28 Questions То Consider Before Getting An American Bulldog
By Sviat Oleksiv | Updated on November 24, 2021
Often confused with pitbulls by uninitiated first-timers, American Bulldogs are actually very different from pitties. Quite different from their English Bulldog predecessors as well, American Bulldogs are tall, stocky, fast, exceptionally smart, and great family companions. They can be a handful to deal with, however, and require an experienced owner.
So, is an American Bulldog the right dog for you and your family? Are you the right owner for an American Bulldog? Let’s find out by answering the main 28 questions to consider before getting an American Bulldog below.
1. Do American Bulldogs make good pets?
Smart and affectionate, a well-trained American Bulldog makes for a phenomenal family dog. The emphasis is on “well-trained”, however, as these dogs can be a little hyperactive and overly protective. But, if you know what you’re doing – or if you do your research and prepare properly – you can absolutely raise your bully into a fantastic pet.
2. Are American Bulldogs aggressive?
American Bulldogs are driven and active dogs that do have a dominance instinct. This means that they tend to strive to be the alpha of their pack. When they are not trained properly, this instinct can indeed make them aggressive. And, if you also haven’t socialized these dogs well, their aggressive tendencies can become even more significant. All this can be negated with adequate training, however.
3. Do American Bulldogs have pitbull in them?
Not really. Both breeds are descendants of the Old English Bulldog but pitbulls were crossed with terriers which has made them a wholly different breed. Additionally, pitbull were used and bred for very different tasks, namely dog fighting rings which has led to a different temperament compared to American Bulldogs.
4. How smart are American Bulldogs?
As a working dog breed, American Bulldogs boast impressive intelligence. Historically, they were used both to collect stray cattle, to help around the farm, and as guard dogs. So, they have been trained and bred to understand verbal commands, to follow instructions, and so on.
5. Are American Bulldogs easy to train?
As intelligent as they are, American Bulldogs are a bit too bull-headed to be easy to train. Their desire to dominate and to assume the alpha position means that they can turn into quite the trouble for inexperienced owners. As a result, obedience training** is an absolute must with these dogs**.
6. Can you leave American Bulldogs alone?
Dominant or not, American Bulldogs love their families and need to be around them at all times. This makes separation anxiety quite an issue for people who work away from home. If you fall in this category, you’ll need to either have another family member at home when you’re away or maybe consider a different dog breed.
7. Are American Bulldogs social?
American Bulldogs will always be social and friendly with their own families. However, how social they are with guests, strangers, and other dogs will depend on how well you’ve socialized your dog. If your Bulldog isn’t socialized properly, its guard dog instincts are likely to kick in around other people.
8. Are American Bulldogs good with other dogs?
Not really. This is quite unfortunate as separation anxiety is easy to deal with if you have more than one dog. However, American Bulldogs’ instinct to dominate can make them quarrel with other dogs or at least make life difficult for them. If the other dog is of a less dominant breed and you’ve trained both dogs well and you’ve raised them together – the situation can be manageable.
9. Is it ok to have an American Bulldog in a home with a child?
American Bulldogs are considered a kid-friendly breed, at least as far as kids in their own families are concerned. These dogs have a strong protective instinct and an affectionate nature so they will always be good with their families’ kids unless you’ve really messed up the dog’s training.
One potential problem, however, is the kid’s other friends. Don’t let an American Bulldog unsupervised when your child is playing with other kids. Otherwise, the dog may confuse the kids’ playtime with an attack and jump to your child’s defense.
10. Do American Bulldogs get along with cats?
If an American Bulldog is raised with a cat, the dog will likely view the feline as a part of the family/pack. If not, however, and if the dog hasn’t been properly trained and socialized, the cat may be in trouble. Additionally, American Bulldogs are very energetic and hyperactive which not every cat will enjoy.
11. How big do American Bulldogs get?
An American Bulldog can get as high as 20 to 28 inches at the shoulder (51 to 71 cm) and as heavy as 60 to 120 pounds ( 27 to 55 kg). This puts them on the upper end of the large dog groups and near the border with giant breeds – but not quite.
12. How much exercise does an American Bulldog need?
These dogs have high exercise needs, including at least a couple of hours a day in the dog park, plenty of jogging to and from the dog park, weekly hikes, as well as some playtime in the yard or at home. If you’re not ready to give your dog all that, this breed isn’t for you.
13. Do you need a yard for an American Bulldog or can they live in apartments?
Technically, you don’t need a yard for this breed if you spend enough time in the dog park with your dog. However, if you don’t have that much time, a large and well-fenced yard can supplement your Bulldog’s exercise needs quite nicely.
14. Are American Bulldogs escape artists?
Very much so – these dogs are known to easily jump as high as 6 feet or higher if they want to chase something beyond the face. So, if you want to leave your Bulldog unsupervised in the yard, said yard better have an exceptionally high fence.
15. How long do American Bulldogs live?
For a breed of this size, American Bulldogs have a pretty impressive lifespan of 10 to 15 years on average. With good health and proper care they can live even beyond that too.
16. Are American Bulldogs healthy dogs?
American Bulldogs are relatively healthy dogs, especially compared to their English counterparts. Still, poorly bred Bulldogs can suffer from most common canine problems and especially Hip dysplasia and some skin problems . Getting your dog from a reputable breeder and/or with a health certificate is strongly recommended.
17. What type of coat do American Bulldogs have?
This breed has a short double coat. Because of how short it is, it doesn’t offer that much protection against the elements. So, while American Bulldogs are great in moderate climates, you should be careful with especially cold or particularly hot weather.
18. What colors can American Bulldogs come in?
These dogs can come in a single color, bi-color, or even tri-color. They are usually predominantly (or completely) white with varying degrees of fawn, brown, red, black, or brindle splashed in.
19. Do American Bulldogs shed a lot?
American Bulldogs are moderate shedders. That, together with their short coats, makes them** fairly easy to deal with, especially compared to other long-haired and highly shedding breeds.**
20. Are American Bulldogs hypoallergenic?
Not at all. These dogs shed quite often and they even drool a bit. This makes them very far from being hypoallergenic.
21. Do American Bulldogs need a lot of grooming?
Not really – brushing your dog’s coat once or several times a week will take care of most of its shedding. The rest of the grooming needs are pretty standard canine stuff – clean the eyes and ears, watch out for skin problems, consider nail clipping and tooth brushing, and that’s it.
22. What’s the difference between an English Bulldog and American Bulldog?
The American breed is far taller, with longer legs, and more athletic. They also don’t have as short of a snout and aren’t (quite as) Brachycephalic as English Bulldogs. As a result of that, American Bulldogs are much healthier overall.
23. Do American Bulldogs drool a lot?
While not quite the drooling machines that St. Bernards or Newfoundlands are, American Bulldogs do drool quite a bit. If this is a deal-breaker for you, you may want to look for a different breed.
24. Why does my American Bulldog stink?
Given their short coats, American Bulldogs are far from the stinkiest dog breed out there. They can have some skin issues, however. So, if your bully is a bit smelly, check it out for skin inflammations such as Atopy .
25. How much is an American Bulldog puppy?
A purebred American Bulldog puppy can cost anywhere between $1,500 and $3,500. This can be quite costly for a lot of people but that’s the price of a healthy and purebred dog.
Puppy mills and pet stores offer lower prices but dogs there are often ridden with health problems. Plus, you’ll be supporting an incredibly immoral and exploitative industry. A great alternative is an adoption – American Bulldogs are a popular enough breed for there to be quite a lot of these dogs in shelters and rescues.
26. Can American Bulldogs swim?
Unlike their English Bulldog brethren, American Bulldogs have a fairly balanced body weight. This means that they can swim easily without literally tipping over their heads.
27. Are there different types of American Bulldogs?
There are two general subtypes of American Bulldogs. One is the Johnson/classic type and the other is the Scott/bully type. The latter is shorter and stockier while the other is taller and larger overall.
28. What is bad about American Bulldogs?
Overall, the American Bulldog is a fantastic pet breed if you are up for the challenge. These dogs are just difficult to train, that’s all. If you have the time and persistence to get through their obedience training and socialization, American Bulldogs are a great pet to have. From then on, you just need to give them enough love and exercise. As easy as it sounds, however, many inexperienced dog owners simply aren’t up to the task of training these dogs properly.
All in all, American Bulldogs are a pretty unique breed for unique dog owners. These dogs are generally recommended for experienced owners but can, hypothetically, be raised and trained by first-timers as well. Just make sure that you know what you’re doing and you train and socialize your dog well.
Otherwise, these strong and agile dogs can be a bit unmanageable and you may need the help of a professional trainer. Do a good job, however, and you’ll get a wonderful, affectionate, and playful companion that will be with you for quite some time.