The American Bulldog: A Powerful and Loyal Dog Breed


The American Bulldog today is somewhat different compared to its predecessors.  It has evolved throughout history before it became a brand new breed officially recognized by many Kennel Clubs around the world. This breed of dogs is said to have originated in the British Isles.

They were brought by working-class immigrants who came from the West Midlands of England and settled in the American South as a result of the Civil War between Royalists and Parliamentarians before the Industrial Revolution (1835).

The term ‘bull’ has something to do with the bloody sports bull baiting. The original bulldog at that time was very ferocious and had high pain tolerance which made it very suitable for dogfighting events.

The said sport became illegal and was then banned in England. The fanciers in England, including the American South settlers, had the mission of preserving the breed by removing its fierce characteristics.

In Summerville, Georgia, John D. Johnson and his father were very disappointed after learning that these animals were almost completely extinct. They scoured the back roads of the rural South in search of the best specimens just to revive the breed.

They continued to work with these dogs, crossbreeding them with the English bulldog, until they finally created the present Standard American Bulldog.

Small farmers and ranchers used this all-around working dog for many tasks including as guards, stock dogs and for hunting down a bear, wild boar, raccoon and squirrel.

Traits and Behavior

The American Bulldog is very protective of its owner and can be unstable or aggressive in situations where it feels threatened.

Without warning, it may also rapidly attack and severely injure anybody whom this dog thinks is its opponent.


It is very important to socialize the American Bulldog with other humans and animals as early as 0-2 years.

This breed is not suitable as a common household pet for inexperienced dog owners. The American Bulldog has an extreme activity level, thus keeping it activated is one priority.

The American Bulldog is loyal, alert, reliable, brave, confident and determined.

Bulldogs are recognized as excellent family pets because they tend to form strong bonds with children.

Without mental and physical exercise, these dogs may become so hard to handle.

Pet Care and Diseases

American bulldogs tend to be highly active, physically strong and healthy. Some health concerns in American bulldogs are often only found within a specific genetic lineage and are not common to the whole breed.

However, few health problems have been reported in the American bulldog’s general population, based on the significant findings from several official surveys conducted by international kennel clubs. These health problems include the following:

  • Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL)
  • Ichthyosis
  • kidney and thyroid disorders
  • Cruciate tears
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Cherry eye
  • Entropion and ectropion
  • Bone cancer


This breed doesn’t shed heavily so its short, harsh coat is easy to groom. Comb and brush with a firm bristle brush, and bathe only when necessary. Their short nose makes them prone to overheating during hot weather, so make sure a shady place is always provided.

This breed tends to drool and slobber. Because of this, its teeth should regularly have dental check-ups to prevent any tooth and gum disease.

The American Bulldog will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. They are relatively inactive indoors and will do best with at least an average-sized yard.


Some lines of American Bulldogs are prone to allergies. Observe for presence of signs and symptoms associated with all sorts of allergies common to dogs, and visit a well-trusted veterinarian to render appropriate intervention.


The breed is characterized by a very broad head and chest. The standard color is typically white with dark or brown markings.

In recent years, patches of red, black, brindle, fawn and other color patterns have been noted.


The males stand about 56-71 cm and weigh 32-54 kg, while the height and weight of the females fall between 51-66 and 27 kg to 45 kg.

The American Bulldog is a stocky, well built, strong-looking dog endowed with powerful muscle and bone structures. The male is typically larger and more muscular than the bitch.

The body is slightly longer than the tail. The tail is low-set, thick at the base and tapers to a point.  The head is large and squarish with a wide muzzle. The small to medium size ears are bent down.

The American version of the Bulldog has longer legs, is faster and has better agility than the English bulldog.

General Information

The typical life span of the American Bulldog is approximately 10-15 years. One litter may have 7-14 puppies. This breed was known by an assortment of names including Country Bulldog, Southern White Bulldog, White English Bulldog, White Bulldog and sometimes just Bulldog.


At the same time, there are 5 types of American bulldogs. These are:

  • Classic or Johnson Type
  • Standard or Scott Type
  • Hybrid Type
  • Southern White or White English Bulldog
  • Painter or Margentina Type

A new Danish Dog Law that came into force on 1 July 2010 mandated the ban on the ownership and breeding of 13 specified dog breeds under the Dog’s Act Banned List. Due to this, the American Bulldog must wear a muzzle and a leash in public places.

At the same time, the police were placed under an obligation to kill dogs that savage a person or another dog in an attack

Breed Club

Visit this dog club website dedicated to American Bulldogs. Click this link:

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