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10 Interesting Facts About American Bulldogs

Written by: Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Dogster Team


10 Interesting Facts About American Bulldogs


Dr. Chyrle Bonk Photo


Dr. Chyrle Bonk

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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The average American Bulldog is courageous, friendly, and oh-so-lovable with their family members. The breed has been featured in various movies throughout the years, including “Below Zero,” “Cheaper by the Dozen,” and “Homeward Bound.” So, it isn’t hard to imagine why the breed is such a popular one in the United States. While most people think of the American Bulldog as cute and feisty (which they are!), there is more to this breed than meets the eye. Here are various facts about American Bulldogs that you’re sure to find interesting.

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The 10 Interesting Facts About American Bulldogs

1. The American Bulldog Was Bred for Sport

American Bulldogs are the descendants of English Bulldogs that were originally for the sport of bullbaiting in England, hence their name. This blood sport was all about tethering a bull to a grounded stake so Bulldogs could bite at the bull’s neck and nose, usually resulting in death. These breeds were great at the sport because of their strength and fearlessness. These traits also made them good working dogs to have around a farm, and that is what likely brought them to the United  where the breed was developed. They were used as guardians and stock dogs.

An American Bulldog.
An American Bulldog. Photography by cynoclub / Shutterstock.

2. They Typically Can’t Swim Well

While not all breeds are great at swimming, most can become decent swimmers with practice. However, breeds like the American Bulldog have short hindlegs and bulky, heavy bodies. So, when they are in the water, they can have an extremely hard time keeping afloat for longer periods of time.

Therefore, it’s crucial to make sure they are outfitted with a life jacket anytime they are near water, let alone in it. These dogs are better off staying on land and out of oceans and swimming pools. Sprinklers and small kiddie pools are a different story, though!

3. They’re the Most Popular Mascot

Bulldogs happen to be the most popular mascot in the world, with more organizations utilizing a Bulldog mascot than not. In fact, 43 universities have designated the Bulldog as their mascot, of which 15 are NCAA Division 1 organizations. Not all the mascots are American Bulldogs, but they are still widely represented. This is a testament to the courage and ruggedness of the Bulldog!

English Bulldog puppy waves the American flag
Image Credit: Cheryl Ann Quigley, Shutterstock

4. The American Bulldog Was Once Close to Extinction

During World War II, many American Bulldog owners had to leave behind their dogs as they were called to war. This caused the overall numbers to decline until a couple of dedicated breeders worked to bring the breed’s popularity back.

5. Their Wrinkles Are No Longer Necessary

When Bulldogs were first bred to bait bulls, their wrinkles were needed to shield their eyes from spattered blood and to protect their bodies from injuries. Since bull baiting is no longer practiced, even English Bulldogs don’t have much use for their wrinkles. American Bulldogs are not quite as wrinkly, but the ones they do have don’t perform a function when it comes to health and safety. They’re certainly cute, though!

american bulldog lying outdoor
Image Credit: jadimagesjadimages, Shutterstock

6. They Must Be Socialized

The average American Bulldog may be aloof when it comes to strangers due to their protective nature, so they should be socialized while they are still puppies. Exposing them to friendly people and other dogs while young will help them build the confidence and comfort that they need to get along well in social situations as adults. Otherwise, they can become aggressive whenever they are in public spaces.

7. They Tend to Shed Excessively

Although American Bulldogs have short hair, they tend to shed frequently throughout the year. Therefore, owners must be prepared for daily brushing outdoors to help keep shedding to a minimum inside. Due to the coarseness of their hair, it can easily get stuck in upholstery, clothing, and carpeting. These aren’t shy dogs when it comes to getting dirty outdoors either. So, it’s safe to say that grooming is not a light task when caring for an American Bulldog.

Image Credit: Davizro Photography, Shutterstock

8. They Aren’t for Homebodies

American Bulldogs are strong, agile, and full of energy. They need to get outside regularly for walks and adventures. They can happily hang out and relax in the house but not all day long. Therefore, those who enjoy spending time indoors more may not be a good fit for the breed. The best family situation is one that makes hiking, camping, beach visits, and other outdoor activities a regular part of their lifestyle.

9. The American Bulldog Enjoys a Lenient Breed Standard

Unlike many other dog breeds out there, the American Bulldog has a fairly loose standard when it comes to physical characteristics and proportions. They can have hanging, erect, or cropped ears, and their tails can be left long or docked. Therefore, American Bulldogs can have various looks and characteristics and still be eligible for registration in organizations like the American Kennel Club.

white american bulldog in the park
Image Credit: Golland, Shutterstock

10. They Can Be Gross

American Bulldogs can be sweet and cute, but they can also exhibit a few less-pleasant behaviors. For instance, they tend to drool excessively, leaving evidence behind on furniture, floors, and more. They are also known for being gassy, so potential owners should be aware that smelly farts are going to be regular phenomena in their future. They tend to snore too.

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The American Bulldog is an intriguing animal that deserves attention for their courage and loyalty. There are many cool things to learn about them, and hopefully, the facts outlined here have shed new light on the breed for you.

Featured Image Credit: Little Moon, Shutterstock

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