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American Bulldog Standard

Bulldog

The American Bulldog originated as a catchdog (mostly cattle) and property protection dog, in America's Southeast. He was not bred to put on threat displays or to look a certain way. But, he did need the right equipment to take care of his real bulldog duties which were confrontational personal and property protection and as a catch dog. He needed to be strong enough to put unruly bulls on the ground and athletic enough to catch hogs that were allowed to free range in a semi­wild state.

General Appearance The American Bulldog should generate the impression of great strength, agility, endurance and exhibit a well­knit, sturdy, compact frame with the absence of excessive bulk. Males are characteristically larger, heavier boned and more masculine than the bitches. The AS is a white or white and patched (brindle or red) dog. When patched he can range from the traditional pied markings of a patch over one or both eyes or ears, or a patch on the base of the tail, to a large saddle patch and various other patches. For judging purposes, distinctions between an ideal "Scott­type" and an ideal "Johnson­type" are defined in brackets and in bold. Size General Males ­ 23 to 27 inches at the withers and weigh from 75 to 120 Ibs. Females ­ 21 to 25 inches at the withers, 60 to 90 Ibs. The weight should be proportional to size. [Scott­type: an ideal males should be 23 to 27 inches at the withers and weigh from 75 to 110 Ibs., females, 21 to 25 inches, 60 to 85 Ibs. The weight should be proportional to size.] [Johnson­type: an ideal male should be 22 to 26 inches at the withers and weigh from 80 to 120 Ibs. Females 20 to 24 inches, 60 to 90lbs.l

Head

Medium in length and broad across skull with pronounced muscular cheeks.

Eyes

Medium in size. Any color. The hew should not be visible. Black eye rims preferred on white dogs. Pink eye rims to be considered a cosmetic fault.

Muzzle

Medium length (2 to 4 in.), square and broad with a strong underjaw. Lips should be full but not pendulous. 42 to 44 teeth. [Scott­type: tight undershot (reverse scissors) preferred. Scissors and even bites are considered a cosmetic fault. Structural faults are a muzzle under 2 inches or longer than 4 inches, pendulous lips, less than 42 teeth, more than 1/4 inch undershot, small teeth or uneven incisors.] [Johnson­type: definite undershot, 1/8 to 1/4 inch preferred. Scissors or even bite is a disqualification. Structural faults are a muzzle under 2 inches or over 4 inches.]

Nose

Color is black or grizzle. On black nosed dogs the lips should be black with some pink allowed. A pink nose to be considered a cosmetic fault.

Ears

Cropped or uncropped. Uncropped preferred.

Neck

Muscular, medium in length, slightly arched, tapering from shoulders to head, with a slight dewlap allowed.

Point Breakdown for Judging
Overall: proportion 10 points
temperament 10 points
total of 20 points

Head: size and shape 10 point
muzzle 5 points
teeth 5 points
total of 20 points

Body: neck 5 points
shoulders 5 points
chest 10 points
back 10 points
hindquarters 10 points
legs 10 points
feet 5 points
tail and coat 5 points
total of 60 points

Grand Total of 100 points

 

 

American Bulldog

Coal miners in the Staffordshire region crossed English Bulldogs with scrappy terriers and continued the gladitorial tradition in clandestine matches that are still going on today. From these Bulldog Terrier crosses we get the American Bulldog, the American Pit Bull Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the Bull Terrier.

There are two distinct strains of American Bulldogs, Classic (Johnson, Bully) and Standard (Scott, Performance) which is often mistaken for its second cousin, the American Pit Bull Terrier because of its appearance, and for its much smaller European relatives because of its name. The American Bulldog is different from any of these. The American Bulldog is massive in comparison to the French Bulldog or English Bulldog as it still resembles the Old English Bulldog and was never down bred to be a lap dog.

The Standard American Bulldog does resemble the pit bull-type breeds on many points, such as being muscular dogs that can be all white or white with patches. However, the pit bull's head is in the shape of a wedge coming to a more rounded point at the muzzle, whereas an American Bulldog's is box-shaped. The American Bulldog's ears are also typically uncropped, and its head is heavier and a little bulkier. Another major difference is size, with the American Bulldog generally being much larger than a purebred American Pitbull Terrier (which according to the UKC standard should only weigh 30 - 60 pounds).

The two types differ temperamentally as well as physically. The Johnson dogs are descendants of the plantation Bulldogs that were kept as yard dogs in the old south. They are typically more territorial, more man aggressive, in short more of a guardian. The athletic Scott strain descended from hog and cattle catch dogs. They were and still are used to catch wild hogs and cattle that have strayed into brush so thick that a man on horse back would find it impenetrable. This type of work requires extreme physical prowess. For this reason the smaller strain is called Performance

Description:
The American Bulldog is a powerful, athletic short-coated dog, strongly muscled, and well boned. American Bulldogs generates the impression of great strength, endurance and exhibits a well-knit, sturdy compact frame. The American Bulldog should be evaluated as a working dog, and exaggerations or faults should be penalized in proportion to how much they interfere with the dogs ability to work.

Height:
Males 22-27 inches; Females 20-25 inches

Weight:
Males 75-125 lbs; Female 60-100

Colors:
All white, pied, or up to 90% color; brindle or red patches (red is defined as any shade of tan, brown.

Coat:
The coat is short, close, and stiff to the touch.

Temperament:
An American Bulldog is typically a happy, friendly, and assertive dog that is at ease with its family and fine with strangers as they get to know the stranger in question. They are quite fond of children but sometimes do not know their own strength, thus, as with all dogs, they should be supervised with small children. They bond strongly with their master and family but, because of strong guarding instincts and a somewhat dominant attitude, they need a firm but fair hand; they should be socialized and obedience trained early to expose them to other dogs and people and to ensure that they can be controlled around company as they get older and larger.

Remember, they are working dogs with high energy drives. They need room to expend their energy, and so American Bulldogs do best in a home with a backyard and preferably a "job" to do. A tired well worked bulldog is a happy bulldog. They are not always well behaved towards cats and smaller pets, but correct socialization at an early age can greatly increase the chances of them accepting these animals. This behavior is a reflection of a breed trait called prey drive. High prey drive is a desirable trait in an American Bulldog. A well bred American Bulldog is a catch dog of large herbivores. They can be stubborn with training though once they are trained they tend to obey their masters faithfully. American bulldog puppies can be relatively difficult to housebreak, but it is important to be persistent.



Care and Exercise:
Brush coat with a firm bristle brush or rubber mitt and bathe only when necessary. Puppies should have early socialization.

Health Issues:
A very healthy, hardy dog. Some strains have hip dysplasia.

Category:
Rare, Working

American Bulldog

The American Bulldog is an athletic, temperamentally sound medium to large sized dog that possesses great strength, agility and confidence. The expression should reflect intelligence and alertness. The sturdy and powerful yet compact frame is characteristically stockier and heavier boned in the males and more refined in the females. Some aloofness with strangers and assertiveness towards other dogs is accepted. However, an American Bulldog should not be excessively timid, shy or aggressive towards man and preferably not overly aggressive with other dogs. Due to its distinctive physical and mental characteristics along with its natural desire to be the total companion and working dog, an American Bulldog should never be confused with uniquely different breeds such as the American Staffordshire Terrier or the American Pit Bull Terrier.

Size-General: Males should range from 24 to 27 inches at the withers and weigh between 90 and 110 pounds. Females should range from 22 to 25 inches at the withers and weigh between 70 and 90 pounds. Weight should be proportional to height and body type. A dog should be well conditioned and not overweight or underweight. Standard: A leaner and more athletic dog in appearance. Classic: A larger and more powerful dog in appearance.

Color: Solid or varying degrees of white, all shades of brindle, brown, red, or tan are acceptable. Solid black, black and tan, and/or any degree of merle is unacceptable. A full black mask is not acceptable. **Merle is a dilution of overall body color (black or red) with splotches of darker color giving the effect of "merling" or "marbling" not to be confused with Brindle that gives the effect of "striping". Coat: Short, less than one inch in length varying from soft to stiff. Long, feathering, or fuzzy coats are unacceptable.

Head: The head should be relatively large and broad in proportion to the size and overall structure of the dog. It should be flat on top giving a squared appearance. There is a defined furrow between the eyes with a distinct, deep stop. The head is well-muscled throughout with prominent cheeks. An excessively narrow head is unacceptable in both types. Standard: Generally box shaped to wedge in appearance with a slightly shallower stop and less wrinkles. Classic: Generally box shaped to round in appearance with a more definitive stop and heavier wrinkles.

Eyes: The eyes should be round or almond shape, medium sized, and wide set. Black or dark brown is the preferred color. Other colors are accepted. Black eye rim pigment preferred. Crossed and/or nonsymmetrical eyes are unacceptable.

Muzzle: The muzzle should be relatively broad and square. The large jaws are well-muscled, displaying great strength. Lips are full but not pendulous. Black pigment lining lips preferred. An excessively narrow muzzle is unacceptable in both types. Standard: muzzle should be 30% to 40% of the overall length of head. Classic: muzzle should be 25% to 35% of the overall length of head. Teeth: The teeth should number 42 to 44 and large in size is preferred. Working dogs should not be penalized for broken teeth. Should medical removal of teeth be needed, documentation and verification by a veterinarian is requested. Bite: Standard: Reverse scissors is preferred. Moderate underbite, scissors or even bite is acceptable. Classic: Undershot 1/4 to ½ inch preferred. Even bite is not preferred. Scissors bite is unacceptable. Both types: Teeth should not be visible when the mouth is closed.

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