Friday, January 23, 2015
American Bulldog History and Domestication
Although the exact origins of the American Bulldog are still not quite clear, they are most commonly thought to have derived from English Bulldogs that arrived in North America with European colonists. Despite there being a great variety within the breed today, the American Bulldog is thought to be the most typical example of the original English Bulldogs of the 17th and 18 centuries. Bred and kept primarily for hunting and as a guard Dog, the American Bulldog was also used in Bull baiting - a cruel and bloody sport where the American Bulldog would publicly fight and being down a Bull. The American Bulldog is most commonly found across the ranches of the southern states of the USA, where it has been also known as the Southern White, the Country Bulldog and the White Bulldog.
The American Bulldog is a large and powerful breed of Dog belonging to the Mastiff family. They share many of their characteristics with other Mastiff breeds including their small, half-pricked, pendant shaped ears and their square, broad head. The American Bulldog is bigger, faster and more agile than the English Bulldog, and has such powerful hind legs that they are able to jump up to 6ft high. The American Bulldog has short, coarse fur that can be found in a variety of colours, but most notably white and brindle. They are an incredibly muscular and powerful breed having been bred as hunters, guarders and to fight (and win) against Bulls.
The American Bulldog is a courageous and fearless breed, known to be incredibly aggressive at times when it feels under threat. They are however friendly and even sociable Dogs, having been known to be kept in a pack that primarily hunts large carnivores, such as Bears. They are also known to be loyal and devoted towards their owner, providing that they assert themselves as the leader of the pack (dominance issues may occur otherwise). Although the American Bulldog is not listed under the UK's Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, it is not uncommon for them to be confused with more aggressive breeds such as Pit Bulls. These Dogs are not related but are indeed banned, so any potential owner of the American Bulldog is encouraged to acquire the adequate paperwork to prove that their Dog is not a dangerous breed.
The colour of the America Bulldog's fur, along with very subtle differences in general appearance and temperament, is said to differ between different areas. In regions where the American Bulldog is most popular, the Dogs are said to be able to differ between these places, which suggests that the American Bulldog is most commonly bred with individuals that live close by. After their near extinction in the 1940s, the American Bulldogs found throughout America today, are nearly all thought to have derived from Dogs bred by just two breeders during the mid 1900s. Females give birth to between 6 and 11 puppies per litter and can often live to be more than 15 years old.
American Bulldog Interesting Facts and Features
Despite being a widely distributed and popular breed today, the American Bulldog was on the verge of becoming extinct towards the mid 1900s. On returning from service in the Second World War, John D. Johnson decided to follow in his father's footsteps and resumed the breeding of the American Bulldog in the United States, and ultimately saved this breed from disappearing forever. The American Bulldog was first recognised as an official breed in 1970, when it was registered as the American Pit Bulldog. However, the name of this domestic breed was soon changed to the American Bulldog to avoid confusion with the American Pit Bull Terrier (to which this breed can look quite similar and the two can often be confused).