American Bulldog Breed Standard

The American Bulldog is an athletic, temperamentally sound medium to large sized dog that possesses great strength, agility and confidence. The expression should reflect intelligence and alertness. The sturdy and powerful yet compact frame is characteristically stockier and heavier boned in the males and more refined in the females.

Some aloofness with strangers and assertiveness towards other dogs is accepted.
However, an American Bulldog should not be excessively timid, shy or aggressive towards man and preferably not overly aggressive with other dogs.

An American Bulldog should never be confused with uniquely different breeds such as the American Staffordshire Terrier or the APBT.

Lifespan: 13 years.

Males: range from 61 to 69 cm (22-26 inches) at the withers (NEBKC: and weigh between 41 to 50 km.)
Females: range from 56 to 63.5 cm (21-25 inches) at the withers (NEBKC: and weigh between 31 to 41 kg)

Weight should be proportional to height and body type. A dog should be well conditioned and not overweight or underweight.

2,5 cm (1 inch) over or under the standard is a MINOR FAULT for both types.
Anything over is a MAJOR FAULT for both types.

NEBKC:Standard: A leaner and more athletic dog in appearance.
NEBKC:Classic: A larger and more powerful dog in appearance.

Color: Solid white or white with varying degrees of brindle, brown, red and tan are acceptable. Solid brindle, brown red, or tan with no visible white is a cosmetic fault. Solid black, blue, black & tan, tri color and any degree of merle is unacceptable. A full black mask is not acceptable. **Merle is a dilution of overall body color (black or red) with splotches of darker color giving the effect of “merling” or “marbling” not to be confused with Brindle that gives the effect of “striping”.

Coat: Short, less than one inch (2,5 cm) in length varying from soft to stiff. Long, feathering, or fuzzy coats are unacceptable.

Head: The head should be relatively large and broad in proportion to the size and overall structure of the dog. It should be flat on top giving a squared appearance. There is a defined furrow between the eyes with a distinct, deep stop. The head is well-muscled throughout with prominent cheeks. An excessively narrow head is unacceptable in both types.

An exagerated fanon is a fault based on the severity.

Standard: Generally box shaped to wedge in appearance with a slightly shallower stop and less wrinkles.

Classic: Generally box shaped to round in appearance with a more definitive stop and heavier wrinkles.

Eyes: The eyes should be round or almond shape, medium sized, and wide set. Black or dark brown is the preferred color. Other colors are accepted. Black eye rim pigment preferred. Crosse and/or nonsymmetrical eyes is a SERIOUS FAULT.

(NEBKC: Lack of pigment on the eye rims is a fault based on the severity)

(NEBKC: Heterocromia is considered a cosmetic fault. 2 "Husky blue" eyes is a SERIOUS FAULT)

Visible haw is a fault based on the severity.

Muzzle: The muzzle should be relatively broad and square. (NEBKC Bully: rather triangular) The large jaws are well-muscled, displaying great strength. Lips are full but not pendulous. (NEBKC Completed: in both types: semi pendoulous lips is a fault in both types based on severity.

Black pigment lining lips preferred. An excessively narrow muzzle is unacceptable in both types.

Standard: muzzle should be 30% to 40% of the overall length of head.

Classic: muzzle should be 25% to 35% of the overall length of head.

Teeth: The teeth should number 42 to 44 and large in size is preferred. Working dogs should not be penalized for broken teeth. Should medical removal of teeth be needed, documentation and verification by a veterinarian is requested.


Standard: Reverse scissors is preferred.

A scissor bite or moderate underbite up to 1/4 inch (6 mm) is acceptable.

Bully: undershot up to 1/4 inch (6 mm) is prefered.

Undershot 1/8 - 1/4 inch (3-13 mm) is acceptable.

Bite is a MAJOR FAULT.

Scissor bite is a disqualification.

Both types: Anything over the accepted standard is a structural fault, and will be penalized based on the severity.

Both types: Teeth should not be visible when the mouth is closed.

Nose: Black is the preferred color. A red, brown acceptable. Lack of pigment is a cosmetic fault (NEBKC Completed: judged on the severity of the lack of pigment and also age of the dog. A nose missing all pigment is a disqualification. Pinched nares is a fault judged on the severity.

Ears: The ears should be medium in size and may be either forward flap or rose, with no preference. Cropped ears is a cosmetic fault, due to the fact, that they have been cosmetically altered and can not be juded in their natural state.

In countries where it is illegal to crop ears, owners must show a certification from a veterinanian for dogs that have been altered.

NEBKC: Fully pricked ears is a SERIOUS FAULT.

Neck: The neck should be very muscular and medium in length. The neck should taper from shoulder to head and be slightly arched.

Shoulders: The shoulders should be well-muscled with good definition and wide sloping blades giving the appearance of great strength.

Chest: 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 nor should the elbows be angled out or pulled in.

Body: The body should be compact and moderately short while powerful and athletic in appearance. Well balanced. There should be a good spring of ribs with the loin moderately tucked. The body should not be excessively long.

Back: The back should be broad and moderately short in length showing great strength. Slight roach over loins. The back should not be narrow or swayed.

Standard: Straighter more level topline is preferred

Classic: Straigter more level topline is prefered. Appearance of being slightly higher in the rear is acceptable.

Legs: The legs should be strong and straight with moderate to heavy bone. Well-muscled front and back. The rear legs should be moderately angulated and parallel. There should not be an excess of or lack of angulation in the rear legs. Excessively bow-legged or cow hocked is unacceptable.

Hindquarters: The hindquarters should be thick with well-defined muscles. Not as wide as shoulders, but well-balanced. The hips should not be narrow or lacking in muscle definition.

Tail: The tail is set low, thick at base and tapering to a point. The tail should reach the hocks in a relaxed position. NEBKC Completed: In alertness the tail carried over the topline.

Tails that are kinked, screw, or end in a complete cercle are a minor fault. (NEBKC: are from a minor to MAJOR FAULT)

Docked tails are a minor fault due to the fact that the tail has been cosmetically altered and cannot be judged in it's natural state.

In coutries where it is illegal to dock tails, owners must show a certification from a veterinarian for dogs that have been altered.
Feet: The feet should be of moderate size with toes well arched and close together
Crooked toes are a minor fault.
Splayed feets are a fault form minor to major, based on the severity.

NEBKC: Completed: The feets should perfectly straight, east/west feets (turned out) or pigeon toes (turned in) is a fault from minor based on severity.

Gait: The American Bulldog should move smoothly with speed, power and agility.

There should be no rolling or clumsiness.

The topline should remain level as the front legs are reaching, and the rear legs propel the dog forward.

As speed increases, the feet move towards the center of the body for balance.

Dogs should not paddle, pace, or have a short stilted stride.

Front and/or rear legs crossing is a major fault.

Any dog showing lamness will be dissmissed from the ring for the welfare of the dog.

Dogs with disqualifying faults will not be dissmissed from the ring, but will not be considered for placement, except for agressive dogs.

*Note: Males without two testicles, dogs that are deaf, and dogs that have been spayed or neutered are not allowed to compete in the conformation ring. Females in estrus are not to be shown in the conformation classes and are not allowed in the proximity thereof.

Human agression without provocation is a DQ.

Any dog displaying an excessively shy or agressive behaviour or one who out of control will be dissmissed of the show ring and show area on the judges discretion.

NEBKC: The goal of the club is to promote an athletic dog also in the classic type, dogs with breathing issues or dogs who are overtyped, to heavy with poor movement or who are oversized will be penalized.

NEBKC: a black & white or blue brindle coat is accepted in the classic type as in the last Johnson's standard it is too.

All white dogs after generations of selection for the pure white are prone to deafness.