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American Bulldog – Origin and characteristics

Bulldog Americano – Origen y características

Lobo Azul |

When we see an American bulldog we have a strange feeling, because it seems to us that we are seeing a giant English bulldog and in a way it is like that , since this breed in its origin was what the American one is now and had little to do with the animals that They can barely move we have now.

The lineage of the “American cousin” comes from England, although it developed separately in the new continent where it adapted to some functions that saved it from complete extinction, which was about to happen.

  • Size : medium or large, depending on the line to which it belongs.
  • Weight : 55 to 70 kilos.
  • Hair type : short, straight and thick.
  • Strong character . Affectionate with its owners, but can be very territorial and dominant.
  • Health : very good due to how it has been selected for decades.
  • Life expectancy : 12 to 14 years.

Origin of the American Bulldog

Here we cannot go back many centuries, as is the case with European races, but we only have to go to the beginning of the 19th century, when emigration from England to the United States was very numerous.

With the emigrants were their dogs and among them was what was then the English bulldog , whose appearance resembled what is today the American bulldog, a powerful, strong and functional dog.

While the English breed was crossed with pugs in order to become the companion dog it is today, when bull-baiting was banned as a sport, it remained intact on the other side of the ocean.

The emigrants took advantage of the strength of these animals and used them to guard their properties and also in hunting, without any care when it came to breeding and breeding them, since for them it was a mere working dog.

His jaw also helped a lot at livestock fairs, where he could hold cattle without suffocating from his flat snout, and it should also be mentioned that it was used in dog fights in the United States.

In addition to all these tasks, some of which are worth forgetting, one of the tasks they did best was hunting wild pigs, which were introduced to North America, and which, having no predators, became a pest.

In fact, it is said that this was what saved it from extinction, since at the end of World War II there were no longer any specimens of the breed as such and it only resurfaced thanks to the efforts of John D. Johnson , a former combatant who at Returning home he decided he had to do something.

He looked for the best remaining specimens and began a breeding program, which has continued to this day with the participation of many people, although the breed has not yet been recognized by the International Canine Federation .

Origin of the American Bulldog

Characteristics of the American Bulldog

One of his main characteristics is his physique. We immediately realize that we are looking at an athletic dog, with enormous strength and a very powerful jaw.

Right now there are two breeding lines. One is the so-called “bully” that produces heavier dogs and the other is called “standard” and produces lighter dogs . For this reason, the breed standard does not mention a maximum weight, just that it is proportionate to the body.

The height is large, from 53 to 67 centimeters at the withers, which combined with a weight that is around 40 kilos in males means that it commands respect from everyone who sees it.

By standard he must have prognathism, the lower jaw is advanced with respect to the upper one, which makes him bite even harder, something that comes from his time when he faced bulls and other animals.

The hair is very short and at least 10% of its body must be white , although almost all dogs have a coat of this color, almost all of them being accepted except for black, blue, merle and tricolor.

Despite how strong they are, when they walk they have to give a feeling of fluidity, that they move with total ease without their weight affecting them.

There are a series of differences between both lines, which in our opinion does little to help the breed, or at least its international recognition. In fact, even the different North American clubs differ in what they allow or not, with one of them accepting that their tail be cut off.

Character of the American Bulldog

He is very comfortable with those he considers his own, with his owner and his family. With them he will be affectionate and very protective, but that changes with strangers whom he does not accept just like that and will only relax if he sees that they are friends or acquaintances of his owners.

He is very territorial, which makes him an exceptional guard dog (his origins are in the care of farms), but that can cause us some problems, especially with other dogs that he does not accept willingly.

For this reason, and so that it is not dangerous when we are away from home, the best thing we can do is socialize it from a very young age, surrounding it with other dogs and people as soon as it has its first vaccinations.

In fact, it wouldn't be a bad idea to visit a trainer soon, especially if we notice that he begins to want to dominate us or shows aggression at a very early age.

American Bulldog Health

They have very strong health, since we must not forget that since their appearance they were selected to be useful on farms and for hunting, so specimens with defects and less agile were discarded.

Now, breeders take health into account, much more than in other breeds, although as a large dog there are diseases that it can suffer, including hip and elbow dysplasia .

Completely white animals suffer more allergies than usual and also deafness, which is a common disorder in dogs of other breeds with this coat.

They tend to snore due to the shape of their head, although this is not a problem and the eyes are another of their weak points, especially if we choose a puppy from one of the lines that focus a lot on “creating” very striking heads, well That makes their eyes water.

They live between 12 and 14 years, almost a record for dogs of this weight and size, so by choosing a good breeder we are assured that health problems will be rare.


As with all dogs, you should always provide them with quality food, better if it is a premium range, one that does not contain grains and is made with meat or fish suitable for human consumption.

Of course, we must know that they are quite greedy dogs, so they have a tendency to gain weight and their weight will have to be controlled throughout their lives, for which we can take measures such as using a light feed .

When choosing it we will always do so in agreement with the veterinarian, who will be the one who will guide us on the amounts it should eat in order to be healthy.

In any case, we can avoid obesity if we give him the recommended portions for his weight, with the exact amount, seeing how it affects his body because not all dogs have the same metabolism, so we can increase or decrease the amount depending. whether you lose weight or gain weight.

It is advisable that we give him some of those snacks that they sell so that he can clean his teeth, so that they will be healthier while he does what this breed likes most, which is eating.

What care does it need?

His care is very simple, starting with his hair, very short and dense, which hardly needs brushing, as it is enough to do it once a week with a mitt or rubber comb.

Baths can also be spaced months apart if it doesn't get stained in muddy areas or smell bad, and we will always use a shampoo for dogs with this type of coat, although it won't be necessary if we brush it every week.

Yes, you have to be a little more careful with your eyes and ears . The former tend to cry a lot, so we can clean them with gauze and saline, at least once every two days or when we see that the tears accumulate.

As for the ears, like all dogs that have a closed ear, they have a certain tendency to otitis. We can clean them with the same serum and gauze that we use on the eyes or with an ear cleaning product.

We will go to the vet if he has otitis, something we will know if he walks with his head tilted and shakes it a lot, and also by the bad smell that comes from the inside of the ear.

American bulldog care

How much exercise does the American Bulldog need?

The American bulldog is a dog that must exercise, but always in moderation.

He can run with his owner and go next to the bicycle, although it is important that we avoid very hot days , as he can suffer a collapse due to the shape of his jaw, being an animal that breathes worse than other dogs.

The physical constitution is what limits it, since it will not be the fastest dog or the first in agility competitions, although it can practice various sports disciplines.

In any case, he will settle for the walks we give him daily like any other dog, since going for a ten km run every day is not going to come out of that.

In short, it is an animal that is satisfied with moderate exercise and that can do some more intense exercise if we help it a little, although for this it is best to visit the veterinarian first in order to check how its hips and elbows are.

Can I have an American Bulldog?

This is a breed that can live with us in the city if we have a large apartment , since it is a large dog that should not be confined in 30 square meters.

It will be enough to go out to the park several times a day and we can let him run whenever we have the opportunity, that is, when he does not bother or scare anyone and he cannot fight with other dogs.

The biggest limitation to having an American bulldog is experience, since as with all breeds of this type, it is not the best for those who have not had dogs before, since its character is usually very strong.

It is true that we can take them to a trainer to help us, but it is better that if it is our first dog we opt for another breed with less strength and less territorial , which will not give us problems.

When it comes to having a very strong breed, it is not usually mentioned, but the truth is that we should have a certain physical strength to be able to take an American bulldog out on the street, since if we lack it it is likely that we will end up on the ground without any possibility. to control it if it attacks, something that can happen.

If he is well socialized, there is no problem with him living with children, especially if he has been raised with them since he was a puppy. In fact, it is normal for him to protect his family's children to the point that it is advisable to tell strangers not to approach the little ones when the bulldog is with them.

Finally, although it is a fairly stubborn and stubborn dog, the truth is that training is not as complicated as it may seem at first glance. In fact, they usually learn tricks very quickly and it doesn't take them long to sit down, shake hands, etc., although another thing is to get them to behave well with other dogs.

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