The American Bulldog is a large, mastiff-type working breed with roots in the Deep South’s farms and ranches. The descendant of English Bulldogs bought to North America by Anglo immigrants, it was originally used for blood sports such as dogfighting and bull-baiting, as well as hunting feral pigs. Pigs were introduced to North America in the 16th Century by Christopher Columbus. What was initially a cheap and convenient food source soon turned into a pest, and with few natural predators was able to multiply out of control. When used to hunt, the American Bulldog proved itself as one of the most effective ways farmers could control feral pigs which ultimately lead to its enduring popularity and utility. Despite almost becoming extinct by the end of the Second World War, the breed was revived and survived due to the hard work of John D. Johnson and Alan Scott. Today, the American Bulldog is a beloved and well-regarded companion and working breed which can be found around the world.
American Bulldogs are stocky, well-muscled dogs with large heads and a relatively short muzzle that does not restrict their ability to breathe normally. Their coats are short, and generally white with darker-coloured patches across their head, torso, and limbs. Although American Bulldogs can be expected to shed a little, this will be far less pronounced than with breeds such as the Siberian Husky or German Shepherd.
As with most other working breeds, the American Bulldog is intelligent and driven. Its stubbornness can make them somewhat harder to train than a German or Belgian Shepherd, but it is still perfectly able to learn and retain a variety of commands. Given their naturally protective nature and high prey-drive, many American Bulldogs will take to protection work and excel as personal or family protection dogs. Their strong capacity to bond with family members and be affectionate make them excellent with children when properly supervised. Given their size and power, American Bulldogs must be trained and taught what obedience is from the early stages of their puppyhood. Reward-based training is effective, and a clicker can be very useful.
Occasionally, the American Bulldog is confused with another breed: the American Bully. While their names are similar, these are two fundamentally different breeds. The American Bulldog organically developed in-line with the needs of North American settlers and farmers over hundreds of years for specific work, whereas the American Bully is much “younger” and was bred for the way it looks. Although both can be used for protection work, American Bulldogs are likely to be far better candidates and definitely the breed we would recommend first.
Many individuals or families approach us seeking a protection dog when they already own other pets. These have been as diverse as gerbils, rabbits, guinea pigs, and cats. In such cases, one of their first questions is whether or not out protection dogs can live with other animals. While each…