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Are American Bulldogs Illegal? What Do You Need To Know?

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The American Bulldog is a breed that gets a bad reputation. But is it illegal to own one? Is the canine banned in the US? What about other countries? Today, we will talk about are American bulldogs illegal.

Like other countries in the world, the United States of America has breed-specific legislation. Now, it might seem like a complicated issue to navigate and raise more questions than answers. Yet, today, we will try to simplify it for you.

Where Is The Pitbull Banned In The US?

The American Pit Bull Terrier is an umbrella term used to describe dogs like American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, American Bulldog, American Pit Bull Terrier, and American Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

But most people recognize it as Pitbull. It is one of the most commonly targeted breeds in the US for breed-specific bans and restrictions.

The Pitbull is banned or restricted in more than 20 countries, including Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

The Pitbull is not recognized as a separate dog breed by The American Kennel Club. As the AKC notes, public perception shifts regularly. The AKC states, “In the 1970s, Doberman Pinschers were singled out. In the 80s, German Shepherds were targeted. In the 90s it shifted to Rottweilers, and today it’s pit bulls”.

American Bulldog2

Where Is The American Bulldog Banned In The US?

As we said before, the American Bulldog is a separate breed from the Pit Bull. Yet, it is still restricted or banned in some states, including Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia.

The powerful Mastiff-like dog can be a wonderful companion, but irresponsible breeding and ownership have caused the issue.

Banned breeds cannot be owned at all, while restricted breeds have to be neutered, chipped, and even muzzled in public.

So, with that in mind, the American Bulldog has fewer restrictions than the American Pitbull terrier.

Why Do Certain Places Ban Dog Ownership?

The American Bulldog is one of the few dog breeds that have been banned or restricted in certain parts of the United States of America.

That is because local governments believe that the breed is dangerous to the public. Therefore, they ban the ownership of an American Bulldog puppy.

In total, more than 700 cities in the US have enacted breed-specific legislation, banning people from owning dog breeds, some of which include the American Bulldog.

Other commonly restricted or banned dog breeds include:

  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Rottweiler
  • Presa Canario
  • Cane Corso
  • German Shepherd

Some regional governments consider these canines to be dangerous and aggressive to the public.

Why Is The American Bulldog Banned?

We answered the questions about whether American Bulldogs are illegal. Now, let’s try and see why this canine is banned in certain places.

One practical reason is the size of the American Bulldog. It is not conducive to city living. The logic behind it is that big and energetic dogs cannot be happy in a small apartment. They are not able to burn their excess energy which can lead to aggressive behavior.

Then, there is the issue of judging by appearance. Because these dogs are muscular and solid with large heads, people are intimidated by them. They think they are aggressive and dangerous.

Last but not least, their similarity to fighting dogs causes people to be suspicious and fearful. The reality is that the American Bulldog is a loving, loyal, and protective dog.

american bulldog

American Bulldog Personality Traits

Sadly, the American Bulldog is banned in some states and cities across the US. But it is unfair because the dog gets a bad reputation. Here are some common personality traits of the American Bulldog dog breed that might make you think otherwise.

  • They are confident and self-assured dogs that carry themselves with a certain level of assertiveness
  • Famous for their loyalty toward their family and loved ones, they are dedicated and devoted companions
  • Generally friendly and sociable with familiar people and exhibit a warm and approachable demeanor
  • Quite active and energetic dogs that need plenty of physical exercise and mental stimulation
  • They retain their puppy-like playfulness even as they grow older
  • Intelligent dogs that are quick learners when properly trained
  • Extremely affectionate and enjoy being close to their dog owner
  • They exhibit a strong sense of determination and persistence

What Does It Mean For Dog Ownership?

While they are not entirely banned in the US, American Bulldogs are illegal and restricted in some states. If you decide to own one, preparation is the key. You have to be aware of laws and restrictions in the specific area you live in.

Make sure to get one from a registered breed, and ask the breeder for the papers on the puppy’s pedigree. These papers show that your puppy is a full-breed American Bulldog.

They show your “banned breed” genetic history is solid and has no history of aggression or health issues.

Most importantly, be ready to shower your dog with attention and love. They need every bit of affection you can give them. That will be the best way to raise awareness about the loving nature of the banned breed.

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