The Australian Bulldog, affectionately known as the Aussie Bulldog, is a relatively new breed still under development. Although not currently recognized by the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC), the Australian Bulldog is now widely recognized by the general public and the breed has become increasingly popular due their easy-going natures, excellent family compatibility and lovable appearance.
The breed was originally developed and named by a pair breeders in the early 1990’s already involved in breeding bulldog breeds. The aim was to produce a medium sized dog of bully type that was better suited to the Australian climate, replicating the charm and personality of the British Bulldog, but improving on the breed’s general health and functionality.
Foundation bitches used included Bullmastiffs, Boxers, American Bulldogs, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and hunting pig dogs, utilized for their health, breeding abilities and working dog temperaments. These females were put back to pedigreed British Bulldog males to enhance the desired bulldog type and nature.
All Australian Bulldogs lines should be traceable back to the original breeds used, and therefore the percentage of each breed involved can be broken down. The ideal breed percentage to maintain type is 80-90% British Bulldog.
CHARACTERISTICS & TEMPERAMENT
The Australian Bulldog is a smooth-coated, thickset, medium sized dog with a compact, powerful build showing strength and agility. The head large with a short face and broad muzzle, but should not display overly exaggerated features. The general appearance and attitude should convey an impression of determination, stamina and vigor. A proud looking dog when viewed with expression and exhibits a trustworthy and enduring disposition, should never show aggression towards people. Great family companion seeking love and affection from owners, not at all suited to being a backyard only dog. Enjoys activity, however a lot of exercise is not required. Laid back, easy going nature, while having good watch dog abilities but is not known to be a barker unless provoked. Very stable in nature with a predictable character. Enjoys water yet is not always an adept swimmer due to physical build. The Australian Bulldog lifespan should live to 10 or more years.
HEAD & SKULL
Head type to be broad and square when viewed from all angles. Skull circumference measurements should equal height of dog. 1 to 3 loose folds across the nose but in no way excessively wrinkled. The stop should be deep and defined, dividing the head vertically and being traceable to the top of the skull, with the distance from the stop to the nose 25-50mm, long enough for unhindered breathing. Nostrils should be wide and large, with a well-defined line between them. Black, liver/chocolate and blue colours all accepted, with full pigment covering nose and inside nostrils is preferred, pink spotting undesirable.
The jaws should be very broad, square and up to 10mm ‘undershot’, preferably no greater, with the lower jaw projecting in front of the upper jaw and turning up. Flews are relatively broad and hanging over lower jaw at each side but should not be excessive in size and mouth should not be excessively loose. The teeth should be large and strong, with the canine teeth wide apart, and the six incisors between the canines, in an even, level row. Teeth should not be seen protruding from the mouth, rye mouths are a fault.
Eyes are set low and wide, should be quite round in form, of moderate size, and neither sunken nor bulging. The lids should cover the white of the eyeball, when the dog is looking directly forward, and the lid should show no visible haw. Any shade of colour acceptable but should be reflective of coat and nose colour.
The ears should be set high in the head and of moderate size. The shape termed ‘rose ear’ is the most desirable. The rose ear folds inward at its back lower edge, the upper front edge curving over, outward and backward, showing part of the inside of the burr. Buttoned or forward ears giving a square appearance are also accepted. ‘Flying ears’ undesirable and ears should never be carried erect.
Moderate in length, thick, deep and strong. Well arched at the back, with loose skin forming dewlap on either side.
Chest should be wide and deep. Shoulders are broad, but not excessively so, rounded ribs. Forelegs powerful and straight, not bandy or curved, well boned and set wide apart presenting a straight front. The feet should be moderate in size, compact and firmly set. Toes compact, well split up, with high knuckles and short stubby nails. The front feet should be straight, not turned out or splayed.
Good length of back, not short as it restricts movement, but not out of proportion to the rest of the body either. Body length should preferably equal height, however bitches may have greater body length than males in order to assist natural whelping. Should slightly taper at withers and have a nice straight top line with tail set coming straight of the back.
Strong and muscular. Hocks slightly bent with good turn of the stifle. Shoulders and hips should be the same width. The hind feet, like the forefeet, should be round and compact, with the toes well split up and the knuckles prominent. Excessively splayed feet undesirable, as are ‘easty-westy’ hind legs.
Thickset at root and tapering quickly to a fine point. Straight (long or short), crank and screw tails acceptable, but tight screws undesirable. It should have a downward carriage (not having a decided curve at the end), and the dog should not be able to raise short tails over its back. Long tails should be carried low and be no longer than hock length. Untapering tails undesirable.
Free, smooth, and powerful. When viewed from the side, reach and drive indicate maximum use of the dog’s moderate angulation. Back remains level and firm. Should not have a rolling gait.
Fine in texture, smooth, short and tight to body.
All colours and coat patterns accepted.
Dogs: 43-51cm (17-20”), 25-35kg
Bitches: 40-48cm (16-19”), 22-32kg
Males must have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum by 6 months of age