N E B K C

American Bulldog 

Nr. NEBKC-AB/EN13

Latest update: 20.11.2019

 

CATEGORY: brachycephalic molosser, molosser

UTILIZATION: Companion, sporting, utility

ACTIVITY LEVEL: Medium-High

SIZE: Medium-Large: F  56-63 cm, M 61-69 cm

ORIGIN: USA

BLOODLINES: BULLDOGS

(Breed abbreviations, check INFO "Inscriptions"

NICK-OR-OTHER NAME

ORIGINAL STANDARD:  NKC

 

 

The goals and purposes of this breed standard include: to furnish guidelines for breeders who wish to maintain the quality of their breed and to improve it. Any departure from the following should be considered a fault, and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and his working ability.

 

1 DESCRIPTION 

2 official versions of the breed:

a) The “Classic”, also called “Bully” JOHNSON American Bulldog bred by John D. Johnson is crossbreed between the old Johnson breed and a northern English bulldog. Distinct for its wide chest, boxy head, and undershot bite. These dogs due to their size and heavy frame are less energetic.

b) The “Standard” or “performance” type SCOTT American Bulldog Bred by Alan Scott is acrossbreed between the early Johnson American Bulldog and non-Johnson bulldogs. Distinct for its reverse scissors bite, slightly dropped jaws, and narrow muzzle and head. As compared to the Johnson bulldog, its smaller frame and lighter weight enables it to engage in more physical activities, making it the ideal companion for dog owners with an active lifestyle.

c) The "Hybrid" type. A cross between the 2 lines (No official standard nor show ring), they are often shown in one of the 2 above categories, following their phenotype. 

 

It can be observed that the actual Classic American Bulldog is often a cross between the 2 lines and has less head type that the original Classic Johnson Bulldog.
 

2 HISTORICAL SUMMARY 

 

By the end of World War II, John D. Johnson and his father saved the American Bulldog from near extinction by looking for ideal breeding specimens from the south. As the Johnson Bulldog breed slowly became established, Alan Scott joined Johnson to further revive the breed. Later on, as American Bulldog breeding practices progressed, Alan Scott developed a breed distinct from Johnson’s, which consequently led to the development of two different lines: the Johnson and the Scott American Bulldog.

3 GENERAL APPEARANCE:

Of all the Bulldog breeds, The American Bulldog is certainly one of the most elegant. It is an athletic, temperamentally sound medium to large sized dog that possesses great strength, agility and confidence. The expression should reflect intelligence and alertness. The sturdy and powerful yet compact frame is characteristically stockier and heavier boned in the males and more refined in the females, male are also noticeably larger in size. 

FAULTS: Any fault that spoils the general harmony

SERIOUS FAULTS: OEB Type for the CLASSIC and Terrier type for the STANDARD AB

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS: Any disproportionate overdone characteristic (such as short legs, excessive bone or too massive head or body) that would interfere with physical activity or working ability. Characteristics that very clearly indicate crossing with other breeds are not to be tolerated.

4 TEMPERAMENT 

 

American Bulldogs are friendly, happy lovable dogs with an assertiveness and confidence that never gets out of control. Though initially stubborn in training, they soon respond to their masters’ commands and prove to be endlessly faithful companions who are perfectly in tune with human emotions. They may be distant with strangers but their sharp instincts allow them to quickly assess any situation. The American Bulldog should be sociable with other dogs.

FAULTS A dog who appears hyperactive in the ring, nervous 

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS: overly shy or aggressive. Human aggression  


5 HEAD

a) Shape  & Proportions 

CLASSIC 

The head is broad and round.  The height of the head is equal to the width. The size of the head is medium in size in proportion to the body.

STANDARD 

Box to wedge shaped head, less massive than in the CLASSIC type. 

b) Front view

CLASSIC

The forehead is wide, flat and high.The ears are set wide apart on the sides of the skull and high, The eyes are set deep down on the skull and wide apart. A deep median furrow between the eyes, decreasing in depth and width by extending over the forehead is present. Cheeks are prominent. Behind the chin, some loose, thick and wrinkled skin about throat, forming a slight dewlap may be present. 

STANDARD

The head is smaller and less wide and the forehead less high. Ears set wide apart on the sides of the skull and high. The eye are set wide apart. No pronounced median furrow.  Cheeks are prominent. No loose skin on the head nor dewlap. 

c) Profile view 

 

CLASSIC

the head is high from the lower jaws to the apex and appears medium in length.

STANDARD

The head is less high and noticeably longer.

d) Top view 

CLASSIC

 

The skull is wide and broad with a strongly muscular forehead, well developed brow ridges  forming the median furrow that diminishes in depth from the stop to the occiput. 

STANDARD

The head is longer and less massive 

 

FAULTS A head that appear to small or narrow, Any other deviation from the standard.

6 EARS

 

a) Setting: The ears are set wide apart on the sides of the skull and high.

b) Type: Either button or rose ears, without preference or semi-prick.

c) Size: Medium

FAUTLS: Asymetric ears, incorrect setting, to large in size  

large drop ears and hound ears, fully pricked ears

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS Cropped ears (in some EU countries) unilateral or bilateral deafness.

7 FOREHEAD 

CLASSIC 

The forehead is broad and square with prominent muscles that extend from the middle of the forehead to above the temples. Possible slight expression wrinkles on the forehead.

STANDARD

Muscular but less wide and high.

8 MEDIAN FURROW 

CLASSIC 

There is a deep median furrow present between the eyes, extending from between the eyes and diminishing in width to the apex. 

STANDARD 

No pronounced median furrow 

9 STOP

CLASSIC

The stop is well defined 

STANDARD 

Less pronounced

FAUTLS Any depature of the standard

10 EYE BRIDGE Well defined 

 

11 EYES

 

a) Setting : They eyes are set wide apart and low down in the skull in the same line as the median furrow, well away from ears. 

 

b) Shape:  Round in shape to almond, more almond to diamond shaped in the STANDARD type.

 

c) Size: Moderate size.

 

d) Colors: dark brown, hazel or adapted to coat color, amber for red nose and grey for blue gene dogs.

FAULTS Odd eye. eyes set to narrow

SERIOUS FAULT 2 "Husky blue eyes"

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS  bulging eyes, strabismus, asymmetric eyes, cherry eye, albinism red eyes, congenital blindness.

NOTE: Avoid line breeding with odd eye dogs as it is a genetic trait 

12 EYE RIMS 

The eye rims upper and lower should be tight around the eye with no looseness with good pigment. Black or adapted to coat color. 

FAULTS Lack of pigment, tendency to entropion or ectropion, surgically corrected

eye rims

SERIOUS FAULTS haw (conjonctive tissues) showing.

DISQUALIFYING FAUTLS Haw showing severely "droopy St Bernard eyes". 

13 CHEEKS

Cheek are prominent due to the strong development of muscles, well rounded and extended sideways beyond the eyes from under the temples. They are moderately wrinkled with closed mouth, more wrinkled when "smiling" with open mouth.

14 MUZZLE 

CLASSIC 

a) Shape: The muzzle is square and broad with possible slight wrinkles on his base, wide at the base and taper to the nose. There are 2 distinct folds starting under the inner corner of the eyes extending on the base of muzzle to the corners of the lips.

STANDARD

The muzzle is less broad and square, without wrinkles, wide at the base and taper to the nose.

CLASSIC

b) Proportions: The length of the muzzle is about 25-23% from the total length of the skull measured from the occiput to the tip of the nose. Muzzle length about 5-7,5 cm, 2-3 inches.

STANDARD

The length of the muzzle is about 35-45% of the skull lenght measured from the occiput to the tip of the nose. Muzzle length about 5-10 cm, 2-4 inches. 

CLASSIC 

c) Muzze topline: Straight or with slight wrinkles 

 

STANDARD

Straight with no wrinkles

d) Chin line: the chin is well defined, the lower jaws should not overlap the upper lip nor overlap it. 

FAULTS A muzzle too short or too long. Exaggerated wrinkles, a snipey muzzle, any depature of the standard 

DISQUALIFYING FAUTLS 

15 LIPS 

CLASSIC

The lips are full to semi-pendulous with good pigmentation: black or adapted to coat color

 

STANDARD

The lips are tight and clean with good pigmentation, black or adapted to coat color

FAULTS Any departure of the standard, lack of pigment.

16 NOSE 

The nose is of medium size. The nostrils are large and wide open to allow good breathing, the nose has a straight well defined vertical line between. Good pigment black or adapted to coat color. 

FAULTS A butterfly nose (unpigmented spots) is judged following the missing amount of pigment, pinched nostrils, any sign of respiratory distress. Skin excess (roll) over the nose. 

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS severly pinched nares and severe respiratory distress (from the nares or soft palate) A dudley nose (entirely pigmentless).

17 JAWS

The lower jaw is well developed wide, deep and set straight and must fit perfectly into the upper jaws.

 

FAULTS Offset jaws or slightly wry jaws

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS ​Severely wry jaws

 

18 BITE  (OCCLUSION)

CLASSIC 

The bite is undershot, about 6 mm, 1/4 is preferred, 3-13 mm, 1/4 to 1/2 inch is acceptable.

FAULTS reverse scissors bite 

SERIOUS FAULT  level bite

DYSQUALIFYING FAULTS  Scissors bite, overshot 

 

STANDARD 

The ideal bite is a reverse scissors bite. Undershot up to 6 mm, 1/4 inch is acceptable or a FAULTS Level bite

SERIOUS FAULTS Overshot, Scissors bite 

DISQUALIFYING FAUTLS  Both types: lower incisors or canines teeth visible when mouth closed, severely wry jaw, parrot mouth, any severe fault 

19 TEETH

 

Full set of 22 white and large teeth on the lover maxillary, 20 to 22 on the upper maxillary. 6 incisors are set in a straight row between the 2 canines set wide apart, behind the canines are the premolars 4 on each side at the lower and upper maxillary, followed by 3 molars each side on the lower maxillary and 2 molars  each side on the upper maxillary.

FAULTS

Crooked teeth, missing teeth, supernumerary teeth, small teeth

NOTE: Broken tooth are not penalized in a show ring or for confirmation. For extracted teeth, the owner must provide a vet certificate to avoid to have them judged missing.

DYSQUALIFYING FAUTLS 

Any severe fault in both types 

20 NECK 


The neck is moderate in length and nearly wide as the head, tapers from shoulders to the head, well-arched at back and should not be set on the dog so it appears to stop at the shoulders. Less wide and massive in the STANDARD type.

 

FAULTS

A dewlap that is too pronounced (too much loose skin), a neck too long or too short or a narrow neck or lacking muscles. 

 

21 THORAT  Dewlap

CLASSIC 

Some moderate loose skin about throat, forming a very slight dewlap may be present

 

STANDARD

No loose skin, dewlap

FAULTS Any departure of the standard

22 ENTIRE DOG BODY 

23 MUSCLES The muscles are naturally well developed all over the body and apparent. Conditioning must be good with no tendency to over or underweight. 

a) FRONT VIEW: 

 

24 CHEST: Wide and moderately deep. You should be able to imagine a rectangle, line drawn from inner of the feet to corner to corner of the armpits about 125-150% in height x 100% in width. Less wide in the STANDARD type. 

FAULTS Any depature of the standard

b) PROFILE VIEW:

25 BACK: The body appear square 

FAULTS A body too long or too short is a fault

26 TOPLINE 

CLASSIC 

 

A level topline with a slight raoch over the lions is preferred, a level topline ia acceptable, appearance of being slightly higher in the rear is acceptable.

 

STANDARD

 

Straighter more level topline is preferred

SERIOUS FAULTS A topline dropping from the croup to the withers, sway or camel back

DISQUALIFYING FAULT Any fault that is severe 

c) TOP VIEW: The forelimbs are set wider apart that the rear limbs. The shoulders are larger than the hips and the waist thinner.

d) REAR VIEW: Hips medium width, thighs muscular, legs straight and parallel, feet straight, well defined pump handle tail. 

 

27 RIB CAGE 

Well rounded ribs 

FAULTS 

Flat-sided

28  LOINS - BELLY LINE

CLASSIC Moderately tucked up, more tucked up in the STANDARD type 

 

FAULTS

A straight belly line, pendulous line

FAULTS BODY: Any deviance of the standard 

29 HIPS

 

The hips are less wide than the shoulders but not narrow nor too wide

FAUTLS Hips higher than the withers, narrow or too wide

FOREQUARTERS

 

30 FORELEGS  FRONT VIEW Forelimbs are straight and set wide apart (wider apart than rear legs) and parallel to each other. The Forearms are stout and well muscled. 

31 SHOULDERS PROFILE VIEW The shoulders should be well muscled with good definition and wide sloping blades, giving the appearance of great strength. The humero-radial angulation of about 135° 

32 ELBOWS are close to the body

33 FRONT PASTERNS (Metacarpus)

FRONT VIEW Short, straight and strong

PROFILE VIEW the pastern that is about half of length of rear pastern and is moderately inclined. A dewclaw is present. 

 

 

MANDATORY  HEALTH TESTS

X-Rays hips 

NCL -Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis

ICHT - Ichtyosis

Heart echography 

DNA Profiling

ONLINE/LIVE CONFIRMATION12 Mo 

RECOMMENDED HEALTH TESTS

X-Rays Elbows (ED)

34 FOREFEET Straight or very slightly turned outwards of medium size and moderately round. Toes compact and thick, well split up, making knuckles prominent and high.

FAULTS  Lack of bone is a serious fault, feet toeing out too much our toeing in, loose elbows, incorrect angulation: pasterns, shoulders, bandy legs, barrel front, fiddle front, east/west, pigeon toed

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS splayed feet, flat feet or any other fault if severe.

 

HINDQUARTERS

35 HINDLEGS Rear view: set straight, wide apart (but less wide apart than front legs) and parallel, strong with long muscular thighs.

36 STIFLES (knees) Profile view: the tibia-metatarsus angle should be about 140°.

37 REAR PASTERNS (Metatarsus) straight and strong, about double in height comparing to front pastern with no dewclaw.

38 HINDFEET round and compact. Toes compact and thick, well split up, making knuckles prominent and high. 

FAULTS incorrect angulation at the hocks, bandy legs, cow-hocks, barrel hocks, dewclaw at rear 

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS any fault that is severe 

 

39 TAIL

A natural long pump handle tail reaching the point of the hocks is preferred. 

FAULTS not reaching the point of the hocks, kinks, deviation. natural short tail, screwed or finishing in a complete circle over the dog's back. 

NOTE: If the tail has been docked for medical reasons, the owner must provide a veterinarian certification.

DISQUALIFYING FAULT  docked (in some EU countries and CH), ingrown

40 MOVEMENT


The gait is effortless and elegant when trotting, smooth powerful and well coordinated, showing good reach in front and drive behind. When trotting the topline remains level with only a slight flexing to indicate suppleness when galopping "running" or cantering. Legs turn neither in nor out, nor do feet cross. 

NOTE: The CLASSIC type gait will have a slight degree of less reach, flexibility and spring than that of the STANDARD type.

FAULTS  Paddling, sidewinding, Rolling, incoordinated crossing gait, bunny hopping (sign for hip dysplasia), any limping. Excessively wide gait. 

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS Any that is severe

41 SIZE

 

CLASSIC "BULLY"  TYPE 

Females: 56-66 cm, 22-26 inches at the withers 

Males : 58-69 cm, 23-27 Inches at the withers. 

STANDARD TYPE 

Females: 53-63 cm, 21-25 inches

Males: 58-68 cm, 23-27 inches 

NOTE: About 2,5 cm, 1 inch more or less of the standard size for both types is admitted. 

42 WEIGHT : 

CLASSIC TYPE

Females: 27-48 kg,  60-105 pounds

Males: 36-57 kg,  80-125 pounds

STANDARD TYPE

Females: 27-38 kg, 60-85 pounds

Males: 34-52 kg, 75-115 pounds

NOTE: Size & weight must be in perfect harmony, the dog must appear well conditioned and muscular. The CLASSIC is heavier in appearance and the STANDARD leaner.

 

FAULTS Any departure of the standard 

43 COAT 

CLASSIC 

a) Type: Short, dense, glossy & smooth with no undercoat, moderately stiff to the touch.

 

c) Colors:  Solid white or patched with black, chocolate brindle, fawn, red, blue brindle, also version of these colors in piebald.

SERIOUS FAUTLS even mixed with white, solid blue, solid chocolate, solid lilac

NOTE avoid black x black breedings as you will get the highly undesirable solid blue, solid chocolate and lilac. 

c) STANDARD: solid white or patched with brindle, fawn, red or piebald

FAULTS  sparse or dull coat, less than about 30% white

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS Long, fuzzy or wavy coats, albinismus.

STANDARD Any blue, solid chocolate, lilac solid or brindle. 

Tricolor or tan markings pattern on any color and merle for both types. Full black mask. 

 

NOTE  a dog with surgical or accident scars should not be penalized

e) Grooming: Low maintenance, very easy due to their short hair. 

44 CLIMATE TOLERANCE 

Like all brachycephalic breeds and molosser in general, the American Bulldog must be protected from great heat in summer and also from excessive coldness in winter due to their short hair.

45 REPRODUCTION

 

Males tie naturally and female give birth naturally.
 

Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding. As dogs are not perfect, the breeder should never double up on health or conformation faults, even if minor and do his utmost to meet the ideal of the standard that is used as guideline.

Breeders and judges have the responsibility to avoid any conditions or exaggerations that are detrimental to the health, welfare, essence and soundness of this breed, and must take the responsibility to see that these are not perpetuated. 

46 UTILIZATION 

 

Thanks to their sociable character, they make perfect family dogs and playmates for children and get along generally well with other animals. The American Bulldog is also a great working and hunting dog. NOTE: in some EU Countries, bite training "Schutzhund" and hunting activities are forbidden for the American Bulldog. 

47 USUAL HEALTH ISSUES 

As all brachycephalic breeds and molosser in general, they can randomly suffer from the usual related health issues like entropion and ectropion. Breathing difficulties like stenotic nares and elongated soft palate. They also can suffer from hip dysplasia if no selection is made on the breeding stock. The recommended health tests NCL, Ichtyosis and echocardiography, should be made before breeding. For further information, please check out HEALTH, sub-menu NCL & Ichtyosis.

48 LIFE EXPECTANCY  estimated at 10-12 years

49 DISQUALIFYING FAUTLS

Any mentioned in the standard

Any evident fault that is severe 

Any dog clearly showing physical of behavioural abnormalities 

Moderate to severe HD (D2-E1-E2)

NB: Males should exhibit 2 testicles, fully dropped in the scrotum.

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