Make your own free website on Tripod.com

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions - "Bully" Answers

 

Q. Are American Bulldogs good family dogs? Back to questions

A. AB's make great family dogs for most families. However, like virtually all dogs, AB's require considerable training and LOVE to make them into the devoted family pet who plays exuberantly with children during the day but lies quietly at the master's feet in the evening. AB's have retained strong protection or "Civil Drive" in some bloodline strains, and strong "Prey Drive" or the  instinct to hunt other animals in other Bloodline strains. Some will tell you that because a certain type AB will attack a Wild Boar it will protect your house. This is flat outright BULL. The best example I can give you of this is an old Coon Hound. He will attack a Bobcat, but wouldn't bite a stranger that stole him and his kennel. So any potential buyer of an American Bulldog needs to know what they expect of the dog when full grown. If you wish to hunt Wild Boar, enjoy hearing Pigs squeal in Pain, and like to see blood splatter, then I would suggest a "Scott" or Standard type Bloodline of AB for you, But if you wish to own a dog that will be a family pet, play with the children, and protect only when there is a definite threat, I would suggest you obtain a "Johnson" or Classic type AB. All dogs, American Bulldogs included, should have several months of foundation obedience training to socialize them and establish the leadership authority of the human family.

 

Q. Are AB's easy to train? Back to questions

A. Most American Bulldogs are very easy to train and eager to learn. And, while you can teach an old dog new tricks, the training will be best absorbed if applied during the early months of life - beginning at two months of age. Association with unusual noises, surfaces, routines, and a plethora of different people will lead to a confident, outgoing, and trustworthy companion for the many years to come.

 

Q. How long do AB's live? Back to questions

A. A general rule of thumb is - the bigger the dog, the shorter the life span. AB's fall neatly into the middle of the dog-size spectrum. Chihuahuas live about 25 Years, while Mastiffs only last about 8 years. Assuming no genetic or congenital complications and taking into account the many environmental factors that can lead to chronic and acute diseases, your AB should still be healthy and active on its 10th birthday. Many AB's will live much longer; 13 years is not uncommon. Unfortunately, AB's seem to decline very suddenly. Meaning it may only be a matter of months between the time when a daily game of fetch was happily anticipated and the day you must make the decision to let your AB die peacefully in your arms.

 

Q. What kinds of medical problems do AB's typically have? Back to questions

A. Like most dogs, AB medical problems can range from epilepsy and diabetes to heart disease. But thankfully, these cases are not the rule by any means but rather the exception. The breed has been generally well served by AB lovers and breeders. You may be relatively secure about the health of your dog by carefully questioning your breeder about the types of routine medical screenings all breeding stock should have prior to being bred. This suggestion holds regardless of whether you ever intend to show or breed your AB. After all, even a pet quality dog should be healthy.

 

Q. Do American bulldogs shed very much? Back to questions

A. Like almost all short hair breeds, AB's will shed heavily twice a year. Folklore often suggests dogs shed in the summer and winter. In fact, dogs shed in the spring and fall - that is, when the days get longer and shorter. The dogs are preparing themselves for the summer and winter. Owners whose dogs are still shedding in the summer and winter have been extremely negligent in the coat care of their animals. Vigorous and consistent brushing during the 3-4 week shedding period should dramatically reduce shedding during the rest of the year. Generally, bitches shed out more heavily than dogs. A bitch's shedding will often predate her estrus by several weeks. This gives advance notice to less-than-observant owners that it's nearly time to lock her up to prevent an unplanned litter.

 

Q. Do AB's need a big yard? How much exercise do they need? Back to questions

A. In the best of all worlds, all AB's would have enormous yards and still be walked twice a day by their owners. They would sleep indoors at night, attend dog school classes for obedience and agility, taken to the lake to swim daily, and trained in some type of activity such as Weight Pull Competition. But that just ain't the way it is. AB's are active dogs who need some kind of activity to keep them from looking for trouble. But an acre of land is not a requisite for a happy AB.  A house in the suburbs with a caring and active owner is a far superior situation to living the life of a ranch dog with little, or at least no consistent, human contact. A bored AB, regardless of how or where it is confined, can be a destructive animal. Couches are shredded, carpets ruined, even doors and tile floors are not immune to damage. All an AB wishes for is to be with you, wherever you go. They are content to sit and stare at you for hours on end. AB's bond very closely with their owners, and do not like being separated and left alone. They become bored and start looking for something to do until you return. This is where the horror stories come from. Kitchen cabinets, Your favorite coat, or even the Television all become fair game for a romp when you are not giving your AB enough attention and exercise.

 

Q. Are two AB's better than one? Back to questions

A. Well, it's never much fun to party alone! All dogs love companionship. They are, after all, pack animals. AB's are no different. But some simple rules will help in the transition from a one dog family to a multiple dog family. First, never buy littermates. Whether of the same or opposite sex, littermates who grow up together will always be more closely bonded to each other than to you. The problems really show when training starts. The dog left at home will typically bark, howl, whine, and generally carry on until its sibling returns. The sibling, meanwhile, will be distracted and anxious during training, concentrating more on its out of sight brother or sister than on you. Second, wait until the first pup is at least a year of age before introducing a second dog. This waiting period gives you time to establish a training foundation with the older dog. Quite frequently, the bad habits you've corrected in the older dog will also crop up in the new pup. It's much easier to figure out who's chewing, barking, marking, fence jumping, or digging if you have one dog you can trust. AB's are quick to take on the role of disciplinarian when they are confident and well grounded in the house rules. A noisy barking pup may be corrected by an older, quieter dog, making your foundation training that much more consistent. Third, consider the sexes of the animals you propose to bring together. There are usually no compatibility problems between the sexes, but two of the same sex can be a problem depending on the temperaments of both individuals. You can have two dogs or two bitches living peacefully together but it will take more work on your part, early on, to ensure lifelong harmony.

 

Q. What brand Dog Food do you feed, and how much ? Back to questions

A. All dog foods are NOT created equal. We have experimented with quite a few different brands of dog food. In fact we have tried almost every brand available in our area. From the big time name brand, to the locally made, we tried them all. Some were terrible, most were adequate, with expected drawbacks, and 2 were excellent. IAMS Eukanuba was the best we found, it produced excellent bone, muscle tone, health, and smooth glossy coats, with manageable waste. We also found that Diamond Brand dog food produced almost the exact same results. The choice was obvious, IAMS Eukanuba is priced at $42 for a 40 pound bag in our area, while Diamond Brand is $17 for a 50 Pound bag. It is an excellent, all around dog food for puppies as well as grown dogs. We have toured quite a few AB Kennels in the South where we live, and everyone of them feed the exact same Dog Food we picked. Diamond Brand, Adult Performance in the Hunter Green Bag.  As for amount, just follow the guide on the back of the bag, and by all means, do not overfeed.

Be sure and Bookmark this site.

 

E-Mail Smokey Mountain Kennels

E-MAIL Smokey Mountain Kennels