The ABNA Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal temperament, appearance and characteristics of the American Bulldog and ensures that the breed is, and will remain, fit for function. Absolute soundness, both temperamentally and structurally is essential.
ABNA Judges should, at all times, be careful to avoid placing dogs with obvious conditions or exaggerations that would be detrimental in any way to the health, soundness or welfare of the American Bulldog.
The American Bulldog is a temperamentally sound, athletic, medium to large size dog that possesses great strength and agility. The expression should reflect a confidence, intelligence and alertness. The sturdy, powerful, yet compact frame is characteristically stockier and heavier boned in the males and more refined in the females.
Some assertiveness with other dogs is accepted.
In officially recognizing the two types of American Bulldog, the Standard type and the Bully type, the ABNA requires that they be judged separately.
1. The American Bulldog National Alliance judges are specifically charged with the responsibility of evaluating the temperamental stability as well as structural conformation on all dogs.
2. Dogs displaying nervous, shy, timid behaviour should not be considered for placement.
3. Any dog demonstrating human aggression / nervous aggression or that is out of control, presenting a danger to the Judge, other persons or other dogs, will be dismissed from the ring at the Judge’s discretion.
4. Any dog showing serious lameness will be dismissed from the ring for the welfare of the dog at the Judge’s discretion.
5. Dogs with disqualifying faults will not be dismissed from the ring, but will not be considered for placement.
6. 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 heat are not to be shown in the conformation classes, and are not allowed in the proximity thereof.
The standard type American Bulldog is a leaner, more athletic dog in appearance, while being well muscled with good bone and easily recognisable as an American Bulldog. Any lack of American Bulldog type is a serious fault.
It has a straight, level top-line, a box to wedge shaped head with a slightly longer muzzle with less of an under-bite and a slightly shallower, but still well defined stop.
The Bully type American Bulldog is a thicker, more powerful dog in appearance, well muscled with good bone, while still being athletic and easily recognisable as an American Bulldog. Any lack of American Bulldog type is a serious fault
It has a level to slightly higher in the rear top-line, a box to round shaped head, with a slightly shorter muzzle with more of an under-bite and a more definitive stop.
Although the American Bulldog comes in two types, the differences between them are not massive, both types are easily identifiable as American Bulldogs. Both types move smoothly, displaying power and agility and breath cleanly. Extremes and exaggerations in both types are penalised based on the severity.
Males range from 22-26 inches (56 – 66 cm) at the withers.
Females range from 21-25 inches (53.5 – 63.5 cm) at the withers.
Weight is in proportion to height in both types.
Both types must be in good condition, and not overweight or underweight.
Solid white, white with varying shades and degrees of brindle, red, and tan.
Varying shades of brindle, red and tan showing varying degrees of white markings.
* Dogs with brindle, red or tan colouring must still have obvious white markings to areas such as, but not inclusive of, the muzzle, head and neck, chest, feet, abdomen and tail tip. Dogs should not have a full black mask.
** If a dog has more than one patch, and one appears black while one or more show some brindle, then the dog is classed as having brindle colouration and not black. This is evident by the brindle showing elsewhere on the dog.
*** If a single patch is so small that it is impossible to tell, especially around the head area, as black is such a rare occurrence in the breed, this patch is classed as brindle.
Short, up to a maximum of one inch (2.5 cm) in length, varying in texture from soft to stiff.
The head is relatively large and broad in proportion to the size of the dog, 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.
The head-circumference of a dog must not be more than the height at the withers of the dog.
The head is box to wedge shaped in appearance, with a slightly shallower, but still distinct stop.
The distance at the widest point between the ears in relaxed position, is the same as the distance from the occipital bone to the stop.
The head is box to round shaped in appearance, with a more definitive stop.
The distance at the widest point between the ears in relaxed position, is the same or a little more than the distance from the occipital bone to the stop.
The muzzle is relatively broad and square.
The jaws are well muscled, displaying great strength.
Lips are full, but not pendulous.
Pigment on the lips is full and black in colour.
The muzzle length makes up 30% to 40% of the overall length of the head.
The muzzle width makes up 65% to 75% of the overall width of the head.
The muzzle length makes up 25% to 35% of the overall length of the head.
The muzzle width makes up 70% to 80% of the overall width of the head.
A reverse scissor bite is preferred, with a scissor bite up to an undershot bite of 1/4 inch (6.5mm) being accepted with no fault.
An undershot bite of 1/4 inch (6.5mm) is preferred, with a reverse scissor bite up to an undershot bite of ½ inch (13mm) being accepted with no fault.
Correct dentition containing all 42 teeth, which are in healthy condition, strong and large in size.
The eyes are round or almond in shape, of medium size, and are wide set.
The skin around the eyes is tight showing no visible haw.
Eyes are dark brown in colour.
Eye rim pigmentation is full and black in colour.
The nose is broad and black with full pigmentation.
The nostrils are large and wide.
The ears are medium in size and may be either forward flap or rose, with no preference.
The neck is medium in length, slightly arched and tapers from the shoulders to the head. It is thick, strong and muscular giving the appearance of great strength.
The shoulders are well angulated, powerful and muscular with good definition giving the appearance of great strength.
The chest is well muscled, deep and moderately wide and in proportion with the rest of the dog, giving the appearance of both power and athletic ability.
The distance from the withers to the bottom of chest is equal to the distance from the bottom of chest to the floor. The bottom of the chest ends at the elbow.
In side profile the fore-chest is visible.
The body is well balanced and compact, powerful and athletic in appearance.
The ribs are well sprung and the loin is moderately tucked.
The dog should be slightly longer than tall.
The back should be broad, giving the appearance of great strength. A straight level top-line with a slight roach over the loins.
The front legs should be straight and powerful, with moderate to heavy bone.
The pasterns should be strong and almost upright.
The rear legs should be parallel, well muscled and powerful, with moderate angulation. Pasterns should be strong and upright.
The hindquarters should be thick, muscular and athletic, and should be in balance with the rest of the dog.
The tail is medium set, thick and strong at the base tapering to a point.
The tail should reach the hocks in a relaxed position.
The feet should be of moderate size.
The toes should be tight and well arched.
The American Bulldog should move with effortless power and a confident attitude, maintaining a level top-line.
When trotting the American Bulldog should move with a powerful, smooth, and well coordinated gait, showing good reach in the front and a powerful drive from the rear.
The legs should remain level and horizontal, and only as speed increases do the feet converge toward the centre line for balance.
The American Bulldog should not paddle, pace, or display a short stilted stride, there should be no rolling or clumsiness in the gait. The feet should not turn in or out, cross, or interfere with each other when moving.
Any dog showing serious lameness will be dismissed from the ring for the welfare of the dog at the Judges discretion.
Any faults or deviations from the breed standard should be faulted based upon the severity.
DISQUALIFICATIONS FROM PLACEMENT
Full brindle, brown, red, or tan with no visible white.
Black and tan, tri colour, or any degree or patches of black, blue, blue brindle or merle.
Long and / or feathered coats.
More than four missing teeth.
An overshot bite.
Visible entropia and ectropia.
Lameness / Limping.
Inability to be examined by the judge