American Bulldog – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
American Bulldog is a powerful and muscular dog who needs a fair amount of exercise to stay fit. Check this guide to learn more about this sturdy breed.
Dog Breed Group:
Working Dogs
20 to 28 inches
60 to 120 pounds
Life Span:
10 to 16 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

American Bulldog is a large size dog. They are unique by their appearance and enormous endurance that can keep them active all day long.

Did you know that American Bulldogs are one of the best jumpers within the canine world? That’s right, they can jump up to six feet high.

It may not sound like a lot for you, but for a dog, this is an amazing skill.

Muscular and powerful as they are, American Bulldogs have been created to spend all day running and being active.

They may be large in size, but American Bulldogs are great and fluffy family dogs who tend to be great guard dogs as well.

Highly affectionate toward their humans, these dogs will only thrive in a family with strong love toward dogs.

To get the most out of this breed, you must be an experienced dog owner. Moreover, you need to be an experienced dog owner with larger size dogs. Otherwise, you can expect a lot of stressful moments and destructive behavior that may appear in breeds that are bored on unhappy.

On top of that, they need an owner who knows how to work with breeds of high energy.

American Bulldogs can vary in appearance. In fact, they are so unique that there are not two but multiple types.

Have you heard of the Bully and Classic Bulldog type, named Johnson type?

If you’re an American Bulldog owner already, and you have dealt with responsible breeders, you probably know the difference.

Reputable breeders will always explain the difference between types, and make sure that you get the type that you truly want.

This large breed went almost extinct around WWII, but thanks to many efforts by various breeders and dog lovers, this breed survived.

Are you thinking about welcoming this giant dog into your home? If so, read on, because below you will find information that will help you decide if this breed is for you.

Quick Facts

Real name: American Bulldog
Other names: Southern White, White English, Old Southern, White Bulldog, Hill Bulldog, Country Bulldog, English White Bulldog
Origin: States
Breed type: Working Dogs
Weight: 60 to 120 pounds
Height: 20 to 28 inches
Lifespan: 10 – 16 years
Litter Size: 7 – 16 puppies
Color: All white or white with patches
Coat: Short and harsh coat

American Bulldog History

American Bulldog is a powerful and muscular dog with a rather interesting history.

Originally, this dog was bred to be a full-time working dog. As such, they went a long way from being hard-working dogs to full-time pets.

It’s known that the direct ancestor of this breed is the Old English Bulldog.

This dog was brought to the States by working-class immigrants who wanted to have dogs to help them on the farm.

At the time, these dogs served as all-around farm dogs. People loved them for their intelligence, work ethic, and loyalty.

Unfortunately, for a long period, they were used in bull baiting. Luckily, these days are long behind them.

American Bulldog Physical Appearance

A single look at this breed communicates that this is a breed of powerful stature, and muscular body. They are well-built and stocky dogs, with a larger head – this is why people often confuse them with Pit bulls.

Their coat is always short and smooth. This means that you are in luck if you aren’t a big fan of heavy brushing and overall demanding grooming.

American Bulldogs will need bathing from time to time, but keep it to a minimum. Dogs have different skin values than humans do, and they don’t need as much bathing as humans do.

As for the size, this breed tends to have between 20 and 28 inches at the shoulder, and up to 120 pounds.

Minimal weight for this breed is around 60 pounds and it’s usually seen in females. As is the case commonly, females are smaller in size opposite to males.

If you manage to provide proper care, the right environment, and suitable nutrition you can expect your American Bulldog to live up to 16 years, although some average is 410 years.

It’s common for larger size dogs to have a shorter life span, and this is something to consider when choosing a breed.

American Bulldog Personality

American Bulldog is a serious dog who loves interactive playtime. They are agile and alert, and always ready for the next challenge or action.

As a full-time family companion, he will demand to spend every moment with you. If you are an outdoor family, this breed will love you even more.

Throwing the ball over and over again will never be boring to them, neither hoping to the dog park a few times per day.

Since they are gentle and soft when trained right, they should do well with both children and babies.

Still, no matter how well children and dogs could get along, you should never leave them without supervision.

As a family-oriented breed, they won’t happily welcome strangers, and will always be protective of their territory.

When excited or happy, they will clown around. this is something that should be managed well because large and powerful dogs tend to be a lot when excited.

They need to know when to stop and how to behave in a certain situation. This is why proper training and early socialization are crucial.

American Bulldog Training

Early socialization and puppy training classes are mandatory steps when it comes to having a well-behaved American Bulldog.

This breed needs a firm hand and an experienced dog owner who knows how to make training sessions consistent, engaging, and fun.

Have the right treats on hand to reward your American Bulldog. To set healthy boundaries and to have a good canine citizen, you need to show leadership skills.

Your Bulldog needs to see that you are a pack leader. Use socialization period to teach your dog basic commands, and house rules.

As soon as your veterinarian gives you green light, expose him to new sounds, new areas, people, and dogs.

Good to know: American Bulldog is a relatively of new breed, Exotic Bully

American Bulldog Exercise

Within the canine world, the American Bulldog is a true athlete.

As a true working dog, this breed needs a lot of exercises. To keep this dog far from destructive behavior, exercise is a must.

Have you ever heard of that saying – a tired dog is a happy dog? If you don’t want your shoes and toys destroyed over and over again, provide enough exercise.

Master indoor games for rainy days, and on sunny days provide a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise per day.

Focus on providing non-impact movements to keep his joints strong and healthy as long as possible.

What does this mean? It means that you should provide games that won’t include a lot of jumping, digging, or some other intense activity.

For example, you can hide balls filled with treats in the yard, or offer a puzzle toy.

Agility or nose work are great ways to provide more intense, but still low-impact moments.

Don’t forget: a tired dog is a happy dog!

American Bulldog Grooming

American Bulldog is a great choice if you are not a big fan of long brushing sessions. They have a short coat that is easy to brush with the right grooming tools.

American Bulldogs do shed but in moderation. Shedding is all year-round but in moderation.

Provide weekly brushing to remove dead skin and distribute skin oils. Trim nails monthly, check gums weekly, and if needed brush the teeth.

American Bulldog Health

American Bulldogs are often described as healthy dogs.

They are powerful, muscular, and agile, and will remain as such as long as you provide them proper care.

If you are dealing with responsible dog breeders you will get a healthy puppy.

Now… How can you know that you are dealing with responsible breeders? Here are some traits that make good breeders:

  • They will always present you with medical documentation on the dog
  • They will show facilities and let you meet the bitch
  • They will ask you a lot of questions to make sure that you are a suitable dog owner
  • They will tell you to return the dog to them if you cannot keep him anymore
  • They will inform you of possible health issues in the breed

Being a responsible dog breeder is all about nutrition, care, and proper surrounding.

Stick to recommended feeding guidelines, vaccinations schedule, and schedules of examinations.

As any other large-size breed, American Bulldog is prone to joint and hip problems.

Try to implement a joint workout as your veterinarian may recommend it. This way you will keep his hips much stronger for a longer time.

Just like any other breed, the American Bulldog can develop genetic health problems, which may appear in your dog or not.

Any serious and responsible breeder will always pre-screen puppies for genetic diseases.

Here are the most recommended health tests from the National Breed Club:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Elbow Evaluation
  • Canine Multifocal Retinopathy 1 (CMR1)
  • Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
  • Hyperuricosuria (HUU)
  • Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis 10 (NCL10)
  • Ichthyosis
  • Deafness

Is American Bulldog For You?

Do you have experience as a dog owner? If the answer is no, then this bred isn’t for you. This breed is only for experienced dog owners, who know their way around large size dogs.

On the other hand, if you know your way around large size dogs and you know what being a responsible dog owner really means, then this breed might be for you.

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