American Bulldog: What’s Not to Love?

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Find out if the American Bulldog breed is right for you and your family. Along with fun facts about the breed, what the expectations of care are, and the difference when compared to other bulldogs. 

close up of an white american bulldog with brown over one eye

American Bulldogs are a descendent from the Old English Bulldog who was generally associated with the working class. Many farmers used their talents for guarding, cattle driving, and utility duties. They also offered protection when the feral pig population was on the rise.

As the Old English breed started reaching extinction, two guys came together to try to revive it, which became the American Bulldog.

Why People Love American Bulldogs

  • Super cute and cuddly with their owners
  • Loyal and natural protectors
  • Playful and interactive
  • Smart and easily trainable

The American Bulldog Profile

  • Size: 20-25 inches
  • Weight: 60 to 100 pounds
  • Temperament/Personality: Laid back, but protective, intelligent, affectionate
  • Lifespan: 10-16 years
  • Do they shed: Yes 
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Health Issues: Yes 
  • Family Friendly: Yes 
  • Classification: Working

When Is An American Bulldog Full Grown? 

They are considered full-grown when they are about 2 years old. This is a general average for larger breeds. However, when compared to smaller dogs, they are considered fully mature by 12 months. Dogs grow at different rates, so it’s not uncommon to see them get bigger before or after the 2-year mark.

american bulldog running after a tennis ball

 6 Facts About the American Bulldog

  • According to the AKC, they are not called bulldogs for their looks, but rather the real work they were bred for.
  • They are very affectionate towards their family, but can be real stand-offish to strangers.
  • If it wasn’t for the feral pig issue, this breed may have never existed after the extinction.
  • American Bulldogs don’t do well in small spaces such as apartments.
  • They are somewhat considered a part of the brachycephalic family
  • Drooling and slobber can be a problem

Common Health Problems

Really, American bulldogs are generally healthy. However, there are genetic issues that are more common such as neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, which is a nervous system disorder, and kidney and thyroid issues. Other health problems bulldogs may experience are tears in their ACL, hip and elbow dysplasia, bone cancer, and eye diseases.

General Care and Grooming

When it comes to grooming, you are almost in the clear! This large breed sheds a little more than usual throughout the year. However, their short, smooth coat doesn’t need professional grooming, just a good brushing once a week. 

It’s really important that you keep your bulldog active both mentally and physically. It would be best if they had a decent space outside where they could run and play for at least 30 minutes a day. If you live in a smaller area or don’t want them to be outside alone, a 30-minute walk every day will suffice. 

With their energy levels, they don’t do well if they are left alone for a long time. Even though they are pretty lazy while they are indoors, American bulldogs need engagement and socialization. Less interaction could lead to destructive chewing and rambunctious behavior.

Their intelligence levels make them really adaptable when it comes to people and training, but you should start this as early as possible. Especially if you have children and other pets. 

As with any breed, they should visit the vet at least once per year for a dental examination, as this is an area that is often neglected. Use these tips to keep your dog’s teeth clean at home. They will help to reduce tartar and plaque in between vet visits.

a white american bulldog posing with a blurred background

Why do American bulldogs stink?

Dogs can smell for a number of reasons. From being outdoors to systemic health issues like allergies, makes a difference. Issues like these can cause them to stink even after they have had a bath! The American Bulldog isn’t prone to being smelly (no more than most other breeds), but some, the ones that are wrinklier, can get bacteria trapped between their excess skin and folds. Which really does put off a foul odor.

Cost of Puppies

Purebred American Bulldogs come with a hefty price tag ranging from $1000 to $2000. This breed is truly loved, so you know how supply and demand go. PetKeen reports that breeding is difficult due to most females having to have a C-section. In turn, costing the breeder more money and it can be dangerous to the dog. 

American Bulldog Rescue is a great place to start looking and costs about $400 to adopt. The last time we checked most of the pups were a little older, meaning they are not tiny little puppies. But the database is being updated all of the time, so don’t forget to check back! 

Common FAQs About Bulldogs 

Is an American Bulldog a good family dog?

Absolutely! While they may come off as intimidating, they are very friendly and really love their families. With proper training, these are considered some of the best family dogs! 

Do American Bulldogs bark a lot?

Not really. Obviously, if they aren’t trained they may bark a little more than usual. But they are not a breed that is notorious for being barkers like the poodles are. 

gray and white american bully
You can see here that the American Bully is quite different from the American bulldog.

What is the difference between an American Bully and an American Bulldog?

Even though they are similar they are very different canines. The American bully is shorter in stature, more precise when it comes to bones and their muscles, and their body is more compact than the bulldog.

Is an American Bulldog a pitbull?

Purebred American Bulldogs belong to the mastiff family and are not considered pit bulls. Most pitbulls fall into terrier ancestry.

Where is the American Bulldog Banned? 

Unfortunately in some states, the American bulldog breed may fall under breed specific legislation. This means that certain states have laws or regulations in place when it comes to owning certain dog breeds. Most of these breeds cover the pit bull family, American bulldogs, rottweilers, German shepherds, mastiffs, dalmatians, and chow chows. Some cities base their decision on these bans as they keep track of attacks. 

Can an American Bulldog be a Service Dog? 

Yes, but technically any dog can be a service dog according to the ADA. The standards state that service dogs are not restricted to a certain breed, but they must be trained to perform certain tasks related to the owner’s disability. Before considering making a bulldog your service animal, you would want to check on the breed restrictions in your state and the local ordinances.

Should You Get an American Bulldog

If you are considering adding an American Bulldog to your family, consider the amount of time they need for interaction, the amount of space you have inside and out, and the price point if you want to pick out a puppy or adopt from a rescue.

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