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Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > American Bulldog Breed Info: Pictures, Care Guide, Temperament & Traits

American Bulldog Breed Info: Pictures, Care Guide, Temperament & Traits

three american bulldogs on grass

Bulldogs are some of the most popular dogs around the globe. One of their bigger varieties is the American Bulldog. The American Bulldog is a highly affectionate, gentle, and loving dog that many people can’t get enough of. These gentle giants are a favorite among families and those in need of a work dog.

Breed Overview


20 – 28 inches


60 – 130 pounds


10 – 15 years


White with patches of brindle, red, or black; black, red, brindle, brown, or fawn

Suitable for:

Active families who are home frequently


Affectionate, energetic, intelligent, and friendly; good around other dogs and children if socialized early

Although American Bulldogs are highly kind and lovable, they are not suited for all homes. Because of their size, for example, they need a lot more space and area to play. There is more to consider than just their size and space, though.

If you are considering getting an American Bulldog, you have come to the right place. In this guide, we give you a thorough rundown about what American Bulldogs need for a long life and what to expect when owning one. This can help you determine if this fun-loving giant breed is right for you and your home.

American Bulldog Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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American Bulldog Puppies

American Bulldog puppy
Image Credit: Kapa65, Pixabay

American Bulldog puppies are known to be friendly, loyal, and have a lot of energy. They are highly affectionate towards their family and are typically good with children. American Bulldogs have a strong desire to please their owners and are generally highly trainable. They can be independent and assertive, so they require a confident and experienced owner who can provide consistent training and positive reinforcement. American Bulldogs are highly protective of their family, and they make excellent guard dogs.

American Bulldogs are also highly trainable, and they enjoy learning new tricks and commands. However, they can be stubborn and independent, so they require consistent training and positive reinforcement. It is important to note that early socialization and training is essential to ensure that an American Bulldog is well-behaved and friendly around people and other animals. This breed is also known to have a moderate to high energy level, so they make excellent pets for families who enjoy an active lifestyle.

Temperament & Intelligence of the American Bulldog

American Bulldogs are highly intelligent, and they can have good temperaments, but they require much more training and care than other breeds. Early socialization is key for this breed, but they still will likely not be as gentle with other dogs as some owners would like.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

American Bulldogs, despite their bigger size, are often great for families. Especially if you get an American Bulldog at a young age, they tend to be great for all family members, including children.

They tend to be incredibly affectionate and gentle with children, making them suitable for families.

With that being said, it’s important to teach your children how to properly play with dogs. More so, always supervise playtime to ensure that the child is not aggravating the dog and the dog is not showing signs of aggression or annoyance.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

american bulldog puppy
Image Credit: rzierik, Pixabay

One of the downsides of an American Bulldog is that they aren’t the best with other animals. They don’t tend to be any more aggressive with cats than other breeds, but they aren’t always the best option if you already have dogs.

Generally speaking, American Bulldogs are aggressive to dogs of their own gender if not socialized. In other words, male American Bulldogs don’t get along with other males, whereas female American Bulldogs don’t get along with other females. They do, however, tend to get along well with dogs of the opposite gender.

Of course, early socialization can make a big difference. If you get your American Bulldog at a young enough age, you might be able to train them to get along with all dogs, but this may not be the case. That does not mean they will be outright aggressive to other dogs. It just might be that they are more defensive or hesitant around them.


Things to Know When Owning an American Bulldog:

Before owning an American Bulldog, there are some things you need to know. Although American Bulldogs are healthier than other bulldog types, they do come with known health conditions, grooming needs, and differences between males and females.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

brindle american bulldog
Image By: Zanna Pesnina, Shutterstock

It is highly important to feed an American Bulldog a healthy diet from a young age. American Bulldogs are prone to health conditions, which we will talk about later. It’s especially important to ensure your American Bulldog stays of healthy weight. This breed experiences a lot of health conditions, especially when they become obese.

Feeding your American Bulldog a protein and fat-heavy diet from a young age can help a lot. Offer food that have proteins sourced from animals, such as chicken, turkey, duck, and venison. Steer clear of foods with a high carb content.

Exercise 🐕

American Bulldogs also need a lot of exercise. Whenever they are inside, they don’t tend to be rambunctious, but they can get bored really easily. Fight that boredom by playing with them frequently or taking them on long walks.

Because American Bulldogs have a shorter snout than many other breeds, be careful when exercising your dog outside in hot weather. American Bulldogs can overheat easier and have trouble breathing than other breeds. So, keep a close eye on this fact or bring a portable water bottle for your dog.

Training 🎾

american bulldog lying outdoor
Image By: jadimagesjadimages, Shutterstock

Even though American Bulldogs may look a bit scary, they are incredibly easy to train. This breed is really loyal to their owners and wants to please them. This makes them a highly trainable breed. With that being said, American Bulldog puppies can be a bit rambunctious, but they will be easily trained once they start to settle down.

Grooming ✂️

Even though American Bulldogs come with short coats, they have moderate and seasonal shedding. Because of this fact, you need to brush the American Bulldog coat regularly. This will keep their coat healthy and combat excess hair around your home. Expect to vacuum frequently, especially during their shedding seasons.

Health and Conditions 🏥

As we have already mentioned, American Bulldogs have known health conditions, though they have fewer health conditions than other bulldog types.

Minor Conditions
  • Cataracts
  • Mange
Serious Conditions
  • Brachycephalic syndrome
  • Overheating
  • Obesity
  • Hip dysplasia

divider-pawMale vs Female

American Bulldogs are one of the breeds that express sex differences very clearly. Males are notably larger than the females, meaning you should opt for a female if you want a smaller American Bulldog. Both dogs tend to be equally as aggressive around other dogs but can be trained.

3 Little-Known Facts About the American Bulldog

1. American Bulldogs Can’t Swim

Believe it or not, American Bulldogs are not good swimmers. Although they might be able to survive some swimming, they can drown really easily. This is because the size of their head makes it much more difficult to doggy paddle than other breeds. It’s best to keep American Bulldogs away from water for safety purposes.

2. American Bulldogs Almost Went Extinct

Even though American Bulldogs are one of the most popular breeds today, they almost went extinct during World War II. it wasn’t until John D Johnson, a war veteran, took the time to resurrect the breed that they make a comeback. He worked tirelessly to re-establish the American Bulldog.

From Johnson’s work, multiple bloodlines were established, creating different physical traits. This created two prominent lines, including the Johnson type and the Scott type. Johnsons are much bulkier and have a bully look, whereas Scott types are more athletic. Most American Bulldogs today are a mixture of the two.

Now, American Bulldogs are safe from extinction. They remain the most popular breed in LA and the sixth most popular in the United States as a whole. The breed certainly has come a long way since World War II.

3. American Bulldogs Are a Favorite in Pop Culture

For some reason, movies and entertainment love American Bulldogs. One of the more known American Bulldogs is actually the dog in Tom and Jerry. You can also see them in the 2013 film Joe or the 1993 movie Homeward Bound.


Final Thoughts

American Bulldogs are a great breed if you want a gentle giant to play with. Although they will need early socialization and a lot of care to ensure they aren’t aggressive around other dogs, the effort very well may be worth it for a loyal and fun-loving giant.

If you have an American Bulldog, just make sure to offer that dog ample exercise and playtime but watch out for their breathing. Additionally, be proactive in providing them nutritional treats to keep them healthy as long as possible. Oh, and you might want to anticipate a little bit of slobber, but that comes with the territory of any large dog!

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Featured Image Credit: B Wills, Pixabay

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