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  • Temperament: Loyal, Self-Confident
  • Height: 22-25 inches (males); 20-23 inches (females)
  • Weight: 75-100 pounds (males); 60-80 pounds (females)
  • Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Group: Foundation Stock Service

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

American Bulldog standing in the grass in three-quarter view.
American Bulldog head portrait outdoors.
American Bulldog standing outdoors.
American Bulldogs laying down in the grass.
American Bulldog standing outdoors, facing right.
American Bulldog head portrait outdoors.
American Bulldog standing outdoors, facing left.
American Bulldog sitting outdoors.
American Bulldog standing in the grass.

About the American Bulldog

The American Bulldog is a descendant of the English Bulldog. It is believed that the bulldog was in America as early as the 17th century. They came to the United States in the 1800s, with immigrants who brought their working bulldogs with them. Small farmers and ranchers used this all-around working dog for many tasks including farm guardians, stock dogs, and catch dogs. The breed largely survived, particularly in the southern states, due to its ability to bring down and catch feral pigs.

The breed we know as the American Bulldog was originally known by many different names before the name American Bulldog became the standard. In different parts of the South he was known as the White English Southern Bulldog, but most commonly just “bulldog.” The breed was not called a bulldog because of a certain look, but because they did real bulldog work.


Breed Contact Information
Katrina Huffmaster
Phone:  850-519-3089


National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
American Bulldog puppy walking in the grass.

Find a Puppy: American Bulldog

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.



American Bulldogs are healthy dogs and will do very well with a variety of quality dog foods. American Bulldog puppies should be fed a large-breed puppy food for the first 14 months of their life in order to ensure slow and steady growth. Puppies should not be fed added calcium until they are advanced to adult food. Adult dogs should be fed a quality large-breed food along with added supplements for joint, muscle and coat care.


Grooming your American Bulldog can be a pretty easy task. This breed does not need to be bathed often, only occasional baths when they become dirty. Regular brushing will help keep their coat clean and shiny. Their nails should be trimmed every few weeks and ears should be cleaned once a month or as needed. Their teeth should be brushed regularly. Seasonal shedding is to be expected.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Occasional Bath/Brush




The American Bulldog is an athlete. For puppies, owners will need to practice non-impact exercises to decrease possible bone and joint damage. As adults, the American Bulldog will need a range of activities from jogs, hikes, tug-a-war games, to training exercises. The breed does not do well being left alone in a back yard. As this may lead to a variety of behavior problems related to pent-up energy. This breed requires frequent exercise and constant stimulation. Developing his athletic abilities will help this breed stay fit and happy.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity


Early socialization and puppy training classes are vital in channeling the American Bulldog’s energy. Rules and routines should be put in place early and adhered to as dogs grow up. They require a firm but loving hand to establish and retain proper boundaries. The more exposure to good training practices, other dogs, and people, the more likely the success at being managed both inside and outside of their environment.


May be Stubborn
Eager to Please




The American Bulldog is considered a healthy breed. Owners should maintain a schedule of examinations and vaccinations as recommended by their veterinarian. Hip and joint problems are a concern for this breed, hip and elbow evaluations should also be done. Just like other breeds, the American Bulldog has the potential to develop genetic health problems. Breeders should pre-screen any potential breeding pairs for genetic diseases.


Recommended Health Tests

  • Canine Multifocal Retinopathy 1 (CMR1)
  • Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
  • Hyperuricosuria (HUU)
  • Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis 10 (NCL10)
  • Ichthyosis
  • Hip Evaluation
  • Elbow Evaluation
  • Deafness
American Bulldog standing in the grass.
American Bulldog standing in the yard.
American Bulldog laying outdoors.
American Bulldog standing in the yard.


The American Bulldog is a powerfully built dog whose original function was that of a farm utility dog and family companion and protector. The American Bulldog is thought to have been in the United States as early as the 1700s and many arrived with their owners and families during the 17th and 18th centuries. The breed was well known for their abilities for catching feral cattle and pigs and became a useful tool to the small farmers and ranchers. The breed largely survived, particularly in the southern states, due to this ability. The breed almost died out during WWI and WWII, with the only surviving dogs kept on farms primarily in the southeast. The two men who are recognized as the pioneers of bringing the breed back from possible extinction are John D. Johnson and Alan Scott.

Did You Know?

The American Bulldog was approved for the FSS program November 2019.
The American Bulldog can jump vertically in excess of three feet due to their dense muscular build.
American Bulldogs are known for their almost clownish-like behavior when happy and excited.
The American Bulldog’s primary job has always been to work as a hog and cattle dog and a protector of personal property.

The Breed Standard

Colors & Markings


Description Standard Colors Registration Code
White Check Mark For Standard Color 199
White & Black 202
White & Brindle 203
White & Brown 204
White & Tan 217


Description Standard Markings Registration Code
Tan Markings Check Mark For Standard Mark 012
Brindle Markings Check Mark For Standard Mark 007
Black Markings Check Mark For Standard Mark 002
Red Markings Check Mark For Standard Mark 023
Brown Markings Check Mark For Standard Mark 022