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American Bulldog

  The IOEBA's official American Bulldog breed standard is a detailed written description of the perfect "type" or "flawless" American Bulldog. 

A well written, detailed breed standard is a very effective tool that can be used to assists American Bulldog breeders in the selection process and evaluation of American Bulldog that are being considered for a structured breeding program or as a possible conformation show participant. 

The IOEBA's American Bulldog breed standard should always be used as a written guide and reference to current and future American Bulldog breeders. 

It is important that American Bulldog breeders understand and use the IOEBA's American Bulldog breed standard, as the offspring they produce will have an impact on the American Bulldog breed in the future for many generations. 

 The goal of all reputable American Bulldog breeders is to achieve perfection as far as correct breed type, health and temperament.

All IOEBA conformation judges use the IOEBA's official American Bulldog breed standard as a guide to give themselves a mental picture of  breed perfection by which they select future IOEBA conformation champions.

Breed Standard

  General Description :  The ideal American Bulldogs is a medium to large size dog  that is a loyal and courageous athlete. 

The American Bulldog should possess a sound temperament and has great strength, agility and confidence.

The American Bulldog's expression should reflect intelligence and alertness. 

Its sturdy, 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 with other dogs is accepted.

Head :  The head is large and broad giving the impression of great power.

When viewed from the side, the skull and muzzle are parallel to one another and joined by a well-defined stop.

The stop is very deep and abrupt, almost at a right angle with the muzzle.  Despite the depth of the stop, the forehead is wider than it is high.

  Ears :  The ears should be medium in size, high set, and may be drop, semi-prick, or rose, with no preference.   Cropped ears are a cosmetic fault, due to the fact that they have been cosmetically altered and can not be judged in their natural state.

Ears may be cropped but natural ears are preferred.

Drop ears - The ears are set high, level with the upper line of the skull, accentuating the skull's width. At the base, the ear is just slightly raised in front and then hangs along the cheek. The tip is slightly rounded. When pulled toward the eye, the ear should not extend past the outside corner of the eye.

Semi-prick ears - Same as drop ears except that only the tips of the ears drop forward.

Rose ears - Rose ears are small and set high on the skull.

Fault: Hound ears.

  Muzzle :  The muzzle is broad and thick with a very slight taper from the stop to the nose. The length of the muzzle is equal to approximately one third of the length of the head. Lips are moderately thick.

  Bite :  The American Bulldog has a complete set of large, evenly spaced, white teeth. The preferred bite is undershot with the inside of the lower incisors extending in front of the upper incisors up to inch. A scissors bite is acceptable. 

The teeth should not be visible when the mouth is closed. 
Faults:  Level bite or extreme undershot.  An overshot bite is a disqualifying fault.

  Eyes :  The eyes should be round or almond in shape, medium size, and wide set. Dark brown is preferred, other colors are accepted, but are a cosmetic fault.


Black eye rim pigment is preferred, other colors are accepted, but are a cosmetic fault. 

  Fault : Visible haw.  Disqualifying Fault : Crossed and/or nonsymmetrical eyes.

  Nose :  Broad with open nostrils (nares) with no sign of air restriction.   The nose should be a solid color. Lacking pigment is a serious fault. A nose lacking all pigment is a disqualifying fault.

  Neck The neck must be long enough to exert leverage, but short enough to exert power. The neck is muscular and, at its widest point, is nearly as broad as the head, with a slight arch at the crest, and tapering slightly from shoulders to the head. A slight dewlap is acceptable.

Neck too short and thick; thin or weak neck.

  Chest :  The chest is deep and moderately wide.  The ribs are well sprung from the spine and then flatten to form a deep body extending at least to the elbows, or lower in adult dogs.

  Back :  The topline inclines very slightly downward from well-developed withers to a broad, muscular back.

The loin is short, broad, and slightly arched, blending into a moderately sloping croup.

The flank is moderately tucked up and firm.  Faults: Swayback; sloping topline.

  Shoulders :  Shoulders should be well laid back with significant angulations to allow for good movement. Straight shoulders are a fault.

  Legs :  Front - The front legs should be straight with moderate to heavy bone. Pasterns should be strong and upright.  Weak pasterns are a major fault.  

Elbows that are bowed or twisted are a fault from minor to a disqualification, based on severity.

   Rear - The rear legs should be well muscled, moderately angulated and parallel.

  Pasterns should be strong and upright.  Weak pasterns are a major fault.

Cow hocked is a fault from minor to a disqualification, based on the severity.

  Movement :  Dogs should have a balanced gait that drives off the rear and is complimented by reach allowing the dog to cover ground with a sense of power.
Dogs should single track. Pacing or crabbing is a serious fault.

  Feet :  Round, tight both front and rear, and the pasterns should be strong. 
 Weak  pasterns and/or splayed feet are disqualifying faults. 

  Height :  Desirable height in a mature male ranges from 22 to 27 inches; in a mature female, from 20 to 25 inches.

  Weight :  Males are typically larger with heavier bone and more muscle than females. Both sexes, however, should have a well-balanced overall appearance.

Preferred weight in a mature male ranges from 75 to 125 pounds; in a mature female, from 60 to 100 pounds.

  Color :  Any color, color pattern, or combination of colors is acceptable, except for merle, solid black, solid blue, and tricolor (white with patches of black and tan).

Some dark brindle coats may appear black unless examined in very bright light.

Disqualifying Fault:
Solid black or blue with no white markings; tricolor (white with patches of black and tan).

  Coat : The coat is short.  A wavy coat or a long coat is a disqualifying fault.  There should be no signs of feathering on the legs or neck area, also a disqualifying fault.

  Tail :  The breed may have a natural or a docked tail, but the natural tail is preferred. The natural tail is very thick at the base, and tapers to a point.  A "pump handle" tail is preferred but any tail carriage from upright, when the dog is excited, to relaxed between the hocks is acceptable.   The pump handle tail should be carried low and
not over the back of the dog. 
Serious fault:
Tail curled over the back; corkscrew tail; upright tail when the dog is relaxed.

  Temperament :  Disposition should be outgoing and happy.  While a watchful nature may be expected at home, human aggression without provocation is a disqualifying fault. 
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