The history of the American Bulldog begins in the time period of Caesar around 1066. In the 17th and 18th centuries English Bulldogs were mostly used on farms to hold livestock and catch others. They were also used as guardians and butcher dogs.
Eventually the temperament of the breed led people to use them in blood sports like bull-baiting for gambling and entertainment purposes.
The sport of bull-baiting was outlawed in 1835 within the United Kingdom and in time the English Bulldog became common, complacent pet. However, within the United States, the American version of the breed was steadily declining in comparison to other breeds.
While the goal of the breed was originally to produce a working farm utility dog that could catch and hold wild boar and cattle, kill vermin, and guard an owner's property, when properly trained, exercised and socialized, this breed can become a great family pet.
The survival of the American Bulldog has most to do with feral pigs. Because the American Bulldog seemed to be the best way to chase off and protect owners from these predators, they soon became popular pets again. However, because the American Bulldog was close to extinction by World War II and John D. Johnson and Alan Scott began inter breeding dogs; thus, creating the Johnson and Scott versions of the bulldog
As man's best friend the American Bulldog sometimes referred to as the Old Country Bulldog truly lives up to this. The American Bulldog symbolizes true love, devotion and grit. Often they are describes as athletic, all purpose, hardy working dogs.
They have been widely known to conduct great heroic acts to protect its owner. The American Bulldog is strong, stocky dog that has a short coat that is stiff to touch. This breeds coat is white or white with patches that are either red (i.e. any shade of tan) or brindle. In addition, the American Bulldogs ears are usually uncropped.
There are two different types of the American Bulldog:
#1: The Classic or the Johnson, Bully. #2: The Standard or the Scott, Performance.
The current American Bulldog is a combination of the Scott type and Johnson type dog which has a shorter muzzle, but is a larger dog. In comparison to the Johnson and the Scott breeds, the American Bulldog has a much more massive build.
: American Bulldogs are typically confident, social, and active dogs that are at ease with their families. : American Bulldog do to require a high level of attention due to their highly emotional personality. : They bond strongly with their owners. : They are capable of jumping in excess of 3 feet (0.91 m) vertical due to the dense muscle build of the breed. : 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 and understand their limits. : The more exposure to good training practices, other dogs, and people, the more likely the success at being controlled both inside and outside of their environment. : Early training and socialization both in the home and outside of the home is essential for this breed. : Walk them regularly at local parks is best for them. : While the goal of the breed was originally to produce a working farm utility dog that could catch and hold wild boar and cattle, kill vermin, and guard an owner's property, when properly trained, exercised and socialized, this breed can become a great family pet.
: American Bulldogs will take to living in an apartment or home if they are given regular attention, stimulation and exercise. In fact, they are typically inactive within a home or apartment making them very suitable to indoor living.
: Many people actually recommend and believe that it is preferable keep American Bulldogs indoors because they are not well equipped for the different weather elements.
:Typically, the American Bulldog is known as a loving family pet and acclimate and get along with it's family children as well.
:This breed of dog is fearlessly determined and will attack predators or any threat toward its owners. It is confident, powerful, and agile with powerful jaws and a large head that has made it quite naturally used in hunting everything from small squirrels to larger game like bears. The American Bulldog has also been trained to guard stock and drive cattle.
:The American Bulldogs are known for their great versatility as working dogs as well.
: They are able to learn many different things, but they are also very independent. They are obstinate, dominant and willful. They want to be the boss in any situation. They will see if you can make them do something they do not want to do. As an owner, you must be consistent, firm and always mean what you say.
: In addition, American Bulldogs need to be exposed regularly to friendly strangers because they have a natural protective instinct toward anyone they do not know. : They need to know how to recognize the difference between good people and bad people. If they do not have careful socialization they can end up biting others and being suspicious of everyone.
: Not recommended with other dogs. It is important to note that there are many American Bulldogs who will not get along and tolerate another dog of the same sex. They have strong instincts and will chase fleeing animals and capture cats. When breeding, training, handling, socializing and or management of the American Bulldogs goes awry these dogs are known for being able to seriously maim or even kill other animals.
The most devastating and prevalent health concern for the American Bulldog or any other breed for that matter is Canine hip dysplasia otherwise known as CHD. CHD occurs when the femoral bone does not fit properly in the joint socket causing pain and difficulty in standing or walking.
Bulldogs are also susceptible to Heart Murmurs, but these are usually benign as well as bilateral and unilateral deafness.
The American Bulldog has a short coat that is harsh to the touch. This breed of dog sheds regularly and thus, brushing its coat regularly is a good idea.
American Bulldogs are at their best when they are given a job or task to accomplish. These dogs love to be walked frequently with a secure leash. They enjoy playing with family members and romping and roaming in a generous yard.
This is a breed that enjoys and needs to be exercised on a daily basis for at least one hour a day regardless of the weather conditions. Keeping your bulldog indoors is fine, but you must make sure it has sufficient exercise. Just as long as you are able to give your bulldog sufficient exercise so that they can release their pent up exercise, your dog will be happy and healthy.
When you decide to train your American Bulldog you must be prepared. If you are not, the breed tends to become bored easily and will end up using its energy on things within your home like tables, shoes and other such things.
Remember adequate daily attention consists of only one hour. But, you need to make sure that you have this time and energy to exercise and train this active breed. If not you will probably want to try another type of breed.
Training an American Bulldog must begin early for this breed. They do not do well with heavy handed or harsh training methods so this is important to keep in mind. Training that is fair, firm, consistent and patient work best for this breed. American Bulldogs have many skills that can be enhanced like hunting, guarding, weight pulling, and tracking.
It is important to note that this breed's level of training requirements is moderately high. These dogs do not do well with self discipline and, thus, they will need much attention and time. Because they are highly intelligent and confident they have been known to get in trouble easily and become inappropriately protective. These potential problems can be remedied with proper attention, care and training.
House breaking your American Bulldog is very important and must be started as soon as possible. Thus, it is important to create an immediate daily routine to help prevent urination accidents that can occur when you first bring a dog home. If you set a consistent routine like taking your dog outside before you go to work, when you get home, and one additional time before bedtime this will help your dog learn to have more control during the times you are not home. Instilling daily routines will also help to make the American Bulldog feel more comfortable around people and their surroundings.
Depending on the situation, developing a routine can potentially take up to six months, and once your dog is trained you will need to maintain the routine in to keep your dog happy and feeling secure.