American Bulldogs are widely considered to be the closest living relative to the Old English Bulldog brought to the United States in the 1800s. They were originally used in England for bull-baiting but took on new opponents such as bears and buffaloes when introduced to the American frontier.
While the original Old English Bulldog bloodline was being heavily mixed with other breeds back in England during this time, the breed that was imported to the New World was mostly kept preserved in the deep South.
Bulldogs were trained to catch wild boar and cattle and were excellent hunters of vermin that destroyed farms and crops.
Though the blood sport of bull-baiting has been outlawed long ago, these friendly pets have found a new pastime – bonding and becoming part of a household’s family. They do well as loyal and confident guard dogs.
One-Time American Bulldog Expenses
Since the breed is not recognized by the American Kennel Club you won’t be able to buy registered pups there, but the American Bulldog prices are about $900 apiece at Next Day Pets.
If you have a soft spot in your heart for these wonderful dogs and would like to rescue one, the American Bulldog Rescue is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding homes for lost Bulldogs. Its adoption fee is $400.
American Bulldogs are top picks for several dog sports such as weight pulling, obedience, and the Iron Dog competition. In order to participate in these competitions, your Bulldog needs to be registered with a kennel club.
The Bulldog Club of America (BCA) has a membership application fee of $30. State licensing fees for your dog range from $8.50 to $30 and are a legal requirement.
Some additional one-time expenses that you can expect to shoulder are for the Bulldog’s microchip, having them neutered, and for some accessories like a dog collar, leash and possibly an ID tag. A proper crate is also a necessity.
Below are the average prices for these other one-time expenses:
- Microchip (plus registration) – $40 to $90
- Neutering (standard spaying/castration) – $125
- Dog Collar – $8 to $15
- Leash – $9 to $30
- ID Tag – $9 to $23
- Crate – $99.99 (for a vaulted door crate from Petmate, useful for travel and at home)
Maintaining an American Bulldog
Repeat expenses will come mostly in the form of medical and healthcare for your doggo. Your American Bulldog has a regular schedule for vaccinations which should be adhered to, as well as multiple wellness checks annually at a veterinarian’s clinic.
Vaccines are necessary to counter the many strains of viruses that plague domesticated dogs such as Rabies, Canine Distemper, and Bordetella. Listed below are the average prices for such recurring expenses:
- Wellness Checks – these exams cost around $50 and will be done once or twice a year
- Vaccine Shots – all vaccination prices range between $20 and $40 per shot
- Sustenance – $61.98 for a 47-lb bag of Pro Plan Savor Shredded Blend Lamb & Rice
- Relocation – the cost of an airline ticket plus any professional fees may reach to $1,000
Before you buy an American Bulldog, here are some things to help you figure out if it’s the best breed for you to choose:
It needs constant companionship, so if you’re not home most of the day, this is the wrong type of dog for you. Bulldogs love to explore, so make sure your yard has a fence high enough (6-8 feet) to prevent them from going on adventures outside.
Although they’re a generally sociable breed, young Bulldogs may not get along with strangers immediately, especially if they haven’t finished training classes.
This breed is also prone to a variety of health issues such as hip and elbow dysplasia, skin and allergy problems, and inherited deafness. You must be financially secure if you expect to properly raise a Bulldog.
It also tends to have a protein-heavy diet – so be prepared to stock up on kibble, canned food, and treats. Bulldogs mustn’t exercise too much before they reach maturity (18 months). Physical activities should be restricted to short walks, games, and playing.