Everything You Need to Know about Raising an Australian Bulldog
At first glance, the pudgy face and stalky figure of an Australian Bulldog resemble that of other Bulldog breeds.
Once you start to analyze those features closely, you might notice a hint of Bullmastiff – possibly even Boxer.
The breed itself is unique compared to other Bulldogs because it was bred with the intention of surviving the Aussie environment.
Consider the Australian version a more functional, multi-purpose breed ready to go along on weekend hunting trips or lazily lounge around the house with the entire family.
If you have thought about getting a Bulldog pup for your home, you’ve selected a breed perfect for family life. While they were bred for rugged terrain and working hard, they are also loyal watchdogs that require minimal effort training-wise and are highly affectionate.
Did You Know the Australian Bulldog Came from a Breeding Project?
Modern Australian Bulldogs did not make their debut until the early 1990’s, but the breed comes from one that has been around for centuries: The Old English Bulldog.
Two breeding programs, N&T Green and Pip Nobes, started producing Australian versions of the bulldog for a more functional breed that is well-adapted to the Aussie environment. The two programs merged their efforts and introduced their first success in 1998.
To promote their existence, the Australian Bulldog Club of Australia (ABCA) emerged in 2007. Here you find a full registry of all Australian versions, including membership and breeding records.
The unique facial features of the Australian breed come from mating the English Bulldog with three other breeds: Bullmastiff, Boxer, and the English Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
A breed that has a longer muzzle, fewer wrinkles, and longer legs than the Bulldog you are used to seeing.
While the breed has been around since early 1990, it is still not recognized by the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC). Instead, the ANKC only acknowledges the British Bulldog and French Bulldog in their Group 7 category (the non-sporting breed).
Even though the breed is not accepted, various others throughout European breeding history have been ignored by the ANKC. According to The Age, out of the 200 breeds recognized by the ANKC, only eight variants bred in the country have been recognized in the two centuries since the country’s development.
Exploring the Types of Bulldogs – and What Makes the Australian Breed Stand Out
Bulldogs have been around since the 1500s when first mentioned in literature. Initially, the name appeared as “Bondogge” and “Bolddogge.” It wasn’t until 1631-1632 when the term “Bulldog” finally appeared in text.
Today, you have not only the Australian breed but a handful of others – including a few which are extinct. Take the Bullenbeisser breed, for example. This German breed was well-known for its incredible strength and agility, and it is the ancestor of the modern Boxer. Today, the kind no longer exists, but its Boxer variant lives on.
So, what are the accepted variants of the Bulldog breed today?
The American Bulldog
The American Bulldog has a larger appearance than its European counterparts and is a crossbreed of the Scottish and Johnson types.
English Bulldog – Not to be Confused with Old English
Often the English Bulldog and Old English Bulldog are mislabeled by amateurs as the same breed, but they are far from it when you consider their lineage. The English Bulldog comes from the bull-baiting days, and it features a unique underbite, head size, and shoulder width.
You might see the English Bulldog listed as a “British Bulldog,” but these two are the same.
The personality from an English Bulldog features a kind, passive demeanor, and rarely will you see bouts of aggression. While little, English Bulldogs are incredibly high maintenance, and prone to health problems due to their pudgy nose and shorter legs.
French Bulldogs are notorious for their perked ears and smaller stature. The French variety comes from a breeding project in Paris from crossbreeding Bulldogs with toy bulldog varieties; hence their smaller size.
On average, a French or “Frenchie,” reaches 22 to 26 pounds. Their tails are naturally short, and ears feature a bat-like shape. The body shape of the French breed still holds like an English breed.
Your Frenchie does not like the heat, heavy exercise, or stressful situations. In warm weather, keep the dog cool and avoid any activity outdoors. With proper care, a Frenchie could live to over 14 years, according to the French Bulldog Club.
Olde English Bulldogge
In 1970, David Leavitt (an American), created his Olde English Bulldogge. What makes this breed unique compared to the others is its size and overall stature. It is taller and does not have the same stalky stature. Leavitt bred his version for bull-baiting, and today the United Kennel Club recognizes the Olde English Bulldogge.
The Olde English Bulldogge is the revival breed of the extinct Old English Bulldog. Therefore, you might see some breeds listed as “Old English,” which means they are Olde English Bulldogge varieties.
Did you know that a Boxer is technically a Bulldog? Boxers come from a crossbreed of the Bullenbeisser (now extinct) and Old English Bulldog. Once used for bull-baiting, today’s Boxer is a household companion.
The Australian Bulldog is more athletic, versatile, and with their long legs, they have fewer skeletal disorders compared to other Bulldog varieties.
They enjoy activities more than their English counterparts, and while they still have that pudgy classic snout, its slightly longer appearance reduces the risk of breathing complications later.
Various Specialty Breeds
The English, Australian, and French breeds are the most prominent, but many breeders over the years have created their unique variations of the popular Bulldog breed. Many of these breeds come from crossbreeding of the English, American, and French to create a new breed.
For example, the American French Bulldog is a hybrid breed that inherits the best traits of the American and French varieties.
Another example is the Victorian Bulldog, which is a unique hybrid of the English Bulldog. Victorian Bulldogs require less maintenance, grow taller than their English ancestors, and do not have the same congenital problems as the English breed.
What is it Like Raising an Australian Bulldog? Here are a Few Facts for New Owners
The Australian breed is equally as intelligent as the English and American versions, but early training and socializing are fundamental.
Bulldogs, whether Aussie or English, all carry a dominant trait, which is why early socialization is critical.
Once trained, you will find your Bulldog to be the loyalist member of the family. They aim to please their owners, and positive-reinforcement works well with this breed. In fact, you might notice your dog craves your leadership and seeks commands from you over anything else.
If you have been looking for the perfect family pet, the Australian breed is ideal. They are highly affectionate and work well in families – even those with smaller children.
Here are just a few things to know about this unique breed:
The only concern is their dominant tendencies, but if you socialize them with other pets early on, you will find your Australian breed gets along with other pets in the household just fine. One word of caution: while they are friendly, Aussie breeds should avoid being in the same house with felines or pets considerably smaller than the dog.
The Bottom Line: The Aussie Breed is Ideal for Those Seeking a Loyal, Affectionate Family Friend
Australian Bulldogs with their adorable features, classic wrinkles, and loving personalities make them ideal for singles and families alike. Raising a Bulldog, like other breeds, requires some effort, but when you care for them properly, you have a dog ready to please you and reward you each day with their loyalty and companionship.