The “Bully” American Bulldog Standard
The American Bulldog has a history that is traced back to 1121 BC and some would argue even thousands of years before that. We won’t get into every aspect of our history dating to 1121 BC… We will focus on what the modern American Bulldog is and what it represents.
The modern American Bulldogs ended up in the South Eastern part of the United States, including Georgia and it’s surrounding states. The majority of them came with early English settlers between 1732 and 1736. This is where the story of the modern American Bulldog begins… The general purpose of the modern American Bulldog was to serve as a farm utility dog. A dog that had enough grit and athleticism to deal with the likes of wild boars, out of control livestock or trespassers. A dog whose temperament allowed it to become part of the family it was bred to protect. Used as an “estate dog” or a “farm utility dog” the modern American Bulldog was to exemplify these valued traits. The modern American Bulldog was to be visual and physical deterrent for any wrong doers with improper intentions.
The beginning of the modern American Bulldog as a breed began around the 1950’s when John D. Johnson began to collect Bulldogs from around the GA area to breed, sell and advertise as the American “Pit” Bulldog. Later in 1985, he would drop the “Pit” from the name so as not to be confused with it’s cousin the American Pit Bull Terrier. The original standard was written by John D. Johnson on a paper napkin decades ago. Through the years as other American Bulldog registries have emerged .. the standards have been changed little by little. In our humble opinion, we feel that the standard still does not correctly reflect the vast majority of the “Bully Type” American Bulldogs. We are one of the only breeds that have allowed 2 standards for one breed. The argument has been that we are a working breed and we shouldn’t have a “type”.. Without a “type” how do we call ourselves a breed? There are many “working breeds”… but any registered breed has a “look/type”.. Why should we be any different? The “Bully” movement is less then a decade old (as of 2006)… the dogs are changing based on what people are breeding/buying. And the thing about it is, that even in the beginning… when a few “bully” dogs would pop up from here and there… none would fit the standard as it was written. We have created a standard that represents dogs that are found in every bully enthusiasts yard and appreciate them as such… Accordingly, the standard for the “Bully” American Bulldog is as follows.
The Bully American Bulldogs is a short haired, heavy muscled dog. A well bred Bully American Bulldog should have a compact sturdy frame. They should exude strength, health and function. The males are more masculine in appearance then the females.
American Bulldogs should be alert, outgoing and confident. Aloofness with strangers is acceptable. An American Bulldog may show dominance/assertiveness towards other dogs, however dogs may be dismissed at the judge’s discretion for disrupting their class. A dog showing weak nerves or showing to be overly aggressive will be excused from the confirmation ring. Dismissal is at the Judge’s discretion ONLY!
Males should range between 20″ and 24″ at the withers and weigh between 80 and 125 pounds. Females should range between 18″ and 22″ at the withers and weigh between 60 and 100 pounds
The head should be broad and blocky with muscular and a well pronounced stop.
A heavy broad muzzle with wide open nostrils. The muzzle should resemble a tunnel, slightly tapering towards the nose. The chin should also be broad, and never overlap or cover the upper lip. The muzzle should be 25% to 35% of the overall length of head.
Black or liver are accepted. Full pigmentation preferred.
Teeth should be medium to large in size, and not visible when the mouth is closed. Pigment on the lips should be full. They should be undershot but not severely. 1/4 to 1/2 inch depending on the size of the head. A wry mouth is a disqualification.
The eyes should be almond to round in shape. Lack of pigment or non-symmetrical eyes are faults. Crossed eyes are a disqualification.
The coat should be short with sheen. Skin must be in good condition, free of flaking and sores.
The ears should be set evenly on the top skull and with a medium to small proportion to the head.
The neck should be thick and muscular slightly tapering from the head to the shoulder.
The body should maintain compact proportions with heavy muscle. Square and powerful in appearance.
The chest should be wide and deep. The front legs to are to set on the outer edge of the chest, yet maintaining an athletic non -bowed appearance. The shoulders should remain tight in the socket. Loose shoulders, elbows or narrow chests are a fault.
The top line should be even. Sway and severe roach backs are faults. The rear end should not be excessively higher then the front.
The backs should be short to medium. Long backs are a fault.
The hindquarters should be thick, well muscled and properly angulated. Cow hocks, straight stifles, sickle hocks, are faults.