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American Bulldog

The American Bulldog traces it’s roots back to the ancient Mastiffs that were brought to Europe by nomadic tribes. They were trained and bred to fight, hold down, and hold off large aggressive prey. Animals who were likely to fight as run away such as wild boar, bears, or big cats. These dogs became working dogs after a strain called Alaunt were brought into use by English butchers and farmers. They found they were good with routine farmwork. They could bring a bull to its knees and lead it to the slaughtering pen or a holding pen. A working bulldog could rapidly bring a bull to the ground by corkscrewing its body while the bull was off balance in the middle of a stride. An experienced 80-pound Bulldog could bring down an 1800-pound. These English Dogs were used in cattle ranching but also against bears, lions, and other large creatures. This became knows as baiting and was a favorite pastime of early Europe. Baiting was banned in England in 1835, but dog baiting or dog fighting continued to thrive. English Bulldogs were bred with terriers and these Bulldog and Terrier crosses became our American Pit Bullterrier, the Staffordshire Bullterriers, and the Bullterrier.

Purebred Bulldogs were rare in England by the 19th century. Those from Europe joined the working Bulldogs that were already in the colonies and new breeds emerged. Some were shipped to Germany where they were bread with mastiffs that created guard dogs. The colors of the early Bulls were often white or varied colors and only later did the dark brindle mastiff blood create the darker colors.

The English bulldog became extinct in England around the turn of the 19th century. They were saved from total extinction because of the dogs that had been bred in America. There was still work to be done there. Bulldogs often guarded plantations and estates on chains in yards. Interestingly, they were also used in prisons to patrol open spaces between cells and the main wall.

Today the American Bulldog is considered a direct descendent of the original working Bulldog. A small percentage of other breeds have recently been added as the American Bulldog was being rebuilt. Two men are given credit for preserving the American Bulldog. They are Allen Scott and John D. Johnson. Each have a type of Bulldog named after them, and both have distinct characteristics.

The American Bulldog is not has characteristics that enable it to be used as work dog, it is also a gentle loving dog who will protect their family from any human or animal intruder. They are good with children and with other pets.

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