American bulldogs are enjoying a healthy increase in popularity, either as a working/protector dog or as a family pet. All over the world, they are used variously as “hog dogs” (catching escaped pigs or hunting razorbacks), as cattle drovers and as working or sport K-9s. American Bulldogs also successfully compete in several dog sports such as dog obedience, Iron Dog competition and weight pulling.
Illustration courtesy of the Swedish Kennel Club
About this Breed
American Bulldogs are typically confident, social, and active dogs that are at ease with their families. It is not uncommon for an American Bulldog 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. 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 family pet.
American Bulldogs generally live from 10 to 15 years, and tend to be strong, physically active, and often healthy. Some health problems in American bulldogs are often found within certain genetic lines, and are not common to the entire breed, while others, such as neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL), Ichthyosis, disorders of the kidney and thyroid, ACL tears, hip dysplasia, cherry eye, elbow dysplasia, entropion, and bone cancer are more common to the general population of American Bulldogs.
American Bulldogs on Embark
Explore some Embark dogs that share American Bulldog ancestry.
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