The ancestors of the American Bulldog we know today originated in England and were not only used in the sport of bull-baiting, but also by small farmers and ranchers who used them as all-around working dogs for many tasks including guardians and hunters of bear, wild boar, raccoon, and squirrel. English settlers brought these dogs to the United States in the 1800s where they continued to be used just as they were in Europe for centuries. It is thought that these early ancestors were bred with local dogs and other dogs brought to the United States by the English, which resulted in great variety within the breed and the start of them being referred to as Old English Whites, Old Southern Whites, and Country White Bulldogs. By the end of World War II, the original Bulldog nearly went extinct, but by the efforts of John D. Johnson, Alan Scott, and several other dedicated breeders, the breed was revived and named the American Bulldog. Today's American Bulldog breed includes two types: the bully Johnson-type and the athletic, standard Scott-type, both accepted by the Breeders Kennel Club.
The very muscular, sturdy and powerful, yet compact frame of the American Bulldog has longer legs and is more agile and swifter than its English Bulldog counterpart. Like many bulldog breeds, males are characteristically stockier and heavier than the females. The head of the American Bulldog is slightly wedge-shaped in Scott-types or somewhat brachycephalic and square-shaped in Johnson-types, but they both have a smooth and short coat. Although agile and light on their feet, these dogs have a chest that is wide and moderately deep, giving a sense of athletic ability and power. The eyes of the breed are commonly seen with varying colors and a black or liver nose, depending on the color of the coat, with a broad and square-shaped muzzle. American Bulldogs may be seen with dropped, semi-pricked, or rose ears and a low-set tail that begins thick at the base then tapers to the end.
The American Bulldog is reliable, brave, and determined, which attests to their ability to be a great working dog that has been used throughout the decades. They are known for their acts of heroism toward their families and strong protective instincts. Loyal and loving, this breed genuinely loves children and will protect them at all costs. American Bulldogs require a firm owner for training and are considered to be fairly intelligent and confident. Socialization and obedience training should begin at an early age to prevent these strong-willed dogs from becoming reserved with strangers and to understand the leadership of the household. Due to their dominant personality, some adults may develop an intolerance to other dogs of the same sex, especially between two males, but they generally get along with cats and other pets if they have been raised with them. Considered a fairly active breed, they require at least an hour or two of daily exercise to avoid bad behavior. Like any bulldog, this breed tends to drool and slobber. They may have their roots in working and guarding, but American Bulldogs can be a loving and affectionate companion for an active family.