Spotlight On: American Bulldogs

If you’re on the prowl for a bulldog that can work hard by your side while also being a fantastic friend and companion for you and the entire family, look no further than the American Bulldog. Here’s what you need to know before deciding if this breed is the best match for you!

Basic Characteristics of American Bulldogs

The American Bulldog is a larger-sized dog breed with a muscular build. The males of this breed often weigh between 75 and 100 lbs, and the females are smaller and tend to weigh between just 60 to 80 lbs, with males also being a bit taller (22 to 25 inches in height) than their smaller female counterparts (20 to 23 inches in height).

This bulldog breed has a short and smooth coat that lies down flat and close to its body. Its coloring often tends to be solid white or primarily white, but many American Bulldogs have various other markings as well. Whether they simply have solid patches of another color, brindle markings, or speckles and spots, their white coats can also include quite a bit of brown, tan, red, or black markings to give them a unique appearance compared to their fellow AmBulls.

Thanks to their athletic builds, American Bulldogs are great for working dog positions, especially when it comes to very physical types of work that lets them use both their bodies and their brains, such as what one might find on a farm, hunting, or even personal protection. They’re known for being strong, agile, and not running out of steam very easily, making them a fantastic breed to utilize when needing canine assistance for some hard work.

Oddly enough, the American Bulldog was even bred and used to hunt down feral pigs and effectively take them down in the southern U.S. However, despite their ability to handle themselves in difficult situations and even around wild hogs, these American Bullies still remain one of the friendliest and most loving companions a dog parent could ever want.

Grooming Your American Bulldog

One of the easiest parts of caring for an American Bulldog is tending to its grooming needs. With their short coats, you may still have to deal with some seasonal shedding, but they’re unlikely to need much more than a weekly brush to manage the shedding and brush the healthy oils through their coat and an occasional bath whenever they get too dirty and need to get cleaned up.

Aside from their low-maintenance coats, the only other primary grooming concerns you’ll need to keep in mind for an American Bully are trimming his or her nails as needed and regularly cleaning their ears.

If your Bully has prominent facial wrinkles, you’ll also need to wipe between the folds as needed to prevent irritation or staining.

Dental hygiene is another concern that many pet parents tend to accidentally overlook, but if you’re unable to care for your pup’s teeth at home, your veterinarian should be able to help provide dental checkups and care as needed to keep your canine pal as healthy as possible.

Temperament

American Bulldogs are wonderful companions, but they’re also incredibly intelligent, so you can’t expect them to simply sit around and lounge all day with you. As both an athletic breed and one with the smarts to go along with it, training is absolutely essential when bringing an American Bully into the home.

These pups are eager to please and do well with positive reinforcement-based training, but they are certain to get into mischief with a lack of stimulation. However, thanks to their willingness to please and sharp minds, American Bulldogs can learn a variety of commands, from the basics to fun tricks to even skills like closing doors.

Socialization is also incredibly important with this breed. Although they may love their families dearly, they’re very protective and wary of unfamiliar people coming close to their homes and those close to them. These bulldogs make excellent guard dogs, but it’s important to include security-related commands in your training sessions with your pup to help them learn when to stand down because everything is okay and it’s just your Amazon package arriving or that they definitely have permission to protect you in the event of a threatening situation.

Another recommendation for American Bulldogs is to provide them with some interactive toys to keep those mental cogs turning throughout the day, whether those are treat puzzles, snuffle mats, or other such contraptions to motivate your pup to figure things out and get the much-needed stimulation they require, especially if stuck indoors due to bad weather or some other unavoidable situation.

american bulldogs

Exercising Your American Bulldog

Additionally, exercise is an important part of keeping your American Bully in top shape and feeling their best. Due to being a working dog breed, physical exertion is essential to maintaining your dog’s health and wellness. Regular walks are great, but engaging in a lot of play is also ideal for this breed.

Playing fetch and tug-of-war are great ways to burn off your American Bulldog’s energy while also spending time with them and strengthening your bond. Being very muscular and fit dogs, this breed also works well in the homes of those who love to go hiking, running, or engaging in other regular outdoor activities.

Wherever you go, your American Bully will follow and have a blast with you.

Although taking your dog out daily for walks, park trips, and more to burn off their energy can help manage behavioral issues due to understimulation, it should be noted that the ideal home for an American Bulldog would include some outdoor running space, especially a fenced-in area for their own safety.

This allows your canine companion plenty of comfortable space in their own home to run around, potty, and sniff to their heart’s content whenever you simply open up the back door for them.

Health Problems for Bulldogs

American Bulldogs are a pretty robust breed, but they do have two primary concerns. Many of these dogs have a very brachycephalic facial structure, which can lead to numerous potential health issues, such as impaired breathing, difficulty regulating their bodies in overly warm temperatures, trouble recovering from exercise or any other type of physical exertion, and even sleep issues.

Although there are many other breeds with even more prominent brachycephaly, this is a significant factor to keep in mind when playing with your American Bully or even taking them out somewhere with you during the heat of the summer. Always be sure you can provide them with an area to properly cool down and fresh water to drink!

Additionally, American Bulldogs can frequently have problems with sensitive skin. If your pup looks like it’s scratching a lot and has flaky skin, this could be a condition called “ichthyosis.” This condition is genetic in the breed and can be either mild and easily managed or severe and require far more bathing or even using special oils to alleviate the flaking and itchiness.

It should also not come as a surprise that a breed with such a skin issue is likely to have further skin sensitivity and allergies, which can lead to them licking themselves a lot, having red and/or infected skin, and even losing patches of their coat.

Lastly, due to their larger size, American Bulldogs are very likely to experience hip and elbow dysplasia, which is common among larger breeds. However, genetic screening and ensuring your dog receives a healthy diet appropriate for its size and breed from puppyhood to adulthood will help reduce the risk of arthritis or severe pain that can accompany this condition.

Bringing Your American Bulldog Home

Once you’ve decided whether the American Bulldog is the best fit for you, your family, and your lifestyle, it’s time to discuss adopting from a rescue or finding a reputable breeder.

When adopting from a breeder, you can expect to spend about $1200 to $1500 depending on the bulldog’s lineage and coat markings or simply by how reputable the breeder has proven themselves to be. To save yourself a pretty penny and also provide a home for a dog in need, there are also plenty of American Bulldog rescues throughout the country that have American Bullies of all ages and backgrounds and even special needs Bullies for those who are equipped to provide such pups with the best possible life.

When adopting from a rescue, you can expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $600 for this breed and know that you’re giving a well-deserving pup a second chance at having a wonderful home and family. American Bullies are located all over the U.S. on sites like NoKillNetwork.org and Rescue Me!, and there is also the specialized American Bulldog adoption website, AmericanBulldogRescue.org.

Regardless of where you find your wonderful new canine companion, we here at Space Coast Pet Services are ready and available to help make this transition in your lives as easy as possible by offering services such as pet sitting and home drop-ins if you ever need to leave your furry new best friend alone but can’t bear the stresses of doing so.

Feel free to check out our Services page for more information, and you can contact us any time with questions or comments!

 

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