The American bulldog is known to be intelligent and courageous; it doesn’t shy off from confronting any intruder. They provide a measure of security for their owners, and they are also known for keeping intruders at bay. Apart from the guts they display, they make wonderful companions as well. Looking at their history, they were primarily bred to work on the farm.
American bulldogs have a natural guarding instinct, but they have to be well trained to reach their full potential. Moreover, you can train your American bulldog either to be a watchdog or a guard dog. Training your American bulldog to be a guard dog involves training it to physically stop intruders until law enforcement officers come around. While training it to be a watchdog involves simply barking at intruders and strangers to alert you.
Furthermore, American bulldogs get along with children, and they are protective of them. If you have kids around the house, the American bulldog is a good pet to have. In this article, we’ll consider different reasons why American bulldogs make good guard dogs. Later on, we’ll also compare and contrast traditional guard dogs with American bulldog guard dogs.
Are American Bulldogs Protective of Their Owners?
Yes. American bulldogs are one of the most loyal dog breeds to ever exist, and they are highly protective of their owners. Their physical attributes make them suitable guard dogs.
American bulldogs are muscular and sturdy, and their average weight is about 90 pounds. They are relatively tall, with a height ranging from 21 inches to 29 inches. In comparison to other types of bulldogs, American bulldogs have large heads and strong jaws. Hence, they have the instinct to protect their owners by alerting them to dangers and intruders. They can also go to the extent of arresting an intruder till the arrival of their owners. However, how protective your American bulldog is would largely depend on your role as an active pack leader.
Generally, dogs are known to be highly protective of the people they bond with, and American bulldogs are not excluded. If you give your pup enough attention and training from early on, it will likely be highly protective of you. The level of aggressiveness of American bulldogs towards strangers depends on whether it was trained to socialize from a young age. Moreover, they also need a lot of playtime and exercise to behave properly.
What Makes an American Bulldog a Good Guard Dog?
For the American bulldog to be a good guard dog, it must show some attributes. A dog’s temperament would determine if it will make a good guard dog or not. Here are some characteristics to watch out for:
A good guard dog must be territorial. For American bulldogs to make good guard dogs, they must be able to jealously defend their territory. Although American bulldogs have an instinct of being territorial, this must be fully developed through training for them to be good guard dogs. Being territorial will give your bulldog the drive to repel strangers and intruders. A good guard dog must be able to defend where it lives and also be protective of its owners.
For your American bulldog to be territorial, you must instill confidence in it and its surroundings. They must also understand when to attack and when to be less aggressive. With proper training and socialization, a pooch can be territorial and, at the same time, well-behaved.
Loyalty is one of the core attributes every guard dog should possess. Fortunately, American bulldogs have this attribute to a reasonable degree. They are loyal and committed to family members and their acquaintances. A loyal guard dog would be ready to lay down its life for the sake of family members.
Furthermore, you must also replicate the loyalty being shown by your dog by showing it love and affection. However, you have to maintain a balance between spoiling your dog and showing it affection. By maintaining this balance, your dog will not forfeit its guard instinct.
Aggression is needed for every guard dog. If your canine lacks this quality, it simply can not protect you. American bulldogs possess this attribute to an extent, but not like some dog breeds. You can train your canine to be aggressive towards strangers and intruders. The aggression must be controlled and backed by intelligence.
Your dog must be able to differentiate between family members and strangers. If the aggression of your canine is not backed with a measure of intelligence, it may begin to attack both intruders and close relatives.
For the American bulldog to be a good guard dog, it must be responsive and ready to act at all times. Dogs with high impulse control are generally known to be more responsive. If your American bulldog is not responsive as you would like, you have to train it to develop this quality. Teaching your canine to be more responsive involves teaching it the basic commands.
The basic obedience commands include teaching your pup to sit, lie, run, and stand. Furthermore, to train your American Bulldog to be a good guard dog, you have to teach it to bark on sighting any intruder or stranger. However, your canine should be trained to bark on command and also stop barking when told to do so.
An American bulldog that would make a good guard dog must have a playful nature. A dog that would be protective of its owners must be ready to work and engage in daily exercise. American bulldogs are naturally playful, but if they are not well trained and socialized from a tender age, this attribute may not be properly developed.
You can train your pup to be playful by spending enough time with it every day. Furthermore, you can develop its playful instinct by playing fetching games with it. Playing with your American bulldog will strengthen the bond you both share, and this will, in turn, make it more loyal to you. You can as well buy different toys for your pup to keep it mentally stimulated.
American Bulldog Guard Dog Versus Traditional Guard Dogs
People commonly mistake American bulldogs for traditional guard dogs like the Bullmastiffs. Although they share a few similarities, there are still some obvious differences between the two. Let’s examine these differences:
In terms of size, traditional guard dogs are bigger than American bulldog guard dogs. The average size of an American bulldog is about 60 to 120 pounds in weight and 21 to 28 inches in height. While the average size of a traditional guard dog is about 100 to 130 pounds in weight and 21 to 29 inches tall.
Traditional guard dogs share a sort of similarity with the American bulldog guard dogs. Both of them can adapt to any kind of environment they are found in, but traditional guard dogs are better in this regard. They feel more comfortable dwelling in an apartment than the American bulldog guard dog. On the other hand, American bulldogs need a relatively bigger apartment than traditional guard dogs. American bulldogs can not tolerate being left alone at all, but traditional guard dogs can be left alone for a few hours.
American and traditional bulldogs share a lot in common in terms of personality and temperament. They are both strong-willed and loyal. However, the major difference is that American bulldogs do not get along with other pets like the traditional guard dogs. Another major difference between the two is that —American bulldogs need more exercise to be mentally stimulated than traditional guard dogs.
The American bulldog and the traditional bulldogs share a lot of health problems in common. Some common examples of health conditions they suffer from include hip dysplasia, ear infection, and so more. But the main difference between the two is that American bulldogs rarely suffer from skin diseases like the regular guard dogs. The average lifespan of American bulldogs ranges from 10 to 16 years, while the average lifespan of traditional bulldogs is between 8 to 12 years.
The grooming needs of the American bulldog are quite similar to that of traditional guard dogs. Although traditional guard dogs are relatively hairier than the American bulldog guard dog. An American bulldog rarely needs the services of a professional groomer, unlike traditional guard dogs. Generally, both the traditional guard dogs and the American bulldogs are quite easy to groom.
Both American Bulldogs and traditional guard dogs are lovely and affectionate. But traditional guard dogs do better with children and other pets. Furthermore, in terms of guarding behavior, American bulldogs and traditional guard dogs are both excellent; they are always suspicious of strangers. But real-life experiences have shown that traditional guard dogs are more friendly towards strangers than the American bulldog guard dogs.
Every dog drools, but the extent and the severity differ among dog breeds. Traditional guard dogs drool more than the American bulldog guard dogs. So if you dislike drooling, the American bulldog is the ideal choice. Traditional guard dogs like the English bulldogs drool uncontrollably.
Traditional guard dogs are not easy to train; they take a long time to obey simple commands, unlike American bulldog guard dogs. But you must remember that consistency and patience are both needed to train both of them. In addition, American bulldogs require more exercise than traditional guard dogs. If you have a busy schedule, it’s better to have traditional guard dogs as pets.
Are American bulldogs good guard dogs? Yes, they are! This article has highlighted the basic things you should know about American bulldogs. If you are a first-time owner, any type of guard dog is not suitable for you. Before getting a guard dog, you must know a lot about their temperament and personality. Keeping an American bulldog comes with a sense of responsibility; you need to take care of them to reach their full potential.