Many designer breeds, such as the Labradoodle, a mix between a Labrador retriever and a poodle, or the Shorkie, a Shih Tzu and Yorkshire terrier mix, are the result of mating two purebred dogs. But the American Bullnese is a unique mix of five different breeds. Robert E. Rice, a fan of short-nosed dogs and bull breeds, established the American Bullnese in 1989. Many people have tried to guess the exact genetic makeup of the unique breed, but even the American Bullnese Association, also established by Rice, does not give away the secret.
Know the Breed Standard
A breed standard is a guideline for breeders and dog show judges. Studying the American Bullnese breed standard before selecting a puppy helps you understand what is important in the breed. According to the American Bullnese Association, the American Bullnese is muscular dog who is low to the ground and long in the body. Grown males weigh 18 to 30 pounds and grown females weigh 15 to 25 pounds. The head is large and square, the eyes are round and large, the neck is thick with loose skin at the throat, the ears have a soft fold, the tail is slightly curled but not screwed, the coat is short and thick, and the body is heavy in front, narrowing at the loin. Any color coat is acceptable. It is difficult to see some of these elements in a puppy, but looking at the mother and father can give you a clear picture of the breed standard.
Understand American Bullnese Health Problems
American Bullnese are a relatively healthy breed; many become seniors without health problems. However, some common health problems associated with the breed can be spotted in a puppy, namely stenotic nares. Also known as pinched nostrils, stenotic nares are present from birth. They make breathing nearly impossible and can lead to death. A close look at an American Bullnese's nostrils will tell you if the nostrils are open wide enough to allow proper breathing. Other common indicators include noisy inhalation and blue gums due to lack of oxygen.
Breeders Specializing in American Bullnese
Many people who are searching for puppies turn to the American Kennel Club for breeder referrals. The AKC maintains a registry of purebred dogs that includes 178 different breeds. However, the American Bullnese was not recognized by the AKC at the time of publication. Of course, that doesn't mean that you can't get breeder referrals from another organization. Several breeders specialize in the American Bullnese; you can find some of these breeders by visiting the American Bullnese Association website, which lists reputable breeders in several states.
Adoption or Rescue
Adoption and rescue is always an option when you want to invite a new puppy or dog into your home. The American Bullnese Association offers an adoption service that matches American Bullnese who need a home with people who want a dog of this breed. Simply contact the American Bullnese Association through the website and request help with the adoption process.
- American Bullnese Association: Bullnese Facts
- American Bullnese Association: Origin of the Breed
- American Bullnese Association: Official Breed Standard
- American Bullnese Association: Breeders and Puppies for Sale
- American Kennel Club: AKC Recognized Breeds
- American Kennel Club: How Breeds Become AKC Recognized
- American Kennel Club: AKC Mission Statement
- American Kennel Club: Breed Matters
- Today Pets: Breeding Blunder: Labradoodle Creator Laments Designer Dog Craze
- American Kennel Club: Guidelines for Writing Breed Standards
- Chris Amaral/Photodisc/Getty Images