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.
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).
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 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