competitive breed associations. The pure-bred...
  • Pooahoula -- Poodle X Catahoula Leopard Dog

    Pooahoula He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin France <> U.S.A. -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen This breed is also known as Pooda Houla A brief presentation of the Pooahoula The Pooahoula is a hybrid between the Poodle and the Catahoula Leopard Dog. The hybrid is most often between the Standard Poodle and the Catahoula Leopard Dog, but...
  • Pom Terrier -- German Toy Spitz / Pomeranian X Toy Fox Terrier

    Pom Terrier He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin Germany <> U.S.A. -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the Pom Terrier The Pom Terrier is an attractive cross between a German Toy Spitz / Pomeranian and a Toy Fox Terrier. These little dogs don't realize how small they are, and have big personalities that can...
  • Pomston -- German Toy Spitz / Pomeranian X Boston Terrier

    Pomston He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin Germany <> U.S.A. -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the Pomston The Pomston is a designer dog composed of a cross between a pure-bred Boston Terrier and a pure-bred German Toy Spitz / Pomeranian. They are active, playful little dogs that make excellent pets. They...