Knowing Am Bull Dogs
The American Bulldog, affectionately known as the Am Bull, descends from the ancient Mastiff ancestry lines; as a breed they relate most to the English Bulldog taken over on the boats from Britain to America by settlers. The American Bulldog emerged in the Southern States and was used to guard properties and bring down Bison or wild pigs. They are taller than English Bulldogs and tend not to be as square. A male American Bulldog is between 27-54 Kilos in weight and 20-27” to the whither/shoulder prominences. Females are usually smaller as with dog breeds generally. They are characteristically predominantly white, if other colours are present they show in patch formation except if the dog is blue or blue merle; this colour is frowned upon. These dogs are not strictly defined as a breed as with many working breeds. Their coat is short, smooth and shiny and is very fine showing the skin on their sides. There can be spotting pigmentation to their skin. They can occasionally have one or 2 blue eyes.
Character: Am Bulls form very strong bonds with their people. They need to be raised to be inclusive and receptive to all family members, friends, visitors and strangers, though the latter can continue to be a challenge as they have instinctual features to guard people and territory. So while the American Bulldog is very loyal and loving, it does have a protective instinct and should be well trained and socialised with people and other animals. They need responsible handlers to teach them to trust and befriend, someone who will guide them giving them clues on how to relax and check their responses with positive reassurance. This is an important factor for them to learn and will enable them to be happy within the kennel environment and allow different people to access their kennel, bringing in food and bedding and also to retrieve. The kennel hands need to be conscious to gain their trust and maintain their friendship and inclusiveness, or simply to manage them the other side of a kennel divide with less experienced handlers. Most American Bulldogs are receptive and are often found living in multi-dog households with children and cats. They may be managed with certain commands to relax around strangers if their tendency to become suspicious arises.
“The Am Bull is an athletic, temperamentally sound medium to large sized dog that possesses great strength, agility and confidence. Their 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 toward other dogs is accepted however, an American Bulldog should not be excessively timid, shy or aggressive toward man and, preferably not overly agressive with other dogs.“Source : American Rare Breed Association.
American Bull Dogs are easy to train and must be trained. They need to know what behaviour is expected of them and timing is the key to successful training. You must correct or praise a behaviour immediately. You have to lead them, not them lead you; this is achievable through friendship and trust rather than blatant dominance, they too will then relate with friendship and trust.