The main ancestor of the American Bulldog is the famous, today already extinct Old English Bulldog, who was brought to the American South with migrating workers. It is believed that vast majority of todays American Bulldogs can trace its history to the Alabama and Georgia area. The American Bulldogs have been around since the 17th century and they were used for variety of jobs, mostly on farms and ranches as protectors and guards, catch dogs or stock dogs.
2) Catch dogs
The main reason why this breed became very popular all around the Southern United States was their ability to effectivelly deal with the overpopulated feral pigs. They were also known for their ability to catch cattle. They are amazing at it, mostly thanks to their very strong and muscular, yet agile, fast and athletic body, brave and courageous personlity, determination and hard working mentlity. All these personality and physical traits make these dogs just amazing catch dogs and the breed largely survived, particularly in the southern states, due to this ability. And their loyalty and natural protective instinct also makes them awesome guards and protectors.
But these dogs are not only amazing workers, because they also make very good lively and loyal companions and despite the tough appearance, this is actually affectionate, gentle and pretty sensitive dog breed. The American Bulldog is known as highly intelligent breed, but also as quite independent and sometimes stubborn breed, so they are not total pushovers to train. But with the right trainer, with patient, consistent and firm trainer, they can learn all the basic obedience commands very easily. And eventhough very gentle and loving towards its owners and family, these dogs are typically alert and reserved with strangers, but they should never be agressive without a reason. Thanks to the gentleness of this breed, they are also good partners for kids, but of course, you should never leave any dog breed with a very young child unsupervised.
4) Almost extinct
In the beginning of the 20th century, during the first and second world war, the breed almost dissappeared and died out. When war veteran John D. Johnson returned home, he attempted to revive the breed. He was traveling around the South of the USA looking for the last and best specimen of this breed and he started to work on revitalization of the American Bulldog. After some time he developed a new, Johnsons line of this breed. Later, another breeder Alan Scott infused non Johnson catch dogs into the breed as well, creating a new Scotts line. In the 1980s the breed gained a lot of popularity as an all around family pet and as a great protector, a great combination that was searched by many people and today, the breed is once again relatively popular in the USA.
For majority of time, the American Bulldog was not known under its current name. These dogs were primarily bred for work and their name was not that important and they were called differently in different regions. Some of their previous names include English White Bulldog, Alabama Bulldog or Southern Bulldog. Most commonly they were called simply Bulldogs, because they just did a real bulldog work. The breed is known as American Bulldog since the 1980s.
This is a muscular and strong looking dog with well build body and large head. The average height of this breed is between 52-70 cm, which is 20-28 inch and weight is usually between 27-54 kg, which is 60-120 pounds. Females are naturally slightly smaller than males.
Not only that these dogs are muscular and strong, they are also very agile and athletic and they are just natural born athletes. They are especially known for their jumping and due to their dense muscular build, they are able to jump vertically in excess of three feet, which means, you will need pretty high fence around your property if you are thinking about getting this breed. It should not be suprising that these dogs need daily regular walks, jogs and vigorous playtime to stay healthy and happy. The American Bulldog is definitely much better suited for active people and families who will provide the dog with enough daily exercise. This is not a coach potatoe.
This breed has a short and generally smooth coat that comes in several colors and color combination. Traditionally, these dogs are white with patches of red, black or brindle. Today, we have few more colors typical for this breed, and next to the white, these dogs can be found in shades of red, fawn, brown or black as well.
Speaking of the coat, it is important to mention the maintenance as well, and luckily, its very very easy and even without any grooming at all, they will keep the coat in great condition. They do shed lightly all year, and regular brushing is always beneficial to keep the coat in best possible condition. Just like with any other breed, you should regularly check the dogs ears, eyes, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
The American Bulldog has a good average lifespan typical for breeds of similar size, which is between 11-14 years. These dogs may suffer from the same health issues as other larger breeds, such as hip and elbow dysplasia, but also cherry eye, thyroid, kidney problems or some allergies.