American Bulldog - PetFirst
American Bulldog Health guide image
Breed Spotlights

American Bulldog

by MetLife Pet Insurance
6 years ago

Life Expectancy:  10 – 15 years
Dog Breed Group: Companion Dogs
Weight:  60 – 120 lbs.
Height: 20 – 26 inches

Where Does the American Bulldog Rank?

See where this beloved breed ranks in comparison to other breeds in 7 key categories.


4 out of 10 ranking

The American Bulldog is initially difficult to train. Once a command is mastered, the American Bulldog is known for remembering the training well.

Shedding Friendliness

8 out of 10 ranking

The American Bulldog is an average shedder. However, if you follow a regular grooming routine the American Bulldog will shed a minimal amount.

Ease of Grooming

8 out of 10 ranking

The American Bulldog requires a minimal amount of grooming. Brushing your dog once per week with a firm bristle brush is recommended.


American Bulldogs are prone to many health risks like obesity, overheating, thyroid problems, eye problems, allergies and more.

Exercise Needs

Many American Bulldogs are hesitant to exercise and would much rather relax. Due to this breed being prone to obesity though, you should encourage your dog to walk a minimum of 30-60 minutes per day.

Good with Children

10 out of 10 ranking

This breed is very good with children and quickly becomes part of the family.

Barking Restraint

Barking is not generally a problem with this breed although some dogs may develop a barking problem. Teaching your dog when to and when not to bark will assist with those who bark excessively.

What You Need to Know About American Bulldogs


Throughout history, the American Bulldog was utilized as an all-purpose working dog. In today’s society, the American Bulldog is extremely social and loving. They are also known for their high level of loyalty to their owner. The American Bulldog is a lover and will not make a good guard dog. However, their watchdog capabilities are excellent. If an unfamiliar person is at your home, they will certainly let you know. The American Bulldog is often not friendly with strangers but, if socialized properly, will happily greet anyone who enters your home.

If you have small children, this may not be the breed for you. An American Bulldog is tough enough to handle a child. Even though they are excellent with children, be certain to supervise your children with any dog. In addition to loving children, this breed is known for getting along well with other pets. Unfamiliar dogs may take only a few moments for your American Bulldog to get used to.


The American Bulldog is extremely strong-willed and is often difficult to train initially. Once they have mastered a command, they will remember and understand it perfectly.


American Bulldogs have smooth, fine, short hair which must be brushed once per week with a firm bristle brush. Due to the folds of the skin, the bulldogs coat and skin must be checked for any dryness or infection, and the folds must be cleaned once per week.

Health Problems

Obesity– American Bulldogs are prone to obesity. They should not be permitted to ‘free-feed’. Their portions must be limited. The American Bulldog will overeat anytime he is given the opportunity.

Hip Dysplasia – Hip Dysplasia is a genetic condition which occurs when the hip joint is weakened due to abnormal growth. This condition is common in large dog breeds.
Overheating – Bulldogs are not able to tolerate heat or humidity well. When your American Bulldog is outside on even a warm day, be certain to watch for signs of overheating. The moment you notice any signs of overheating, find a cooler area for your dog to lie down. Many American Bulldog owners will even purchase a small children’s pool for their dog to escape if you are spending a lot of time outside on a warm day.

Cherry Eye – Cherry Eye is a condition where the third eyelid protrudes.

Top 10 Most Common Health Issues for American Bulldogs

  1. Obesity
  2. Hip Dysplasia
  3. Overheating
  4. Cherry Eye
  5. Inherited deafness
  6. Dry Eye – insufficient tear production
  7. Patellar Luxation – loose knee joint
  8. Hyprthyroidism – lack of production in thyroid hormone
  9. Demodectic mange – mites that live on the skin
  10. Allergies – itchy skin

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

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