American bulldogs, or ambuli for short, are a whole tangle of controversies. Living on American soil, practically since the discovery of America, they have only recently become known. With hot fighting blood in their veins, the ambuli are loyal and good-natured family dogs. Can such opposite qualities combine in one animal, and how did it happen that for a long time the breed was unknown?
The origin of the American Bulldog breed.
The American bulldog, as an independent breed, is not yet recognized by the International Canine Federation. Although their middle name is Old English Bulldogs and their origin goes back to the ancient Molosser dogs, which originated in ancient Egypt and the Assyrian Kingdom.
In the Middle Ages in England, as in other countries, was not very humane, and in those days were valued dogs with a vicious nature, large size and absolute fearlessness. Only such animals could take part in the bloody entertainment of the time – bullfighting.
Naturally, the bull dogs, aka bulldogs, were in demand then and cost fabulous money. But the Dark Ages are over, bullfighting is forbidden. Bulldogs are in disgrace, and, in fact, lose not only their significance, but also the meaning of existence. The owners are not allowed to take these fearsome pets outside without a chain.
But the lovers of this breed did not agree with this state of affairs. They did not give up and decided to breed bulldogs, but in a smaller size. A new breed was born – the Toy Bulldog, the ancestor of the modern small bulldogs – French and English. It was during this period in England that the breeding of real bulldogs stopped.
And they might have disappeared from the face of the earth altogether had it not been for English colonization. People moving into the territory of the new lands did not leave their pets, but took them with them. Thus, the bulldogs made their way to America.
Of course, here both people and dogs had a hard time, in the harsh conditions of the wilderness there was one law – survival. However, for the Old English Bulldog here found a job as a versatile farm animal. Bulldogs turned out to be successful guards of livestock and human habitation and were used as draft animals. And the dogs immediately proved their loyalty and unpretentiousness in care.
With their complete insensitivity to pain, lack of fear, great stamina and immediate response, they were able to become a support and protection for farmers in the then uninhabited areas.
History has recorded many accounts of bulldogs successfully guarding vast plantations, taking part in catching runaway slaves, herding cattle and taking part in the hunt. There was even talk that one bulldog could fight several wolves at once.
As a working dog, the Bulldog is undemanding in the content, so no one provided special conditions. At the time, there was not much value in the offspring of this breed, and the owner did not particularly care about the puppies. People believed that the strongest should survive. In such harsh conditions, of the many litters, where there were 8-14 puppies, only 1-2 survived. The reason for this was that the bitches did not care much about the offspring, trying to better fulfill the requirements of the owner.
And indeed, the healthiest and strongest puppies survived. From them originated the American bulldog breed as we are used to see it.
Description of the American Bulldog
Looking at images of “bull” dogs that fought bulls in the Middle Ages, the thought definitely comes to mind that the modern Ambullet has taken a lot from its ancestors in appearance.
Today it is a strong, muscular dog with a harmonious build. The modern bulldogs-males have a height of 58 to 67 cm and weigh from 34 to 52 kg. Females are somewhat smaller – from 53 to 64 cm and weigh from 27 to 38 kg.
The main features by which you can identify the ambulus are as follows:
- The head of the American bulldog is massive, its upper part is flat. The muzzle is characterized by a decent width and square shape. The dog’s nose is characterized by a dark lobe and wide-open nostrils. The bulldog’s cheeks have noticeable muscles.
- The lips have a pigmented color, but the standard also allows small light spots. The lower jaw in bulldogs is quite pronounced, it is better if the dog will have a tight bite.
- The ears are planted high, they are small and in a hanging position. The sternum differs in width and depth. The bulldogs’ back is straight and moderately short.
- The tail is slightly curved, it is thick at the base, gradually tapering to the tip. In periods of excitement the dog is lying on its back, in a calm state it is lowered to the floor.
- The paws are in proportion to the torso, strong. The front ones have a wide spread, the hind ones are slightly approximated. Bulldogs retain excellent balance during movement, so their gait is quite free.
- Wool cover of representatives of this breed is short, soft to the touch.
The main color of ambulas is a combination of white and other colors, on a white background can be black or brown pattern. There are individuals white-red, white-pale, white-tiger. Much more rarely puppies with a purely white coat color are born.
Character of American Bulldogs
Many everyday people consider the American bulldogs solely as a fighting breed. There is some truth in that:
- These dogs possess the characteristics of fighting dogs: practically do not feel pain, have remarkable strength and stubbornness.
- In the past, members of this breed were actively used in dogfighting, as well as for fighting larger animals.
- On the basis of this breed, new pedigree representatives for fighting were bred – American pit bull, Staffordshire terrier, bull terrier.
As you can see, the breeders diluted the bulldog’s blood to add to their phlegmatic and calm terriers. Today, the bulldog is the very calmness, equanimity and patience. It is very difficult to make him lunge at a person without a good reason.
Many times bulldogs showed true nobility, not seeking to kill the defeated opponent. This characteristic feature of dogs often did not suit the organizers and spectators of bloody spectacles. But even in those distant times there were people who did not welcome such entertainment, and as a “workhorse” bulldogs suited them completely.
Later, many people were able to consider in the ambulas not only fighting, but also other qualities. It turned out that this is not a machine for bloodthirsty spectacles, but a reliable protection. And, in addition, bulldogs are particularly loyal and very fond of children.
Dogs of this breed are very intelligent, they do not pester the owner and closely monitor the situation in the house. When dealing with small children, they show just angelic patience, withstanding all kinds of punishment.
Intelligence, strength and fearlessness, sometimes bordering on recklessness, allow the American Bulldog to cope with various tasks, but at the same time they can make attempts to show their character. Often purebred dogs are stubborn and willful. The owner of such a dog will need the fortitude to show more confidence and perseverance.
Bulldogs are excellent trainers, and training can begin at an early age. Even from the first days of the new family member in the house you must suppress the attempts of the baby to domination and in no case allowed to bite himself or other family members, even in an outburst of playful excitement. For any biting, the puppy should be punished with a shake by the scruff of the neck with an immediate reprimand. This is how you can point out to the dog at the very beginning who is the boss in the house. This is extremely important when raising bulldogs.
Having a natural hostility to strangers, the bulldog will get nervous every time a guest comes into the house. If this happens quite often, it is better to teach the pet to treat guests with respect while still a puppy. Later he will learn to differentiate between the good people and the potentially dangerous.
Representatives of this breed need mandatory socialization. Otherwise, there is a risk of getting a suspicious animal that bites all strangers.
If we consider the attitude of the American bulldogs to other animals, in most cases, they see them only as a hunting trophy. Of course, the exception is when the dog has lived side by side with another pet since puppyhood. In this case, the bulldog can get along even with a cat.
Rules of keeping an American bulldog
As already noted, American bulldogs are easy to keep, but they also wait for care and attention from the person.
It is necessary to take care of the proper nutrition of the dog, selecting a special diet. This breed has its own peculiarity, its growth and development lasts up to 2.5-3 years, so in this period it is necessary to enrich the diet as much as possible.
In addition to meat, fish, cereals, dairy products and vegetables, dry food, products containing vegetable fiber, vitamin supplements should be included in the pet’s menu.
The puppy should be gradually accustomed to the street, starting with four half-hour walks a day. In addition, the pet can gladly accompany the owner during jogging, outdoor activities, hiking. It is not bad to teach the bulldog to swim, this will contribute to its good physical shape.
Until the complete formation of the bone skeleton, it is not allowed to put devices with weights on the dog. For greater mental stability, it is recommended that the pets be spayed.
Taking care of an American bulldog’s fur is quite simple. If the animal gets dirty – you can remove the dirt with a damp cloth, and wash the paws in a small container. Dogs do not require frequent washing. During the seasonal shedding period, they should be combed out daily. Claws in bulldogs are trimmed twice a month, eyes and ears should be cleaned regularly (read more about how to trim a dog’s claws).
If cared for according to the rules, the pet will live a long life (up to 17 years).
American Bulldog Photo
The cost of American Bulldog Puppies
As with other breeds, the price here depends on many factors – whether there is a demand for this breed, the presence or absence of a pedigree and other criteria. Today you can buy an Ambul puppy without pedigree for $700 – $1200.
A puppy with a pedigree that is not intended for participation in show exhibitions and competitions, as well as not suitable for reproduction, will cost an average of $1500 – $3000. Pedigree and show American bulldogs are valued much higher, their price starts at $3000, and that’s not the limit.
Given the popularity of American bulldogs in the modern world, many unscrupulous sellers are trying to sell puppies that bear some resemblance to this breed. It is necessary to be careful when buying and it is better to buy a pet from large breeders and clubs.