AMERICAN BULLDOG
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The American Bulldog is a breed of working dog developed for catching livestock and for protecting property. Though larger in size, they are the closest surviving relative of the Old English Bulldog because they were not altered to as great an extent while in Colonial America as their European cousins. There are generally considered to be two types of American Bulldog, the Johnson type and the Scott type, named after the breeders who were influential in developing them, John D. Johnson and Allen Scott. These are more commonly known as Classic or Bully type and Standard or Performance type.

Apperance

The American Bulldog is a stocky, strong-looking dog. Its coat is short and either white or white with patches. The Johnson type is a larger dog with a shorter muzzle than the Scott type. However, many modern American Bulldogs are a combination of the two types. In general, American Bulldogs weigh between 27 to 57 kg (60 to 125 lb) and are 52 to 70 cm (20 to 28 inches) at the withers.

Confusion with other breeds

There are two distinct strains of American Bulldogs, Classic (Johnson, Bully) and Standard (Scott, Performance) which is often mistaken for its second cousin the American Pit Bull Terrier because of its appearance, and for its much smaller European relatives because of its name, the American Bulldog is different from any of these. The American Bulldog is massive in comparison to the French Bulldog or English Bulldog as it still resembles the Old English Bulldog and was never down bred to be a lap dog.

The Standard American Bulldog does resemble the pit bull-type breeds on many points, such as being muscular dogs that can be all white or white with patches. However, the pit bull's head is in the shape of a wedge coming to a more rounded point at the muzzle, whereas an American Bulldog's is box-shaped. The American Bulldog's ears are also typically uncropped, and its head is heavier and a little bulkier. Another major difference is size, with the American Bulldog generally being much larger than a purebred American Pitbull Terrier (which according to the UKC standard should only weigh 30 - 60 pounds).

Temperament

An American Bulldog is typically a happy, friendly, and assertive dog that is at ease with its family and fine with strangers as they get to know the stranger in question. They are quite fond of children but sometimes do not know their own strength, thus, as with all dogs, they should be supervised with small children. They bond strongly with their master and family but, because of strong guarding instincts and a somewhat dominant attitude, they need a firm but fair hand; they should be socialized and obedience trained early to expose them to other dogs and people and to ensure that they can be controlled around company as they get older and larger.

They need room to expend their energy and so do best in a home with a backyard. They are not always well behaved towards cats and smaller pets, but correct socialization at an early age can greatly increase the chances of them accepting these animals. They can be stubborn with training though once they are trained they tend to obey their masters faithfully. American bulldog puppies can be relatively difficult to housebreak, but it is important to be persistent.

Today

Today the American Bulldog is safe from extinction and is enjoying a healthy increase in popularity, both as a working dog and as a loving family pet. In the South and West they are used as "hog dogs" (dogs used in the catching of escaped pigs and/or hunting razorbacks) and are also used in tracking, driving cattle, and in various dog sports such as schutzhund and weight pulling.


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