Updated 17-06-2023

American Bulldog Characteristics, Facts & Traits

Known for their power, stamina, speed, and friendliness, American Bulldogs are a well-rounded breed. They were originally bred as a farm dog to help with chores around the property.

Although the American Bulldog is a powerful breed, it's also quick and agile, making it ideal for tracking down runaway livestock and assisting farmers in their daily tasks. While some can jump six feet or more in the air, others have been known to do so.

The intelligence and compassion of the American Bulldog make it an excellent family dog, but their high exercise requirements necessitate the involvement of an experienced and active pet parent. It's possible to have a different look depending on the type, such as the Johnson type, the Standard or Performance type, or a combination of both.

Prior to the adoption of the name American Bulldog as the standard, the breed was known by a slew of other names. He was referred to as the White English Southern Bulldog in some areas of the South, although he was more often referred to as "bulldog." The breed was dubbed a bulldog not because of its appearance but rather because of the labour it performed.

The following is a comprehensive list of characteristics and information about the American Bulldog breed.


  • Despite their long history as bull baiting dogs, these canines are now useful farm dogs and beloved members of the family.
  • In 1945, the breed was nearly extinct, but it has since been resurrected and is no longer in risk of extinction.
  • Today's American Bulldogs come in all shapes and colours, but in the past they were almost exclusively white.
  • This breed does not like to be left alone for long periods of time, and they require a lot of physical activity. They prefer a large, fenced-in yard to roam around and are not well-suited to apartment living.
  • Due to their similar look, they are often mistaken for the Dogo Argentino, a distinct breed in its own right. The American Bulldog, on the other hand, is a breed distinct from the American Pit Bull Terrier.
  • They can be distrustful of strangers and possessive, which makes them effective watchdogs. They need to be taught how to conduct themselves with guests as part of their socialisation training.


Social Appearance 


As a common misconception holds, only dogs that are small qualify as apartment pets. A high-rise apartment isn't the best environment if you have a tiny dog that is overly energetic and vocal. An apartment dog's best attributes include being quiet, low energy, somewhat peaceful indoors, and respectful to the other inhabitants. As an added bonus, you'll discover some fantastic dog crates to provide your pet some much-needed privacy in your apartment.

Sensitivity Level

Depending on the dog, a strong rebuke can be taken in stride, while a foul stare can be taken as a personal attack. It's easier for dogs with low sensitivity to manage a noisy, chaotic home, a louder or more aggressive owner, and an unpredictable or varied schedule since they're more forgiving. Do you have young children, host a lot of parties, or have a hectic lifestyle? Choose a dog that isn't overly sensitive.

Protective nature

Dogs are known for their ability to notify their owners to the presence of strangers. As long as there's some sort of danger, these breeds are more likely to respond to it. Dogs of these breeds are more likely to get along with strangers who are welcomed into their homes.

Potential for Playfulness

When it comes to playing, a dog's breed is a good indicator of how much they enjoy it. Some breeds will want to play tug-of-war or fetch until they're old and grey, while others will be content to lounge on the couch with you the majority of the time and just watch TV.

Personality Appearance


Sheepdogs, which were intended to herd animals and require a high level of intelligence and attention, need mental exercise just as much as dogs raised to gallop all day do. Without cerebral stimulation, they'll make their own work often with activities you despise, such as digging and chewing which you'll have to put up with. Dog sports and occupations, like agility and search and rescue, are excellent methods to offer a dog a mental workout.

Energy Level

Dogs with a high level of energy are always ready for action. Herding sheep or retrieving game was one of the original jobs these dogs were designed to do, so they are well-suited for long days on the job. They're more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and exploring new sights and smells if they're getting the activity and cerebral stimulation they require.

The canine version of a couch potato, a low-energy dog is satisfied to lounge around all day. It's important to think about your own level of activity and lifestyle when choosing a breed, and whether or not you'd enjoy having a boisterous, energetic dog.

Easy To Train

Dogs that are easy to train are better at quickly creating an association between a cue (such as "sit"), an action (such as sitting), and a reward (such as a treat). Dogs that are more difficult to teach require more time, patience, and repetition.

You'll need to utilize incentives and games to get your dog excited about training because many breeds are intelligent but have a "What's in it for me?" training mentality.

Family Affection Level

Affectionate With Family

Even if they've been nurtured by the same person since puppyhood, some breeds remain aloof and independent; others bond strongly with one person and are indifferent to others; and yet others shower the entire family with love. Not only does the dog's breed affect its amount of affection; dogs reared in a home with people around are more at ease with people and are more likely to form bonds with them.


A kid-friendly dog must be kind with children, strong enough to withstand the hefty pets and embraces they can give out, and tolerant of running, scream-inducing toddlers. You might be shocked to see who's on the list: Fierce-looking Boxers and American Staffordshire Terriers are believed to be good with children (which are considered Pit Bulls). Chihuahuas, who are small, sensitive, and potentially sharp, are not usually family-friendly.

Dog Friendly

Friendliness toward dogs and a human's friendliness are two distinct concepts. A dog might attack or try to dominate another dog even if they're a big fan of humans; some prefer to play rather than fight; and still others will simply flee. There are other considerations besides the animal's breed. At six to eight weeks of age, puppies should have spent a lot of time playing with their littermates and their mother, and they are more likely to have good social skills.

Physical Appearance

Amount of Shedding

The amount of fur and hair that the breed is likely to shed. More frequent brushing and vacuuming and lint rolling are required for breeds that shed a lot, as well as for breeds that cause allergies.

Drooling Potential

Slobbery dogs may drape ropes of slobber around your arm and create large wet patches on your clothing when they come over to say hello. In the event that drool isn't a concern for you, then go ahead and get a dog that doesn't drool excessively.

Easy To Groom

If you're looking for an easy-to-groom dog, there are a number of breeds that don't require any grooming whatsoever. Grooming a dog that requires a lot of time and patience may not be in your best interest if you do not have the time or the money to do so.

Exercise Needs

Evening walks around the neighbourhood are perfectly acceptable for some breeds. Those who were initially developed for physically demanding jobs, such as herding or hunting, require regular, rigorous exercise to maintain their health and fitness.

These breeds may put on weight if they don't get enough exercise, and their pent-up energy may manifest itself in unwanted behaviours like barking, chewing, and digging. If you're an active person who likes to go outside and play with your dog, you should consider a breed that requires a lot of activity.

Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed


60 to 120 pounds


10 to 16 years


20 to 28 inches


Bull baiting, a brutal sport involving dogs battling bulls, was one of the initial uses for English bulldogs in 17th-century England. Since then, the practise has been abolished, and bulldogs have been welcomed into the homes of families all over the United Kingdom (even becoming a national symbol).

Bulldogs were transported to North America from England to be used as farm dogs because of their strength and drive. Farmer's bred them with other working dogs to get the best all-around breed for their respective jobs. They were useful for both herding and hunting because of their cunning, devotion, and agility.

The American Kennel Club estimates that during World War I and World War II, the population of American bulldogs was drastically reduced. This breed has flourished as a beloved pet because of the efforts of John D. Johnson and Alan Scott, two dedicated breeders.

As the breed grew in popularity, American bulldogs became well-liked members of North American households. Additionally, they have been adopted as mascots for a number of institutions and organisations, such as Georgetown University and Yale University. Because of their fearsome appearance and impressive physical prowess, pit bulls make excellent team mascots.

The American bulldog was recognised as a unique breed by the United Kennel Club in 1999, and the breed was added to the AKC's Foundation Stock Service in 2019.

Personality and Temperament

However, American Bulldogs have a tendency to be possessive and unduly wary of strangers because of their affectionate natures. It's because of this that they're great with youngsters and make excellent watchdogs. However, they will require socialisation training while they're puppies in order to get along with visitors, whether they're strangers or other dogs. Fortunately, their intelligence allows them to learn and adapt quickly.

The American Bulldog is a fun-loving breed with high activity requirements, so they do best in households with active members who can provide plenty of opportunities for walks and playtime.

As a family defender, the American Bulldog is an athletic, confident, and loyal companion. The American Bulldog is a very active working dog that has a dominant, muscular, and athletic appearance due to its well-developed muscles and boning. So long as he's been raised with dogs and other pets from the beginning, he gets along just fine with young children. When left alone for long periods of time, the American Bulldog does not fare well. The American Bulldog makes a wonderful pet and watchdog with the right socialisation, training, and exercise.


An American bulldog is a breed that doesn't require much grooming; he's already attractive. A once-a-week brushing keeps his coat healthy and reduces minor shedding. However, you may need to give him an extra comb-through in the spring and fall when seasonal shedding is at its peak.

To clean their ears and cut their nails, give them a wash only when they're filthy. Healthy teeth and fresh breath are only two of the many benefits that come with routine at-home dental care, but it's also crucial for another reason: since they tend to slobber heavily after eating and drinking, too. It's a constant battle for them to keep their adorable face folds clean.

The American bulldog is one of the more gassy breeds of bulldog. Diets that reduce flatulence can be discussed with a veterinarian because they know how their anatomy impacts digestion.


Many health problems can affect American Bulldogs. To ensure that their dog has a long and healthy life, dog owners need to be aware of these issues. Check with the breeder to see if your puppy has been screened, and request copies of the parents' health records if you're getting him from them. Remember to ask about the pet's most recent well-being exam results when adopting from a rescue.

Joint Dysplasia

Dysplasia can affect the hips and elbows of dogs, making it difficult for them to do normal activities like running, jumping, and climbing. Medications, joint supplements, therapy, or surgery may be used to address this genetic problem, which most typically affects large to giant breed dogs.

Knee Ligament

Cranial cruciate ligament (CCL), like the ACL in humans, stabilises a dog's knee. A rupture or partial tear is the most common cause of a problem. Pain, swelling, and lameness are all symptoms of this common hereditary illness, which is usually treated surgically.

Cherry Eye 

Dogs have three eyelids, didn't you know? a red mass (like a cherry) on the inner lower eyelid corner means your American Bulldog is suffering from cherry eye. Surgery is the only way to keep your dog's eyes moist and his sight intact.

Bone Cancer

Veterinarians believe it may have a genetic or environmental component, but the exact aetiology of this illness, which most commonly affects the long bones (arms and legs), is unknown. Additionally, chemotherapy and/or radiation may be required in order to remove the tumour.


It is possible to develop deafness, which affects one or both ears, as a result of drug or illness exposure. However, it's possible that deafness runs in the family, and dogs with light coats and eyes are predisposed to the condition. Despite the lack of treatment for genetic deafness, dogs are able to cope with it. Acquired deafness is usually permanent, but it can improve over time without treatment.

Skin Conditions/Scaling

Allergies or the environment may be to blame for this dry, flaky skin condition (think food or parasites like fleas or mites). Depending on the cause, a particular diet or medicine may be prescribed.

Spinal Issues 

Degenerative myelopathy (DM) is frequently inherited and affects the spinal cord, resulting in weakening and hind limb paralysis in affected individuals. Despite the fact that the ailment isn't usually painful, treatment isn't very successful, but physical therapy may help.

Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis 

Inheritable, progressive (and rare) neurological illness, NCL appears between the ages of one and two. The dog's behavioural changes are the most visible sign, and he or she may also become clumsy and lose their vision. As of this writing, there are no known cures for the disease.

Recommended Health Tests 

  1. Hip Evaluation
  2. Elbow Evaluation
  3. Canine Multifocal Retinopathy 1 (CMR1)
  4. Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
  5. Hyperuricosuria (HUU)
  6. Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis 10 (NCL10)
  7. Ichthyosis
  8. Deafness


You should feed your American Bulldog only high-quality chow, either dry or canned, that is appropriate for your dog's age and stage of development (puppy, adult, senior). For the first 14 months of your puppy's life, make sure you feed him large-breed puppy food to help him grow slowly but steadily. Until your dog is fully grown and eating an adult diet, do not give him or her calcium-enriched food or supplements. Bone formation may be harmed by the addition of calcium. Always with your veterinarian before making a purchase to ensure that the food you select is appropriate for your dog's age and lifestyle.

When your American Bulldog reaches adulthood, see your veterinarian to determine whether or not you should give him any further nutrients to help him maintain healthy joints and muscles. It's best to check with your American Bulldog's veterinarian before preparing pet meals if you're an experienced home cook.

Discussing sweets is a good place to start. You may show your dog how much you care for them by rewarding them with treats. You should consult with your veterinarian about the right treat-to-mealtime ratio if you're concerned about your dog becoming overweight as a result of too many treats.


A weekly brushing session with a bristle brush is frequently all that is needed to keep a short-haired dog's coat in top condition. Brushing your American Bulldog's fur will aid in the natural shedding process because they shed very little.

If you can, try to brush your pet's teeth at least once a day, but it's also a good idea to clean their teeth a few times a week. Because by doing so, you'll be able to keep your teeth clean and reduce your risk of developing dental disease. Also, have your dog's veterinarian perform a professional cleaning on your pet once a year.

You should also groom your dog's nails (every two weeks or so) and ears (every month or so). A bath, on the other hand, should be taken about once a month at the most. It's possible that you can simply use your nose. Soaking up is the best way to get rid of an unpleasant smell or if your dog has just rolled around in something a little disgusting.


It is recommended that owners provide at least one hour of daily exercise to their American bulldogs, which can be accomplished through walks or yard play. Exercise is an excellent way to keep your dog mentally active as well as to keep him healthy and at an appropriate weight.

American bulldogs are prone to disruptive behaviour if they don't receive enough exercise, such as chewing on furniture or snooping around the house. This dog is best suited for families with energetic children who aren't afraid to spend time outside playing with their pets. Playing activities like fetch and tug-of-war with your American bulldog is a great way to spend time together.


This breed necessitates rigorous and ongoing training. Bulldogs in the United States are naturally protective (sometimes to the point of overprotection), but they also enjoy learning. Basic obedience training can begin as early as six to eight weeks of age, and socialisation is essential once puppies have had the necessary vaccines to remain safe in public.

It's not uncommon for American bulldogs to require some guidance when it comes to socialisation with other dogs and strangers. If you follow these steps, your dog will learn to be a good friend and not become aggressive. Because these dogs thrive on attention and love from their owners, positive reinforcement approaches work well with them. Encourage desired behaviour by rewarding it with sweets, attention, and play time. Consistent and continual training is essential for the life of the dog.

Children and Other Pets

Socialization training for American Bulldogs should begin at a young age, as it should with most other breeds. American Bulldogs get along well with youngsters and are devoted to the entire family if properly trained. To minimize mishaps, it's critical to teach children the right way to handle and care for animals. Even if you have a well-trained dog, you should always keep an eye on it when it's playing with youngsters. Because of their size, American Bulldogs are prone to injury during rough play.

With other animals, the same holds true. A well-socialized and well-trained American Bulldog can get along with most other canines. Smaller dogs, who are more vulnerable to injury from an American Bulldog's powerful build, should only play with an adult American Bulldog under close supervision. When they are too eager to play rough or don't realise their own strength, this breed might injure themselves.


Puppies of the American bulldog breed are affectionate and curious. Take your puppy to the vet as soon as possible to rule out any lingering health conditions that will necessitate ongoing care. Even if your dog is a rescue, you may want to get a blood test done to determine whether or not it is purebred or if it has unique genetics that necessitate specialised medical attention.

Bulldogs, as a group, are among the most costly dog breeds available. Puppies of the American Bulldog can cost anywhere from $1,200 to $1,500. Unless you have a lot of money to invest in a dog, this one is probably not for you.

When it comes to the price of American Bulldogs, there are two basic causes. Firstly, they are a popular breed. As a result, there is a great demand for them. Prices rise in response to an increase in supply, as dictated by the economic rules of supply and demand.

American Bulldogs, on the other hand, are more expensive because of the difficulty of producing them. Breeding American Bulldogs is difficult and expensive, despite the fact that they are often healthier than French or English Bulldogs. Because of their enormous heads, most of their babies are born via cesarean section, which is both expensive and risky.

Dog breeds related to American Bulldogs

Bulldogs are the ancestors of a slew of adorable canine offspring. If you can't afford an American bulldog, consider one of these alternatives:


English bulldogs have many of the same characteristics as American bulldogs, however they are slightly smaller. Breeders have created a wide variety of bulldog varieties over the years.


Compared to most bulldogs, boxers tend to be bigger, taller, and in better physical condition. Bulldog ancestors are known for their powerful jaws, small faces, and indomitable spirits, and these dogs are no exception.


There are many advantages to owning an American Pitbull over a purebred bulldog. Your family will benefit from a dog with a variety of personality qualities and one who can adapt to the changing needs of the household.