American Bulldogs

American Bulldogs

 

RonRoys "Puddin" - American Bulldog - Submitted by DeernBull Kennels.

 

History - The ancestors of all bulldogs were beleived to be the ancient Mastiff dogs and is was common thinking that the "bulldog" was a type of dwarf mastiff due to it being shorter, having a bigger head and larger chest than it's predecessors. These early bulldogs were used to bait (fight) bulls and bears and also a variety of other animals including lions, tigers, apes and other beasts that might excite the many spectators that this so called "sport" attracted. Finally, in 1835 these activities were outlawed and the then unemployed Bulldog underwent many changes. Some were crossed with terriers to produce the fighting dogs like the Bullterrier and Staffordshire Bullterrier, others were bred to English Mastiffs to form the Bullmastiff breed. The British Bulldog that is seen at todays dog shows is a cross between the original bulldog and the small dog breedd called the Pug. Breeders transformed a once very athletic animal into a dog with serious health problems.

 

American Bulldog -  When the English moved to America in the 17 to 1800's they brought their old type bulldogs with them. The early settlers in America needed a dog that could guard their families and their livestock from attacks from mountain lions, bears, wolves and wild dogs. Farmers also needed a dog that could track down game like deer and other edible animals and last but not least these dogs had to be "catch dogs", as there were few fences in those days and the pioneer cattle and hogs roamed the woods freely. The only way to re-capture these animals for branding, marking etc was to use the Bulldogs. Bulldogs are still used in America, particularly in the south as "catch dogs" for cattle and for hunting hogs. This breed was once called the American Pitt Bulldog, but as people were confusing this dog with the American Pitt Bullterrier (which is a totally different breed) the name was changed to the American Bulldog in the 1970's. The modern American Bulldog is thought by many to be a cross of the early English Bulldog and such breeds as the Catahoula, the Spanish Bulldog and perhaps some other Cur dog breeds. American Cur dogs are working and hunting dogs.

 

RonRoys "Puddin" working cattle - American Bulldog - Submitted by DeernBull Kennels.

 

Uses - The American Bulldog is an intelligent breed that takes readily to obediance training, protection and security work. They have excelled in protection dog sports, Schutzhund, and weight pulling. At one time a 115 pound Bulldog was the second strongest dog in the world just behind a 200 pound English Mastiff. Bulldogs have been used a police dogs and for narcotics detection work. Some can be used for herding livestock but it should be noted they are more stubborn than most working breeds. As they are excellent with children they have featured in movies such as "Little Rascals", "Homeward Bound", "Cheaper by the Dozen Part 1 and 2" as well as a few others.

 

Types of American Bulldogs - There has always been a lot of talk about the different types of American Bulldog. I will try to clarify to the best of my understanding the facts behind these dogs.

The main types of American Bulldog are:-

The White English or Southern White - The original American Bulldog kept by ranchers and hunters in the deep south.

The John D Johnson Bulldog - Mr Johnson and his father before him have bred Bulldogs for over eighty years. He used his dogs for catching cattle, hog hunting, protection, and for the control of wild dogs. Johnson dogs can be distinguished by their larger size and a more undershot jaw than other American Bulldogs.

Scott Type - Allan Scott also used his dogs for catch work. He based his lines on the smaller, more athletic types with longer muzzles than the Johnson dogs.

Mr Johnson and Mr Scott were once close friends but with time their views changed on the direction of the American Bulldog. As Mr Johnson got older he concentrated more on breeding bigger, stronger dogs for protection and family guard dogs. Mr Scott on the other hand, kept breeding his dogs for cattle work. The Bulldog community then started to split, some followed Mr Johnson's lead and others joined Allan Scott in his approach to the breed.

There has been a lot of speculation in relation to the different abilities of the Scott and Johnson dogs. Some will say Johnson dogs are to big and heavy, others feel that the Scott is too small and lacks strength. It is true there are extreme dogs in both lines however crossing Johnson and Scott dogs together has proven to produce excellent all round dogs in a lot of cases. These Johnson-Scott dogs are called hybrids and are felt by many to be the way of the future. We have a Johnson female and a Johnson/Scott male and both are excellent workers and exceptional family pets.

RonRoys "Dennis the Mennis", "Puddin" and DeernBull bred pup - American Bulldogs - Submitted by DeernBull Kennels.

Hunting - In the USA Bulldogs are usually teamed with what they call "bay dogs", which are dogs that find and bail a hog. The hunters usually walk to the bay with the Bulldog on a lead, when the quarry is in sight the Bulldog is released. The American Bulldog is one of the best holding breeds in the world today.

Hunting in Australia isn't that much different than hunting in America except that different types of bailing dogs are used. American bulldogs have good noses and are fast enough to catch a pig, but it is perhaps better to keep them on a lead until the bailers have done their job so the Bulldogs have plenty of energy left to tackle those big angry boars. We have found that our Bulldogs hunt out wide and never stop scouting the scrub. This could wear heavier dogs out on a long hunt. We use lighter built Bulldogs and on the short hunts they run loose with our other dogs and we have found they have good stamina. These dogs are capable of finding shot game and tracking down wounded animals. Bulldogs, both pure and cross bred have been used in Northern Australia for catching scrub bulls.

RonRoys "Dennis the Mennis" - American Bulldog - Submitted by DeernBull Kennels.

Living with Bulldogs - This breed is one of  the most courageous, loyal and protective dogs that can be found. They make faithful and trustworthy family pets, but being such a powerful animal they must be properly socialised with people, other dogs, pets and livestock from an early age. Bulldogs are not for everyone however, as they need daily exercise. This can be as simple as playing with the kids, regular walks, tug-o-war games etc. They must have daily stimulation of some sort, these dogs should not be left chained up as they will become bored and agitated.

Weight and Size - Because the American Bulldog is used as more of a working dog than a show dog there can be great variation in weight and size.

Males - 22 to 28 inches at the shoulder and can weigh between 80 to 150 pounds.

Females - 17 to 26 inches at the shoulder and can weigh between 65 to 130 pounds.

As a general rule the ideal pig catching weight is around 65 to 95 pounds and dogs used for weight pulling should ideally be 100+ pounds.

RonRoys "Dennis the Mennis" and "Puddin" - American Bulldogs - Submitted by DeernBull Kennels.

Submitted by DEERNBULL Kennels.

For further breed information contact - James Callan, DEERNBULL KENNELS. Telephone 0268474487 or 0429445023.