American Bulldog: Appearance, Personality, History, Types, and FAQs!

American bulldog
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Strong enough to pull a cart, gentle enough to soothe a child, sharp enough to protect his owner, compassionate enough to love his family, spirited enough to lift a broken heart – let us introduce to you the American Bulldog!

Not yet fully recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), the American Bulldog was approved for the Foundation Stock Service program in November 2019.  Despite having formidable looks and hunting backgrounds, American Bulldogs make great pets because of their efficiency, devotion, and love for their owners.

Did You Know?

The American Bulldogs can jump for more than three feet in the air. Some are even known to hit around seven feet.

American Bulldog Overview

Breed Overview

Other Names: White English Southern Bulldog, Old Country Bulldog

Size (inches): 22 to 25 in males, 20 to 23 in females

Weight (pounds): 75 to 100 in males, 60 to 80 in females

Lifespan: 10 to 12 years

Hypoallergenic: No

Eye Color: Dark brown

Coat Colors: Solid white, or in mixture with black/brown/brindle/tan

Nose Color: Black or liver-colored

Suitable For: Family, children, and active and experienced people

Place of Origin: The United States  

Breed Scorecard

Good with Children:

Good with Dogs:





The American Bulldog is a large dog breed with a short coat in a white base, but mostly with tan, brown, black, brindle, and red markings. Other than solid white, merle and tri-color patterns also exist in American Bulldogs.

Coming to the head, the muzzle is wide but slightly tapered, the eyes are either round or almond-shaped, and the ears are medium-sized, which droop forward if uncropped.

The tail is stiff thick at the base, and thin at the top.

Like most dog breeds, male American Bulldogs are larger and heavier than their female counterparts.

Personality and Temperament

Originally bred for hunting and working, the American Bulldog breed is often considered an aggressive dog breed, but the truth is somewhat different.

If an American Bulldog had to summarize its personality, it would describe itself as,

“I am, by nature, kind and loving. But know that if it comes to protecting my family, friends, and loved ones, do not trifle with me! For indeed, I will then emerge as the most powerful and relentless creature you are yet to see.”

To elaborate, the American Bulldogs are very loving and easygoing – as a matter of fact, they might end up being clownish, silly, and entertaining for the people they love to the point that the latter cannot help but laugh! Besides being a great companion for the owner, they get along with families and children very well. To add a plus point, despite having a strong bite force, these pooches are very unlikely to bite unless it is for protecting their loved ones.

They can also be great at guarding – thanks to their protective nature, intelligence, and aloofness from strangers.

Did You Know?

Due to the overemphasized stereotypes of American Bulldog aggression, these canines are banned in some countries.


The American Bulldog ancestors are known to be the English Bulldogs. They came to the United States during the 18th century along with the English settlers. In the years that followed, more American Bulldogs made their way into the country, and because of their excellence in accomplishing tasks coupled with their extraordinary ability to hunt down cattle and pigs, they quickly rose to the height of popularity among farmers, particularly in the southern region, where they came to be known as White English Southern Bulldog.

The breed had nearly got vanished during the two world wars but was revived afterward as John D. Johnson, and Alan Scott stepped in to breed a few American Bulldogs left. In this quest, two main American Bulldog types were created: the Johnson type and the Scott type.

Did You Know?

The American Bulldog breed has remained famous on T.V. screens. They appeared in films Homeward Bound Part I (1993) and Part II (1996) and Cheaper by the Dozen Part I (2003) and Part II (2005).

American Bulldog Types

Developing over a period of time, the American Bulldog breed is now classified into four distinct types. Each is briefly discussed below:

Johnson or Bully American Bulldog

As explained earlier, Bully type American Bulldogs have the Johnson lineage. Their body is broad and muscular, while their muzzle is short. However, regardless of their protective nature and powerful appearance, they are prone to laziness which can lead to obesity.

Scott or Standard American Bulldog

Scott-type American Bulldogs were created as a result of a cross between the Johnson types and the Southern Bulldogs. They are comparatively more athletic and have a longer muzzle. Unlike the Johnson type, these dogs live an active lifestyle and need a stimulating environment.

These dogs are usually confused with the American Pitbull Terrier breed; however, both are different.

Painter or Margentina American Bulldog

Considered as performance dogs, the Painter-type American Bulldogs were bred solely for fighting purposes. They are relatively small but bulky. Personality-wise, they are responsive and trainable.

They were bred in the 1970s and named after their breeder, Joe Painter.

White English or Old Southern White American Bulldog

It is believed that the Old Southern type is the oldest type of American Bulldogs. They are commonly seen in the southern part of the United States. Moreover, the White English and Old Southern White American types are not exactly the same: they have slight differences in their appearances.

American Bulldog Care

Want to keep your American Bulldog furry friend fit and healthy? Continue reading to know how to take care of an American Bulldog


The American Bulldog is a muscular and pretty active dog breed and thus needs quality food high in proteins alongside other essential nutrients.

To ensure correct and steady growth in American Bulldog puppies, consider feeding large-breed food for the first 14 months of age. For the adults, add nutritional supplements as well. However, it is advisable to discuss any additional nutrition with a vet.

Vita Bully Vitamins for Bully Breeds is a nutritional supplement suitable for Bulldogs. Besides maintaining muscle health, it also supplies the vitamins dogs do not get enough of from their daily diet.

Coming to the treats, though they are quite beneficial to ensure proper training, in case of excess, there is a risk of obesity.


Do not feed your American Bulldog puppy added calcium as an excess of this mineral in young canines can lead to skeletal growth problems.


American bulldog

American Bulldogs are moderately energetic and require appropriate exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and fit.

Adult dogs should, therefore, have a variety of exercises such as jogging, tug-of-war, and hiking, besides giving him about half an hour walk twice every day. Nevertheless, the puppies should not go for hard exercises to keep bones injuries at arm’s length.

It is, thus, a good idea to keep a pup busy in mental games. You can use different toys for this purpose, such as SYEENIFY Puppy Toys, which offer many colorful and satisfying playthings for young dogs.


Make sure to exercise your American Bulldog enough every day as not getting enough of it may lead to destructive behaviors such as digging and chewing.


Often called ‘hard-headed,’ the American Bulldog breed is very intelligent and enthusiastic to learn when it comes to training. However, they get along best with the pup trainer, who has the following qualities:

  1. Patience: The trainer is not in a hurry; rather, they understand that it takes a lot of effort to train a pooch.
  2. Motivating: Use of positive reinforcements to keep the training interesting for the dog, i.e., doggo gets a reward every time he does a good job.
  3. Sociability: Keeping the dog in a nice company of fresh human and animal faces to get him acclimated.
  4. Versatility: Teaching new skills every now and then.
  5. Lovingness: Trainer has a firm but loving attitude.


Since the American Bulldog breed is short-haired and does not shed much, coat grooming is not a challenge, and weekly brushing works just fine. It will get the coat rid of dead hair strands while enhancing the shine.

Burt’s Bees Dog Bristle Brush is convenient for debris removal and the restoration of the coat’s lustrousness and smoothness.

Use your nose to judge if your pooch needs a bath or not. If he is being malodorous, bathe him right away. Else, bathing him once a month would suffice.

Also, make sure to clean the ears and trim the nails every month. In addition, if possible, brush your dog’s teeth every day using dog toothpaste, and if that’s not possible make do it at least twice or thrice a week. It will keep the tar and plaque buildup at bay besides maintaining a lovely smile.

Caring Tip!

Since 80% of all dogs are affected by various dental diseases, it is better to get your furry friend regularly checked by a professional vet.


The American Bulldog breed is, unfortunately, prone to a number of health complications which are briefly discussed in the table below:

Health IssueDescriptionSymptomsTreatment
  • In elbows and hips
  • Swaying gait
  • Limping
  • Medication
  • Rehab
  • Therapy
  • Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL)
  • A ligament in the knee joint ruptures
  • It is detectable through genetic testing
  • Swelling
  • Lameness
  • Surgery
  • Cherry Eye
  • The tear gland in the third eyelid gets inflamed
  • Protruding from eye
  • Epiphora
  • Surgery
  • Bone Cancer
  • Possibly occurs due to genetics and environment
  • Swelling of the affected area
  • Low appetite
  • Chemotherapy
  • Deafness
  • Mostly occurs due to infections
  • Unresponsiveness
  • None for inherited deafnes
  • Scaling
  • Due to allergies or infections such as fleas, parasites, etc.
  • Skin irritation
  • Scratching
  • Special Diet
  • Flea medicines
  • Degenerative Myelopathy (D.M.)
  • Hitting the spine may lead to paralysis
  • Weakness in hind limbs
  • Stumbling
  • Physical therapy
  • Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (NCL)
  • A neurological disorder that shows up at an early age
  • Loss of coordination
  • Behavioral changes
  • None
  • Besides these diseases, it is difficult for American Bulldogs to tolerate hot weather due to their short muzzles. Therefore, it is advisable to continuously monitor your pet for overheating during summers while making sure that he is always properly hydrated, especially during exercise sessions.

    American Bulldog Price

    American Bulldogs cost between USD 1,200 and 1,500. Moreover, in terms of lifetime care costs, you can expect to pay a tally of above USD 10,000.

    If you are going for American Bulldog puppies, always approach reputable breeders to make sure that you get the deal worth spending more than a thousand bucks. Moreover, do ask for the health records of both parents and the past screening reports of the pup.

    Why You Should or Should Not Have an American Bulldog?

    Here are the benefits and disadvantages of having an American Bulldog:


      Guarding: They are great when it comes to guarding and protecting their family.

      Less Shedding: They shed less, making it easy to groom.

      Variety: There are four types of American Bulldogs for you to choose from


      Expensive: They are costly not just to buy but to keep as well.

      Health Problems: They are prone to several diseases.

      Ban: They are banned in many states due to their association with dogfighting.

    American Bulldog FAQs

    Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions:

    When Does American Bulldog Stop Growing?

    An American Bulldog reaches its full size and weight by the age of around 12 to 14 months. Nevertheless, some Bulldogs may continue growing up to two years of age.

    Are American Bulldogs Hypoallergenic?

    No, like other Bulldogs, the American Bulldogs are not hypoallergenic. That said, they shed very little as compared to other dogs but still, if you have pet allergies, we suggest reconsidering getting an American Bulldog and looking into hypoallergenic dog breeds.  

    Are American Bulldogs Dangerous?

    As discussed earlier, American Bulldogs are not dangerous provided they are appropriately socialized and well-trained. However, they might show aggression towards intruders due to their loyalty and guarding instincts. Moreover, if they are not getting ample daily exercise and mental stimulation, they may develop behavioral issues like barking at nothing or strangers and lashing out at their owners or other pets.


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