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Capable of great affection and loyalty, American Bulldogs can make fantastic family pets. Originally used to deal with vermin as large as wild boar, they were also kept for their ability to guard and protect both their families and their property. This energetic breed requires plenty of exercise in order to maintain their well-muscled structure, and are increasingly popular globally.


10 to 15 years.



Loyal and affectionate, energetic and friendly.


Head and Skull

A large, sizeable head indicating strength. From a side view, both muzzle and skull are parallel, being joined by a well-defined stoop which is deep and almost at a right angle with the muzzle. Forehead should be wider than it is high. The skull will be deep, flat large and broad between the ears. Skull looks square when viewed from overhead. A deep median furrow reduces in depth from stop to occiput. Noticeably prominent cheek muscles.


Almond to round in shape and medium sized, set well apart. No visible haw, dark brown colour preferred with black rims.


A thick, broad muzzle that tapers very slightly from the stop to the nose. Muzzle is approximately one third the length of the head. The jaws are strong and muscular, reflecting their considerable strength. Lips are thick but not pendulous, preferably with black pigmentation. Well defined chin that neither overlaps, nor is covered by the upper lip.


Natural ears are small to medium sized, and are either drop, rose or semi=prick. Drop ears are high set and level with the upper skull line. At the base of the ear, it is slightly raised in front, then hangs along the cheek. The ear will have a slightly rounded tip. If pulled towards the eyes, it should not extend beyond the outside corner of the eye. Rose ears will be small and set high on the skull. Semi-prick ears are the same as drop ears with the exception that the ear tips will drop forwards.



The breed has a large nose accompanied by wide, open nostrils. Although black is preferable, shades of brown or red are also suitable.


One of the most powerful parts of the breed, the neck is muscular and at it’s widest almost as broad as the head. There will be a slight arch at the crest, slight tapering from shoulder to head.


This breed should have strong muscular shoulders with the blade well laid back forming an apparent 90 degree angle with the upper arm. Roughly, the shoulder blade tips should be approximately two or three finger widths apart. Forelegs are muscular with heavy bones. Elbows are set parallel to the body, not turned out or close to the ground. Only in a dog with a very broad chest should the forelegs incline slightly. Otherwise they should be perpendicular to the ground. Pasterns slightly sloping from profile or straight viewed from front.


Similar to the forequarters, the hindquarters should be muscular and broad, with angulation and width in balance with foreguarters. On the hindlegs the thighs will be noticeable well-muscled and fully developed. Side view will show rear pasterns well let down and perpendicular to the floor. Pasterns straight and parallel to each other when viewed from behind.


This breed has a deep, wide chest. Ribs are well sprung and flatten to form a deep body whilst extending to the elbows upon adulthood. Topline has a slight downward incline from withers to back. Loin will be short, with a slight arch and similarly slightly sloping croup. Firm flank.


Medium sized, round and well arched.


The tail is thick at the base, set low and will taper to a point. The tail should reach the hock joint. Tail carriage from upright when the dog is excited to between the hocks when relaxed is fone. 


With good drive from behing and good reach in front when trotting, the gait of this breed should appear effortless and powerful. Upon moving, the topline is level and flexing only slightly. Legs turn neither in or out and feet do not cross. Feet may move towards centre balance line when moving at speed.


May be either soft or stiff to the touch and either equal to or less than one inch in length and close.



All colours are acceptable, as are combinations and patterns, with the exception of complete black, blue, merle and tricolour. Some colours may make the dog appear black when not viewed under sunlight or bright light.


For adult males, the height should be from approximately 56 centimetres to 69 centimetres (22 inches to 27 inches). Females from 51cm to 63cm (20 inches to 24 inches).


  • Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid.

  • Aggression towards humans, or extreme shyness.

  • Deafness in one or both ears

  • Any dog that exhibits difficulty breathing while in the ring.

  • Wry jaw.

  • Overshot bite.

  • Crossed eyes.

  • Eyes that do not match in colour.

  • Coat longer than one inch, any feathering, or a wavy coat.

  • Albinism.

  • Solid black or blue with no white markings.

  • Tricolor (white with patches of black and tan); merle; full black mask.

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