Skip to Content

American Bulldog Pros & Cons

The American Bulldog is a powerful and athletic breed that has become increasingly popular among dog owners in recent years. 

Originally bred as a working dog in the southern United States, American Bulldogs were used for a variety of tasks, including hunting, herding, and guarding. 

Today, they are known for their loyal and protective nature, intelligence, and affectionate personalities.

In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of owning an American Bulldog so that you’ll have a balanced understanding of what to expect from this breed as a prospective owner.

Pros of owning an American Bulldog

  • Loyalty and protection: American Bulldogs are highly loyal to their loved ones and will protect them no matter what
  • Adaptability: They can handle whatever comes their way!
  • Intelligence: American Bulldogs are smart & highly trainable.
  • Low grooming requirements: Perfect for those that don’t to groom their dog often.
  • Athleticism: Love the outdoors?! Don’t forget your American Bulldog!

1. Loyalty and protection 

American Bulldogs are known for their fierce loyalty and protective nature towards their families.

They are highly affectionate and enjoy spending time with their owners, often seeking attention and affection.

Their protective instincts make them a popular choice for families looking for a reliable companion who can also provide a sense of security at home.

American Bulldogs are very protective of their family

Socialization is a must with American Bulldogs

American Bulldogs are naturally wary of strangers and may be initially hesitant when meeting new people.

However, with proper socialization, they can learn to differentiate between friend and foe and become more accepting of strangers.

Great watchdogs

This loyalty and protectiveness make them excellent watchdogs, as they will bark and alert their owners to any potential danger.

American Bulldogs are intelligent & highly trainable

In addition to being loyal and protective, American Bulldogs are also highly intelligent and can be trained to perform a variety of tasks.

They excel in obedience and agility training and can also be trained as therapy dogs or service animals.

Their intelligence and trainability make them a versatile breed that can adapt to a variety of living situations and environments.

2. Adaptability 

American Bulldogs are a versatile breed that can adapt to different living environments, making them a popular choice among dog owners.

Despite their size, they can adjust to apartment living as long as they get sufficient exercise and attention.

However, they do require plenty of room to move around and play, so owners should ensure that they provide ample space for their American Bulldogs to roam around.

American Bulldog carrying a log

American Bulldogs need lots of room to run around & play

Good watchdogs

For suburban and rural homes, American Bulldogs are an excellent choice as they are natural protectors and can provide a sense of security to their owners.

They can be trained to be alert watchdogs and are not afraid to protect their family in case of danger.

Their protective nature makes them ideal for families with children, as they will naturally guard and watch over them.

Can handle most climates pretty well

American Bulldogs can also adapt well to different climates, whether it be hot and humid or cold and snowy.

However, it’s important to note that they may require extra care in extreme weather conditions, such as providing adequate shelter, hydration, and protection from the elements.

3. Intelligence

American Bulldogs are known for their high intelligence and ability to learn quickly.

They are a highly responsive breed that is always eager to please their owners, which makes them an ideal choice for those who are new to dog ownership or may not have much experience in training.

With the right guidance and positive reinforcement techniques, these dogs can quickly learn a wide variety of tricks and commands.

Positive reinforcement is best

Positive reinforcement is the most effective method of training for American Bulldogs.

This involves rewarding good behavior with treats, praise, and affection.

By using positive reinforcement, owners can encourage their American Bulldogs to repeat good behaviors, leading to a more well-behaved and obedient pet.

However, it is essential to note that American Bulldogs may require a consistent and firm approach to training, particularly when it comes to their stubbornness and strong-willed nature.

Training is key to having a happy American Bulldog

Training and socialization are crucial for American Bulldogs from a young age.

Proper training can help them to develop good manners and reduce the likelihood of undesirable behavior, such as aggression towards other dogs or humans.

Socialization is also essential, as it can help American Bulldogs to become more comfortable in different environments and with other people and animals.

4. Low grooming requirements

American Bulldogs have a short and smooth coat that requires minimal grooming.

They shed moderately throughout the year, and weekly brushing with a soft-bristled brush or grooming mitt can help remove loose hair and keep their coat shiny and healthy.

Don’t need baths that often

They typically only need a bath every few months or as needed, and regular nail trimming, ear cleaning, and dental care can help maintain their overall health.

A generally low-maintenance dog

Their low grooming needs make American Bulldogs an ideal choice for owners who prefer low-maintenance pets.

They are especially suitable for busy people who may not have a lot of time or resources to devote to regular grooming.

Moreover, their short coat means they are less likely to develop skin issues, such as hot spots or allergies, compared to breeds with longer coats.

5. Athleticism

American Bulldogs are a highly athletic breed that love to engage in physical activities.

Love to do things outdoors

Due to their strength, agility, and endurance, they are well-suited for outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, and running.

Work hard play hard

These dogs have a natural inclination to play and work, and they enjoy being physically challenged.

They are also great at playing games like fetch or Frisbee, which can help them to burn off excess energy and stay mentally stimulated.

Cons of owning an American Bulldog

  • Potential for aggression
  • Stubbornness
  • Exercise requirements
  • Size and strength
  • Athleticism 

1. Potential for aggression

American Bulldogs have strong guarding instincts, which means that they may exhibit aggressive behavior towards strangers or other animals.

This is why socialization is key

It is essential to socialize American Bulldogs from a young age to prevent any potential issues later on.

2. Stubbornness

The stubbornness of American Bulldogs can make them challenging to train for inexperienced dog owners.

These dogs have a powerful will and a strong sense of independence, which can make them difficult to control.

Without proper training and socialization, they can become dominant and even aggressive towards other dogs or people. 

Consistent & firm training is required

To overcome their stubbornness, consistent and firm training is required. It is essential to establish clear rules and boundaries early on, and to consistently enforce them.

Positive reinforcement techniques such as rewards and praise can also be effective in motivating American Bulldogs to behave appropriately.

Punishing them won’t get you far

It is important to note that harsh training methods or physical punishment should never be used with American Bulldogs, as they can easily become defensive or aggressive.

Instead, training should be based on positive reinforcement and consistency, which will help to build a strong bond of trust and respect between the dog and its owner.

A well-behaved American Bulldog is always possible

With patience, dedication, and the right approach, American Bulldogs can become loyal, obedient, and well-behaved companions.

3. Exercise requirements

American Bulldogs are a highly active breed that requires plenty of exercise to maintain their physical and mental well-being.

A daily walk, jog, or run can help keep them fit and healthy, as well as provide an outlet for their energy.

Playing fetch, going on hikes, or participating in dog sports like agility or obedience training can also provide the necessary physical activity and mental stimulation for American Bulldogs.

Need lots of mental stimulation too

In addition to physical exercise, American Bulldogs also need mental stimulation to keep their minds active and engaged.

This can be achieved through activities such as puzzle toys, scent work, or training exercises that challenge their minds and problem-solving abilities.

A White American Bulldog laying on a chair

American Bulldogs need mental stimulation or they’ll get bored

Otherwise, they’ll get bored and act out

Without adequate mental stimulation, American Bulldogs may become bored or anxious, which can lead to destructive behavior like chewing or digging.

Owners of American Bulldogs should also ensure that their pets have plenty of socialization opportunities to prevent them from becoming overly protective or aggressive. Socialization can involve introducing them to other dogs, people, and new environments in a controlled and positive way.

4. Size and Strength 

American Bulldogs are generally considered to be a medium to large-sized breed.

Males weigh between 70-120 pounds and females weigh between 60-100 pounds.

Muscular and strong

They are muscular and strong, which makes them suitable for tasks such as hunting and guarding.

The size and strength of American Bulldogs can be a challenge for some owners, especially those who have a more sedentary lifestyle or who may not have the time or energy to devote to their pet’s daily exercise needs.

5. Athleticism

While their athleticism may be a pro to some people, not everybody wants a highly-active dog.

They need lots of exercise

It is important to keep in mind that American Bulldogs require a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation to prevent them from becoming bored and destructive.

Daily exercise, such as long walks or runs, coupled with activities such as playing fetch or swimming, can keep them physically and mentally stimulated.

American Bulldogs are highly active dogs

Lack of exercise can lead to behavior problems

Inadequate exercise and stimulation can lead to behavior problems such as excessive barking, digging, or chewing.

Therefore, it is essential to make sure that they get enough exercise and activities to keep them happy, healthy, and well-behaved.


Owning an American Bulldog can be a rewarding experience for the right owner.

Devoted & active companions

Their loyalty, protectiveness, adaptability, intelligence, and athleticism make them an excellent choice for families and individuals who are looking for a devoted and active companion.

But they’re not for everybody…

However, potential owners should also be aware of the breed’s potential for aggression, stubbornness, high exercise requirements, and size and strength.

You need to do your part to help them become a well-behaved American Bulldog

As with any breed, responsible ownership, including proper socialization, consistent training, and adequate exercise and mental stimulation, is essential to ensure that your American Bulldog becomes a well-behaved and happy member of your family.

Do your research

If you are considering adding an American Bulldog to your household, take the time to research the breed thoroughly, consider your lifestyle and living situation, and choose a reputable breeder or adoption agency to find your new furry friend.

With the right care and attention, an American Bulldog can be a wonderful addition to any loving family.