The American Bulldog is a breed of utility dog. It is descended from the Old English Bulldog and is considered to be the standard variety of Bulldog by many. The American Bulldog's ancestors were used for bull baiting in England until the mid-19th century, when such sports were outlawed and the breed's utility shifted towards farm use. When brought to America by early immigrants, these dogs were used as catch dogs for cattle and hogs, helping to manage livestock on farms. During World War II, the breed nearly went extinct, but efforts by breeders like John D. Johnson and Alan Scott helped to revive the breed, focusing on different traits to create the Johnson and Scott types, which represent the bigger, more Mastiff-like bulldogs and the lighter, more agile bulldogs, respectively."
American Bulldogs can suffer from neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, kidney and thyroid disorders, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, cherry eye, entropion, and bone cancer. Genetic testing for conditions such as degenerative myelopathy, Ichthyosis, multifocal retinopathy 1, and hyperuricosuria can assist veterinarians with diagnosis and proactive care, as well as help breeders identify affected and carrier dogs.
American Bulldogs are known for being reliable, courageous, and strong. They are typically friendly and gentle dogs but also have a strong protective instinct. They are known to be good with children and can get along well with other pets if properly socialized.
These dogs are typically very active and require regular physical activity. They are also known to be stubborn at times, which can make training a bit of a challenge. However, with proper, consistent training methods, American Bulldogs can be highly trainable and can excel in various activities, from obedience to agility to work as therapy dogs.
The muscular build of the American Bulldog breed is a feature that allows them to jump very high vertically, typically three feet or more.
According to the AKC, they are also known for their amusing "clown-like" behavior that they display when very excited.