Dog enthusiasts around the world are aware of the existence of the English and French varieties of the Bulldog breed. However, only a few have knowledge of the American counterpart of the breed.
For starters, it is a large breed of utility dogs and fighting dogs which is portrayed as strong, muscular, and lean. Due to its great looks and fur, many want to be an American Bulldog owner.
But first, you must learn about important information that can help you in understanding this breed.
What Is a Johnson American Bulldog?
The American Bulldog breed branches out into two main subcategories or bloodlines, which are the Johnson American Bulldogs and the Scott American Bulldogs. Typically, Johnsons are called classics, while Scotts are known as performance types.
Many Bulldogs around the country originate from these breeds and are either pure or mixed with the two.
Johnson American Bulldogs are known as the classic or original American Bulldogs. They are also called the bully type due to their very bulky appearance filled with muscle and lean meat. They can weigh up to 90 to 120 pounds and stand about 23 to 27 inches at the shoulder.
The fur of a Johnson American Bulldog is commonly white with brown or black splotches around their body. They have large heads which makes them look menacing.
The coat is smooth to the touch, and they do not shed heavily compared to other breeds. Originally, patches in the coats were red, brown, and black. However, crossbreeding and evolutionary traits helped them to develop different shades of fawn and mixed brown.
Johnson American Bulldogs usually have black or brown colored eyes, but there is a rare case in which two colors manifest.
This breed is also very loyal to owners and compassionate even to kids. They are confident and lively, but some Bulldogs show laziness when they are very comfortable. There are even reports of leaving kids with Johnson American Bulldogs because of their ability to protect young humans.
History and Origin
The American Bulldog originated from the Old English Bulldog brought by working immigrants to South America. They first appeared in history books in the 17th century as farm or ranch dogs.
They served many purposes such as guarding against farm predators, catching hunts, as well as protecting the family property. However, they also acted as shepherd’s assistants in gathering bulls, cattle, and other herd animals.
In the 18th century, the Old English Bulldog became famous in bullbaiting, a blood sport in which two dogs fought with each other. While this trend quickly passed due to bans, the Bulldog continued its job as a utility dog for farms and herds.
Over the years, the breed became popular due to their ability to fend off and predate migrated feral pigs. This made them famous in the Southern part of America to deal with the new species’ infestation since feral pigs had no natural predators in the food chain.
When war broke out in the country during World War II, the breed almost became extinct. However, a noble breeder named John D. Johnson took effort in revitalizing their population by finding the finest Bulldogs that he could scour for.
Later, he was joined by another man named Alan Scott. Both began their journey of reviving an almost dead breed into a healthy society.
Alan Scott leaned more towards the Southern Farm breeds which were used to fend off feral pigs. This gave rise to an athletic and long-legged Bulldog breed also known as the Scott Type or the Standard American Bulldog.
On the other hand, Johnson’s American Bulldog bloodlines were mixed with English ones, resulting in a bulkier and more muscular breed that is famous around the world.
Scott’s bloodlines are usually white. On the other hand, the Johnson series featured multiple sketches and patches of red, black, or brown on the skin.
Over the years, many variations stemmed from these two main types. However, such types can still be attributed as a mix or blend of the original Johnson and Scott types.
A Johnson American Bulldog’s temperament and attitude are very similar to its English counterpart. They are very compassionate, loving, and loyal dogs to their owners, even towards kids and younger ages.
This makes them very good watchdogs and protectors of the house. However, this can be a problem since they tend to be overly wary of strangers as their fight instincts kick in.
While they may be very close to their owners, they are very suspicious of people that they do not know. It is common to see a Johnson American Bulldog commits an act of bravery by protecting its owner from imminent harm.
When it comes to exercise, a Johnson American Bulldog needs lots of it. They become very restless and aggressive when they have nothing to do to the point where they bite and tear off furniture or everything that their teeth sink to.
To avoid this, you must be ready to engage in some serious exercises with your Johnson American Bulldog to tire them. This makes them unsuitable for apartment living, as they prefer to run in wide lawns or backyards.
Like any guard dog or fighting dog breed, a Johnson American Bulldog needs to have proper socialization and training, especially when it comes to strangers. This will help avoid unnecessary aggression that can result in injury.
Also, you must learn to bond with them in their baby days. It is crucial to imprint them with a human touch at an early age so that their relationships with you get stronger. A daily walk or run is also highly suggested so that their exercise needs can be fulfilled.
Due to the breed’s great breeding history and physical demands, the Johnson American Bulldog is generally considered as a healthy breed. These dogs have a life span of about 10 to 16 years, but some might have rare conditions that can affect their health.
Here are some conditions that an owner must be wary of:
- Fibrosarcoma: Fibrosarcoma is the abnormal development of fibroblast cells that are present in transitory tissues of a dog’s body. This can cause several bone tumors which can lead to fractures and worse, limb amputation. The exact cause of the condition is unknown, and it could happen to any Johnson American Bulldog.
- Cherry Eye: Cherry eye refers to the eyelid protrusion of an American Bulldog. In a literal sense, this means that a flesh mass radiates to the outside of the eye due to the abnormality of a gland. It is a birth defect that will be diagnosed by a veterinary. Usually, a surgical process to remove the mass is executed if it is severe. If not, medications can be an alternative.
- Dysplasia: Dysplasia is a condition common in large dogs and stems from abnormal joint development. Usually, such disease happens during the development period in the early months of the Bulldog. This can cause osteoporosis, uneven bone growth, and even the inability to walk properly. If dysplasia is discovered soon, surgery can be executed. This can greatly help in removing pain in your pets.
To make sure that your pet is in its best shape, you must never neglect vet visits. It is also recommended to do all the required vaccines so that they are immune to the most preventable disease. Always check the overall health of your Bulldog as this will impact their time spent with you.
As a very large watchdog, the Johnson American Bulldog should always have meals fit for its size. Thus, they require huge amounts of protein and hydration to keep them pumping throughout the day. This will also help them develop leaner muscles which they can use for their daily activity.
All high-grade dog food should follow the standards set by the American Feed Control Officials or AAFCO. A great suggestion is the Wild High Grain-free dog food which combines both bull meat and vegetables in one tasty meal. Usually, a food pack from such brand costs from $50 to $70.
Together with the food, treats are also highly appreciated. These can be used for training as well as familiarity purposes. Try to get treats that are not high in calories, as this can drastically increase your dog’s weight.
As always, positive reinforcement should be imposed to avoid aggression. Be prepared to spend some cash on your Bulldog’s food, as they tend to eat a lot.
As early as their third week after birth, a puppy can show signs of stubbornness and aggression. Because of this, it is very crucial to train them in various aspects to help them be better geared for life.
The usual Johnson American Bulldog training include potty training, leash training, socialization, and biting control.
- Potty Training: This refers to a Bulldog’s ability to place his/her potty in only one place. Since Bulldogs are smart dogs, they learn this quickly. A great method to do this is to follow a routine or schedule so that your dog gets used to it. Do not worry if it fails on the first attempts, since no dog is perfect. Never punish your Bulldog as it will only cause them to be more reserved. In general, this training can be finished in a week or less.
- Socializing: Johnson American Bulldogs are very loyal towards their owners but can be reserved for strangers. This can be traced back to their days as farm guards in which they protect livestock with their abilities. Because of this, Bulldogs can be suspicious of people who they do not know. To combat such occurrence, you must socialize your dog with other people as well as pets so that they will be more used to dealing with relationships. As always, building bonds with your Bulldog will result in a better connection in the future.
- Bite Control: Bulldogs are biting enthusiasts especially in their early months. To control this, you must be ready to produce methods and techniques. A recommended way to lessen biting is by using toys such as teethers. With the help of these tools, they will not be bored; thus, decreasing the chances of destruction. Another great way to address the issue is through positive reinforcement. Try to give your bully treats every time he bites you gently so that it’ll be aware of moderated biting.
Due to their short coats and thin fur, the Johnson American Bulldog is not hard to groom. Dog owners often call it the “touch and go” breed due to the reduced work it requires for tending.
Keep in mind that they shed minimally regardless of this season, but they do not need baths unless they go to a nasty place. Slight brushes of their fur are needed here and there to foster proper hair growth.
However, going to a coat trimmer depends on your preference as they do not really need it.
A Bulldog should be brushed once every two weeks. In doing this, you must prepare a place in the yard or the lawn so that no hair will riddle the insides of your house.
Since the Johnson American Bulldog’s coat is thin, there is really no need for large brushes. Grooming hand gloves are preferred due to the control and ease of access that they can give you. Work your way from the top of your head to your body for a finer finish.
When it comes to baths, you can do it once every two months. Johnson American Bulldogs are very clean animals, so frequent baths are unnecessary unless they become dirty. To thoroughly clean them, you need to use a dog shampoo as human shampoos can be bad for their skin.
Other parts of the body that you need to clean are ears, mouth, and nails. Be careful in dealing with these parts as they can be very sensitive. Also, check their ears and mouth for any defects as it could mean diseases. Always be wary of your Bulldog’s overall condition through inspection.
Flatulence and Drooling
It is known that the Johnson American Bulldog is notorious for salivating especially for those dogs which have loose skin in their cheeks and mouth. This might require additional clean-ups before and after meals. However, do not worry, as this can always be addressed by proper training.
Bulldogs are also known to fart excessively, especially when fed non-natural food. To counter this, always purchase all-natural ingredients such as fresh meat and good dog food to lessen the smell of the flatulence.
Where to Get a Johnson American Bulldog?
Your Johnson American Bulldog source will determine its temperament, health, and well-being. Sources take care of the pup from birth to maturity, so you should get one who knows everything about Bulldogs.
In this industry, there are three main Bulldog sources: puppy mills, backyard breeders, and reputable breeders.
Never get dogs from mills and backyard breeders, as you can face long term issues regarding the Bulldog’s health. Puppy mills mass-produce dog breeds only for the sake of money.
They will always generate pups that are neglected and untrained. This can cause problems for you and your family. On the other hand, backyard breeders have no adequate knowledge of proper puppy raising.
They only sell puppies due to the purpose of extra litter which they cannot take care of. Always seek help from reputable breeders as they are masters of Bulldog breeding.
Another puppy source that you can consider is through adoption. Many puppy homes around the country have rescued Johnson American Bulldogs from their care, and you can always opt for them.
Yes, this might be a very challenging task, but it is a very fulfilling one. You might need to adjust to your dog’s experiences, but the result will be companionship that will last for a lifetime.
Also, adoption centers charge less, as you only need to cover maintenance fees and the adoption process.
Final Thoughts: Should You Get a Johnson American Bulldog?
If you want a very loyal dog with an active lifestyle, you should get a Johnson American Bulldog. They are ideal for homes that have backyard spaces since they tend to run around a lot.
On the other hand, if you live in an apartment, you are better off with a smaller dog breed. If you decide to commit to a Johnson American Bulldog, you will have an unforgettable experience since the breed is protective of its family.
Furthermore, you should consider increasing your monthly expenses for this breed. They require a lot of food and nutrition, so their stocks can quickly deplete.
When it comes to grooming, it is not really a hassle. They do not shed that much so occasional baths are sufficient. You should always get the breed from a respected breeder as they will provide you with the necessary head start for the journey.
Love your future Johnson American Bulldog as much as possible and they will surely return the favor. These dogs are among the best breeds loved by many around the world, and they will never let you down.