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Submitted Draft Standard for the American Bulldog

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Standard for the American Bulldog  

General Appearance: The American Bulldog is a well-balanced, strong, muscular, and  athletic dog. It demonstrates great strength, endurance, and agility along with an alert,  outgoing, and friendly attitude. Males are characteristically larger and heavier boned than  the females. A medium, sturdy, and powerful frame enables this breed to pursue and  manage free-ranging livestock and feral hogs, as well as, performing as a protector for  family and property. The American Bulldog should be judged as a working dog with faults  being penalized in proportion to how much they interfere with a dog’s ability to perform  its work. Some aloofness with strangers and assertiveness towards other dogs is accepted,  but not to the extent that the dog is excessively timid or aggressive which shall be deemed  a fault.  

Size, Proportion, and Substance: Being lean and athletic, the preferable height range is  22 - 25 inches at the withers for the male, and 20 - 23 inches at the withers for the female.  Males under 22 inches and over 25 inches and females under 20 inches and over 23 inches  shall be a fault. The length of the body measured from the withers to croup may not exceed  the height at the withers by more than five percent. The weight shall be proportional to the  size.  

Head: Expression is intelligent, alert, and powerful. Eye color is brown, medium in size,  are set wide on the head, and in line with the base of the ears. Black pigment around the  eyes is preferred, but lack of pigmentation is not considered a fault. Faults: Visible haw  and any eye color other than brown.

Disqualifications: Eye colors that do not match. Ears  (natural) are medium in size and should sit high on the head. They may be dropped, semi prick, or rose. Dropped ears are level with the upper line of the skull, emphasizing the  skulls width. At the base, the ear is slightly raised in front and should hang along the  muscular cheek with the tip slightly rounded. Semi-pricked ears are carried erect with the  rounded tips leaning forward. Rose ears are small and set high on the skull. When the  adult dog ear is pulled down toward the eye, it should not extend past the outside corner of the eye. Skull is large, broad, and medium in length giving the impression of power. The  shape is square to wedge and has pronounced muscular cheeks. Stops can range from  slightly defined to distinct. Muzzles are broad and are typically 30% to 40% of the overall  length of the head. The muzzle is wider at the stop and tapers to the nose. Nose  pigmentation is black with wide-open nostrils. Faults: Any other color than black or a lack  of pigmentation. Lips are full but should not be too pendulous. Black pigmentation is  preferred but some pink is allowed. The jaws are well muscled to show strength and the  chin is well defined. Bites are scissor but a reverse scissor bite to undershot up to quarter  inch is allowed. Disqualification: The upper jaw protrudes significantly above the lower  jaw (Parrot mouth) or closed mouth with visible teeth. Teeth are medium to large and  should not be visible when mouth is closed. Worn, missing or broken teeth should not be  a fault as the American Bulldog is a working breed.  

 

Neck, Topline, and Body:  Neck is muscular, medium in length, slightly arched, and should taper from shoulders to  head. A slight dewlap is allowed. Topline is level from withers to the loin. Chest is deep  and broad, giving the appearance of power and athletic ability without being excessively  wide to throw the shoulders out. Ribs are well sprung from the spine forming a deep body  as they flatten and extend to the elbows. Back is broad, muscular, and straight showing  great strength. Tail is not docked, thick at the base and tapering. It is set slightly below  line of the back and should not reach below the hock. When moving the tail should be  carried above the level of the topline. Disqualification: completely curled over the back, corkscrew, or kinked.  

Forequarters: Shoulders are well-muscled with good definition and laid back with  significant angulation to allow for good movement. Legs are strong, straight, medium to  heavy-boned, and well-muscled. When the legs are viewed from the front, they are  perpendicular to the ground. Elbows are close to the body but are neither too close, nor  turned out. Pasterns are straight and upright. Dewclaws (front) should not be removed 

because the dew claws aid in gripping when preforming catch work on very large animals.  Feet are round and medium in size. Toes are well arched and tight. Fault: Splayed feet. 

 

Hindquarters: Broad, well-muscled tapering on the leg to exhibit speed and strength.  The width and angulation of the hindquarters should be balanced with the width and  angulation of the forequarters. Upper Thigh is well developed with thick muscles. Lower  Thigh is muscular. Hocks, when viewed from the side, are straight and parallel to one  another and turned neither in nor out. There are no rear dewclaws.

 

Coat: Short, close, and ranges from soft to stiff to the touch. Faults: long, fuzzy, feathering  or wavy coats.  

Color: The American Bulldog is traditionally white, but any color, color pattern, or  combination of colors is acceptable. Color combinations can include brown, black, brindle,  red, or tan. Disqualification: Any degree of merle, tricolor, blue and having a full black  mask.  

 

Gait: The American Bulldog gait is balanced, smooth and powerful, showing speed and  agility. The gait should have a good reach in front and drive from behind. As speed  increases, the feet move toward the center line of the body to maintain balance. The dog  should not travel excessively wide, and feet should not cross or interfere with each other.  Top line should remain level and parallel to the line of motion with the head and tail held  up in confidence. Faults: Movement faults are to be penalized according to the degree to  which they interfere with the dog’s ability to perform working tasks.  

Temperament: The American Bulldog is loyal, reliable, brave, determined, and self confident. It has strong protective instincts. 

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