Introduction: Historically speaking, the American Bulldog was developed basically as a working breed (utility) on farms. In rural properties in the southern and southeastern regions of the United States, where the breed originated, they were used to deal with cattle and wild pigs. It was also an integral part of families, also contributing to personal and property protection. The essential characteristics of the American Bulldog are those that make it able to catch both cattle and wild pigs, as a personal and property watchdog. These tasks require a powerful, agile and reliable dog, with a large head and powerful jaws. The American Bulldog is brave enough to face a terrible ox or an intruder. Aggressive enough to fight a bear or a wild pig,
– General Aspect: The American Bulldog is a well-balanced, short-haired, athletic and muscular animal. Demonstrate great strength, endurance and agility, powerfully built, but active. Males are characteristically larger, with heavier bones and more muscle than females.
– Bone structure: medium to heavy, able to withstand a large dog.
– Temperament: American Bulldogs should be alert, outgoing and confident, with no sign of fear or shyness. Keeping your distance and booking with strangers is acceptable. The demonstration of a certain aggressiveness towards other dogs is also not considered a fault.
Faults: Aggressiveness or excessive shyness
– Size: Standard type: Standard type males should preferably measure between 55 and 68 cm at the withers and weigh between 34 and 43 kilos. Females: 53 to 63 cm, 27 to 38 kg.
Bully type: Bully males should preferably measure between 55 and 68 cm at the withers and weigh between 40 and 55 kilos. Females: 53 to 66 cm, 33 to 47 kilos.
Note: The general proportions of the dog are of great relevance in the assessment of weight.
– Head: The head should be large and wide, flat at the top, square in appearance, with the stop (union of the muzzle with the skull) very well defined. It must be of medium length, with well pronounced facial muscles.
Standard type: A compact or wedge shape is ideal.
Bully type: A large round shape is ideal.
– Muzzle: The snout should be wide with nostrils wide open. The lips must be full and pigmented; some pink pigmentation is allowed. The chin is well defined and should not overlap or cover the upper lips.
Standard type: The muzzle should measure 5 to 10 cm. Proportionately; it should represent between 35% and 45% of the total head length.
Bully type: The snout should measure between 5 and 7.5 cm. Proportionately it should represent between 25% to 35% of the total head length.
Faults: Suspended lips. Narrow snout. Full black mask.
Note: the snout should be proportional to the size and type of the head.
– Nose: The preferred color is black. Red, brown, gray or pale are also accepted.
Aesthetic faults: Pink or depigmented nose.
– Teething: Teeth should be medium to large and not visible when the mouth is closed. The lips are moderately thick, and preferably pigmented; some depigmented parts are allowed.
Standard type: a light lower prognathism (inverted scissors) is preferred. Lower prognathism up to 0.6 cm it is acceptable.
Bully type: inferior prognathism between 0.6 and 1.3 cm, depending on the size of the dog and the shape of the skull. A margin of error of more or less 0.3 cm it is acceptable.
Faults: small crooked teeth or incisors.
Disqualification: exaggerated prognathism, retro prognathism (“superior prognathism”), or crooked mouth (jaw twist).
Bully Type: Disqualification: level bite or in scissors.
Note: the American Bulldog is a working breed and no penalty should be imposed for broken or missing teeth.
– Eyes: Should be rounded or almond shaped, medium in size, set apart. Color: Preferably they should be brown. Blue, gray and green colors are also common. The third eyelid should not be visible. Pigmented eyelids are preferable.
Aesthetic faults: Eyes of different colors from each other. Pink eyelids. Excessively visible third eyelid.
Serious misconduct: Crisscrossed, crossed and / or asymmetrical eyes.
– Ears: The ears should be high set and small to medium in size, carried close to the head. They can be dropped, semi-raised, or pink.
– Faults: Ears cut off. Very long ears.
– Neck: Slightly arched, very muscular, and of moderate length, tapering slightly from the shoulder towards the head.
Bully type: The neck should be almost the same size as the head
Faults: Neck too short and wide; slender or fragile neck.
– Body: Wide, with deep chest; it must be compact and well balanced. The chest should not be narrow or excessively wide, nor should the shoulders be pushed out or in. The back should be broad and moderately short, showing great strength.
– Chest: The chest should be deep (with ample space for the heart and lungs) and moderately wide, giving the appearance of power and athleticism. In general, the front part should be straight and well balanced. The chest should not be narrow, or excessively wide.
– Ribs: Well sprung close to the spine, giving the body enough depth to reach at least the elbows, or in adult dogs, a little lower;
– Topline: gently slopes (descent) from a well-defined withers to the muscular and broad back;
Faults: The back must not be narrow, excessively long, or sealed.
– Loin: short and wide, and slightly arched, joining a moderately sloping rump;
– Flank: moderately tucked up and firm;
Note: The degree of the fault will depend on how it (s) affects the dog’s work and movement skills.
– Hindquarters: Wide, well-muscled, with well-placed muscles demonstrating speed and strength, but not as wide as the shoulders. There should be no lack or excess angulation of the hind legs.
Serious faults: Narrow or fragile hindquarters; excessively angled or straight knees; weak cells; closed or open hocks; legs forming scissors; curved legs.
– Legs: The legs should be strong, with moderate to heavy bones. The front legs should not be inserted too close or too far apart. The quarters must be strong, firm and straight. The hind legs should be moderately angled and parallel to each other.
Faults: straight or swollen shoulders; elbows thrown out or “stuck” under the chest; curved front legs; weak cells; feet turned inward or outward.
Serious faults: Fore legs excessively arched; Knees straight or excessively angled; cow or open hocks; fragile hocks; arched legs.
– Feet: The feet should be rounded, of medium size; the fingers should be arched, together and firm.
Faults: Flat feet or crooked nails.
Note: The seriousness of this fault must be proportional to the number of faults presented by the animal’s feet.
– Tail: Strong at the root, narrowing towards the heel, in a relaxed position. The tail is carried up when excited or walking. A raised tail is preferred, but any form of tail loading, from raised, when the dog is excited, to relaxed between the heels, is acceptable. The tail should not end in a complete circle.
Faults: Tail curled over the back; tail “corkscrew”, or crooked.
Note: Natural tail is preferred. The cut tail is acceptable, but it is considered a cosmetic fault.
– Movement: When trotting, movement must be “balanced and smooth”, showing great speed, agility and power. The movement is effortless, smooth, powerful and well-coordinated, showing good reach and direction. The dog should not walk with an excessively open stride. When speed increases, the legs tend to converge to the center line of the body, in order to maintain balance. The upper line remains firm and upright, parallel to the line of movement.
Seen from any position, the legs turn neither in nor out; the legs do not cross or interfere with the other’s movement. Poor movement should be penalized to the extent that it impairs your ability to perform your tasks.
The strides of Type Bully dogs will have less reach and flexibility than Standard Type.
Faults: Legs not moving in the same plane; front and rear legs crossing; front or rear legs moving very close to each other, or leaning against each other; passed “rowed”; walk sideways.
– Coat: The coat should be short and smooth, but rough to the touch.
Disqualification: Long or wavy.
– Colors: Solid white; Any color or pattern, including: black, red, brown, beige, deer, brown, gray, mahogany, cream, caramel and all brindle variations (white, red, yellow, blue, brown, black or gray).
Faults: Any color without a minimum of 25% white.
Disqualification: Dogs with any amount of Merle.
– Males must have both testicles, of normal appearance, descended and accommodated in the scrotum.
– Any dog that shows any sign of physical anomaly, blindness or deafness, unilateral or bilateral must be disqualified.
– Any dog that shows signs of deviation in behavior should be disqualified (extremely aggressive or shy dogs). Shyness: A dog should not be too shy, refusing to stand up for examination, to shrink in the presence of the judge; if he is frightened by an approach from behind, if he is too frightened by unusual and sudden noises. Puppies should not be severely punished on this basis. With maturity and socialization, their confidence should improve. Excessive aggressiveness: A dog that attacks, or attempts to attack, the judge or the handler without being provoked, should be considered excessively aggressive. However, a dog with an aggressive or provocative attitude towards other dogs is considered acceptable.
– It is disqualifying dogs with long, curly hair, with retro prognathism (“superior prognathism”), in the bully type: Straight or scissor bite.
– Cosmetic faults: Cosmetic faults are those of little gravity. A fault not specified as “cosmetic” must necessarily be related to the structure of the dog, since the latter is related to the animal’s ability to work.
– Structural faults: These faults are associated with the animal’s own structure or movement. These faults must be measured according to their severity and the work capacity of the animal.
In an exhibition or any other type of evaluation, the dog must always be penalized in direct proportion to the seriousness of the fault. Any fault that is extreme must be considered a serious fault and should be penalized accordingly.
Note: Factors that are disqualified or penalized in beauty and conformation exhibitions should in no way be considered liable to be disqualified in “work tests”, or even to take away any merit that a dog may have obtained in “work tests”. A conformation exhibit is just that, conformation, in no way to be considered as judging a dog’s work skills. However, there are no excuses for dogs with inadequate temperament, and these dogs should, as far as possible, be disqualified from both work and conformation events.
It is preferred that females in heat do not participate in exhibitions.
Body Conformity Judging Score
Chest Points: 10
Back Points: 10
Leg Points: 05
Neck Points: 05
Feet Points: 05
Tail Points: 05 Points
Subtotal Points: 60 Points
Temperament: 10 Points
Proportions: 05 Points
Movement: 05 Points
Subtotal: 20 Points
Size and Shape: 10 Points
Muzzle: 05 Points
Bite / Teeth: 05
Subtotal Points : 20 Points
Grand Total: 100 Points