Adopting American Bulldog Dog

10 Things To Know Before Adopting An American Bulldog

A cute photo of an Ambull wearing goggle-eyed glasses.
Written by Lens And Leash

If you’re looking for an amazing family dog that is loving, loyal, and protective, you may want to adopt an American Bulldog (Also known as an Ambull). However, just as with any breed, there are some things you should know before bringing one home.

Three American Bully’s hanging out with each other on the grass.

What To Know Before You Adopt An American Bulldog

1. Lifespan
2. Energy Level
3. Types
4. Exercise Requirements
5. Temperament
6. Trainability
7. Size & Weight
8. Protectiveness
9. Health Issues
10. Dependence

1. American Bulldog Lifespan

This is a breed that you will spend many years with and form a strong bond with. Typically speaking, they are known for their physical strength and great health which contributes to a lengthy life. When fed a proper diet, exercised on a regular basis, and given the care and affection they need, these fur babies usually live between 10-16 years and some live even longer than that.

A close up photo of and Ambull with a titled head that’s curiously looking at the camera.

2. How Much Energy Do They Have?

Ambulls are full or energy which has part to do with why they are considered an athletic dog breed. Helping your furry friend release their energy is crucial when it comes to maintaining proper behavior. To be perfectly clear, this is not a breed that does well with simply being kept in a back yard.

Daily exercise as well and mental stimulation is an absolute must. The happiest Ambulls are those that participate in regular playtime with their humans. They also like to switch up activities rather than doing the same thing over and over again.

Being such a high energy breed, these fur babies can be challenging for some people, especially those that are often away from the house. However, the challenge is more than worth the effort as long as you are willing to put in the work.

A smiling dog with its tongue hanging out standing in the middle of a grassy field.

3. Types Of American Bulldogs

You might be surprised to learn that there are actually several different types of Ambulls. While each is quite similar to the others, they do have their own distinct differences. Let’s take a look at the types of this breed and their differences.

Johnson (Bully)

This type of Bully features the classic underbite and boxy head that you can’t help but smile at. Their bodies are muscular and broad and they also have very short muzzles.

The Johnson is the perfect type of Bully for someone that’s looking for a friend to lounge around on the couch with. Contrary to other types of dogs from this breed, the Johnson has very low energy levels and will need encouragement to get the exercise they need. For this reason, Johnsons can easily become overweight.

However, they are extremely loving and enjoy pleasing their humans. They are also protective when needed, but friendly the majority of the time.

Painter (Margentina)

This is another well built and strong dog from the Bully line. Unfortunately, these Ambulls come from a dark past. They were bred solely for fighting. Even though this is no fault of their own, their past has led to some aggressive behaviors. The good news is that they are intelligent and trainable so these behaviors can often be curved. However, a Painter would likely not make a good fit for a first-time owner or someone with small children in the house.

Scott (Standard)

The Scott is a mix between the Johnson and Southern Bulldog. However, unlike the Johnson, these fur babies are incredibly active and require regular exercise as well as mental stimulation. Their appearance is also slightly different from most dogs in this breed line due to their long legs, muzzle shape, and lean stature.

Old Southern White (White English)

This bloodline is where the entire breed started. As their name suggests, they are typically found in the south. However, they have been expanding across the rest of the country. They make amazing companions and have an excellent temperament. Their energy level is often somewhere between the Johnson and the Scott.

An adorable American Bully puppy playing with a tennis ball.

4. How Much Exercise Do They Need?

Ambulls are a breed that require a fair amount of exercise. In order to keep your furry friend healthy, they should participate in 1-2 hours of physical activity per day. While two daily walks for about 30-45 minutes are a great place to start, additional exercise will be needed in most cases.

The good news is that exercise can be fun for both of you. Try activities such as fetch, tug of war, or frisbee. Typically speaking, this breed loves to exercise so it shouldn’t be a problem to get them up and moving around. However, when it comes to the Johnson bloodline, exercise time can be a bit more challenging so it’s important to find a way to reward your fur baby and make the time enjoyable for them.

An Ambull with a strong underbite poses playfully with an entertaining expression on its face.

5. American Bulldog Temperament

Temperament and personality are important things to keep in mind before adopting an American Bulldog. The good news is that Ambulls have an incredible temperament. They’re often thought of as big lap dogs and for good reason. This breed tends to be loyal, affectionate, and gentle. They make amazing family dogs and are incredibly good with children. However, due to their protective nature, they can often become suspicious of strangers and their bravery makes sure they don’t hide it. However, this also contributes to their ability to make excellent guard dogs.

Training from a young age is quite beneficial with this breed. While they are eager to please their humans, establishing yourself as the pack leader as soon as possible is crucial.

It’s also important to keep in mind that even though this breed is well-known for being playful and gentle, they don’t always do well around other dogs. Also, due to their strong prey drive, they often don’t get along with cats very well.

A healthy Ambull looking to the side while standing in a field.

6. Are They Easy To Train?

Truthfully speaking, training an American Bulldog can be a daunting task, especially for a novice trainer. This breed loves to please their humans, buy they also have a muscular build and a strong personality that tends to lead to them wanting to have things their way.

The most important thing when training an Ambull is to use reward based training rather than discipline based. Reward based training will make the experience more enjoyable for both your fur baby and you.

Here are the best steps you can take when training an your fur baby.

1. Socialize with other animals and people from a young age.
2. Let your fur baby set the pace with their socialization.
3. Begin obedience training as soon as possible.
4. Use both hand and voice commands.
5. Stay patient throughout the process. Impatience will only delay training.
6. Remain consistent to avoid taking steps backward.
7. Never use physical punishment against your dog.
8. Be firm with your commands without being harsh.
9. Use rewards to reinforce positive behaviors.
10. Establish trust as well as a bond with your furry friend.

A side view of a white Ambull trotting across the dirt.

7. American Bulldog Size & Weight

Ambulls are well-known for their large size and muscular build. Typically speaking, an Ambull can weigh anywhere between 60-120 pounds. They often stand between 20-28 inches high. However, keep in mind that these sizes and weights are simply the breed standards. Ambulls can easily be much larger or even smaller at times.

Two dogs running through tall weeds and grass while they play with each other.

8. Are They Good Guard Dogs?

Due to their protective nature, large build, and high levels or bravery, this breed does make an excellent guard dog. They are quick to intervene if they sense their loved ones are in trouble and will put themselves in the line of danger without hesitation. One thing to keep in mind is that their protectiveness can lead to excessive barking at times, but this behavior can usually easily be corrected with training.

Two American Bully’s wearing pajamas hanging out on the couch.

9. American Bulldog Health Issues

While Ambulls typically live long and healthy lives, they do have health concerns to watch out for. The most worrying is the chance of bone cancer. However, the risk is relatively low in most cases. The most common issue to watch out for is obesity which is why these fur babies should never be allowed to free feed and should receive regular exercise.

Other health concerns to watch out for include:

1. Hip Dysplasia
2. Cherry Eye
3. Deafness
4. Hyprthyroidism
5. Loose knee joints
6. Skin allergies

An Ambull chewing on a very large piece of wood.

10. Do They Do Well Alone?

Ambulls typically do not do well alone, especially for long periods of time. This is a breed that needs a great deal of attention, love, and care. Leaving them alone for too long can lead to boredom which comes with a long list of negative behaviors such as chewing or even aggressiveness. If you plan on bringing one of the fur babies home, it’s important that you find ways to make sure they are mentally engaged throughout the day, especially if you work long hours.

A stunning close up photo of a beautiful dog.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Where Can I Adopt A Bulldog?

Ambulls can be adopted from a variety of places ranging from shelters to rescues. Adoption fees will typically range from $50-$250 which is a small price to pay when considering the cost of purchasing from a breeder which can easily range from $1,500-$2,000 or more. Plus, when you decide to adopt rather than shop, you’re giving a dog another shot at life.

Is American Bulldog A Pitbull?

Despite their similar appearance, Ambulls are entirely different breeds than Pitbulls. One of the main noticeable differences between these two breeds is their size with Ambulls being the larger of the two.

Are American Bulldogs Aggressive?

Ambulls can be aggressive, especially when they play. However, this behavior is usually only shown to other dogs and even more so when speaking of dogs of the same sex. When it comes to humans, this breed is well known for being extremely affectionate and gentle.

How Big Do American Bulldogs Get?

Typically speaking, a mature Ambull can weigh between 60-120 pounds while being between 20-28 inches tall. This is a larger breed of dog that often does not do well in small spaces such as apartments. These sizes are the breed standards so it’s important to remember that they can be much larger or even smaller in some circumstances.

Is An American Bulldog A Good Family Dog?

Many would agree that this breed makes an excellent family dog. They are loyal, loving, gentle, and protective. Also, they are amazingly well behaved with children. However, this may not be the right breed for a household with other dogs or cats.

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