Colors of American Bulldogs

by Sandra Murphy
    In England during the 1800s, bulldogs were used in bull baiting.

    In England during the 1800s, bulldogs were used in bull baiting.

    Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images

    Bulldogs derive their name from the use of the breed in bull baiting, a bloody spot popular in England during the early 1800s and eventually outlawed in 1835. In addition to bull baiting, bulldogs were also used as working dogs, driving cattle and guarding property. Brought to America by immigrants, what was originally known as the English Bulldog breed thrived and eventually became recognized as the American Bulldog. These dogs were regarded as all-around working dogs by farmers and ranchers who relied on them for protecting property and for hunting wild boar, raccoon, squirrel and bear.

    Physical Traits of American Bulldogs

    American Bulldogs have a heavy, thick-set, low-swung body supported by short, sturdy limbs. Another characteristic of the bulldog physique is a massive, short-faced head. Male American Bulldogs are typically 22 to 27 inches tall and tip the scale at approximately 75 to 125 pounds. Smaller in overall size, female American Bulldogs can reach an adult height of 25 inches and weigh anywhere from 60 to 100 pounds.

    Coat Colors

    The coat of American Bulldogs is smooth, short and stiff to the touch. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the various coat colors, in order of preference, include red brindle; all other brindles; solid white; solid red; fawn or fallow; and piebald. Brindle refers to the presence of a main color as well as streaks of a secondary color. The piebald coat color is characterized by patches of two colors, typically black and white.

    Color Preferences

    Colors on the coat of American Bulldogs should feature well-defined and uniform. Perfect brindle coats display an even distribution of the composite colors; in both brindles and solid color coats, a patch of white on the chest is not considered detrimental to the look of the dog. Piebald coats should have patches of pure color symmetrically distributed. Solid black is not considered a preferable color for an American Bulldog.


    Known for their vigor, muscular build and fearless determination, American Bulldogs are also valued for having a stable temperament and a personality that is not overly aggressive. They are known for being loyal companions and for being good with children. Although they have a rugged build and powerful jaws, American Bulldogs generally have gentle dispositions, making them a good choice for a family pet. The AKC characterizes the bulldog's disposition as resolute and courageous but also equable and kind. Bulldogs are usually compatible with other family pets, especially if they are raised with them.

    Photo Credits

    • Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Sandra Murphy has more than 20 years of writing experience for both interactive and print media. She holds a master's degree in professional and technical writing from Northeastern University in Boston. Her work has appeared in national and international publications, including "Travel + Leisure" and Conde Nast.

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