American Bulldog Breed Standard
Varieties: Standard and Bully
Revised: January 1, 2002
American Bulldog was bred to be a farm utility dog. They
were used to farm work in the South/Southeastern sections of the USA
to work wild boar and cattle. They were also very much a part of the
family, and were instrumental in personal and property protection as
The American Bulldog is a well balanced, short-coated, muscular and
athletic animal. American Bulldogs display great strength, endurance,
and agility. Males are characteristically larger, heavier boned and
more masculine than the females.
American Bulldogs should be alert, outgoing and confident. Aloofness
with strangers is acceptable.
Some assertiveness toward other dogs is not considered a fault.
aggressive or excessively shy.
Ø Standard Type: Ideal standard males should measure between
23 to 27 inches at the withers and weigh from 75 to 95 pounds. Females;
21 to 25 inches, 60 to 85 pounds.
Type: Ideal bully males should measure between 23 to 27 inches at
the withers and weigh 90 to 115 pounds. Females; 22-26 inches 80 to
overall proportion of the dog is of utmost importance when evaluating
The head should be broad, flat on top squared appearance with a well
defined stop. It should also be medium in length with pronounced muscular
Ø Standard Type: A box or wedge shape is preferred.
Ø Bully Type: A larger rounder shape is ideal.
The muzzle should be broad with wide-open nostrils. The muzzle should
be wider at the base and taper to the nose. The lips should be full
with black pigmentation; some pink allowed. The chin is well defined
and must not overlap the upper lip nor covered it.
Ø Standard Type: Muzzle should be medium in length 2 to
4 inches. It should also be 35% to 45% of the overall length of the
Ø Bully Type: Muzzle should be broad 2 to 3 inches in
length and should be 25% to 35% of the overall length of head.
Lips. Narrow muzzle. Full black mask. v Note: The muzzle should be in
proportion to head size & type.
Preferred nose color is Black. Red, brown or grizzle colors will occur.
Pink or Dudley nose. Any nose color other than black.
Teeth should be medium to large and should not be visible when mouth
is closed. Lips are moderately thick; black pigment lining the lips
is preferred; with some pink allowed.
Ø Standard Type: A tight undershot (reverse scissors)
preferred. Undershot up to '/4 inch acceptable.
Ø Bully Type: ¼ - ½ inch Undershot
depending on size of dog and shape of skull. Plus or minus 1/8 inch
teeth or uneven incisors.
Disqualification: Overshot, Parrot mouth or wry mouth. Ø Bully
Type: Disqualification: Even, level or scissor bite.
Note: American Bulldogs are a working breed and
should not be penalized for broken or missing teeth.
Almond-shaped to round, medium-sized. Color: Brown is the ideal color;
however, Blue, Gray, and Green eyes will occur. The haw should not be
visible. Black eye rims preferred.
Both eyes not matched in color. Pink eye rims. Excessive Haw visible
Serious faults: Crossed or non-symmetrical eyes.
The ears should be set high on the head, medium in size may be drop,
semi-prick, or rose.
Slightly arched, very muscular, and of moderate length, tapering from
shoulders to head.
Ø Bully Type: Neck is almost equal to the head in size.
too short and thick; thin or weak neck.
Wide, deep chest; fairly compact, straight and well balanced. The chest
should not be narrow or excessively wide, nor should the elbows be angled
out or pulled in. The back should be broad and moderately short, showing
back should not be narrow, excessively long or swayed. v Note: The degree
of fault will depend on how it affects the dogs working
ability and movement.
The chest should be deep and moderately wide giving the appearance of
power and athletic ability. The front, overall, should be straight and
well balanced. The chest should not be narrow or excessively wide.
or loaded shoulders; elbows turned outward or tied-in; down at the pasterns;
front legs bowed; wrists knuckled over; toeing in or out.
Broad, well muscled with muscles tapering well to the leg to manifest
speed and strength, but not quite as large as at the shoulders. There
should not be an excess or lack of angulation in the rear legs.
Narrow or weak hindquarters; straight or over angulated stifle joint;
weak pasterns; cow hocks or open hocks; sickle hocks; bowed legs.
The legs should be strong and straight with moderate to heavy bone.
Front legs should not set too close together or too far apart. Pasterns
should be strong, straight and upright. The rear legs should be moderately
angulated and parallel.
Excessively Bow-Legged in the front. Straight or over angulated stifle
joint; weak pasterns; cow hocks or open hocks; sickle hocks; bowed legs.
The feet are round, medium in size; toes are well arched, and tight.
feet or crooked toes. v The seriousness of this fault is based on the
amount of fault in the feet.
Strong at the root tapering to the hocks, in a relaxed position. The
tail is carried over the back when excited or walking. A "pump
handle" tail is preferred but any tail carriage from upright, when
the dog is excited, to relaxed between the hocks is acceptable. The
tail should not end in a complete circle.
Faults: Tail curled
over the back; corkscrew tail, kinked or crooked tail. v Note: Natural
tails preferred, docked tails acceptable but will be considered a cosmetic
The gait should be balanced and smooth, showing great speed,
agility and power. The dog should not travel excessively wide, and as
speed increases the feet move toward the centerline of the body to maintain
balance. The top line remains firm and level, parallel to the line of
Ø The Bully type gait will have a slight degree of less reach,
flexibility, and spring than that of a Standard Type.
not moving on the same plane; legs over reaching; legs crossing over
in front or rear; front or rear legs moving too close or touching; pacing;
paddling; side winding. Coat
Short and smooth, coarse to the touch.
Long and fuzzy coats.
Solid white, any color or color pattern, including black, red, brown,
fawn and all shades of brindle.
Black, any degree of merle.
Disqualification: Flat Black or Blue Color.
Ø Dogs that have been spayed or neutered.
Ø Males that are unilaterally or bilaterally cryptorchid.
Ø Unilateral or bilateral blindness or deafness.
Ø Blue or flat black color; long and fuzzy coats.
Ø Overshot Bite.
Ø Extreme viciousness or shyness.
Ø Bully Type: Even or scissor bite.
A cosmetic fault is one of a minor nature. A fault not specified as
cosmetic has to do with structure as it relates to a working dog.
In a show or other evaluation, the dog is to be penalized in direct
proportion to the degree of the fault. Any fault which is extreme should
be considered a serious fault and should be penalized appropriately.
that are disqualified or faulted in the show ring, are in no way is
meant to disqualify the dog from working events, or to take
away any credit the dog might have as a working dog. The
conformation ring is just that, it is not meant to be a judgment for
a dogs working abilities; however there is no excuse for dogs with poor
temperaments and these dogs should be kept away from N.K.C show and
in estrus are not to be shown in the conformation classes and are not
allowed in the proximity thereof.
Proportion 10 Points
Temperament 10 Points
Subtotal 20 Points
Size and Shape 10 Points
Muzzle 5 Points
Bite/Teeth 5 Points
Subtotal 20 Points
Shoulders 10 Points
Chest 10 Points
Hindquarters 10 Points
Legs 5 Points
Neck 5 Points
Back 5 Points
Feet 5 Points
Tail and Coat 5 Points
Subtotal 60 Points
Total 100 Point
here to read the Original American Bulldog Standard.