Valor American Bulldogs
History of the American Bulldog

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The Original Bulldog

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Once upon a time...

It is believed that the bulldog's origin stems from England and Europe.  These dogs were developed for the purpose of bull-baiting.  This practice began as a necessity of farmers and butchers, who needed to keep angry bulls under control.  However, bull-baiting quickly developed into a spectator sport and was eventually outlawed by English parliament. 

They are a Molosser breed with ancestors dating back to the Tibetan Mastiff.  Farmers would cross Mastiffs and bulldog types to create their "Gladiator dogs".  These "Gladiator dogs" were considered the prize fighters of their times.  Dogs that stem from this line are the American Pitbull Terrier, the Staffordshire Terrier, the Bull Terrier, and American Bulldogs to name a few.  

The ancestors of the American Bulldogs were brought to the Americas by settlers in the late 1700s.  They were used as farm utility dogs to protect the family farm, control livestock, and to hunt wild boar.  These dogs are different from the English Bulldog that we know today.  Opposed to the English bulldog, they are a functional working breed that do not carry the miriad of health problems. 

The American Bulldog we know today is considered the "original" bulldog, from which the English bred in the sour mug trait to create the English. Bulldog.  The "original bulldog" survived in the southern region of the United States as the premier working breed.  This priceless breed was almost extinct until breed preservationists such as Alan Scott, Darrin Jones, and John D. Johnson made it their goal to preserve and promote this wonderful breed.   

John D. Johnson; one of the founders of the breed
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JDJ's Incredible Hulk: Johnson type dog

Types of American Bulldogs

There are two primary types of American Bulldogs, the performance and the Johnson types.  The "Johnson" type is characterized by a shorter muzzle, larger head and body, and more undershot bite.  Males range from 100 - 135 lbs.  and stand upwards of 27" at the shoulder.  While their size is impressive, they can carry more health problems and are not as agile due to their size.  The "Performance" type or "Standard" American Bulldog is characterized by a leaner build, scissor or small undershot bite, and longer muzzle.  They tend to have higher endurance and have less health problems..  Males range from 85 - 110 lbs. and stand between 23 - 26" in height.  They are faster, more agile, and have higher endurance.  It is for these reasons that we have chosen to breed the performance or "standard" type. 

There are always exceptions to the rule and that is why we do not claim that all Johnson or Standard type bulldogs fit their mold perfectly.  Alot of breeders are introducing "bully" lines to their "standard" bulldogs to create bigger heads and greater size, while keeping the agility and endurance of their dogs.  Some "bully" breeders are also producing  smaller and more athletic Johnson bulldogs.  We at Valor American Bulldogs have come to respect both types and recognize that while they can be different, they are all part of one superior breed!   

Sandman the Great
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what Standard breeders should strive for

history of the American Bulldog