by Kathy Dannel Vitcak 3 min read


The story of the American Bulldog sounds perfect for a BRAVO TV show! The REAL Bitches of 'Bama would flip tables with one swoop of a paw, get all up in your face and then come back for a cuddle! Andy Cohen, call me!

Originally bred as an all-around hunting dog, farm dog, guard dog and family dog in the Southern USA, the American Bulldog has now captured hearts worldwide. 

The American Bulldog, English Bulldog, French Bulldog, Olde English Bulldogge, Bull mastiff and some say the Boxer, all had their roots in the original Bulldog which was used in bull-baiting. While bull-baiting began in the mistaken belief that an enraged bull's meat would be more tender, it sadly quickly became a so-called sport. After bull-baiting was banned in 1835, Bulldogs did not disappear, as many expected. Their DNA was tweaked, manipulated and changed to fir new uses. 

The American Bulldog probably descended from the taller, leggier, more agile early Bulldogs and a bigger terrier, like the American Staffordshire Terrier. They were used in the USA to herd cattle, as many parts of the Smoky Mountains in the southern US were too rocky to easily fence. The first three images in the collage below show the progression of the breed. The third one looks like a white Boxer, it is easy to see their common roots.

This powerful dog was a true all-around; they could keep cattle in check, hunt beside their owner for any type of game from rabbits to bears or deer, guard the property and cuddle with the children.

american bulldog history


The American Bulldog we know today is usually credited to the dedication and tenacity of dog breeder, John Johnson (sown in color photo on far right). He scoured the countryside of rural Georgia, the Carolinas, Florida, Alabama and anywhere he heard there may be an original type Bulldog. He then bred for the characteristics he desired; the stamina and power of the dog we know today. He did not approve of the lower, more exaggerated Bulldog type we know as the Bulldog today. Johnson's ideal American Bulldog was first and foremost a working dog.

Johnson bred his aptly named Johnson type of American Bulldog with his dog partner, Allen Scott, until a falling out led to a dog breeders divorce and they went their separate ways.

Johnson's type was a bigger, shorter-muzzled dog and Scott preferred a smaller, more agile dog, somewhat like today's smaller Pit Bull, which is now known as the Scott type.

Falling out or not, both men left their mark on the breed. Johnson’s foundation stud dog “Dick the Bruiser” and Scott’s foundation stud dog “Mac the Masher” are in the pedigree of almost every single one of today's American Bulldogs - no matter the type.

Learn more from the ABA.


The American Bulldog has had quite the mark on the silver screen. Though I am personally appalled there is no sidewalk for movie star dogs to put THEIR paw prints in!

american bulldog in movies


  • PETEY, in the Little Rascal TV show and the 1994 remake, is probably THE most famous acting American Bulldog
  • American Bulldog ZORCH starred in the TLC show Superpooches
  • The Ingalls’ family dog, Jack, was an American Bulldog, in The Little House on the Prairie books
  • Spike and Tyke from the Tom and Jerry cartoons, you guessed it- American Bulldogs
  • Chance the American Bulldog in Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey delivered an Oscar worthy performance 
  • Snowflake an American Bulldog sled dog was in the 2001 film, Kevin of the North
  • In Return to Me 2000 Mel, David Duchovny’s character’s dog, was an American Bulldog named Peetey (yes, with two EEs
  • In Tucker and Dale vs Evil 2010, “Jangers” was an American Bulldog named Weezer

american bulldogs tv


The American Bulldog inherited one thing for sure from his Bulldog ancestors...the predisposition toward having a crusty, crappy, dry nose. Take care of that FAST with NOSE BUTTER® with the American Bulldog label, just for you and your American Bully.


american bulldog nose butter info

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