American Bulldog

American Bulldog

Historically the American Bulldog was bred to be a “farm utility dog”. They were used to farm work in the South/Southeastern sections of the USA to work wild boar and cattle. They were also very much a part of the family, and were instrumental in personal and property protection as well. 


General Appearance

The American Bulldog is a well-balanced, short-coated, muscular and athletic animal. American Bulldogs display great strength, endurance, and agility. Males are characteristically larger, heavier boned and more masculine than the females.



American Bulldogs service as protectors over personal property, they enable to work as a hog and cattle catching dog. These tasks require a powerful, agile, confident dog with a large head and powerful jaws. American Bulldogs can be somewhat standoffish with strangers. Aging to around 18 months the breed’s normal confidence asserts itself. The American Bulldog is gentle, loving family companion who is fearless enough to face an angry bull or human intruder.


American Bulldogs should be alert, outgoing and confident.  The American Bulldog is a gentle loving family companion who is fearless enough to face intruder. Aloofness with strangers is acceptable. Some assertiveness toward other dogs is not considered a fault.

Faults: Overly aggressive or excessively shy.



The head should be large and broad, the skull and muzzle are parallel to one another, with a flat top squared appearance displayed by a well defined stop. The skull is large in size, deep and broad between the ears.  It should also be medium in length with pronounced muscular cheeks. The sop is deep and abrupt, almost at a right angle with the muzzle. Aside from the depth of the stop, the forehead is wider than it is high.


Large, flat, deep and broad between the ears. Top view, skull is square. Deep furrow that shows depth from stop to occiput.

Standard Type: A box or wedge shape is preferred.

Bully Type: A larger rounder shape is ideal.


The muzzle is broad and thick. With a slight taper from the stop to the nose. The jaws should be muscular. The lips should be full with black pigmentation; some pink allowed. The chin is well defined and must not overlap the upper lip nor covered it.

Standard Type: Muzzle should be medium in length 2 to 4 inches. It should also be 30% to 40% of the overall length of the head.

Bully Type: Muzzle should be broad 2 to 3 inches in length and should be 25% to 35% of the overall length of head.

Note: The muzzle should be in proportion to head size & type.


American Bulldog has a complete set of teeth (42), evenly spaced, white teeth. Teeth should be medium to large and should not be visible when mouth is closed. Lips are moderately thick; black pigment lining the lips is preferred; with some pink allowed.

Standard Type: A tight undershot (reverse scissors) preferred. Undershot up to ‘1/4 inch acceptable.

Bully Type: ¼ – ½ inch “Undershot” depending on size of dog and shape of skull. Plus or minus 1/8 inch is acceptable.

Faults: Small teeth or uneven incisors. Wry Jaw is a fault depending on the severity. Overshot Parrot mouth or Full Black Mask. Even, level or scissor bite.

Note: American Bulldogs are a working breed and should not be penalized for broken or missing teeth.


Almond-shaped to round, medium-sized. Set well apart. Color: Brown is the ideal color; however, Blue, Gray, and Green eyes will occur. The haw should not be visible. Black eye rims preferred.

Faults:  Pink eye rims. Excessive Haw visible. Crossed or non-symmetrical eyes. Both eyes not matched in color.


The nose is large in size, with wide-open nostrils. Preferred nose color is Black. Red, brown or grizzle colors will occur.

Faults: Pink or Dudley nose.


The ears should be set high on the head, medium in size may be drop, semi-prick, or rose.

Faults: Hound Ears




Slightly arched, very muscular, and of moderate length, tapering from shoulders to head.

Bully Type: Neck is almost equal to the head in size.

Fault: neck too short and thick; thin or weak neck.




The chest should be deep and moderately wide giving the appearance of power and athletic ability. The front, overall, should be straight and well balanced. The chest should not be narrow or excessively wide. An apparent 90° angle, shoulders tips should be set between 2-3 finger widths apart.


Heavily boned and very muscular. Elbows, parallel to body, neither close nor turned out. Pasterns short, powerful, slightly sloped. Front view, pasterns are straight. Forelegs are perpendicular to the ground, incline slightly inward.

Faults: Upright or loaded shoulders; elbows turned outward or tied-in; down at the pasterns; front legs bowed; wrists knuckled over; toeing in or out.




Broad, well muscled with muscles tapering well to the leg to manifest speed and strength, but not quite as large as at the shoulders. There should not be an excess or lack of angulation in the rear legs.

Hind legs

View from the side, rear pasterns are perpendicular to the ground. View from the rear, pasterns are straight and parallel to one another. Thighs are thick. Lower thighs are muscular and short.

Faults: Narrow or weak hindquarters; straight or over angulated stifle joint; weak pasterns; cow hocks or open hocks; sickle hocks; bowed legs.




Wide, deep chest; fairly compact, straight and well balanced. The chest should not be narrow or excessively wide, nor should the elbows be angled out or pulled in. The back should be broad and moderately short, showing great strength. Lion is short, and slightly arched, blending into a mild sloping croup.


Standard Type: Ideal standard males should measure between 22 to 26 inches at the withers and weigh from 80 to 110 pounds. Females; 21 to 25 inches, 65 to 95 pounds.

Bully Type: Ideal bully males should measure between 22 to 26 inches at the withers and weigh 90 to 120 pounds. Females; 21 to 25 inches 70 to 100 pounds.

Note: The overall proportion of the dog is of utmost importance when evaluating weight.

Faults: Pendulous Lips. Narrow muzzle. Full black mask.


Inclines very slightly downward from well-developed withers to a broad, muscular back. Flank is moderately tucked up and firm.

Faults: The back should not be narrow, excessively long or swayed.

Note: The degree of fault will depend on how it affects the dogs “working” ability and movement.


The feet are round, medium in size; toes are well arched, and tight.

Faults: Splayed feet or crooked toes.

Note: The seriousness of this fault is based on the amount of fault in the feet.


Strong at the root tapering to the hocks, in a relaxed position. The tail is carried over the back when excited or walking. A “pump handle” tail is preferred but any tail carriage from upright, when the dog is excited, to relaxed between the hocks is acceptable. The tail should not end in a complete circle.

Faults: Tail curled over the back; corkscrew tail, kinked or crooked tail.

Note: Natural tails preferred, docked tails acceptable but will be considered a cosmetic fault.


The legs should be strong and straight with moderate to heavy bone. Front legs should not set too close together or too far apart. Pasterns should be strong, straight and upright. The rear legs should be moderately angulated and parallel.

Faults: Excessively Bow-Legged in the front. Straight or over angulated stifle joint; weak pasterns; cow hocks or open hocks; sickle hocks; bowed legs.


Short and smooth, coarse to the touch.

Fault: Long and fuzzy coats.


Solid white, any color or color pattern, including black, blue, red, brown, fawn and all shades of brindle. Must have at least 10% white.




The gait should be “balanced and smooth”, showing great speed, agility and power. The dog should not travel excessively wide, and as speed increases the feet move toward the centerline of the body to maintain balance. The top line remains firm and level, parallel to the line of motion.

The Bully type gait will have a slight degree of less reach, flexibility, and spring than that of a Standard Type.

Faults: Legs not moving on the same plane; legs over reaching; legs crossing over in front or rear; front or rear legs moving too close or touching; pacing; paddling; side winding.




Shyness A dog shall be judged fundamentally shy if, refusing to stand for examination, it shrinks away from the judge; if it fears an approach from the rear; if it shies at sudden and unusual noises to a marked degree.

Note: Puppies should not be faulted severely here. With maturity and socialization confidence should increase.

Viciousness A dog that attacks, or attempts to attack either the judge or its handler unprovoked, is definitely vicious. An aggressive or belligerent attitude towards other dogs shall not be deemed vicious.

Cosmetic Faults: A cosmetic fault is one of a minor nature. A fault not specified as cosmetic has to do with structure as it relates to a working dog.

Structural Faults: These faults pertain to the dogs actual structure and fundamental movement. These faults are weighted as to how they hinder the dogs’ ability to work.

In a show or other evaluation, the dog is to be penalized in direct proportion to the degree of the fault. Any fault which is extreme should be considered a serious fault and should be penalized appropriately.




Dogs that have been spayed or neutered.

Males that are unilaterally or bilaterally crypt orchid.

Unilateral or bilateral blindness or deafness.

Merle, Solid color, Black Mask.

Overshot Bite.

Extreme viciousness or shyness.

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