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American Bulldogs

(30 Posts)
phoebe2016 Thu 30-Mar-17 21:15:27

Hi All!

Does anyone have experience of American Bulldogs? We are considering getting a puppy as a new addition to our family. From what I have read about them so far, they are very loyal, gentle loving dogs and good with children. Anyone else had/have one?

Thanks!

Floralnomad Thu 30-Mar-17 21:26:46

i just googled man attacked by American bulldog and there's a whole page of reports about people being killed and maimed by this type of dog . Obviously all dogs are different within a breed but it's not a breed I'd have in my home .

CornflakeHomunculus Thu 30-Mar-17 22:02:10

They can be fantastic dogs in the right homes however they're not really for the faint hearted and decent breeders of them are very few and far between in the UK. They're not currently recognised as a breed and I believe there's no serious breed club yet either so all you have to go on is the word of the breeder that you're actually getting what you think you are.

I'd be looking for a breeder that has their adult dogs temperament tested prior to breeding as well as having their hips (and probably elbows) scored plus DNA tests for icthyosis, neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, nemaline myopathy and canine multi-focal retinopathy. They can suffer from some health issues resulting from their conformation, mostly relating to their eyes (ectropion/entropion/cherry eye) and the wrinkled skin on their faces, so you also need to find a breeder working as much as possible to avoid them.

They can be just as you have read, however they can also have very strong guarding tendencies (which are not as good a thing as they may sound for a family pet) and you need to be confident you can appropriately manage and channel them. There are also a lot of breeders churning out pups with very little consideration given to temperament (hence the recommendation for finding a breeder who temperament tests) and a guardian breed with an unstable or nervous temperament is absolutely not a dog you want living with your family.

BoreOfWhabylon Thu 30-Mar-17 22:17:03

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/25/woman-charged-death-three-year-old-boy-mauled-american-bulldog/

www.thesun.co.uk/news/2297627/manchester-dog-attack-american-bulldog/

www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/sep/10/man-jailed-bulldog-killed-grandmother-craig-rona-greve

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-29309358

www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/506961/graphic-content-boy-shark-bite-injuries-after-devil-dog-attack-Nottingham

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/child-dog-attack-victim-says-12418036

EssentialHummus Thu 30-Mar-17 22:20:43

floral that kind of targeted Googling also works for labs, Jack Russells and many other breeds. I agree that the OP needs to tread carefully here, but it's more to do with speaking to lots of current owners and breeders before making a decision about whether this is the right breed for them.

Wolfiefan Thu 30-Mar-17 22:22:36

Incredibly powerful dogs. Not one I would recommend to someone who didn't have extensive dog experience or who had young children.

phoebe2016 Thu 30-Mar-17 22:31:31

Thanks for all the replies so far. I appreciate that they are big, powerful dogs and will look in to breeding/temperament carefully before making any decisions. I know that every dog has the potential to attack, some more so than others. A couple of years ago a Jack Russell killed a baby in the area I live, which just shows you can't just blame certain breeds.

PickAChew Thu 30-Mar-17 22:39:37

That tyne bbc article is near to us - numerous bitches kept in cages in the garden, just for breeding, with no socialisation. His dogs were involved in another attack, a ocuple of months after the one in which he lost his arm.

You can't blame certain breeds for being more prone to attacks, but a badly bred and socialised JRT is less likely to take off a grown man's arm than an American Bulldog.

We've had Irish Setters that are loyal (whatever that really means in dog terms), Gentle and good with children, etc etc, as are many other breeds. I don't get why you're using this description to justify your want of a more controversial breed.

honeyroar Thu 30-Mar-17 23:09:44

I did a home check for a rescue recently and they already had an American Bulldog. It was a huge, soft goofball of a dog, nothing remotely scary about it.

Wolfiefan Thu 30-Mar-17 23:15:06

I don't think they are innately scary BUT a big breed dog allowed unfettered access to young children is a recipe for disaster.
I have a giant breed and training has been very hard work. But essential. She's a softie but could really cause some damage if I'm not careful (puppy mouthing and bouncing at people for a cuddle!)
I think they are a breed where you have to really know what you are doing and be committed to raising a dog in the right way.

CornflakeHomunculus Thu 30-Mar-17 23:56:20

Have you had dogs (particularly any breeds with guarding tendencies) before phoebe? If not then I really wouldn't recommend an Ambull, not only because they're not really great first time dogs for the average owner but because it's just so difficult to find a reputable breeder of them.

If you're after loyal, gentle, loving and good with kids as a first time or fairly novice owner there are far more suitable breeds out there and you'll have a much easier time finding a decent breeder.

mermaidsandunicorns Fri 31-Mar-17 00:01:21

I thought American pitbulls were illegal i the uk

CornflakeHomunculus Fri 31-Mar-17 01:02:50

The American Bulldog is a completely different breed to the American Pitt Bull Terrier and is not banned as a whole.

However under UK law it's not just actual APBTs that are banned but any dogs which fit the rather vague "pit bull type" description. An Ambull could potentially be deemed "of type" and therefore illegal. The same is true of other breeds though (particularly over height Staffies) and countless bull breed, mastiff type and other crosses.

phoebe2016 Fri 31-Mar-17 05:41:27

Pick, I am not using this description to justify anything. I am merely noting several of the breeds characteristics that came up when i googled the breed - check wiki!

There is someone local to us that has some puppies and we thought we would see if there were any other owners on here that could give us some more info on what there American Bulldog had been like, as it's not a dog I have really come across before.

As I said, I understand that type of dog is more than capable of causing a lot of damage in the right circumstances, of course but that all dogs have the potential to injure.

We have had a large dog breed before.

phoebe2016 Fri 31-Mar-17 05:42:50

Hi Cornflake

Yes, we have had a large dog breed before, an American Akita and he was a wonderful boy.

phoebe2016 Fri 31-Mar-17 05:48:14

This is why i am asking

Blackfellpony Fri 31-Mar-17 07:51:06

Huge, powerful, prone to aggression to other dogs, not particularly a people pleaser so harder to train compared to say your average lab or GSD. I find them really hard to read body language for some reason.

If you like the mastiff look there are far better choices for a family pet IMO smile

Jaagojaago Fri 31-Mar-17 10:49:31

Not sure how you will "look into breeding" if you're planning to get a puppy of someone that has puppies near you is a backyard breeder moron

Jaagojaago Fri 31-Mar-17 10:51:19

Of= if

phoebe2016 Fri 31-Mar-17 10:51:49

I didn't say i was going to get one of their puppies! I said someone had them and I was going to look at that breed.

NeedATrim Fri 31-Mar-17 11:01:16

Have you experience with dogs of this type, stature etc Phoebe?

phoebe2016 Fri 31-Mar-17 11:09:12

Hi Needatrim

We have previously owned an American Akita. He was a big lad but loving and great with the kids.

NeedATrim Fri 31-Mar-17 12:38:34

Oh right. What happened to him? Sounds like he's not with you anymore.

CornflakeHomunculus Fri 31-Mar-17 13:21:03

The Akita is a recognised and well established breed here, plus they've been pretty much exclusively pet/show bred for a long time.

The only remotely decent breeders of Ambulls in the UK seem to be those breeding them for sports like IPO so they'll be fairly serious dogs. Obviously if you're interested in IPO yourself and have the ability to handle such a dog they could be a great choice but purely as a pet? Not so much.

I agree that if you want the bull/molosser type then there are plenty of breeds that are better options as family pets and you'd have far less of a struggle to find a reputable breeder.

Of course you could also consider an Ambull type from a decent rescue who use foster homes rather than kennels and will have a good idea of how suitable their dogs are as family pets.

Ylvamoon Fri 31-Mar-17 15:25:09

OP, why don't you take the "Which breed" quiz on the kc website? This would give you a lovely selection of great dog breeds, fitting your criteria. Maybe even widen your search for the right dog breed. Personally I'd be warily to all types of bull breeds, but than that's me, I like my dogs to be fluffy and friendly.

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