American Bulldogs

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History of American Bulldogs

The earliest bulldog types in America were brought by immigrants who needed an all-around working dog in the American South. Small farmers and ranchers used this working dog for many tasks, including farm guardians, stock dogs and catch dog, dogs that assisted farmers and ranchers in catching and holding livestock.  These dogs were not an actual breed as considered by today’s standards but were a generic bulldog type. There were no recorded pedigrees or records and breeding decisions were dependent on the best working farm dogs despite breed or background.

American Bulldog

By the end of World War II, however, these bulldog types were becoming extinct. Mr. John D. Johnson, a returning war veteran, decided to resurrect this breed. He found many of the best specimens of these working type dogs and started recording pedigrees and family trees. His goal was to produce a large farm guardian-type bulldog, reminiscent of the bulldogs of old. Later, Alan Scott and several other breeders joined Johnson’s efforts to resurrect and recreate the old time bulldogs. Johnson and Scott began to carefully breed American bulldogs, keeping careful records and always with an eye for maintaining the breed’s health and working abilities.  As time passed, Johnson and Scott differed over the vision of the “perfect” American Bulldog, and each began breeding for the traits that they preferred.  This resulted in two distinct types of American Bulldog:  The Johnson Bulldog is a larger, massively muscled dog with a shorter muzzle that is more of a guardian type.  The Scott Type is a smaller more athletic dog with a longer muzzle that could be used for cattle catching as well as wild boar hunting.  The Scott American Bulldog is often incorrectly identified as a Pit Bull.

Physical characteristics of American Bulldogs

All American bulldogs are predominantly white with a varying amount of colored or brindled patches.  Their weight can vary from 60 pounds (Scott type) to 120 pounds or more (Johnson type).  They have a well-built stocky body and the ears and tails are left natural.

American Bulldog Puppy

American Bulldog Temperament

American Bulldogs are typically confident, social, and active dogs that are at ease with their families. They bond strongly with their owners. Young American Bulldogs may be slightly aloof with strangers, but as they mature the breed’s normal confidence should assert itself. This breed tolerates children and can do very well with them, provided they are socialized early.  Due to their fairly high prey drive, they should be socialized at a young age if they are to live with cats or smaller dogs.

Types of families that American Bulldogs are best suited for

American bulldogs are best for active families with the time to train and exercise.  The American Bulldog does not require an extreme amount of exercise, but must have adequate activity in order to prevent boredom that could lead to destructiveness.  American Bulldogs are excellent tracking, obedience, working, guard, family dogs, and even service dogs.

Famous American Bulldog

Sure Grip’s Rattler, played the role of Chance in Homeward Bound; The Incredible Journey.

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